It is important to involve punishment when educating children so that they can distinguish right and wrong. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this notion?

Knowing the difference between right and wrong is very important to be taught to children of younger age. I agree with the notion of teaching the difference between right and wrong by involving the use of punishment with some considerations. This essay aims to propose some reasons why coercion is needed in early age education along with some explanations on the extent of the use of coercive teaching for children.
Most people are against the use of punishment when teaching moral to children. They argue that coercive method may limit creativity and result in a severe psychological damage. In a family that has more democratic sense of education, the process of value internalization is done by using more persuasive way such as challenging others’ opinion in an open conversation, giving suggestion and critics, or even proposing solutions and feedback if it’s deemed necessary. However, this method is not always in accordance with the need of children of early stage learning. This may be because children simply do not aware that right and joy always come along with responsibilities, especially when dealing with the social norms and values. In this case, coercive practice in a form of punishment may be necessary to give a solid base of education and moral.
Some people prefer to apply punishment and reward when teaching their children. According to behaviorism theory, values and norms are better taught by means of repetition, internalization, and evaluation. Repetition consists of mimicking sayings and actions that comply with social values and norms. When the values and norms are understood by the children, they will do it in real actions and this may lead to acquisition in which they finally acquire the understanding the do and the don’t in social context. For them who already got the idea and implement it actual actions, reward in forms of social acceptance and affection are given. These reward will eventually reinforce the internalization and lead to other social learning stage.

However, some children may fail in one or more stages that coercion has to be applied. Punishment can be done as an alternative of early education. It ranges from verbal punishment to physical punishment. Verbal is usually done by parents by telling their children not to do bad things such as going to bed late, not brushing their teeth, and so on. Physical punishment is somehow more common in academic setting. Teachers sometimes pinch, or hit their students using a ruler to teach that what they are doing is wrong. There has been a long debate about whether or not a physical punishment is allowed. In my opinion, it is okay to punish children physically as long as it’s meant for educational purpose. It is believed that physical coercion is quite effective to teach them that society has rules and the failure to be adherent to such rules may lead to certain consequences.

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