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

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Old 01-02-2006, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read or been involved with a couple of threads which seem to imply that if parents do not practice GD (i.e., if they spank or are judged to belittle or humiliate their children), that they are guilty of abuse. When I read things like spanking=abuse (which in my mind it logically follows that spankers=abusers) the hair on the back of my neck goes up! In my book, accusing someone of abuse is tantamount to calling someone a criminal i.e., theif, murderer. I think using words like abuse and violence to discribe non-GD parenting choices does a huge disservice to the cause of GD, as IMO it makes GDers look like extremists. A part of me thinks that folks who use such words do so for shock value, a part of me thinks they have different definitions and 'hold the bar pretty low' (i.e., physical discomfort=abuse) and another part of me wonders if they see the definitions the same as me, and really see non-GD parenting as tantamount to criminal activity. Anyway, in my attempt to better understand, I have the following questions. (Note - If you prefer not to answer my questions, please still feel free to participate in the discussion.)

In the confines of discussing non-GD parenting, what would be your definition for violent or violence? (What would be your threshhold for feeling use of the word was approipriate?)

In the confines of discussing non-GD parenting, what would be your definition for child abuse? (What would be your threshhold for feeling use of the word abuse was approipriate?)?

In your opinion, what should be the consequence of commiting child abuse?

Do you think words like abuse and violence can be offensive?

Do you think using words like abuse and violence to describe non-GD parenting likely would be offensive to parents practicing non-GD parenting?

If you use words like abuse and violence in talking about non-GD parenting choices, do you care if others take offense? Would you change your vocabulary if you knew you were causing offense? Is it your intent to cause offense?

Do you think using words like abuse and violence to discribe non-GD parenting styles does a disservice to GD? What do you think the over-all effect is?




I'll go first, though I'm sure my answers will change as I read some of yours...(note - this was harder than I expected!)

In the confines of discussing non-GD parenting, what would be your definition for violent or violence? (What would be your threshhold for feeling use of the word was approipriate?)

Intentional inflection of physical or mental injury without regard for the injured. With injury meaning non-superficial harm.

In the confines of discussing non-GD parenting, what would be your definition for child abuse? (What would be your threshhold for feeling use of the word abuse was approipriate?)

Inflection of physical or mental/emotional injury, typically with intent, but could also be a result of extreme poor judgement or neglect. With injury meaning non-superficial harm, i.e., in the case of physical - bruising, bleeding, burning, extended or repeated physical isolation, most situations involving physical bondage (some exceptions for health and safety), etc., possibly failure to seek medical treatment and in the case of mental, humiliation with intent to harm, belittling with intent to harm, scapegoating, emotional torture such as inflicting the emotion of extreme fear, emotional isolation, depriving of education. Any sexual contact or use of a child for sexual purposes.

In your opinion, what should be the consequence of commiting child abuse?

Tough one as I have limited background on the topic. I think that at minimum the children should be removed or fully supervised by a person without bias towards the abuser until such a time as the abuser can recieve treatment and demonstrate control to abstain from abusive behavior, then probabation/follow-up. As approipriate (which I think is always) legal action.

Less sure of this part, but if a lack of concern/regard for the injured exists, permenant loss of contact?

Do you think words like abuse and violence can be offensive?

Absolutely!

Do you think using words like abuse and violence to describe non-GD parenting likely would be offensive to parents practicing non-GD parenting?

Absolutely!

If you use words like abuse and violence in talking about non-GD parenting choices, do you care if others take offense? Would you change your vocabulary if you knew you were causing offense? Is it your intent to cause offense?

N/A as I would not use them except to describe criminal behavior, at which time I would not care if the 'criminal' took offense. In the sake of truthfulness, I could not in clear conscience use words to deminish their offense.

Do you think using words like abuse and violence to discribe non-GD parenting styles does a disservice to GD? What do you think the over-all effect is?

I think it does a huge disservice. I think it closes the ears of persons accross the spectrum (even me, a GDer), and leads to labeling the messenger and the cause as extreme and activist.
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:21 PM
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Wow, that is a lot of questions!

I do think hitting a child is an act of violence. To me, there is no other word you can put in place that would make sense. It sounds very odd to me to hear things like:

"I hit my child out of love" or "I don't hit them when I am angry so it is okay" etc...

I would actually prefer someone hit their child in anger if they hit them at all --- because it seems more human to me to be very frustrated and upset in the moment and just lash out with a spank on the butt or whatever, then to methodically and carefully plan out your beatings in quiet moments of reflection ---- I DO NOT advocate spanking or hitting AT ALL, but the former would be more *human* (though not acceptable) to me than the latter which seems downright creepy and weird.

I don't think we should paint everyone with a broad brush. There are people who systematically abuse their children and their are people who aren't abusers by legal definition but still commit acts of violence on their children and shame and humiliate them on a daily basis. There are people who may spank their child once every 2 years when they have gotten to the end of their rope, and their are people who use spanking and shaming as regular, acceptable forms of "discipline" in their every day life.

It is dificult to answer the questions you asked without putting people into neat little boxes. I think it is detremental to do that....

I will say though, that hitting is an act of violence. The act of striking someone else, anyone, but especially someone who is completely dependent on you in every way -- even if it doesn't physically "leave a mark" is an act of violence. There is no way to sugarcoat it. The parents may not be violent people by nature, they may be very loving in other ways, they may be fine, stand-up people... but striking another human being is an act of violence. It is not an act of love.

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 have no problem sharing this opinion to people who strike their children. Of course, it is common knowledge that you start on the soft sell... I would first ask questions, tell them about certain books or what has helped our family etc....but if people take the "spanking never hurt anyone", "they need a good whack" approach or similar... I would have and have had, no problem telling them that they are committing acts of violence on their children.

Other people becoming offended doesn't bother me in the least. What is truly offensive is a 150 lb (or larger) parent striking a 30lb toddler and making excuses to justify it. It is horrible imo.


Anywhoo...
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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Way too many questions, so I'll get to the heart of the issue. I think that striking a child in any way is abuse. If an adult strikes another adult they are jailed for it. They should be if they strike a child, too. Emotional abuse takes on so many forms it's not even possible to list and is much more subjective.

I would hope that as adults we've learned that there are other, more loving ways of dealing with our children (and controlling our tempers) than to hit. We don't let OUR children hit another child.............

Using pp's example, how can this possibly be logical in any way????:

30 lb. toddler hits 30 lb. toddler = NOT OKAY
150 lb. adult hits 150 lb. adult = NOT OKAY
150 lb. adult hits 30 lb. toddler = OKAY WTF??????
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic
Way too many questions, so I'll get to the heart of the issue. I think that striking a child in any way is abuse. If an adult strikes another adult they are jailed for it. They should be if they strike a child, too. Emotional abuse takes on so many forms it's not even possible to list and is much more subjective.

I would hope that as adults we've learned that there are other, more loving ways of dealing with our children (and controlling our tempers) than to hit. We don't let OUR children hit another child.............

Using pp's example, how can this possibly be logical in any way????:

30 lb. toddler hits 30 lb. toddler = NOT OKAY
150 lb. adult hits 150 lb. adult = NOT OKAY
150 lb. adult hits 30 lb. toddler = OKAY WTF??????
Okay, first I want to say that I think hitting another person including a child is ALWAYS wrong. Always.

BUT the argument you made is just not true and does no service to the GD philosophy.

Picture this. A man swats his wife on her backside in anger. No mark left or anything. Do you honestly, in any true way, beleive that if that woman calls the police and describes what happened the man will be jailed? The answer is no.

So saying EVERY hitting of an adult by another will result in criminal charges or jail is just silly. It overstates your case and turns off people who think swatting their child is OK.

Its not OK. Its not OK for the man to swat his wife either but let's not make stuff up to make our case.
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:13 PM
 
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I have to agree with Maya..it's not that black and white~there is the burden of proof and all. But with regard to public hitting I think there is truth in what you say. The hitter might not be jailed but they could be charged if the adult wants to..they have that recourse.

If we were talking about the hitting happening in front of witnesses..the same crime Man against woman and man against child the law would be different for the first than the second. That's a fact though, in most places.

If I were walking down the street with my DH and suddenly he grabbed me by the arm, twisted it and started swatting me in anger for something I did someone would probably call the police or if I did he would be charged.

If same thing happened to a child the person wouldn't be charged because child was misbehaving and needs the discipline.

In this case identical crime but different punishment only because it's ok to hit little children under the law.
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44

Picture this. A man swats his wife on her backside in anger. No mark left or anything. Do you honestly, in any true way, beleive that if that woman calls the police and describes what happened the man will be jailed? The answer is no.
No, but a woman can leave that man, get a restraining order against him and leave the burden of proof to a civil court decision. Children can't do that. They take their licks and then have to cower the next time they want to express an opinon.
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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I agree with what you are saying in the pp's. My only point was that we must not overstate are arguments.

No one, and I mean no one, will jail or even charge another adult becaue they lightly swatted their spouse on the butt.

So let's not pretend that THAT is the reason why hitting a child is wrong.

Even lightly swatting at a child is wrong because it tells our children that their should be a physical response to another's behavior. It tells them that the ends justifies the means. And it tells them that we have no respect for their physical person.

Let's not make bad arguments to support good philosophy!
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses so far, but this is not accomplishing what I was hoping, so I'm going to try to redirect. I apologize for all the questions, I thought it prudent to start with definitions, since I think is where I usually get lost. People use terms that I suspect mean very different things to different people. If in my family we call apples oranges, than for me to post about oranges means very little to any of you. I think it goes without saying that we all feel physical punishment is wrong, why else would we strive to practice GD?

Anyway, in attempts to redirect, 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, whether you think it more often good or bad to use terms like abuse and violent when discussing non-GD parenting, (recognizing that a given answer does not work 100%, use the threshhold of 51% in making your determination unless you feel it 50/50) i.e, does it typically wake people up or typically shut them down, 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?
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by maya44
No one, and I mean no one, will jail or even charge another adult becaue they lightly swatted their spouse on the butt.
Jailed? Maybe not. Charged? Most likely, if the offended spouse wants it.

About terms: I don't think legal definitions go far enough. I do believe, though, that using terms like "violence" and "abuse" to parents who hit, shame, and belittle their children may alienate them initially. Sugar-coating, however, helps nothing.

I disagree that using the word abuse to describe something lesser than legal abuse trivializes the experiences of children who have been abused in a way that fits the legal definition. The definitions of words are changed through common usage and the hitting, belittling, and otherwise treating children as second-class citizens that goes on in many homes, while it may not have the immediate effect that requires emergency action to protect the child's life, does have a slow-burn effect that grows a damaged adult. As long as we continue to treat that behavior with kid gloves through using terms that convey acceptance, no change will occur.
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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I have a hard time referring to spanking as "violent" or "abusive."

I've experienced domestic abuse, and I've witnessed loving parents who judiciously use corporal punishment. 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.

Abuse is about one party (whether it's a spouse or a parent) not taking responsibility for his/her actions: "Look what you made me do" or "If you'd just kept your mouth shut I wouldn't have had to hit you."

Non-GD punishment is when the parent slaps/hits/spanks at a time when taking some kind of action IS appropriate- the child has intentionally thrown sand in another child's face, or broken something he/she was told not to touch in the first place, etc. A GD parent would also step in and "do something" about the child's behavior, but the "something" wouldn't involve hitting the child.

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Old 01-02-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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"No, but a woman can leave that man, get a restraining order against him and leave the burden of proof to a civil court decision. "

In this case she would not be able to get a restraining order (at least in Tennessee)because the man was not convicted of anything. She would not even be able to get an order of protection with nothing more than that happening. You are right she could just leave though.


I dislike people using the words abuse for everything they disagree with. I have seen people calling parents giving their children candy or soda abusive, I have seen people calling parents putting their children in daycare neglectful, I have seen people calling co-sleeping, extended nuring abusive. No matter what side you parent on (more traditional or more alternative) someone who disagrees with you will think you are abusive.

I have spent my life helping children who have been abused. I have spoken at schools to children about these things. I have talked with people who have suffered from real abuses. Honestly it sickens me when people dilute the word abuse. Abuse is a strong word (with a real defenition) and not a word that will change meaning with each persons opinions. It does a disservice to those who have truly been through abuse or neglet of some kind. It ties up the services designed to help those in the situations. It make the general public less sympathetic and willing help to those who have been abused.
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by immortal
No matter what side you parent on (more traditional or more alternative) someone who disagrees with you will think you are abusive.

I have spent my life helping children who have been abused. I have spoken at schools to children about these things. I have talked with people who have suffered from real abuses. Honestly it sickens me when people dilute the word abuse. Abuse is a strong word (with a real defenition) and not a word that will change meaning with each persons opinions. It does a disservice to those who have truly been through abuse or neglet of some kind. It ties up the services designed to help those in the situations. It make the general public less sympathetic and willing help to those who have been abused.
Well said.

While I can see instances where saying that such and such is an abuse of parental authority, I think the word "abuse" has sooooo many conotations, legal and otherwise that it should be reserved for times when truely no other word conveys the message.
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThinkBlu
i.e, does it typically wake people up or typically shut them down, 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?
I think it shuts them down. It doesn't work; it backfires; the person stops hearing what you are saying once you have attacked them by calling it abuse.

If we are interested in really helping the parents learn better ways of interacting with their children, then, as many previous posters have talked about in other posts, a better approach would be more empathic and sympathetic, connecting with the parent regarding how hard it is to raise children, and being on their side in figuring out a better way together.

If we are interested in feeling righteous anger, then accuse them of abuse. I admit to occasionally enjoying feeling righteous. Maybe its a sign of my own insecurity at times. I think its important to accept that at times I like feeling angry and righteous, and I'm not interested in helping the other parent, I'm only interested in feeling angry and righteous! Once I get that out of my system then maybe I can think of better ways to help the parent.
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:34 PM
 
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I think there is a line. I do NOT advocate spanking at all and IMO is wrong on ALL levels. But, I am trying to ponder the thought of it being abusive in your POV. I think it def can be. For eg. spanking with a belt of wooden spoon. See the line is SO not set in stone here. imo. I am just having a hrad time explaining when it does become abuse or when it is not, so really in my mind all forms of it is. Inflicting pain on another individual is abuse.

It is like the smoking thing. Either you smoke or you don't. It doesn't matter if you inhale or not.

so, I guess it is safe for me to say I just do not agree with your argument.
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:56 PM
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Inflicting pain on another individual is abuse.
I completely agree. What the other posters are talking about is severity of abuse.

Yes, there are differing degrees of abuse, but I don't think one can say something like "oh, they just hit them on the butt, that is not abuse".

Of course, there are more severe cases of abuse, but it is all abuse.

Where do we draw the line? I mean, under some people's definitions it is not abuse to hit a child but it is abuse if they use a belt. No one would say the same statement if Uncle Johnny showed a young child his penis....no one would say "well, he only showed him/her his penis, he didn't touch him/her...so it is not that bad"....

Yes, maybe rape or some such act would be more severe and would leave bigger scars emotionally and/or physically, but it doesn't make uncle Johnny exposing himself any less violating and it is still abuse in my book.

Somehow though, when it comes to "loving" parents striking their children, there are all these justifications and excuses.

It is wrong. Plain and simple. Intentionally inflicting pain on someone...whether physical or emotional, is abusive behavior....therefore considered abuse to me.
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Old 01-02-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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does it typically wake people up or typically shut them down,
I'd say it shuts them down. Heck, even calling it "hitting" puts people on the defensive. They argue against it, and their arguments end up making them feel that they are right about it. They go back and tell their friends that some nutso said they were being abusive by swatting their dc. And the friend tells them that's CRAZY.
I too kinda feel funny about all spanking being called abuse. Violence- I dunno. Seems like violence to me. But I definitely think that telling someone who hit their child- in any way, for any reason, that she's being abusive or violent, would make her think you're a fruit loop.

I should say that I'm quite anti spanking. I think though, that "name calling" and judgements aren't going to change many minds. (though I see nothing wrong with calling spanking, hitting)

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Old 01-02-2006, 04:09 PM
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How is it name calling if you are stating a fact?

Seriously, if I say to someone that I feel hitting is an act of violence, or an abusive act and challenge them to put another word in the place of *violence* or *abuse*, it sounds pretty darn silly.

i.e.

Hitting is an act of love. Hitting is a form of teaching. Hitting is a loving act. Hitting is a mature act. Hitting is an act of caring.

Who's the "nutso" then? I mean, if someone told me hitting was an act of love I would be the one leaving thinking they were "off".
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Old 01-02-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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I'm not saying you are wrong, and I'm definitely not saying that spanking isn't wrong! I'm just saying that a person who spanks their kids, won't see it like that, if you use those words. So, they hear that you consider them "abusive". THEY certainly don't see themselves that way. And such a strong word is bound to accomplish nothing but create defensiveness. I really doubt some lightbulb will go off, and they'll say "oh yeah. That IS abuse."
It is accepted by society as an ok form of discipline. And that needs to change, to be sure. But telling a spanking parent that they are abusive is NOT (imo) the way to change it. What it takes is statements that will make them THINK about how stupid it is to think that being hit will make kids better people (or learn about what's socially acceptable).
Using words like "abuse" and "violence" won't make them think- it will most likely shut them down.

Quote:
Who's the "nutso" then? I mean, if someone told me hitting was an act of love I would be the one leaving thinking they were "off".
true. Me too. But I doubt they'd see how absolutely ridiculous that statement is. (I'm basing this a lot on conversations with my mom, who spanked us a couple times, and a conversation a while back on another board, where I got attacked for saying "spanking is wrong"...and human nature in general)

I totally believe in the way I parent. But, I admit, some of it is, what is considered by others, extreme. And I find that people don't listen to ANY of what I say, simply because I'm extreme. Even though they could get a lot out of some particular advice, I've already been "labeled" as "crunchy" or whatever. So they don't listen at all. They have a preconceived notion. (Not that I'd change who I am, or the advice I give. lol)
And that's the same thing that would most likely happen if you told someone they were "abusive" or "violent"- they'd tune you out.

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Old 01-02-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Deva33mommy
It is accepted by society as an ok form of discipline. And that needs to change, to be sure. But telling a spanking parent that they are abusive is NOT (imo) the way to change it. What it takes is statements that will make them THINK about how stupid it is to think that being hit will make kids better people (or learn about what's socially acceptable).
What would those be? I'm trying to think of an example that would actually help change a rigid person's mind.

Sometimes people need to be shocked out of their comfort zone and sometimes that shock has to be something that initially angers them, repulses them. Thinking back, I can't recall one major societal shift in the rights of a group of people that began by coddling the dominant group.
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Old 01-02-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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I do not think that calling spanking abuse dilutes the term.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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Old 01-02-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
What would those be? I'm trying to think of an example that would actually help change a rigid person's mind.
Maybe I'm giving people too much credit. Like, they are hitting kids, in the name of discipline, because they simply haven't thought about how ridiculous the entire idea is.

And I'm not talking about coddling, either. I don't think that saying to someone "spanking is hitting. And hitting doesn't solve anything" is coddling. Saying "oh, I can tell that you mean well when you spank your child. There are ways to discipline without spanking" yeah, maybe that's coddling.

I will stand by what I said- that telling someone that they are being abusive by spanking, will only "shut them down" to what you have to say- unless someone who HAS spanked their kids tells me that having that said to them would have made them reconsider spanking. Or knows someone who had that reaction.

I know this has been said before, but if someone told me I was abusing my child by bf'ing him this long, I'd roll my eyes, and continue with the bf'ing- because even if it's abuse to them, its definitely NOT to me. And I'd probably not listen to anything else they had to say- they obviously have very different ideas than I do about what's ok and what's not. I'm not going to stop. But, say, they said something like "kids who are bf'ed that long, don't learn independence." That doesn't turn me off from listening to them. It could be true (not a reason to stop bf'ing though). And it might make me think about other ways I could try to foster his natural inclination toward independence. (not MAKE him independent, but LET him be as independent as he wants to be)

gotta cut this short- ds is having quite the demanding day (and night last night- ugh that's rough!) lol

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

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Old 01-02-2006, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
How is it name calling if you are stating a fact?
I think for something to be seen as factual, it needs to be something which can be proven without a doubt, or something which all involved parties can agree on. For example, my parents are Christians and believe somethings to be 'fact' that to me are opinion or faith. In the case of spanking, while true all (I think) GDers see spanking as ineffictive, I'm not sure much beyond that is recognized as "truth"...now bring in the non-GDers and all bets are off!

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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Sometimes people need to be shocked out of their comfort zone and sometimes that shock has to be something that initially angers them, repulses them. Thinking back, I can't recall one major societal shift in the rights of a group of people that began by coddling the dominant group.
I'm glad this came up. I was thinking about this too and I hope this thought spurs more discussion. What does change the views of a society? How do major societal shifts take place? Does it "take all kinds"? Are those who so offend me with their 'offensive ways' doing my 'dirtywork'? While I strongly advocate for being non-offensive and for working in peaceable ways and for working within the legal system for change, I am willing to discuss that may not be enough. I worry sometimes that I am so 'politically correct' that if I lived 150 years ago that I would be one 'advocating' for the 'humane treatment of slaves' without seeing the irony of the stance.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:28 PM
 
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" Plain and simple. Intentionally inflicting pain on someone...whether physical or emotional, is abusive behavior...."

I disagree with that. If that were the criteria for what was or was not abuse than just about everyone in the world would be considered an abuser. How many times have you seen someone say a little comment just to hurt someone else (I see it on the net alot)? How many times have you been frustrated and said something to a spouse or relative just to get to them or fire them up? How many times in an argument have you brought out everything from the past that you could think of to hurt the other person? Most people have done that at least once in their life. That would be intentionally hurting someone, that may be wrong, but it would not be abuse.

also what about people who don't think they are harming another person therefore not making it intentional harm. Is it not abuse then? What about a pedophile who believes that they are just having a consentual relationship with a child?(There are many who believe this) Someone who pierces their childs ears? Many people spank, but they don't believe it is harmful, they believe it is improving their children to make them better stronger people.(I don't believe this myself but I know some who do) So according to your criteria it would not be abuse because they are not intentionally harming. What about people who nurse their 4 year olds. Many people believe that is harmful emotionally bordering on sexual abuse. Do that mean it is abusive because the mother is intentionally nursing...or not because she herself does not believe it to be harmful? What about this situation. My son is allergic to milk, overall we don't eat dairy, but his favorite pizza at the health food store has dairy on it. I buy it for him when he wants it. He knows it will most likely give him a stomache ache, but he wants it anyway. I am buying it knowing it will cause him to suffer. Does that make me abusive?

I stand by my first post. Abuse is based on definition not opinion.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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How many times have you seen someone say a little comment just to hurt someone else (I see it on the net alot)? How many times have you been frustrated and said something to a spouse or relative just to get to them or fire them up? How many times in an argument have you brought out everything from the past that you could think of to hurt the other person? Most people have done that at least once in their life. That would be intentionally hurting someone, that may be wrong, but it would not be abuse.

Not according to this...
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=abuse




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I stand by my first post. Abuse is based on definition not opinion.
Something we DEF. agree on.
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Old 01-02-2006, 07:03 PM
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Okay, hitting a child is not abuse...I'll bite if you can tell me exactly what hitting is?

Love? Respect? A learning opportunity?

I mean, what exactly is hitting or name calling or shaming....what nice, friendly, non-threatening term should we all be using then?

Loving parents who strike their child when they can't be controlled by threats or shame or punishment?

as in...

"I saw some loving, caring parents threaten and shame their child and then when the child wouldn't obey, they hit her/him"...


I know your post was meant for me to sit up and think "heyyyy, I have hurt people in my life...but I am not abusive!!" ...but unfortunately, the people I have hurt knowingly or intentionally (few I hope) have been abused by me. It is abusive behavior to hurt someone...

Um, and I think the whole scenario of the sexual abuser not knowing it is wrong is a moot point. If sexual abusers didn't know they were doing wrong, they would openly touch children or speak openly to other adults about their attraction towards children or whatever and wouldn't threaten or shame or scare or convince the children not to say anything. I think we can all agree those behaviors are ones of premeditation and are acts of someone who knows their behavior is not right or acceptable.

The pizza scenario... I am guessing you don't buy the pizza, NOT tell your child what is in it, then shove it down his throat then laugh when he feels a stomachache. I am guessing you probably say something like -- sweetie, you know dairy makes your tummy not feel right and this pizza has dairy in it... and I am guessing he actively chooses to take his chances and eat the pizza anyway... so that is not considered abuse to me...

I have never heard of a child bending over and choosing to get beat or hit by their parents.

Children who are hit and shamed and yelled at and threatened and basically scared into submission don't have choices. The act of taking away someone's right to live peacefully WITHOUT being hit by another human being is an abusive act. The fact that everyone deserves to live with some dignity and choice over who puts their hands on their body, and that parents left and right violate that choice with a violent act of hitting them may not be abusive by nature, but are committing abusive acts.

....and I stand by that. 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.... and I haven't met one child in my entire life, who has said that it "felt like love" when their parents were hitting them.
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Old 01-02-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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CC you hit it there girl!
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Old 01-02-2006, 07:17 PM
 
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If sexual abusers didn't know they were doing wrong, they would openly touch children or speak openly to other adults about their attraction
Some do not believe it is wrong, they know it is illegal...but those are two different things. Knowing something is illegal and believing it is wrong do not always go hand in hand. Spanking is legal, but many feel it is wrong. Smoking pot is illegal but many feel it is ok. The coersion and manipulation they use to keep the child quite are from the fear of the laws not from the fear they are harming the child.( I am talking about pedophiles here not child molesters).

Have you ever heard of NAMBLA (North American man/boy love assosiation)?

They believe it is consentual for men and boys to have "relationships. They want the laws changed. They are some frightening people as I have delt with some through the court systems. They truly believe that they will eventually get the laws changed.
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Old 01-02-2006, 07:25 PM
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Okay hold the phone.

Consentual means that BOTH parties are consenting. I am seriously to believe that say, an 8 year old boy WANTS to have sex with grown men? Hmm... I don't buy it...when one party is consenting and the other party is being manipulated, lied to, shamed, and abused...it is not consentual.
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Old 01-02-2006, 07:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
the hitting, belittling, and otherwise treating children as second-class citizens that goes on in many homes, while it may not have the immediate effect that requires emergency action to protect the child's life, does have a slow-burn effect that grows a damaged adult.
I haven't read all the responses yet, but I want to say that I hate this idea. I think it's very offensive to call someone "a damaged adult", especially considering a majority of Americans are raised in a hitting household. Parents who genuinely believe that they're going to raise their children without ever sending the wrong message, responding in the wrong way, or losing their temper are either insane or still pregnant with their first kid. But calling the result of being human "abusive" and the result of being raised by a human "damaged" is unfair and unrealistic.

So I guess I think it's offensive and unhelpful to attack corporal punishers as "abusers". It's easy to get on your high and mighty horse and say that those parents are just lazy, selfish bullies. I know, I've been on that horse before. But I think the truth is that they're just doing the best they can out of genuine love for their children. In fact, I'm thinking right now that it's true, people do sometimes spank out of love, in a way. They love their children and want them to "turn out" and when they see them misbehaving they fear that they won't unless they're punished, or they get angry that they're not "turning out".

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Old 01-02-2006, 07:55 PM
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How is it name calling if you are stating a fact?

Seriously, if I say to someone that I feel hitting is an act of violence, or an abusive act and challenge them to put another word in the place of *violence* or *abuse*, it sounds pretty darn silly.

i.e.

Hitting is an act of love. Hitting is a form of teaching. Hitting is a loving act. Hitting is a mature act. Hitting is an act of caring.

Who's the "nutso" then? I mean, if someone told me hitting was an act of love I would be the one leaving thinking they were "off".
Very well put.
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