It's OK to spank when.... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by taz925
I think that needs to be said again. We need to guide them not punish them.

Doreen
I agree.... we need to guide them not punish. Too many parents think parenting is all about punishment and they can't learn without it, but what children really need is us to help them learn to make wise decisions on their own-- and spanking does not accomplish this goal.

Homeschooling SAHM to 3 children under 5 + one on the way.
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#62 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 04:49 PM
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I just want to initiate this by saying that I love my parents, and I know that they did the best job they could, with what they knew, at the time we were growing up.

My siblings and I, were spanked when we were children. I remember it quite clearly. I remember feeling that I should avoid getting my parents angry. I did not respect the rules, I feared my parents. As I grew older, and as life happens, I got into trouble, I did not go to them. I honestly felt that because I had done something wrong, that I was going to get hit. I once got into an accident driving my fathers snowmobile. He nearly stripped me a new skin. I had been hurt and scared and he was upset because I nearly got killed - but I did not realize this till I was an adult. As a young teen, I believed he was angry because I crashed his machine. I never went to my parents as a soft place to land when I was in trouble.

I know that ppl beleive that spanking serves a purpose in some situations, but children live in the moment, and when the are being hit, they are frightened that the person they love and trust the most, has now put them in a very uncomfortable and hurtful (physically and emotionally) situation. We are the only living beings that do this to our young.
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#63 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Teensy
So when I slapped his hand, I wasn't trying to punish him - I was trying as efficiently as possible to keep him from doing something dangerous again. I guess I'd compare it more to Anne Sullivan teaching Helen Keller that something was dangerous. Scream and yell instead? Well, unfortunately I also tend to do that when the boys poured paint on my carpet or deliberately peed on the furniture - so I'm not sure that would have been the best deterent.

I am far from a perfect parent and there are many things I feel guilty about - but acting on my natural instinct and slapping DSs hand in that instance is not one of them.
This makes me very sad Why do you think slapping was your natural instinct? Perhaps because you were parented the same way? I am not trying to judge you - I just wanted to add another perspective. While I don't think that it is necessary that you feel guilty about the slapping (or screaming or yeling for that matter) I don't think you see what a big deal it really is. Violence in any form in your home is going to erode the trust between you and your kids. period. If you are interested in some more info on this - check out

www.stophitting.org

and

www.nospank.net

I believe that a commitment to nonviolence in your home is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.
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#64 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Again, this isn't about "it's okay to spank", but the whole "they're so little, and we're so big - it's not like they can hurt us" thing drives me wild. DS1 almost broke my nose (accidentally!) on numerous occasions. DD has kicked me in a surgical (c-section) incision, twisted my ears, poked me in the eye, etc,. etc., etc. No - except once when she hurt ds2, I haven't hit her. I don't intend to. But, dealing with children is not the same dynamic as dealing with an adult, so I don't accept that comparison.
Actually, for me it's not about size so much, as the emotional and social immaturity of a child. If it's not OK for me to hit an adult, a (assumed) fully functioning, emotionally developed, understanding the ways of the world adult, why on earth would it be OK for me to hit a child who has a very limited experience and existence on this planet? If anything, you should extend children a thousand times MORE leeway than an adult, since their brains haven't fully developed yet and they are learning about the world around them. Not to mention, even though they can in theory get in a good shot and hurt us when they're flailing, etc., they still *are* in general smaller, weaker, and less dextrous than adults.

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Originally Posted by Storm Bride
What about parents who already believe/know that they would hit in this situation, but haven't been in it yet? I don't think they're relieving stress ahead of time!
I believe that people that plan on hitting their children before hand ina certain situation, or hit them after they calm down, are just plain wrong. Hitting in anger or fear can almost be understandable as it's like a visceral reaction, but hitting when you're calm, or planning ahead to hit your child for some infraction you deem 'suitable' is just creepy, as far as I'm concerned. It's 2 different situations, 2 different reactions behind it - I meant for the people who lose it and hit their kids when they were in danger, it's more about the pareng releasing their fear than what the child did.


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Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I'm still not on quite the same page re: spanking as most posters here, but now I know what's been bothering me, and it probably won't so much now.
You know, I'm not on the same page as some people here, either...I think there is a very real difference between "spanking" and abuse, while many people here do not make a distinction and think that any form of spanking is abuse. I think spanking is a really lousy way to parent, doesn't achieve anything except teaching your kid that hitting others is OK, is short-sighted in teaching children self-regulation and self discipline, and that it can cause real problems in the parent-child love relationship. But I do see occasional spanking as vastly different from serious, chronic child abuse where the child is routinely and repeatedly put in serious life threatening danger. I know I'm in the minority here with that opinion, but that's why it's an opinion. Spanking makes me cringe and feel sorry for the parent for not knowing there's a better way, and for the child for being hurt and learning that it's OK to hit others. Serious abuse makes me physically ill - I do have distinctly different physical reactions to them, and I don't know exactly where I draw the line, but my body knows. I don't think any form of hitting a loved one (except in self defense) is OK at ALL, but I don't lump it all together in the same category.

Anyway, good discussion all around here.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#65 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 06:15 PM
 
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My best answer to the stove situation is that kids don't think stoves love them, so if they get hurt by a stove it hurts, and then it's over...like any other accident they might have, stubbing their toe, etc. (albeit much more painful, and obviously I think it's the parent's responsibility to keep them away from a hot stove). Being hurt by someone you love, and who tells you they love you, however, has to be incredibly confusing for a child.

Even if I accidently hurt dd (pull her hair while combing or drop something and it hits her when she's playing by my feet) She KNOWS the difference!! And she isn't easily consoled if I've done something that hurt her. She touched my hot rollers while I was putting them in even though I'd been saying "hot, no, it will hurt you" and moving her hand away, she touched it when I wasn't looking at her. I picked her up and comforted her saying "hot,owwie". She didn't cry long and she's never even reached for them again. I can't see how spanking teaches a child anything other than that its ok to hit someone.

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#66 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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I am curious to know from those who have posted that they incorporate hysterics/yelling during child training, would you say that your home and children are peaceful? Or is discipline a constant struggle?

As well, how do you feel about screaming/yelling at children in relation to mother deafness (tuning out mother's cries after awhile)? Would quick rap on the leg be something more injurious than the emotional trauma of a mother who's tongue is out of control?

Sincerely wanting to know your thoughts )
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#67 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
Stormbride:

I can understand the need to defend your mom against a general statement about spankers that you think is unfair.

I also think the ability to recognize the terrible damage spanking has done to so many others here is important. You have posted so much that seems to indicate viewing spankers harshly is an excessive posture to take.

I have seen this in discussions on race and various other topics in which an accepted form of treatment within society caused great harm to be done to individuals.

When a person thinks "Hey, it wasn't so bad for me, really, what's the big deal?", they need to look around and consider "Maybe there is more to this, and I need to keep listening, instead of persuading people away from their anger".

Or if not, accept you have the entire country to agree with you that spanking isn't so terrible, and accept that this a place where we can safely say "It's terrible".
I'm not trying to persuade people away from their anger. If anything, I'm trying to understand why people were so affected by spankings. I just don't get why people have such a massive emotional reaction to them. (I'm also responding to various posts people have made to me. I do think the harsh viewpoint towards spankers on here is excessive, for reasons I've already mentioned here. I'm trying very hard to get a grasp on that viewpoint.

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#68 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by donosmommy04
Actually, for me it's not about size so much, as the emotional and social immaturity of a child. If it's not OK for me to hit an adult, a (assumed) fully functioning, emotionally developed, understanding the ways of the world adult, why on earth would it be OK for me to hit a child who has a very limited experience and existence on this planet? If anything, you should extend children a thousand times MORE leeway than an adult, since their brains haven't fully developed yet and they are learning about the world around them.
I definitely do extend children a thousand times (at least) more leeway than an adult. If an adult did any of the things that my children have done to me, and I had no way to leave (as with children, when there's no other adult around), I'd probably beat them into next week. I don't have any problem with hitting someone in self-defense, and if an adult were doing these things to me, I'd have to defend myself. The only point I was making is that children aren't adults, so I don't think analogies about hitting adults vs. hitting kid make any sense.

Quote:
I believe that people that plan on hitting their children before hand ina certain situation, or hit them after they calm down, are just plain wrong. Hitting in anger or fear can almost be understandable as it's like a visceral reaction, but hitting when you're calm, or planning ahead to hit your child for some infraction you deem 'suitable' is just creepy, as far as I'm concerned. j
What "infraction"? I was talking mostly about the "hitting kids when they're doing something dangerous" thing. I don't know anybody who does that because they consider the dangerous behaviour to be some kind of infraction. It's not a punishment.

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#69 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Titus2WannaBe
I am curious to know from those who have posted that they incorporate hysterics/yelling during child training, would you say that your home and children are peaceful? Or is discipline a constant struggle?

As well, how do you feel about screaming/yelling at children in relation to mother deafness (tuning out mother's cries after awhile)? Would quick rap on the leg be something more injurious than the emotional trauma of a mother who's tongue is out of control?

Sincerely wanting to know your thoughts )
I don't think hysterics and yelling should be incorporated into discipline, but if the mother is sincerely upset about something, I don't always think it's necessary to put up a false front of calm. I'm not talking about totally losing it, but just being visibly upset. I don't think it's harmful for a child to see that sometimes things upset people. But there's a big difference between that and yelling/hysterics as part of discipline.

I think hitting a child and using hysterics to discipline a child are both wrong. But a child who never ever sees his mama get upset might have a harder time learning about feelings and how to express himself without losing it.

Also, a brief tip: some people on this site consider the word "training" objectionable.
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#70 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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'm not trying to persuade people away from their anger. If anything, I'm trying to understand why people were so affected by spankings. I just don't get why people have such a massive emotional reaction to them. (I'm also responding to various posts people have made to me. I do think the harsh viewpoint towards spankers on here is excessive, for reasons I've already mentioned here. I'm trying very hard to get a grasp on that viewpoint.
Okay. If you don't understand why people were so affected by spankings, isn't it premature to imply their attitude towards spankers is excessive?

There are several good books on the topic of spanking effects. You might scroll the GD book post at the top of the page and see if they are listed there, or run an amazon search for books on this topic.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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How funny that some have an adverse reaction to the word "training"...what exactly do they think parenting incorporates? Whether intentional or unintentional, parenting a child will involuntarily mean that they are "trained" in the fashion of the homes atmosphere and the convictions of the parent/s.

Their mentality is akin to saying that "There are no absolutes."...which is an absolute statement. I would much prefer to direct a child in the most beneficial of ways rather then leaving their "training" to culture and all of the other influences that would be more than happy to market and sell them on THEIR ideals.
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#72 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 07:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Titus2WannaBe
How funny that some have an adverse reaction to the word "training"...what exactly do they think parenting incorporates? Whether intentional or unintentional, parenting a child will involuntarily mean that they are "trained" in the fashion of the homes atmosphere and the convictions of the parent/s.

Their mentality is akin to saying that "There are no absolutes."...which is an absolute statement. I would much prefer to direct a child in the most beneficial of ways rather then leaving their "training" to culture and all of the other influences that would be more than happy to market and sell them on THEIR ideals.
I know what you mean and I agree with you. I am not offended by the word "training" which basically means the same thing as teaching or discipline. I was just pointing out that some people object to it and you might want to use a different word on this site so people don't misunderstand you. Apparently "training" has a connotation of certain child-torture fetishists.
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#73 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
Okay. If you don't understand why people were so affected by spankings, isn't it premature to imply their attitude towards spankers is excessive?

There are several good books on the topic of spanking effects. You might scroll the GD book post at the top of the page and see if they are listed there, or run an amazon search for books on this topic.
I've read lots of stuff about spanking effects. Without exception, everything I've read has either been loaded with "maybe", "could", and such or has referred consistently to something far beyond a spanking. Maybe I'm just defining my terms differently or something. (For instance, anything that leaves a bruise or a welt goes well beyond a spanking and into a beating.)

And, no - I don't think it's premature to imply their attitude towards spankers is excessive. I've seen many, many absolute statements made on this forum about spankers and spankees - they don't apply to my mom, or me. They don't apply to another relative of mine who spanks her kids. But, if I come here and say that spanking didn't affect me like that, I get told I'm somehow "exceptional". I've seen many, many anti-spank posts (and other websites) that simply dismiss anybody who says that spanking didn't have all these horrible effects on them. We're lying, or in denial, or self-deluded, or something. Being anti-spanking is one thing (as I said, I don't spank my kids, myself), but that doesn't mean that other people's experiences are invalid, just because they simply weren't that negative.

Anyway...I'm going to gracefully (at least as gracefully as possible after a dozen or so "dissenting" posts) bow out of this. It's obviously something that I see quite differently from most posters. At least I've identified the aspect of this forum that makes me so uneasy...now I'll get back to my focus on using it as a parenting resource and "help line".

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#74 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 08:18 PM
 
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I have a very nasty memory from my childhood that affects me to this day. I ran across the road in front of my uncles car , I was happy to see them and was just running to greet them. I got in the house and got beaten within an inch of my life with a stick end of a feather duster. I was so shocked and didn't even know what I had done wrong. Now my cousin the son of my uncle had been hit and killed by a car a few months earlier so my parents reaction or over reaction was the result of fear of the same thing happening to me. But it has really really affected me I have some strong gut feelings of angry / hurt betrayal all these years later. I was about 5 . How much nicer it would have been and more loving if they had put me in their arms told me how scared they were and how much they loved me and didn't want to see me hurt.
I have mentioned this incident to my mother a number of times [ she was the beater] and have never been apologised to just told that it was a response to what had happened to my cousin. This has damaged my relationship with my parents along with other incidences as a child [this is the one I remember the most]
My response to my children is that a car will hurt them and they will have big oww's and I love them and don't want to see them hurt. I have never needed to use harsh methods on them.
I did smack my dd in the early days before I started to have doubts and have lost it one with my son, never ever again.
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#75 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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How funny that some have an adverse reaction to the word "training"...what exactly do they think parenting incorporates?

Teaching.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#76 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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I've seen many, many anti-spank posts (and other websites) that simply dismiss anybody who says that spanking didn't have all these horrible effects on them. We're lying, or in denial, or self-deluded, or something.
Maybe "we" are.

I hear you saying that you dislike people who claim that spanking is a big deal and who say you are exceptional to think it is not. However you have repeatedly said that people who think spanking is a big deal are self deluded, over the top, even "lying" and "in denial".

Do you see you are doing the very thing you claim to dislike in others here?

Anyway I see you are leaving the thread.

Personally I do not think the message " spanking is wrong" can be stated too strongly in the United States. Spanking is rampant in this country. I have read that fewer than 1% of U.S. parents surveyed claim to never have spanked.

The research on spanking that I have read is far from wishy washy. It was compelling enough to persuade (8?) goverments in various countries to ban it completely.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#77 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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With respect to preferred verbage, it may do everyone well to look at the meanings of the words they choose to use in child rearing.

From the dictionary:


teaching
1.To impart knowledge or skill to:
2.To provide knowledge of; instruct in:.
3.To condition to a certain action or frame of mind:
4.To cause to learn by example or experience:
5.To advocate or preach:
6.To carry on instruction on a regular basis in:

training
1.To coach in or accustom to a mode of behavior or performance.
2.To make proficient with specialized instruction and practice.
3.To prepare physically, as with a regimen:
4.To focus on or aim at (a goal, mark, or target); direct.


Obviously, parenting requires both teaching and training; however with regard to "running into the street" it may do well for parents to actually train a child rather than to soley teach them. Teaching has the conotation of passing along knowledge and training relates to actual physical behavioral instruction, practice and focus.

In "training" my children years ago, when they were small, in relation to staying out of the street I took time to show them what happens to bugs when we step on them and correlated the result with what would happen to people if they are hit by a car. Of course, this made a more lasting impression than yelling, hysterics or spanking.

I made an intentional choice to not resort to hysterics and yelling as it is my deepest heart to leave as few emotional wounds by the careless words that unfortunately grow in my heart and escape via my tongue as I possibly can.

The point in "training" little ones is just that...you do not wait to scream at an infant heading to the stairs while you are busy in the kitchen, resorting to anger and violent tones. You take time when the house is calm to teach them to stay away from danger. Yet this requires time and patience...which in todays culture we have been told do not hold value with regard to children. It also requires knowing ahead of time that a 2 or 3 year old will not instinctually know that things can hurt.

Honestly, sweet ladies the time put into the many entries could be better used to "train" your precious babies. I do not think it necessary to go into spanking vs not spanking, rather the discussion could be better used to offer younger mothers, who are ready to "throw in the towel", effective training techniques to help bring peace to the home and in turn, unite the hearts of the ones within the family.

After all, what many mothers long for are well behaved children who do not exhaust their mommies by constantly testing the boundaries and pushing for their way. Rather for peaceful times together to enjoy one another's company, activities and relationship.

This only comes from intentional training, teaching and setting firm boundaries so that the child can relax in the concrete structure of the parent's leadership. Much like children on a playground will huddle in the center when there is no fence surrounding for protection ~ once the fence is in place the children feel free to run, explore and pursue the adventures of childhood.

Young mothers, do not be afraid to set boundaries, train and teach your children. They are yours and they truly long for the protection of your loving leadership.

My heart...
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#78 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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After all, what many mothers long for are well behaved children who do not exhaust their mommies by constantly testing the boundaries and pushing for their way. Rather for peaceful times together to enjoy one another's company, activities and relationship.

This only comes from intentional training, teaching and setting firm boundaries so that the child can relax in the concrete structure of the parent's leadership.
For me it came from living joyfully myself, and realizing children are not obligated to "be" a certain way in order for me to feel rested and joyful.

Also, it has been very helpful for me to re evaluate my idea's about "testing boundaries" and "Pushing for their way" as being wrong or undesirable.



Quote:
I do not think it necessary to go into spanking vs not spanking, rather the discussion could be better used to offer younger mothers, who are ready to "throw in the towel", effective training techniques to help bring peace to the home and in turn, unite the hearts of the ones within the family.
It isn't necessary to go into spanking vs/ not spanking because this forum has already stated that spanking is unacceptable as a form of discipline.

Otherwise, I think it's very necessary to look at the ways in which one will "train" a child, and decide whether they are truly respectful, non violent, and, in the case of this forum, a part of Gentle Discipline.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#79 of 109 Old 04-18-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Titus2WannaBe
Much like children on a playground will huddle in the center when there is no fence surrounding for protection ~ once the fence is in place the children feel free to run, explore and pursue the adventures of childhood.
They do? I'm sorry but this really stood out at me--I have never seen or heard of this phenomenon. Are you basing this on personal experience?

I understand what you're saying about training and to a certain extent I agree with you but this example just seemed really off to me. And I don't think of training as being like a fence to confine them, but an awareness of life and the world. I don't train my children to fence them in but to set them free.
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#80 of 109 Old 04-19-2006, 12:07 AM
 
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I'm sorry for the confusion about the fencing; there was a study done with elementary school children on their playground. The fence had been removed (to be replaced with a new one) and while the fence was obsolete the children huddled in the center of the playground; they were afraid of the busy cars on the street, strangers, etc...and rightfully so! However, once the fence was rebuilt the children ran and played, in the yard of the playground as well as on the equiptment, in what they considered a safe environment because of the protective boundary provided by the fence.

In relation to children, boundaries provide freedom...contrary to popular thought. Much like you and I can sleep better (although not completely free from fear) at night because we know that our society has "boundaries" intact for those who would prefer your items of choice over their own. Not everyone stays in these boundaries and cause those of us who do to suffer the pain of their poor choices.

Children who are trained to remain in the boundaries set for them can "color" from a huge box of crayons (choices) on the palate of freedom. Children can be peaceful and delightful when we realize the following:

1. They are indeed children

2. Set realistic expectations for their ages ~ many times a mother's frustrations heighten when she sets the bar too high. Example ~ A mother forgets that a toddler may be excited to visit the street and resolves to hysterics when the wee one toddles over to see what there is to see. Reasonable expectations would tell her that a toddler has very little abstract reasoning skills and that she is the only one who has the passion of a mother to protect him from harm and in turn must train him.

3. We are indeed parents and not absolved from the responsibility of training and teaching their little hearts.


It is a rare occasion to meet humble, kind hearted children who are ready to serve and love others with a happy heart. Fortunately, my husband and I are honored to raise three people who live, laugh and love in our home. We make many mistakes, but with deligence, consistency and plenty of asking for forgiveness, we have found them to be a joy.

As I was with my daughter at a function recently, with over 100 other little preteen girls, I was amazed when she asked me to come and sit with her and her friends to eat pizza and talk. I hesitantly sat down and listened. What I heard was , "Where is your mom?", "Oh, I don't know...that's the best part of this whole thing...you can lose your mom.", "Yeah, no moms." replied the little girl who started the conversation. Turning to look at my daughter I saw that she was near to tears. She whispered, "Oh mommy, I WANT you here with me. Why don't they want their moms? You're my friend."

My only conclusion is that I have tried to develop relationship with this little woman twirling around my livingroom and to train her to love others (even her momma) ...and that more than likely many of these little girl's moms have chosen to let them focus on themselves and what a group of preteens thinks is "cool". I much prefer her to have relationship (and a few good friends) with me and seek me for advice than that of a group of prepubescent girls.

In closing, I can say from the heart that I have seen the sweetness that comes from children who are trained, with love, to be a blessing to those around them and not self-focused and absorbed with their own desires. Selfishness is a common thread in today's youth, and adults, and one that will break the hearts of the parents more so when the child is full grown. Lifting their little heads in childhood to see that we are better people when we are "trained" and "taught" to think of others above ourselves produces amazing little people who grow into amazing adults.

This will be my last post, as I am pretty sure that I've gotten off subject! And I still have the pleasure of children in my home and I can already tell that as a woman, I would much prefer to sit here and spout off my supposed "wisdom" only to waste the fleeting time that I enjoy spending with my children and husband. )

Good luck everyone!
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I'm sorry for the confusion about the fencing; there was a study done with elementary school children on their playground. The fence had been removed (to be replaced with a new one) and while the fence was obsolete the children huddled in the center of the playground; they were afraid of the busy cars on the street, strangers, etc...and rightfully so! However, once the fence was rebuilt the children ran and played, in the yard of the playground as well as on the equiptment, in what they considered a safe environment because of the protective boundary provided by the fence.

In relation to children, boundaries provide freedom...contrary to popular thought. Much like you and I can sleep better (although not completely free from fear) at night because we know that our society has "boundaries" intact for those who would prefer your items of choice over their own. Not everyone stays in these boundaries and cause those of us who do to suffer the pain of their poor choices.

Children who are trained to remain in the boundaries set for them can "color" from a huge box of crayons (choices) on the palate of freedom. Children can be peaceful and delightful when we realize the following:

1. They are indeed children

2. Set realistic expectations for their ages ~ many times a mother's frustrations heighten when she sets the bar too high. Example ~ A mother forgets that a toddler may be excited to visit the street and resolves to hysterics when the wee one toddles over to see what there is to see. Reasonable expectations would tell her that a toddler has very little abstract reasoning skills and that she is the only one who has the passion of a mother to protect him from harm and in turn must train him.

3. We are indeed parents and not absolved from the responsibility of training and teaching their little hearts.


It is a rare occasion to meet humble, kind hearted children who are ready to serve and love others with a happy heart. Fortunately, my husband and I are honored to raise three people who live, laugh and love in our home. We make many mistakes, but with deligence, consistency and plenty of asking for forgiveness, we have found them to be a joy.

As I was with my daughter at a function recently, with over 100 other little preteen girls, I was amazed when she asked me to come and sit with her and her friends to eat pizza and talk. I hesitantly sat down and listened. What I heard was , "Where is your mom?", "Oh, I don't know...that's the best part of this whole thing...you can lose your mom.", "Yeah, no moms." replied the little girl who started the conversation. Turning to look at my daughter I saw that she was near to tears. She whispered, "Oh mommy, I WANT you here with me. Why don't they want their moms? You're my friend."

My only conclusion is that I have tried to develop relationship with this little woman twirling around my livingroom and to train her to love others (even her momma) ...and that more than likely many of these little girl's moms have chosen to let them focus on themselves and what a group of preteens thinks is "cool". I much prefer her to have relationship (and a few good friends) with me and seek me for advice than that of a group of prepubescent girls.

In closing, I can say from the heart that I have seen the sweetness that comes from children who are trained, with love, to be a blessing to those around them and not self-focused and absorbed with their own desires. Selfishness is a common thread in today's youth, and adults, and one that will break the hearts of the parents more so when the child is full grown. Lifting their little heads in childhood to see that we are better people when we are "trained" and "taught" to think of others above ourselves produces amazing little people who grow into amazing adults.

This will be my last post, as I am pretty sure that I've gotten off subject! And I still have the pleasure of children in my home and I can already tell that as a woman, I would much prefer to sit here and spout off my supposed "wisdom" only to waste the fleeting time that I enjoy spending with my children and husband. )

Good luck everyone!
Okay it is a little off topic, but if you get a chance I would love to discuss this issue with you on a separate thread. I am a little skeptical of extrapolating from the fence story--in that specific case I can see why they would have reacted that way because they were used to the fence being there and then one day it wasn't. But I suspect that if there had never been a fence there, they would have learned the boundaries of the playground and would have run and played the same as the fence kids. And I would ask, what was the purpose of the fence, to keep the kids in or to keep strangers out? Was it a *fence* fence that they couldn't cross or was it more of a symbolic fence to show where the playground boundaries were? Even if it's not significant to that actual case I think it's relevant in the symbolic sense that you're meaning.

Now I agree with you about selfishness being a common problem, but I'm not sure we can teach/train people not to be selfish. We have to model it and let it influence our daily lives.

And I agree that boundaries provide freedom, not for us but for other people. If I'm not misremembering it I think this is called positive freedom and negative freedom--positive freedom being the right to make our own choices and do what we want, and negative freedom being the right to be protected from violence and harm. And of course without negative freedom, positive freedom is meaningless.

Where I think I would disagree with you--and please correct me if I'm wrong--is that it seems like you're conflating arbitrary boundaries of authority with the boundaries relating to the natural order and other people's negative freedom. The reason I say that is because there would seem to be a sort of "because I said so" element to the training you're advocating, which is not based on any natural order. Which is why I support training of infants and toddlers but not older children capable of understanding rational thought and learning about the natural order on their own. Because as I understand it one of the purposes of early training is to improve the chances of living harmoniously and consentually later on. So there should be an end goal to all of this training, not just for the sake of doing so. Am I making any sense?

That is a beautiful story about sitting with your dd and the other girls.
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It is a rare occasion to meet humble, kind hearted children who are ready to serve and love others with a happy heart.
I would like to ask if you spank or use other methods of physical punishment?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Which is why I support training of infants and toddlers but not older children capable of understanding rational thought and learning about the natural order on their own. Because as I understand it one of the purposes of early training is to improve the chances of living harmoniously and consentually later on.
Training infants so they are conditioned to be "harmonious" later on is aggressively promoted by the No Greater Joy and Growing Kids Gods Way groups. It might not be intentional, but you are saying things here that echo the underlying philosophy of Gary Ezzo and Michael Pearl so strongly, I honestly feel bad that you may not realize how controversial your statement reads. Even if you have found a "gentle" way to use the concept of infant training and conditioning, the above statement is incompatible with attachment parenting and gentle discipline. I can't imagine Peggy O' Mara agreeing with this, let alone Sears, Kohn, Holt, or anyone else who has defined ap and gd?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Training infants so they are conditioned to be "harmonious" later on is aggressively promoted by the No Greater Joy and Growing Kids Gods Way groups. It might not be intentional, but you are saying things here that echo the underlying philosophy of Gary Ezzo and Michael Pearl so strongly, I honestly feel bad that you may not realize how controversial your statement reads. Even if you have found a "gentle" way to use the concept of infant training and conditioning, the above statement is incompatible with attachment parenting and gentle discipline. I can't imagine Peggy O' Mara agreeing with this, let alone Sears, Kohn, Holt, or anyone else who has defined ap and gd?
I don't follow the child-torture fetishists. If they say things like that then they're lying. They're using Orwellian language to make child torture seem harmonious. There is nothing harmonious about beating infants with plumbing pipes. That is not their underlying philosophy. Their underlying philosophy is to cause pain for young children because they hate them. What little of their "philosophy" I read made it clear to me that they are simply an anti-child hate group, the same as any ethnic hate group or anything else.

I have never punished my children. Not ever. Not once in their little lives. In the case of my 6 yr old it has literally been months since I have corrected or disciplined her with anything other than a verbal reminder or request. I have to be a little more proactive with my 3 yr old since he has a shorter attention span. But I have never ever punished them. Training is *not* the same as punishment. And it is certainly not the same as lunatic fringe sociopathic child-torture-loving totalitarian Dominionists.

And you can not "condition" people to be harmonious. It is a state of mind. It can only be taught in a gentle environment with loving examples. People can be beaten into submission but they can't be beaten into harmony or love.

I'm sorry and I'm sure you didn't mean it this way but honestly your post really offended me. I have worked so hard not only to be good to my own children but to advocate for all children. I have preached in word and in deed the benefits of ap at our church and cpc. I have written every elected representative I have to try to ban corporal punishment in schools. I have lobbied and marched for a cleaner environment and safer food for our children. I have written articles and letters about how treatment of children is the greatest moral issue of our time. I have constantly advocated a permanent revolution in the way we think of children and child-rearing. There is *nothing* inconsistent about ap and teaching children to live harmoniously. Nothing at all.
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I am not criticizing you as a parent or citizen. I am pointing out that the terminology you have used in this forum is controversial at least and offensive at worst. I realize this is unintentional. However, it has been pointed out repeatedly. I am sorry you feel misunderstood.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Child-torture fetishists do not have a monopoly on wanting to teach children to live harmoniously. You said that this was "incompatible with attachment parenting and gentle discipline." I have never read anything from any ap source indicating that teaching children to live harmoniously was incompatible with ap. I did not advocate any kind of "conditioning." It is only controversial if you are reading into it something that isn't there.

You may not have intended to criticize me as a parent or citizen but you were saying that my teaching my children to live harmoniously was echoing the philosophy of child-torture fetishists. I believe that that is an unfair characterization compared to what I was actually saying.
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If I use terminology offensive to a group, I can either accept it and find more agreeable ways to express my ideas, or I can continue, and possibly risk the kind of personalization of the controversy which you are doing now. It isn't about you. However you have repeatedly used terminology here that is offensive. "Infant Training" and "Blanket Training" in particular. Some phrases are too controversial for us to sit back and claim for our own personal self expression without accepting the reality of how those words are commonly intended and used. I don't know you, and I assume you have invented your own philosophy around these phrases with the best of intentions. What that philosophy might be has been difficult to pin down, although many have tried, including yourself, to make sense of it here. An obvious reason for the repeated misunderstanding is that every time you use these phrases, the context shifts enough to make it sound alarming or confusing all over again.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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I am not trying to use misleading language. But if the child-torture types are describing beating babies as "training them to be harmonious" then honestly they are the ones misusing language, not me. Unless someone were familiar in advance with child-torture code words I don't see why they would interpret "one of the purposes of early training is to improve the chances of living harmoniously and consentually later on" as talking about conditioning or something negative or anti-ap.

I'm sorry I overreacted to your post. But it just reminded me of so many other discussions where I've tried to say something I thought was reasonable and gotten responses of "that sounds somewhat similar to something these other people might say and they advocate something that's bad therefore you're wrong." This line of argument makes no sense to me.

I am sorry but I do think you really have to be stretching and looking for something to interpret wanting to live "harmoniously and consensually" as having anything to do with whatever Ezzo and company are advocating.
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If reclaiming phrases like "infant training" and "blanket training" from the Ezzo-ites and the Pearls is your mission, then it is. It might be possible you have misunderstood the history and intensity over these phrases in the board culture here. These are very loaded statements. You couldn't do much worse if you stepped into a racial discussion and used a term that was deeply controversial, insisting you were "reclaiming it's original meaning back from the racists". Objectively it might be a noble goal, but the reality is that you are going to confuse and offend a whole lot of people in the process.

Please do not underestimate the widespread understanding of terms like "Blanket training" and "Infant Training". When you use them casually, it actually appears that you are promoting the very things you oppose. *I* realize you do not mean it this way. However the last paragraph written by you that I quoted, when read without any prior knowledge of your idea's, reads almost verbatim like a public relations blurb for Babywise. "Train your infant now, so that he is a joy to you later!". This is a giant board with a huge public readership. If you want to use these phrases, is there a way to do it without causing controversy? I don't see it, but maybe you do.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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I'm not trying to reclaim the terms. I don't know what terms are used by these people. I don't read their stuff. I read part of "Babywise," saw it was evil hateful child-torturing crap and didn't investigate further. I knew about No Greater Joy from their non-parenting, semi-resonable pieces and while I knew they advocated spanking I only recently learned how evil they were. I only learned last week that blanket-training was advocated by Ezzo and that his version involved beating. Nobody I know irl uses these fringe child-torture things, even the strict punitive mainstream people.

Also I agree that saying "train your infant now so that he is a joy to you later" sounds creepy because it's not babies' job to bring joy to adults. But what I said was training children to live consensually and harmoniously, which I think is quite different.

I am pretty sensitive to language but honestly if you hadn't said so I would never have known that training a child to live harmoniously was associated with child-torture fetishists because it sounds like the complete opposite of what they really advocate.

In fact it's sort of funny to me that you used the word "misunderestimate" which has a certain negative connotation to me and a lot of people. But I wouldn't assume that just because you used that word that you share the opinions of the politician I associate it with.
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