Originally Posted by Piglet68
I don't think words like "abuse" and "violence" used in the context of different parenting styles is effective. I think it's counterproductive. … There is a huge difference between a loving, giving, nurturing parent who resorts to swatting the child's butt sometimes and someone who systematically destroys the mind and self-image of a child through sheer neglect, emotional unavailability, and physical violence.
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
what if it is productive? What if using the words abuse and violence is just the right motivator for someone...like me? It is a fact that these words are what make it clear to me. These words and this belief are exactly what have helped me stand up for my child against a culture that thinks hitting children is "ok"…. [combining quotes from two posts]…honesty and factually are seldom problematic when it comes with love and good intentions. ...when we advise with love for the parent as well as the child, I think facts are often the way to go.
I’m having a hard time putting my response into print, as I tend to agree…and disagree. Please forgive if response is choppy.
I think you hit on a really key point….love…for the parent and the child. I do however think it different to be in a relationship of mutual love (and hopefully respect) and a casual relationship where you may have love for the other person, but not be in a loving relationship with them, and I think the dynamics are different.
I disagree with your use of the words “facts” and “factually”. What *you* see as factual, *I* do not. But I do see your point and I am willing to entertain that sometimes ‘sanitizing’ a message makes it about as effective as elevator music! I am willing to entertain that there may be times and people for whom using strong vocabulary or delivery may be the most effective method, …..but how do you determine when and whom? And further, is it really required or could a gentle message (delivered with love and best intention) also be effective?
I think that for communication to be effective
, the involved parties either need to be on common ground regarding vocabulary, or the involved individuals need to make a conscious (or unconscious) decision to allow the other some latitude, and even then that ‘offense’ creates ‘noise’. And while these dynamics may be decipherable in a close love relationship, they are not with more casual relationships. An example, earlier in this thread, someone put my opinions into print, and then labeled them as “bullshit”. Despite the fact that I started this thread having made a conscious decision to be open minded, knowing offensive things (IMO) would be said, that little jab shut me down. Though I want to think about the point that she was making, and though I want to reply, every time I make an attempt, my thoughts spiral down to insults and sarcastic jabs. I have actually woken several times in the middle of the night, with some “priceless little insult” that my mind has concocted while I slept. In the end, perhaps the dialogue will be effective, but not efficient and I don’t think any more effective that it would have been had the person been more respectful to *my* needs as the intended (or part of the intended) audience. Did this statement come 'in love', probably not, but even if it had (if it could have), I'm not sure that would have changed it's effect.
IdentityCrisisMama – I’m curious. At the time that these words and beliefs helped to make it clear to you, were you (consciously or not) seeking clarification or was it ‘thrust upon you’ in a way that opened your eyes? Did the words come from a resource that had first gained your respect? Did they initially cause offense, or was it more of an epiphany, i.e, “gee, I never thought of it like that before”?
I do think it comes down to knowing your audience and I think that needs to be very clear. If *you* are in a relationship vs. if *you* have been asked to speak to an audience of willing participants, vs. speaking to an audience of unwilling participants, vs. speaking with someone searching, vs. speaking to a mixed audience such as that on this message board, etc. etc. the dynamics change, but I would argue that a respectful message is always the best, and since different people have different standards of what is respectful, the bar must be held very high. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.
Finally regarding your opinion that it is factual that spanking is abusive…
Your post implies that when a message is delivered with love, and best intentions (and I would add reasonable judgment), that it can be effective even though the delivery may be seen by some to be less than fully effective (perhaps even as abusive, by definition). That is how I feel about spanking, in other words, spanking is not inherently abusive (though granted is also not effective) if it is delivered with love and best intentions and reasonable judgment. And so while in you opinion, to say that ‘spanking is abusive’ is a factual statement, for me it is not, unless you strip the word abusive to mean something like ‘the infliction of physical pain/discomfort’ (by which definition much medical care would also be abusive by definition) and clearly state that so that my mind doesn’t go to all the societal connotations of the meaning of the word abusive. Please note, I am NOT advocating for spanking. My point, while I think you may be correct, I don’t think it worth the chance. I think that if love and intent can make even an ‘offensive’ message palatable and effective, then to keep the love and intent, but remove the ‘offensive’ makes the message (or discipline) even that much more palatable and effective.