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Is spanking a regional thing? - Page 2

post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

The thing is, though...stress is subjective. If I'm in any kind of public/social situation, my stress level is already fairly high, as a rule. I don't cope well with being around large numbers of people, and it puts me on edge. I also have one child who has really unpredictable, and often odd, behaviour. I'm sure outside observers are sometimes bewildered by the way I jump on him for what seems like nothing. It's not nothing, though. I can sometimes see the signs that we're heading for a meltdown, but his behaviour still seems perfectly normal to others. I don't always handle it that well, but that's often because I'm already stressed due to the environment, existing issues with the child in question, or whatever. (By noon today, he'd taken off from the house, bitten his little sister, deliberately destroyed his other sister's drawing and kicked her, called me a couple names, and thrown things three times. By the time we left for their circus class, I was pretty burned out...and not as patient as I could have been when started climbing on the railing that he's already been warned isn't safe, or when he took off in the parking lot. I'm sure that class looked about as low stress as it gets, but it wasn't.)

 

I totally agree with you.   I also kind of think that being a parent is a high stress condition in and of itself.

 

I think what I was really wondering about re high/low stress environments (but wrote in an awkward way, because I haven't really thought this through myself) is what kind of common stressors are present in an environment which "appears" to be low stress that cause nearly every parent in that environment to behave as though they are under incredibly intense scrutiny.*   Maybe because they actually are?  I can't tell if people are scrutinizing each other and it's stress behavior or if it's just a way that parents relate to each other in this area and no one is stressed.  Or if it's all of the above. 

 

*The immediate example that springs to mind is common in a nearby affluent suburban library during a leisurely and uncrowded playtime.  There will be a child who is barely old enough to have any sort of competent fine motor skills and a parent that keeps sighing in a loud reproving fashion to everyone nearby, "Oh he's so wild," every time a block accidentally tumbles off the train table, as well as to the kid, "Stop being so wild."  And the kid is like, one.  And multiply that by everyone in the play area.  Perhaps I don't understand the purpose of the statements being made.  I've wondered if this phenomenon I've observed is actually wry or humorous in nature, and because I don't often recognize humor as humor, I have a hard time understanding what is going on.  But I think I am accurate in my guess that this is about the parent (I think understandably for this regional/socioeconomic parenting culture) wanting to be perceived as a good parent and fearing to be perceived as a bad one.  Because in this same strata, I always hear people apologizing for serving sugary birthday cake with color sprinkles or saying they are sorry, the food is not all organic, or something along those lines. 

 

Alright.... /threadjack

post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

I totally agree with you.   I also kind of think that being a parent is a high stress condition in and of itself.

I think what I was really wondering about re high/low stress environments (but wrote in an awkward way, because I haven't really thought this through myself) is what kind of common stressors are present in an environment which "appears" to be low stress that cause nearly every parent in that environment to behave as though they are under incredibly intense scrutiny.*   Maybe because they actually are?  I can't tell if people are scrutinizing each other and it's stress behavior or if it's just a way that parents relate to each other in this area and no one is stressed.  Or if it's all of the above. 

*The immediate example that springs to mind is common in a nearby affluent suburban library during a leisurely and uncrowded playtime.  There will be a child who is barely old enough to have any sort of competent fine motor skills and a parent that keeps sighing in a loud reproving fashion to everyone nearby, "Oh he's so wild," every time a block accidentally tumbles off the train table, as well as to the kid, "Stop being so wild."  And the kid is like, one.  And multiply that by everyone in the play area.  Perhaps I don't understand the purpose of the statements being made.  I've wondered if this phenomenon I've observed is actually wry or humorous in nature, and because I don't often recognize humor as humor, I have a hard time understanding what is going on.  But I think I am accurate in my guess that this is about the parent (I think understandably for this regional/socioeconomic parenting culture) wanting to be perceived as a good parent and fearing to be perceived as a bad one.  Because in this same strata, I always hear people apologizing for serving sugary birthday cake with color sprinkles or saying they are sorry, the food is not all organic, or something along those lines. 

Alright.... /threadjack

That actually sounds like a very high stress scenario. If the norm is to feel guilty about serving birthday cake at a birthday party and to beat yourself up about having non-organic food it sounds a lot like the old mdc, which was a very tough place to feel accepted. I would hate to live with the worry that I am not good enough as a parent or that i will be shunned because my child wants cake on her birthday.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post


That actually sounds like a very high stress scenario. If the norm is to feel guilty about serving birthday cake at a birthday party and to beat yourself up about having non-organic food it sounds a lot like the old mdc, which was a very tough place to feel accepted. I would hate to live with the worry that I am not good enough as a parent or that i will be shunned because my child wants cake on her birthday.

 

Yeah... I think that is the norm.  I guess for some reason I really wanted to think that maybe no one feels guilty and the discomfort I get from witnessing everyone apologize to each other was mine alone (and cultural or due to my own issues) and not an extension of how awful it is for everyone.  I've actually had people tell me, in real life, "I was so surprised to see you with a stroller," or "I was relieved to see you eating chips," or, "I really admire how you [insert feat of supermomdom which I immediately have to explain that I don't do],".....none of these things are things I feel I must apologize for, but I still feel weird having those conversations.  I have mixed feelings of compassion and anger when I interact with parents in this group because on the one hand I also struggle with the feeling that "if I don't do x, I'll be a bad mom"...struggle with it a ton and I do my best to not add more and more things for me to worry about because I'll do it ad infinitum... but if my last two posts in this thread are any indication, I do get triggered and dangery feeling, and try to distance myself from that feeling by becoming critical.... lol.

post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post


I think what I was really wondering about re high/low stress environments (but wrote in an awkward way, because I haven't really thought this through myself) is what kind of common stressors are present in an environment which "appears" to be low stress that cause nearly every parent in that environment to behave as though they are under incredibly intense scrutiny.*   Maybe because they actually are?

 

I think it's safe to say that parents, in general, are under constant scrutiny in public, except maybe if they have very well behaved children (either in general, or on a specific occasion). I can certainly remember getting some verbal stuff and eye-rolling when I was having bad days with ds1. (On one occasion, I even remember snapping back something like, "if your aim is to help, you could hold my stuff, while I deal with him. If your aim is to be judgmental, congratulation's - mission accomplished - go away". The woman watched my stuff while I chased down ds1, and actually apologized!) People are quite willing to spout off, make assumptions, etc., but most aren't very willing to help. I see some parenting I don't like (nothing truly abusive), but I'm not generally prepared to go out of my way to help, so I keep my mouth shut, yk?

 

I remember yellig at ds1 once, when we were on our way home. I had a migraine, was carrying heavy grocery bags, needed to make dinner, etc. and he was just going soooo slow (understandable - he was only about six) and trying to talk to me about everything under the sun. I lost it and just started ranting at him - suspect I probably threw in a few swear words - not at him, exactly, but the "i'm so effing sick of this" kind of thing. Some guy opened his second floor patio door and started yelling at me about how I talked to the kid. And, you know...he was right. The way I was talking to (yelling at) ds1 was totally unacceptable. But, really - if the guy wasn't willing to throw on some shoes and see what was going on, all he did was add stress to the situation, and make himself feel like a bigshot. If he'd come out and asked what was wrong, it probably would have defused things. If he'd actually carried my bags the remaining three blocks, I'd have calmed down, and been seriously grateful. (Don't get me wrong - not sure I'd be willing to get off my comfy couch in that situation, either. I'm no saint. But, I wouldn't have been standing there yelling at the mom, either. He actually really upset ds1, because ds1 didn't like that someone was so angry at his mom. *sigh*) The whole thing was definitely not one of my best ever parenting moments, but it also added to my feelings of stress, because it just supported the whole "everyone's watching" thing. And, ds1 was a fabulous kid (during the situation I just described, ds1 was also carrying a bag, because he asked to), but he was very high energy and kind of wild in stores sometimes. He wasn't the classic well behaved kid, yk?

post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post


I think what I was really wondering about re high/low stress environments (but wrote in an awkward way, because I haven't really thought this through myself) is what kind of common stressors are present in an environment which "appears" to be low stress that cause nearly every parent in that environment to behave as though they are under incredibly intense scrutiny.*   Maybe because they actually are?

 

I think it's safe to say that parents, in general, are under constant scrutiny in public, except maybe if they have very well behaved children (either in general, or on a specific occasion). I can certainly remember getting some verbal stuff and eye-rolling when I was having bad days with ds1. (On one occasion, I even remember snapping back something like, "if your aim is to help, you could hold my stuff, while I deal with him. If your aim is to be judgmental, congratulation's - mission accomplished - go away". The woman watched my stuff while I chased down ds1, and actually apologized!) People are quite willing to spout off, make assumptions, etc., but most aren't very willing to help. I see some parenting I don't like (nothing truly abusive), but I'm not generally prepared to go out of my way to help, so I keep my mouth shut, yk?

 

I remember yellig at ds1 once, when we were on our way home. I had a migraine, was carrying heavy grocery bags, needed to make dinner, etc. and he was just going soooo slow (understandable - he was only about six) and trying to talk to me about everything under the sun. I lost it and just started ranting at him - suspect I probably threw in a few swear words - not at him, exactly, but the "i'm so effing sick of this" kind of thing. Some guy opened his second floor patio door and started yelling at me about how I talked to the kid. And, you know...he was right. The way I was talking to (yelling at) ds1 was totally unacceptable. But, really - if the guy wasn't willing to throw on some shoes and see what was going on, all he did was add stress to the situation, and make himself feel like a bigshot. If he'd come out and asked what was wrong, it probably would have defused things. If he'd actually carried my bags the remaining three blocks, I'd have calmed down, and been seriously grateful. (Don't get me wrong - not sure I'd be willing to get off my comfy couch in that situation, either. I'm no saint. But, I wouldn't have been standing there yelling at the mom, either. He actually really upset ds1, because ds1 didn't like that someone was so angry at his mom. *sigh*) The whole thing was definitely not one of my best ever parenting moments, but it also added to my feelings of stress, because it just supported the whole "everyone's watching" thing. And, ds1 was a fabulous kid (during the situation I just described, ds1 was also carrying a bag, because he asked to), but he was very high energy and kind of wild in stores sometimes. He wasn't the classic well behaved kid, yk?

 

Actually, he sounds like he was the classic well behaved kid. The realistic version anyway. I know you were talking about people's perception of what the well behaved kid *should* look like - but your DS1 sounds pretty fantastic. My ds often offers to carry bags, and usually carries my lunch bag from the time I pick him up at daycare until we get on the train to go home (then I take it from him because I need to hold his hand and don't want him to drop the lunch bag on the escalator - they scare me), but he's only 3 so the bag has to be super light for him to carry it very far.

 

I hate when everyone is staring at me and my ds is misbehaving though. And I hate it when people call me out when we're out in public, or give me dirty looks while I'm trying to keep hold of ds and pay when I'm in line at the store. It's annoying. I love being a mom, but I hate that it gives people license to judge me.

post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

 

Actually, he sounds like he was the classic well behaved kid. The realistic version anyway. I know you were talking about people's perception of what the well behaved kid *should* look like - but your DS1 sounds pretty fantastic.

 

Yes, this, exactly. He really was a great kid. I remember once when my grocery bags (two of them) snapped on our way home, so I sent ds1 to get me some new bags. He was only seven, and he ran three blocks home, unlocked the door, got me some new bags, locked the door behind him (I was impressed that he remembered that), and came back to where I was sitting at the side of the road with our groceries spilled all over the gravel. HIs main recation was that he was glad he was with me, because it would have been "terrible" if I'd had to just leave the food there.

 

My ds often offers to carry bags, and usually carries my lunch bag from the time I pick him up at daycare until we get on the train to go home (then I take it from him because I need to hold his hand and don't want him to drop the lunch bag on the escalator - they scare me), but he's only 3 so the bag has to be super light for him to carry it very far.

 

Yeah - ds1 was carrying a light bag that time - think he had a loaf of bread and a pound of butter or something like that.

 

I hate when everyone is staring at me and my ds is misbehaving though. And I hate it when people call me out when we're out in public, or give me dirty looks while I'm trying to keep hold of ds and pay when I'm in line at the store. It's annoying. I love being a mom, but I hate that it gives people license to judge me.

 

Oh, heck yeah. It drives me nuts.

post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

The bolded part is my experience too.  I've lived in NYC for 20 years and I've never actually seen spanking or other corporal punishment in public.  What I do see from time to time is people yelling and cursing at their kids in a way that immediately makes me wonder about intelligence levels on the part of the parents.  My guess is that the majority of corporal punishments go on behind closed doors among people who want to maintain some kind of public etiquette, for lack of a better word.  For me, I think the whole thing revolves around people who believe that spanking works and those who don't.  I also believe that some people who utilize corporal punishment do so because they are either ignorant of (as in don't know) the ramifications, or it is all they know. 

 

Edited to say that I also think that the chances of actually witnessing corporal punishment is probably greater in larger population areas, simply because of statistics (but I don't think it is specific to region simply based on demographics, if that makes sense).

Just wanted to comment on my own post as I've been reading the subsequent thread and thought it important to reiterate what my experiences have been:  I know full well what it is like to be "The Frustrated Mom."  Believe me, I've been there many times and I'm sure that people have highly judged me for the way I've handled things.

 

I think I can tell the difference, though, between pure frustration and the people that are flat out abusive.  It is easy to spot and as a parent I can tell the difference (being that I've had some incredible meltdowns and frustrations to deal with on public transportation, etc.).  But for me, it is quick to spot the people who are frustrated and at their wits end and those who clearly handle things in a way that I think is abusive and ignorant.  I don't know, it is just a sense that I have, perhaps I'm wrong.  But for me, I can clearly tell who is ill-equipped at discipline and other behavioral issues and those that are just frustrated.  

post #28 of 40

I was raised in SE KY and in NE OK by a poor KY Dad and a middle class Chicago Mom. We were raised poor to middle class to upper to poor to middle again. We were never disciplined in public, now taken to a restroom or the car, or told to wait till we're home, yes. My parents never disciplined us in anger. They sent us to our rooms to think about it, and if it applied, we'd get a spanking. Now I'm in WA State, and ppl do seem to be more reserved about it than in OK. I've heard one mother very calmly tell her (naughty at the moment) 2 yr old if he didn't stop, he was going to get a spanking. He dried it up and was good the rest of the time. She looked middle class, red hair and very light skin. She was very pleasant to her son and everyone else in the store. I think there's a lot of ppl who just go way over board with it and take their frustration out on the kid instead of being the teacher they should be. No wonder the cycle continues and in cases, gets worse.

 

But no, I don't think it's regional. Unless there's places it's now illegal, but I haven't heard of any.

post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

 

I think I can tell the difference, though, between pure frustration and the people that are flat out abusive.  It is easy to spot and as a parent I can tell the difference (being that I've had some incredible meltdowns and frustrations to deal with on public transportation, etc.).  But for me, it is quick to spot the people who are frustrated and at their wits end and those who clearly handle things in a way that I think is abusive and ignorant.  I don't know, it is just a sense that I have, perhaps I'm wrong.  But for me, I can clearly tell who is ill-equipped at discipline and other behavioral issues and those that are just frustrated.  

 

Agree!

post #30 of 40


In light of the Judge Adams video,

We often hear from those who fight to uphold this practice for those under the age of 18 (even to the blaming of the social maladies of the day on a supposed "lack" of it), but we rarely, if ever, find advocates for the return of corporal punishment to the general adult community, college campuses, inmate population, or military. Why is that?

Ask ten unyielding proponents of child/adolescent/teenage-only "spanking" about the "right" way to do it, and what would be abusive, indecent, or obscene, and you will get ten different answers.

These proponents should consider making their own video-recording of the "right way" to do it.

Visit Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education to learn more.
  

post #31 of 40


Children should have a right to their bodies, and the right to say "No!"

Currently in the U.S.:

When an adult does it to another adult, its sexual battery:
http://hamptonroads.com/2011/12/va-beach-restaurateur-pleads-guilty-sexual-battery:

When children do it to adults, its a "deviant sexual prank":
http://www.theday.com/article/20101207/NWS04/101209750

When an adult does it to a person under the age of 18, its "good discipline".

Research/recommended reading:

Spanking Can Make Children More Aggressive Later
http://tulane.edu/news/releases/pr_03122010.cfm

Spanking Kids Increases Risk of Sexual Problems
http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2008/feb/lw28spanking.cfm

Use of Spanking for 3-Year-Old Children and Associated Intimate Partner Aggression or Violence
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/126/3/415

Spanking Children Can Lower IQ
http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2009/sept/lw25straus.cfm
 
Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak
http://www.nospank.net/pt2010.pdf

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson
http://nospank.net/sdsc2.pdf

"Spanking" can be intentional or unintentional sexual abuse
http://www.nospank.net/101.htm
  
 

post #32 of 40
I mainly see spanking at the laundromat, in grocery stores, and places where people have to stand in line. It seems to me that children are being asked to do something boring and when they want to wander, get curious, or start acting inappropriately due to boredom I see them get popped.

It was my main motovation for buying a washing machine and dryer. I hate the laundromat. I dont think Ive ever sat two hours there without witnessing a kid getting hit, told they were going to get hit, or having some other physical thing happen (like smacking a kid on top of his head with a shoe, flicking a kid in the nose, and forcing a child to touch his nose into a corner).

I do think it is semi regional, maybe not based on parts of the country- but within the state. I lived in the city for years and rarely saw it. Now that I live in a rural area, it seems to be a lot more acceptable.
post #33 of 40

i grew up in OR and never heard or seen kids getting spanked. i was spanked but my stepfather grew up in Alabama.  i was shocked when i moved to MO and saw a parent drag their child off to the bathroom to be spanked all the while the child begged the parent to stop. i def think it's more common in the  deep south (i lived in alabama for 2 years), esp in strong babtist communities
 

post #34 of 40

I live in a largely Baptist area and have to say that I see kids threatened with spanking frequently.  It is promoted by churches, and parents who talk things out with their children are at risk for being judged too permissive.

 

The worst was at my daughter's dance class, waiting for class to end.  A two-year-old threw a hot wheels car--not at anybody or anything--and the mother said, "If you do that again we're going to go out to the car and use the paddle!" and the little boy's eyes grew wide with fear.  I'm telling you, he knew exactly what awaited him.

 

I am very vocal about being anti-spanking on my facebook page, because that way I can bring up the subject to local people I know without singling anyone out.  I know of one family that has stopped spanking because of the information I've shared.

post #35 of 40

I've parented small children in WA state and now I'm SC, and I see a huge regional difference. 

 

I'm not somebody who gets too fussed about corporal punishment either way, but I think (obviously, or I would not be an MDC member) that any child can be successfully raised without using spanking or the threat of spanking. So it's very frustrating to me that I much, much, much prefer the public behavior of SC children to the public behavior of WA children. There are a squillion confounding factors here - income, family size, family culture etc. - but it still bothers me. It makes me feel that my argument against spanking is weakened. 

post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I've parented small children in WA state and now I'm SC, and I see a huge regional difference. 

I'm not somebody who gets too fussed about corporal punishment either way, but I think (obviously, or I would not be an MDC member) that any child can be successfully raised without using spanking or the threat of spanking. So it's very frustrating to me that I much, much, much prefer the public behavior of SC children to the public behavior of WA children. There are a squillion confounding factors here - income, family size, family culture etc. - but it still bothers me. It makes me feel that my argument against spanking is weakened. 

Well, yeah, kids who are spanked if they act up in public are going to be afraid of getting a spanking if they act up in public and therefore are more likely to behave in public. I guess if that is someone's ultimate ruler to judge how good a parent they are, then it would explain why they spank their kids. But if you're playing the odds to get kids who grow into confident, outspoken, well-adjusted, happy adults (which is what my ruler to measure parenting ability is), your best bet in my strong opinion is to not use physical punishment, even if it means a bit of misbehavior sometimes in public. And there are other ways to deal with misbehavior, but the other ways sometimes take a bit of sacrifice and work (like leaving places if the kids can't handle them), and not everyone wants to do that. And of course you can't do that every single time anywhere your kids misbehave (like a doctor's office waiting for an appointment, or an airport waiting for a flight, or on an airplane), and if you don't have the ability to scare your kids into behaving, it might be harder to get the behavior under control.

In short, I'd rather have occasional misbehavior in public than spank my kids.
post #37 of 40

I second everything that mamazee just said -- and I think that one key thing to consider is what she said about "playing the odds to get kids who grow into confident, outspoken, well-adjusted, happy adults."

 

I think that practically all parents would agree that they want confident, well-adjusted, and happy children (both now and when they are grown) -- but not everyone thinks that being outspoken is a good thing. I think my own mom would prefer not to have such an outspoken daughter. Some people really prefer the personality that submits, conforms, and doesn't question authority.

 

Such a personality is easy to cart around in public and inoffensive to most other people, while children raised with respect tend to learn, early on, that they are people in their own rights. They tend to not see why they need to "fit" anyone else's expectations.

 

And, yes, in my own experience, I've sometimes felt like my family's public example is giving AP a bad rap -- yet, in many ways, our public image isn't all that different from the way that we really are. Also, as some other parents have pointed out on this board, dealing with small children in some public situations can be a lot more stressful, to both parent and child, than being at home. So our public image has often been a lot more chaotic than our private behavior.

post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
 So it's very frustrating to me that I much, much, much prefer the public behavior of SC children to the public behavior of WA children. There are a squillion confounding factors here - income, family size, family culture etc. - but it still bothers me. It makes me feel that my argument against spanking is weakened. 

 

 

yeah -- I've never lived in WA, but I have moved around a lot and I have lived in the south. I think that part of it is a clearer sense of manners. I think that overall, southerners have a clearer sense of what good manners look like and believe that instilling them in their children is part of their job. Spanking or no spanking, children who are explicitly taught social graces are sometimes just nicer to be around.

 

I personally think that it is morally wrong to physically strike another human being, so even if one could prove some benefit from doing so, I would still the behavior was wrong.

 

My family of origin is Southern Baptist and children are spanked as a matter of course. I was spanked often as a child, I witnessed my sister being spanked (and still remember her screams) and my nieces and nephew were all spanked when they were younger. And sometimes their behavior was more controlled than my own children's when they were small.

 

Now all the kids are teens, and overall, I have happier, better adjusted offspring than my sister does. I'm closer to my kids. I think that judging a parenting a style based on how a tired 4 year old acts in public is taking score too earlier in the game.

 

I think that discipline is very important, and sadly I sometimes see families for whom "no spanking" ends up meaning "no discipline."  It is our job to teach our children how to behave, and it is a messy process. But I think that not only is doing so in a gentle way the morally right way to do so, I also think that in the long run, it yields better results. We have to figure out how to get the kid to understand and internalize what appropriate behavior is, not just practice control when they feel fear. It's giving them real tools for when we aren't around and won't even know what they do.

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

I think that judging a parenting a style based on how a tired 4 year old acts in public is taking score too earlier in the game.

 

 

Well said. I love it.

post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

Some people really prefer the personality that submits, conforms, and doesn't question authority.

 

Such a personality is easy to cart around in public and inoffensive to most other people, while children raised with respect tend to learn, early on, that they are people in their own rights. They tend to not see why they need to "fit" anyone else's expectations.

 

 

Exactly.  What I see as my children negotiating with me, others may see as "backtalk."  What I may see as my children trying to find a place in the conversation, others may see as "interrupting the grownups when they're trying to talk."

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