Originally Posted by hakeber
First, I should apologize forlast few posts, they were writen quickly and off the cuff without my usual editing before posting...I had a heavy load of cover lessons today and was posting between bells. Not my usual style.
It was a peer thing, and I knew exactly what was going on. The single most logical thing I could have done would have been to have banned him from hanging out with that particular friend at all, but it's a strategy I don't believe in at all. He was getting something out of that friendship. I never figured out what, and I'm not sure ds1 did, either, and that friendship thankfully died a natural death a couple of years later. He basically didn't want to say "no" to someone, in the context of a very dysfunctional frienship. (This was quite common with this particular young man, and ds1 wasn't the only child who went through this with him, although they were "best friends", so it was a little more severe with him.)
So did he resent the grounding or did he actually see it as a relief to not have to be around a bully? Was there a lesson he learned and was it the lesson you wanted (that mom gets real scared when you disappear and it is not nice to make people we love worry and fret?...or something like that...that is the lesson I'd want my DS to learn) Did it have the desired long term effect and would you do it again?
To the best of my recollection, he didn't resent it or see it as a relief. He still got to spend time with his "friend" during school hours that week, which he did want to do. He didn't resent it, because he knew that he's been inconsiderate and in violation of reasonable rules, set up to keep the whole family running smoothly. In the long term...well, he never did it again, and he's 18 now. We have a pretty good relationship, overall. And, yes - I'd definitely do it again.
Excuse me? What made you think I was going to roll my eyes?
No nothing you said...just I have seen a lot of folks make these sort of comments, so...I was being premeptively snarky...It wasn't anything personal, I promise. I am sorry it offended you. I didn't mean it that way.
Ah - gotcha. :)
Well, I absolutely did prefer being smacked, but they weren't the same thing, in any case. It wasn't about an attempt to shame. Mostly, I think it was about an attempt to get our attention, when everything else had failed.
But then according to several folks here that is the point of spanking, too, so what's the difference exactly? The truth is it may not have been intended to shame you, but as you said, it did. And that is the point many here are trying to make, that intentions are not always relevant to the result. Just because someone means their discipline to be loving and protective, doesn't make the result less violent if the receiver sees it as violence. And if I had a kid who liked being spanked, who didn't feel scared or upset by the cosequence, or wanted me to spank them for being bad, I'd be quite concerned to say the least. Wouldn't you? Our parents were doing the best they could, which is all we are going to be able to do either, but we can learn from eachother, can't we?
Okay - I think I slipped up in communication there. It was the spanking that I was talking about when I said it was mostly an attempt to get our attention, not an attempt to shame. My mom's mom was really big on shaming kids, and mom never did anything with the deliberate attempt to shame us. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "liked" being spanked or wasn't scared or upset. I was scared of mom, just because she spanked us sometimes. I was upset when I got spanked. But, I'd have rather had a spanking any day than feel as if I'd disappointed her. It wasn't about some kind of "I'm such a bad kid - punish me" thing - spankings were just relatively minor, clean and over with quickly. The times that she made me feel as if she was disappointed in me weren't usually about attempts to discipline. It was a communication style that went wrong and didn't work out...and it hurt like hell. I never really received spankings as violence, in the sense you're talking about, which makes this whole discussion...wobbly. If the definition of violence is more about the person on the receiving end, and I perceived the "I'm sooo disappointed in you" vibe as being more damaging, etc. than a spanking, then which was more violent?
Why? It didn't fit their own views of how to handle the situation. And, if they had been of the mind to just gun him down in the street, they would have happily gunned down a huge number of those million disciples, too. That doesn't mean what he did was meaningless, but the success of it had a lot to do with the particular people he used that strategy with, as well.
Oh yes, because the British were so well known at the time for being calm and cool and open to non-violent challenges to their rule...HA! Good one! The facts will show you that in fact it was his techniques coupled with his connections and social influence and near living martyr status that stopped the brutality of the British and indeed many many thousands of the people in his movement WERE gunned down, beaten, abused and tortured and yet they persevered...because it was THAT important to them.
I'll have to read some more about Ghandi, I guess. I haven't read up on him in a long time.
Of course they'd be better off. That's why I spank him all the time. (Oh, wait - no, I don't. I thnk he'd be better off, but I don't do it, because I don't want him to be better off...or something). That question doesn't even make sense to me, in the context of the fact that I don't spank him. And, maybe it does work, but I will say that after four years of trying to find the need and meet it, I still have no idea what's going on with him, and he can't tell me.
See, that was sort of my point. I don't understand what you are arguing. I should have just asked you straight out, I apologize. What are you arguing, here, because it seems like you are arguing that though you do not think it is right to spank your child, if one feels they have to, they should feel okay about it? So. What exactly is the premise ARE you arguing? can you clarify for me?
I'm not exactly arguing any premise. I've just been here for six years, seeing one "fact" after another about spanking. Most of them didn't hold true for me or most of the people I knew (and, as I say, in the time and place I grew up, most kids were spanked - not a lot, and not in the "go cut yourself a switch" method, but it was fairly universal). It's very frustrating when things are repeatedly stated as fact, about something I've personally experienced and those statements just aren't the way it was/is. I have no problem with being anti-spanking, but being anti-spanking based on a bunch of flawed assumptions, and then applying those flawed assumptions to all spankers bugs the crap out of me.
FWIW, after four years DS and I were no closer to understanding eachother than a pig and fish are, but it was in those years between 3 and 5 that we finally were able to give him tools and develop our own listening skills. And I think every kid and every soul will learn these skills at different rates...My husband is 40 and he still is learning and we are still learning how and he is a reasonable person, just somewhat jaded by his own upbringing. I have to constantly interpret his moods and decipher what's really going on..."honey, if you are asking me to help you, you are going to need to ask me that....I am not a mind reader, dude!" And I have had 12 years of training and experience with NVC using it in my workplace and in school settings working with kids of all different backgrounds that I have seen it work successfully with...but my own kid? It has taken us 6 long years to get to a point where we can start to hear his real needs, and meet them and we don't always get it right, but each time, we get closer and closer to developing and teaching life long skills of self-awareness and self-control. I am sure of one thing: At six he is more self confident and aware than any of his peers (based on what I see in school since I work at the same school and in parties etc) and FAR more self aware and capable at recognizing his own needs than his dad and I were at age 6. Another thing I know...discussing feelings linked with needs and how to meet them and teaching self awareness skills is more educational than a smack or a screaming match or a locked door. Life skills, versus pain...It's a no brainer, isn't it? May take longer for compliance and "good behavior" but so far it seems to be more long lasting.
Now, see....at six (okay - not quite - he's six next month), ds2 is less self-confident and self aware than ds1 was at age two. (He's possibly even less self-confident than I was (and I was nowhere near as self-confident as ds1) and not even close to being as self-aware as I was. I can't speak for dh or my ex, although my ex can remember taking care of himself and his sister at age six, because his parents had a multi-day opium hangover, so his upbringing issues went way beyond spanking, in any case.) DS1 was able to clearly articulate his needs at age two. And, ds1 was spanked (although not often - spanking was always my last tool in the box, yk?). DS2 has no self control, or very, very little. We discuss feelings and needs and how to meet them and try to teach self-awareness. I've had more discussions about these things with ds2 than with ds1 and dd1 combined. In the meantime, ds2 isn't being hit - but dd1 is. I'm just not so sure any of this is accomplishing anything, and as time goes on, mere compliance and good behaviour starts looking pretty good.
I hit the older child, to get her to let go of her brother's hair, which she did. So, yes - I had two hurt kids, but she also wasn't yanking the crap out of his head, anymore, which was the intent behind hitting the person yanking on my baby's hair. I don't think that instinct has squat to do with a patriarchal dog eat dog world. I think it has a lot to do with the "mama bear" that people on MDC actually refer to quite a bit. As to keeping a closer eye on them...when dd1 pulled his hair, he was in my lap nursing, and she'd been standing beside us for several minutes, talking to me. And, when I hit him, I'd been trying to hold him down, because he was on a rampage and destroying his room and hitting his siblings. There was no way I could have been keeping a closer eye on him, but trying to hold down a flailing 60 pound child who is using every single body part to try to get loose and/or hurt you is a difficult task and I lost track of his head for a minute, while he was trying to claw out my eye. And, it wasn't retribution, as far as I can tell (as I said, i don't actually remember hitting him at all). I believe it was an attempt to get the person who was hurting me the hell off.
I have heard and experienced the mama bear instincts thing before. I get that. But this almost always refers to being feircly even violently protective of entities outside the family, not against our own cubs, isn't it? This first instance is a slightly different description than the one you gave before. Smacking a child away to release a death grip is very different than retalitory smacking hard across the face, which is what it sounded like you had described before. This is not comparable to spanking.
Maybe not. But, it also wasn't necessary. I could have pulled her off without smacking her. It was sheer reflex in response to ds2 being hurt. (He was under two months old at the time.)
When you smacked your boy you were physically opressing his need to say something, weren't you...I mean before the smack, I mean when you were holdng him down...he was mid rage, maybe you had no choice. That's possible, I'll give you that, having had an out of control toddler in my midst and doing whatever I could to stop it but it doesn't make it any less oppressive simply because your conscious intent did not include willful oppression. Your body was saying I AM BIGGER THAN YOU DAMMIT! and subconciously the message was, so don't cross me. The aftermath is evidence that the intention did not shape the result, isn't it?
The aftermath isn't evidence of much, imo. He was already on a complete rampage when I held him down. About the only thing that changed as a result of my holding him down is that he would have punched me in the stomach or something, instead of cracking me in the head, if we hadn't been in that position. And, yeah - it was conscious oppression, although I probably would have said "suppression". It was hold him down or have him seriously hurt someone.
Self-defense is also a different kettle of fish than what we are discussing in this thread, so I am not sure this case applies either, do you think it does? To be clear I am not saying we have no insincts to ever inflict violence on anyone, I am merely saying it is not in our genetic make up to hurt our children willfully, and if we consider how far we have come from that instinct, we might also consider the validity of certain tools in the tool belt, as Dauphinette puts it. As you can see despite not meaning to, despite not being aware of having done it, despite wishing you could take it back, it clearly had a powerful impact on your child and not necessarily the one you wanted (the way your described it earlier he was shocked, apalled, betrayed even.) If you could go back to that day, it sounds like you would have tried to do things differently because the result (despite all your intentions) was not the one you longed for. That's what it sounds, like, am I wrong?
I think that an instinct to protect ourselves applies, no matter who is doing the damage. As I said, I didn't even know that I'd hit ds2, until he told me. I have no conscious memory of doing so. It was an instinctive attempt to protect myself from something that was causing me extreme pain. The fact that the cause of my pain was my child wasn't even really on the radar at that point. I was in pain - lots of it - the headache from that encounter lasted almost two full days - and I lashed out at the source.
I never said that I don't think women are inherently less violent. I said I don't believe that women are inherently non-violent. That's not the same thing. However, I also disagree that it would have been difficult to socially enslave us if we weren't less violent. Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time, and being less violent doesn't necessarily protect us from pregnancy. Look at how many women have found themselves in relationships that turn physically abusive, once she's already physically limited by pregnancy. While that vulnerabilty may or may not be why the man takes the step of turning physical, it definitely affects the woman's ability to protect herself. Besides all that, even being less violent doesn't mean a person can't or won't fight to protect themselves, so even a "less violent" woman could fight back if she felt she was enslaved.
Again, it is not non-violence at ALL, it is non-violence with our own flesh and blood that I am talking about. I apologize for not being clear earlier, as I said, I was posting more quickly than I usually like to. The instinct to smack down our children and keep them at our heels...does that ring true for you? Do you have that? Is that a core part of who you are when your infant daughter reaches for the stove, or your toddler says no for the first time, or when your five year old refuses to pick up his room? I don't think it is. To be clear, that is what I mean by non-violent, I mean with our own flesh and blood. I also do not think that men are naturally more violent. I am sorry as clearly that came out wrong before. I do NOT think men are naturally violent with their children, I was saying in matriarchal societies this instinct for violence and opression are not a part of their society (they have men and women as you may have guessed it is merely labelled matriarchal because of the trickle down of power and where that comes from). I think that men in our culture are socialized to be more violent towards their children in general because they should not risk being usurped as the head. In homes where heirarchy is not valued, you almost never see this instinct for violence. I am saying we are violent in large part because living in a patriarchal society you HAVE to be to survive. I say change the system, rather than beat down the natural instincts for love and peace, like my mother who cried as she spanked us and still cries to think of it, or my father who would scream his head off and then take us for ice cream because he felt so badly for making us cry. There are better ways to build communities. We don't have to go along with the status quo. We can teach our children to be exceptional and to question the systems that make up our world.
Hierarchy wasn't valued in our house, but we were still spanked. This is part of what I mean. I see a lot of assertions about what's going on in homes and our culture with respect to spanking, but they just don't match up with what I've seen and experienced, yk?
But we have to start with ourselves. KWIM?
I definitely agree with that much. We have to start everything we do with ourselves.