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Abuse vs. Discipline

Types Of Abuse

Unlike with the various child abuse types, discipline is used in order to alter or change a child's behavior and is exacted out of love and the desire of parents to help their child recognize right from wrong. Discipline is not carried out with malicious or cruel intent. The intent of the action is just as important as the severity of the action and the damage that is caused. Although some parents may carry out extreme forms of disciplining, they do not intend to cause physical harm or emotional scarring to the child.

While victims of child abuse may experience extreme bruising, deep laceration, swelling, and fractures from physical abuse, a child who is being disciplined may receive a quick spanking. Despite this difference, there is still a great deal of controversy as to whether or not a parent should use spanking as a form of discipline. Whereas all child abuse types result in a child thinking negatively of himself/herself or damaging normal psychological and social development, disciplining encourages social and pedantic development.

Victims of child abuse are often beaten, verbally attacked, or threatened on a regular basis for no apparent reason. Discipline should be carried out occasionally and in direct response to a negative behavior that was displayed by the child. Victims of child abuse are frightened into obeying a parent or a guardian and acknowledging their control. On the other hand, discipline seeks to teach a child what is right from what is wrong so that they may eventually be independent of their parents.

There are many important differences between abuse and discipline. It is a parent's job to discipline their child so that the child grows up knowing what is acceptable behavior and what is not. As long as a parent or a guardian of a child does not cross the line from discipline to abuse, then the parent has a right to discipline their child and should not be afraid that they are doing something wrong.

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