Is spanking a regional thing? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-04-2012, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I moved from New York City recently and have noticed that where I live now, I don't see people hitting or yelling at kids in public anymore. When I lived in NY, that sort of thing was obvious any time you were out somewhere where there were adults with kids.

 

So, are you exposed to public "discipline" where you are?

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Old 06-04-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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i live in SC and there is lots of spanking(usually a smack on the bottom), arm-yanking and dragging, and yelling/threatening in public.

 

edited for uncomfortable content:

 

the people i see behaving this way seem to speak and carry themselves a certain way in which the more gentle parents do not.

 

i am aware that some families seem perfect in public but have abused children at home. i was a perfect child in public and my mom always got comments about what a nice child i was...but it came at a terrible price.

 

is that better?


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Old 06-04-2012, 07:41 AM
 
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i live in SC and there is lots of spanking(usually a smack on the bottom), arm-yanking and dragging, and yelling/threatening in public. very typical white-trash parenting. (and it usually is a certain "class" of people who behave this way).


the phrasing of your post makes me very uncomfortable. 


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Old 06-04-2012, 07:52 AM
 
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I hear a lot of harsh threats to kids (that if followed through with would be extreme abuse) here in KY in the city at stores like walmart, at the park more often hear parents talk through things with kids in a rather pushover way, and among many of my friends they take the kids somewhere private for verbal correction and sometimes spankings (shaming to kids and rude to those around you to do any of that in public). In public I get so flustered with my kids' behavior I'm redirecting them and snapping at them to behave constantly and often have to resort to telling my oldest he's about to lose priviledges like computer time. I do try to keep that stuff to a low voice near his ear so everyone else doesn't have to be bothered by it.

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:31 AM
 
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No, I don't think spanking is a regional thing or even a class thing. Some parents believe in it, in spite of masses of evidence that it is counter-productive, and some parents are so stressed out that they do it even though they do not believe in it. There may be regional or class variation in who spanks or threatens a child in public.

 

I would not have predicted that you'd see lots of public spanking in New York. To me that just goes to show that it's not a regional thing. 

 

I absolutely believe in talking through things "in a pushover way." Parenting isn't only about securing instant compliance. Of course, it's usually just me and my one kid, so it's pretty smooth sailing with no threats or bad vibes. On the happy occasions that we've been out with other children, since they aren't siblings there isn't so much stress. In fact, since I wanted to have more kids, I really enjoy being out with my son and a younger friend or two.

 

Most of the time when I see other parents with kids in public, I don't hear threats or see a lot of awful behavior. I did hear one mom tell her three-year-old that she was going to ask a policeman to arrest him if he didn't shape up, once a few years ago. I came and sat with them and helped a little! Poor lady. 


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Old 06-04-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Impromptu View Post

 

So, are you exposed to public "discipline" where you are?

 

Not often but when I do, it is being doled out by adults that appear to have a lot of challenges.  It makes me very sad to see it.  I often feel that if they behave like that in public, what do they do when they don't have an audience?


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Old 06-04-2012, 10:02 AM
 
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I grew up in the NYC metro area, and I saw behavior ranging from what can be corporal punishment to what should be called physical abuse on a daily basis.  You're bound to see all kinds of things, what with millions upon millions of people all attempting to occupy a fairly small geographic area. 

I see less of it here in Central Texas.  My assumption has been that where I come from, there are hundreds upon hundreds of very old cultures that are traditionally and remain perfectly at peace with corporal punishment of children, whereas in Texas there are fewer (but just as old) cultures represented, and so less chance to encounter a person who still believes in corporal punishment, in public no less. 


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Old 06-04-2012, 11:04 AM
 
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It looks like it will not be a problem on this thread, but I wanted to remind everyone that MDC is anti-physical punishment for children.  We can discuss regional or area differences in it's application, but no *promotion* or acceptance with be tolerated.  TIA!

 

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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

 

Not often but when I do, it is being doled out by adults that appear to have a lot of challenges.  It makes me very sad to see it.  I often feel that if they behave like that in public, what do they do when they don't have an audience?

 

It really depends on the larger environment.  I would only guess the situation is worse at home if the parents, themselves, or the lareger community is anti-physical punishment.  For many people who spank in public they have *no* feeling that what they are doing is wrong--- in their minds they are simply parenting their children so there would be no reason to hide that behavior.  If they feel guilty about the spanking I think they are more likely to be more "liberal" with it's application when there is no audience.  On the other side, there are probably people who feel guilted into spanking or punishing harshly in public because they feel looked down upon for not keeping their children "in line."  There have been many reports on MDC (and IRL) where people have overheard others saying something like, "That kid needs a smack" or the like--- some people may feel compelled to be harsher in public than they would be in private.


 

 

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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Not often but when I do, it is being doled out by adults that appear to have a lot of challenges.  It makes me very sad to see it.  I often feel that if they behave like that in public, what do they do when they don't have an audience?

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).


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Old 06-04-2012, 11:23 AM
 
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On the other side, there are probably people who feel guilted into spanking or punishing harshly in public because they feel looked down upon for not keeping their children "in line."  There have been many reports on MDC (and IRL) where people have overheard others saying something like, "That kid needs a smack" or the like--- some people may feel compelled to be harsher in public than they would be in private.

 

I do better these days, but when ds1 was little, I was much harsher with him in public than in private. I did way more yelling, threatening (doubly ridiculous, as the threats were all things I'd never have actually done) and arm-grabbing type stuff in public. It wasn't so much a guilt thing, though - I was simply under way too much pressure, and that was magnified in public (shopping, really). It would be getting late, and I'd had a long day, and was exhausted and frequently ill, and still had to walk home (often in the pouring rain - we do live in the Pacific Northwest) and make dinner...and he'd be spinning in circles and almost knocking people over and hiding (OMG - the hiding - I remember how much fun it is as a kid, but it was sooooo frustrating), and just generally being a very boisterous kid. Then, we'd be walking home, and I'd be carrying heavy bags of groceries, and he'd be dawdling along on his short legs, and it took soooo long to get there. The whole exercise was so insanely frustrating. Once we were home, there was still stress, and I was still exhausted and/or sick...but didn't have the same pressures. Looking back, even though he always begged to come with me, I think I should have left him home a lot more often than I did.

 

I've known parents who seem very calm in public, and aren't calm at all in private. I've seen people who are far worse parents in public (like me, most of them are much worse when running errands and stuff - recreational outings weren't bad at all) than in private. And, I've known quite a few who are pretty much the same, no matter where they are.

 

As to the regional element, I do think it exists. I'm sure there are areas where spanking is more socially sanctioned than in others, and that's going to make a difference in people's approach. But, I don't think it's as simple as "parents spank in Area A, but not in Area B". I can't remember the last time I saw a child get hit in public - think it was probably when I was a kid, but maybe when ds1 was little? I definitely haven't seen that in the last 10 years.


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Old 06-04-2012, 11:24 AM
 
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Yes, I think to some degree there are regional trends with corporal punishment. I think that there are people who spank everywhere, but certainly there are regions and demographics that seem to encourage it or to discourage it.

Here is a link to a map that shows which states allow spanking in schools, for instance. There are some exceptions like Idaho, Whyoming, and Colorado, but the vast majority of the states that allow it are in the South.
http://www.reclaimingfutures.org/blog/spanking-home-and-classroom-what’s-right-and-whats-wrong

I lived in Georgia (just outside of Atlanta) when I was in elementary school. Kids were disciplined physically in public, were screamed at in public, and our principal even used a paddle on children in school. He had the thing hanging up in his office. Yuck.

I moved to southern California in the 4th grade and the difference was startling. There was NO physical discipline in school, and I can't remember ever having seen a child spanked in public.. I know my parents were very relieved. They had needed to give specific instruction to our school in Georgia that spanking was not allowed if we misbehaved (not that we ever did).

Same goes here where I live in Western Wa. I think that if a parent spanked in public in my city folks would call the police. And any school official that tried spanking would have a dozen lawsuits before they could blink. I know several people who choose to spank, but I know more who believe in gentle discipline. When I have traveled to other (usually more conservative) areas of the country I have noticed the opposite trend.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Impromptu View Post

I moved from New York City recently and have noticed that where I live now, I don't see people hitting or yelling at kids in public anymore. When I lived in NY, that sort of thing was obvious any time you were out somewhere where there were adults with kids.

 

So, are you exposed to public "discipline" where you are?

 

I recently moved out of NYC as well, only I don't remember ever seeing a child get hit (altho you might have seen me yell at my child during a particularly frustrating afternoon....).

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Old 06-04-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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In the midwestern city where I live, it's not so common to see physical discipline. I do occasionally hear a parent yelling at a child. I really don't buy into the idea that if a parent yells in public, she's a million times worse at home. My experience has been somewhat similar to Storm Bride's, in the sense that being out in public, dealing with transactions, transportation, and so on, while caring for small children, adds stressors into the mix that are pretty much absent in the home setting.

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Old 06-04-2012, 12:24 PM
 
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I've seen it a few times in the locker room but not often, even the threat is very rare to hear.  There are times when people look like they are yanking their kids arms, but kids tend to pull backwards and sometimes a parents arms are full so it isn't a horrible situation where a child is being dragged along by one arm.  I also see parents who are obviously overwhelmed in public but I have also been there so that really doesn't bother me.  In public is where my dd acted out the most and it is where I seemed the most unhinged some days so I don't typically make a negative assumption just because I hear a parent speak sternly or even yell at their child in public.  It isn't the best thing but there is really no way to know if they do it a lot or are just at the end of their rope.

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Old 06-04-2012, 01:57 PM
 
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I do not expect to see people yelling at or spanking their kids in public where I live.

 

I have seen dh's family members tear into each other and harshly discipline their kids at gatherings... so not quite private but not really public either. They aren't typical among the people I know though.
 


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Old 06-04-2012, 04:31 PM
 
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I hear a lot of harsh threats to kids (that if followed through with would be extreme abuse) here in KY in the city at stores like walmart, at the park more often hear parents talk through things with kids in a rather pushover way, and among many of my friends they take the kids somewhere private for verbal correction and sometimes spankings (shaming to kids and rude to those around you to do any of that in public). In public I get so flustered with my kids' behavior I'm redirecting them and snapping at them to behave constantly and often have to resort to telling my oldest he's about to lose priviledges like computer time. I do try to keep that stuff to a low voice near his ear so everyone else doesn't have to be bothered by it.

 

I was also raised that it's more polite to pull your kid off to the side or whisper in their ear or something - more polite for the kid and for the people around.  If I need to correct my daughter or offer her guidance, I also get up to go to her or I call her over to me to chat, in a low voice too.  I don't yell out commands that everyone can hear, unless it's a true safety situation.  I suppose this may be a regional difference from where I grew up, because I don't remember ever seeing my friends get in trouble in front of me or vice versa.  I do remember, "You go in the house right this instant," but the content of the scold or spanking or whatever was always private.

 

But where I live now, there is a lot of public correction - not spanking or yanking so much, but definitely, loud public correction where I get the impression that a parent is first of all trying to communicate to others that they are "dealing with" a situation.  The content ls mostly like "Now don't snatch that from the baby," when the kid is nowhere near the baby, to the very mild and unassertive, "Johnny pleeeeease don't do that," etc.  This is everyone, park, library, everywhere, across different social groups. I don't know how to explain it at all, but it's like the person is talking to you, but they are talking to their kid.  The statements are meant for the bystanders to hear and the kid hearing it is almost a side effect.  It's totally different from the frazzled mom who is just yelling out of frustration.  The harsh threats mostly seem to be in that camp, "You gonna get a smack if you don't stop that."  I don't spank, but I will admit that I have threatened a spanking a few times in a high stress situation.  The one that comes to mind is when my DD kept running off from me on a busy road, and I hissed it through my teeth at her.  I'm not proud of doing that, but I understand why I did it - in high stress situations, we tend to revert to the patterns we grew up with.

 

I feel uncomfortable witnessing the public correction where it seems like everyone else is meant to hear.  I usually feel embarrassed for the parent doing it when I see it, and also flustered and uncomfortable.  Although, I feel more like I get why someone does it in a high stress environment and I am just so confused when I see it happening in what is a more low stress environment.  However, I think it really is the norm here and what is considered polite (this is the norm at most of the playgrounds), so I guess I don't need to feel embarrassed for anyone.

 

As for the main topic - I see butt swatting and head pushing sometimes, usually in high stress environments, and I'm not shocked to see it.  But, I grew up in the south and in a family and church culture where spanking/beating/whupping was the norm.  I'm actually more surprised when I learn that a family doesn't spank at all and hasn't for generations.  Someone has to tell me that they weren't spanked at all growing up before I will assume that is the case.


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Old 06-04-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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I think it can be regional. I am from Virginia and wouldn't be surprised to see spanking in public, as well as any southern state. I now live in northern California and would be shocked to see someone hit their child in public here. If someone did they would probably be a tourist and make a complete spectacle of themself. It wouldn't be a matter of if someone intervened or commented on it, it would be  matter of who got there first.

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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I feel uncomfortable witnessing the public correction where it seems like everyone else is meant to hear.  I usually feel embarrassed for the parent doing it when I see it, and also flustered and uncomfortable.  Although, I feel more like I get why someone does it in a high stress environment and I am just so confused when I see it happening in what is a more low stress environment.

 

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.)


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Old 06-04-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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I live in Arizona, and I don't know anybody who spanks at all.  I have seen a very, very few people who spank in public but so rarely that I am always a bit surprised by it.

 

The only people I see yelling are usually the really, really maxed out and stressed Moms.  They look so frazzled that you feel much sorrier for the mom than the kids.  

 

I saw one woman with about 8 kids in a casino (seriously in a casino) who was so verbally abusive to her kids and whoever's kids were there, that complete strangers finally stepped in.  

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Old 06-05-2012, 09:09 PM
 
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I haven't seen any spanking in public recently, thank goodness (OR & CA), but I do see a lot of parents obviously losing their tempers at their young kids and speaking in a very nasty tone of voice, which makes me sad.  I mean, I completely understand, and lord knows I lose my temper sometimes too...but sometimes the kids are really small and are so taken aback they're almost crying.  I feel like it's a discipline fail all around, and it always makes me resolve to try to keep a better handle on my own temper.
 


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Old 06-06-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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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


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Old 06-06-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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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.


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Old 06-07-2012, 11:48 AM
 
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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?


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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.

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:21 PM
 
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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.


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Old 06-07-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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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.  


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Old 06-07-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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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.


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Old 06-07-2012, 08:31 PM
 
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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!


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Old 06-08-2012, 05:59 PM
 
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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.

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