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Abuse and Consequence (Intent of thread restated in post #8) - Page 3

post #41 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
To somewhat answer your original questions... I think that if someone is offended that we call their hitting of their children abuse, then that's between them and their conscience.
post #42 of 177
Too many questions, but I'll try to respond to the ones I think are the most important.

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?)?

Random or rage-driven verbal or physical actions directed at a child. Verbal or physicalaction that is the result of a parent's inability to control their reactions.

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

I can't answer that question because there are too many variables in situations. As a former social worker in foster care and adoption, I can say that there isn't one set of criteria that works in all circumstances.

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

Well yeah. Of course.

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

Yes. I think the effect is that people come across as holier-than-thou and tunnel-visioned.

I don't spank and I don't advocate spanking. However, I don't see a swat on the rear end as abusive. I think that abuse is about more than just an isolated action. Abuse is a climate. People can spank without being abusers. I think that they could find better parenting tools, but I don't think that every spank is an act of abuse. Once again, there are too many variables to say that something is ALWAYS one thing only.

Namaste!
post #43 of 177
Quote:
To somewhat answer your original questions... I think that if someone is offended that we call their hitting of their children abuse, then that's between them and their conscience.
Well, that's a nice sound bite, but I have been accused of abusing my kids because we are vegetarians, because we are Buddhist, and because we used cloth diapers. If I were offended by these comments, would it be between me and my conscience?

People use the word abuse too lightly.

Not everything that isn't good is abusive.

Namaste!
post #44 of 177
Quote:
If I were offended by these comments, would it be between me and my conscience?
Yes.

I have also experienced this. I am not offended.
post #45 of 177
Quote:
Does that mean that it would be helpful to the cause if more people were really traumatized? I mean, that way those who are suffering from a typical upbringing would comparatively not have been abusive. I guess all the effects I still deal with would just vanish if the average level of abuse went up???
Okay, off to Target's Big Sale and get me some duct tape, wooden yardsticks, extension cords, wire hangers.....did I miss anything?
My kids are gonna be the most gentlest ppl on this earth when I am through with them.

Quote:
In your opinion, what should be the consequence of commiting child abuse?
I guess, from what I have gleaned from pp's, beat the living : out of them and then they'll be non-abusive parents.

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It is not up to me to make someone feel really good about hitting their child....if they feel offended perhaps they shouldn't be committing such an offensive act.
ITA.
post #46 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Well, that's a nice sound bite, but I have been accused of abusing my kids because we are vegetarians, because we are Buddhist, and because we used cloth diapers. If I were offended by these comments, would it be between me and my conscience?

People use the word abuse too lightly.

Not everything that isn't good is abusive.

Namaste!
I agree with that. Ppl do use the word too lightly. I do not think that it is used too lightly when it comes to causing ANY kind of harm to a child intentfully, however.
post #47 of 177
So would unintentionally but repeatedly dropping cigarette ashes on your child be abuse? I mean, if the parent just wasn't thinking about it?

What about those whose intentions are not to harm, but to "teach", or "discipline", to "show love" by hitting?

Are those who believe their actions are helpful to their children not abusers because of their intention? Are their children any less burdened by the consequences of being hit?


What about the moms who kill their babies thinking that they are saving them from God's wrath or something? Did they abuse their kids when they killed them?
post #48 of 177
Quote:
Consentual means that BOTH parties are consenting. I am seriously to believe that say, an 8 year old boy WANTS to have sex with grown men?
I did not say that you needed to believe that. I said that some believe that, and strongly. According to the definition that many have given here they said abuse is "intentionally" inflicting pain on someone else. Therefore by that definition unintentional pain, or something you are doing intentionally but that doesn't cause pain wouldn't be abuse. By that definition a man that believes it is consentual is not abusing. Fortunately there is a law and it clear on this so that no matter what that person's belief is, it is illegal. Just to be clear I don not agree with the definition that abuse is intentionally harming someone else. I think that cuts off whole groups of the abused.

Quote:
"Polpot wasn't all that bad. I mean, he wasn't Hitler or anything. Calling those murdered by Polpot victims of "mass murder" sure lessens the term for those who were murdered under Hitler's regime"
Not sure what you mean on this. Murder is a pretty clear cut law. You have one person who killed another person. Yes there are degrees. There are degrees to everything even abuse under the law. I am not sure how it would lessen the word murder since they both qualify under the actual definition. One was not legally murdering people while the other was illegally doing it. They are both breaking laws.

Quote:
Just because someone's experience of demeaning, demoralizing behavior inflicted on them by their parents doesn't hit your radar, why would you categorically dismiss the experiences that group of people?
I could ask you the same thing. Just because someone's parenting goes against your personal belief why do you feel the need to label the whole group of people as abusive?

Quote:
Why are you or anyone else the judge of what that level of violation is that harms or damages any one person, other than yourself?
Exactly, you are labeling something abusive, how can you judge that. A single person can only have an opinion on it. I am not even debating that spanking is wrong. I am very agianst spanking. I am disagreeing that it is abuse under the definition/law .When the laws/definitions change to include spanking under the title of abuse I will back that.

Is anyone here actively trying to get those laws changed? Is anyone doing anything to stop spanking? I teach a class to parents at risk of abusing. Not everyone can learn better ways to parent on their own. It is a skill some need to be taught. It is a skill most want to learn that they just don't have the resources or knowledge to get it. The one thing they need is understanding. You are trying to teach someone to go against something that they feel is right. Most have not even had the thought that there is another way. How would it benefit these people to call them abusers and belittle them and send CPS/police to their house? Doesn't it make more sense to work with them and teach them a better way? Would it be better to have all children who have been spanked taken from there homes and sent to foster homes.

Quote:
You're assuming a lot. I wouldn't call many parents who spank lazy, selfish, or bullies.
But if you believe spanking is abusive how can you not think those parents are bullies or selfish. That doesn't make sense. I believe those who abuse are selfish and bullies. Why is it easier to call someone abusive than to call them selfish or bullies. That tells me more than anything that the term abusive is losing it's power and becoming just a new label for everything we personally believe is bad.

Quote:
It is not up to me to make someone feel really good about hitting their child....if they feel offended perhaps they shouldn't be committing such an offensive act.
I have seen this argument used many time against extended breastfeeding. So since some are offended. Some believe it is harmful to children. I guess this should also be considered an abusive act.

Quote:
as a former therapist i can assure you that many adults severely abused as children will insist that they were not in fact abused .
That is why I have a problem when people define abuse by saying it is abusive if the person feels they are abused. Some here have defined it that way. I disagree with that definition. Many, many people (children and adults) are being severely abused and do not feel that they are. They feel it is nornal, or they feel that is the way life is meant to be. Do you have any idea what it is like to listen to a 4 year old boy tell you about being raped almost daily and saying it just as a matter of fact not realizing that it is something strange at all.So if the definition of abuse is only if a person feels abused then that little boy would not be abused. I diagree with that.

This is my last post on this. I have no desire to change opinions as I believe everyone is intitled to theirs. Pretty much I think if I continue to post I will just be repeating myself and...well that makes for a pretty boring conversation.
post #49 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
What about the moms who kill their babies thinking that they are saving them from God's wrath or something? Did they abuse their kids when they killed them?
Honestly, someone who did this would have my compassion, because I believe that person would be suffering from mental illness. Just like Andrea Yates. Until you have suffered from something like that (or PPD with auditory hallucinations, like I did), don't be so quick to cast stones at people. Calling someone like that an abuser might make YOU feel better, but it won't address the roots of the problem.

It does not offend me that some people think that we shouldn't be allowed to raise our kids Buddhist because we are condemning them to hell. It does offend me that they are so rude as to say something that inflammatory, no matter how strongly and deeply they hold that opinion. I feel the same way about labeling spankers as abusers.

Namaste!
post #50 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybeedreams
what was the point of this thread? i keep looking for it and i can't find it.

...but still, i'm scratching my head over what the meaning of this thread is other than trolling.
One more attempt...I think using terms such as abuse and violent to describe parenting styles other than GD is extremely offensive to those who choose to parent in other ways (and even to some of us who practice GD parenting!). As an advocate for GD, I think it sad that the GD message is so often presented in a way that comes accross as judgemental, holier-than-thou, extremist and offensive and is thus dismissed by the very audiance which it should be working to 'convert'. I think it safe to say that over 50% of those on this board do see physical punishment as abuse, but I was trying to determine if those same persons could also entertain that presenting the message in that way might do harm to the cause of GD.

I got the following defination for gentle from Merriam Webster Online:
1 a : belonging to a family of high social station b archaic : CHIVALROUS c : HONORABLE, DISTINGUISHED; specifically : of or relating to a gentleman d : KIND, AMIABLE -- used especially in address as a complimentary epithet <gentle reader> e : suited to a person of high social station
2 a : TRACTABLE, DOCILE b : free from harshness, sternness, or violence
3 : SOFT, DELICATE
4 : MODERATE

I think it ironic and unfortunate that people advacating for GENTLE discipline, be so abrasive, harsh, and ungentle in their approach. (and yes, I recognize that is a very offensive thing to say.)
post #51 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by immortal ambition
Not sure what you mean on this. Murder is a pretty clear cut law. You have one person who killed another person. Yes there are degrees. There are degrees to everything even abuse under the law. I am not sure how it would lessen the word murder since they both qualify under the actual definition. One was not legally murdering people while the other was illegally doing it. They are both breaking laws.
Well, except they weren't breaking laws when they were doing it. They had redefined murder in their society to not include the killings of their victims.


Quote:
But if you believe spanking is abusive how can you not think those parents are bullies or selfish. That doesn't make sense. I believe those who abuse are selfish and bullies. Why is it easier to call someone abusive than to call them selfish or bullies. That tells me more than anything that the term abusive is losing it's power and becoming just a new label for everything we personally believe is bad.
I don't understand your reasoning here. I believe that people spank for all sorts of reasons: some because they are bullies, lazy, selfish, yes. Some because they feel they have to in order to raise a "well-behaved" child, because they have a view of children as their property and not as distinct individuals, because their parents spanked them and it's what they know. I think hitting another person, when not necessary for self-defense, is always an abusive and violent act. That doesn't mean that everyone who does is a selfish, lazy bully. And I just can't see how saying so waters down the word "abuse."

Really, it seems to me that people who claim that saying that spanking is not abuse are, themselves, attributing to children a lesser status than adults.
post #52 of 177
And, btw, you're right about this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by immortal ambition
I am disagreeing that it is abuse under the definition/law .When the laws/definitions change to include spanking under the title of abuse I will back that.
I think many of us would argue that the law will never change until people start viewing spanking as abuse.

Quote:
How would it benefit these people to call them abusers and belittle them and send CPS/police to their house? Doesn't it make more sense to work with them and teach them a better way? Would it be better to have all children who have been spanked taken from there homes and sent to foster homes.
Is anyone actually advocating this? I haven't seen it.

Quote:
So if the definition of abuse is only if a person feels abused then that little boy would not be abused. I diagree with that.
I think people are saying that if an act that society doesn't consider abusive is perceived as abusive, then it's abuse. Acts like raping a child are almost universally perceived as abusive (the exception being those who are doing the raping), so the perception test wouldn't really come into the equation.
post #53 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
I think it ironic and unfortunate that people advacating for GENTLE discipline, be so abrasive, harsh, and ungentle in their approach. (and yes, I recognize that is a very offensive thing to say.)
I see your point, but I think you should realize that we aren't all out in the world pointing our fingers at non-GD parents, yelling "ABUSER! ABUSER!" We're on a GD board discussing GD and also discussing the consequences of non-GD parenting. It's natural that we should let out our honest feelings out here in more candid language.
post #54 of 177
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:

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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
post #55 of 177
Quote:
Acts like raping a child are almost universally perceived as abusive (the exception being those who are doing the raping....
This may be neither here nor there, but it is my understanding that a person who rapes another person can understand it is abusive at the same time as they are committing the abusive act. Then again, I may be wrong. But I can see how a person can understand something for what it is yet still want to do it or have difficulty controlling their impulses to. :
post #56 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Calling someone like that an abuser might make YOU feel better, but it won't address the roots of the problem.
Wow! You sure are making some whopping assumptions. I also feel compassion for everyone involved in abusive situations - Andrea Yates and all. Even my abusers. But your or my compassion does not change the fact of what abuse is.

You also don't have a clue about the current or previous state of my mental health. It might make you feel better to villianize me for having no compassion or some such thing, but then you wouldn't know what you were talking about...
post #57 of 177
Just to follow up on the "if you feel abused, then it was abuse" train of thought, I don't buy that at all. I know plenty of people who blame others for things so that they can avoid taking responsibility for themselves, and I think that people absolutely can manufacture victimhood.

I know I did as an angsty teenager.

Namaste!
post #58 of 177
Ok Aira. Sorry if I got ahead of myself.

Namaste!
post #59 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
You also don't have a clue about the current or previous state of my mental health. It might make you feel better to villianize me for having no compassion or some such thing, but then you wouldn't know what you were talking about...
Wow. Using words like 'villianize' for the gentle tone that Dharmamama took with her post is a pretty broad stretch. Sometimes conversations take a funny turn on the internet because you can't see the person you're having the conversation with and it's easier to give out angry responses over a blind web.

For the record, I (and I could be wrong) don't think Dharmamama was villianizing you at all.
post #60 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah
I haven't read all the responses yet, but I want to say that I hate this idea. I think it's very offensive to call someone "a damaged adult"
Hate the idea or not, it's not on shaky ground. If you were really abused as a child, you are a damaged adult, at least until you work it all out.

I am a "damaged adult". I am working on fixing myself, but I'm certainly not afraid of the label. It gives me strength because I've put a name to my issues, and that makes it more beatable and less feared.

Of course, painting with too broad a brush (every child who was ever swatted will be a damaged adult) won't work with this label, but correctly labeling those who were abused as 'damaged adults' is not offensive. After all, they didn't damage themselves.
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