Physical Discipline & Your Child

I find myself often entertained by the children I see in my practice. I address the limits of confidentiality and it’s definition with them in the first session. More often than not I have a child tell me that their mommy said they should keep secrets from me or they will be taken away. When I inquire about the secrets after reassuring them they are in a safe space they most often share that they get “whippin’s” at home. I’m not a social worker I’m a counselor so I won’t be the person removing you from the home, I am a mandatory reporter but if it’s disciplinary, does not leave marks and is done appropriately-there is nothing for me to report. As the recipient of physical discipline growing up I find that it helped to keep me on the path to becoming a doctor so I don’t see a problem. In terms of development toddlers are more understanding of associating a misbehavior with pain then with an adult trying to appeal to them cognitively/rationally which developmentally they can’t not understand. Besides cognitive behavioral therapy does not work with Black people and will not work with Black children so physical discipline is warranted. As I have told my preteen consumers who have tried to get their parents in trouble with me for physical discipline “whippin’s are therapeutic”. I have also noted in the generations being raised now a clear lack of common sense. However for my clients who are raised in a home with the fear of physical discipline lingering over them for misbehavior they have common sense wise beyond their years. Some of them use their wisdom for good and others are on the path to becoming criminal master minds. I do believe there is a correlation (at least in Black people) between physical discipline and the development of common sense. What is your experience?

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