Raising a child is a challenging life task that is given over to individuals all over the world without an instruction manual. People must learn by experience how to nurture, care for, and provide for miniature versions of themselves for almost two decades in most cultures! Discipline plays a major role in raising a child because most parents truly want what is best for their children and want them to grow up to be responsible, respectable, and successful adults; however, in some unfortunate cases, parents misinterpret the term discipline and in turn end up abusing their children. The question becomes, is there truly a difference between discipline and abuse? And if so, what is it? With education, individuals can learn how to properly
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Some parents tend to see discipline and “punishment and control” as the same thing (“Effective discipline for children”, 2004). The U.S. National Library of Medicine makes clear the “controversy” that has grown as a response to the proper way to discipline a child and the fact that there are set boundaries as to how to go about the discipline (“Effective discipline for children”, 2004). Once a parent disregards those boundaries, there is a high probability that the parent will consequently be an abuser of his or her child. Child abuse is recognized by the federal government and, due to the immense amount of cases, has federal legislation in play to protect the rights of children. As reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families:
The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum[,] any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm (“What Is Child Abuse and Neglect?”, 2013).
Regardless of how parents may feel they need to raise their children, abuse is never justified. There is a clear-cut difference between child abuse, whether it is emotional or physical, and discipline; it is not relative and there are significant consequences