The Story: What are the appropriate ways to teach a child?
There is a debate which has continued in recent decades on a topic which most feel strongly about one way or another – the disciplining of children, especially physical discipline. Is it moral? Is it necessary? And is it harmful, or beneficial?
One side claims that to strike an innocent child who has harmed no one can never be moral, that violence must only be reserved for those rare occasions where it is necessary to prevent more violence. The other side might claim that being an efficient teacher requires using all tools that are available, and if violence is necessary for a lesson, we shouldn’t withhold what might be the only useful method for communication.
If a child is too young to be capable of reason, then surely he is too young to understand the reason for the blows. However, even if the child does not understand, is it possible that he will learn to control his actions through conditioning? And if so, is it desirable?
In this episode, Mr. J. and Link McElvenny continue a very interesting discussion. Kurt assumes the negative position, arguing against the use of violence and negative reinforcement on children. Mr. J. takes the position that harsh discipline should be used, though with care and sparingly, and Link acts as an impromptu arbitrator.
Join us on the next child-rearing, brain-expanding episode of … The Paradise Paradox!
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