The Effect of Excessive Teenage Punishment

By Susan McCammon
Verbal reprimads are more beneficial than physical punishments.

Parents may punish their teenage children excessively because of anger and frustration. Excessive punishment can lead to a number of ,including physical injury, psychological problems and poor academic performance. The Child Welfare Information Gateway website classifies excessive punishment as maltreatment, which leads to the development of problems like aggression and disruptiveness. It is, therefore, advisable that you should punish teens moderately so as not to harm them physically or psychologically.

Physical Harm

Parents, caregivers or teachers may resort to use of physical punishment, such as smacking or spanking, to make a teen feel pain or discomfort with the intention of correcting behavior. Corporal punishment is another term that refers to the use of physical force to discipline a child. Punishment, such as punching, beating, kicking, biting and shaking, that results in physical injury, like bruising, is referred to as physical abuse, states the website of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Devaluation

Punishment takes verbal form when parents, caregivers, teachers or other adults use harsh words to reproach a child. The Ask Dr. Sears website advises that excessive physical or verbal punishment can damage a child’s sense of self-worth. This is because spanking or other forms of physical punishment make a child feel weak and defenseless. Hitting a child’s hands when she touches things leads to individuals who fear exploring, according to the site's professionals. When you impose your authority by spanking teens, it communicates desperation and devalues your role as a parent.

Anti-social Behavior

Excessive punishment makes some teenagers believe that it is right to use violence against weaker people. According to the Empowering Parents website, when you use excessive force to punish your teen child, he is likely to develop anti-social behavior such as aggression. Such children end up being physically aggressive toward other people when trying to modify their behavior. If you consistently find yourself using excessive punishment against your teenage child, then it is better you postpone the punishment. This will give you time to calm down and come up with more effective and less damaging ways, such as imposing or extending curfews.

Poor Performance

The Science Daily publication reports that children in settings where teachers and/or parents use corporal punishment perform significantly poorer in intellectual activities than those where there is the use of other means, such as verbal reprimands. Professors Victoria Talwar, Stephanie Carlson and Kang Lee conducted a study among 63 children to find out the effect of physical discipline, such as beating with a stick. Results from the study, published in the Journal of Social Development, show that children who underwent physical punishment scored lower academically than those who were not. These researchers stated that this form of punishment inhibits problem-solving skills in children.

About the Author

Susan McCammon began writing in 1997. Her work has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and educator with experience teaching first grade, special education and working with children ages 0 to 3. McCammon holds a Ph.D in Psychology from University of South Carolina.