Spanking vs. violence. - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

You're right, intention is a key factor.  When you hit your child in order to discipline them, your intent IS violent.  You intend to inflict pain.  What you hope for that pain to accomplish (obedience) does not negate the fact that YOUR INTENTION IS TO INFLICT PAIN. 


ITA.  It's a very good point.

 

Does anyone else sort have a physical reaction to these sort of threads?  I have to say I do.  My mom's teaching tool  of choice was a wooden spoon with a sadistic smile burned into it with her hipster 70s woodburning pen.  That little impish grin would always haunt me from the utensil jar, mocking me through meal times...

 

There is more than pain that is intended.  There is a desire to instill a memory of the experience, too.  A physical Pavlovian memory.

 

The question is what sort of memories do we want to fill our children's lives with?  Memories of finger painting, hugs, time-ins, learning, and emotional vulnerability and acceptance, or irrational phobias of wooden cooking utensils?

 

ETA: obviously you can have both.  All the spankings my mom ever doled out did not negate the loving memories we share, but ultimately, the violence contributed equally to my childhood, especially my early childhood.  And I was probably, by my mother's reckoning only spanked a handful of times, but I remember them more vividly (and isn't that the whole point afterall to inflict a memory to avoid future misbehavior?) than I do all the  events of the photo albums put together.  At the end of the day I would still describe my mother as loving, kind and generous, but also unpredictable and a little bit scary. I don't think I want to be that person to my children.

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#62 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 08:14 PM
 
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I do...it was to get me to listen to the word NO and obey the rules...all rules, no matter how arbitrary.   I actually have struggled through most of my recent adulthood to fight the urge to accept no as an answer even when it is not fair or right and to question when people say no, to go back for the yes.  I was a very obedient child...I also learned not to get caught breaking the rules, which taught me to be very sneaky, and a rather adept liar, which is also something I struggle with.  Despite my parents being the minister and sunday school teacher of our church it also taught me to e mistrusting of the church and authority and is a big part of why I am dubious about the whole God thing.

 

Coffeegirl, this  thread has been sort of interesting and it will probably get closed down if there is anything that can be miscontrued as support or advocacy of spanking.  You might consider editting for clarity,  That being said, while I agree that intent is important when determining the sort of violence (intentional and sadistic, versus fear based, versus accidental), I do not agree that the intention behind spanking makes it a better form of teaching my children the values I want them to learn.  I think though therein lies the rub.  A sense of authority (of god or man) and knowing their place is not a value I want to instill in my children or any child in my classroom either.  I want them to feel at all times empowered by their own agency, empowered to question me, or any figure of power in their lives, and to obey community rules out of respect and a desire to belong in positive ways, not fear.  If authority and heirarchy are important values for your family, then there is precious little you can use to instill that other than spanking/shouting/threats/and other forms of passive and physical violence, but I do not believe that is a value I want to pass along to my children, nor would you find me advocating for it.  Children seek boundaries and social acceptance yes, I do not believe any human spirit naturally seeks  to be oppressed. 

 

ETA:  here  are some things that I have found are better than spanking a child...I put a sheild up around the oven door, so that cannot touch it.  My SIL puts a heat proof blanket thing up over the door, so if anyone touches it they will be safe.  You can remove or distract until the child is old enough to reason with.  IME, if the child is too young to reason with, they probably won't understand the spanking thing, either. I guess the main question is; do you want them to respect YOU or your authority?  I always respected my Dad's authority.  I didn't grow up to really respect him until I had my own children and realized how hard a gig this parenting thing really is, and he asked for my forgiveness for being so harsh with us. 

Wow, you eloquently said everything that I have ever felt about the issue.  I am 47 years old and I have an underlying bitterness toward my parents that I've never been able to lay to rest.  I love them, but I despise their actions and have very, very little respect for their methods or beliefs.  I know this sounds harsh, but one of the reasons that I am cynical, agnostic person - with respect to G-d, is that my parents justified their actions through their G-d given authority to do so.  To me, spanking is not about learning or discipline or respect.  It is about humiliation and control.  I spent a good portion of my life rebelling because I felt so oppressed as a child.  Fortunately I found my way but I had to take the long way around to reconcile with everything.  

 

Also, I think it is a red herring / strawman argument to keep bringing up the subject of the "pulling the kid out of the way of the speeding car."  That's not about discipline people, and it's laughable that it is even an argument to be made. (Not directing this to anyone specifically here but there has been a theme in this thread about violence and I think that we first need to define violence before we apply it.)  Someone upthread mentioned the concept that if you had pulled the kid "violently" out of the way of the speeding car and then smacked the kid as a type of discipline for doing the act, it would be a different issue.  I agree.  Someone also mentioned upthread that there is an element of intent to violence, and I also agree.  Generally, a violent act is an act coupled with an intent to harm, whether physical or emotional.  If you intend to inflict pain (whether it be the opposite extremes of sadism vs. teaching a lesson) there is an intent to harm.  I still stand by my previous position that if corporal punishment is used to teach a lesson or discipline,  it is a method of inducing fear.  Humans recoil from pain.  That's why people claim that torture works (even though it has shown over and over that it doesn't).  Humans and animals will do anything to avoid pain.  I personally don't want my child to develop morals and values based on fear of pain.  I want her to do what is right because it is right, not because she will be punished or experience pain.  It is a harder road to take but I'm willing to go there.  I'm sorry, I have very strong opinions about this.
 

 

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#63 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 08:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jezebelle View Post



This is a pretty clear example of the type of situation I am asking for help dealing with.  When someone says something like this--that we should spank in the heat of the moment to illustrate our authority over children--it is very difficult for me to keep my cool.  And it easily turns into an argument and me telling someone they are being violent or abusive...

 



Wow, thaks for both moving my words around to TOTALLY twist my meanings and also for addressing my point of view with absolutely no respect whatsoever. lol. I'm starting to see why you get such strong negative reactions to the way you communicate things IRL.

 

I went back to read your OP and I'm not really understanding what this "situation" is that you need help in dealing with? You need help in understanding why some of your friends react negatively to your insistance that any kind of spanking = violence? If I may be so bold, I think they might be reacting to the lack of respect in how you're saying it. It could be that your tone, IRL, is somewhat dismissive. It might be that you don't listen. I could imagine being upset with someone IRL for any of those reasons. I would not be actively upset with someone just because they believe that any and all corporal punishment = violence. We may disagree, but that alone isn't going to make me angry or make me not like a person. Does that make sense?

 


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#64 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post


I am not against spanking ... "as your parent, I have the authority to discipline you this way"...I think it should be done in the heat of the moment...

 



I did not realize that re-wording this to say "that we should spank in the heat of the moment to illustrate our authority over children" was such a stretch. "" w

 

What I was looking for was help in having conversations with people about spanking (which are usually provoked by my southern relatives trying to convince me that spanking is necessary).  I do listen, as I obviously read over everything you said, though you clearly advocate spanking.  What I am trying to do is understand.  And to be honest, the first poster answered my question, and then a conversation evolved from there.  I understand now that people who spank must be convincing themselves that it is not violent, although it is hitting and hitting is violent.  So in order to have conversations with these people, I should refrain from using indendiary words such as "violent" or "hitting" because it challenges that belief and makes them throw up walls.  This is the one area in which I don't particularly have any respect for the decision, as I mention upthread.  So I am sure that comes out in discussions, and that may also be a factor.  I don't usually get upset when people disagree with me, and I usually don't dismiss their opinions.  It is only when people advocate striking a child (which, by the way, I was pretty certain was prohibited in this forum, and if it's not, I don't belong here) that I tend to get kind of pissy.  Perhaps I should take a breather.  *shrug*

 

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#65 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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FWIW, Coffee, I was still unsure where I stood on the whole corporal punishment thing myself when my first was under 1, too,  despite all my training.  I thought "I was spanked in moderation, and I turned out okay." (not to make any mention in my mind of all those kids I knew who were spanked and did NOT turn out okay, so maybe the spanking was not really a factor in how I turned out, ya know?).  It took me a while to reach the conclusion that my gut instinct was right...spanking is really just so far down on the list of viable options it's not viable.

 

I'm a teacher.  If I had to resort to physical or emotional violence against my students to get them to respect me as an authority figure I'd consider myself a HUGE failure.  How can I consider myself a decent parent if I have to resort to violence?  Ya know? (that is not to say I have never made mistakes, but I own up to them, and I ask forgiveness)  I think when we first start out as parents it is easy to think of ourselves as authoritarians, but as our kids get older and we see them becoming teeny tiny mirrors of ourselves we start to recognize the true power we have.  It is utterly TERRIFYING by the way!  But with that power comes responsibility, and you can choose so many better options.  We are not painted into the boxes created by our communities, our families, our faith systems...we can make up the rules as wel go along and do right by our children without the guidance of psycho-therapists or experts.  Only you are the expert of your child...as your LO grows into a toddler, and child you may find it harder than you think to use spanking even sparingly as method of teaching and guidance.  You may find it a larger priority to protect her spirit than you do protecting your control over her.

 

Just a thought.  Give it time before you form any solid opinions, or latch on to any one guru.

 

editted because the following post clarifies the question I had.


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#66 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 09:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goinggreengirl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post

I really think that the intent needs to be to do violence in order for the act to be violent.

 

 




But, I think that's the point, that hitting to punish your child is violent. And the intent is violent because you want them to remember that pain.

Also, about spanking being how you teach God's authority- I would rather teach my children about the love and forgiveness of God. I want them to know that they can go to Him and me and DH with any problem and we will help them with it, not punish them for making a mistake.


I respect your first point....it makes sense. Our disagreement is only that I, personally, don't see it as being as cut and dried as that. We can split hairs over specific words in the various dictionary definitions of "violence" all night, but I still don't believe that the intent of all spanking is violent. I don't believe that something can be loving and violent all at the same time. I've already said probably more than I should have, and I'm not going to defend spanking anymore because it keeps slipping into almost "advocating" territory, which is against forum rules. If anyone wants to say anything more about it in a way that would require an answer from me re: any kind of defense of spanking, you're welcome to PM or e-mail me. I just don't wanna get banned over this. :o

 

For your second point....I never said that I would spank a child to teach them about God's authority. I said that I was not against certain kinds of spanking under certain circumstances. And that this does not come from me thinking that I'm bigger than my child so might = right, but rather that I am the parent and thus have the authority and responisbility to discipline in a way that I (we, my husband and I) think is best; a way that works. And then I added (speaking of authority...not speaking of spanking) that I believe that a child recognizing their parents' authority is essential in helping them learn how to recognize and respect the authority of God. And IMO, all legitimate authority in the world. (The law, employers, etc.)

 

I also never said that I spank my child or will spank my child. I said that I am not against it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Yeesh....

No, rescuing someone from immediate harm is NOT violence.

Accidentally kicking someone is NOT violence.

Intentionally hitting someone for the purpose of inflicting pain IS violent. If you push someone out of harm's way, violence is a side effect. If you spank to cause pain to theoretically prevent future harm, your purpose is inflicting pain, and possibly preventing future harm is a side effect.

As a side note... I do remember being spanked. Yup, it was memorable. I do remember the pain, the fear, and the shame. I have absolutely no idea WHY I was spanked or what it was supposed to teach me or what it was supposed to get me to do/not do.


I'm sorry that you had those experiences growing up. I really am, I hate thinking of a child being made to feel that way. I was spanked, at times, when I was a child and I DO remember why and I don't remember feeling any lingering shame, anger, resentment, fear, etc., etc. A few others have said the same thing earlier in the thread. I think it's just how it is.....our experiences are different, our families are different and how we use our experiences to help shape what we believe is different.  

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#67 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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FWIW, Coffee, I was still unsure where I stood on the whole corporal punishment thing myself when my first was under 1, too,  despite all my training.  I thought "I was spanked in moderation, and I turned out okay." (not to make any mention in my mind of all those kids I knew who were spanked and did NOT turn out okay, so maybe the spanking was not really a factor in how I turned out, ya know?).  It took me a while to reach the conclusion that my gut instinct was right...spanking is really just so far down on the list of viable options it's not viable.

 

I'm a teacher.  If I had to resort to physical or emotional violence against my students to get them to respect me as an authority figure I'd consider myself a HUGE failure.  How can I consider myself a decent parent if I have to resort to violence?  Ya know? (that is not to say I have never made mistakes, but I own up to them, and I ask forgiveness)  I think when we first start out as parents it is easy to think of ourselves as authoritarians, but as our kids get older and we see them becoming teeny tiny mirrors of ourselves we start to recognize the true power we have.  It is utterly TERRIFYING by the way!  But with that power comes responsibility, and you can choose so many better options.  We are not painted into the boxes created by our communities, our families, our faith systems...we can make up the rules as wel go along and do right by our children without the guidance of psycho-therapists or experts.  Only you are the expert of your child...as your LO grows into a toddler, and child you may find it harder than you think to use spanking even sparingly as method of teaching and guidance.  You may find it a larger priority to protect her spirit than you do protecting your control over her.

 

Just a thought.  Give it time before you form any solid opinions, or latch on to any one guru.

 

Can I just clarify one thing:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post


A spanking (as I define it, it my other post) also has the advantage of being memorable. If I've told my child repeatedly to not touch the stove, ever, because she can't ever know if it's on or off (for instance....this hasn't happened, but I'm just thinking on the fly here) and she keeps doing it, then a whistle or something isn't going to really stick with her, you know? A smack on the behind probably would, if my own childhood is any indication.

 

Your own child is less than 10 months old according to your siggie...no?  Can you clarify what you meant by this, I am sure it's not sounding like what you meant...right?


Thanks for your post. FWIW I like reading your posts....I tend to agree with you on most threads. :)

 

That last part, I'm not sure what you thought I meant when I said "my own childhood"? I was talking about my personal childhood....ie: when *I* was a child; how I was raised. Not about my daughter.
 

 


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#68 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 09:19 PM
 
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Thanks for your post. FWIW I like reading your posts....I tend to agree with you on most threads. :)

 

That last part, I'm not sure what you thought I meant when I said "my own childhood"? I was talking about my personal childhood....ie: when *I* was a child; how I was raised. Not about my daughter.
 

 


My own screen exhaustion dyslexia rears it's ugly head.  Nevermind.,.I editted to delete that part.
 

 


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#69 of 215 Old 06-07-2011, 09:37 PM
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I was spanked, at times, when I was a child and I DO remember why and I don't remember feeling any lingering shame, anger, resentment, fear, etc., etc. A few others have said the same thing earlier in the thread. I think it's just how it is.....our experiences are different, our families are different and how we use our experiences to help shape what we believe is different.  



Same here. I wasn't spanked often, which is probably why I remember what the spankings were for.

 

I was grounded a couple of times as a teenager and I was way angrier about that than about being spanked.

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#70 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 05:57 AM
 
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I'm sorry that you had those experiences growing up. I really am, I hate thinking of a child being made to feel that way. I was spanked, at times, when I was a child and I DO remember why and I don't remember feeling any lingering shame, anger, resentment, fear, etc., etc. A few others have said the same thing earlier in the thread. I think it's just how it is.....our experiences are different, our families are different and how we use our experiences to help shape what we believe is different.  



 

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Same here. I wasn't spanked often, which is probably why I remember what the spankings were for.

 

I was grounded a couple of times as a teenager and I was way angrier about that than about being spanked.



Sure, I am sure there are plenty of people for whom spanking was just a part of childhood and no more or less scarring than any other element of childhood.  I am not sure though that this line of reasoning is valid.  I know a lot of people who have tried crack cocaine and not turned out to be raving junkies in the street, but just tried it and had their fun and it served its purpose and they went on with life.

 

Doesn't mean I'd be okay with my kids trying it in moderation though, ya know?  My point is the results of spanking are so vastly different for each person it is hard to justify the use of it.  Case in point, my sister and I were hit the same growing up.  I remember it as sort of a kind of scary thing that might happen if I misbehaved. My sister has memories of being beaten.  She recalls that she was shamed and scared and abused.  My parents will swear to the day they die that we got the SAME sort of spankings, for the same reasons, and it was done with love and the willingness to guide us towards the right.  It was never meant in hurtful ways and my mother will even attest to the fact that she cried each abnd every time she "had to" spank us.

 

Why does my sister remember it so differently?  I don't know.  But I know my parents wish they could take it back to have a relationship with her.

 

I think that for some people spanking works out fine, but is that a risk you want to take?  Knowing how different and unique each child's spirit is, would you be willing to risk the negative?  I don't think I would.  IME those kids for whom spankings work probably could have been spoken to sternly and firmly and they still would have complied (kids like me, and DS) and those for whom it wouldn't work (for whom it would feel shameful and abusive like my sister, my DH and I am starting to think my DD) ...well why bother?  You'd be far better off with prevention and a careful eye and gradual trust building that escalating techniques of authoritarianism. If you start with spanking and other forms of violence (again, the Ghandian definition of the word) before they can fully verbalize their needs and motivations, how can you tell which kind of kid you have?  KWIM?

 

ETA:  FWIW, 2xy, groundings are, by Ghandi's definition, passive violence and perhaps even more insidious than physical violence.  I would say they are just the teenaged version fo spankings, when you can no longer control your charges with physical violence, you resort to controlling through restricted freedom.  It's a page out of any despotic ruler's handbook. 


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#71 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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Doesn't mean I'd be okay with my kids trying it in moderation though, ya know?  My point is the results of spanking are so vastly different for each person it is hard to justify the use of it.  Case in point, my sister and I were hit the same growing up.  I remember it sort of a kind of scary thing that might happen if I misbehaved. My sister has memories of being beaten.  She recalls that she was shamed and scared and abused.  My parents will swear to the day they die that we got the SAME sort of spankings, for the same reasons, and it was done with love and the willingness to guide us towards the right.  It was never meant in hurtful ways and my mother will even attest to the fact that she cried each abnd every time she "had to" spank us.

 

Why does my sister remember it so differently?  I don't know.  But I know my parents to this day wish they could take it back to have a relationship with her.


What's really bizarre -- my parents claim I was never spanked. I know we were, I have vivid memories and my sister does too. And they truly seem to believe it...

The other point is -- regardless of whether the child remembers the spankings or the reasons they were spanked or nothing at all, I really believe it has deeper, less visible effects, either on the child, on their relationship with their parents, how they relate to other people, etc... in ways that may not even be fully quantifiable. It's just my belief, I haven't researched it because nothing I read will change the fact that I do not want my child being spanked.

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I think you're onto something here. I was recently reading a book called The World Peace Diet which is about veganism, and they talk about how one thing (in this case the practice of dominating and eating other creatures) has far-reaching effects on EVERYTHING else we do. Most importantly how we treat each other (i.e. human beings). So that makes sense that the spanking doesn't only affect the one being spanked. The spank-er also is affected....their self-image, their view of themselves in relation to others, how they feel problems should be/can be solved, etc. And another good point that was raised by another book I'm reading which comes to mind in this argument....(In this case it was a book about history & slavery) they said that when we treat others in a certain demeaning way for our own benefit (again, the particular argument was about slavery and oppression, but I'm drawing an analogy), we then sort of "have to" (for our own sanity) think less of that person or group of people, to justify our actions. It's to relieve the pain and stress caused by the cognitive dissonance, if I'm using the term right.

 

I totally believe that's true. In order to treat someone badly we HAVE to think of them as less-than or "other" (slavery was one situation, wartime is another example...you can think of more) because if we were to think of them as equal to us, WE would then be the bad-guys. So in order to continue to think well of ourselves, we have to adjust how we see the situation. And so I think this applies to the spanking argument too. In order to spank, you have to hold a certain idea about children.....and other power relationships.

 

Once I started to change my attitude as a parent, it changed my attitude toward other people. Same with becoming vegan. It is all inter-connected.

 

Quote:
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The other point is -- regardless of whether the child remembers the spankings or the reasons they were spanked or nothing at all, I really believe it has deeper, less visible effects, either on the child, on their relationship with their parents, how they relate to other people, etc... in ways that may not even be fully quantifiable. It's just my belief, I haven't researched it because nothing I read will change the fact that I do not want my child being spanked.


 

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#73 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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Coffeegirl, this  thread has been sort of interesting and it will probably get closed down if there is anything that can be miscontrued as support or advocacy of spanking. 

 

not anymore, welcome to the new mdc. 

 

You might consider editting for clarity,  That being said, while I agree that intent is important when determining the sort of violence (intentional and sadistic, versus fear based, versus accidental), I do not agree that the intention behind spanking makes it a better form of teaching my children the values I want them to learn.  I think though therein lies the rub.  A sense of authority (of god or man) and knowing their place is not a value I want to instill in my children or any child in my classroom either.  I want them to feel at all times empowered by their own agency, empowered to question me, or any figure of power in their lives, and to obey community rules out of respect and a desire to belong in positive ways, not fear.  If authority and heirarchy are important values for your family, then there is precious little you can use to instill that other than spanking/shouting/threats/and other forms of passive and physical violence, but I do not believe that is a value I want to pass along to my children, nor would you find me advocating for it.  Children seek boundaries and social acceptance yes, I do not believe any human spirit naturally seeks  to be oppressed. 

i do totally agree with you on this. 

 


you're also correct in that not everyone is able to access information re: spanking.  i had a privilege check, yes.  primarily, though, i meant the people here on mdc.  it just totally blows my mind that there are parents on mdc now who are advocating spanking as a method of discipline.  it's just wrong, so wrong that it makes me irrationally angry.  i mean, even if you're pro-violence or whatever, hello ..evidence-based parenting. 

spankers fooling around on mdc KNOW it's wrong.  i KNOW they KNOW it's wrong and every single bit of research points to that. 

if people want to cling to imaginary books or whatever that support their poor parenting skills (and to me that's what spanking is) then, whatever.  aren't there OTHER forums for you guys?  sheesh.

i guess that's what i mean by not caring about converting people.  if someone is on the intraweb, on this particular website, then they obviously have access to the info about why they shouldn't spank.  society in general is a whole different ballgame, and i do absolutely agree with your analysis. 

 

 


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#74 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 06:53 AM
 
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To be clear I never said one's background JUSTIFIES their choices or actions.  I am merely saying that if we can come from a place of understanding and from the big picture, we can lead people to a better set of choices and allow them to see the awe inspiring side of the task rather than the soul crushingly terrifyingly overwhelming fear of the task of keeping a tiny being safe.  Have you ever seen a child hold a pet so tightly in the hopes of keeping it safe they squish it?  Do you blame the child for being too frightened about keeping it safe that they squished the tiny being?  Some people, due to their circumstances and the opportunities afforded them do not realize they are squishing the tiny being to death (not literally, but spiritually), they believe they are keeping it safe. 

 

I do believe that people's experiences shape their decisions, and I have compassion for those whose lives lead them to violence.  However, after growing up relatively poor (on welfare in government subsidized housing) I will take issue with comparing grown adults/parents to a child with a small animal.  There is a reason juveniles are prosecuted differently within the legal framework of many countries.  Let's not do the liberal overreach and infantilize the disadvantaged. 

 

You THINK it has nothing to do with a college education or your friends here...but if you did not have the life you have, if you worked 18 hour shifts at less than minimum wage and came home to an alcoholic abusive husband and you knew your children would be working on the streets by the age of 8...things might be different.  If you grew up to believe in the authority of god and the need to instill that in your children by any means necessary or were surrounded by a community and a church and leaders of your society who told you that it was your duty as a loving parent to keep your child in line and afraid of god and authority and consequences, could we rise above the hardships that in reality we do not have to face and make the same choices we make each day now?  How can we say?   We choose alternatives because we SEE them.  If we do not see them it takes an incredible (one in a million, and you may be that one, far be it from me to say you were not, Gucci) spirit to create the alternative for themselves. 

 

Yes, once again, everyone is a product of their upbringing.  However, even within a single family a pair of siblings may choose very different paths as adults in reaction to the same childhood home and parents.  Assigning excuses for every poor decision robs us of the credit for every good decision as well.  If we were all merely at the mercy of our pasts and environments nothing would ever change.  Where would the breaking point be?

 

Again this is not moral relativism.  No one is saying it morally correct for people to hit their child (okay someone is, just not me :-D).  All I am saying is that if we condemn first, there is no room for growth or education.  And there IS room for growth and education and helping people find better alternatives, around the world that is true and I witness it happening every day.  There is room for social evolution.  But like with all evolution, it is a process.  There are still parts of the world where young women are tied down and their privates are mutilated and their vaginas sewn shut by their own mothers, sisters and aunts (who believe they are protecting them and keeping them safe, BTW).  There are still parts of the world where women have their necks stretched with metal rings and faces and bodies scarred and mutilated from very young ages to protect them from brutalities of other tribes.  There are still parts of the world where rape is considered a valid tool of war.  There are parts of the world where child abuse (not just spanking, whipping, torturous abuse) is a normalized part of everyday life seen on TV as just one of those things that loving albeit scary parents do for the ones they love.  There is no  time for comdemnation and agression if we want to change things in this life time or our children's life time and lead people to the decisions we have come to in our lives.  There is only room for acceptance of undesirable circumstances being what they are and helping people find a better way. 

 

I do agree that empathy is an important skill to utilize when communicating with perpetrators of violence.  When confronted with violence in my own life, I have found forgiveness and compassion to be essential.  On the other hand, the less experience one has with a particular form of violence or bigotry the easier it is to theorize about it.  As a woman of color, I cannot tell you how many times racism has been justified to me as the result of upbringing or lack of education.  If people were not capable of distinguishing right from wrong without a model of courage and morality right in front of them there would still be slavery in America.

 

Not everyone is cut out for that, I know that, but if you were empowered to make that choice, despite your upbringing, it is worth considering that you are in a unique position to guide others towards your decision, and condemning them will only embitter them to your point of view before you have even had the chance to explain the virtues.  It's like an ex-fat person punching me on the shoulder saying "You can do it!  I did it!  Just stop eating all that crap and get to the gym, you lazy greedy cow!"  I'm hardly going to listen to them, am I?  On the other hand if they say "hey, I know where you're coming from, but you are going to feel SO much better when you try this way of life instead...trust me!"  I might at least be willing to listen, ya k  now?

 

But it seems you don't really care if they listen, and that's okay.  if you come a place of abuse in your life, you may just need to be angry at those people who have not made the choices you made.  It's okay to be angry, it is righteous anger; as long as you understand that it's not going to effect change. 

 

You are correct that a person catches more flies with honey than vinegar.  In my daily life I do not yell at strangers who disagree with my point of view.  I do not feel anger in any visceral way towards those who choose violence but rather a deep and profound sadness.  There are so many things that were never modeled for me in my own life that I have chosen as an adult.  I know that change is a choice.  The reason that I may have less patience for poor behavior in adults is because I know that ultimately (at least in most western countries) our lives are happening because of us, not to us.

 

Thank you for all your thoughtful comments.



 


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#75 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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not anymore, welcome to the new mdc. 

 

 

 

Wait....what?  Do forum guidelines even no longer apply?  when did that happen?

 

 

 

 

 

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I do believe that people's experiences shape their decisions, and I have compassion for those whose lives lead them to violence.  However, after growing up relatively poor (on welfare in government subsidized housing) I will take issue with comparing grown adults/parents to a child with a small animal.  There is a reason juveniles are prosecuted differently within the legal framework of many countries.  Let's not do the liberal overreach and infantilize the disadvantaged.  



 

 

Fair point,  I was being a little condescending...I even knew that when I typed it, but I couldn't think of a better analogy. I see that fear in my MIL's eyes when she strikes her granddaughters, or feel she is going to have to (because I won't let her do it in front of me and she is like a caged animal...it's really bizarre), and the only thing I can compare it to is a terrified child. I didn't mean to infantalize people, but to draw a comparison between degrees of fear that can rule a person.

 

 

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Yes, once again, everyone is a product of their upbringing.  However, even within a single family a pair of siblings may choose very different paths as adults in reaction to the same childhood home and parents.  Assigning excuses for every poor decision robs us of the credit for every good decision as well.  If we were all merely at the mercy of our pasts and environments nothing would ever change.  Where would the breaking point be?

 

Well that's what I was trying to say...we aren't ALL at the mercy, some of us are stronger than others, some of us have more wisdom and insight than others, some of us are just plain smarter than others and see better ways of doing things.  But SOME people are not born smart or capable or willing or interested in changing the status quo and I feel like if you CAN see a better way, why not help people who aren't as clever as you were get there, too?

 

 

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I do agree that empathy is an important skill to utilize when communicating with perpetrators of violence.  When confronted with violence in my own life, I have found forgiveness and compassion to be essential.  On the other hand, the less experience one has with a particular form of violence or bigotry the easier it is to theorize about it.  As a woman of color, I cannot tell you how many times racism has been justified to me as the result of upbringing or lack of education.  If people were not capable of distinguishing right from wrong without a model of courage and morality right in front of them there would still be slavery in America.

 

Well except that there have been models of courage and morality throughout history, people who were orn smarter and more capable or who dreamed of a better world and made it happen, but they are hardly the fabric of the masses. It from these sorts of leaders where organizations like the Quakers drew their inspiration and guidance from.  You only need one strong, brave, courageous soul to start a revolution and a few inspired people to follow their lead.  If everyone chose to harbor bitterness against the ignorant and unenlightened masses for not seeing that light that they could not ignore instead of sharing their insights, THEN we would still be living in the dark ages in many ways.

 

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You are correct that a person catches more flies with honey than vinegar.  In my daily life I do not yell at strangers who disagree with my point of view.  I do not feel anger in any visceral way towards those who choose violence but rather a deep and profound sadness.  There are so many things that were never modeled for me in my own life that I have chosen as an adult.  I know that change is a choice.  The reason that I may have less patience for poor behavior in adults is because I know that ultimately (at least in most western countries) our lives are happening because of us, not to us.

 

Mostly I agree that this last part is  true...well about 50% true depending on your socio-economic background, and many many other factors...but I do wholly agree that it is sad that not everyone can see the light.  I think back to grandma who at the age of 15 went on an exchange student program to Germany where she stayed with Nazi family (not too long before WWII).  I read her journal once from that time and the family she stayed with were so matter of fact about their hatred it was hard for her to understand how anyone couldn't see how wrong and unchristian they were behaving.  But they didn't see their nationalism or their bigottry as wrong.  In fact quite the opposite.  It was the definition of being good Germans.   I find patience through understanding.  It helps me to to give up in despair or rage against the proverbial machine.  But as you say, having not been a victimn of oppression in any real ways beyond my gender in  my life time, it makes it much MUCH easier for me to take a zen approach to it all.  I really can appreciate where you're coming from in that respect.  Thank YOU for taking the time to discuss this with me.

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#76 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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I can't say that "you're wrong!" because I don't know for sure. I can tell you that, in my own opinion, linking any and all forms of corporal punishment as being "violent" is remarkably close-minded. Someone slugging someone else in anger is violent. There are also people who, when they hear "spanking", think of all kinds of sadistic forms of abuse and being beaten with belts and whatnot. That would be violent. Making a child go pick a switch so you can beat 'em with it is, IMO, pretty sadistic. A quick slap on the hand or the behind to get a small child's attention for a serious infraction or to prevent a dangerous situation (done, btw, out of love) is simply, IMO, not violence. There is a difference there. If violence = ANY kind of "hitting" then how come books and movies are often called violent, language is FREQUENTLY called violent, etc. There's not just the one definition of what "violence" is. The way I described what *I* think of as spanking (above) is not, IMO, violent. To think so would be, in my mind, willfully close-minded. That's just my take and I'm not making any judgements on you or on your friends there. Some of your friends who spank may indeed be violent people, but there's no one-size-fits all answer to this.
 

 


How does a spanking prevent a dangerous situation from happening? Supervision does that, holding a hand or restraining in some other way does that, but how does spanking do that?
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#77 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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I know a lot of people who "spank the right way" which is apparently not in anger and behind closed doors to "keep their child's dignity" and I still see it as violence. They are commended for how good their kids are and how they all moved out and got married and are now flourishing adults....everyone just thinks they were awesome parents and they give advice all the time about parenting the way they did.

 

All of that being said I was the kid who grew up with their kids and let me tell you it was violent and all of their children were afraid of them. Even though they were completely loving, attached, and seemingly gentle when they weren't "disciplining/punishing"

 

So even the people who supposedly use spanking as a tool "the right way" I think are very wrong...


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#78 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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This. I was spanked according to my mom probably 2-3 times by her for running into our street (my bff lived right across the street and in my excitement I would run to her without looking or the hand of an adult, this was before the age of 4)  and then by my grandma probably 4-5 times for similar safety issues.

I don't advocate spanking.  I have spanked my dd probably 4-5 times and I feel pretty s****y about it, but i'm just a human and tomorrow I will try to do better, y'know?  I feel that way about my mom and grandma for sure.  They did the best they could and honestly my mom is pretty anti-spanking.  Her whole thing is at the younger ages kids don't have enough impulse control to not do dangerous things and if you can give them a reason to stop and think before say running in the street the next time then thats what you have to do.  Do I agree?  I dunno.  Have I spanked dd for that same reason?  Yes, once.  Do I think it worked?  Who friggin knows man.....is that even quantifiable?  I dunno that either, lol.

But I do know I don't remember being spanked AT ALL.  Ever.

But what I do remember is being grounded as a teen and I HATED that and felt very misunderstood and disrespected.  Totally non-violent with very lasting effects.

And I also kinda wish my mom would have been a stricter diciplinarian(sp? lol) I feel like she was waaaaay to loosey goosey.  And she thinks she was pretty strict herself so it's all perception isn't it?

I just don't think there IS a cut and dry answer of this is the best way for every person on the planet just typing that seems sooooo silly.  Ridiculous even.

And I am not pro spanking just to repeat myself.
 

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Same here. I wasn't spanked often, which is probably why I remember what the spankings were for.

 

I was grounded a couple of times as a teenager and I was way angrier about that than about being spanked.



 

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#79 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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This is so interesting to me because my aunt and uncle are these people to a T.  And I have to say I grew up with their kids and they were not really afraid of their parents, quite the opposite actually, very close together all the time and I was together with the too.  They are a very very close family and the kids are both successes and married just like the pp said.  And once again, I am not pro-spanking, but I have to say that just because you see one, ONE, family a certain way does not mean that every family is that certain way. That is just silly.

 

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I know a lot of people who "spank the right way" which is apparently not in anger and behind closed doors to "keep their child's dignity" and I still see it as violence. They are commended for how good their kids are and how they all moved out and got married and are now flourishing adults....everyone just thinks they were awesome parents and they give advice all the time about parenting the way they did.

 

All of that being said I was the kid who grew up with their kids and let me tell you it was violent and all of their children were afraid of them. Even though they were completely loving, attached, and seemingly gentle when they weren't "disciplining/punishing"

 

So even the people who supposedly use spanking as a tool "the right way" I think are very wrong...



 

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#80 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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I did say I know a LOT of people like that


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#81 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I just don't think there IS a cut and dry answer of this is the best way for every person on the planet just typing that seems sooooo silly.  Ridiculous even.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I am for sure not saying that anything is the best way for every person on the planet.  I am saying that physical violence, toward children especially, is unequivocally the worst way for every person on the planet, and that my opinion is that spanking counts as physical violence. Am I going to try to make everyone see it the same way?  No.  Do I wish they would?  Absolutely.

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#82 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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I just think it's kind of self important to assume or believe that what you think is the best or only way would be right for other people....I may hav ideas about what is good or right but I certainly don't believe that I hold the answers for others.

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Agreed. I don't think anyone hitting anyone for any reason is ok especially not an innocent child. Yes children are innocent. Can they be annoying? Sure. Do they deserve to be slapped for "not listening" to an adult demand? No.

 

I worked with alzheimer's patients for years and let me tell you they have a lot in common with kids. Would it be acceptable for spanking your 90 y/o mother for running across the street? How about for kicking me? Throwing a tantrum? Biting someone else? They do dangerous things all the time b/c they don't know any better. Just like a child they need to be told 20 million times. You need to be preventative and on top of them all day long. You need to spend time with them and soothe them when they are upset. Yeah ok maybe an older kid would do something knowingly and on purpose but would you really spank a 10 y/o? Wouldn't you be able to reason with them and teach them a life lesson as oppose to resorting to physical violence?
 

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Quote:

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I am for sure not saying that anything is the best way for every person on the planet.  I am saying that physical violence, toward children especially, is unequivocally the worst way for every person on the planet, and that my opinion is that spanking counts as physical violence. Am I going to try to make everyone see it the same way?  No.  Do I wish they would?  Absolutely.



 

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I did say I know a LOT of people like that



I'm sorry, I did misread your comments.  But after reading it I have to say it still strikes me as preposterous.  I know thats inflamatory but I can't think of a better way to say it.  I mean are you contending that you knew a whole bunch of families growing up and they all acted, in this regard, the same way and in this regard got the same result of children being secretly afraid of their parents but in spite of their abusive upbringing went on to all become success stories?  That just seems so unlikely....

 

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#85 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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I agree that spanking a 10 year old would be a far less desirable an action to talking and reasoning.

And I, also have spent a lot of time with Alzheimer's patients.  My experience was as a child volunteering at the nursing home my mom worked at.  I do remember the nurses sternly grabbing patients hands to get their attention in the same way my grandmother would sternly grab my arm and sink a little bit of nail into my flesh to get my attention.  Is that violent? 

 

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Agreed. I don't think anyone hitting anyone for any reason is ok especially not an innocent child. Yes children are innocent. Can they be annoying? Sure. Do they deserve to be slapped for "not listening" to an adult demand? No.

 

I worked with alzheimer's patients for years and let me tell you they have a lot in common with kids. Would it be acceptable for spanking your 90 y/o mother for running across the street? How about for kicking me? Throwing a tantrum? Biting someone else? They do dangerous things all the time b/c they don't know any better. Just like a child they need to be told 20 million times. You need to be preventative and on top of them all day long. You need to spend time with them and soothe them when they are upset. Yeah ok maybe an older kid would do something knowingly and on purpose but would you really spank a 10 y/o? Wouldn't you be able to reason with them and teach them a life lesson as oppose to resorting to physical violence?
 



 



 

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I'm sorry, I did misread your comments.  But after reading it I have to say it still strikes me as preposterous.  I know thats inflamatory but I can't think of a better way to say it.  I mean are you contending that you knew a whole bunch of families growing up and they all acted, in this regard, the same way and in this regard got the same result of children being secretly afraid of their parents but in spite of their abusive upbringing went on to all become success stories?  That just seems so unlikely....

 


I don't want to speak for this poster, but I certainly grew up with several families that utilized spanking, my own being one of them.  And yes, they all resulted in scared children, quite possibly because that is usually the point of spanking.  It's classic negative reinforcement, and it creates an environment in which children do not act out (or, more likely, hide their misbehaviors) because they are scared of being struck.  If they weren't scared of it, it wouldn't "work."
 

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I was spanked according to my mom probably 2-3 times ....this was before the age of 4...

But I do know I don't remember being spanked AT ALL.  Ever.

But what I do remember is being grounded as a teen and I HATED that and felt very misunderstood and disrespected.  Totally non-violent with very lasting effects.

 


And after re-reading this, it seems obvious to me that you remember the grounding in your teen years but not the spankings in your childhood because the childhood years were likely about a decade earlier, and most people don't remember a lot from when they were toddlers.  This does not mean that you were not profoundly negatively affected by the spankings you received, whether you realized it or not.  It's quite likely that the reason you have resorted to spanking your daughter even though you seem to not be a fan of it is because you were spanked as a child.

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 if someone is on the intraweb, on this particular website, then they obviously have access to the info about why they shouldn't spank. 

 



FWIW, I've chosen not to spank (with my younger three, although I did spank ds1 a few times), because it just doesn't feel right to me at this point in my life. However, over my years at MDC, I've checked out links I've been given on this topic several times. Every one of those links was given to me with the assertion that "this clearly demonstrates what's wrong with spanking"...and not one of those links did that. Not one. Every one of them started off with something about the negative impact of spanking, indicated that the referenced research would explain this...and then proceeded to describe research on children who were beaten. I was spanked a few times. I had friends who were beaten. They're not the same thing.

 

If there's research out there that really does show these effects from spanking, I'd be interested in reading it. But, the last time I asked (several years ago), the poster I asked snottily dismissed me with some variation on "those links were posted upthread, and you could read them if you really wanted to"...which I had. They didn't say what people were claiming they said.


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#88 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jezebelle View Post


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I don't want to speak for this poster, but I certainly grew up with several families that utilized spanking, my own being one of them.  And yes, they all resulted in scared children, quite possibly because that is usually the point of spanking.  It's classic negative reinforcement, and it creates an environment in which children do not act out (or, more likely, hide their misbehaviors) because they are scared of being struck.  If they weren't scared of it, it wouldn't "work."
 

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And after re-reading this, it seems obvious to me that you remember the grounding in your teen years but not the spankings in your childhood because the childhood years were likely about a decade earlier, and most people don't remember a lot from when they were toddlers.  This does not mean that you were not profoundly negatively affected by the spankings you received, whether you realized it or not.  It's quite likely that the reason you have resorted to spanking your daughter even though you seem to not be a fan of it is because you were spanked as a child.



Hey man, I am in no way arguing with that at all.  I want to make it clear I am not in favor of spanking nor do I feel I have any answers on this subject.

But I do want to say that I do not feel spanking was a theme in my childhood AT ALL.  I don't remember it, it was not used past the age of 3/4 and my mom is not a fan and I doubt she spanked my little brother at all 10 years down the line when he was a toddler.

I truely hope that my daughter does not see spanking as a theme in her life when she is my age, I have vowed to her never to use the s word as a threat and also never to do the deed again once I realized I really really did not want to do it.  But it took me a little while to come to my own true feelings about it and by that time I had already spanked her.

 

 

 

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#89 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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This is very intriguing to me.  I guess it makes me wonder how I can undo the damage I have already done by already having spanked dd?

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I think you're onto something here. I was recently reading a book called The World Peace Diet which is about veganism, and they talk about how one thing (in this case the practice of dominating and eating other creatures) has far-reaching effects on EVERYTHING else we do. Most importantly how we treat each other (i.e. human beings). So that makes sense that the spanking doesn't only affect the one being spanked. The spank-er also is affected....their self-image, their view of themselves in relation to others, how they feel problems should be/can be solved, etc. And another good point that was raised by another book I'm reading which comes to mind in this argument....(In this case it was a book about history & slavery) they said that when we treat others in a certain demeaning way for our own benefit (again, the particular argument was about slavery and oppression, but I'm drawing an analogy), we then sort of "have to" (for our own sanity) think less of that person or group of people, to justify our actions. It's to relieve the pain and stress caused by the cognitive dissonance, if I'm using the term right.

 

I totally believe that's true. In order to treat someone badly we HAVE to think of them as less-than or "other" (slavery was one situation, wartime is another example...you can think of more) because if we were to think of them as equal to us, WE would then be the bad-guys. So in order to continue to think well of ourselves, we have to adjust how we see the situation. And so I think this applies to the spanking argument too. In order to spank, you have to hold a certain idea about children.....and other power relationships.

 

Once I started to change my attitude as a parent, it changed my attitude toward other people. Same with becoming vegan. It is all inter-connected.

 



 



 

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#90 of 215 Old 06-08-2011, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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FWIW, I've chosen not to spank (with my younger three, although I did spank ds1 a few times), because it just doesn't feel right to me at this point in my life. However, over my years at MDC, I've checked out links I've been given on this topic several times. Every one of those links was given to me with the assertion that "this clearly demonstrates what's wrong with spanking"...and not one of those links did that. Not one. Every one of them started off with something about the negative impact of spanking, indicated that the referenced research would explain this...and then proceeded to describe research on children who were beaten. I was spanked a few times. I had friends who were beaten. They're not the same thing.

 

If there's research out there that really does show these effects from spanking, I'd be interested in reading it. But, the last time I asked (several years ago), the poster I asked snottily dismissed me with some variation on "those links were posted upthread, and you could read them if you really wanted to"...which I had. They didn't say what people were claiming they said.



Okay, this link asserts that the more a child is spanked, the lower their IQ.

And this one asserts that the more often or severely a child is spanked or beaten, the more likely they are to experience depression and anxiety, immediately following the spanking and after.

From this link, which illustrates that spanked children are more likely to be bullies:

 

Quote:

Taylor and colleagues asked about 2,500 mothers how often they had spanked their 3-year-old child in the past month. Nearly half of the moms said they had not spanked their child during the previous month, 27.9% said they spanked their 3-year-old once or twice within the last month, and 26.5% percent said they spanked their child more than twice in the past month.

 

Most of Murray Straus's work observes corporal punishment in an array of severity and frequency, and they all come to the same conclusions:  spanking has negative effects, and beatings have worse ones.  This may not be enough to "clearly demonstrate what is wrong with spanking" to you, but to me, anything that has been shown to simultaneously run the risk of decreasing my child's IQ and increasing his/her risks of becoming a bully, becoming antisocial, experiencing depression and/or anxiety, having unprotected sex, participating in domestic violence later in life, and becoming more aggressive overall is observably inappropriate at the least and absolutely idiotic at worst.

 

 

 

 

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