GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 113
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
It is important for children to learn the difference between right and wrong at an early age. Punishment is necessary to help them learn this distinction.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
What sort of punishment should parents and teachers be allowed to use to teach good behaviour to children?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Model Answer 1:
To be able to discern the difference between right and wrong is of great importance and the earlier children learn it, the better it is. I believe reward and punishment go hand in hand when it comes down to helping young minds distinguish correct from incorrect. But the punishment to teach them should be mild and age-specific.
To start with, inculcating ethics is comparatively easy when individuals are young and if they are taught at the right time, they grow up to be sensible adults. In the formative years, youngsters are more receptive than in the adult period. So it is far easier to shape them into the epitome of ideal behaviour. Myriad studies have already revealed that children who are taught a code of ethics from their early years have endearing behaviour as compared to those who have already deeply ingrained unacceptable behaviour. As with grown-up individuals, senses become extremely complex to learn anew.
However, many parents and teachers believe that punishment is an essential tool to teach children right from wrong. They go on to argue that the fear of penalty will dissuade children from wrongdoings. For instance, when a child is punished or rebuked for hitting another child, he or she is likely to behave to avoid the embarrassing situation he had faced the last time for his action. But while punishing a child for some repeated wrong behaviour, in my opinion, parents and teachers have to avoid physical punishment. Children are unable to make a relation between their behaviour and physical sanction. They only feel the pain of retribution. In fact, parents or teachers should not hit, slap, or spank children of any age. Parents or teachers can use some light punishments without hurting children physically. For example, children can be shouldered the burden of household chores as a punishment. While punishing a child’s age has to be considered.
In Conclusion, children should be taught what is right and wrong from the early years. Although punishment teaches children right from wrong, I believe that physical punishment should be avoided by all means.
Model Answer 2:
Whether punishment is necessary for children to learn the difference between right and wrong at an early age is controversial and required thorough discussion. Personally, I disagree with the view that traditional forms of punishment are necessary. Instead, I believe that alternative approaches focusing on positive reinforcement and logical consequences can effectively teach good behaviour to children.
Traditional punishment, such as spanking or yelling, often creates a climate of fear and negativity, which can hinder the child’s moral development. Rather than understanding the reasons behind their actions, children may simply associate punishment with avoiding displeasure. For instance, research has shown that children who experience harsh punishments may become aggressive or develop a fear of authority figures, inhibiting their ability to internalise a genuine understanding of right and wrong.
Furthermore, punishment focuses on the consequences of misbehaviour rather than addressing the underlying causes. By solely relying on punishment, we miss an opportunity to teach children about empathy, problem-solving, and the importance of taking responsibility for their actions. Instead, an alternative approach known as logical consequences can be more effective. For example, if a child refuses to clean up their toys, a logical consequence could be temporarily removing the toys until they understand the responsibility associated with their actions.
In addition to positive reinforcement and logical consequences, two types of non-traditional punishments that can teach good behaviour are time-ins and restitution. Time-ins involve guiding the child through a reflective process to help them understand the impact of their actions on others. By discussing and empathising with those affected, the child develops a deeper understanding of the consequences of their behaviour. Restitution involves having the child make amends or engage in acts of kindness to restore any harm caused. This approach focuses on teaching empathy and repairing relationships rather than solely punishing the child.
In conclusion, I firmly disagree with the view that punishment is necessary for children to learn the difference between right and wrong. Instead, alternative approaches such as positive reinforcement, logical consequences, time-ins, and restitution can be more effective in teaching good behaviour.