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What children feel when beaten by parents: Psychologist explains

What children feel when beaten by parents: Psychologist explains Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

The use of physical punishment has been repeatedly condemned by psychologists and educators worldwide. All experts agree that it's considered child abuse, according to the Ukrainian psychologist Dmytro Karpachov.

What a child feels when being beaten

Regular application of physical punishment to a child leads to changes in the structures of the brain responsible for memory and emotions.

The child's exchange of neurotransmitters is disrupted, especially oxytocin, known as the affection hormone. Later in life, such a child may struggle with forming stable and close relationships with friends, romantic partners, and even with their own parents.

Disturbances also occur in the brain's reward system, causing the child to lack orientation due to the absence of previously positive experiences. This can impact their future, success in their career, and the formation of a family.

All this leads to an increase in sensitivity to danger, as well as developing of suspicion and distrust towards others. It becomes more challenging to motivate such a child for learning and self-development, as they are difficult to engage or interest in anything.

What a child expects from parents

By nature, a child seeks love, attention, and care from their parents. If they don't receive these, there's a breakdown in emotional-motivational regulation. In response to harsh treatment, a child starts behaving even worse.

The consequences of physical punishment include an inability to resolve conflicts calmly and find compromises, because such children were taught by their parents that slapping is a viable solution in any difficult situation.

Any young boy or girl, just like any adult, will get nervous if they are physically disciplined. And they won't be able to listen further.

The psychologist pointed out that in Ukraine, as well as in many other countries, physical punishment of children is prohibited by law.