Amid the renewed debate over spanking following the death of four year old Millan Jn Baptiste who is reported to have been abused while in the care of his Father and Stepmother, Clinical Psychologist, Doctor Franklin Bray, has told the Times that there is a place for spanking in the discipline of children.
Bray’s comments come one day after the Director of the Department of Human Services, Elizabeth Lewis, cited the death of Millan Jn Baptiste as the ultimate cost of corporal punishment.
“The whole issue of spanking must be seen not only within the context of abuse but also within the context of discipline and punishment,“ Doctor Bray asserted.
According to him, it is wrong when a parent uses spanking as the only form of disciplining a child.
Bray said parents can find various ways of meeting the needs of the child, and agreed that no loving parent would beat a child to death.
“Spanking should not be for the purpose of inflicting pain to the child or breaking the child, but should be to help and to enhance discipline and teach the child consequences. It should not make the child feel he has been broken, wounded, dehumanized or has lost his dignity,” Bray told the Times.
He explained that before a parent administers corporal punishment, there should be a conversation so the child can know why he is being disciplined the reason behind it.
Bray observed however that often children are disciplined in anger, being beaten so that the person administering the spanking can deal with their own anger and frustration.
”In doing so they break down the child or even kill him,” he observed.
As far as Bray was concerned, parents need to control their anger while disciplining children.
He also made it clear that corporal punishment if necessary, should be the last resort.