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#61 of 85 Old 03-13-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mahtob View Post
A lot of people shop at Walmart. It is the largest retailer in the US. It is no surprise that a lot of stuff happens there.

And no offense, but it's cheap and a lot of poor people shop there. The poorer you are, the less educated you are, the more likely you are to spank and use physical violence, the more stress there is in your life for many reasons. It is a social issue.

To the OP- I am glad you posted because I also would have no idea what to do.
Sorry, but this is totally offensive classist bullshit. People abuse their kids and spouses in EVERY socio-economic class.
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#62 of 85 Old 03-13-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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True. Upper and middle class people are better at hiding it, or, at least, that's how it seems to me. Parents seem to want other people to think their lives are perfect so they hide what they do/say to their children that are less than perfect (this is especially true if you live in a suburb.) Another factor to take into consideration is that there are "milder" (for lack of a better term) forms of abuse that some people might not even consider abuse. For the longest time, I didn't know what my parents were doing to me was abuse. They would call me names and say terrible things to me. I just assumed every parent did that, because I heard other parents doing it, too. It wasn't to the extent that my parents did, especially my dad, but I assumed that they said worse things at home. I didn't like what they did, but I didn't know that it was emotional abuse.
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#63 of 85 Old 03-13-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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Actually I have read there is a connection between education level and a reduction in spanking habits.

However I disagree that any one socio-economic class shops at Wal-Mart.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#64 of 85 Old 03-13-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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My parents both have college degrees and they spanked me. They also emotionally and sometimes physically abused me, beyond the spanking. I personally don't think it has that much to do with level of education. They did it because their parents did it, and their parents' parents did, and so on. They're just perpetuating the cycle of abuse, and, IMO, that's a bigger factor than level of education. And, again, it plays into the socio-economic factor because, more often than not, poorer people don't have college degrees because college is so expensive. DP and I haven't been to college (we both chose not to go) and neither of us are going to spank, but that's because we were both abused and know how terrible it is.
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#65 of 85 Old 03-13-2008, 01:41 PM
 
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I just meant that objectively, I think studies have shown a strong correlation between spanking and poverty and/or parents with little formal education. Obviously there are many exceptions.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#66 of 85 Old 03-13-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mahtob:
A lot of people shop at Walmart. It is the largest retailer in the US. It is no surprise that a lot of stuff happens there.

And no offense, but it's cheap and a lot of poor people shop there. The poorer you are, the less educated you are, the more likely you are to spank and use physical violence, the more stress there is in your life for many reasons. It is a social issue.


My God! What a terrible thing to say. Uhh...I know a LOT of people who are upper class and they shop at Wal-Mart. What the hell does it have to do with spanking your kids or not anyway? Oh, the things people will say.....
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#67 of 85 Old 03-13-2008, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shonahsmom View Post
Sorry, but this is totally offensive classist bullshit. People abuse their kids and spouses in EVERY socio-economic class.
its true that children get abused in every class...physical abuse is definitely more rampant in poor classes though. we live and my husband is a teacher in a "lower" class neighborhood. you can see it in the way the children interact with each other. hitting is acceptable as a form of dominance. its what makes dh's job so hard, a lot of the kids will not listen to people who do not use physical coercion. this is how they survive. people who do not LIVE this have trouble understanding it. i did.

i think in the other classes though (middle and upper) you would see more mental/emotional abuse, and that includes negligence and trying to buy your kids/spouses love.

one is not worse than the other.

i had another point but i forgot what it was.

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#68 of 85 Old 03-15-2008, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mytwogirls View Post
Originally Posted by Mahtob:
A lot of people shop at Walmart. It is the largest retailer in the US. It is no surprise that a lot of stuff happens there.

And no offense, but it's cheap and a lot of poor people shop there. The poorer you are, the less educated you are, the more likely you are to spank and use physical violence, the more stress there is in your life for many reasons. It is a social issue.


My God! What a terrible thing to say. Uhh...I know a LOT of people who are upper class and they shop at Wal-Mart. What the hell does it have to do with spanking your kids or not anyway? Oh, the things people will say.....

Yeah. I am poor and I do shop at Wal-Mart. Only I don't spank. Or unfairly stereotype people.

Jessie
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#69 of 85 Old 03-15-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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what is one to DO in such a circumstance. to speak up is easy enough. but, what about follow-up? how DO you change the hardened heart of such an abusive parent enough to ensure their child/ren will never be subject to their ire in these ways ever again? where is a safe and secure space for these helpless children if not at their homes? if i could, i would gather these little ones close to me and from harm, but it's not really possible...i wonder what could be a lasting solution.
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#70 of 85 Old 03-15-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mahtob View Post
A lot of people shop at Walmart. It is the largest retailer in the US. It is no surprise that a lot of stuff happens there.

And no offense, but it's cheap and a lot of poor people shop there. The poorer you are, the less educated you are, the more likely you are to spank and use physical violence, the more stress there is in your life for many reasons. It is a social issue.
As a doctoral student with an MA and very little personal income, I beg to differ. I could name hundreds of well educated mamas on MDC who are in the same position.

Watch the stereotypes. Abuse happens everywhere. It is a social problem, but it has little to do with income.
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#71 of 85 Old 03-15-2008, 07:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by swimswamswum View Post
Watch the stereotypes. Abuse happens everywhere. It is a social problem, but it has little to do with income.
:

(Can't multiquote so I just copy and pasted this one)

heartmama-" I just meant that objectively, I think studies have shown a strong correlation between spanking and poverty and/or parents with little formal education. Obviously there are many exceptions. "

There are also studies that link high ice cream sales and murder (because both rise in the summer time). It doesn't mean it's true.

I see what you're saying but making a blanket statment which ignores the many MANY exceptions out there is enforcing a stereotype and giving an excuse for the behavior. "They are poor and uneducated so they hit." gives the impression that these people can't help but abuse their children, which is utterly UNTRUE.

Also: Kroger seems to be a hot spot for aggressive spankers. (I don't shop at Wal-Mart....I'm pretty low income but I just freaking hate that company too much to shop there) my general knee jerk response thus far has been, "Oh my God!" with a mortified look on my face.

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#72 of 85 Old 03-15-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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It's a terrible thing to witness and I would be especially upset if my daughter saw it. I am not even sure how I would explain.

I have seen a child actually beaten. He was chased by his father, thrown to the ground and punched in the face 3 times. He appeared to be about 11 or 12. This was after watching the father belittle and humiliate his family.
I called the police.

However if I saw a spanking, regardless of how terrible I think that is, calling the police would be a waste of time because unfortunately spanking is legal in many places. I am not sure if I would even say anything. I'd feel horrible and helpless though.
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#73 of 85 Old 03-16-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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pajamajes:
Uhh...I was commenting on what another reader already posted...I did not make that comment. Please read the whole post. Thanks.
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#74 of 85 Old 03-17-2008, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mytwogirls View Post
pajamajes:
Uhh...I was commenting on what another reader already posted...I did not make that comment. Please read the whole post. Thanks.
Oh, I know! I was just agreeing with you! Sorry if it seemed like I being a B.

Jessie
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#75 of 85 Old 03-17-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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I firmly believe the emotional abuse of being told that 'you deserve to be hit', is more damaging than the physical assault subsequent to a stranger speaking up in the child's defense.

As a child, when I first heard an adult say that 'hitting children wasn't ok', it helped me to know that SOMEONE didn't approve. It was the first time I'd ever imagined the possibility of my feelings being validated.


Pat
ITA with this. IMO everyone has a responsibility to speak up. It's kind of an easy out to say we fear the child may get it worse later so we say nothing. Tacit approval IMO is more dangerous, it validates the parent's behaviour in their minds, normalizes it. And so it continues.
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#76 of 85 Old 03-17-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Pajamas: No, I knew were not being a B====, I just didn't know if you knew it was NOT me who made that post. Whew!
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#77 of 85 Old 05-18-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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I just came back to this thread.

If you do not think that economics has to do with violence, fine. But, statistics and sociology studies say otherwise. It is not classist to point out that the murder rate is higher among poor people. I am poor. I grew up poor. The murder rate is higher. Theft is higher. Spousal abuse is higher. It is not exclusive to the poor, but it is more common among the poor.

Why?

Could be something to do with the pressures that come with being poor. At least, that's a going theory, and it is also one of the reasons that we fund all kinds of support programs for the poor.

Though, it is true (I did not realize living outside of the U.S.) that some people who do not have to shop at Wal Mart, shop there (i.e. not poor people) which is something that I had not considered. I just assumed that if you could afford to support a more enlightened company and buy things not made in China, you would.

I stand by my statement that violence is linked to poverty and oppression. It is. That does not mean that if you are poor, you will be abusive, or if you are abusive, you must be poor. But there is a link.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#78 of 85 Old 05-19-2008, 01:20 AM
 
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My co-worker had a unique way to intervene in these heightened situations. (We worked with teenage mothers and fathers, so teaching parenting and non-spanking discipline happened to be part of our job.)

If she saw that happening in a store, she, of course, wanted to say, "Oh my god--stop it!!!", but she felt that most of the time that would tick off the person more, thus hurting the child more. BTW, how sick is that? Someone says it's not right to hit, and they hit more/harder?) She would simply intervene with concern and offer help. (Yes, sounds crazy, but it's all in the way you do it and also the mental state of the parent.) She would say, "I know how hard it is to shop with children sometimes. Can I help you get to the checkout?... She would just start talking and calming them down and bringing them back to reality. Now, I don't know if I could do that. I just lose it if I see people hurting kids. But it's a hard intervention, that situation. It's in public, a stranger, and you have 30 seconds to change his/her mind about his/her parenting style. Yikes. I don't know really how to handle it. It just sucks.
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#79 of 85 Old 05-19-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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She was spanking his butt, but he was squirming a good bit so she got his little legs and popped his hands in the process. I just used the term beating because that's what spanking is to me. But just to clarify, yeah, most spankers would have thought it completely normal and appropriate.
I don't think spanking with an open hand can be qualified as 'beating'. And maybe people at MDC don't agree with me, but I don't think spanking is abuse. And the law agrees, right?

Yes, it hurts and smarts (and it's humiliating for the child), but it's not terribly painful or physically damaging. I speak as someone who was spanked 2-3 times daily from the ages of 3-11.

I don't think spanking is an effective means of disipline, and I think it's MEAN, but.. I don't get torn up when I see kids getting spanked in public.
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#80 of 85 Old 05-19-2008, 01:26 PM
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Unfortuantely, I know from being the child who was beaten in public, that outside comments just made me get it evenn worse at home. It's always the child's fault for crying too loudly or drawing attention to the abuse.
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#81 of 85 Old 05-19-2008, 01:29 PM
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Though, it is true (I did not realize living outside of the U.S.) that some people who do not have to shop at Wal Mart, shop there (i.e. not poor people) which is something that I had not considered. I just assumed that if you could afford to support a more enlightened company and buy things not made in China, you would.
Most of my friends are middle-class and they don't understand why DH & I no longer shop at Wal*Mart because "you can get so much MORE stuff there, cheaper!"

Sadly, they have fallen prey to the Wal*Mart mantra, "Instead of teaching your kids to share, buy one for each of them."
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#82 of 85 Old 05-19-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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This is a very kind, centered response in this situation, but what would it look like from the child's perspective? If I were 6 and my mom smacked me, then a strange lady was nice to her and offered compassion and understanding (remember I'm 6 and I don't understand the intention behind diffusing a situation), it might reinforce the idea that I was bad and deserved to be smacked.

thoughts?
I thought the same thing.
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#83 of 85 Old 05-19-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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I completely respect and admire both CC and WW, and I want desperately to believe that as an intervening adult, I would do more harm by not speaking up. But I just don't always believe that. The honest to god truth is that there are some really unstable and psychotic parents out there and sometimes saying something really DOES make the parent give it worse at home. I clearly remember being 5 years old and my mother literally pulling me down the sidewalk by my hair, which was always kept long and in a ponytail so that she'd always have a handle. When she got tired of pulling me by my hair she pushed me in front of her and kicked me in the rear repeatedly, as well as smacking me and cussing at me. Of course I cried and screamed, and she hollered at me to shut up. A woman came out of her apartment and tried to make small talk with my mother and she asked if I was okay. When we got home not only did the beating continue, but I ended up with a black eye and bumps on my head from being thrown, by my hair, into walls. The whole time she re-iterated that "I" made a scene. "I" was being dramatic and "I" called attention to us, and how dare "I" embarass her like that.

That woman was trying to help in the only way she could. But she made things worse. At that age, I already knew that my mother's behavior was not okay. I didn't need someone to say anything to her, I needed someone to remove me from her. If they couldn't do that, I wanted them to keep thier mouth shut. A kind look from an outside adult did more good to me than saying anything.

So yeah, I firmly believe that sometimes saying something does some good. And sometimes not saying anything is better, and it's really hard to tell which is the right thing.
Rigama, your post had me sobbing, sitting here holding my sleeping son. I am so very, very sorry for what you had to go through. I just couldn't read your story and not post...my heart goes out to you.

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#84 of 85 Old 05-20-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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Unfortuantely, I know from being the child who was beaten in public, that outside comments just made me get it evenn worse at home. It's always the child's fault for crying too loudly or drawing attention to the abuse.

I'm so sorry you saw this
This was true in my house too... I think the best is to let the abuser know that you are there with out intruding. That way, they will at least "try" to control themselves and not blame the kid.
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#85 of 85 Old 05-20-2008, 12:12 AM
 
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Well; let's see. Speaking up takes guts that (let's be honest) not everyone has. It also (as other's have said) possibly puts the child at risk later if the parent is truly violent. So; let's examine the parents actions and stack it up against what we know.

We know that usually people try their best to save face in public; so the odds are; that mother was at her wits end.

We know that people usually spank/hit because they feel backed into a corner without options. They feel unheard. Frustrated. Etc.

This mother hit because the boy dropped the drink; thus making a mess for her to deal with; and most likely it was just the 'straw that broke the camel's back' so-to-speak. This mother is probably overloaded with stress and things on her agenda.

As a passerby; instead of making her feel worse; perhaps it would be best to offer to help her. To come by and say "I see that you're having a really hard time right now; you look like you're overloaded with stress and I bet this just made things harder on you. Can I help you by finding an employee and a mop to clean it up?". Offering her some sympathy and a solution may trigger her to realize that hitting the child is not a solution; and solutions aren't all that hard to find; and that you understand she's stressed. This makes her feel heard and helped.

Should you feel so bold afterwards; you might offer to meet for coffee sometime. If I had to guess; I'd say she feels really alone in life; unheard and misunderstood. Maybe you can be the one who brings positive back into her life.
The best post I've read...I agree with everything you said!

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