Haven't read all the posts, but I would like to state foremost that I do not believe spanking is the proper or ethical way to parent. But I am still trying to figure out my stance on the questions asked, and will continue reading. I did however want to make a few comments before reading further. This in particular made me think of something:
|I dislike people using the words abuse for everything they disagree with. I have seen people calling parents giving their children candy or soda abusive, I have seen people calling parents putting their children in daycare neglectful, I have seen people calling co-sleeping, extended nursing abusive. No matter what side you parent on (more traditional or more alternative) someone who disagrees with you will think you are abusive.
It reminds me of all the times that I had friends while growing up who were very well taken care of and not IMO "abused" in any way. Their parents absolutely loved them and struggled with raising them in the best way they knew how. Probably all of them spanked at least on occasion. Several of my friends ran away (temporarily) or even called CPS on their own parents for "abusing" them. I recall them telling me of their parents' offense and sympathizing that it was indeed unfair, but secretly thinking to myself "OMG- they called CPS for THAT!?" Meaning, that as spanking has fallen out of favor it has been stigmatized to the point of children turning on their parents for any transgression - be it an isolated swat on the back of the head for sassiness or belt to the rear for breaking a window. As opposed to beating a child out of anger or frustration without having a lesson of some sort involved.
Furthermore, I have been swatted at least a handful of times. I have even been hit with objects other than a hand, and maybe even once or twice far too hard to be considered okay in any circle, but I would never in a million years think of or call my parents former "child-abusers". Naturally, that would be highly offensive to either of them. I'm sure at the time, I seriously considered that it may be abuse, but that's exactly my point. Parents that really do mean well and are inherantly "good" parents run the risk of getting lumped into the category of child-abusers when their own children hear that any spank, any time, is child abuse.
|What would those be? I'm trying to think of an example that would actually help change a rigid person's mind.
I was having a conversation with my BIL the other night. I completely disagree with most of his parenting styles. This includes his choices to spank, use shame to discipline, and embarrass his children in public. But during the conversation, he sincerely got across to me the capacity of his love for his children. He confessed to me that he usually feels like a complete failure as a father, but that the fact that he doesn't have them full-time, coupled with his own upbringing with an abusive father has made parenting a struggle for him. His biggest fear is that his children will grow to believe that he doesn't love them.
IMO, his parenting techniques are no where near to what I
have found to be successful. But I could not think for a second that he is intentionally "abusing" his kids, if in fact the way he treats them could be labeled as such. If it can, then I certainly wouldn't consider his mind - as an abuser - "rigid". Not after this conversation. He is contientious of his parenting flaws, he just doesn't know how to fix them. Before the conversation, I probably would have considered his mind quite rigid. But that's just the thing. I can't have this personal conversation with every supposed child-abuser/spanker in the world, and I will never be given opportunity to come to that kind of conclusion about every single supposed child abuser/spanker in the world.
So what would give me the right to judge?
P.S. I reserve the right to change my opinions at any given time