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Spanking vs. violence. - Page 3  

post #41 of 215

Wow, this is amazing, thanks for sharing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agatha_Ann View Post

Makes me think of this...

 

a story told by Astrid Lindgren
[Author of Pippi Longstocking]

"Above all, I believe that there should never be any violence." In 1978, Astrid Lindgren received the German Book Trade Peace Prize for her literary contributions. In acceptance, she told the following story.

"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking--the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me."

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery--one can raise children into violence."

I think that too often we fail to feel situations "from the child's point of view," and that failure leads us to teach our children other than what we think we're teaching them.



 



 

post #42 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Once i came into a toddler group with a then 2yo crying DD1 and a woman who was also GD (they are sooooo rare in this group) asked me what was wrong.  I said that DD had tried to run into the road and i had yanked her back by her shoulder/jacket/hair (i grabbed at her and yanked on everything that was caught in my grab, she had long hair, loose that day - as i grabbed her i pulled her back into my arms and we BOTH sobbed and hugged while i apologised for hurting her and tried to explain why i had done it - FWIW i had let go of her hand for a second because she'd dropped her lovie and was simultaneously trying to pick it up and standing on it and was getting very frustrated, i let go to kneel and help her and she darted away and i grabbed her again in that second).  The woman looked at me with utter disgust and DD with teary eyed empathy and said "i would cry if i were assaulted too," to her and "i am a non-violent parent" to me and stalked away.

 

Now, i am ready NOW to hear that it was a violent way of pulling her out of the path of the car which screeched to a halt 2 yards further down the street (and thus would have hit her if i hadn't done the grab), but at the time i was ready to throw up that my precious baby had nearly been flattened, that in saving her i had hurt and scared her, and that our fragility had just been demonstrated so thoroughly to us.  I did not need to hear that the only takeaway is that i am a violent mother or that i assaulted my child.  It did not endear me to that mother, who seemed more concerned that my DD had her personal space impinged upon roughly by her mother than that she could have DIED under the car.  In fact it just felt like a lot of salt in the wound and i have avoided her ever since.

 

The reason that "unwanted touching" is sometimes appropriate with kids is that sometimes kids really DO need intervention to save them from greater harm.  Not for one SECOND do i believe smacking can do that, but i don't smack/spank and would not honestly identify myself as a violent parent.  But clearly when the life of my child is endangered i will call upon any resource, up to and including violence.  And i believe i would call upon violence again in that same situation because i love my DD, i don't want her to be hurt/killed and i think it will be effective.  The parents who spank for discipline, rightly or wrongly (and i agree, IMO it is wrongly) do so for the same reasons.  They do it to protect the child from the greater harm they perceive will come of the child not being taught NOT to do the specific naughty thing again.  They believe the spank/smack/hit (whatever you want to call it) will ultimately prevent a greater consequence next time.

 

I am not endorsing their actions, but i can understand the thought process.



That woman is a wackadoodle dizzy.gif The difference to me is that you reacted and saved your daughter from great harm in a manner that happened to hurt her. You didn't yank her arm as a way to "get her attention" or "teach her a lesson", you did it out of instinct to protect your child.

 

My 2 year old has two cuts on his arm from this weekend when I caught him midair off the top of a slide at the park. I must have panicked and got him with my fingernails. I feel horrible and I have been kissing his owie all the time. I don't regret not letting him fall 8 feet, and I don't think this changes my "nonviolent parent" status. I also don't view the cuts as the way I taught him not to get so close to the edge next time. It was just the best option I had in the position I was in at the time.  

 

post #43 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post


But in that case MY views are warped to the mother who thinks i assaulted DD, right?  And she is thinking the same about my kid - it would be better to have the car hit her than be stuck with a violent assaulting mama.  Who knows why she had that view - we all have different experiences.  Say a mama leaves an abusive partner who lied all the time and twisted her into an emotional wreck (i know someone this happened to), she might well feel she would do anything including spanking to prevent her son becoming the lying abuser he ex was - rightly or wrongly, peoples motivations are muddy.  Views are dictated by experiences, and lots of people have extreme experiences which explain their extreme views.  We don't always agree but we can usually see why they feel as they do.

 

What if the road HAD been clear?  How does my violence stack up then?  If it had been a quiet road, or in a car park, or only a cycle path...  The dangers are shaded, i did not consciously see that car before i yanked, the road might well have turned out to be clear. 



I stated in a previous post that intent is an important part of this debate.  Let's be logical about this and think about what we hope certain actions will accomplish vs. what they will actually accomplish.  Physical harm or pain is not always the result of violence.  Surgery, an accident, and childbirth are all examples of times when we may feel pain or be harmed by a set of non-violent circumstances.  If you grab your child to prevent them from being hit by a car that is an immediate response (not a predetermined action) that is designed to AT THAT MOMENT save them from harm.  You are not intentionally causing them pain and in fact your actions are motivated by the desire to protect them.  If you grab your child after the fact simply because you are frustrated that is poor parenting.  Hitting someone because you hope that it will help them not grow up to be a liar is based on faulty reasoning.  When you weigh the pros and cons physical punishment is simply ridiculous.  When a child misbehaves and we talk to them there is no guarantee that they are going to listen or respond.   If we take a timeout to collect ourselves there is no guarantee that either of us will actually be able to calm down.  However, if you hit your child there is a guarantee that you will hurt them.  No discipline method is 100% effective 100% of the time, but deciding to use the one that hurts 100% of the time is both illogical and immoral.  Period.

post #44 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post





i totally disagree.  we are enabling people to continue hitting their children by this.  i am not trying to 'convert' anyone.  i figure people have enough sense to access the same information i can.  they just choose to beat/hit their defenseless children.  i don't even continue talking to people like that.  yes, if you hit your kids, i DO judge you.  i feel sorry for your children and if you dare hit them in front of me, you will get a huge earfull.  there's NO EXCUSE.  none.



ahhhh but then your objective is clearly not to win converts, or persuade, but rather to publically humilate, berate and condemn.

 

I personally feel it is more important to educate than it is to condemn others.  Because I disagree that all adults have access to the same information, experiences, and concepts as I have.  I grew up with hippies, and my mother is a NVC trainer.  I was trained in mediation as a highschool student and worked with conflict resolution experts through university and in my teaching career.  I have been exposed to much more in the way of gentle discipline myself (despite having been spanked as small child myself)  and I am building on those skills with my own children.  I have sought out this way of life for myself and my family and sought out a partner who believed in the same principles as myself before embarking on parenthood.  I continue to seek advice and counselling on how to be a better more gentle disciplinarian, and I CAN do so because I have a partner who support this with time and energy and equal partnership and because I have been afforded the privilege of opportunity and choice.

 

Not everyone has access to these things.  Not everyone has a life that sets them up for those things.  Many many people are surrounded by extreme poverty, violence, and FEAR and these shape the boundaries of what they see as possiblities.  They also define the degrees of patience and the limits of time one has to get the discipline right.  For example: if my 18 month old drops food on the ground or dumps a 50 cent yogurt on her head I can brush it off without much fuss.  In some families, if a child does that that's all the food they are getting that day, so parents need to be a bit firmer and given the variables of ignorance, illiteracy, poverty, time constraints etc, it is not surprising that they might resort to physical violence against their children, as after all a smacked bottom will smart much less than the ache of an empty belly (or so goes the logic there). 

 

I think it is easy to judge someone.  It is far more difficult to lay aside our judgements and offer solutions. 

 

GoBecGo has a valid point.  Before we judge something as wrong we might consider that the other side may see it as MORE wrong to let their child lie/dump yogurt on thier head/steal/be cheeky than it is for them to smack their bottom.  I know that there are better ways to teach a child than through a less painful consequence, but I am not going to see my child working on the street before the age of 21.  I have 6+ hours day with my child to discuss the issues that arise.  I have a full belly and full fridge and a community that supports my goals as a parent.   I have a husband who loves me and supports a loving home. I have a post-graduate education and ample time in my schedule for further learning and personal development.  I have time and hardware and knowledge of how to discuss these issues with like minded parents and discover new techniques every day. These small details make all the difference.   

post #45 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Once i came into a toddler group with a then 2yo crying DD1 and a woman who was also GD (they are sooooo rare in this group) asked me what was wrong.  I said that DD had tried to run into the road and i had yanked her back by her shoulder/jacket/hair (i grabbed at her and yanked on everything that was caught in my grab, she had long hair, loose that day - as i grabbed her i pulled her back into my arms and we BOTH sobbed and hugged while i apologised for hurting her and tried to explain why i had done it - FWIW i had let go of her hand for a second because she'd dropped her lovie and was simultaneously trying to pick it up and standing on it and was getting very frustrated, i let go to kneel and help her and she darted away and i grabbed her again in that second).  The woman looked at me with utter disgust and DD with teary eyed empathy and said "i would cry if i were assaulted too," to her and "i am a non-violent parent" to me and stalked away.

 


What a...UAV! 

 

I see your point, here.  The truth is violence is almost always the result of fear.  You were afraid.  As it happens you saved her life, and many parents see spanking/slapping/shouting/grabbing/shaking as a preemptive rescue.  They might be wrong (just as you might have been wrong that the car was going to hit her), but it is what they believe to their core, because if they didn't believe that they couldn't do it (just as a murderer cannot act in violence without believing they have no other choice.) 

 

ETA: They also must be convinced that their children do not know what is best for them, cannot be reasoned with like a human being, and are not yet fully developed as individuals.  And this is easy to be convinced of given the media we are surrounded by that is stacked with ageist attitudes against children.  

 

However, a very small minority are sadistic A-holes who just get off on hurting and oppressing their loved ones.

 

In this respect I do think lumping them in together is dangerous, the former group being those who wish they had a better way (ie teachable and looking for solutions even if only deep down) and the latter being a group of people who wish they had more people to hurt (ie sociopaths in need of institutional intervention and therapy).

 

 

post #46 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

I agree that there is a distinction between angry and abusive hitting, and a more cool, calm, matter-of-fact consequence-type spanking, but I don't think that the distinction makes either one of them acceptable. Here's why. With the latter, there are still messages being communicated nonverbally. Unspoken lessons learned. Something along the lines of might-makes-right. I'm bigger than you and can administer physical pain in order to affect your behavior and bring it more in line with what I want it to be.


I am not against spanking (I follow Dr.Ray Guarendi's philosophy on the subject, which another poster already mentioned). I don't see it as a subtext of "I'm bigger than you so I can discipline you this way" but rather, "as your parent, I have the authority to discipline you this way". We're talking (in my point of view) about natural authority and not brute power. Children do recognize this authority....I believe that it comes naturally to them. And I also believe that it's how we help teach them to respect the authority of God. In order to do that, they have to first understand and not have issues with the concept of authority.

 

Also, I'm personally not all about the calm, matter of fact-type spanking. I think it should be done in the heat of the moment, not with anger but very clearly related to and in response to whatever the infraction or danger is.

 

post #47 of 215
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post




I am not against spanking (I follow Dr.Ray Guarendi's philosophy on the subject, which another poster already mentioned). I don't see it as a subtext of "I'm bigger than you so I can discipline you this way" but rather, "as your parent, I have the authority to discipline you this way". We're talking (in my point of view) about natural authority and not brute power. Children do recognize this authority....I believe that it comes naturally to them. And I also believe that it's how we help teach them to respect the authority of God. In order to do that, they have to first understand and not have issues with the concept of authority.

 

Also, I'm personally not all about the calm, matter of fact-type spanking. I think it should be done in the heat of the moment, not with anger but very clearly related to and in response to whatever the infraction or danger is.

 



This is a pretty clear example of the type of situation I am asking for help dealing with.  When someone says something like this--that we should spank in the heat of the moment to illustrate our authority over children--it is very difficult for me to keep my cool.  And it easily turns into an argument and me telling someone they are being violent or abusive...

 

post #48 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post




While I do agree that the intention behind one's actions is important, striking another human being is still an act of violence.  To address why the word "violent" is used to describe media: when a book, movie, or other media is described as violent it is generally because it contains descriptions or depictions of violence (i.e. hitting etc...).  On a practical note, slapping a child's hand or bottom to get their attention seems like an incredibly inefficient method to me.  If your intention is truly to get their attention before they touch a hot stove or run into traffic why not whistle loudly, pick them up, or take their hand in yours?  If you just need to distract them long enough from their intended danger or destruction to keep them safe, walking over to them and hitting them is an incredibly illogical way to accomplish that.  Hitting a child to prevent them from hurting themselves is simply ridiculous.  All of the physical forms of discipline I have ever witnessed or experienced were due to a lack of ideas and patience on the part of the parent.  Hitting a child to quickly stop them from doing something is reactionary any way you slice it.

 


A spanking (as I define it, it my other post) also has the advantage of being memorable. If I've told my child repeatedly to not touch the stove, ever, because she can't ever know if it's on or off (for instance....this hasn't happened, but I'm just thinking on the fly here) and she keeps doing it, then a whistle or something isn't going to really stick with her, you know? A smack on the behind probably would, if my own childhood is any indication.

 

Also, and using another line of thought....if you say that ALL hitting = violence, then are you saying if you jump into the street and shove a person out of the way of a moving vehicle, was that violent? It's technically putting your hands on a person and probably causing them some amount of pain, but it's not violent (IMO) because it's done instinctively out of love and/or concern, and not out of an intention to be violent. If you slap your friend's arm because there's a mosquito nano-seconds away from putting their stinger in their skin and you don't have time to say, "hey, there's a mosquito on you!", is that violent?

 

What if you accfidentally hit or kick someone....is that violent? Once when I was a teenager I was in line at the store and I turned around really fast when I heard someone calling my name....so fast, in fact, that my purse whipped around and smacked the kid beind me upside the head. Wow, was that mortifying lol. But was it violent? Or was it an accident? My daughter has just learned to crawl and is constantly underfoot. There have been a couple times where my husbamd or I have inadvertently kicked her while tripping and throwing ourselves in the other direction so we don't fall on and crush her. Is that violent?

 

I really think that the intent needs to be to do violence in order for the act to be violent.

 


Edited by coffeegirl - 6/7/11 at 1:22pm
post #49 of 215
Agatha_Ann, that was a great quote. I shared it in a note on Facebook last night and had two long comments this morning. One was from a friend with a 1 1/2 year old who is getting pressure from family to spank but is looking for other alternatives. I was able to share about gentle discipline and making sure she understands where her child is developmentally before punishing him for something that is normal.

The other comment was from a relative who has several step children (who are out of control, she says) and she is pregnant. She said she plans on spanking the unborn child to keep it from turning out like the step children. I was able to share some perspective on that and I REALLY hope it keeps the door open for me to share more. She was raised in a truly messed up (think Pearls) home and I hope she will see that before her baby is born! I was very careful to not tell her how awful she was for planning on hitting her child, merely gave information about GD and explained what is wrong with hitting. And invited her to ask more questions and get more information.

joy.gif for sharing good information without drama (so far) on Facebook!
post #50 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post

I really think that the intent needs to be to do violence in order for the act to be violent.

 


But, I think that's the point, that hitting to punish your child is violent. And the intent is violent because you want them to remember that pain.

Also, about spanking being how you teach God's authority- I would rather teach my children about the love and forgiveness of God. I want them to know that they can go to Him and me and DH with any problem and we will help them with it, not punish them for making a mistake.
post #51 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

If your objective is to get people to stop spanking and start treating their kids with respect, then you need to give over feeling vindicated or right and put the big picture first. People who spank care for, love, and want to do right by their kids. If you carry on with a holier than thou attitude, you will get nowhere. If you take a deep breath and forget about why you don't spank and focus instead on why you DO practice gentler forms of discipline, you might actually get converts instead of brickwalls. Spanking is violent anyway you cut it, but more importantly, it is UNNECESSARY.

 

THAT is your key to persuasion on this issue, not the evils of a practice that too many people think is valid.


Yep. Also, some people just need to know that they don't HAVE to spank. Exdp (totally anti spanking- he thinks it's the most ridiculous thing, and can't believe that any remotely intelligent adult would think it was actually a good idea to hit their child) recently talked to a then aquaintance at school. His "angle" was basically- Why in the world would you spank? He wouldn't have said anything inflammatory- he never would have said it was mean, violent, abuse, etc etc. That's not his style. I imagine that would immediately throw up a wall in anybody.

I don't think she ever actually felt like it was an option to not spank. She didn't want to, but felt like she had to. So...she stopped. Both exdp and I are now pretty good friends with her.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Once i came into a toddler group with a then 2yo crying DD1 and a woman who was also GD (they are sooooo rare in this group) asked me what was wrong.  I said that DD had tried to run into the road and i had yanked her back by her shoulder/jacket/hair (i grabbed at her and yanked on everything that was caught in my grab, she had long hair, loose that day - as i grabbed her i pulled her back into my arms and we BOTH sobbed and hugged while i apologised for hurting her and tried to explain why i had done it - FWIW i had let go of her hand for a second because she'd dropped her lovie and was simultaneously trying to pick it up and standing on it and was getting very frustrated, i let go to kneel and help her and she darted away and i grabbed her again in that second).  The woman looked at me with utter disgust and DD with teary eyed empathy and said "i would cry if i were assaulted too," to her and "i am a non-violent parent" to me and stalked away.

 

Now, i am ready NOW to hear that it was a violent way of pulling her out of the path of the car which screeched to a halt 2 yards further down the street (and thus would have hit her if i hadn't done the grab), but at the time i was ready to throw up that my precious baby had nearly been flattened, that in saving her i had hurt and scared her, and that our fragility had just been demonstrated so thoroughly to us.  I did not need to hear that the only takeaway is that i am a violent mother or that i assaulted my child.  It did not endear me to that mother, who seemed more concerned that my DD had her personal space impinged upon roughly by her mother than that she could have DIED under the car.  In fact it just felt like a lot of salt in the wound and i have avoided her ever since.

 

The reason that "unwanted touching" is sometimes appropriate with kids is that sometimes kids really DO need intervention to save them from greater harm.  Not for one SECOND do i believe smacking can do that, but i don't smack/spank and would not honestly identify myself as a violent parent.  But clearly when the life of my child is endangered i will call upon any resource, up to and including violence.  And i believe i would call upon violence again in that same situation because i love my DD, i don't want her to be hurt/killed and i think it will be effective.  The parents who spank for discipline, rightly or wrongly (and i agree, IMO it is wrongly) do so for the same reasons.  They do it to protect the child from the greater harm they perceive will come of the child not being taught NOT to do the specific naughty thing again.  They believe the spank/smack/hit (whatever you want to call it) will ultimately prevent a greater consequence next time.

 

I am not endorsing their actions, but i can understand the thought process.


That's a good illustration of the differences in viewpoints. You (not you specifically) can be 100% certain that your views are right. Another person, with the opposite views, can be 100% certain their views are right. What I get from your story is that, even though the lady was right, and you believe that she was right, her attitude in talking to you made you close down to anything else she might tell you. Luckily, you already were gd, so it's almost a non-issue in this situation. But in another situation, she might have closed down communication with a spanker who MIGHT have been willing to listen and change.
 

 



 

 

post #52 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post




A spanking (as I define it, it my other post) also has the advantage of being memorable. If I've told my child repeatedly to not touch the stove, ever, because she can't ever know if it's on or off (for instance....this hasn't happened, but I'm just thinking on the fly here) and she keeps doing it, then a whistle or something isn't going to really stick with her, you know? A smack on the behind probably would, if my own childhood is any indication.

 

Also, and using another line of thought....if you say that ALL hitting = violence, then are you saying if you jump into the street and shove a person out of the way of a moving vehicle, was that violent? It's technically putting your hands on a person and probably causing them some amount of pain, but it's not violent (IMO) because it's done instinctively out of love and/or concern, and not out of an intention to be violent. If you slap your friend's arm because there's a mosquito nano-seconds away from putting their stinger in their skin and you don't have time to say, "hey, there's a mosquito on you!", is that violent?

 

What if you accfidentally hit or kick someone....is that violent? Once when I was a teenager I was in line at the store and I turned around really fast when I heard someone calling my name....so fast, in fact, that my purse whipped around and smacked the kid beind me upside the head. Wow, was that mortifying lol. But was it violent? Or was it an accident? My daughter has just learned to crawl and is constantly underfoot. There have been a couple times where my husbamd or I have inadvertently kicked her while tripping and throwing ourselves in the other direction so we don't fall on and crush her. Is that violent?

 

I really think that the intent needs to be to do violence in order for the act to be violent.

 


Yeesh....

No, rescuing someone from immediate harm is NOT violence.

Accidentally kicking someone is NOT violence.

Intentionally hitting someone for the purpose of inflicting pain IS violent. If you push someone out of harm's way, violence is a side effect. If you spank to cause pain to theoretically prevent future harm, your purpose is inflicting pain, and possibly preventing future harm is a side effect.

As a side note... I do remember being spanked. Yup, it was memorable. I do remember the pain, the fear, and the shame. I have absolutely no idea WHY I was spanked or what it was supposed to teach me or what it was supposed to get me to do/not do.
post #53 of 215



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post




A spanking (as I define it, it my other post) also has the advantage of being memorable. If I've told my child repeatedly to not touch the stove, ever, because she can't ever know if it's on or off (for instance....this hasn't happened, but I'm just thinking on the fly here) and she keeps doing it, then a whistle or something isn't going to really stick with her, you know? A smack on the behind probably would, if my own childhood is any indication.

 

Also, and using another line of thought....if you say that ALL hitting = violence, then are you saying if you jump into the street and shove a person out of the way of a moving vehicle, was that violent? It's technically putting your hands on a person and probably causing them some amount of pain, but it's not violent (IMO) because it's done instinctively out of love and/or concern, and not out of an intention to be violent. If you slap your friend's arm because there's a mosquito nano-seconds away from putting their stinger in their skin and you don't have time to say, "hey, there's a mosquito on you!", is that violent?

 

What if you accfidentally hit or kick someone....is that violent? Once when I was a teenager I was in line at the store and I turned around really fast when I heard someone calling my name....so fast, in fact, that my purse whipped around and smacked the kid beind me upside the head. Wow, was that mortifying lol. But was it violent? Or was it an accident? My daughter has just learned to crawl and is constantly underfoot. There have been a couple times where my husbamd or I have inadvertently kicked her while tripping and throwing ourselves in the other direction so we don't fall on and crush her. Is that violent?

 

I really think that the intent needs to be to do violence in order for the act to be violent.

 




Yeesh....

No, rescuing someone from immediate harm is NOT violence.

Accidentally kicking someone is NOT violence.

Intentionally hitting someone for the purpose of inflicting pain IS violent. If you push someone out of harm's way, violence is a side effect. If you spank to cause pain to theoretically prevent future harm, your purpose is inflicting pain, and possibly preventing future harm is a side effect.

As a side note... I do remember being spanked. Yup, it was memorable. I do remember the pain, the fear, and the shame. I have absolutely no idea WHY I was spanked or what it was supposed to teach me or what it was supposed to get me to do/not do.


I do...it was to get me to listen to the word NO and obey the rules...all rules, no matter how arbitrary.   I actually have struggled through most of my recent adulthood to fight the urge to accept no as an answer even when it is not fair or right and to question when people say no, to go back for the yes.  I was a very obedient child...I also learned not to get caught breaking the rules, which taught me to be very sneaky, and a rather adept liar, which is also something I struggle with.  Despite my parents being the minister and sunday school teacher of our church it also taught me to e mistrusting of the church and authority and is a big part of why I am dubious about the whole God thing.

 

Coffeegirl, this  thread has been sort of interesting and it will probably get closed down if there is anything that can be miscontrued as support or advocacy of spanking.  You might consider editting for clarity,  That being said, while I agree that intent is important when determining the sort of violence (intentional and sadistic, versus fear based, versus accidental), I do not agree that the intention behind spanking makes it a better form of teaching my children the values I want them to learn.  I think though therein lies the rub.  A sense of authority (of god or man) and knowing their place is not a value I want to instill in my children or any child in my classroom either.  I want them to feel at all times empowered by their own agency, empowered to question me, or any figure of power in their lives, and to obey community rules out of respect and a desire to belong in positive ways, not fear.  If authority and heirarchy are important values for your family, then there is precious little you can use to instill that other than spanking/shouting/threats/and other forms of passive and physical violence, but I do not believe that is a value I want to pass along to my children, nor would you find me advocating for it.  Children seek boundaries and social acceptance yes, I do not believe any human spirit naturally seeks  to be oppressed. 

 

ETA:  here  are some things that I have found are better than spanking a child...I put a sheild up around the oven door, so that cannot touch it.  My SIL puts a heat proof blanket thing up over the door, so if anyone touches it they will be safe.  You can remove or distract until the child is old enough to reason with.  IME, if the child is too young to reason with, they probably won't understand the spanking thing, either. I guess the main question is; do you want them to respect YOU or your authority?  I always respected my Dad's authority.  I didn't grow up to really respect him until I had my own children and realized how hard a gig this parenting thing really is, and he asked for my forgiveness for being so harsh with us. 


Edited by hakeber - 6/7/11 at 3:57pm
post #54 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post




I am not against spanking (I follow Dr.Ray Guarendi's philosophy on the subject, which another poster already mentioned). I don't see it as a subtext of "I'm bigger than you so I can discipline you this way" but rather, "as your parent, I have the authority to discipline you this way". We're talking (in my point of view) about natural authority and not brute power. Children do recognize this authority....I believe that it comes naturally to them. And I also believe that it's how we help teach them to respect the authority of God. In order to do that, they have to first understand and not have issues with the concept of authority.

 

 


I think that parents are in a natural position of authority, and I think that position is strengthened by attachment. Spanking undermines a parents natural authority. If you have to hit to enforce your authority, then it's a sign that something needs to change.

 

I taught ds1 not to touch the stove without ever hitting or punishing. You can convey the seriousness of a situation without being physical. Ds2 is not quite 2, but he's definitely getting the idea that he may not touch the stove/oven. It's definitely doable- and trust me, ds2 is NOT the compliant type of kid. Until he gets it, if the stove is on, I am always aware of where he is, and if he goes into the kitchen, so do I. 
 

 

post #55 of 215

This is wonderfully-put. Especially the last two sentences. I'm there. My dad died before we could work it out, but I have forgiven both him and my mother because boy it is so true, you just never know how hard it is to be a parent. (and they were so much younger than I am when they were doing it) And neither one of my parents ever rose above their upbringings, to break the negative cycles in their families.  But that is what I'm intending to do, and what I *am* doing, to the extent that I am able at this time.

 

I love what you say here about authority.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by hakeber View Post


 A sense of authority (of god or man) and knowing their place is not a value I want to instill in my children or any child in my classroom either.  I want them to feel at all times empowered by their own agency, empowered to question me, or any figure of power in their lives, and to obey community rules out of respect and a desire to belong in positive ways, not fear.  If authority and heirarchy are important values for your family, then there is precious little you can use to instill that other than spanking/shouting/threats/and other forms of passive and physical violence, but I do not believe that is a value I want to pass along to my children, nor would you find me advocating for it.  Children seek boundaries and social acceptance yes, I do not believe any human spirit naturally seeks  to be oppressed. 

 

ETA:  here  are some things that I have found are better than spanking a child...I put a sheild up around the oven door, so that cannot touch it.  My SIL puts a heat proof blanket thing up over the door, so if anyone touches it they will be safe.  You can remove or distract until the child is old enough to reason with.  IME, if the child is too young to reason with, they probably won't understand the spanking thing, either. I guess the main question is; do you want them to respect YOU or your authority?  I always respected my Dad's authority.  I didn't grow up to really respect him until I had my own children and realized how hard a gig this parenting thing really is, and he asked for my forgiveness for being so harsh with us. 



 

post #56 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post




I am not against spanking (I follow Dr.Ray Guarendi's philosophy on the subject, which another poster already mentioned). I don't see it as a subtext of "I'm bigger than you so I can discipline you this way" but rather, "as your parent, I have the authority to discipline you this way". We're talking (in my point of view) about natural authority and not brute power. Children do recognize this authority....I believe that it comes naturally to them. And I also believe that it's how we help teach them to respect the authority of God. In order to do that, they have to first understand and not have issues with the concept of authority.

 

Also, I'm personally not all about the calm, matter of fact-type spanking. I think it should be done in the heat of the moment, not with anger but very clearly related to and in response to whatever the infraction or danger is.

 


Thanks for posting this. I have super close (as in we end up sharing homes on vacation close) friends that subscribe to this idea of discipline/spanking. They do, however do the whole calm, matter of fact-type spanking and they have well-reasoned (to them) reasons for doing it that way. Anyway, your post reminded me of why I have been struggling to talk with them about this topic again. We have such a good relationship. We can disagree on things and we actually learn from each other. We have been able to discuss the fact that they spank and why. I have been able to talk about why I don't spank and what issues I have with it, but since I don't have the same religious convictions and I do not need/want my child to be accepting of authority this discussion ends up leading into areas that really have to be off-limits between individuals who don't share the same basic philosophy/ideology/theology. Your post sort of clarified some of this for me. Sometimes we have knee-jerk ideas (in my case, "I am not spanking") and only later realize that we do indeed have philosophical underpinnings to those ideas.

 

I hope it is okay to ask: where does "shaming" fit into the parenting philosophy you follow? Is there any theological basis for the practice of shaming as far as you know?

 

I am glad we can now have different viewpoints expressed here. I might at some point feel comfortable discussing this further with my friend, but for now this works better :)

 

post #57 of 215

I just did a search on Dr Ray...so far I am frightened, not only by his facial hair (Hi, Dr. Ray, 1978 called. It wants its soup strainer back.) but also his rather non-chalant attitude towards being ignorant of one's children and their motivations, curiosities and desires and most importantly general childhood development. (" Sometimes we're better off in the dark, because our kids' motives might scare us, confuse us further, or really make us mad. As my mom used to warn me, "Don't tell me why. I'm upset enough already!"".)  It almost seems from one of his "tips" as though parents should wear their ignorance as a badge of honor. 

 

Childhood development is KEY to understanding both age appropriate behavior and how to guide children effectively towards better learning.  

 

Authority is not a dirty word, but it is a gift and should not be abused or warded over another person without extreme responsibility.  I am my son's authority (the person he goes to for troubles, advice and fears) because I have proven myself to be caring, knowledgable, and FAIR, not because I am authoritarian.  It is through our dialogues and discussions and at times even standoffs that I have earned my role as someone he can trust and respect. I understand that many practicing christians in the US  are not into the Darwinistic version of evolution, but does that mean any all evolution is off the table?  Shouldn't there at least be room for social evolution?

 

His blog reminds me though that there are worse things than being spanked...I'd take a smacked bum any day over the silent treatment, or as he calls it, the Ghost treatment.

 

That's just mean spirited, man!

 

Those of you here who follow his philosophy...can you explain why?  I don't understand why one needs to resort to draconian, alienating, and violent (in a more ghandian sense of the word than a webster merrian spirit) techniques to give children a sense of your authority.  I find it FAR FAR more effective to figure out the need and FILL it or give my child the tools to fill it themselves, rather than demand obedience first above all else, and meet only the needs that I deem worthy of my attention.  It is the difference between a boss you respect for their superior field knowledge and ability to mentor you versus the boss who has arbitrarily risen above you and whom you must treat with respect lest they dump all over you to teach you respect...ya know?

 

If you like this guy, have you read any of the CNVC stuff (I promise, no psycho babble stuff there)?  You might find these communicative tools meet your desire to be in control of your home and your family without resorting to any form of punishment that is counter-intuitive.  We have also found logical and natural consequences to be far more effective than physical or punitive consequences...so for example: DS left his school bag at home.  There was a time DH and I would have grounded him in the afternoon for such an oversight. But we didn't because he didn't have his bag which meant he didn't have his homework which meant the teacher probably spent the day embarassing him (shaming...yeah....not -- luckily we have trained DS not to take such things seriously) and then he had no snack or drink for recess, which already bites the big one...how is grounding him to his room going to be any more effective than that?  I doubt it would be.  So natural consequences win.  If he is acting all hyper and weird about a TV show...logical consequence...no TV show until he is older and proves he is able to handle it maturely.  Bouncing on my couch....grrrr...logical consequence...no sitting on my couch until you can learn respect for my things, not a punitive consequence, just a stepping stone to being a part of social unit.

 

I'm really concerned how anyone can be so la-dee-dah about not understanding your kids' needs.  Our need for order authority does not trump their need for connection and being understood, does it? 

post #58 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

I think it is easy to judge someone.  It is far more difficult to lay aside our judgements and offer solutions. 

 

GoBecGo has a valid point.  Before we judge something as wrong we might consider that the other side may see it as MORE wrong to let their child lie/dump yogurt on thier head/steal/be cheeky than it is for them to smack their bottom.  I know that there are better ways to teach a child than through a less painful consequence, but I am not going to see my child working on the street before the age of 21.  I have 6+ hours day with my child to discuss the issues that arise.  I have a full belly and full fridge and a community that supports my goals as a parent.   I have a husband who loves me and supports a loving home. I have a post-graduate education and ample time in my schedule for further learning and personal development.  I have time and hardware and knowledge of how to discuss these issues with like minded parents and discover new techniques every day. These small details make all the difference.   


While I can appreciate the sentiment behind your statements here, I am going to call foul on moral relativism.  At the root of nearly every act of violence is a sad story by way of explanation.  The man who beats his wife because he is a depressed alcoholic, the pedophile who was molested as a child.  On an intellectual level I feel compassion for the life that brings a person to this point, however the explanation is not synonymous with justification.  I was raised in a poor environment and exposed to physical violence and substance abuse as a child.  I have CHOSEN a different path for myself as a parent.  Funny enough, the reason I will not be striking my daughter has nothing to do with my college education or conversations with like minded friends.  My resolve comes from the same place inside me that could enable me to lift a car off of my baby if she was trapped.  I have been entrusted with the awe inspiring task of keeping a tiny being safe and I can imagine no greater breech of trust as her protector than to hit her.

 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post




A spanking (as I define it, it my other post) also has the advantage of being memorable. If I've told my child repeatedly to not touch the stove, ever, because she can't ever know if it's on or off (for instance....this hasn't happened, but I'm just thinking on the fly here) and she keeps doing it, then a whistle or something isn't going to really stick with her, you know? A smack on the behind probably would, if my own childhood is any indication.

 

Also, and using another line of thought....if you say that ALL hitting = violence, then are you saying if you jump into the street and shove a person out of the way of a moving vehicle, was that violent? It's technically putting your hands on a person and probably causing them some amount of pain, but it's not violent (IMO) because it's done instinctively out of love and/or concern, and not out of an intention to be violent. If you slap your friend's arm because there's a mosquito nano-seconds away from putting their stinger in their skin and you don't have time to say, "hey, there's a mosquito on you!", is that violent?

 

I really think that the intent needs to be to do violence in order for the act to be violent.

 


You're right, intention is a key factor.  When you hit your child in order to discipline them, your intent IS violent.  You intend to inflict pain.  What you hope for that pain to accomplish (obedience) does not negate the fact that YOUR INTENTION IS TO INFLICT PAIN.  If you did not intend to inflict pain on your child when hitting them, you would be using another form of discipline.  When you save a person from getting hit by a car and push them or fall on them in the process, your intention is to save them from getting hit by a car. 

 

The reasoning behind hitting a child to teach them a lesson is faulty.  Children are unpredictable.  Sometimes a timeout works great, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes you sit them down to have a heart to heart and you really get through to them, and sometimes you don't.  However, in the process you have not assaulted them or broken any trust.   When you hit a child to teach them a lesson just as with any form of gentle discipline you may not get through to them.  However, unlike gentle discipline techniques, if you hit your child you will definitely cause them physical pain.  This means that on a day where nothing is getting through to them (which happens to the best of us) pain is all they will be left with. 

 

post #59 of 215



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post




While I can appreciate the sentiment behind your statements here, I am going to call foul on moral relativism.  At the root of nearly every act of violence is a sad story by way of explanation.  The man who beats his wife because he is a depressed alcoholic, the pedophile who was molested as a child.  On an intellectual level I feel compassion for the life that brings a person to this point, however the explanation is not synonymous with justification.  I was raised in a poor environment and exposed to physical violence and substance abuse as a child.  I have CHOSEN a different path for myself as a parent.  Funny enough, the reason I will not be striking my daughter has nothing to do with my college education or conversations with like minded friends.  My resolve comes from the same place inside me that could enable me to lift a car off of my baby if she was trapped.  I have been entrusted with the awe inspiring task of keeping a tiny being safe and I can imagine no greater breech of trust as her protector than to hit her.

 
 



To be clear I never said one's background JUSTIFIES their choices or actions.  I am merely saying that if we can come from a place of understanding and from the big picture, we can lead people to a better set of choices and allow them to see the awe inspiring side of the task rather than the soul crushingly terrifyingly overwhelming fear of the task of keeping a tiny being safe.  Have you ever seen a child hold a pet so tightly in the hopes of keeping it safe they squish it?  Do you blame the child for being too frightened about keeping it safe that they squished the tiny being?  Some people, due to their circumstances and the opportunities afforded them do not realize they are squishing the tiny being to death (not literally, but spiritually), they believe they are keeping it safe. 

 

You THINK it has nothing to do with a college education or your friends here...but if you did not have the life you have, if you worked 18 hour shifts at less than minimum wage and came home to an alcoholic abusive husband and you knew your children would be working on the streets by the age of 8...things might be different.  If you grew up to believe in the authority of god and the need to instill that in your children by any means necessary or were surrounded by a community and a church and leaders of your society who told you that it was your duty as a loving parent to keep your child in line and afraid of god and authority and consequences, could we rise above the hardships that in reality we do not have to face and make the same choices we make each day now?  How can we say?   We choose alternatives because we SEE them.  If we do not see them it takes an incredible (one in a million, and you may be that one, far be it from me to say you were not, Gucci) spirit to create the alternative for themselves. 

 

Again this is not moral relativism.  No one is saying it morally correct for people to hit their child (okay someone is, just not me :-D).  All I am saying is that if we condemn first, there is no room for growth or education.  And there IS room for growth and education and helping people find better alternatives, around the world that is true and I witness it happening every day.  There is room for social evolution.  But like with all evolution, it is a process.  There are still parts of the world where young women are tied down and their privates are mutilated and their vaginas sewn shut by their own mothers, sisters and aunts (who believe they are protecting them and keeping them safe, BTW).  There are still parts of the world where women have their necks stretched with metal rings and faces and bodies scarred and mutilated from very young ages to protect them from brutalities of other tribes.  There are still parts of the world where rape is considered a valid tool of war.  There are parts of the world where child abuse (not just spanking, whipping, torturous abuse) is a normalized part of everyday life seen on TV as just one of those things that loving albeit scary parents do for the ones they love.  There is no  time for comdemnation and agression if we want to change things in this life time or our children's life time and lead people to the decisions we have come to in our lives.  There is only room for acceptance of undesirable circumstances being what they are and helping people find a better way. 

 

Not everyone is cut out for that, I know that, but if you were empowered to make that choice, despite your upbringing, it is worth considering that you are in a unique position to guide others towards your decision, and condemning them will only embitter them to your point of view before you have even had the chance to explain the virtues.  It's like an ex-fat person punching me on the shoulder saying "You can do it!  I did it!  Just stop eating all that crap and get to the gym, you lazy greedy cow!"  I'm hardly going to listen to them, am I?  On the other hand if they say "hey, I know where you're coming from, but you are going to feel SO much better when you try this way of life instead...trust me!"  I might at least be willing to listen, ya know?

 

But it seems you don't really care if they listen, and that's okay.  if you come a place of abuse in your life, you may just need to be angry at those people who have not made the choices you made.  It's okay to be angry, it is righteous anger; as long as you understand that it's not going to effect change. 

post #60 of 215
Thread Starter 


Quote:

Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

You're right, intention is a key factor.  When you hit your child in order to discipline them, your intent IS violent.  You intend to inflict pain.  What you hope for that pain to accomplish (obedience) does not negate the fact that YOUR INTENTION IS TO INFLICT PAIN.  If you did not intend to inflict pain on your child when hitting them, you would be using another form of discipline. 



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