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

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#61 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 12:54 AM
 
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Also on the subject of who gets to define an act as abusive - it doesn't make sense to say on one hand, "society sees this act (i.e. child rape) as a clear cut case of abuse, so your opinion (as the victim) is irrelevant", then turn around and say at other times, "We as a society generally accept this kind of behavior (i.e. spanking), but since you (as the victim) felt it was abusive, it was abuse." Which is it? Is it society's call, or the victim's? Sometimes one, sometimes the other? That's too arbitrary, we need more clear cut definitions of what abuse is, and is not. Not to say that there is no room for shades of gray, but to leave it all up in the air as a matter of perception makes it too hard to enforce, legally or even morally.
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#62 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
People who strike children are guilty of abuse on my opinion. It may not be the kind of abuse that makes the news or gets children taken away but it is the abuse of someone's love, the abuse of a child's dependence on you, the abuse of trust, the abuse of your size advantage, the abuse of their innocence and of their fundementally right as a human being to be safe in their person and in their home. So yes, they may not be "abusers" in the legal definition.... but people who strike their children, especially ones who think it is an acceptable form of discipline...are guilty of abuse.
I completely agree. I do not really care for legal definitions in this case either.

To me spanking is a violation of basic human rights, not a "non-GD parenting choice"

I don't consiously do unto others as I would not want to be done unto me (and spanking does fit into that)

And just because beating me till I bleed would hurt me more than slapping me without leaving any marks, does not make the second option any more acceptable
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#63 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by irinam
I completely agree. I do not really care for legal definitions in this case either.

To me spanking is a violation of basic human rights, not a "non-GD parenting choice"

I don't consiously do unto others as I would not want to be done unto me (and spanking does fit into that)

And just because beating me till I bleed would hurt me more than slapping me without leaving any marks, does not make the second option any more acceptable
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#64 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:09 AM
 
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"I don't agree with corporal punishment in any way, shape, or form, but I would definitely NOT define it as "abusive." The dynamic is completely different."

I am just really trying to wrap my mind around this. I keep thinking, what if someone were to decide that I needed punitive discipline, and that this should consist of causing me physical pain, and that I would not be able to avoid it. Would I feel this to be abusive? Would I feel it to be violating? Yes. Would I be less likely to regard it as such if I was younger or weaker or if the punisher was someone who also felt love for me? I don't believe so.

Someone pointed out that people in therapy who were spanked as children tend to feel that they deserved it. People in abusive relationship often feel this way as well. They feel it's their fault on some level. But how exactly does it follow then that it's not abuse?

To answer the OP, of course it matters how we present our case to abusers. I can see how someone who thinks spanking is a good thing would take offense at being regarded as abusive and that they would automatically close their ears. On the other hand, I don't know why they would bother stopping unless they came to see that it was abusive. If it's not abusive, what does it really matter whether you do it or not?
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#65 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Niamh
Hate the idea or not, it's not on shaky ground. If you were really abused as a child, you are a damaged adult, at least until you work it all out.
Well, I don't think I phrased this very well. I'm saying that most Americans, who were spanked as children, do not consider themselves damaged, or at least any more damaged than anyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh
I am a "damaged adult". I am working on fixing myself, but I'm certainly not afraid of the label. It gives me strength because I've put a name to my issues, and that makes it more beatable and less feared.
Okay, you can say that about yourself. But you don't think someone would be offended if you told them they were "damaged"? I would. I don't think of myself as damaged, that implies to me something that should be rejected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh
Of course, painting with too broad a brush (every child who was ever swatted will be a damaged adult) won't work with this label, but correctly labeling those who were abused as 'damaged adults' is not offensive. After all, they didn't damage themselves.
Oh, wait, I think we're saying the same thing here. I guess the operative part of what you're saying is that you label YOURSELF damaged. Not that someone else has labeled you damaged.

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#66 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Niamh
Wow. Using words like 'villianize' for the gentle tone that Dharmamama took with her post is a pretty broad stretch.
Gentle tone? Well.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Until you have suffered from something like that (or PPD with auditory hallucinations, like I did), don't be so quick to cast stones at people. Calling someone like that an abuser might make YOU feel better, but it won't address the roots of the problem.
I suppose I could have said I was being called a "stone-caster who elevates myself by calling others names" but I thought we'd all agree that "villian" was close enough. Sorry.

----------------

I might ask that if validating your experience of abuse has been so powerful and beneficial to you, why would you deny that validation to others whose abuse you don't think is important?

I mean, what if say, your abuse was less severe than Sally's abuse and she thought you were just making a big deal out of nothing... Would her opinion make your suffering any less real? Would it make your validation and naming of your suffering any less potent?

Do you find that thinking to be as self-centered as it appears in that example?


-----------------


Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh
Of course, painting with too broad a brush (every child who was ever swatted will be a damaged adult) won't work with this label, but correctly labeling those who were abused as 'damaged adults' is not offensive. After all, they didn't damage themselves.
I'm with you that saying so is not offensive. But I can't follow you to the idea that some damage is not damage. How far does it have to go before it's damage?

Well, my car got scratched and dented up the other day, and I'm not that pleased about it. It wasn't totaled, so does that mean that I won't be having my car repaired? I mean is it damaged, or not?
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#67 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I call it factual. A person who thinks that it's appropriate to hit a small child who is totally dependent on them and has no means of defending him/herself is absolutely damaged.
I thought you were referring to the abused, and I don't like calling anyone damaged, child or adult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I don't know many people who believe that they're going to get their children through to adulthood without ever responding in the wrong way. I'm not sure how that fits into this thread as I've not seen anyone say it. We're talking about violence toward children (or, to use the PC term, spanking). And I don't think that being violent toward a child is a "human" quality. I think it's something that happens to people - it's a value that is perpetuated from generation to generation and becomes so entrenched that it overrides the instinct to protect.
Well, I took your argument to mean that any person who had ever been spanked was damaged, so I guess I misunderstood. While I've never spanked my dd, I've roughly set her down a few times, yelled at her, and occasionally said things that were not very nice. Is she damaged? By your definition, I would say yes, and that's why I say that we must all be damaged, because no parent is perfect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
You're assuming a lot. I wouldn't call many parents who spank lazy, selfish, or bullies. I do think they're confused and either too frustrated or too proud to think outside the box. They're probably also lacking in self-awareness because they're not questioning their own behavior. They're just taking it as a given that they somehow inherently know how to do this very important, very complicated job. I'm sure they love their children, but spanking is never a loving act.
Or they have a whole lot of societal pressure to spank. And I totally agree that spanking is never a loving act, but I do think it's done out of love.

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#68 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh
Hate the idea or not, it's not on shaky ground. If you were really abused as a child, you are a damaged adult, at least until you work it all out.

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

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

I too find it offensive to call someone who was abused as a child a damaged adult. IMO calling myself damaged is just allowing the people who abused me to win. If I am damaged then everything they said is true. That no one would ever want me because I am damaged goods, etc...

Also, I believe that hitting a child or anyone else is abuse. I have not used the word abuse when talking to people who spank because when I say "You hit your children?" the point seems to be made very well using the word hit. Most of the time they will say "NO, I just spank them (swat, whup, etc.".
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#69 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:39 AM
 
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About the idea of "false victimhood"...

In my mind it's pretty clear that a person who claims victimhood where there may be none is absolutely seeking validation for some abuse somewhere. Perhaps if we allowed them the validation of their "real" experiences they would not have a need to be heard about their suffering by fabricating victimhood where it isn't.

I also think that they fell into that mental role by actually identifying with being a real victim. I don't believe that one can pull that out of the air without having some first-hand understanding of what it feels like to be violated.
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#70 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Danae
I too find it offensive to call someone who was abused as a child a damaged adult. IMO calling myself damaged is just allowing the people who abused me to win. If I am damaged then everything they said is true. That no one would ever want me because I am damaged goods, etc...
Alternatively, admitting to yourself that you are damaged allows you to fix yourself. That's empowering. At least I think so.
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#71 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Alternatively, admitting to yourself that you are damaged allows you to fix yourself. That's empowering. At least I think so.

Of course I can only call upon my experiences but, for me it was just realizing that I was just as good as everyone else despite being abused. The other people I have met along the road to "recovery" thought the same way I did. I think damaged has a very negative connotation and implies that something is wrong with you when in fact the abuser is the one that has something wrong with them. Does that make sense? Not trying to say that I am right.

*Also, I believe that admitting you are damaged in order to fix yourself is way too similar to 12 step mentality which I do not believe in or agree with...jmho

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#72 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:03 AM
 
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I make a big distinction between "damage" and "value".

I am no less valuable by having been abused. I am not a worse person, or unworthy of anything.

I can't deny, however, that my psyche is not the happy, blissful place I was born with the potential of having. I can clearly see where I am affected and how it might not have been were I raised in a more loving home.

That is damage.
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#73 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aira
I'm with you that saying so is not offensive. But I can't follow you to the idea that some damage is not damage. How far does it have to go before it's damage?

Well, my car got scratched and dented up the other day, and I'm not that pleased about it. It wasn't totaled, so does that mean that I won't be having my car repaired? I mean is it damaged, or not?
But people aren't cars! We're flexible, we're resilient, we're not valued by the Kelley Blue Book. Is it "damage" or "character"?

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#74 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:13 AM
 
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What exactly are you saying? That because people and cars are not the same, people can not be damaged?

The poster I quoted and responded to agreed that people are indeed damageable. We are speaking in terms of degrees here.

Please try to keep my words in context.
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#75 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I make a big distinction between "damage" and "value".

I am no less valuable by having been abused. I am not a worse person, or unworthy of anything.

I can't deny, however, that my psyche is not the happy, blissful place I was born with the potential of having. I can clearly see where I am affected and how it might not have been were I raised in a more loving home.

That is damage.
That's exactly it. Thanks for stating it so eloquently.
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#76 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aira
What exactly are you saying? That because people and cars are not the same, people can not be damaged?

The poster I quoted and responded to agreed that people are indeed damageable. We are speaking in terms of degrees here.

Please try to keep my words in context.
I'm trying, I'm trying! I'm just not sure what you mean. Maybe we're using damaged differently. To me, it has a very negative connotation, as in something you should unequicivocally reject. Maybe you're thinking of it more as something you can repair. But I don't get that feeling.

I'm arguing that every person in this world has been "abused". There is no one that has not been violated by another person, especially in the narrow definition set forth by pps. Therefore, we are all "damaged". None of us is able to get to the happy blissful place in our psyche. So I think it's a negative way to look at people, and I think most people would be offended if someone else referred to them as damaged. I am not trying to minimize anyone's personal suffering whatsoever, if someone wants to call themselves damaged, so be it. Just don't call me damaged.

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#77 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Abusive is defined by the person being abused, not by the person committing the abuse. If it FEELS like abuse to the person being hit, it IS abuse....

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#78 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Just because someone's experience of demeaning, demoralizing behavior inflicted on them by their parents doesn't hit your radar, why would you categorically dismiss the experiences that group of people?
Quote:
Originally Posted by immortal ambition
I could ask you the same thing. Just because someone's parenting goes against your personal belief why do you feel the need to label the whole group of people as abusive?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Why are you or anyone else the judge of what that level of violation is that harms or damages any one person, other than yourself?
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Originally Posted by immortal ambition
Exactly, you are labeling something abusive, how can you judge that. A single person can only have an opinion on it.

OK. Sorry I forgot to address this hours ago...

I said something to a friend of mine a long time ago, and I think it's appropriate now. The person being shat upon has the clearest view of the ass.

The person being abused has the right to sit in judgement of his/her abusers, because they have the best view of what's going on - with some exception, meaning that person's denial coping mechanisms are active.

Enough of us have collectively noticed that certain things like hitting and shaming have consistently harmful effects on us humans. And so we strive to stop it from happening to others who aren't yet mature enough to know what is happening to them, or to speak up.

Hiding this overwheming evidence of harm behind "Who are you to judge me?" or "We do what works for our family." does not change the facts of human behavior and psychology.

It also doesn't make those of us who speak out about this noticable harm "judgemental", no matter how much you want it to be the case.
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#79 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aira
I make a big distinction between "damage" and "value".

I am no less valuable by having been abused. I am not a worse person, or unworthy of anything.

I can't deny, however, that my psyche is not the happy, blissful place I was born with the potential of having. I can clearly see where I am affected and how it might not have been were I raised in a more loving home.

That is damage.
Sorry to be obnoxious and quote myself...

But this is what I mean, natensarah.

I think that when a person is violated and the situation is handled promptly and in a healthy way, damage is nullified. I am certainly not a perfect mama, but when I violate my son in any way, I apologize and take other measure to allow my son to process what happened between us. I hope he has incurred minimal damage because of this. I hope that he learns to do this processing for himself someday, and will not suffer the same effects that I have when he enevitably gets violated during his life.

Hope that clears up what I'm talking about. I know it's confusing with several aspects of "damage" being discussed simultaniously!!
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#80 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 10:48 AM
 
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#81 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
please focus on responding to whether or not you think it offensive to use terms such as abuse and violence in respect to non-GD parenting choices,
I would rather stick to pointing out the violence of certain actions and words, how those actions harm self and others. And yes, sometimes it will offend. But sometimes, handled tactfully, it doesn't. I think using the term "abuse" or "violence" offends and puts people on the defensive, it doesn't help and the same point can be made while avoiding the use of those particular words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
whether you think it more often good or bad to use terms like abuse and violent when discussing non-GD parenting, i.e, does it typically wake people up or typically shut them down,
I think the term "abuse" and "violence" with regard to widespread and socially accepted parenting practices shuts people down. These are words that are, IMO, unlikely to result in someone hearing my POV nevermind being open to it or changing their own mind/practices. I don't think they wake people up, or jolt them into epiphany about their actions, and I think the point can be made without them provided we take the time and care to do so-and are willing to hear the other person, to understand them, to see their humanity. This can be difficult though. I am about to use the term "violent", and I think there's a good chance it will offend people and I'm torn about using it but frankly I can't at the moment think of another way to say it....and if anyone can handle it and remain open, MDC moms can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
and if you strive to present GD in a non-offensive and non-judgemental way, what do you think the effect of other GDers not doing so (in *your* opinion) has on the overall perception of GD and the receptability of the GD message?
(Donning flame proof suit...) I think that in discussing the parenting choices of others, it is easy to become just as violent as the violent acts one is discussing and criticizing-through a judgmental approach and through words and through viewing people as merely the sum of their faults rather than seeing their full humanity ("Can you believe what she did?! She's cruel, and she's stupid. That is so abusive. Don't parents read books and educate themselves? She isn't trying hard enough. She's lazy and selfish."). Violence occurs in word, in thought, and in deed-not just physical acts of aggression and harm. I see this often and I feel very sad when I see it. I have been guilty of it myself. I am uncomfortable with simply labeling certain acts as violent or abusive and making this openly clear to all around me. I am uncomfortable with this simply because it does not actually address the root of the problem, the reasons people behave in violent ways, and thus does not lead to much in the way of change. We can address the violence in parenting on an individual level, and I think this will help when done with compassion (not wet-noodle approval, but with true concern for the welfare of everyone involved), but it is not just an individual problem-it is also a societal problem that also needs to be addressed broadly. The violence we see in parenting reflects our society's values regarding children and the fact that our society in general does not value children, but merely pays lip service to valuing children. The violence we see in parenting also reflects the violent nature of our society in general. And one cannot end violence with violence, not even with the violence of word or thought. (Stepping off soapbox, flame away )
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#82 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
but I was trying to determine if those same persons could also entertain that presenting the message in that way might do harm to the cause of GD.
why not just say that then?

i'm mystified by the presentation of this issue in this way.

why not just come out and say "i feel really offended by the way the message of gentle discipline is sometimes presented in this forum."

what is it you are wanting instead? maybe if you state that, it would be clear what the point of this thread is rather than people just fighting about spanking being abuse or not.

i think offering threads like this just encourgages the kind of exchanges you are saying offends you.

just my .02.


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#83 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 11:12 AM
 
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famousmockngbrd,

i love your sig quote, it cracks me up every time i see it.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#84 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 11:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybeedreams
i think offering threads like this just encourgages the kind of exchanges you are saying offends you.

Honeybeedreams, thank you for saying that.

I was coming here to post something similar. Last night I was tired and hanging out online and really got sucked into this weird discussion - totally feeling like I was on mainstream.com. I woke up this morning with a fresher brain and am horrified that this discussion is taking place on MDC!!!

Why are we even exploring the question of whether spanking is abusive????

Did we forget about the stickies at the top of the forum?? It's a given in these parts that all hitting of all children is abuse.

Now if the OP wants to talk about the potential value of sugar-coating the facts to avoid offending spankers, that's one thing. But the turn this has taken is shocking to me.
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#85 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 11:49 AM
 
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Do I think it is offensive to use the words abuse and violence when talking about nonGDparents?

That very much depends. Are we talking about parents that shame theirs kids? Do they use timeout? Do they yell? Do they use consecuences I would never use?

Or, do they hit their child? Maybe even with an object? Maybe even in public?

If tthe first is the case,then yes, I think it can be offensive.

If it is the latter, then no. To tell a person who is hitting a child that hitting is abuse is NOT offensive in my book. It is the truth. And, I am fortunate enough to be living in a country where it also is illegal to hit a child. So here most people will actually agreee with me that hitting is abuse/violence.

There are different degrees of violence. A spanking is abuse, beating the crap out of a child so it bleeds is worse abuse. Swatting a childs bottom is violence, breaking a childs leg because you threw the child across the room is even worse violence.

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#86 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyTamara
Do I think it is offensive to use the words abuse and violence when talking about nonGDparents?

That very much depends. Are we talking about parents that shame theirs kids? Do they use timeout? Do they yell? Do they use consecuences I would never use?

Or, do they hit their child? Maybe even with an object? Maybe even in public?

If tthe first is the case,then yes, I think it can be offensive.

If it is the latter, then no. To tell a person who is hitting a child that hitting is abuse is NOT offensive in my book. It is the truth. And, I am fortunate enough to be living in a country where it also is illegal to hit a child. So here most people will actually agreee with me that hitting is abuse/violence.

There are different degrees of violence. A spanking is abuse, beating the crap out of a child so it bleeds is worse abuse. Swatting a childs bottom is violence, breaking a childs leg because you threw the child across the room is even worse violence.

umm, yeah, but what's your point? i must be missing it.

i find it interesting though that research suggests that children are more emotionally damaged in the long term by timeouts than spanking (straightforward spanking on the rump).

so if we follow the idea of "worse" abuse, maybe we at MDC should be advocating spanking over timeouts, since children are less damaged by it in the long run. :

i just don't get the "worse" abuse line of thinking... what is the point of ranking abuses?

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#87 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybeedreams
i just don't get the "worse" abuse line of thinking... what is the point of ranking abuses?
No kidding!

********
Editing to add that the following is meant to agree with HBD, not directed toward her!! (I reread it and it's worded as if I'm arguing against her point that I very much agree with...)
********

As if anyone could know the extent of the harm done to another person... If someone has a low threshhold and gets badly effected by subtle shaming and such, who are you to say that they were not? Are you suggesting that they are weak beacuse they were hurt deeply by something that might not cause so much hurt to another person?

And on the contrary, if someone has a very high threashhold for abuse, and can handle quite a bit of mistreatment without showing outward signs of it, are you suggesting that they are OK because it didn't really effect them, because you can't tell??

WHY ARE YOU (editorial) THE JUDGE OF ANY OF THIS?????
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#88 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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I cannot believe spanking or hitting could be considered anything BUT abuse. Not in my reality system! I sure consider it abuse!! But more to the point of the OP's questions, I think there is a lot of distance on the spectrum between those who spank and those who practice GD-type parenting. Gads, the questions imply that not to be GD is to hit your kids! That simply is not true. Maybe some parents are not GD folks, but that does not mean they are the ones hitting their child if the child "throws sand in a kid's face, or breaks something" or whatever. But maybe those parents will have a reaction in those cases like, "OK, go take a time out and I don't want to see you for 30 minutes/5 minutes/the rest of the morning." It is not spanking, and is also isn't very nice, and it also is not GD, so where on the spectrum WOULD you put it? Somewhere in the middle, right? Let's try to remember that there are more parenting styles than just "GD" or "non-GD." Labeling people and parenting, and dividing the world into two simplistic camps, is convenient if you're setting up exhibits in a zoo or a museum, but not very good for real life. That sort of thinking might do everyone involved a disservice and cause more animosity than anything else. Suddenly it's the us-against-them mentality, right? I mean, if we don't want us-against-them with our kids, why do we set ourselves up for that thinking with other parents? Does that make sense?

Also, I think the term gentle discipline is very sensitive and very very open to interpretation!! Saying someone is NON-gently disciplining their kid is bound to get them defensive. It implies that they are being the opposite: rough or violent or cruel. Well, to someone who grew up in a truly abusive home (i.e., parent hit with belt, bloodied their nose occasionally, beat them, didn't listen and belittled and yelled or bodily threw them into their room, etc.), once someone from that background becomes a parent, maybe they go out and educate themselves JUST enough to NOT repeat those samme behaviors. Maybe they still yell at their own kid a little bit, and once in a blue moon belittle something by accident. Not very GD, right? But to that parent, I think they will think they are doing one hell of a good job!! I think they will think "Damn, I sure did work hard to overcome the terrible influences of my parents. I never have hit my children, I am gentle and loving and a good listener 95% of the time, I do not lash out in anger. I am such a gentle parent!! Especially compared to the way I was parented!"

Can you begin to imagine what it takes for people to overcome an abusive background and parent well themselves? Are we gonna say those people are not being GD type parents? In their minds they are! Let's remember the huge spectrum there is and that people will have their own perceptions of where they fit on it, largely based upon their upbringing. If those parents are lucky, they'll find a GD board and hang out on it, and learn about an even more "extreme" kind of kindness and gentleness. But remember that until they come into contact with a GD forum or book or other source, they are not likely to see that being even more gentle is a possibility.

Anyway, that's my two cents. There really is more to parenting than GD and non-GD.
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#89 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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I guess, like the manners thread, sometimes saying nothing or only that which is true is preferrable to the whole tamale of one's truth. One can say hitting is violence. But if the goal is to advocate for the needs and voice of the child, helping to give voice to the child doesn't need to say outright that hitting is abuse either. There is a way to say that the child is hurting, rather than "you are abusing the child". The action of the hitting is less of the issue than the effect on the other person. The underlying need that prompted the hitting still exists. Just as it exists when a child hits others. Helping someone to find a more constructive method of meeting their underlying need is not facilitated by judging the action, whether adult or child. Focusing only on the child's experience, doesn't facilitate finding an alternative way to meet the parent's underlying need.

The parent doesn't have access to other conflict resolution tools. Providing new tools helps the child. Helping the parent to see the experience of the child helps the child. Judging the parent doesn't help either.

Helping doesn't judge. Judging doesn't help. Neither parent, nor child. It is the same philosophy when applied to adults beyond self-control as it is when applied to children beyond self-control. Meet the underlying needs in constructive, mutually agreeable manner.

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#90 of 177 Old 01-03-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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Jumping in late to say this, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
It is not up to me to make someone feel really good about hitting their child....if they feel offended perhaps they shouldn't be committing such an offensive act. Yes, instilling fear in another individual by physically striking them with hands meant for caressing and loving them, is offensive to me...
I'm not talking about whether hitting kids IS abuse or not. Or that it shouldn't be expressed that way to someone who is hitting their kids.
What I'm saying is that IF you do use the words "abuse" and "violence" I don't see any way that that could do more good than using other (less extreme) words to get your point across, AND imo, it will do harm in most situations. The person will tune you out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I think that if someone is offended that we call their hitting of their children abuse, then that's between them and their conscience.
sure. I'll agree with that. I agree with it a lot- I see it often. BUT offending them is NOT the way to get them to stop hitting their kids! (or anything else, actually- cio, circing, vaxing, etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
On the other hand, I don't know why they would bother stopping unless they came to see that it was abusive. If it's not abusive, what does it really matter whether you do it or not?
We decided against spanking when we hadn't ever considered it abusive. It's just wrong to hit anyone. That's all. I don't think it has to be labeled "abusive" in order for it to be "wrong."
Actually, dp thinks that hitting kids to get them to "be better" is about the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard. So I guess we could add that to WHY people would stop spanking (or never spank, in some cases), even if they didn't necessarily consider it abuse- it just plain doesn't work.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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