Spanking vs. violence. - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-09-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post

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.

I think there are some things that are right and some that are wrong. It's pretty clear to me that it's wrong to stone a woman to death because she had premarrital sex. Rape is wrong. It's wrong for one spouse to hit the other. It's wrong to hit kids.

Some things are just wrong, period. Every one of those things have been socially acceptable actions at some point in the past. That doesn't mean they were "right."

 

eta- I've spanked ds1 a couple of times. It was wrong. It does not make me violent, evil, or horrible. I think I'm a great mom. But I vowed not to do it again, and worked my butt of to get past the societal conditioning that hitting kids is a-ok. There's a difference between making a mistake, and consciously choosing to hit your kid regularly. I wouldn't even say that those parents are bad parents. They are just making a bad choice. It's a choice they are making out of love and concern for their kids, but it doesn't make it right.

 

 


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Old 06-09-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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"By this logic, it was perfectly okay for me to smack dd1 and/or ds2 when I did so. If children are just like adults in this regard, then protecting myself and/or my other children from violence is the priority, right? I don't happen to agree with this, but I also have issues with this line of reasoning. The parent/child relationship is very different from other ones, rigth down to the legal aspects of it." - StormBride

 

First of all, this is simply inapplicable to all countries.  In many places around the world men are allowed to physically punish their wives for 'poor behavior'.  The reasoning behind this cultural norm is that women are subservient to men.  Because they are considered the weaker sex, men are entrusted with the care taking, protecting, and even disciplining of their wives.  In many western countries similar reasoning is applied to children as a way to dehumanize them.  When someone is somehow lesser (less strong, less intelligent, less in control) justifying violence against them becomes easier.

 

I'm not sure what this has to do with my quote. Women don't need men to rear and discipline them. Children do need someone to do that. This dynamic with women is a cultural construct, but children needing to be looked after is biological reality. In any case, I don't get what this has to do with what I was talking about.

 

"If dh is in a nasty mood and taking verbal swipes at me all day (okay - he doesn't, but as an example), let alone physically hitting me, I have every legal right to walk out the door and leave him by himself. If ds2 spends the whole day hitting his sisters, hitting me, etc. I have no legal right to walk out the door. In fact, I could be charged and have him taken from me if I did so!  Children and adults aren't the same, and I'm not legally (or morally) expected to just take it when anybody else beats on me. And, no - that's not to say that I think it's okay to spank. It just means there are differences between dealing with children and dealing with adults. If ds2 were an adult in my life and treating me or my other chldren the way he does, he'd have been gone at least two years ago. I don't think anybody would think that was acceptable, either. So, let's not pretend that the parent/child relationship is just like any other interaction, because it's not." - StormBride

 

Of course the relationships between children and their parents contain nuance not found in any other relationships.  For starters, as minors they cannot leave you if you choose to hit them.  Also, aside from arranged marriage partnership is a choice.  The only choice in the relationship between a child and their parent is that the parent CHOSE to have them.  The child did not make a choice.  If someone feels that it is impossible to raise a child in a method that does not resort to physical violence against them maybe parenthood was not a good decision.  That is not to say that every parent who makes a mistake is a lost cause, just that if one feels that it is truly impossible to raise children without hitting them something is very wrong and I'm betting it isn't the kid.

 

 

That's right. They can't choose to leave me if I hit them. That goes both ways, though. I can't choose to leave them if they hit me. I am raising children without hitting them (except for the above mentioned instances), so I'm not sure what this comment is about, either. And, you're grossly oversimplifying. There are millions of choices in a parent-child relationship. I can choose to AP. I can choose not to. I can choose to homeschool, or public school. I can choose to listen to my chlidren when they try to explain something or shush them and teach them that "children are seen and not heard". My children can choose to listen to me, or not. They can choose to give me a hug goodbye or not. They can choose to punch people, including me, or not. The only difference is that they didn't choose to be born - I chose that for them.

 

So, I'm not hitting ds2. He's hitting me. Every member of this family has had bruises from him. I don't know what to do, and nothing has worked, and yeah - sometimes I think about spanking him. I don't do it.

 

I wasn't talking about "nuances". I was talking about the fact that my child is the only person who can physically abuse me without me having the legal (or moral) right to walk away. If my husband was doing the things ds2 does, almost everybody at MDC would say "leave". If I hit him back, that would be unacceptable to most people (unless it was literally the only way to get him off of me), because I could just walk away. If someone on the street did the things ds2 does, I could hit back, and the cops would call it self defense, and that person would be charged with assault. I can't just walk away when ds2 is hurting me or anyone else. That option doesn't exist. I can't charge him with assault (not that I would want to!). That option doesn't exist. So, yeah - children should have human rights. But, when one is dealing with a child, the rules are all different. That doesn't mean that I should spank ds2. But, it also means that the whole "everyone has the same rights" thing is a red herring in many ways. The situations aren't the same.

 



 


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Old 06-09-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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"But, it also means that the whole "everyone has the same rights" thing is a red herring in many ways. The situations aren't the same." StormBride

 

I agree with you here.  We do not all have the same rights and I am not parenting in a democracy (wink).  My husband may not tell me that I have to eat vegetables, give me a timeout, or ground me.  My example of spousal abuse in countries where women are considered second class citizens was directly aimed at the justifications people have given for hitting children.  The logic is similar (though the situation is different).  Hitting someone because you view their development, protection, and behavior as your responsibility (as some men do in some countries) is UNACCEPTABLE.  The real point I was attempting to make is that I have yet to hear a good justification for hitting a child.  In all 100+ posts not a decent reason has been given yet (and "because I can" is ridiculous).

 

As an aside, I am so sorry to hear about the struggles you are having with your son.  It sounds very trying and frustrating and I am impressed with your commitment to nonviolence in the face of his outbreaks.


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Old 06-09-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

"But, it also means that the whole "everyone has the same rights" thing is a red herring in many ways. The situations aren't the same." StormBride

 

I agree with you here.  We do not all have the same rights and I am not parenting in a democracy (wink).  My husband may not tell me that I have to eat vegetables, give me a timeout, or ground me.  My example of spousal abuse in countries where women are considered second class citizens was directly aimed at the justifications people have given for hitting children.  The logic is similar (though the situation is different).  Hitting someone because you view their development, protection, and behavior as your responsibility (as some men do in some countries) is UNACCEPTABLE.  The real point I was attempting to make is that I have yet to hear a good justification for hitting a child.  In all 100+ posts not a decent reason has been given yet (and "because I can" is ridiculous).

 

As an aside, I am so sorry to hear about the struggles you are having with your son.  It sounds very trying and frustrating and I am impressed with your commitment to nonviolence in the face of his outbreaks.


I don't do as well as I'd like, honestly. I don't hit him...but I definitely end up manhandling him too much. He just doesn't listen - like, at all. We're having him assessed, but we don't get in to see the ped until July...

 


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Old 06-09-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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Well I am sure they had differences within different families...but I know spanking was the punishment...

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Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post



What seems so unlikely to me, and I apologize if it wasn't clear earlier, is that they alllllll did the same thing and allllll got the same result.  I know so many people and not realy any of them did the saaaaame thing and not really any of them got identical results.  Some of them did similar stuff but none of them got identical results.  Seems very unlikely.

 

 



 


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Old 06-09-2011, 03:28 PM
 
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Although technically IDK if they are seeking any mental help and all of them have a strong faith in God which I have personally found to help keep me sane. If you look at my siblings from the outside they seem successful but on the inside they have a lot of issues and are on a lot of meds.


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Old 06-09-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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We have a simple rule in our house: this is a non hitting house. 

 

 

Most people that ever are here, can recite this. Even the 2 year old neighborhood kids that walk in and out. And it's obvious how the simplicity makes everything clear to them. We'll explain when asked, and we've been asked too often if it also means 'no spanking' :(

 

We hit nothing that lives. We don't hit friends. We don't hit siblings. We don't hit parents. We don't hit children. We don't hit cats. We don't hit plants. We don't hit mosquitos (this lie is a little secret that they are being let in on when they're old enough to understand lol). 

 

Not long ago, a friend of DS hit his mom when she came to pick him up and he didn't want to leave. She told me afterward that he was more upset about breaking the house rule than about her feelings, and he voluntarily offered his excuses and asked if he could please come back and play if he promised not to break the rule again. This is a 6 yo who's had many aggression problems, but I choose to believe that the simplicity of our rule actually enables people to understand its non-negotiability.

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Old 06-09-2011, 05:07 PM
 
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First, I should apologize forlast few posts, they were writen quickly and off the cuff without my usual editing before posting...I had a heavy load of cover lessons today and was posting between bells.  Not my usual style.
 

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It was a peer thing, and I knew exactly what was going on. The single most logical thing I could have done would have been to have banned him from hanging out with that particular friend at all, but it's a strategy I don't believe in at all. He was getting something out of that friendship. I never figured out what, and I'm not sure ds1 did, either, and that friendship thankfully died a natural death a couple of years later. He basically didn't want to say "no" to someone, in the context of a very dysfunctional frienship. (This was quite common with this particular young man, and ds1 wasn't the only child who went through this with him, although they were "best friends", so it was a little more severe with him.)

 

So did he resent the grounding or did he actually see it as a relief to not have to be around a bully?  Was there a lesson he learned and was it the lesson you wanted (that mom gets real scared when you disappear and it is not nice to make people we love worry and fret?...or something like that...that is the lesson I'd want my DS to learn)  Did it have the desired long term effect and would you do it again?

 


Excuse me? What made you think I was going to roll my eyes?

 

No nothing you said...just I  have seen a lot of folks make these sort of comments, so...I was being premeptively snarky...It wasn't anything personal, I promise.  I am sorry it offended you.  I didn't mean it that way.

 

Well, I absolutely did prefer being smacked, but they weren't the same thing, in any case. It wasn't about an attempt to shame. Mostly, I think it was about an attempt to get our attention, when everything else had failed.

 

But then according to several folks here that is the point of spanking, too, so what's the difference exactly? The truth is it may not have been intended to shame you, but as you said, it did.  And that is the point many here are trying to make, that intentions are not always relevant to the result.  Just because someone means their discipline to be loving and protective, doesn't make the result less violent if the receiver sees it as violence.  And if I had a kid who liked being spanked, who didn't feel scared or upset by the cosequence, or wanted me to spank them for being bad, I'd be quite concerned to say the least.  Wouldn't you?  Our parents were doing the best they could, which is all we are going to be able to do either, but we can learn from eachother, can't we?
 

Why? It didn't fit their own views of how to handle the situation. And, if they had been of the mind to just gun him down in the street, they would have happily gunned down a huge number of those million disciples, too. That doesn't mean what he did was meaningless, but the success of it had a lot to do with the particular people he used that strategy with, as well.

 

Oh yes, because the British were so well known at the time for being calm and cool and open to non-violent challenges to their rule...HA!  Good one!  The facts will show you that in fact it was his techniques coupled with his connections and social influence and near living martyr status that stopped the brutality of the British and indeed many many thousands of the people in his movement WERE gunned down, beaten, abused and tortured and yet they persevered...because it was THAT important to them. 

 

Of course they'd be better off. That's why I spank him all the time. (Oh, wait - no, I don't. I thnk he'd be better off, but I don't do it, because I don't want him to be better off...or something). That question doesn't even make sense to me, in the context of the fact that I don't spank him. And, maybe it does work, but I will say that after four years of trying to find the need and meet it, I still have no idea what's going on with him, and he can't tell me.

 

See, that was sort of my point.  I don't understand what you are arguing.   I should have just asked you straight out, I apologize.  What are you arguing, here, because it seems like you are arguing that though you do not think it is right to spank your child, if one feels they have to, they should feel okay about it? So.  What exactly is the premise ARE you arguing?  can you clarify for me?

 

FWIW, after four years DS and I were no closer to understanding eachother than a pig and fish are, but it was in those years between 3 and 5 that we finally were able to give him tools and develop our own listening skills. And I think every kid and every soul will learn these skills at different rates...My husband is 40 and he still is learning and we are still learning how and he is a reasonable person, just somewhat jaded by his own upbringing. I have to constantly interpret his moods and decipher what's really going on..."honey, if you are asking me to help you, you are going to need to ask me that....I am not a mind reader, dude!" And I have had 12 years of training and experience with NVC using it in my workplace and in school settings working with kids of all different backgrounds that I have seen it work successfully with...but my own kid? It has taken us 6 long years to get to a point where we can start to hear his real needs, and meet them and we don't always get it right, but each time, we get closer and closer to developing and teaching life long skills of self-awareness and self-control.  I am sure of one thing:  At six he is more self confident and aware than any of his peers (based on what I see in school since I work at the same school and in parties etc) and FAR more self aware and capable at recognizing his own needs than his dad and I were at age 6.  Another thing I know...discussing feelings linked with needs and how to meet them and teaching self awareness skills is more educational than a smack or a screaming match or a locked door.  Life skills, versus pain...It's a no brainer, isn't it?  May take longer for compliance and "good behavior" but so far it seems to be more long lasting.

 

I hit the older child, to get her to let go of her brother's hair, which she did. So, yes - I had two hurt kids, but she also wasn't yanking the crap out of his head, anymore, which was the intent behind hitting the person yanking on my baby's hair. I don't think that instinct has squat to do with a patriarchal dog eat dog world. I think it has a lot to do with the "mama bear" that people on MDC actually refer to quite a bit. As to keeping a closer eye on them...when dd1 pulled his hair, he was in my lap nursing, and she'd been standing beside us for several minutes, talking to me. And, when I hit him, I'd been trying to hold him down, because he was on a rampage and destroying his room and hitting his siblings. There was no way I could have been keeping a closer eye on him, but trying to hold down a flailing 60 pound child who is using every single body part to try to get loose and/or hurt you is a difficult task and I lost track of his head for a minute, while he was trying to claw out my eye. And, it wasn't retribution, as far as I can tell (as I said, i don't actually remember hitting him at all). I believe it was an attempt to get the person who was hurting me the hell off.

 

I have heard and experienced the mama bear instincts thing before.  I get that.  But this almost always refers to being feircly even violently protective of entities outside the family, not against our own cubs, isn't it?  This first instance  is a slightly different description than the one you gave before.  Smacking a child away to release a death grip is very different than retalitory smacking hard across the face, which is what it sounded like you had described before.   This is not comparable to spanking.  When you smacked your boy you were physically opressing his need to say something, weren't you...I mean before the smack, I mean when you were holdng him down...he was mid rage, maybe you had no choice.  That's possible, I'll give you that, having had an out of control toddler in my midst and doing whatever I could to stop it but it doesn't make it any less oppressive simply because your conscious intent did not include willful oppression.  Your body was saying I AM BIGGER THAN YOU DAMMIT!  and subconciously the message was, so don't cross me. The aftermath is evidence that the intention did not shape the result, isn't it?

 

Self-defense is also a different kettle of fish than what we are discussing in this thread, so I am not sure this case applies either, do you think it does?  To be clear  I am not saying we have no insincts to ever inflict violence on anyone, I am merely saying it is not in our genetic make up to hurt our children willfully, and if we consider how far we have come from that instinct, we might also consider the validity of certain tools in the tool belt, as Dauphinette puts it.  As you can see despite not meaning to, despite not being aware of having done it, despite wishing you could take it back, it clearly had a powerful impact on your child and not necessarily the one you wanted (the way your described it earlier he was shocked, apalled, betrayed even.)  If you could go back to that day, it sounds like you would have tried to do things differently because the result (despite all your intentions) was not the one you longed for.  That's what it sounds, like, am I wrong?

 

 

I never said that I don't think women are inherently less violent. I said I don't believe that women are inherently non-violent. That's not the same thing. However, I also disagree that it would have been difficult to socially enslave us if we weren't less violent. Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time, and being less violent doesn't necessarily protect us from pregnancy. Look at how many women have found themselves in relationships that turn physically abusive, once she's already physically limited by pregnancy. While that vulnerabilty may or may not be why the man takes the step of turning physical, it definitely affects the woman's ability to protect herself. Besides all that, even being less violent doesn't mean a person can't or won't fight to protect themselves, so even a "less violent" woman could fight back if she felt she was enslaved.


Again, it is not non-violence at ALL, it is non-violence with our own flesh and blood that I am talking about.  I apologize for not being clear earlier, as I said, I was posting more quickly than I usually like to.  The instinct to smack down our children and keep them at our heels...does that ring true for you?  Do you have that?  Is that a core part of who you are when your infant daughter reaches for the stove, or your toddler says no for the first time, or when your five year old refuses to pick up his room?  I don't think it is.  To be clear, that is what I mean by non-violent, I mean with our own flesh and blood.  I also do not think that men are naturally more violent.  I am sorry as clearly  that came out wrong before.  I do NOT think men are naturally violent with their children, I was saying in matriarchal societies this instinct for violence and opression are not a part of their society (they have men and women as you may have guessed it is merely labelled matriarchal because of the trickle down of power and where that comes from). I think that men in our culture are socialized to be more violent towards their children in general because they should not risk being usurped as the head.  In homes where heirarchy is not valued, you almost never see this instinct for violence.  I am saying we are violent in large part because living in a patriarchal society you HAVE to be to survive.  I say change the system, rather than beat down the natural instincts for love and peace, like my mother who cried as she spanked us and still cries to think of it, or my father who would scream his head off and then take us for ice cream because he felt so badly for making us cry.  There are better ways to build communities.  We don't have to go along with the status quo.  We can teach our children to be exceptional and to question the systems that make up our world. 

 

But we have to start with ourselves.  KWIM?

 


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Old 06-09-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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I actually think by your own earlier reasoning you would think Jesus wasn't non-violent.....remember the whole temple-merchants debacle?  He upturned tables, according to the bible anyway.

You actually said:

"Violence can come in many forms but its main objective is to squelch certain behaviors"  So I would say in the bible this episode was according to your parameters violent.  But I don't look at it that way.  I look at it as righteous anger and totally useful.

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 Jesus was non-violent and his disciples took on his mission after his execution. 

 

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Old 06-09-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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And are all the non-violence promoters on this thread vegans? genuinely  just curious

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Old 06-09-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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And are all the non-violence promoters on this thread vegans? genuinely  just curious


I'm vegetarian, mostly vegan.  Draw your own conclusions.  I have my reasons and they are more complex than what I eat.  Sorry.  :)

 


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Old 06-09-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post

I actually think by your own earlier reasoning you would think Jesus wasn't non-violent.....remember the whole temple-merchants debacle?  He upturned tables, according to the bible anyway.

You actually said:

"Violence can come in many forms but its main objective is to squelch certain behaviors"  So I would say in the bible this episode was according to your parameters violent.  But I don't look at it that way.  I look at it as righteous anger and totally useful.

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A) Mostly Jesus was non-violent in his actions, his teachings (which was what I was dicussing) are entirely non-violent in their messages.  One moment of losing your cool doesn't define your life's work, invalidate your over all message or undermine the whole, does it? 

 

B) You're sort of sweeping over the point.  Jesus was just one example of a person in history who is known for his non-violent TEACHING and PHILOSOPHY.  Ghandi lost his cool too, I'm sure, and I bet M.L.King had a few moments of righteous anger where he tore someone a new pooper...but that's not what they preached because that was not the most effective tool for their objectives of love and peace.  They were human, as are we, but that doesn't make succumbing to violent outbursts okay.

 

Righteous anger is good and can lead to positive action.  It was righteous anger that led Ghandi to lead a peaceful revolution, it was righteous anger that led M.L.King to march and speak out for civil rights, it was righteous anger that led Alice Paul and her ilk to fight for the rights of women.  It is righteous anger that lead the tibetan monks to stand up against the Chinese. 

 

I am not sure what your point is, Daphinette, can you clarify?  Are you saying that spanking is okay if, like Jesus, you lose your cool and need a little violent rage?  Even his discples paint the scene as a moment of total loss of control for the big JC, and it was not one of his better teaching moments, if I recall.  In fact it was one of those moments of, look sorry about that but man I was STEAMED!  But maybe we read different versions.  It was after all a story told by men to men, translated by other men and passed down to other men...who divided into different sects and re-wrote their own versions...so....ya know.


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Old 06-09-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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I am a vegetarian, trying to give up my cheese omlette addiction.  (hence the star where the a should be) orngtongue.gif

 


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Old 06-09-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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I love meat! Eat it everyday!


 Young born-again mama and loving wife peace.gif to DH jammin.gif and SAHP to two crazy girls dust.gifwehomebirth.jpgfly-by-nursing2.gifslinggirl.giffamilybed1.gif and believe gd.giflactivist.gif  signcirc1.gif !

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Old 06-09-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post

I actually think by your own earlier reasoning you would think Jesus wasn't non-violent.....remember the whole temple-merchants debacle?  He upturned tables, according to the bible anyway.

You actually said:

"Violence can come in many forms but its main objective is to squelch certain behaviors"  So I would say in the bible this episode was according to your parameters violent.  But I don't look at it that way.  I look at it as righteous anger and totally useful.

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Upturned tables?  My dad punched a hole in the wall once, but he didn't hit us (at least in that situation).  I threw a pen across the room once, but I didn't hit my associate or boss.  I can be pretty angry in what I represent in my art, but I use art as a medium to express my anger, not other people.  

 

I still stand by my previous position, a position that is quite simple, in my opinion:  people (and children) respond to pain because of fear of pain.  Not because they are learning morals and values or whatever.  Give people a reason to do what is right besides fear of pain.  Again, do you want your child to do what is right because of fear that she'll experience pain, or do you want her to do what is right because it is right?  I don't go on murdering rampages because I fear jail, I refrain from such actions because I know it is wrong.  I've never bought into the idea that punishment is a deterrent.  It may reduce crime to an extent, but it shouldn't be the primary focus.  

 


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Old 06-09-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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And are all the non-violence promoters on this thread vegans? genuinely  just curious


Sorry, I responded to this question earlier but walked away from the computer and thought about it more.  On reconsideration, I think what you are doing here by your genuine curiosity question is asking that non-violence promoters be held to a higher standard.  I.e., if you stand for non-violence, then you sure as h3ll better be picking flies out of your soup so as not to harm them.  

 

I expect people to stand by their present representations of what they believe.  If their standard is not to inflict pain on humans, then I hold them to that.  If their standard is to protect the earth by living out in the wilderness and eating only berries, then I'll hold them to that.  If their environmental standard is to reduce waste, then I'm not going to ask that they venture into the wilderness and eat berries and crap in the woods.  It is not all or nothing.  I have strong ideas about behaviors toward humans.  I have strong ideas about animals  and bugs, but they are not my immediate contacts so I don't spend too much time thinking about their well being (beyond my immediate control).  I wish I could live in the wilderness but that is not practical at this time.  What I can do is put into practice certain things that limit my impact on the earth's resources.  What I can do is limit the impact that my actions have on the things/humans/beings in my immediate control and environment.  That's my present standard.  What's yours?  If you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim, can I hold you to a standard to never sin?  To practice extremes to exhibit your faith and devotion?  

 

Edited to say, Dauphinette, that maybe your question wasn't with regard to the position that I stated above, but I do see a lot of people use the vegan thing as a way to establish an all or nothing standard.  First, veganism is not an established religion.  Many people come to veganism for many different reasons.  If you want to get real serious about purest veganism, you wouldn't even drink the tap water in my town because microscopic organisms are in the drinking water.  My DH has been a practicing vegan for many years but number reason boils down to how he feels physically when he puts certain foods in his body.  He has a pair of leather shoes, so he is not vegan in the respect, but he does try to severely limit the animal products that he consumes.  It has little to do with animal rights or the like.  He's a weirdo and he'll be the first to admit it!  LOL.  Anyway, just a sidebar. 


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Old 06-09-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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I was thinking about this thread earlier, and had a few thoughts. The parents that I know that spank their kids are loving, caring, fun, involved parents. I should say, they appear that way, and just from seeing them with their kids in person, I would be really surprised if they weren't, kwim?

In talking to exdp about discipline, upon hearing that he does not spank, one of the first questions he gets asked is "if you don't spank, what DO you do?" Honestly, exdp isn't the best person for this part of the conversation because his "discipline" (he says he doesn't discipline) is so instictual that it's not possible for him to really articulate it in a way that could be useful for someone else.

 

People who spank seem to do so out of either anger or fear. Not just fear in the immediate sense, but fear about how their kids will "turn out" if they don't spank. It's so socially accepted that spanking is necessary if you don't want unruly brats. Spankers don't do it because they want to, or because it's fun. They seem to be afraid of what will happen if they don't (or because they are angry in the heat of the moment, but this is a little bit different).  It's not necessarily because it's *right* to spank, but because it's less wrong than it would be to let their children run amok. And in their heads, spanking is the only way to keep them from doing that. There are some parents who do admit that gd is possible, but they seem to think that it's too hard, that they couldn't do it, or that it just wouldn't "work" for their kids.

 

Like a pp said upthread, I agree that parents don't want to hurt their kids. I think if people would listen to their hearts and think logically, most would realize that hitting is not the right way to teach children. But it's become so ingrained in our culture that most people don't even give it a second thought.
 

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Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post

And are all the non-violence promoters on this thread vegans? genuinely  just curious


I don't know if I'm one of the non-violence promoters or not, but no I'm not vegan. We used to eat mostly vegan meals, but stopped because of ds2's food sensitivities. At this point, I'm not sure what I think is the healthier way to eat.

But that's besides the point, really. My top concern is human rights. Animal welfare comes somewhere after that. Like CatsCradle said, it's not all or nothing. We do what we can do, we vary in what we consider our top priorities.
 

 


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I sincerely believe that there are a few posters here that are purposefully baiting others and attempting to be less than constructive. 

 

As the original poster, I would like to remind everyone that this thread originated as a request for help addressing spanking questions constructively, and understanding why the word "violence" seems to be so provocative.  If you can't contribute without being incendiary/adding to the conversation, why are you posting?  And if you are one of the ones that seems to be arguing against peaceful means of dealing with children (or in others words, gentle discipline), why are you even in this forum?

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Old 06-09-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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First, I should apologize forlast few posts, they were writen quickly and off the cuff without my usual editing before posting...I had a heavy load of cover lessons today and was posting between bells.  Not my usual style.
 

It was a peer thing, and I knew exactly what was going on. The single most logical thing I could have done would have been to have banned him from hanging out with that particular friend at all, but it's a strategy I don't believe in at all. He was getting something out of that friendship. I never figured out what, and I'm not sure ds1 did, either, and that friendship thankfully died a natural death a couple of years later. He basically didn't want to say "no" to someone, in the context of a very dysfunctional frienship. (This was quite common with this particular young man, and ds1 wasn't the only child who went through this with him, although they were "best friends", so it was a little more severe with him.)

 

So did he resent the grounding or did he actually see it as a relief to not have to be around a bully?  Was there a lesson he learned and was it the lesson you wanted (that mom gets real scared when you disappear and it is not nice to make people we love worry and fret?...or something like that...that is the lesson I'd want my DS to learn)  Did it have the desired long term effect and would you do it again?

 

To the best of my recollection, he didn't resent it or see it as a relief. He still got to spend time with his "friend" during school hours that week, which he did want to do. He didn't resent it, because he knew that he's been inconsiderate and in violation of reasonable rules, set up to keep the whole family running smoothly. In the long term...well, he never did it again, and he's 18 now. We have a pretty good relationship, overall. And, yes - I'd definitely do it again.


Excuse me? What made you think I was going to roll my eyes?

 

No nothing you said...just I  have seen a lot of folks make these sort of comments, so...I was being premeptively snarky...It wasn't anything personal, I promise.  I am sorry it offended you.  I didn't mean it that way.

 

Ah - gotcha. :)

 

Well, I absolutely did prefer being smacked, but they weren't the same thing, in any case. It wasn't about an attempt to shame. Mostly, I think it was about an attempt to get our attention, when everything else had failed.

 

But then according to several folks here that is the point of spanking, too, so what's the difference exactly? The truth is it may not have been intended to shame you, but as you said, it did.  And that is the point many here are trying to make, that intentions are not always relevant to the result.  Just because someone means their discipline to be loving and protective, doesn't make the result less violent if the receiver sees it as violence.  And if I had a kid who liked being spanked, who didn't feel scared or upset by the cosequence, or wanted me to spank them for being bad, I'd be quite concerned to say the least.  Wouldn't you?  Our parents were doing the best they could, which is all we are going to be able to do either, but we can learn from eachother, can't we?
 

Okay - I think I slipped up in communication there. It was the spanking that I was talking about when I said it was mostly an attempt to get our attention, not an attempt to shame. My mom's mom was really big on shaming kids, and mom never did anything with the deliberate attempt to shame us. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "liked" being spanked or wasn't scared or upset. I was scared of mom, just because she spanked us sometimes. I was upset when I got spanked. But, I'd have rather had a spanking any day than feel as if I'd disappointed her. It wasn't about some kind of "I'm such a bad kid - punish me" thing - spankings were just relatively minor, clean and over with quickly. The times that she made me feel as if she was disappointed in me weren't usually about attempts to discipline. It was a communication style that went wrong and didn't work out...and it hurt like hell. I never really received spankings as violence, in the sense you're talking about, which makes this whole discussion...wobbly. If the definition of violence is more about the person on the receiving end, and I perceived the "I'm sooo disappointed in you" vibe as being more damaging, etc. than a spanking, then which was more violent?

 

Why? It didn't fit their own views of how to handle the situation. And, if they had been of the mind to just gun him down in the street, they would have happily gunned down a huge number of those million disciples, too. That doesn't mean what he did was meaningless, but the success of it had a lot to do with the particular people he used that strategy with, as well.

 

Oh yes, because the British were so well known at the time for being calm and cool and open to non-violent challenges to their rule...HA!  Good one!  The facts will show you that in fact it was his techniques coupled with his connections and social influence and near living martyr status that stopped the brutality of the British and indeed many many thousands of the people in his movement WERE gunned down, beaten, abused and tortured and yet they persevered...because it was THAT important to them. 

 

I'll have to read some more about Ghandi, I guess. I haven't read up on him in a long time.

 

Of course they'd be better off. That's why I spank him all the time. (Oh, wait - no, I don't. I thnk he'd be better off, but I don't do it, because I don't want him to be better off...or something). That question doesn't even make sense to me, in the context of the fact that I don't spank him. And, maybe it does work, but I will say that after four years of trying to find the need and meet it, I still have no idea what's going on with him, and he can't tell me.

 

See, that was sort of my point.  I don't understand what you are arguing.   I should have just asked you straight out, I apologize.  What are you arguing, here, because it seems like you are arguing that though you do not think it is right to spank your child, if one feels they have to, they should feel okay about it? So.  What exactly is the premise ARE you arguing?  can you clarify for me?

 

I'm not exactly arguing any premise. I've just been here for six years, seeing one "fact" after another about spanking. Most of them didn't hold true for me or most of the people I knew (and, as I say, in the time and place I grew up, most kids were spanked - not a lot, and not in the "go cut yourself a switch" method, but it was fairly universal). It's very frustrating when things are repeatedly stated as fact, about something I've personally experienced and those statements just aren't the way it was/is. I have no problem with being anti-spanking, but being anti-spanking based on a bunch of flawed assumptions, and then applying those flawed assumptions to all spankers bugs the crap out of me.

 

FWIW, after four years DS and I were no closer to understanding eachother than a pig and fish are, but it was in those years between 3 and 5 that we finally were able to give him tools and develop our own listening skills. And I think every kid and every soul will learn these skills at different rates...My husband is 40 and he still is learning and we are still learning how and he is a reasonable person, just somewhat jaded by his own upbringing. I have to constantly interpret his moods and decipher what's really going on..."honey, if you are asking me to help you, you are going to need to ask me that....I am not a mind reader, dude!" And I have had 12 years of training and experience with NVC using it in my workplace and in school settings working with kids of all different backgrounds that I have seen it work successfully with...but my own kid? It has taken us 6 long years to get to a point where we can start to hear his real needs, and meet them and we don't always get it right, but each time, we get closer and closer to developing and teaching life long skills of self-awareness and self-control.  I am sure of one thing:  At six he is more self confident and aware than any of his peers (based on what I see in school since I work at the same school and in parties etc) and FAR more self aware and capable at recognizing his own needs than his dad and I were at age 6.  Another thing I know...discussing feelings linked with needs and how to meet them and teaching self awareness skills is more educational than a smack or a screaming match or a locked door.  Life skills, versus pain...It's a no brainer, isn't it?  May take longer for compliance and "good behavior" but so far it seems to be more long lasting.

 

Now, see....at six (okay - not quite - he's six next month), ds2 is less self-confident and self aware than ds1 was at age two. (He's possibly even less self-confident than I was (and I was nowhere near as self-confident as ds1) and not even close to being as self-aware as I was. I can't speak for dh or my ex, although my ex can remember taking care of himself and his sister at age six, because his parents had a multi-day opium hangover, so his upbringing issues went way beyond spanking, in any case.) DS1 was able to clearly articulate his needs at age two. And, ds1 was spanked (although not often - spanking was always my last tool in the box, yk?). DS2 has no self control, or very, very little. We discuss feelings and needs and how to meet them and try to teach self-awareness. I've had more discussions about these things with ds2 than with ds1 and dd1 combined. In the meantime, ds2 isn't being hit - but dd1 is. I'm just not so sure any of this is accomplishing anything, and as time goes on, mere compliance and good behaviour starts looking pretty good.

 

I hit the older child, to get her to let go of her brother's hair, which she did. So, yes - I had two hurt kids, but she also wasn't yanking the crap out of his head, anymore, which was the intent behind hitting the person yanking on my baby's hair. I don't think that instinct has squat to do with a patriarchal dog eat dog world. I think it has a lot to do with the "mama bear" that people on MDC actually refer to quite a bit. As to keeping a closer eye on them...when dd1 pulled his hair, he was in my lap nursing, and she'd been standing beside us for several minutes, talking to me. And, when I hit him, I'd been trying to hold him down, because he was on a rampage and destroying his room and hitting his siblings. There was no way I could have been keeping a closer eye on him, but trying to hold down a flailing 60 pound child who is using every single body part to try to get loose and/or hurt you is a difficult task and I lost track of his head for a minute, while he was trying to claw out my eye. And, it wasn't retribution, as far as I can tell (as I said, i don't actually remember hitting him at all). I believe it was an attempt to get the person who was hurting me the hell off.

 

I have heard and experienced the mama bear instincts thing before.  I get that.  But this almost always refers to being feircly even violently protective of entities outside the family, not against our own cubs, isn't it?  This first instance  is a slightly different description than the one you gave before.  Smacking a child away to release a death grip is very different than retalitory smacking hard across the face, which is what it sounded like you had described before.   This is not comparable to spanking. 

 

Maybe not. But, it also wasn't necessary. I could have pulled her off without smacking her. It was sheer reflex in response to ds2 being hurt. (He was under two months old at the time.)

 

When you smacked your boy you were physically opressing his need to say something, weren't you...I mean before the smack, I mean when you were holdng him down...he was mid rage, maybe you had no choice.  That's possible, I'll give you that, having had an out of control toddler in my midst and doing whatever I could to stop it but it doesn't make it any less oppressive simply because your conscious intent did not include willful oppression.  Your body was saying I AM BIGGER THAN YOU DAMMIT!  and subconciously the message was, so don't cross me. The aftermath is evidence that the intention did not shape the result, isn't it?

 

The aftermath isn't evidence of much, imo. He was already on a complete rampage when I held him down. About the only thing that changed as a result of my holding him down is that he would have punched me in the stomach or something, instead of cracking me in the head, if we hadn't been in that position. And, yeah - it was conscious oppression, although I probably would have said "suppression". It was hold him down or have him seriously hurt someone.

 

Self-defense is also a different kettle of fish than what we are discussing in this thread, so I am not sure this case applies either, do you think it does?  To be clear  I am not saying we have no insincts to ever inflict violence on anyone, I am merely saying it is not in our genetic make up to hurt our children willfully, and if we consider how far we have come from that instinct, we might also consider the validity of certain tools in the tool belt, as Dauphinette puts it.  As you can see despite not meaning to, despite not being aware of having done it, despite wishing you could take it back, it clearly had a powerful impact on your child and not necessarily the one you wanted (the way your described it earlier he was shocked, apalled, betrayed even.)  If you could go back to that day, it sounds like you would have tried to do things differently because the result (despite all your intentions) was not the one you longed for.  That's what it sounds, like, am I wrong?

 

I think that an instinct to protect ourselves applies, no matter who is doing the damage. As I said, I didn't even know that I'd hit ds2, until he told me. I have no conscious memory of doing so. It was an instinctive attempt to protect myself from something that was causing me extreme pain. The fact that the cause of my pain was my child wasn't even really on the radar at that point. I was in pain - lots of it - the headache from that encounter lasted almost two full days - and I lashed out at the source.

 

I never said that I don't think women are inherently less violent. I said I don't believe that women are inherently non-violent. That's not the same thing. However, I also disagree that it would have been difficult to socially enslave us if we weren't less violent. Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time, and being less violent doesn't necessarily protect us from pregnancy. Look at how many women have found themselves in relationships that turn physically abusive, once she's already physically limited by pregnancy. While that vulnerabilty may or may not be why the man takes the step of turning physical, it definitely affects the woman's ability to protect herself. Besides all that, even being less violent doesn't mean a person can't or won't fight to protect themselves, so even a "less violent" woman could fight back if she felt she was enslaved.


Again, it is not non-violence at ALL, it is non-violence with our own flesh and blood that I am talking about.  I apologize for not being clear earlier, as I said, I was posting more quickly than I usually like to.  The instinct to smack down our children and keep them at our heels...does that ring true for you?  Do you have that?  Is that a core part of who you are when your infant daughter reaches for the stove, or your toddler says no for the first time, or when your five year old refuses to pick up his room?  I don't think it is.  To be clear, that is what I mean by non-violent, I mean with our own flesh and blood.  I also do not think that men are naturally more violent.  I am sorry as clearly  that came out wrong before.  I do NOT think men are naturally violent with their children, I was saying in matriarchal societies this instinct for violence and opression are not a part of their society (they have men and women as you may have guessed it is merely labelled matriarchal because of the trickle down of power and where that comes from). I think that men in our culture are socialized to be more violent towards their children in general because they should not risk being usurped as the head.  In homes where heirarchy is not valued, you almost never see this instinct for violence.  I am saying we are violent in large part because living in a patriarchal society you HAVE to be to survive.  I say change the system, rather than beat down the natural instincts for love and peace, like my mother who cried as she spanked us and still cries to think of it, or my father who would scream his head off and then take us for ice cream because he felt so badly for making us cry.  There are better ways to build communities.  We don't have to go along with the status quo.  We can teach our children to be exceptional and to question the systems that make up our world. 

 

Hierarchy wasn't valued in our house, but we were still spanked. This is part of what I mean. I see a lot of assertions about what's going on in homes and our culture with respect to spanking, but they just don't match up with what I've seen and experienced, yk?

 

But we have to start with ourselves.  KWIM?


I definitely agree with that much. We have to start everything we do with ourselves.



 


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Old 06-09-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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FTR, I assumed you were being genuinely curious because so many people here have it in their siggies....I am not vegetarian because I care much about animal rights, though the fact that it is quantifiably better for the environment and morally superior is like a little bit of (excuse the pun) gravy. 

 

 

Just kidding,  I really don't think that it's morally superior in anyway, just some people assume that's why I don't eat meat and think I am uppity vigilante veg-head.

 

The truth involves a rather gorey incident in the meat section of an Asian market that most people would rather not hear...can't touch the stuff ever since.  The fact that I feel healthier without it (fewer asthma and allergy issues, more energy, and less odor issues with my feet, sweat and breath) is probably what has kept me off the meat past my initial aversion and what makes me think maybe I should go whole hog (hee hee) into veganism. 


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As the original poster, I would like to remind everyone that this thread originated as a request for help addressing spanking questions constructively, and understanding why the word "violence" seems to be so provocative.



Okay, well for myself. I grew up in a home that was loving, peaceful, and a lot of fun. Mom was a SAHM, and we romped with the dog, went for long, rambling walks, listened to her sing at bedtime (and on walks, sometimes), did all kinds of arts and crafts, baked, made root beer and pickles and various ice cream desserts, and were constantly amazed by her "magic" (she almost always knew when it was going to rain, and just said that the birds told her...which I understand totally now, but thought was pure magic as a child). We read, and played with blocks and stuffies and a whole pile of Fisher-Price toys (the olds ones - my favourite, ironically, was the schoolhouse), and all that good stuff. And, if anything was wrong outside the house - if people were mean, or I fell and skinned my knee, or I was afraid of something, then I had home as a "soft place to land"...a haven and a refuge.

 

When I hear people equate spankings with violence, it puts my back up. I didn't live in a violent home (knew lots of people who did - many of them hung out at my place as teens, because my place was safe and fun and people could just be themselves). It makes me nuts when people blithely assert that I did, because they equate spanking and violence. So, yeah - I think the word "violence" is provocative.


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Old 06-09-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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I think that calling it violent is provocative because violence is such a negative word. People discipline the way they do because they think it's the right thing to do. They don't want to feel like someone is judging them as violent, or mean, or evil. Because they aren't those things (again, I'm talking about typical socially accepted spankings).

 

I'm Wiccan. I don't think anyone would get me to convert, but they CERTAINLY wouldn't get me to convert by telling me that I'm going to hell if I don't, or that Wiccans are bad people.

I eat meat (even though I do think it's more "right" to be vegan). I had a vegan friend who once made some VERY negative comments about my eating cheese. It didn't make me want to stop. It actually had the opposite effect, and my first (irrational) thought was that I was going to start eating more cheese, just to spite her (I didn't, because like I said it was irrational).

When people judge like that, it just makes the other person defensive. They start justifying- to themselves- that what they are doing is ok. It seems to me that it could easily just drive the other person farther away from the place you want them to be.

 

The best way, for me, to approach these situation is by emphasizing that you don't have to spank. I talk about my views on parenting- possibly saying that spanking, at best, causes kids to behave for self centered reasons. I might say that spanking undermines a parent's natural authority. That hitting doesn't help them learn socially acceptable behavior, and right from wrong, any better than it would help them learn math. I focus on teaching them how their actions affect other people- I don't see how spanking them would help with that.


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I think this brings us back to the cognitive dissonance thing.  I am not saying that any home is violent when I say that spanking is violent.  I am a vegetarian, and I happen to personally think meat is repulsive.  I find eating meat gross.  That doesn't mean that I find any household that eats meat gross.  Or any person that eats meat gross.  My husband eats meat, and I certainly don't find him gross.  I find that act gross.  Same thing with many religions; I find them confusing and hypocritical.  That doesn't mean that I find every practitioner to be senseless hypocrites.  So when I say that spanking is violent, and people hear that their loved ones or their homes are violent, that is a disconnect on their end.  And I get that now; I will try to keep that disconnect from happening, though I feel no guilt for having been honest when asked. 

 

No one has yet offered up a strong argument as to why spanking should not be considered violent.  Just "that's my opinion" or "why would it be violent?"  So I am sticking with the cognitive dissonance thing.  I think that people need to justify their actions and don't want to feel like a violent human, because they see violence as negative and spanking as positive.  I don't really understand the logic any better, but I think that's because it's not a logical jump; it's self-preservation because, for whatever reason, they lack the skills/education/desire to change to a different form of discipline.

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Old 06-09-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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Okay - I think I slipped up in communication there. It was the spanking that I was talking about when I said it was mostly an attempt to get our attention, not an attempt to shame. My mom's mom was really big on shaming kids, and mom never did anything with the deliberate attempt to shame us. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "liked" being spanked or wasn't scared or upset. I was scared of mom, just because she spanked us sometimes. I was upset when I got spanked. But, I'd have rather had a spanking any day than feel as if I'd disappointed her. It wasn't about some kind of "I'm such a bad kid - punish me" thing - spankings were just relatively minor, clean and over with quickly. The times that she made me feel as if she was disappointed in me weren't usually about attempts to discipline. It was a communication style that went wrong and didn't work out...and it hurt like hell. I never really received spankings as violence, in the sense you're talking about, which makes this whole discussion...wobbly. If the definition of violence is more about the person on the receiving end, and I perceived the "I'm sooo disappointed in you" vibe as being more damaging, etc. than a spanking, then which was more violent?

 

I don't necessarily think either was more violent than the other.  They were both violent in equal ways but for YOU the result of the shaming was more effective in terms of controlling your behavior.  If you had been a different kid you might have seen the physical as more violent. 

 

We don't have to use the word violent if it has a bad connotation for you.  We can call it controlling, or effective, or manipulative.  None of those sound too good...how would you prefer to describe it?

I'll have to read some more about Ghandi, I guess. I haven't read up on him in a long time.

 

Not a bad idea, he was an interesting person.

 

 

I'm not exactly arguing any premise. I've just been here for six years, seeing one "fact" after another about spanking. Most of them didn't hold true for me or most of the people I knew (and, as I say, in the time and place I grew up, most kids were spanked - not a lot, and not in the "go cut yourself a switch" method, but it was fairly universal). It's very frustrating when things are repeatedly stated as fact, about something I've personally experienced and those statements just aren't the way it was/is. I have no problem with being anti-spanking, but being anti-spanking based on a bunch of flawed assumptions, and then applying those flawed assumptions to all spankers bugs the crap out of me.

 

Okay!  Now I am following you.  I agree with that as well.  I know there aren't many studies that prove spanking is bad.  I don't put much stock in studies anyway.  I know what I know because I know it.

 

Now, see....at six (okay - not quite - he's six next month), ds2 is less self-confident and self aware than ds1 was at age two. (He's possibly even less self-confident than I was (and I was nowhere near as self-confident as ds1) and not even close to being as self-aware as I was. I can't speak for dh or my ex, although my ex can remember taking care of himself and his sister at age six, because his parents had a multi-day opium hangover, so his upbringing issues went way beyond spanking, in any case.) DS1 was able to clearly articulate his needs at age two. And, ds1 was spanked (although not often - spanking was always my last tool in the box, yk?). DS2 has no self control, or very, very little. We discuss feelings and needs and how to meet them and try to teach self-awareness. I've had more discussions about these things with ds2 than with ds1 and dd1 combined. In the meantime, ds2 isn't being hit - but dd1 is. I'm just not so sure any of this is accomplishing anything, and as time goes on, mere compliance and good behaviour starts looking pretty good.

 

Well, I don't mean to sound rude, and I know this might sound condescending, but if you didn't practice it with your other kids and you have only really been practicing it yourself for 4 years, and you are only practicing it with one child, and the other child still occassionally does get spanked, well, I just mean people study these techniques for YEARS and YEARS and are still figuring it out.  It's not a science that can be implemented without flaw.  It takes learning and practice and relearning from the parents' end, and so obviously there is going to be a lag in such a situation.  Couple that with a child who for lack of a better term has a young or challenging spirit and you may have a more long term project on your hand.  How adept are you at applying the NVC techniques on yourself, or your partner?  If you are still struggling with identifying your own feelings and needs (I still do at times and I have been at it for a long time with certified training courses) you probably should expect more bumps in the road, ya know?  I don't mean to sound all "I'm so smart and you're such a noob."  at ALL.  I'm just saying, it takes time and do try to have patience and keep practicing with yourself and your partner and your older kids all the time.  Model in front of the little one, and every chance you get, not just for the negative, but for the positive stuff, too...you seem really happy and relaxed, why is that? (I find identifying positive feelings and connecting them to needs being met lay the ground work for identifying the negative feelings (plus it practices the skill when the body and mind are not stressed).

 

Your first son could be tempered like you or me, one smack and the message is clear, wanting to please (I had friends like you described of your DS, too).  Your DS2 sounds more like my niece.  The more you threaten violence the more aggressive she gets.  You hit her, and she WILL hit you back.  You yell at her and she will rage in your face.  No fear of authority or search for firmer limits...not from any age.  And talking to her about what she wants or needs is a nightmare...no Ruth, you don't need to pinch your sister until she bleeds...that is not the need, that's a feeling, you are feeling really angry and hurt?  and you want her to feel angry too?  No?  Okay...etc etc ad nauseum....aye aye aye!  It could go for hours, and by then the need is we're hungry and tired...can we just go to bed?  My MIL and SIL think hitting and threats and yelling are the answer. I just can't follow the logic that goes...when she is "bad" and we punish her physically, she turns right around and does it again in your face so then we ignore her...and next time (which will probably be tomorrow) we'll do it all again.  I do not think my MIL has ever babysat for my niece and not threatened to or actually smacked her bum...six years later and no improvement.  But when she stays at my house, we just don't have that issue.  She responds better to respect and firm limits.  We don't hit, bite or scratch.  Simple.  And we stay on top of her like white on rice monitoring her every moment...she seems to like that.  She wants you involved and in sight.  It seems to give her sense of security.  She is a sweetheart when you keep her active.  Leave her alone for a minute and all hell breaks loose. 

 

 

Maybe not. But, it also wasn't necessary. I could have pulled her off without smacking her. It was sheer reflex in response to ds2 being hurt. (He was under two months old at the time.)

 

True.  I was going to say as much, but I didn't want to point out the obvious...should have could have would have...we all have been there and wished we could undo something.  That's not the same as choosing it and choosing it again if you could do it all over again.

 

The aftermath isn't evidence of much, imo. He was already on a complete rampage when I held him down. About the only thing that changed as a result of my holding him down is that he would have punched me in the stomach or something, instead of cracking me in the head, if we hadn't been in that position. And, yeah - it was conscious oppression, although I probably would have said "suppression". It was hold him down or have him seriously hurt someone.

 

huh...okay,  You said the after math was him screaming that you had hit him and he was very upset that you had and and he did not understand why.  That's what I meant.  You didn't mean to hit him but he certainly didn't seem to be processing that then...I am sure now things are different and he could understand that given a rational conversation. 

 

 

I think that an instinct to protect ourselves applies, no matter who is doing the damage. As I said, I didn't even know that I'd hit ds2, until he told me. I have no conscious memory of doing so. It was an instinctive attempt to protect myself from something that was causing me extreme pain. The fact that the cause of my pain was my child wasn't even really on the radar at that point. I was in pain - lots of it - the headache from that encounter lasted almost two full days - and I lashed out at the source.

 

I'll give you that.  But I still contend that pushing someone off of you is A) not the same as spanking, not even in the same ballpark, and B) still a violent act that we should do our best to avoid if we have better skills. 

 

Rather than push my DS out of the way when he is a being a PITA and hurting me, I should recognize my own limits sooner and walk away, ask for him to leave me alone, demonstrate my NVC skills, stop the action and say "Mommy has had a long day.  I am tired, hungry and I need some personal space for a little while.  Please hang out with daddy or read a book for ten minutes so I can recharge, and then I promise I will help you/play with you/etc." But often I don't do that and then it is too late I snap...and again, I have been at this for a long time and I still am not an expert. 

 

I

Hierarchy wasn't valued in our house, but we were still spanked. This is part of what I mean. I see a lot of assertions about what's going on in homes and our culture with respect to spanking, but they just don't match up with what I've seen and experienced, yk?

 

I don't understand this.  How can you not value heirarchy but use spanking...what was the spanking for then?  I don't understand.  Can you clarify what the purpose of spanking IS if not to establish and implement the heirarchy of control...were the children in your home allowed to dole out spankings to mom and dad when they misbehaved?  I want to believe you, but I can't imagine a situation in which spanking is used to demonstrate or support or institute egalitarian values.   Can you explain what you mean?


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Old 06-09-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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  I know what I know because I know it.

 

Okay...that was REALLY dumb.

 

I meant to say (my computer is doing this annoying pop up window thing like every five minutes and my train of thought keeps getting interrrupted dammit!)  I meant to say that I know what I know about oppressive violence from my readings and study in feminist and racist discourse and from further delvings into history and anthropology.  I have drawn certain conclusions about the way I can contribute or choose not to contribute to the systemic oppression of others.  It has occurred to me the more I avoid tactics of oppression with my children the less likely it will be for them to oppress others and the more likely it will be easy for them to assimilate peaceful methods of conflict transformation in their future, a skill I think will be quite valuable in an ever growing globalized world.  I do not think spanking necessarily causes negative results.  I just know from experience that non-violent methods produce more capable human beings than any other form of discipline I have witnessed.  Capable that is in what I want them to be able to do, which is help to build a  better world with fewer systems of oppression and violence.

 

So sorry for that daft bimbo like comment.  It is deeper than just a raspberry in your face, "...because I KNOW it, that's why!"  

 

ETA:  when I say my children, I include my students (ages 12-19), too.


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Old 06-09-2011, 09:09 PM
 
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I had a feeling when I asked that that someone would it take it here, lol.

I wrote that I was asking genuinely because I was......asking genuinely.  I am trying to understand the whole non-violence argument.  I will admit that I find humorous that violence for some ends at animals, but I'm not going to judge you for it so you don't need to put words in my brain or spell out my motives before you give me a chance to explain them.

I guess I do feel like if you have a general sense of violence as a very fluid thing, just any generally oppressive action then to me that train of thought pulls into extending that respect for all living creatures but if it doesn't for you and you can seperate the two then great, you are just making my point for me.  If some people don't see violence towards or te killing of animals aqs a non-violence issue then it stands to PERFECT reason that some people, myself not included, might reasonably exclude spanking from their own list non-violence issues.  period done.

 

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Sorry, I responded to this question earlier but walked away from the computer and thought about it more.  On reconsideration, I think what you are doing here by your genuine curiosity question is asking that non-violence promoters be held to a higher standard.  I.e., if you stand for non-violence, then you sure as h3ll better be picking flies out of your soup so as not to harm them.  

 

I expect people to stand by their present representations of what they believe.  If their standard is not to inflict pain on humans, then I hold them to that.  If their standard is to protect the earth by living out in the wilderness and eating only berries, then I'll hold them to that.  If their environmental standard is to reduce waste, then I'm not going to ask that they venture into the wilderness and eat berries and crap in the woods.  It is not all or nothing.  I have strong ideas about behaviors toward humans.  I have strong ideas about animals  and bugs, but they are not my immediate contacts so I don't spend too much time thinking about their well being (beyond my immediate control).  I wish I could live in the wilderness but that is not practical at this time.  What I can do is put into practice certain things that limit my impact on the earth's resources.  What I can do is limit the impact that my actions have on the things/humans/beings in my immediate control and environment.  That's my present standard.  What's yours?  If you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim, can I hold you to a standard to never sin?  To practice extremes to exhibit your faith and devotion?  

 

Edited to say, Dauphinette, that maybe your question wasn't with regard to the position that I stated above, but I do see a lot of people use the vegan thing as a way to establish an all or nothing standard.  First, veganism is not an established religion.  Many people come to veganism for many different reasons.  If you want to get real serious about purest veganism, you wouldn't even drink the tap water in my town because microscopic organisms are in the drinking water.  My DH has been a practicing vegan for many years but number reason boils down to how he feels physically when he puts certain foods in his body.  He has a pair of leather shoes, so he is not vegan in the respect, but he does try to severely limit the animal products that he consumes.  It has little to do with animal rights or the like.  He's a weirdo and he'll be the first to admit it!  LOL.  Anyway, just a sidebar. 



 

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:13 PM
 
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No one has yet offered up a strong argument as to why spanking should not be considered violent.  Just "that's my opinion" or "why would it be violent?"  So I am sticking with the cognitive dissonance thing.  I think that people need to justify their actions and don't want to feel like a violent human, because they see violence as negative and spanking as positive.  I don't really understand the logic any better, but I think that's because it's not a logical jump; it's self-preservation because, for whatever reason, they lack the skills/education/desire to change to a different form of discipline.



Well, to be fair a few have said that violence, certainly as defined or shaped by our justice system, is relative to intention and since there is no intention of cruelty in spankings, it should not be called violence, and furthermore lumping such discipline in with violence of a more terrible nature (beatings,  bloodshed, etc) is exaggerated and belittles the point being made. 

 

So you have actually gotten some answers, but it's not answers you are willing to accept. Which is fine, BTW, just not particularly typical of a genuine discussion, which I think is what people assumed was going on. 

 


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Well, to be fair a few have said that violence, certainly as defined or shaped by our justice system, is relative to intention and since there is no intention of cruelty in spankings, it should not be called violence, and furthermore lumping such discipline in with violence of a more terrible nature (beatings,  bloodshed, etc) is exaggerated and belittles the point being made. 

 

So you have actually gotten some answers, but it's not answers you are willing to accept. Which is fine, BTW, just not particularly typical of a genuine discussion, which I think is what people assumed was going on. 

 



I don't remember reading this.  I remember reading that moral relativism is applicable here, or not applicable here, and comparing spanking to rape, which no one did, is "disgusting," etc., etc, but not how it isn't actually violent.  Now that you put all of those thoughts together, I see it as a coherent argument.  I wouldn't say I am not willing to accept it, just that I don't agree with it, due to holes in the logic.  (For example, if you know spankings cause physical pain, and you intentionally spank your child, how is the intention not to hurt the child?)  I do at least accept it as what might be going through the heads of those who spank. 

 

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:34 PM
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The state of the world throughout our known history has been the records of patriarchy.  I find this a dubious source. 

 

I do not think with my heart (that is oxymoronic really) but it is a dead metaphor to say we feel and listen to our hearts (I did not think I'd have to explain that it is a metaphor, but there you go)  it means that we listen to the part of our inner psyche that is connected to our most base instincts and free of social and cultural manipulation.  I believe this is the root of non-violence.


The violence perpetrated by men and women are different. I don't think men are inherently more violent than women. Would you resort to violence to protect your child? The sexes respond with violence to different stimuli.

 

As for your metaphor...well, I'm well aware that it's a metaphor. But you are saying that a mentally healthy person's heart would not tell her to hit her child. So, that must mean that women who spank are mentally unhealthy, no? Or is it her heart that's unhealthy? Why did you say "mentally" in your post if that's not what you meant.

 

Our base instincts are, well...base. It's social and cultural manipulation that make us "civilized."

 

***********

 

WRT Jesus, the Old Testament of the Bible is extremely violent, and this is what Jesus said about that....

 

 

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5:17Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

 

 

To the apostles....

 

 

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10:14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

 

 

About the apocolypse....

 

 

Quote:

24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

 

 

...come on, now. Grounding is violent, and this is non-violence? Spanking seems like small potatoes in comparison.

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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I

 

No one has yet offered up a strong argument as to why spanking should not be considered violent.  Just "that's my opinion" or "why would it be violent?"  So I am sticking with the cognitive dissonance thing.  I think that people need to justify their actions and don't want to feel like a violent human, because they see violence as negative and spanking as positive.  I don't really understand the logic any better, but I think that's because it's not a logical jump; it's self-preservation because, for whatever reason, they lack the skills/education/desire to change to a different form of discipline.

Well, I am one who doesn't equate spanking with violence. Or, I should say, I didn't at the beginning of this thread. What I think of when I think of "violence" is war, bar fights, gang violence...stuff like that. I don't have a vested interest in that thinking though (meaning, I don't spank, so it doesn't matter to me if it's violent or not). So I got to thinking...domestic violence is hitting your spouse/partner. Any type of hitting. So I guess, hitting your child would be violent as well.  

 

That's just to show you that it can require a lot of thought for someone to make that connection, between spanking and violence. And if it took that amount of thought for me, I imagine it would take so much more for someone who thought that spanking was an acceptable thing to do.

 

 


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