Physical punishment of kids a vicious cycle: experts

By Rose Carmelle Lacuata,

Posted at Aug 10 2014 12:30 AM | Updated as of Aug 11 2014 07:17 PM

MANILA -- The issue of whether it is right for parents to use physical punishment to discipline their children came up once again after a video of a 5-year-old girl who was beaten up in public by her own mother became viral recently.

Authorities warn that parents who abuse their children could face sanctions under Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Under the law, people who are proven guilty of child abuse will be penalized.

However, the question of whether physical punishment can be considered as child abuse remains an issue.

According to Atty. Carlos Nicolas, it does not take much to know whether one has gone overboard in punishing children.

"Kapag nagmarka na ito sa katawan, mukhang sumobra na tayo doon. Hindi mo kailangang maging matalino para malaman ang isang bagay ay sumosobra na, lalo na kung may dugo na sa balat, o kung mayroon nang pasa," Nicolas said.

Experts also warn parents of the psychological effects of physical punishment on children.

"Ang isang danger diyan, pwede nilang ulitin 'yan. Kapag magulang na sila, gagawin nila sa magiging anak nila. Nagiging vicious cycle, nauulit nang nauulit, at naipapamana sa susunod na generation," explained Richie Par, a psychologist.

A resolution for an anti-corporal punishment law has been filed in Congress, which will delineate specific actions which can be considered as forms of child abuse.

Instead of physically punishing children, experts advise parents to instead talk to their children to explain what they did wrong.

Failon Ngayon, ABS-CBN, August 9, 2014