This. I was spanked according to my mom probably 2-3 times by her for running into our street (my bff lived right across the street and in my excitement I would run to her without looking or the hand of an adult, this was before the age of 4) and then by my grandma probably 4-5 times for similar safety issues.
I don't advocate spanking. I have spanked my dd probably 4-5 times and I feel pretty s****y about it, but i'm just a human and tomorrow I will try to do better, y'know? I feel that way about my mom and grandma for sure. They did the best they could and honestly my mom is pretty anti-spanking. Her whole thing is at the younger ages kids don't have enough impulse control to not do dangerous things and if you can give them a reason to stop and think before say running in the street the next time then thats what you have to do. Do I agree? I dunno. Have I spanked dd for that same reason? Yes, once. Do I think it worked? Who friggin knows man.....is that even quantifiable? I dunno that either, lol.
But I do know I don't remember being spanked AT ALL. Ever.
But what I do remember is being grounded as a teen and I HATED that and felt very misunderstood and disrespected. Totally non-violent with very lasting effects.
And I also kinda wish my mom would have been a stricter diciplinarian(sp? lol) I feel like she was waaaaay to loosey goosey. And she thinks she was pretty strict herself so it's all perception isn't it?
I just don't think there IS a cut and dry answer of this is the best way for every person on the planet just typing that seems sooooo silly. Ridiculous even.
And I am not pro spanking just to repeat myself.
I would not call grounding non-violent...non physical yes, non-violent, no.
Violence can come in many forms but its main objective is to squelch certain behaviors, especially those that challenge authority of the ruling class. In the microcosm of your family, a grounding is the equivalent of a trade embargo. Cuba has been grounded "for the rest of her life!" for it's infractions. A grounding is violent because it imposes arbitrary power and offers no chance for learning. It is purely punitive and rarely linked to the crime. I was grounded off the phone for not doing my homework. How was this related? It was not the use of the phone that caused my homework to be unfinished. It was my sheer boredom with the subject and everytime I tried to focus I fell asleep...how would staying off the phone help me focus on boring algebra? Especially since I didn't need the practice to do it? It didn't. The only person I ever spoke to on the phone at that age was my birth mother. It was their way of taking away my only connection to someone I loved outside of the immediate familiar unit and they knew it would bug me as much as I bugged them and hopefully it would keep me in line.
I love my dad and step mom, but these sort of tactics were, cruel, retalitory and counter productive. It is largely due to those sort of discipline techniques that I left home at 13 to go live with my birth mother. They will admit that now.
Groundings are violent because they serve to oppress willfulness and rebellion and as I mentioned upthread are the adolescent equivalent of a spanking. When children are small, we smack them because we can and because they incite fear of our loved ones (and ONLY refuge of safety and protection and provider of all basic needs) being angry enough or disappointed enough to cause us pain which is scary enough to figure out what we are supposed to, even if it means utter and total paralysis of action. Just because grounding doesn't involve hands doesn't make it any more respectful than a smack on the hiney.
Not using violence of the phyiscal or passive kind IS better. Maybe that is self-important, or maybe it is just my belief or maybe it is actually proven to get better results. Maybe all of the above. Check out the CNVC, Ghandi, Martin Luthur King Jr., and a plethora of non-violent trainers, speakers and promoters and you will read about the success they have had with non-violence.
I cannot say for certain that spanking is bad and I am sure, as SB pointed out, there isn't much conclusive evidence that it is, but I CAN say without a shadow of a hint of a doubt, that non-violent techniques give children the skills they need to make good choices and meet their needs in non-violent ways rather than merely avoid bad choices and have fewer tools for meeting their needs with non-violent techniques. It may mean having a more difficult job when they are younger, but it will pay off in the long run. I know of not ONE adult or older child who has been raised in a truly non-violent communication home (I do not mean one who merely didn't hit or ground, or who was not involved in their discipline, but those who implemented NVC techniques to resolve and transform conflicts rather than squlech them) who has violent tendencies or problems with agression or who harbor resentment of their parents. The success rate is 100%. The success rate of violent discipline is 50% at best as far as I can tell.
It works for everyone because it is individually catered with a variety of skills and outlooks and tools to meet everyone's needs, build respect and foster love and self-confidence. Try it out. You might like it! Money back guaranteed!
I agree that spanking a 10 year old would be a far less desirable an action to talking and reasoning.
And I, also have spent a lot of time with Alzheimer's patients. My experience was as a child volunteering at the nursing home my mom worked at. I do remember the nurses sternly grabbing patients hands to get their attention in the same way my grandmother would sternly grab my arm and sink a little bit of nail into my flesh to get my attention. Is that violent?
Sink a little bit of nail into the flesh? I would pull my gran out of a home that did that to my gran. I would be livid if anyone ever did that to my child.
YES! That is excessively violent.
Oh this is just digusting. Correlating GANG RAPE to a smack on the hiney? You have been really pushing the limit in this conversation as far as what you have compared spanking to but this just crosses the line. Get a grip, lady.
And how is that sort of outlandish argument going to get this conversation anywhere?
She wasn't comparing the two, she was discussing moral relativity completely as an aside.
I understand, that as someone who has spanked their child you need to make it okay. I get that. It was a mistake and you own that. You're human, we all are. I have shouted and raised my voice and shut my kid in his room or shoved him off of me when he was being too rough because mommy needed a break or she was going to go postal. But it's not okay...it's can't be a mistake if it's also okay. I cannot say I am sorry if it happened and then justify that it might not have been such a bad thing I did afterall, or can I? I don't feel like I can.
Violence of all kinds is still violence and the sole purpose of violence is to oppress. I refuse to believe any mother wants to oppress their child. I believe that we participate in the oppression of our children because we have been led to believe it is the right and socially appropriate way to train them how to belong in society, but if what we want for our children is a happier life than we had, participating in systems that oppress their natural drive for freedom and individuality is NOT okay. Not for anyone.
I highly recommend reading Identity Skin Blood Heart by Minnie Bruce Pratt (I have a copy if you are interest PM me with your e-mail) and writings by Peggy McIntosh, Mark Ethan Smith and also checking out readings by ML King and Marshall Rosenberg. These people have made some very interesting observations about the ways that our social systems are inherently violent and how we participate often unwillingly in their perpetuation because we are trained to be oblivious to the damage they cause and indeed embrace and glorify the damage as valuable entities of our own oppression. Both the oppressor and the opressed are damaged infinitely and permanantly by these systems. For me to consider myself a good parent and a good teacher I feel it is vital for me to expose these systemic degrees of oppression and do everything in my power to counteract and destroy that which contributes to the oppression of my children and my students. I do not believe that we are hard wired to discipline our chuildren towards the authority of patriarchal systems we now live in. I believe that we can get back to our pre-historic roots of being a global society of matriarchal values of peace and protection and community, but we cannot do that by participating in or giving any credence at all to values that contradict our hearts.
I do not believe that any healthy, mentally fit mother's heart would ever tell them to inflict pain on their child on purpose.