Not Adultism – Corporal Punishment

Spanking, slapping, smacking, pulling ears, pinching, shaking…

Hitting with rulers, belts, wooden spoons, extension cords, slippers, hairbrushes, pins, sticks, whips, rubber hoses, flyswatters, wire hangers, stones, bats, canes, or paddles…

Being forced to stand for a long period; hold an uncomfortable position; stand motionless; kneel on rice, corn, floor grates, pencils or stones; retain body wastes; perform strenuous exersize; or ingest soap, hot sauce, or lemon juice…

This is not adultism – its corporal punishment. In my experience I have heard a lot of people misuse the term adultism, applying it to any instant where children or youth have been discriminated against because of their age. It is true that because children and youth are young they are routinely subjected to physical punishment – but in this case, adultism is a root among many, and the brutal weed that grows is child abuse in the form of corporal punishment. I think its important to call a dog a dog – and that is what physically, mentally, or emotionally abusing children in the name of discipline or punishment is. Not adultism – corporal punishment.

Read my review of Eliminating Corporal Punishment here.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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