A spanking mom verbally attacked me yesterday. REALLY long. - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 216 Old 12-29-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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That man was a bully. The woman was a bully. The man was bullying in a typical boy way and the woman in a typical girl way. I see many comparisons in the way this occurred as the events that occur frequently at my older children's school. The boys "bully" those smaller than them and the girls spread rumours, gossip, make comments etc. to bother the person they are bullying. These people have not grown up and I feel for their children.

Sheena did the right thing to explain to her children. I know I do it all the time, we see something disturbing and I then and there explain that we don't do that and she never has to fear that happening to her.

Since I consider this adult bullying I also would, depending on the situation, confront them. If that woman had followed me around I would have turned immediately to her and said "say it to my face coward" and confronted her head on.

I have no tolerance for bullies and I generally tell them so. Hitting a small defenceless child in the name of discipline is the lowest form of bullying in my opinion.

You did the right thing Sheena. WTG
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#122 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arimama
Thinkblu,
With that logic, it would be out of line for anyone to speak up on behalf of a woman who was being hit by her husband or male relative in another culture where that is seen as ok, or "mainstream"
Right?
Not sure how to respond to this, but if it were legal for a woman to be hit by her husband or other male relative, I guess I would see it as out of line to critize on a person by person basis, for acting within their 'rights'. More than out of line, I would see it as ineffective, and potentially harmful as you are putting the agressor in a situation of possibly feeling as if they have to save face, possibly more endangering the recipient and possibly yourself or others. I think that in situations where one disagrees with the law, they should work to change the law, or work in ways to change thinking on a global scale, not work on a case by case basis, particularly not in the heat of the moment, particularly not in ways that has no choice but to fall on deaf ears, possibly more entrencing the agressors negative stance. In situations where the agressor is acting outside of the law. I think it obviously in the best interest to involve authorities and as approipriate to intervene until the authorities arrive.

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Or even in the U.S if a woman was being pushed, or berated or screamed at at by her partner in public, would it be wrong to loudly state your objection to what was happening? Or would that be interfering with their private relationship matters?
Much same as above, not wrong, but ineffective and IMO most likely more harmful than helpful.

I consider myself to be pretty thoughtful and open minded, but when/if total strangers made comments about my parenting calling it "wrong", stating "mommies and daddies should not" (or should), "hate seeing in public"
or heaven forbid if they used the word "abuse" (think of all in the confines of extended breastfeeding), I honestly don't think I could 'hear' anything else. If this was abuse, by all means step in and get authorities involved, don't simply make remarks that IMO have NO CHANCE of being effective. If this was not abuse, recognize that different people have different parenting styles...it does not mean that they haven't thought about it, it doesn't mean they need to be educated (keep in mind there are many resources and esperts that can be sited for spanking) it means they have made different choices. In that case, turn your attention to that which is within your realm of influence, your family, and if you think they should not have the right to make the choices they have made, devote your attention and energy to changing the law so that they no longer have the choice to parent as they see fit.
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#123 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 12:42 AM
 
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I would have done the same.I am proud of you beacuse you explained to your dc'sand took care of your own family. It does sound like she feels terribly guilty.People don't usually react so defensively unless they feel they've done something wrong.And to me that is very very wrong.
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#124 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 02:50 AM
 
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I don't think you did wrong, OP, but I'm not sure you did right either. On the one hand, it's good and necessary to speak up about things that hurt children. OTOH, shaming a parent publicly may result in their kid getting another beating once they get out to the car. Personally, I choose to speak up in other ways, but I'm open to the idea that I may be wrong in my approach.

It's a really tough spot to be in, and I'm sorry you and your family had to deal with it. I've been harshly criticized for NIP before (by two people talking loudly enough for me to overhear), and I was very pissed off and spoke to the management about it, but I certainly didn't create a scene like that woman did.
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#125 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 03:00 AM
 
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I just wanted to say . . . where I grew up, we'd see men slapping their girlfriend or wife around or folks being extremely harsh with their children but you quickly learned to mind your own business lest the abuser turn on you (which I've seen more times than I care t o mention--even nuns have been turned on). That being said, if we saw anything disturbing when we were somewhere, my mom would just hold our hand tighter or hug us, move us along or tell us not to worry. At home, we'd discuss it. Being a non-confrontational person most times, this is probably the approach I'd take. But I respect the OP for dealing with it right then and there and no one has the right to go off on anyone else to such a ridiculous extenr as that woman. I'm glad you and you're family are okay.

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#126 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 06:16 AM
 
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I think the last two posts particularly show some wisdom in this whole conversation. Thank you, ladies for your input. Your thoughts are especially discerning and show sense not just emotion.

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#127 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 10:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
I consider myself to be pretty thoughtful and open minded, but when/if total strangers made comments about my parenting calling it "wrong", stating "mommies and daddies should not" (or should), "hate seeing in public"
or heaven forbid if they used the word "abuse" (think of all in the confines of extended breastfeeding), I honestly don't think I could 'hear' anything else. If this was abuse, by all means step in and get authorities involved, don't simply make remarks that IMO have NO CHANCE of being effective. If this was not abuse, recognize that different people have different parenting styles...it does not mean that they haven't thought about it, it doesn't mean they need to be educated (keep in mind there are many resources and esperts that can be sited for spanking) it means they have made different choices. In that case, turn your attention to that which is within your realm of influence, your family, and if you think they should not have the right to make the choices they have made, devote your attention and energy to changing the law so that they no longer have the choice to parent as they see fit.
Excellent post.
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#128 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 10:12 AM
 
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Sheena, to clarify, it is not a question of whether you did anything wrong or right. Don't misunderstand.

You *chose* to place yourself in a potentially confrontational situation but was not ready to deal with the negative consequences that followed.
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#129 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 11:35 AM
 
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Wooooowww, Before reading this and seeing all the replies, I thought,well,I won't bother replying because there are so many and mine would just get lost in it...however, AFTER reading your post, I retract my initial thought.

Holy crap! I can hardly believe the audacity of that family. Clearly, they are frustrated with their inability to control--I mean discipline their kids. It always amazes me when I see parents get angry at their babies for crying...most likely they just need to be held,comforted,removed...something really easy...but the parent wants to keep talking/eating/stay where they are regardless of how the babe is doing.

Especially in this case he should of reworded to the toddler "I'm going to beat the sh** out of you if you don't stop being sad and overwhelmed." eh?

I think how you handled it was absolutely great. You don't need to get into a debate/discussion/argument about something that they are not ready and willing to participate in. I think the lady, deep down will go home and feel guilty in many respects...probably not for her dh's actions against their child, but possibly for being so rude/disrespectful etc. to you and in a public place...how could that NOT humiliate her in the after-math.

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#130 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to clarify one more time that I was NOT speaking to the woman, I was speaking (in my normal dinner table voice) to my own children. The other mother may have been listening in but in no way was I directing my words towards her and nor did I intentionally "shame" her.

I keep getting the impression some posters feel I called her abusive to her face, I did not. Not until she started screaming at me... and even then I only said I feel spanking is abusive, I did not call her abusive.

If you were eavsdropping at my family's table there are tons of chances for you to be offended. From our left of left politics to our strong feelings on parenting... but it's not really my problem if you listen in and get offended.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#131 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 12:47 PM
 
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I have been following this thread....I do not think the OP deserved to be followed around the restaurant and verbally harassed and embarrassed. The mom in question obviously has issues and a great deal of guilt, why else would she continue to rant to anyone that listened? Her going off initially could have been a knee jerk reaction, and she should have left it at that.

Now the Christianity angle, to me is BS. Many many so called "Christians" use their so called Christianity to hide behind. Believe me I have in alws that would make you vomit.

Now my 18 yr old daughter got up and left Fridays because of parents smacking their toddler (she didn't know the exact age, she just said the kid had a binky and was in diapers). She said to me: Mom, ya know one smack maybe, but the were just so mad that me an J**** got up and left. She said why take a baby out that late? She at 18, and my 15 yr old have gotten upset with other parents "thrashing" (my 15 yr olds word, not mine) their small child. Once, in Walmart (I know, I know!) a mom and dad were going off on their kid in the shampoo aisle. My daughter must have had one of her "looks" on her face, and the mom got enraged and said "mind your own business". My 15 yr old picked up our 7yr old and left the aisle.

People can be crazy, and when they are already upset and spanking a kid in public it can make them escalate.
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#132 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 01:51 PM
 
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Sheena, having been on the receiving end of the "I was just talking to the people at my table" form of criticism over NIP (see my post above), I think that's even more enraging and confrontational than a direct comment. If you were not whispering, then your actions show that you did not care if you were overheard. That's your perogative, and it's not wrong, but it certainly is aggravating to the object of your derision.
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#133 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 02:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie
Sheena, having been on the receiving end of the "I was just talking to the people at my table" form of criticism over NIP (see my post above), I think that's even more enraging and confrontational than a direct comment. If you were not whispering, then your actions show that you did not care if you were overheard. That's your perogative, and it's not wrong, but it certainly is aggravating to the object of your derision.
I too have 'overheard private' conversations discussing my parenting choices and I absolutely agree with Smithie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
The other mother may have been listening in but in no way was I directing my words towards her and nor did I intentionally "shame" her.......If you were eavsdropping at my family's table there are tons of chances for you to be offended. From our left of left politics to our strong feelings on parenting... but it's not really my problem if you listen in and get offended
Sheena, this situation was bizarre, no doubt about it. I don't profess to understand all the dynamics from a couple of printed paragraphs...I am sorry that you witnessed this. Given that. There is a difference in talking about something potentially offensive in public, truely not directed to the people within earshot, and in talking ABOUT someone or someone's actions within their earshot. As for intentionally or unintentionally shaming someone, the end result is the same...shame, and IMO shame is not something that should be imposed upon another, intentionally or not. The last thing I wanted to say-though it is probabaly off topic and more approipriate for another post, but I completely disagree with the "it's not really my problem" attitude. I think that it shows a lack of civility and it is precisely that attitude that is making our public interactions with people less neighborly, less supportive, less fulfilling, etc. Had the other family not had this attitude, this whole event likely would never have occured in a public place.
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#134 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 02:28 PM
 
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Smithie, I am sorry you have felt shamed for doing something healthy, natural and nurturing for another little person. I can't say that I could be "made" to feel that way. Please consider if you are giving away your power to others who have no ability to control your choices. I would nurse in the Oval Office, I would nurse on public TV, no matter the audience, there is no one who could say or imply or convince me in any way, shape or form that there is anything remotely negative about it.

I am just wanting to "reassure" you that other's opinions hold no power, unless you let them. I advocate *on behalf of* the child who is crying, not out of any desire to control or shame the parent's choices or actions. The difference is in the fact that the child is or isn't voicing dissent, not if the public is. The opinion of he who is affected by our actions matters. Not he who isn't.

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#135 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 02:30 PM
 
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Hun dont let the women get you down. I also dont believe in spanking. That is abuse and believe me i know what that is cause i was badly abused as a child.. I dont think you should of stood up and voiced your opinion tho. You are not a bad parent, you do what you believe is right for your children and i know they are going to turn out fine.(Hugs)
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#136 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 02:35 PM
 
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I'm normally a really "don't make the problem worse person...support the parent always (not necessarily their action but them)" BUT, at some point my dedication to my child trumps that. My kid seeing someone getting hit is one of those times. I would absolutely have to address that. Keeping this thread in mind if this ever should happen, I think we would probably just leave. Certainly don't want to aggravate a spanking parent.

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#137 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 02:47 PM
 
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I wasn't shamed, Pat, I was PISSED. Big difference. If I'd been hitting my kid instead of nursing him, I imagine I would have been shamed in addition to being pissed. Although FWIW, I'd prefer your direct approach ("Stop! Stop hurting that child!") to the passive-aggressive approach. I really don't think passive aggression is an effective advocacy technique, although Lord knows I have been guilty of it myself.

I once glared at a woman who was DRAGGING her toddler up the stairs of the trolley in Philadelphia. She saw my expression, got pissed/shamed/whatever, and started handling her daughter even more roughly. I was absolutely in the right and she was absolutely in the wrong, but the little girl still took some extra knocks because I chose to antagonize her already-angry parent.
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#138 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 03:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
Keeping this thread in mind if this ever should happen, I think we would probably just leave. Certainly don't want to aggravate a spanking parent.
if that is supposed to be sarcasm, i am plenty in favor of practical, positive aggravation like a trip to jail. not so much in favor of effectively useless aggravation that got nothing accomplished except traumatizing all the children who witnessed it. (yeah, her kids possibly heard someone criticize their parents. likely in all that chaos, if they processed it at all, they also heard a roomful of people vindicate their violent whackjob parents.)

spanking is legal there, ok. over-the-top abuse is NOT. i wish i could hear from some cps workers in texas; i'd like to hear their opinions. what you described, beating a small toddler repeatedly for overstimulation, then shrieking at, stalking and harassing the people at a neighboring table in front of them, would be considered abuse by any social worker i've ever met.

it is not defending the practice of spanking, to acknowledge realistically that not all people who use spanking as a form of discipline scream, beat,
or publicly abuse and belittle their children, and would also see this as child abuse. exactly what level of abuse would it take for one to witness in a spanking state to be worthy of calling 911? closed fist? oh, spanking is perfectly legal, why bother. (see, i can be sarcastic to make a point, too. )

beating my chest about how i'm not afraid of psychos, or great big scary men, is not going to protect their children or mine. whomever said less emotion, more thought, was on target. the goal is protecting children, not getting props from the gd forum, yes? i sent my , it was obviously a horrible experience & i cannot say for certain what i would have done myself in the heat of the moment. but i think now that it is done, sharing ideas on how to accomplish that more effectively is very on topic.
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#139 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 03:46 PM
 
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Ok, I read everything, and now it's my turn!

Sheena, I live in the deep south, though I am not from here. I have seen and heard many things that require explanations to my sensitive child. I think you did right to explain your kids, not confont the psychopath, etc. I would DEFINITELY called security if the psychopath started flipping out on me.

I'd like to make a point to other posters. I have lived in a bunch of places in the US. There are vast differences in the cultural norms in different areas. In the south, spanking is commonly held to NOT be at all related to abuse, but rather to be an absolute necessity in child rearing. I have heard many more moms tell me that they know they should spank more than they do, than that they know they shouldn't spank. NOT spanking is seen as neglect. It isn't seen as a last resort of parenting, or even as an acceptable method of discipline, but rather as the mark of GOOD parenting. Calling the police would not have discouraged the spankers, but would more likely have ended in praise for their excellent parenting, and wishes that more parents would step up in such a manner. That is if anyone had even come to check it out, which I sincerely doubt.

Because we live in this kind of an area, and perhaps because I myself do not judge spanking parents so harshly (I don't think that everyone who swats an occasional behind is a horrible, evil child abuser, but perhaps just not so enlightened), and I believe that you get more flies with honey, I try to explain things with a little more compassion for the parents. I usually say something like, "Some mommies and daddies spank their kids when they are mad, but we don't because we there better ways to teach kids to be right." Or something like that. I try to put the emphasis on the do and not the don't and to explain that while their intentions may be decent, the actions are not. Also that the spanking is about he spanker and not the child. Mommies and daddies spank because they get mad, not because the kids are naughty.

Please do not think that I am supporting spanking. I don't spank, though I have in the past. I was raised by loving parents who were big into physical punishment (and still are). They were educated and well researched and came to a very different conclusion than I have. They are not evil ppl, they just made some bad parenting choices. I believe that spanking is ineffective at best and damaging at worst. Child abuse is inexcusable and unforgivable. Please don't misunderstand me on this.

I do think that there are helpful and unhelpful methods of advocacy. The strongest and most forthright message is not always the one that gets heard. You have to take your audience into account and give them the message that is most effective for them at the moment. Too strong of a message makes ppl defensive and has a reinforcing effect on the behavior we wish to change. I think tact is something that cannot be undervalued.
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#140 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 04:06 PM
 
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I have an innocent question.

For those who said that this was NOT spanking, but crossed the line into abuse, could you clarify? I understand those who say that any violence against a child is abuse, but for those of you who made a distinction, what is that distinction based on?

I've heard that it's spanking if it is done with an open hand and not an implement. I've heard that it's spanking if it is on the buttocks and does not leave a mark, even if it is done with an implement. This incident qualifies as spanking by both those definitions.

Again, please understand that I'm not saying that spanking is ok, however mild, just looking for clarification.
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#141 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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If the OP were to have whispered to her children rather than just spoke normally, I think this probably would have drawn more attention to the woman. Esp because the woman was feeling guilty. The only thing that the OP could have done would be to leave the table to speak to her kids, but then again, why should she have? She didn't do anything wrong. Either way the woman shouldn't have been eavesdropping on someone else's conversation at all.

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#142 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
She said that if more kids got spanked our country wouldn't be like it is.
I've had a mom say this to me before (I think I may have mentioned here somewhere). It wasn't an attack against me, just casual conversation. But it pretty much ended the conversation. Her son was slapping another boy at the playground, and she called her son over and threatened to spank him Then she said "I wish I could spank him in public" and I said "Yeah but I think a lot of people dont like to see that" and she replied "I don't know why, the reason there are so many people in our jails is because their parents didn't spank them enough". Well, I don't know where she got that idea! IMO, it's the exact opposite that is often true! He was HITTING another child and she wonders where he learned it, when she was close to HITTING him in punishment. Well, I don't see the connection between child abuse and staying out of prison at all.

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#143 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 04:49 PM
 
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Let me get this straight. Unintentionally shaming a woman who was eavesdropping on your table conversation -- wrong. Shaming your toddler by repeatedly spanking him in public -- okay. See, I was confused. I thought this was MDC.

Jeesh. :

Frankly, I'm surprized that so many people are seeing Sheena as in the wrong here. Even if one is pro-spanking, when did spanking and humiliating your child in public become okay. I think we are forgetting that even if one is a "responsible" spanker (and I use that term in the Dr. Sears spanking rules) there is never an excuse for public spanking and humiliation of a child. This man was not disciplining his child by "spanking" him, he was hitting his child out of his own frustration. That is what carries it beyond discipline makes it abusive -- even spankers should see that. It was not discipline, it was a parents frustration gone out of control on his child.

Again Sheena, I'm right behind you and think you did the right thing for your family. I can't believe some of the responses you are getting. I hope you stop feeling like you need to defend yourself to some of the posters here. They clearly are on a different wavelength.
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#144 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharlla
If the OP were to have whispered to her children rather than just spoke normally, I think this probably would have drawn more attention to the woman.
hmm, but if the OP *had* whispered, the spanking mom couldn't have proved she and the spanking dad were the subjects of their conversation and therefore would have gone about her way without confrontation.
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#145 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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Again Sheena, I'm right behind you and think you did the right thing for your family. I can't believe some of the responses you are getting. I hope you stop feeling like you need to defend yourself to some of the posters here. They clearly are on a different wavelength.
ITA and I wasn't suprised at all to see the different replies and even the switching of blame to the OP. IT's happened to me as well. We do our best, I suppose. From what I gathered from the OP, she wasn't raising her voice to shame the woman, she was using it as a learning opportunity for her children- teaching them the values she as their mother would have them uphold. : Good job, Sheena.

~Sara, WAHSingMomi to girls R and AV, S.O.A.R. Scout Leader and Homeschooling In Detroit Blogger

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#146 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jish
Let me get this straight. Unintentionally shaming a woman who was eavesdropping on your table conversation -- wrong. Shaming your toddler by repeatedly spanking him in public -- okay. See, I was confused. I thought this was MDC.

Jeesh. :

Frankly, I'm surprized that so many people are seeing Sheena as in the wrong here. Even if one is pro-spanking, when did spanking and humiliating your child in public become okay. I think we are forgetting that even if one is a "responsible" spanker (and I use that term in the Dr. Sears spanking rules) there is never an excuse for public spanking and humiliation of a child. This man was not disciplining his child by "spanking" him, he was hitting his child out of his own frustration. That is what carries it beyond discipline makes it abusive -- even spankers should see that. It was not discipline, it was a parents frustration gone out of control on his child.

Again Sheena, I'm right behind you and think you did the right thing for your family. I can't believe some of the responses you are getting. I hope you stop feeling like you need to defend yourself to some of the posters here. They clearly are on a different wavelength.

Very well said

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#147 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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Does Dr. Sears have a "responsible" spanking rule???? If so I am going to drop over from stress.

Pat

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#148 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 06:25 PM
 
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Am I going to have to pick Pat up off the floor ? Though he doesn't advocate spanking, he does have a chapter in the Discipline Book about it and here on his website, guidelines toward the bottom of the page.

Interestingly, I received a magazine in the mail today that had an excerpt from Barbara Coloroso's book Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders: How Parents Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence. The website is here

In it, Barbara says, "“...we can transform the role of the bystander into that of a witness, someone willing to stand up, speak out, and act against injustice.”

Food for thought

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#149 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 07:33 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread, but I wanted to say that I'm so glad you said something to your children when that happened. It much have been scary and confusing for them to have to watch and it wouldn't have been right for you to not address it right away.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#150 of 216 Old 12-30-2005, 08:59 PM
 
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Even if one is pro-spanking, when did spanking and humiliating your child in public become okay. I think we are forgetting that even if one is a "responsible" spanker (and I use that term in the Dr. Sears spanking rules) there is never an excuse for public spanking and humiliation of a child. This man was not disciplining his child by "spanking" him, he was hitting his child out of his own frustration. That is what carries it beyond discipline makes it abusive -- even spankers should see that. It was not discipline, it was a parents frustration gone out of control on his child.
Exactly.
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