Abuse and Consequence (Intent of thread restated in post #8) - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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#151 of 177 Old 01-08-2006, 03:26 AM
 
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I just wanted to talk about something that was on my mind a while back because I'm usually on the other side of this debate. What I think I'm consistent with is that honesty and factually are seldom problematic when it comes with love and good intentions. I know this sounds cheesy but I think it's true. So, whether we're talking about corporal punishment, CIO, formula feeding, circumcision, vaccination...when we advise with love for the parent as well as the child, I think facts are often the way to go.


This goes along with the idea that someone can do something that is violent or abusive without being violent or abusive people. I think this is a clear distinction that is maybe missing from the discussion.


I know that some here think that it is not a fact that hitting a child is abusive or violent but, with this, I disagree.

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#152 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Piglet68
I don't think words like "abuse" and "violence" used in the context of different parenting styles is effective. I think it's counterproductive. … There is a huge difference between a loving, giving, nurturing parent who resorts to swatting the child's butt sometimes and someone who systematically destroys the mind and self-image of a child through sheer neglect, emotional unavailability, and physical violence.
I agree.

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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
what if it is productive? What if using the words abuse and violence is just the right motivator for someone...like me? It is a fact that these words are what make it clear to me. These words and this belief are exactly what have helped me stand up for my child against a culture that thinks hitting children is "ok"…. [combining quotes from two posts]…honesty and factually are seldom problematic when it comes with love and good intentions. ...when we advise with love for the parent as well as the child, I think facts are often the way to go.
I’m having a hard time putting my response into print, as I tend to agree…and disagree. Please forgive if response is choppy.

I think you hit on a really key point….love…for the parent and the child. I do however think it different to be in a relationship of mutual love (and hopefully respect) and a casual relationship where you may have love for the other person, but not be in a loving relationship with them, and I think the dynamics are different.

I disagree with your use of the words “facts” and “factually”. What *you* see as factual, *I* do not. But I do see your point and I am willing to entertain that sometimes ‘sanitizing’ a message makes it about as effective as elevator music! I am willing to entertain that there may be times and people for whom using strong vocabulary or delivery may be the most effective method, …..but how do you determine when and whom? And further, is it really required or could a gentle message (delivered with love and best intention) also be effective?

I think that for communication to be effective, the involved parties either need to be on common ground regarding vocabulary, or the involved individuals need to make a conscious (or unconscious) decision to allow the other some latitude, and even then that ‘offense’ creates ‘noise’. And while these dynamics may be decipherable in a close love relationship, they are not with more casual relationships. An example, earlier in this thread, someone put my opinions into print, and then labeled them as “bullshit”. Despite the fact that I started this thread having made a conscious decision to be open minded, knowing offensive things (IMO) would be said, that little jab shut me down. Though I want to think about the point that she was making, and though I want to reply, every time I make an attempt, my thoughts spiral down to insults and sarcastic jabs. I have actually woken several times in the middle of the night, with some “priceless little insult” that my mind has concocted while I slept. In the end, perhaps the dialogue will be effective, but not efficient and I don’t think any more effective that it would have been had the person been more respectful to *my* needs as the intended (or part of the intended) audience. Did this statement come 'in love', probably not, but even if it had (if it could have), I'm not sure that would have changed it's effect.

IdentityCrisisMama – I’m curious. At the time that these words and beliefs helped to make it clear to you, were you (consciously or not) seeking clarification or was it ‘thrust upon you’ in a way that opened your eyes? Did the words come from a resource that had first gained your respect? Did they initially cause offense, or was it more of an epiphany, i.e, “gee, I never thought of it like that before”?

I do think it comes down to knowing your audience and I think that needs to be very clear. If *you* are in a relationship vs. if *you* have been asked to speak to an audience of willing participants, vs. speaking to an audience of unwilling participants, vs. speaking with someone searching, vs. speaking to a mixed audience such as that on this message board, etc. etc. the dynamics change, but I would argue that a respectful message is always the best, and since different people have different standards of what is respectful, the bar must be held very high. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Finally regarding your opinion that it is factual that spanking is abusive…

Your post implies that when a message is delivered with love, and best intentions (and I would add reasonable judgment), that it can be effective even though the delivery may be seen by some to be less than fully effective (perhaps even as abusive, by definition). That is how I feel about spanking, in other words, spanking is not inherently abusive (though granted is also not effective) if it is delivered with love and best intentions and reasonable judgment. And so while in you opinion, to say that ‘spanking is abusive’ is a factual statement, for me it is not, unless you strip the word abusive to mean something like ‘the infliction of physical pain/discomfort’ (by which definition much medical care would also be abusive by definition) and clearly state that so that my mind doesn’t go to all the societal connotations of the meaning of the word abusive. Please note, I am NOT advocating for spanking. My point, while I think you may be correct, I don’t think it worth the chance. I think that if love and intent can make even an ‘offensive’ message palatable and effective, then to keep the love and intent, but remove the ‘offensive’ makes the message (or discipline) even that much more palatable and effective.
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#153 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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Thinkblu,

Thank you for your thought provoking post. I do disagree with much and agree with much. Basically, I think that those who use force against a child debase themselves to the audience of force, if only verbally, or through non-violent interventions. (ie. meeting the audience where they are) So, someone who is hitting a child in public, basically opens himself up to the harsh vocabulary of public judgement which includes our cultural connotation that their actions are 'abusive'. In the moment, and within the cultural context of judgment. However, I do agree, that the actions of hitting a child are intended to meet an underlying need of the parent and that by befriending the parent, one has more opportunity to affect change. But once a child *is being hit* in PUBLIC, the action is what needs to cease, in the moment. And if words, harsh or otherwise, redirect the anger, give voice to questioning their uncontrollable anger, or empower the child, that is my goal. To give *harsh* voice to the dissent of the child.

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And so while in you opinion, to say that ‘spanking is abusive’ is a factual statement, for me it is not, unless you strip the word abusive to mean something like ‘the infliction of physical pain/discomfort’ (by which definition much medical care would also be abusive by definition) and clearly state that so that my mind doesn’t go to all the societal connotations of the meaning of the word abusive.
Abuse-the infliction of physical pain/discomfort against one's consent. Therein lies the difference. And as a critical care nurse, I can attest to much which would probably meet this definition of abuse, tragically. Yes, the cultural connotation of the "wrongfulness" of the action of the swing of your fist, ends at my nose. Or a child's body. Except as is consensually agreed: boxing, football, wrestling, IV insertions, setting broken limbs, surgery, etc. It is only children who do not live in our culture with the benefit of the connotation of violation when their body is imposed upon *against* their consent. Children are treated in the same category as property. Lower than pets. Perhaps almost at the same level of pets, since movie stars are activists for animal rights.



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#154 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 02:52 PM
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No, children are treated slightly higher than animals still...we still aren't allowed to eat them for dinner

...but Ferber is working on that book probably....
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#155 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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An interesting thought I've had while reading this discussion:

We know that societal attitudes can go a long way to improving behaviour. Example, where I live it is illegal to smoke in restaurants and bars and any other public places. More and more the overall attitude to smoking is "it's gross". People give you dirty looks if you light up near them, even at the bus stop. I've seen the smokers becoming more and more aware of this, and taking steps to keep their smoke away from other people, etc. Yet in places where no such laws and attitudes exist, parents openly parade around with lit cigarettes in one hand, and babies in the other. It's not that people are going around here saying "you're abusive! you rotten parent!", but there is just an overall societal unacceptance of this behaviour that seems to really have an effect on what people do.

Similarly, spanking is just not done here. And if it is, they keep it away from the public eye. Again, it's not that armies of GD parents are running around calling spankers abusive, horrible parents. But somehow the message of disapproval has come out (and, I'm proud to say, our own government health organizations advocate against it, both in information pamphlets, children's programming, etc). So even if there are a few who spank, they simply wouldn't have the balls to do it in public. RIGHT THERE this sends a message. I mean, if you don't want to do it in public then you MUST admit that the majority of people don't parent this way, ergo there must be another way of doing things.

So....my question is: how do these changes in soceital attitude come about? When did my city become so anti-smoking (I well remember the furor that arose when they first proposed banning smoking in restaurants - now nobody even thinks about it). How did my city become anti-spanking?

I don't think it was by using terms like abuse and violence.

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#156 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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I am completely willing to say that the words one chooses are important but that's about it. I do not find any of the arguments that hitting is not abusive convincing. There is not a convincing argument that using these words belittles other forms of abuse. I am not convinced that using these words is offensive to "most" people and I think that those of you who think that might want to look into the origional message this is sending...ie. "You cant handle the truth". IMO, until we're willing to "call a spade a spade" when it comes to violence, it's going to continue to be overlooked by the greater culture.

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#157 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
So....my question is: how do these changes in soceital attitude come about? When did my city become so anti-smoking (I well remember the furor that arose when they first proposed banning smoking in restaurants - now nobody even thinks about it). How did my city become anti-spanking?

I don't think it was by using terms like abuse and violence.
Cross post, Piglet

I disagree. I think that things like smoking got banned because people finally admitted that it is deadly! I think that hitting children becomes more an more taboo as people speak out about what it really is. Violence.

I could ask how a culture becomes anti-spanking without these words?

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#158 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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This is from the WHO Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Article 19
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.


Note that they use the word violence and abuse and the term "all forms".

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#159 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Scubamama
I do disagree with much and agree with much.
Well, as I think we near the end of this thread, I am happy to say that I think largely, we are all mostly debating degrees of grey.
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Basically, I think that those who use force against a child debase themselves to the audience of force, if only verbally, or through non-violent interventions. (ie. meeting the audience where they are) So, someone who is hitting a child in public, basically opens himself up to the harsh vocabulary of public judgement which includes our cultural connotation that their actions are 'abusive'. In the moment, and within the cultural context of judgment. However, I do agree, that the actions of hitting a child are intended to meet an underlying need of the parent and that by befriending the parent, one has more opportunity to affect change.
Well said and I see your point. While I agree that those who use force open themselves up to attack, I still would not advocate that to attack (verbally or otherwise) would be an appropriate or effective response.
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But once a child *is being hit* in PUBLIC, the action is what needs to cease, in the moment. And if words, harsh or otherwise, redirect the anger, give voice to questioning their uncontrollable anger, or empower the child, that is my goal. To give *harsh* voice to the dissent of the child.
Again, I can see your point. I vote for “otherwise”. I don’t see where using harsh words helps to deliver the message.
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Abuse-the infliction of physical pain/discomfort against one's consent.
Per this definition, “IV insertions, setting broken limbs, surgery, etc.” would be abusive if the child did not give consent, would it not.?

Quote:
It is only children who do not live in our culture with the benefit of the connotation of violation when their body is imposed upon *against* their consent. Children are treated in the same category as property. Lower than pets. Perhaps almost at the same level of pets, since movie stars are activists for animal rights.
I will attempt to respond to this separately (though I have been attempting for about a week, and I’m not sure I’m very close to having something ‘post-able’.) But I disagree. I agree that children have different rights , in some specific ways, I can see where an argument can be made that their rights are inferior, in other ways I think an argument could be made that they are superior (i.e., right to free education)…..in all, I think they are just different, and IMO, understandably and justifiably different….anyway, watch for more on this if interested.
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#160 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I am not convinced that using these words is offensive to "most" people
What about to "some" people? How do you differentiate? What do you propose to undo the offense once it has been done? I'm not against calling a "spade a spade", I'm against calling a spade abusive. What is it that can be conveyed by calling spanking abuse, that can't be conveyed with other words?

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I think that things like smoking got banned because people finally admitted that it is deadly!
I think that part of what is changing perception of smoking is that it has been shown to cause cancer and other lung disorders that I can't spell and partially because of public service campaigns and public policy, not because of statements which put smokers on the defesive. Can we not make an equally convincing argument against spanking with out putting people on the defense?
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#161 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
Article 19
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.


Note that they use the word violence and abuse and the term "all forms".
Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking a lot about the rights of the child lately and this sends me on a welcomed new direction. For what is worth, I found the following link, critical of the US's involvement in the process...http://www.un.org/News/briefings/doc...ucaspc.doc.htm

Curious how they define some of their terms. Part of why I think words such as abuse should be avoided, is because the have such extremely different meanings to different people. Kinda like the word discipline.
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#162 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
What about to "some" people? How do you differentiate? What do you propose to undo the offense once it has been done?
I am just true to myself, my intentions and the situation rather than making assumptions about how another person will react. This is in part because I think the assumptions alone can be offensive. Once an offence has occured, I would do my best to correct it. IME, if I'm coming from a good place, that's an easy thing to do.

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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
I'm not against calling a "spade a spade", I'm against calling a spade abusive. What is it that can be conveyed by calling spanking abuse, that can't be conveyed with other words?
Yes, I hear you. I just have not had the experience where I felt I needed to convey my words in another way. This is a sort of Occam's Razor (one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything) type issue, no?

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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
Not to be snarky, but define deadly! I think that part of what is changing perception of smoking is that it has been shown to cause cancer and other lung disorders that I can't spell and partially because of public service campaigns and public policy, not because of statements like Smoking is deadly.
Public policy is not the catalyst. The catilist is the reason that change is needed.

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#163 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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Well, according to that article the Bush administration feels that the words "rights" and "services" are too open to interpretation.

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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
Part of why I think words such as abuse should be avoided, is because the have such extremely different meanings to different people. Kinda like the word discipline.
Well, that's a good point if this has been a problem for you. I too have heard the word discipline used in many different ways but I choose to use it meaning "to teach" because I think this sends a positive message. When having a discussion, the definition of words can be a really good method of flushing out ideas. In this way, a conflict can be a good thing.

At this point I'd be REALLY interested in seeing the US law that exempts hitting children from being illegal! Does anyone know where to find that?

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#164 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know this is off topic, but I just can't see starting a new thread for this.....

Question regarding: children have been relagated to second-class or property status [in the U.S.]….

I have been trying unsucessfully to draft a response, and before I go off again on my soapbox…if it were illegal for parents/guardians to spank or use other forms of physical punishment and if children had the right to sue (which by my understanding, they do but as minors, they need representation) would that change your opinion?

A few days ago, I thought the idea that children are treated as second-class citizens was really extreme, and taking the whole 'spanking is abuse' debate up a notch, but now I'm thinking that if one sees spanking as tantamount to abuse, and sees legislation making spanking legal, the natural logical conclusion IS that children are treated as second-class citizens. Does anyone disagree with my logic?

Does anyone here think that spanking is NOT tantamount to abuse but still feel that children are treated as second-class citizens?
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#165 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I'd be REALLY interested in seeing the US law that exempts hitting children from being illegal! Does anyone know where to find that?
http://familyrightsassociation.com/i...nking_laws.htm
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#166 of 177 Old 01-09-2006, 08:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
Well, as I think we near the end of this thread, I am happy to say that I think largely, we are all mostly debating degrees of grey.

Well said and I see your point. While I agree that those who use force open themselves up to attack, I still would not advocate that to attack (verbally or otherwise) would be an appropriate or effective response.
Perhaps, we need to define "attack". I certainly don't believe that calling a violent act "violence", an attack. Nor is identifying the use of violence by a 100-200 pound individual, against a little child, "abusive", an attack. And in public, in the moment, I work to empathize before a parent's anger escalates. But, I am fine saying that violence is violence, in any context.

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Again, I can see your point. I vote for “otherwise”. I don’t see where using harsh words helps to deliver the message.
Most people do evaluate their actions according to a personal moral code and generally people do not evaluate the act of hitting a child "amoral". But violence and abuse are considered "amoral". So, by saying A=B and B=C, one can come to the same conclusion that A=C. And, *therefore* at least pause to consider their actions. Most just dismiss their actions and justify it as "discipline". Discipline need not include violence. Abuse is not discipline.

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Per this definition, “IV insertions, setting broken limbs, surgery, etc.” would be abusive if the child did not give consent, would it not.?
Thank you for making my point so succinctly. I agree, that a child's consent is needed for medical interventions.

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I will attempt to respond to this separately (though I have been attempting for about a week, and I’m not sure I’m very close to having something ‘post-able’.) But I disagree. I agree that children have different rights , in some specific ways, I can see where an argument can be made that their rights are inferior, in other ways I think an argument could be made that they are superior (i.e., right to free education)…..in all, I think they are just different, and IMO, understandably and justifiably different….anyway, watch for more on this if interested.
Ummm....public education is compulsory, not volitional even. I believe a "right" must be something desirable and doesn't infringe upon freedom (ie. elective). A right conveys and ensures freedoms from compulsion, public education limits freedoms of the child based upon their age. Ageism. Again, thank you for making my point so succinctly.

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#167 of 177 Old 01-10-2006, 12:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
A few days ago, I thought the idea that children are treated as second-class citizens was really extreme, and taking the whole 'spanking is abuse' debate up a notch, but now I'm thinking that if one sees spanking as tantamount to abuse, and sees legislation making spanking legal, the natural logical conclusion IS that children are treated as second-class citizens. Does anyone disagree with my logic?

Does anyone here think that spanking is NOT tantamount to abuse but still feel that children are treated as second-class citizens?
Well, I'm not certain exactly what you are asking, but... I do think spanking is abuse. I do think that children have second-class status in our culture. I do not think that based solely on the status of legislation regarding spanking.

Clear as mud?

There are many aspects of culture and law that cause me to believe that children are discriminated against. I'll try to delve into them in you are interested, but scubamama already addressed the compulsory schooling part - and I'm fairly confident that I would agree with her stand on other aspects...
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#168 of 177 Old 01-10-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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Perhaps the equally emotional argument that "children are treated like property" might or might not make the point more clearly.

The point is that children (as a group or "class" of individuals), by law, have severely limited ability of recourse about how they are treated as compared to other "groups". Just as the "groups" of women and blacks had limited laws available to protect them from the will of the master. Children are "second class citizens" by law still. Not to mention the laws which *limit* children's rights of recourse, ie. you can't sue your parent for restraint of association, restriant of freedom of speech, restraint of free movement and restraint of other Civil Liberties which are endowed by the Constitution to all but CHILDREN! Ageism is the next equal footing upon which I am working to change. The sad part is that ageism is so pervasive as to be invisible. Just as patriarchy was (is). "It has always been done this way." "This is the way it is done."

Not to mention the right to be free from being physically hit. Of all things, how could that right not be remitted to other human citizens of a "civilized" country. We extended it to prisoners, mental patients, the elderly, animals..... Finally women and minorities. But not children. Is this clearer?

One need only look around at MDC to see children:

1. forced into carseats
2. food choice withheld
3. forced to stay in bed
4. forced to go to bed
5. personal property taken, under the guise of "discipline" without due process
6. forced to go to places they don't want to go
7. forced to leave places against their will
8. limitations placed on choice of friends and associations that are not "approved"
9. punished, again without due process for language or expression (ie. "back talk", "sassing")
10. restrictions on access to media

11. gifts and money are controlled by another
12. restraint on phone usage
13. restriction on mobility, under the guise of "grounding"

etc.




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#169 of 177 Old 01-10-2006, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, it's clear I would be in waaaay over my head to even begin to respond. Curious, IYO, should children have the same rights (i.e., alcohol, concentual sexual relations, firearms, contractual relations, marriage, military service, pornography, employment, etc.) as adults? Should they have the same authority and responsibility as adults? Should their lapses in judgement bear the same consequence as for adults?

This all seems so incompatable with 'organized society/civilization'. While *you* may see this as an ideal, do *you* see it as in anyway potentally feasable? If I can be so bold, would someone be interested in putting together their vision for a world where children are treated as equals and what that looks like?
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#170 of 177 Old 01-10-2006, 07:32 PM
 
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I don't have much time, but as an overview (without getting into specifics) I think that children are way more capable than we allow them to be. They want to learn from capable adults and model us. Youth does not immediately and inherently equal bad judgement. I believe that children who are given their innate rights to choose the course of their lives know to seek out guidance from trusted people when they are unable to decide from within themselves.

I don't believe that they need be turned away from family and denied access to guidance from the ones who love them to ensure they have choice. It seems to me that most here feel that we are saying we must let them go with no family connection at all - that there will be unguided children running the streets making poor choices without consequence.

I believe that childen stop seeking guidance when they can't trust their guides.

I trust my child's innate abilities and honor his karma. I hope to live up to his trust in me.
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#171 of 177 Old 01-10-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
Wow, it's clear I would be in waaaay over my head to even begin to respond. Curious, IYO, should children have the same rights (i.e., alcohol, concentual sexual relations, firearms, contractual relations, marriage, military service, pornography, employment, etc.) as adults? Should they have the same authority and responsibility as adults? Should their lapses in judgement bear the same consequence as for adults?

This all seems so incompatable with 'organized society/civilization'. While *you* may see this as an ideal, do *you* see it as in anyway potentally feasable? If I can be so bold, would someone be interested in putting together their vision for a world where children are treated as equals and what that looks like?
Do you think that ALL adults have the ability to handle alcohol, sexual relations, firearms, contracts, marriage, military service, pornography, employment due to obtaining the age of 18, or 21 in some "rights"?

Do you think that carseats, food choice, bedtimes, personal property, freedom of association, freedom of transit, media access, phone usage and mobility are of the same degree of danger to others in society as alcohol, sexual relations, firearms, contracts, marriage, military service, pornography, employment, etc.?

Aren't all adults able to *choose* their advisors and accept the consequences of their choice to follow the advice of others? What about the fiduciary relationship that is endowed upon the "advisor", such as a CPA, Lawyer, Physician? Adults have the choice to "disobey" or disregard the advice of advisors that they deem untrustworthy, and elect to create a new advisory relationship, AT WILL. Children have no such authority. On the contrary, our society disavows the child against such "disobedience" of assumed "authority".

I believe that as children are empowered to choose their advisors, that the advice might be less coercive, less forced, more consensual. And as such more respected *because* it considers the child's perspective. The role of the advisor is only as valued as the trust of the advisor. I would expect that those who demonstrate an inability to consider the child's perspective would loose advisement power. And each child is then empowered to seek an alternative representative, without the submission to coercion. (Unless, one still believes that "all children" must be subject to coercion. I presume that this belief has been dispelled by now. )

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#172 of 177 Old 01-11-2006, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not trying to debate or discredit this idea, I am trying to understand. I realize the examples I gave were extreme. I am trying to understand where/how the line(s) would be drawn. I can think of many reasons why this doesn’t make sense *to me*, many reasons why this could not work in today’s urban and suburban areas, and many examples which *prove* *to me* that if this were the way that our society functioned, that many people I know, including myself likely would not even be alive at this point…but I realize that because I have never been apart or seen anything even close to this, and can not even find any examples through history (of urbanized areas) that my reasons and examples are riddled with prejudices, biases and are conjecture at best.

I am asking for someone to give me a vision of what this looks like. In a perfect world, how does this look? A key thought that I have is that different responsibilities necessitates different authorities, and I think, different rights. Not better or worse, just different. Do these differences equate to inequalities? I am asking for education, and perhaps that is not fair.

I want to try to steer clear of examples, because I think examples are going to serve as ‘speedbumps’ to ‘big picture’ understanding, but in case responses to your questions/comments help to clarify….

Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Youth does not immediately and inherently equal bad judgement. I believe that children who are given their innate rights to choose the course of their lives know to seek out guidance from trusted people when they are unable to decide from within themselves.
I agree youth does not equate to bad judgment, (neither does adulthood) but I do think that experience and responsibility generally inform better judgment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I don't believe that they need be turned away from family and denied access to guidance from the ones who love them to ensure they have choice. It seems to me that most here feel that we are saying we must let them go with no family connection at all - that there will be unguided children running the streets making poor choices without consequence.
Didn’t mean to suggest that they would be turned away, but given what I have read, I have concluded that they would have the option to turn away and I am fearful of what ‘lures’ they might turn to in such circumstances. I think children are beautiful and capable, but I also think they *can be* overly trusting, naïve and even gullible. If you can’t trust parents (and laws as they pertain to families) to generally act in the best interest of their children, how could it possibly work on a larger societal (urbanized) scale? To be honest, given my understanding of this, I do see unguided/misguided children running the streets making poor choices WITH HORRIBLE consequence. I know that there is a physiological condition where once people have acted in ways that they feel let their loved ones down, they often choose to banish themselves, feeling they no longer deserve to be in loving surroundings or no longer deserve the love of those most precious to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
Do you think that ALL adults have the ability to handle…(fill in the vise of your choice, lol)
No, but generally they have the right until they demonstrate that their right to do so infringes on the rights of others. Would the same apply to children or would something different apply to both adults and children? What would this look like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
Do you think that carseats, food choice, bedtimes, personal property, freedom of association, freedom of transit, media access, phone usage and mobility are of the same degree of danger to others in society as alcohol, sexual relations, firearms, contracts, marriage, military service, pornography, employment, etc.?
Again, where/how do you draw the line(s)?

Freedom of transit? What exactly does that mean? That my child can go where and when he pleases? Add freedom of association…with or without whomever he pleases? My heart sinks. I just can’t imagine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
I would expect that those who demonstrate an inability to consider the child's perspective would loose advisement power. And each child is then empowered to seek an alternative representative, without the submission to coercion.
scubamama on a side note. I think your writing style is quite eloquent and you demonstrate a strong vocabulary. Your writings however go a bit ‘above my head’. I mention this because I don’t want you to think I am playing dumb, or being snarky in my responses. More than once I thought I was agreeing with you only to later feel that I had completely misinterpreted based on a subsequent response from you.

I interpret the above to mean that the child would take away the advisement power. Sadly, while I think this may be the case once a child has a strong foundation, I foresee this not consistently being the case, and to return to a previous point I made…if you can’t trust parents (and laws as they pertain to families) to generally act in the best interest of their children, how could it possibly work on a larger societal (urbanized) scale?
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#173 of 177 Old 01-11-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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Thinkblu,

I enjoyed your queries. I will need to consider them. It occurred to me that there are a couple of glaring examples of children as second class citizens. Circumcision came to mind. And their lack of voting rights. Here is an article related to children's right to vote.
http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/0408/JulyAug04.pdf

Yesterday, I happened upon another example which was profoundly evident. I was visiting a very AP, co-sleeping until they are 8+, tandem nursing, homeschooling, nonvax, noncirc, yada, yada, non-spanking friend. Their 13.5 year old has earned and saved over $700 mowing lawns, doing clean up yard work, trimming, prunning, etc. over the past year or 18 months. The young man, wishes to spend all of his saved money on a new riding lawn mower, in order to be able to do more business. HIS parents refused "allowing" him to spend HIS money this way.

Pat

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#174 of 177 Old 01-11-2006, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
there are a couple of glaring examples of children as second class citizens. Circumcision came to mind. And their lack of voting rights.
Finally, something I can get my head around

Specifically regarding voting...wouldn't it be nice if in order to vote (or run for political office ) we could somehow check a persons (any persons) basic awareness and ability to think as an individual?

As for circumcision (or infant ear piercing), I can definatly see the point there too, but expand it to vaacines and other medical care issues and my head starts swimming again.
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#175 of 177 Old 01-11-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
To be honest, given my understanding of this, I do see unguided/misguided children running the streets making poor choices WITH HORRIBLE consequence. I know that there is a physiological condition where once people have acted in ways that they feel let their loved ones down, they often choose to banish themselves, feeling they no longer deserve to be in loving surroundings or no longer deserve the love of those most precious to them.
Unfortunately, yet again, I'm stealing some puter time and don't have much of it.

I wanted to say that in the above quote, I feel strongly that the example(s) here are not the results of giving children their rights. I suspect these children had poor or no guidance available to them. It is a very sad situation.
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#176 of 177 Old 01-11-2006, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately, yet again, I'm stealing some puter time and don't have much of it.

I wanted to say that in the above quote, I feel strongly that the example(s) here are not the results of giving children their rights. I suspect these children had poor or no guidance available to them. It is a very sad situation.
Take your time, I'll be around.
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#177 of 177 Old 01-11-2006, 09:51 PM
 
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Specifically regarding voting...wouldn't it be nice if in order to vote (or run for political office ) we could somehow check a persons (any persons) basic awareness and ability to think as an individual?
This was done in the past when people with dark-hued skin were given the right to vote. States then required them to pass certain tests of ability to vote, which most couldn't pass. Funny thing is, many of the people with lighter-colored skin, who already had been voting, probably wouldn't have been able to pass the test, either. The US founding fathers initially wanted only landowners to have the right to vote. Eventually the idea of requiring a person to demonstrate a certain competency in order to be allowed to vote was ruled unlawful. If you are an adult and a citizen of the country, you have a right to have a say in what laws are made that might affect you, via your right to vote. The problem is that for any "test" of awareness and thinking, there will be some subset of people that would not test well due to cultural or ethnic differences, and it would not be fair.

This is so OT, but fun to think about. I don't think its possible to interfere with a person's right to vote, but if somehow a virus were engineered that only affected people who voted for The Shrub, I would not cry too hard for too long. Its one of my favorite fantasies. What if you woke up one morning and there were no more Republicans?
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