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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-03-2013 01:29 PM
Tigerchild

The dealbreaker for me is more of if the person is nasty emotionally.

 

I know quite a few people who crow about anti-spanking but punch their kids (and everyone else around them) verbally/emotionally instead.  To me it's not the act but the personality and character.

 

And my kids are now 10/10/11 (though I've got another one due in March now, suprise!).  It's a better gauge.  Few people are going to try to belt kids bigger than them in public, so you just don't know.  I've been shocked at how some of the people who just talk so nastily to their tween kids are also very keen to let you know how they don't spank like those bad people do.  I live in a pretty crunchy area though, where spanking is kind of a don't.  Whatever makes them feel better about themselves, I guess.

 

So yeah, I have friendships, and close ones, with people way different in parenting than me.  I even am friends with other parents who my kids don't know and we don't get the kids together because we're friends in different contexts.  There are other friends of mine that are parents that I have *no clue* as to their parenting style because we don't talk about it, we're busy with talking about our biz and things we enjoy together.  I'm kind of not looking forward to things having to revolve so thoroughly around baby talk again, but...it's just part of the deal when you've got younger kids.

10-03-2013 08:55 AM
dalia Yes, Fillyjonk, I think we do agree. I was sort of thinking that before but was too prideful to say it!!! (Insert smiley hiding under chair)

In fact, I had a friend the other day, a new friend, tell me she spanks her little two year old. I was shocked. I mean, the kid can barely talk. But... They are young parents, and as the conversation continued I could tell she didn't feel good about it and she started asking my opinion. I get a feeling it was her husband's idea and simply because that's how he was raised. That's got to be such a tough situation. Anyway, I did say gently and in front of them both what I think about spanking and how it damaged me. They are still my friends but we will see how it develops. If they hit the little one in front of me I won't be able to handle that. They are Waldorf parents too!!

There is an amount of admiration I have for those who can keep spanking parents in their lives as close friends. I just can't do it. I won't judge someone that does but I also can't call spanking something that doesn't feel right to me. And I don't want to be judged as a bad person or an inexperienced/naive parent because I don't want it around me or my kids.

Yeah, and those folks who systematically spank because they think it's a great form of discipline sanctioned by God or whatever... Ewwwwww... I got little love in my heart for them. I try, though... I just have a lot more love for people who accidentally "lose it" occasionally than someone who does it with full awareness. Yuck. :-(
10-03-2013 12:17 AM
Fillyjonk

yk dalia I wonder whether we really do disagree that much. If you are talking about a family who deliberately spanks because they believe it to be an acceptable form of discipline, then I am kind of with you. I admit I had a friend a while back who did this-in secret, never discussed, and "only" a slap to the hand but still, too much for me-and I was really ok when the friendship fizzled out because I felt uncomfortable with it. I felt really bad for the kids though. Lovely Waldorf parents, btw, with an etsy shop and the rest, a feature at Waldorf fairs. It is hard.

 

And actually I agree that if I hit my kids I'd see it as abuse, or potential abuse at least, for myself. I don't know how helpful it would be for someone else to label it as such though. I think it would be a lot better to see it as something that absolutely should not have happened, but rather spend the time working through it. I've worked with women at the absolute bottom, who certainly wanted to improve as parents-desperately-but needed so much in place to even have the headspace to do that, that for the good of the family the best thing was to keep a dialogue open. And, as their caseworker, I wasn't really the person they needed that support from. They needed ongoing, critical support from their family, their friends.

 

What I'm primarily concerned with is a situation where a mother, in need of support, whether that is because of her own poor coping ability or something to do with the kid, then loses friends because of it. So a one off, and a sign of her needing support.

 

Like I say, I avoided pursing a friendship where I knew the kids were being hit, because I couldn't really deal with what felt like hypocrisy. That was systematic, which seems to be what you are talking about, and it seems very different to me. Needlefelting acorn babies on one hand and calling your kids in for a slap on the hand because they took an apple from the fridge on the other. eew. TBH, there's no excuse there really for me, for an educated, non-abused, well off parent to think hitting is ok. To lose it, yes, because they are human. And then to look and what happened and do whatever it takes to make sure there's no repeat. To philosophically defend hitting as a punishment, nope.

10-02-2013 07:42 AM
dalia Let me just be clear (again) and say that I don't think people who spank are "evil". I think they do need help, compassion, and understanding. I mean my own parents did it! I love them with all my heart.

I just think we need to call it what it is. It's hitting. Hitting is not okay. It's abuse. The first step in changing a behavior is seeing the reality of what it is.

I don't want people who spank in my every day family/personal life, if they are going to do it in front of my kids especially. I will keep them at a distance. This does not mean they are not deserving of love, compassion, understanding and help. They need help. They need education. I will support them any way I can. But that support does not mean I will allow their behavior to effect my family. My own sister has spanked her kids but she knows I don't agree. If she were to do that in front of my children you can bet we would be leaving. I just cannot look the other way. This does not mean I don't love her or that I think I'm better than her or that I'm sitting on a throne judging her. Who knows what MY future will bring? Maybe one day I will (god forbid) freak out and hit my child. It would be awful. I would need help.
10-02-2013 02:03 AM
Fillyjonk

I really think it might be best to stop saying someone's argument is not valid. That's pretty inflammatory and gets us nowhere. Its not conductive to debate.

 

What I'm interested in is not what labels we choose to use for a behaviour but how we can stop behaviour (smacking/spanking) that we all agree is wrong.

 

I think to address any behaviour we generally need to look at causes, the causes of systemic abuse differ from an end-of-tether smack, and so its not productive to lump them in together. A parent who believes spanking works differs from a parent who believes it doesn't but has lashed out. A parent who has a kid who sometimes does, realistically, need restraining, and fights back, and then that kid gets hurt-different again. 

 

More generally, I think its far more helpful to see us all as parents trying to do better. I have literally no idea what leads up to a parent hitting a child but have enough friends who have done it and regretted it to know its not a simple matter of being an evil abuser. I think most parents do not plan to hit their kids or want to hit their kids.

 

Our goal should be to reduce the amount of hitting of kids, not to make ourselves feel better by semantically distancing ourselves from those who have ended up hitting their kids. 

 

Re abuse. I don't think its a terribly productive word. Its entirely a negative, labelling word. Its not the kind of word that gives you hope to improve. And its so subjective.I mean, I know parents who consider it abuse to insist their kid brushes their teeth. I don't mean hold them down or anything, I mean, say, to a 3 year old, "right, its time to brush your teeth". They would consider that borderline emotional abuse shrug.gif . YMMV is all I can say. I know if someone were to call me abusive for telling my kids to brush their teeth I would not be especially interested in continuing that conversation. 

09-30-2013 04:18 PM
Nightwish
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post

I hate this argument, because there are many things that must be done to children that would never be done to adults.

Would you be friends with a woman who holds her husband down, takes off his pants and wipes his ass without permission, sometimes in the public part of restrooms if there's nowhere better to do it?
Would you be friends with a man who micromanaged his wife- deciding what clothes she's allowed to wear, dressing her, deciding what she's allowed to use and when she's allowed to use it, scheduling things for her with limited input, etc?
Would you be friends with someone who refuses to allow her husband to eat solid food and forces him to suck her tits in public if he wants to eat?

All of those are things that parents have to do at some point or another, but that would be horrible to see being done to another adult or even an older child.

I'm not saying that slapping/spanking children is okay. I'm pointing out why this argument is so flawed. It makes people who agree get to nod on smugly, while those who disagree roll their eyes and pick it apart easily. And, yes, plenty of times I see someone defend such punishment methods- this is exactly their argument. "No, I wouldn't treat an adult like that- but here's all these things I have to do to my child to be able to properly raise them that I wouldn't do to an adult."

(I'd also like to point out that were the question reversed to "Would you be friends with a woman who slapped her husband occasionally?", far more people would answer "Yes"- and we really need to think about that as well)

I was spanked 6 times in my life. There are different degrees of spanking- I wasn't laid over my mom's knee, pants pulled down, and smacked with a belt or wooden spoon until I couldn't sit down without being in pain. A single smack that is more surprising than painful is in a completely different league. And I agree with a PP- while it may not be right, to call that abuse is completely demeaning to those who've suffered actual abuse. My mother was emotionally abusive. I've been in abusive relationships. The spanks my mother gave me? NOT abuse.



Unless it's consensual. Consensual activity is not abuse. And you might scoff- but it's a very, very important distinction.


People damn well better not intervene when my partner and I are fighting. It's our relationship, we know what we're doing, we can handle it. If someone is concerned that either of us are being abused or being abusive- they can come to one/both of us privately and address the concern rationally and as adults.


Unless it looks like the fight is turning abusive- like another poster mentioned happened- stepping into someone else's fight is just incredibly patronizing and rude. Most adults don't even step into every child's fight, not unless the fight gets out of hand, because children have to learn how to work out their differences. Adults do the same- most fights between adults don't end in abuse.

You may have had a point- but you lost it. Apparently you think that no two people can be allowed to disagree with each other without needing a third person party to step in and mediates. What a ridiculous idea.
your arguments are not valid. I n adult can do all of the things you mentioned to another adult, if the latter is physically and/or mentally incapacitated and depending on the former adult for basic care. BuExactly the same way a child is dependent on their caregiver. Let's compare apples to apples here.

However in NO situation is hitting another adult acceptable.

And I ccouldn't help laughing at your comment that people should not interfere in a fight between you and your spouse. I don't think you really witnessed abuse.
09-30-2013 05:04 AM
dalia And my using the term "not valid" comes from having a debate and philosophy background. It's not meant to be personal. I can see why it comes off that way, though.
09-30-2013 05:02 AM
dalia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennyanydots View Post

It's really harsh to call someone's argument "not valid," don't you think?

I think she made a great point.

I don't think it's harsh and I certainly didn't mean it that way. It wasn't meant to be personal at all since I'm only attacking the argument. If I called her argument "ridiculous" that would be harsh because in actuality I'm attacking her and not really making a point in the process. What I meant by not valid is that the structure of the argument doesn't work because she's talking about apples and oranges. That's all I meant. I didn't mean to "invalidate" her opinion, if that makes sense.

I don't think I would ever advocate for removing a child from the home for spanking, but I think society as a whole would come a long way if we started looking at any form of hitting as abusive, regardless of the victim's age. My mom spanked me out of frustration with an open hand. She also once pulled me by the hair from outside to inside the house. Neither of those things were good and I'm sure she felt bad afterwards. My dad hit me with a belt. Very, very bad. When he was dying he apologized. I loved him very much. I knew his heart. But... I still call those things abuse. I consider myself abused as a kid. That's how it feels to me. I was greatly damaged by these things. And if in a moment of total frustration I hit my child, I would call it abuse as well. That's just how I see it.
09-30-2013 01:30 AM
Fillyjonk
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

Sillysapling, your counter argument is not valid. All of the examples you list must be done to care for a child. A child does not need to be hit to be cared for. You can't really compare things that are needed to something that isn't needed (hitting).

 

nope I really disagree. I think sillysapling actually put her point very well, and really made me think about my position here.

 

I think also, there is a grey area in some of the things we do, whether or not they are caring for a child directly, or managing their behaviour so as to minimise their impact on others (and that is necessary at times if you want to live in society. One of the points I take from SS post is that we don't generally manage our spouses behaviours, and society as a whole does not see us as having either a legal or a moral obligation to do so. 

 

I don't see SS as arguing for hitting kids. I think she's arguing for perspective, and a distinction between losing it and swatting a kid, and systematic out of control normal abuse. I think that any system that lumps a sleep deprived parent with a kid who has gone too far for the nth time and has lost control with someone who deliberately premeditates abuse helps absolutely no one. It does not stop kids getting hit , which is what actually matters here.

09-29-2013 11:49 PM
Jennyanydots
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

Sillysapling, your counter argument is not valid. All of the examples you list must be done to care for a child. A child does not need to be hit to be cared for. You can't really compare things that are needed to something that isn't needed (hitting).

It's really harsh to call someone's argument "not valid," don't you think?

I think she made a great point.
09-29-2013 10:17 PM
dalia Sillysapling, your counter argument is not valid. All of the examples you list must be done to care for a child. A child does not need to be hit to be cared for. You can't really compare things that are needed to something that isn't needed (hitting).
09-29-2013 07:11 PM
sillysapling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post

Would you be friends with a man who hits his wife? I'm not talking about abuse, just a slap here and there.
Who are we to judge?

I hate this argument, because there are many things that must be done to children that would never be done to adults.

 

Would you be friends with a woman who holds her husband down, takes off his pants and wipes his ass without permission, sometimes in the public part of restrooms if there's nowhere better to do it?

Would you be friends with a man who micromanaged his wife- deciding what clothes she's allowed to wear, dressing her, deciding what she's allowed to use and when she's allowed to use it, scheduling things for her with limited input, etc?

Would you be friends with someone who refuses to allow her husband to eat solid food and forces him to suck her tits in public if he wants to eat?

 

All of those are things that parents have to do at some point or another, but that would be horrible to see being done to another adult or even an older child.

 

I'm not saying that slapping/spanking children is okay. I'm pointing out why this argument is so flawed. It makes people who agree get to nod on smugly, while those who disagree roll their eyes and pick it apart easily. And, yes, plenty of times I see someone defend such punishment methods- this is exactly their argument. "No, I wouldn't treat an adult like that- but here's all these things I have to do to my child to be able to properly raise them that I wouldn't do to an adult."

 

(I'd also like to point out that were the question reversed to "Would you be friends with a woman who slapped her husband occasionally?", far more people would answer "Yes"- and we really need to think about that as well)

 

I was spanked 6 times in my life. There are different degrees of spanking- I wasn't laid over my mom's knee, pants pulled down, and smacked with a belt or wooden spoon until I couldn't sit down without being in pain. A single smack that is more surprising than painful is in a completely different league. And I agree with a PP- while it may not be right, to call that abuse is completely demeaning to those who've suffered actual abuse. My mother was emotionally abusive. I've been in abusive relationships. The spanks my mother gave me? NOT abuse.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLQ1011 View Post


Hitting a spouse is abuse. period.


Unless it's consensual. Consensual activity is not abuse. And you might scoff- but it's a very, very important distinction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post
 

lol I only mentioned that I'm from a different culture because I thought it would come as a shock on this website that no one intervened in a domestic fight. Apparently I was wrong. People are the same all over the world.


People damn well better not intervene when my partner and I are fighting. It's our relationship, we know what we're doing, we can handle it. If someone is concerned that either of us are being abused or being abusive- they can come to one/both of us privately and address the concern rationally and as adults.

 

 

Unless it looks like the fight is turning abusive- like another poster mentioned happened- stepping into someone else's fight is just incredibly patronizing and rude. Most adults don't even step into every child's fight, not unless the fight gets out of hand, because children have to learn how to work out their differences. Adults do the same- most fights between adults don't end in abuse.

 

You may have had a point- but you lost it. Apparently you think that no two people can be allowed to disagree with each other without needing a third person party to step in and mediates. What a ridiculous idea.

09-04-2013 10:51 PM
gglups

This topic has gone off on a different route. I think the person who asked the question really felt passionately about the spanking, and CIO, which to me says, it is pretty obvious that she would have a hard time being friends with someone who does that. She does not seem to even want to discuss it any fashion so I think you have your answer.

 

For me personally, I have a girlfriend who parents very differently from me and has a hard time saying no to her kids, which results in their behaviour negatively effecting my kids (hitting, not sharing, grabbing etc.) and as a result we see them very little with kids but her and I go out a lot on girls nights, or catch dinner once in a while. I don't know any one who does things that offend me so much that I would choose not to be friends with them, but my friends seem to come from a background similar to mine, therefore, I don't run into any of those issues.

 

However from your responses and your question I think you have your answer.

09-03-2013 12:42 PM
dauphinette

Yeah, I don't wanna hi-jack the thread anymore, but I know what you mean.  Of course it sucks, like I said, I think I am just jaded, I live in a bad neighborhood by some degree of necessity and I like my house.

But I will say, there are some women who I can see as a victim and then there are situations like the one next door where I don't really see this woman as such, she is just as equally the instigator.

 

And that's all I'm gonna say, let's move on back to the friends discussion, right?!

09-02-2013 08:48 PM
meemee

i am so so so grateful i dont have to live next to domestic violence or even in the neighborhood. 

 

but i had to deal with friends who hung on.

 

the thing about domestic violence that is so so so hard for me to bear is to see the woman go back over and over and over again. until something really bad happened. even then for some, not so. the mom was hurt, kids were hurt. yet the mother went back again and again (talking thru the eyes of a domestic violence counsellor who finally couldnt handle it and left her job).

 

the domestic violence is the hard one for me to take. the woman who keeps going back. i can handle parenting stuff. 

09-02-2013 06:32 PM
dauphinette

I mean people are getting hurt over there, day in and day out there is drama, violence...whatever.  I just can't care about it.  I guess there are some siutations where I might do more but obvs. there are some where I wouldn't.

09-02-2013 06:14 PM
dalia I would only call the cops if I felt someone was getting hurt. The woman eventually became pregnant. It was not a good situation.
09-02-2013 04:41 PM
dauphinette
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post


I used to live next door to some folks who fought all the time. One time the woman came over and she had a black eye and was beat up. After that, I realized he was hurting her and called the cops when they fought. She hated me for it but there was no way I was gonna let that happen on my watch!

Like, I live in the inner city, these people I personally live next door to are toxic, crack smoking thieves who don't work, stole a bike from me and are up all times of the day and night yelling, fighting, you name it they do it, this isn't some nice seeming couple, there is no pretention of nice going on here.  This woman will punch this man in the face, call the police and then blame another neighbor, another crack smoking neighbor to high and drunk to make a cohesive argument, and get away with it.  There are layers at play here.  It's a cess-pool sort of scenario.  They are a sort of bumbling drunken gang roaming the neighborhood forgetting whose wrong or right, fighting, stealing things from each other, calling the cops on each other.

 

I am not on watch, I am trying to AVOID them, not inject myself in their lives.  BTDT, learned my lesson.  I am not saying I never would call the police, but I am also not watching out my window trying to see what's going on, phone in hand.  I have been burned by too many people whose lives are chaos to be sucked down that path, I am in recovery myself and I have to focus on what's best for myself and my family!

 

I used to be all over that sort of stuff, I dunno, maybe I  am jaded.  I just don't even see that sort of stuff the way I used to.

09-02-2013 04:32 PM
dauphinette
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post
 

lol I only mentioned that I'm from a different culture because I thought it would come as a shock on this website that no one intervened in a domestic fight. Apparently I was wrong. People are the same all over the world.

Am I right that you're implying that I am a bad person for not calling the cops every time my neighbors get drunk (daily) and fight with each other?

08-30-2013 11:40 AM
LLQ1011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post


ok, let's say it's abuse. What about hitting a disabled person? What about an elderly person? What about ANY situation where you are in a position of power over someone who's weaker than you?
Oh, but there is an exception to this. If a parent hits a child, it's called "discipline". It's not hitting, much less abuse (god forbid) it's "spanking". We are not supposed to judge. None of our business. Live and let live.
I remember when I was little in a different culture I heard a man "arguing" with his wife. Nobody interfered. Live and let live, right?

Wait i read your comment out of context. I thought we were justifying it. I totally agree.

08-30-2013 11:37 AM
LorienIslay
Quote:
 
Peopele are so complex. I don't hit my kids but my god, i do enough else wrong. Some of the best parents, the most inspirational parents, i know, have lost it and hit their kids. Generally, this has been because they are under a lot of stress, stress that I have largely escaped. For me there is not a line that separates those who have hit their kids and those who haven't. Almost all parents, ime, are trying to be the best they can. Not hitting does not always correlate to inspirational parenting either.

 

Exactly. We do the very best we can, as parents and as people. Sometimes we don't recycle. Sometimes we hit in anger.  I think it's what happens after that matters most, though -- do we resolve to do better and apologize to our kid, or do we give ourselves high fives (or worst yet, do we think nothing of it).  I hold myself to a high standard, and sometimes I fail.  But I always try to do better.  For me, the line for friendship is exactly that -- do they see the fault, and do they try to do better next time? 

08-30-2013 09:52 AM
dalia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post

lol I only mentioned that I'm from a different culture because I thought it would come as a shock on this website that no one intervened in a domestic fight. Apparently I was wrong. People are the same all over the world.

I used to live next door to some folks who fought all the time. One time the woman came over and she had a black eye and was beat up. After that, I realized he was hurting her and called the cops when they fought. She hated me for it but there was no way I was gonna let that happen on my watch!
08-30-2013 09:05 AM
Nightwish
Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post
 

I don't know what culture to you is a different culture but I live in America and I am American and my neighbors in the 6-plex next door are mostly all alcoholics and there is one couple that argue, yell, fight, scream, you name it quite frequently and yes, I do live and let  live.  I don't have time to be in their ridiculous business all the time.  I have to let them live their own life, what in the world can I do about it?  They call the cops on each other enough as it is and where I live the cops certainly have better things to do with their time.

lol I only mentioned that I'm from a different culture because I thought it would come as a shock on this website that no one intervened in a domestic fight. Apparently I was wrong. People are the same all over the world.

08-30-2013 06:57 AM
dalia Earthmama, thank you so much for your response. I understand what you were trying to say. I have to say that I basically live in a perpetual state of guilt LOL. Sometimes I feel like I am totally screwing up my little boy. I tell my husband that I "suck" as a parent. I spend a lot of time apologizing to my kid, especially now because I'm in my third tri and I'm a mess with a super short fuse. Sigh.... I do wish I was better. I think intent makes a big difference in parenting, though. If a friend came to me and said, "Dalia, I hit my kid and I feel awful." I would NOT end that friendship. But if a friend came to me and said, "Johnny put his hand in the cookie jar so he got a spanking! He won't be doing that again!" I have to admit I would be distancing myself. It's too much of a break in what I know to be true. I just can't relate.

For what it's worth I definitely thought I would be a different parent. I have only one child at the moment but let me tell you he is A LOT of child. He's very spirited with super high energy and a strong will. He's giving me a run for my money big time. I'm lucky to have a bit of help with him because my husband is gone most of the time with work. My biggest problem is that I yell more than I want to. I try really hard, though.

I'm hoping for the strong silent type for the next one LMAO!!!!!
08-30-2013 06:44 AM
dauphinette
deleted by poster
08-30-2013 06:42 AM
dauphinette
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama4 View Post
. I know I am doing the best I can and I have met their needs, however imperfectly at times. I still struggle with extremely high ideals and feel terribly guilty anytime I feel I have been harsh with my kids in words or actions. I think this thread has bothered me a bit because its perpetuating an idealism that was once internalized by me and contributed to feelings of inadequacy.

 

I really, really relate to this.  People compliment me frequently on my daughter's behavior, my job as a mom and our family, but I have always held myself to a near impossible standard, and others too.  I shudder to remember the rants I have gone on to friends who I didn't imagine could feel another way then I did, heavens no.  I offended so many with my holier than thou attitude assuming everyone would agree.

 

To assume that all children receiving a swat on the bum feel frightened or violated or helpless is too broad. I have seen kids laugh in response to a spanking. Not nervous laughter but genuinely finding it funny. They think mom and dad are playing a game. My own kids sometimes laugh at me when I get really angry......... Kids can respond that way when they are raised in an atmosphere of trust. I don't think kids who are never spanked and never timed-out have a monopoly on healthy trust-based relationships with their parents.

 

So true.  I, too, know kids like my bf's son who just don't ever feel very worried no matter what their parents reaction to them is.    She has threatened to 'spank his hiney,' and I'm sure has once or twice all though I know that's not her first, second or even third choice.  But he just doesn't care.  And this is a LOVED, cuddled, breast-fed, kissed and secure child.  He is very attached, very much.  You just cannot paint every situation with the same brush.  I have picked him myself when he was naughty and jokingly, but firmly, swatted him on the hiney, not as a punishment but just to change the mood in a joking way and he gets delight out of that, he went from running around screaming to huge smiling grin and laughing.  And I agree, you can never spank and still not get it right.

08-30-2013 06:26 AM
dauphinette
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

Hmmm... I don't do time outs and I only have one child (another on the way). I gotta say I feel a little judged by your comment and by your laughing smiley. But I digress..
 
But for you what she said is true, you do only have one child, your experience is coming from that place.  I do, too, actually, and I am sure as the day is long that if I had five like she does I would have a different perspective about this conversation.  I don't what the difference would be but surely that experience would color my perspective.  My bf has two kids and her first was a very easy baby, very cuddly, very sweet and just not a crier, not rambunctious or anything.  Along came her second and he has been the total opposite.  Screams and crys upon waking up, still, and he is 3, just super temperamental, easily upset, as a super hard time listening and likes to do the opposite of what he is told, with glee.  She has really really changed as a mom with this experience.  I actually used to think she was a better mom than me, when our kids were little, I just couldn't understand how she seemed so cool as a cucumber all the time and I was running after my little goose-on-wheels like a chicken with my head cut off.  Now I see that the temperament of your child can make such a HUGE difference in how you feel as a mom.  She is just a very different mom now.  So I can only imagine the variable of adding three more kids to her brood?  I know it would change her all the more.
 

But, yes, I still think spanking is abuse. The fact that they are having a hard time or are just doing what they know does not change what spanking is. It's hitting. It's hitting someone who trusts you more than anyone. It's hitting someone who doesn't have the choice to leave. It's hitting someone who is small and vulnerable. And it's really confusing; on one hand we tell our children to NEVER let anyone touch them in a way they don't want to be touched...except their parents. They can hit you in an erogenous zone and society will turn a blind eye.

I think spanking is abusive, too, but I think a lot of behaviors in relationships are abusive.  I think my step-dad having an affair on my mom while he was deployed is pretty abusive, but she is still with him, he is still my step-dad and I don't just cut people out of my life because they do things I don't like.  I feel like that's the kind of grace I want extended to me, it's the sort of grace I think we all extend to our own children and it's the kind of grace I extend to my friends and loved ones. 
All I am saying is I am happier on this side of the fence, in my own life this is what works for me. 
08-30-2013 06:10 AM
dauphinette
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post

I remember when I was little in a different culture I heard a man "arguing" with his wife. Nobody interfered. Live and let live, right?

I don't know what culture to you is a different culture but I live in America and I am American and my neighbors in the 6-plex next door are mostly all alcoholics and there is one couple that argue, yell, fight, scream, you name it quite frequently and yes, I do live and let  live.  I don't have time to be in their ridiculous business all the time.  I have to let them live their own life, what in the world can I do about it?  They call the cops on each other enough as it is and where I live the cops certainly have better things to do with their time.

08-30-2013 03:31 AM
earthmama4

I don't mean to judge you and the laughing smiley is me laughing at myself and how high my ideals were back then. Reality has struck me down hard. I could go on as to all the hows and whys I can't be the mom I planned to be at that early stage, but I won't. I know I am doing the best I can and I have met their needs, however imperfectly at times. I still struggle with extremely high ideals and feel terribly guilty anytime I feel I have been harsh with my kids in words or actions. I think this thread has bothered me a bit because its perpetuating an idealism that was once internalized by me and contributed to feelings of inadequacy. I can't allow myself to turn those feelings onto someone else because I know the pain it has caused me to feel less than worthy as a parent despite everyone telling me I am actually really amazing, patient, understanding, etc and that Ghandi himself would probably chase these boys around with a stick. (Not that I have done that BTW!) 

 

Truly I do get annoyed with parents who time out for every little thing instead of simply talking to or redirecting a child or meeting a need. But if I need to, do I separate an out of control or inappropriately behaving kid? You bet. Clear boundaries are important for my kids to learn. And I do differentiate in my mind a parent giving a swat on the bum or a slap on the hand and one who punches or kicks or pulls their child's hair? Absolutely. I think a PP said an important point, that the emotional climate +  the physical nature of the discipline is what makes it traumatic. In your moms case, that event was scarring partially because it was so humiliating. Not saying it was ok to do at home either, but to do in front of the school added an emotionally traumatizing component. To assume that all children receiving a swat on the bum feel frightened or violated or helpless is too broad. I have seen kids laugh in response to a spanking. Not nervous laughter but genuinely finding it funny. They think mom and dad are playing a game. My own kids sometimes laugh at me when I get really angry. They think I look funny! I probably do. Kids can respond that way when they are raised in an atmosphere of trust. I don't think kids who are never spanked and never timed-out have a monopoly on healthy trust-based relationships with their parents. 

08-29-2013 11:04 PM
dalia Hmmm... I don't do time outs and I only have one child (another on the way). I gotta say I feel a little judged by your comment and by your laughing smiley. But I digress..

I wanted to say that I do believe that most people who spank are doing the best they can at the moment. Who knows what is going on in their life or what they are dealing with. Ultimately, they are victims as well, trying to make due in a tough world.

But, yes, I still think spanking is abuse. The fact that they are having a hard time or are just doing what they know does not change what spanking is. It's hitting. It's hitting someone who trusts you more than anyone. It's hitting someone who doesn't have the choice to leave. It's hitting someone who is small and vulnerable. And it's really confusing; on one hand we tell our children to NEVER let anyone touch them in a way they don't want to be touched...except their parents. They can hit you in an erogenous zone and society will turn a blind eye.

The nature of how people treat themselves or others is usually defined by their own experiences. As their level of awareness goes up they can change, but it's not easy. I have great compassion for people in all walks of life, because there was a time when I was a truly messed up person and I thank GOD I did not have children at that time. Where someone is in life does not change the definition of what they do. I wish it did, because I have done things I truly regret. But my troubled soul did not change the fact that I hurt others.

My grandfather whipped my mom in front of her entire school when she was a little girl. This was in the 1950s, in Guatemala, in a very religious community. He believed, at the time, that what he was doing was right. My mom believes this as well. But then many years later he changed and he knew it wasn't right. But it was still abuse regardless of how he, my mom, or society saw it. It will always be what it was, no matter what the justification is. It doesn't mean my grandfather was a bad person, but just because he was a good person doesn't mean he didn't really damage my mom.
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