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post #101 of 177
wow, I feel the need to clarify too. I never suggested, and I am sorry if it came across....that I would just walk up to someone on the street and scream at them that they are horrible abusers and are committing violent acts. Of course that is no way to change someone's view and it doesn't seem like it would help the child much.

However, in speaking to someone about *discipline* (and this has happened many times) ... I begin very gently and very non-threatening and attempt to explain things or discuss things in such a way as to open up their mind just a teensy weensy little bit to allow a different perspective. Inevitably though, I hear such pride in their voices....such a sick, twisted logic (imo) and an almost sadistic pide in how "all johnny needs is a whack and he behaves!!" or "they know when I get out the wooden spoon..." ...hahahha all jovial and happy, almost like it is a kick to hit their children -- then yes, I plainly tell them my opinion. I feel spanking is a form of abuse and is certainly an act of violence. As much harm as some posters seem to think there is in labeling the act of striking a child as a violent act -- there is, imo, just as much harm in nodding and smiling along with the person who so proudly boasts of their violent acts.

A huge part of why many people change certain behaviors (or not) is whether those behaviors are accepted by their peers or society or not. It is basic Sociology 101... I for one, REFUSE to be one of the people who nods and smiles as people recount their stories of control, manipulation, shame and acts of violence they have carried out on their children.

It is quite one thing to take the position of "we spanked little johnny, we just don't know what else to do"... though it is still not right, it (imo) says to me that the parents in question are seeking alternatives, or are at least open to them etc... and I would take a vastly different approach...

...but most often, a nice, friendly, non-threatening discussion about spanking (with people who spank in my experience) turns into a brag fest of the times they got Johnny right into line by beating his butt or whatever...that is what sickens me.
post #102 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
What I keep seeing over and over again is that people on this thread have felt abused and violated and are working hard to protect others from what they went through. I had no idea that so many felt that way.
I think if this is the case, it might help to explain just why its so hard for many of us to refrain from speaking openly about the child's experience of spanking. When parents want to speak in terms of "effectiveness", it is a blatant statement of their disconnection from their child's emotions. Hearing parents care more about getting their way than what they are doing to their child is almost unbearable to some of us who can't help but identify with that suffering child.

I can't speak for everyone about how much compassion they feel for the spankers. I personally do. But the doesn't stop the shock, horror, and urgency I feel about how emotionally ostracized a spanked child feels. Something in my conscience tells me that going along with parents' ignoring of the devestation they wreak on their child just can't help.

It doesn't mean that I scream at them and belittle them. But going along with putting our collective heads in the sand doesn't work either IMO...

Just hoping to give you a little more perspective. Not sure it makes a lick of sense - I've very distracted at the moment. (Took me 45 minutes to type this out...)
post #103 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I can't speak for everyone about how much compassion they feel for the spankers. I personally do. But the doesn't stop the shock, horror, and urgency I feel about how emotionally ostracized a spanked child feels. Something in my conscience tells me that going along with parents' ignoring of the devestation they wreak on their child just can't help.

It doesn't mean that I scream at them and belittle them. But going along with putting our collective heads in the sand doesn't work either IMO...
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
As much harm as some posters seem to think there is in labeling the act of striking a child as a violent act -- there is, imo, just as much harm in nodding and smiling along with the person who so proudly boasts of their violent acts.
I do not think that taking care with language and approach is the same as standing by smiling with head in the sand. I think whole point of this thread is that maybe there are ways of confronting the issue in ways that are both effective and gentle. Just like we approach teaching our children. Most of us here know that in teaching our children shaming doesn't work. So why would it with an adult? Adults learn so differently? The nature of humanity is different in an adult than it is in a child?

The harm some of us see in using the words abuse and violence in speaking with the parent committing the act, is that our message may not be heard because of the defensiveness the words provoke, that we may shut down the opportunity to show someone another perspective and approach-and that does not help the child.

And if my intention is to actually help, then I'm focused on helping the parent learn and grow-not on proving that I'm right, or shaming them by calling what they are doing abuse (even if I think it might be). Being right isn't the point. Helping is.
post #104 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg
I do not think that taking care with language and approach is the same as standing by smiling with head in the sand. I think whole point of this thread is that maybe there are ways of confronting the issue in ways that are both effective and gentle. Just like we approach teaching our children. Most of us here know that in teaching our children shaming doesn't work. So why would it with an adult? Adults learn so differently? The nature of humanity is different in an adult than it is in a child?
I do think that the nature of humanity is different in an adult than in a child. Children don't have all of the baggage that adults do that triggers them to be offended by anything even remotely resembling a judgment.

Message boards are a perfect example: Take the breastfeeding vs. formula debate. People get offended when someone simply says that breastmilk is the best nutrition for babies. It's a scientifically proven fact, yet people get incredibly offended by it. They think such a statement passes judgment on their choice to formula feed. This is how many, many people are. To simply discuss a contrary idea or opinion, no matter how gently or justified, is to offend them.

Do I think that this means we should shame adults? Of course not. I do believe, though, that we can gently hem and haw and tiptoe around and we will either still offend the people to whom we are speaking because they are predisposed to being offended OR we will fail miserably in helping children because the message will be so cloaked in subtlety that it just won't sink in.
post #105 of 177
I’m glad you started this thread.

I read the “GD” board because I want to think of different scenarios and how I could possibly react to them when we have children in the future.

……………………………………………………………..

***In the confines of discussing non-GD parenting, what would be your definition for violent or violence? (What would be your threshhold for feeling use of the word was approipriate?)***

Erratic, anger-driven striking or threatening to strike children without reasonable guidelines.

***In the confines of discussing non-GD parenting, what would be your definition for child abuse? (What would be your threshhold for feeling use of the word abuse was approipriate?)?**

Disregard for the health and well-being of the children through neglect, frequent striking based on the mood of the parent, sexual contact of any nature, caustic/demeaning treatment intended to hurt the feelings of the child, failure to provide healthcare and nutritious food, squalid conditions in the home, failure to provide children with an education.

***In your opinion, what should be the consequence of commiting child abuse?***

In the situations where there is no hope for rehabilitation of the nuclear family, the child should be removed from the situation and placed with loving relatives if at all possible…. I shudder to think of foster care, but, if it’s as bad as that at home, perhaps there’s a greater chance the childhood could be salvaged living apart from the abuser. In the cases where a crime has been committed, the offender/abuser should go to prison.

***Do you think words like abuse and violence can be offensive? ***

Yes.

***Do you think using words like abuse and violence to describe non-GD parenting likely would be offensive to parents practicing non-GD parenting?***

Yes, but, sometimes the situation IS violent and abusive. See above.


***If you use words like abuse and violence in talking about non-GD parenting choices, do you care if others take offense? Would you change your vocabulary if you knew you were causing offense? Is it your intent to cause offense?***

It all depends. I usually wouldn’t use those terms because I do find them to be triggers, people would likely tune out and shut down rather than reflect on their actions and behaviour – thoughtful consideration of methods would be better for the child and the parent, so, I rarely see a point in labelling.

***Do you think using words like abuse and violence to describe non-GD parenting styles does a disservice to GD? What do you think the over-all effect is?***

When those terms are being applied to parents who spank their children, but, otherwise provide for them, love them, care for them, listen to them, educate them, feed them, etc, etc, basically be “good to them” then, I think that it is unfair and rather high-horsed to use those terms and it only instigates a fight. If you want to discuss the merits of spanking, or corporal punishment, etc, then do so: back it up with facts and your own experiences. Calling an otherwise “good parent” abusive and violent for spanking their children does nothing to foster thoughtful discussion.

-----------------------------------

My parents each spanked me once growing up.

My Dad spanked me when I climbed the kitchen drawers to reach for the butcher knives at the age of three. It was a safety issue and I guess he wanted to send a very strong message.

My Mom spanked me when I had my – according to her – first and only tantrum in the middle of a department store when she wouldn’t buy me something…. Also age three, I think.

I’m not damaged by these experiences, my parents were great in most ways and I appreciate the childhood they provided for me. My sisters were spanked once as well, after getting into the medicine cabinet and attempting to portion out some liquid.

To me, this does not compare in ANY way to people who were abused growing up. Pulling hair, throwing to the ground, demeaned, etc? That’s horrible, and I think that IS abusive and violent. Calling MY encounters with spanking abusive is not only wrong, in my opinion, it lessens the gravity of the situation for those who were abused as children.

----------------

I’m hoping to practice a firm form of gentle discipline with my children, I don’t think that spanking is an effective or beneficial method of “regular discipline” and I think it shouldn’t be done in the vast majority of situations. As a reaction to a dangerous situation for the child or another kind of extreme situation??? I don’t know. That’s why I’m reading these boards.

But, when I read some of the posters call all forms of spanking or even verbal reprimands “abusive” I usually ignore most of what they say afterwards.
post #106 of 177
Quote:
believe it TRUTH that SPANKING=ABUSE, provided the definition of abuse that I use. Further, I can say with straight face and clear conscience that I believe it TRUTH that SPANKING=EFFECTIVE DISCILPINE, humiliation even more so!! (note..<snip>
Are you saying that Effective discipline = Abuse? Or that discipline (ie. controling "effectively") is abusive (of another's autonomy)? .......maybe you are hearing me.......



Pat
post #107 of 177
Bingo, Dragonfly!!

I couldn't have framed my sentiments better!

Scubamama, I think maybe... Well spotted!
post #108 of 177
Quote:
and it just doesn’t follow logically to me that being militant (meaning having a combative character; aggressive) in an approach to forward gentleness has a prayer of being effective. I would love to discuss how social and political change is achieved. Any takers?
I do agree, but I have a much harder time being patient with adults than with children. Especially those who don't see the *logic* of this in the reverse. How does being militant (meaning having a combative character; aggressive) in an approach to forward gentleness (in children) have a prayer of being effective? Thank you for making my point that *modelling* is the way. To both parenting and social change.

Be the change you wish to see.~Buddha

Pat
post #109 of 177
I guess what I can't reconcile within myself is the fact that most people (generally) have no problem labeling abusive or violent behavior when it relates to strictly adults--- spouse hitting another spouse -- someone shouting racial slurs -- someone punching someone at a bar-- etc.... but I seem to see many justifications when the dynamic changes from an adult committing violent acts on a child (hitting, shaming etc)...

Love does not hurt. Active love does not hurt...if you are hurt, something is wrong. If you are being hurt, something is wrong. Yes, the end of a love hurts, or an arguement may temporarily hurt one's feelings and the like...but active love is not supposed to hurt.

The act of systematically hitting a child (I am not talking the one time regretful loss of control and swat on the butt, though that is wrong too imo)....but the idea that shaming and yelling and hitting your child is an acceptable form of "discipline" without any regret, remorse, desire to change, or exploration of any other method...is abusive and violent in my humble opinion....
post #110 of 177
Quote:
It has been asked, if it is not abuse, what is it? How about calling spanking, spanking? How about calling it discipline or an attempt at discipline or heck, maybe even an ineffective attempt at discipline (but to be honest, I think that last one is a “shut down”) When we talk about “time-outs” we don’t talk about putting a child into emotional isolation, we talk about whether or not time-outs are effective, we talk about whether they are the ‘best’ solution (or even a solution at all?). I argue that thinking and communicating about things as “better” is MUCH stronger than thinking about things as “right”. Instead of communicating TO someone that they are RIGHT/WRONG, try communicating WITH someone about what is BETTER. I’m not suggesting that we make someone “feel really good about their hitting”, I’m suggesting that we open a door, not close it.
Maybe, I could have read the whole post before responding, but I didn't want to lose my train of thought. MY position is that *punishments* are not *necessary* if the focus is on *underlying needs* rather than altering *behavior*. Not better, not right or wrong. But an alternative paradigm of problem solving the *needs*, rather than changing the "misbehavior". But the communication tools to move beyond fault/blame and right/wrong requires models of a different way to be in relationship with children.

Pat
post #111 of 177
Something I don't get is if this conversations is about how we talk about hitting children as a general topic or how we discuss it with individual parents (especially parents who spank or have spanked). Because, for me, it's a much different thing.

With advocacy issues there are the facts and opinions of a particular person or group and there is an outreach approach, no? I've always thought of these two things as being very different.

And, yes, I'd be happy to discuss the approach of promoting GD or for preventing children from being hit. I must say that with friends, expressing that I think it's flat out wrong and abusive and why seems to be very effective. My experience has been that my friends don't want to hit, know it's wrong but experience pressure from society to experiment with it when things get challenging. Talking this out with them is helpful and "harsh" words can be helpful.

There are many other situations where another approach would be more helpful.
post #112 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
Are you saying that Effective discipline = Abuse? Or that discipline (ie. controling "effectively") is abusive (of another's autonomy)? .......maybe you are hearing me.......
Not sure I am following you. I was being sarcastic (though technically truthful) when I said that spanking equals effective discipline.
post #113 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
I do agree, but I have a much harder time being patient with adults than with children. Especially those who don't see the *logic* of this in the reverse. How does being militant (meaning having a combative character; aggressive) in an approach to forward gentleness (in children) have a prayer of being effective? Thank you for making my point that *modelling* is the way. To both parenting and social change.
I totally agree. (And I too have a harder time being patient with adults, luckily we don't have to let that get the better of us!)
post #114 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
Maybe, I could have read the whole post before responding, but I didn't want to lose my train of thought. MY position is that *punishments* are not *necessary* if the focus is on *underlying needs* rather than altering *behavior*. Not better, not right or wrong. But an alternative paradigm of problem solving the *needs*, rather than changing the "misbehavior". But the communication tools to move beyond fault/blame and right/wrong requires models of a different way to be in relationship with children.
And again, I completely agree.
post #115 of 177
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE][Quote=scubamama]
Are you saying that Effective discipline = Abuse? Or that discipline (ie. controling "effectively") is abusive (of another's autonomy)? .......maybe you are hearing me.......
Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
Not sure I am following you. I was being sarcastic (though technically truthful) when I said that spanking equals effective discipline.
OK, sorry for being dense...in read reading what I think you are saying is that I am supportive of discipline (maybe even punishment) that is controlling in nature and that you and others here are trying to show me that contolling is not necessary. Is that it? I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I want to be clear. (Note - if your comment was intended to be humorous and I just missed the whole point, sorry again to be so dense, I inherited my grandmothers sense of humor, or lack thereof I also find myself becoming paranoid, feeling attacked and looking for jibs and jabs.)

Anyway, if that if what you are suggesting, let me reassure you that I do not support discipline that is designed to control or gain compliance. The basic principles of GD do make sense to me, and not to pat myself on the back, but I think I am doing pretty well at putting principles into action in my own parenting style, and hopefully beyond the boundaries of my immediate family.

I really wish I could step outside of myself and see the me that *you* are seeing. I know I am really infuriating some of you. It has been suggested that perhaps I am trolling, and it has twice been suggested that my comments (thus opinions) are in conflict with the guidelines of the GD forum. I strongly disagree! I am a very principled person, and I respect the intent of this board (if I am understanding it), I would not just make waves. I feel passionately about improving the plight of families in our society, and the parent child relationship as I think that key...thus also about GD or what I like to think of as thoughtful introspective parenting. I agree that I am more tolerant perhaps of mainstream parenting, but not because I don't think it could be better, but rather because "to get there, I have to start from where I am", if that makes any sense, and "where I am" is a place where mainstream parenting is mainstream. I think it critical that I understand the state of things today, and the mindset of things today in order to progress. Further, I think more important than not making mistakes in relationships is that love (and respect) exist in a relationship and I see love at the core of most even mainstream parenting. My parents treated me with absolute love, always, though granted not always with respect and I think that was a great place to start. I am passionate about taking that love base up a level. I am passionate about showing why respect in the parent/child bond is imparitive as a two-way philosophy. I think the message of GD speaks for itself.

Okay, off soapbox again.
post #116 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I guess what I can't reconcile within myself is the fact that most people (generally) have no problem labeling abusive or violent behavior when it relates to strictly adults--- spouse hitting another spouse -- someone shouting racial slurs -- someone punching someone at a bar-- etc.... but I seem to see many justifications when the dynamic changes from an adult committing violent acts on a child (hitting, shaming etc)...

Love does not hurt. Active love does not hurt...if you are hurt, something is wrong. If you are being hurt, something is wrong. Yes, the end of a love hurts, or an arguement may temporarily hurt one's feelings and the like...but active love is not supposed to hurt.

The act of systematically hitting a child (I am not talking the one time regretful loss of control and swat on the butt, though that is wrong too imo)....but the idea that shaming and yelling and hitting your child is an acceptable form of "discipline" without any regret, remorse, desire to change, or exploration of any other method...is abusive and violent in my humble opinion....
I think you make some really good points and paint a powerful argument why my opinion that spanking is not tantamount to abuse needs further exploration (which I am doing!) Before going further in my response, I feel a need to state, that I fear some people will see my comments as trying to “uphold or advocate physical punishment” going against the guidelines of this forum, but that is not my intent. I am in no way communicating a, “Personal preferences for” or “encouragement [for] use of physical punishment” but I do think it necessary to recognize and try to understand if we are to be effective advocates for change, which was the intended point of this thread. I do this wholeheartedly “with the intent to learn more about Gentle Discipline”, and how its cause can be furthered.
Again, let me say a powerful post/concept. I think part of why there are so many justifications for why it is OK, stems from a fundamental disagreement of the nature of children/humanity. I think it safe to say that those of us striving for GD hold the following to be true…
Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Natural Family Living' by Peggy O'Mara, taken from the forum guidelines
Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the “belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.
…whereas I think many, while agreeing that effective discipline is based on loving guidance, disagree about what that means, i.e., loving guidance means effectively disciplining which means curbing “tendencies toward wrongdoing” which means etc, etc. And while I’ve already stated, I think it appropriate to state again so as to be clear, I think many fundamentally disagree that children/humanity is born (or is inherently) good. I think many take VERY SERIOUSLY their role to TEACH their children to be good, and teach them to turn away from their inherent and inborn tendencies toward wrongdoing. I don’t profess to be a Bible expert, and I mean no offense, but the Bible states (Old Testament-KJV) “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”-- Proverbs 13: 24, and while there may be many interpretations and while some may feel it taken out of context, I don’t think it a stretch to say that many people(s) and even generations have taken this message to mean that if you don’t ‘effectively discipline’ your children (i.e., use force as required) than you are contributing to their eternal damnation – a pretty serious offense I would say! While I know the Bible also has portions on beating slaves and so on that mainstream now sees as preposterous, I don’t think they have gotten beyond the idea to effectively parent is it break the hold of our children’s “inborn tendencies toward wrongdoing.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Love does not hurt. Active love does not hurt...if you are hurt, something is wrong. If you are being hurt, something is wrong.
I think this is a beautiful quote and sentiment, but I can’t agree. Sometimes love does hurt. I once had to restrain my screaming flailing PETRIFIED child ( please no flames), so that we could remove a tick from his head. It hurt me so bad! I was crying then and it is bringing tears to my eyes now just thinking about it. We tried every gentle approach we could think of. We let him fall asleep three times before trying, but each time he awoke, and the tick IMO had to come off due to the threat of lyme disease. What resulted was a less than gentle scene, one that I think was very traumatic for him, because I loved him. I “hurt” him for the better good. This scene in no small way parallels why many parents spank. (When my dad spanked, I saw the tears in his eyes!) I think these parents by and large love there child tremendously and take very seriously their responsibility to break the hold of “inborn tendencies toward wrongdoing” and to ‘teach/train’ their children to be virtuous in the best way they know how. (Add to that the angle that some religions add, that failure equates to eternal damnation of your beloved offspring and whaoooooooo, that is heavy!

I’m not saying that it is all based on religion, but I think the idea of “inborn tendencies toward wrongdoing” is a very broad though perhaps unconsciously held core belief. (Even I struggle with fearing that when kids become teenagers, that my role of parent will be forced to being one of “curb[ing] their tendencies.”

I know this is getting really long, but I also think that many see adults and children as having very different limitations regarding concepts of self-control and exercising good judgment. (Assumes adults have learned and children must be trained). That there are different ways to deal with adult and child ‘tendencies gone wrong’. (Adults – legal system, jail, monetary fines and children generally the responsibility of the parent – who needs flexibility and ‘tools’ (i.e., spanking) to fulfill the responsibility) And that we as adults have different responsibilities to our own children, different than all others. (My children, I can’t walk away from, I can’t abandon, all others, I can) Keep in mind that I can not hit your child (though I recognize some exceptions exist) as that would be legally seen as abusive.

I think the idea that spanking is seen as acceptable because children are seen as possessions or second class citizens is a very jaded view. I think the reason that many people and our legal system allows for the option of spanking, it because those people/institutions hold the belief that at the core of a parent/child bond there is love and that the tool of spanking will not be abused (no flames please, read in context) and then goes the extra step of putting in place measures to protect the children from abuse by legally defining. Is it effective? NO! Are the intentions pure? I don’t know, I hope so. But like anything else, medical care, nutrition, education, etc. when the masses put life on auto-pilot, stop thinking critically, and disengage, everything gets goofy and strange habits become engrained and are taken for granted. I don’t think all parents spank in a loving way (though I really do think mine did) but I do think the overwhelming vast majority do so with the intent of making their child a better person, even if that just means “less annoying”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
but the idea that shaming and yelling and hitting your child is an acceptable form of "discipline" without any regret, remorse, …or exploration of any other method
A very VERY sad idea, and one that I hope and believe is not commonly held. I think that again, the assumption is that love is at the core of the parent child bond, and that parents are ACTIVELY working in the best intent of the child and will undoubtedly look for the most effective, least ‘damaging’ method and will feel regret, remorse for recognized mistakes and learn from them. (And sadly, I think that ‘adults’ (in the blanket sense of the word) are being given way to much credit for acting thoughtfully.)
post #117 of 177
ThinkBlu, I'm in the middle of reading your recent posts, and I stopped to post in the suggestiong that you read anything by Alice Miller.

I kinda assume that most around here know about her, but from reading what you wrote, it struck me that you might not, and her writing might help you find what you're looking for.

She has several books out, "The Drama of the Gifted Child" is generally considered her pinnacle work. I'll dig up some links to her articles. Be right back...

ETA:

http://www.naturalchild.org/alice_miller/

And a few other authors:

http://www.naturalchild.org/articles/
post #118 of 177
Okay, I think I really somehow did not make myself clear. So one last try so you all don't think I'm all about tiptoeing around and sucking up to people when I see their kids are hurting. I know not everyone will agree with my pov, I just want to be understood and I don't think I have been.

Here's what I think. I think that parents who are doing things that hurt their children are not doing it because they are cruel and malicious. They are doing it because that is what they have learned from their families and the culture at large, or because they are feeling very pressured to do it, or because they really believe it is what they have to do in order to be a good parent and that to do otherwise is to fail their kids, or because they haven't had access to accurate information about child development or access to information about alternative ways of parenting, or because they are lacking emotional resources and this lack in some way leads them to parenting this way, or any combination of these things, or or or.......

So what I think, really, is that you can't help the child without helping the parent.

I think it might be effective with some people to simply say "you know, I think spanking is violent", and I think it's probably possible to tell whether someone is receptive in this way by talking to them a little. But with a lot of other people that isn't enough, it's just woefully inadequate because it doesn't go far enough in addressing the reasons the parent spanks (or whatever harmful behavior) or the alternatives available and doesn't even go near offering the support any parent needs in order to change. And for many people using certain words shuts down the conversation completely so if I encounter people like this (I have a relative who is like this) I use different words. I do my best to use less inflammatory words that mean the same thing.

I am not talking about standing by doing nothing or pussy-footing around talking in mysterious and subtle ways. I am talking about recognizing that whether or not I think it's the way it should be or the way I'd like it to be, many people do shut down (stop listening) when you phrase things a certain way. I would like to create the chance that they will listen to and hear what I have to say. I would like to facilitate communication. Not give a lecture. If I actually want to help I have to be willing to communicate, to listen and to respond and to say what I'd like them to hear.

Maybe they won't listen if I do this. But I will have tried. And if they aren't a person who will listen when I use words that aren't as inflammatory but mean the same thing, then they aren't someone who would listen even if I did use strong words.

I'm now (after this thread) feeling a little, well, weird for wanting to speak in ways that allow other people to receive what I want them to hear. For wanting to allow them to feel heard, for wanting to understand what they need to change. For wanting to have a dialogue. It's so much more important to me to get at the reasons people do what they do, and to give them (to the extent that I am able) what they need to look at things in a new way and what they need to do things differently. I want to also be an example, both by how I interact with my children and how I interact with most adults.

And I guess if it's a person I don't know, some stranger or passing acquaintance or some parent I see at my child's school but don't know well at all, then I think the issue is better addressed by some social activism than by me attempting to sway the parenting practices of a person I don't have any kind of relationship with. Letters to the editor, magazine articles, newspaper articles, whatever a person or a group can do. And in this venue, by all means grab people's attention with whatever words you can-and offer them alternative ways to meet their needs and meet their kids needs, alternative ways of parenting. I was talking previously about communicating with people whom you know well enough to feel comfortable addressing this topic.

Off to take a break. These threads leave my head spinning and my heart heavy.
post #119 of 177
: What Sledg said
post #120 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
I feel passionately about improving the plight of families in our society, and the parent child relationship as I think that key...thus also about GD or what I like to think of as thoughtful introspective parenting. I agree that I am more tolerant perhaps of mainstream parenting, but not because I don't think it could be better, but rather because "to get there, I have to start from where I am", if that makes any sense, and "where I am" is a place where mainstream parenting is mainstream. I think it critical that I understand the state of things today, and the mindset of things today in order to progress. Further, I think more important than not making mistakes in relationships is that love (and respect) exist in a relationship and I see love at the core of most even mainstream parenting.
I don't think you'll find anyone interested in change who doesn't think that understanding the influences behind people's actions is important. Also, "Meeting people where they're at" is a very common advocacy focus from my experience.

However, I disagree entirely and passionately with the assessment made by a quite few people here that labeling hitting children as abuse or violence is ineffective advocacy.

Furthermore, I do not think using this language conflicts with being thoughtful or gentle.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Abuse and Consequence (Intent of thread restated in post #8)