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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » How did people get so harsh towards children? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: How did people get so harsh towards children?
Synesthesia
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And what can be done about it? I don't know where these attitudes came from. This concept that a child can be "bad" for crying or "good" for being silent. It doesn't exist because children are neither good or bad when they're toddlers, they are just children.
It doesn't make sense because these too harsh processes and attitudes have been passed from one generation to the next. Which is unhealthy for families and all of society
Which is why it's important to question them. There are alternatives people can use and better attitudes about children out there. http://www.drmomma.org/2010/03/parenting-tip-formalize-mission.html Like this.
If negative attitudes about children can get into people's mind and effect how they raise their kids, positive attitudes and methods replace them. Protecting and treasuring children is the final frontier when it comes to civil rights.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Stacey-Patton/132237947585?ref=ts Which is why I want to join people like Stacey Patton in their crusade to stop spanking. It's all about compassion and kindness and that foundation starts when kids are just vulnerable babies but it lasts them their entire life.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I think that there are times when spanking is appropriate.
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ClaudiaTherese
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I'd also note that harshness towards children may well be more the norm in human history than a new aberration. That is, if by "getting harsh" you mean recent childrearing philosophies.

Not that history makes it okay; just that it isn't new, by far.

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I think that there are times when spanking is appropriate.

I can't really agree with this. Even with the running in the road scenerio, it seems such a harsh thing to do to a small tiny child. Or even a big child for that matter.

Then you have to consider things like, using hands or implements like belts or spoons, how many hits? How hard should the child be hit? At what age should spanking start and stop? It's too easy to cross a line and be too extreme. Plus the point is inflicting pain for correction and I hate the idea of inflicting pain on anything, especially a child.

To me, it would be better not to bother with it at all and find other ways.

quote:
I'd also note that harshness towards children may well be more the norm in human history than a new aberration. That is, if by "getting harsh" you mean recent childrearing philosophies.

Not that history makes it okay; just that it isn't new, by far.

Yeah, and that's the sad thing. There are cultures who don't believe in being harsh towards kids, but I got to wonder if our modern western world has made things harder in terms of raising kids and instincts...
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I think that there are times when spanking is appropriate.

You are wrong, excepting times in which a child is in immediate physical danger.
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mr_porteiro_head
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That's nice.
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I think that there are times when spanking is appropriate.

You are wrong, excepting times in which a child is in immediate physical danger.
That's the thing, I'm not even sure about it then. There's no.. formula for it. I can't see a formula for helpful spanking and harmful spanking that goes into abuse because there's just not some convenient gauge on a child.
All sorts of writers will have spanking instructions, with rituals, use this, not your hand, hands are for loving and tenderness and they tell you it's for their own good, but I can never see hitting someone as being for their own good when there's other ways that are not as easy, but might be better on the child's body, soul and spirit.

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dabbler
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Orincoro, your comment doesn't make his comment wrong.
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by dabbler:
Orincoro, your comment doesn't make his comment wrong.

Well, in my opinion it kind of is. but, I'm totally against it.
When is spanking appropriate?

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scifibum
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I don't have a strong position on spanking, and have done it. I don't like to do it, and generally it's a case of my father showing up in my behavior unexpectedly. I doubt there's a lot of harm done by moderate/infrequent spanking, unless it's coupled with other behaviors that by themselves would be just about as damaging anyway.

I think some of the bigger and more important challenges for me are:

I'm sometimes unkind.

I don't spend enough time actively engaging with the kids ("quality time" is probably a good enough synonym for what I mean here), so they might not be learning as well as I'd like them to that they are important and valuable and interesting and likable.

Luckily my kids are happy and healthy despite my failings. They are pretty resilient and vital little things.

Syn, to answer your question - how did people get so harsh? I'm going to leave out moderate spanking and respond as if you're talking about what is more universally recognized as child abuse.

I think it's only relatively recently that societies have emerged that are rich and healthy and safe enough that the proper treatment of young children rated a lot of attention. I think disease, starvation, and rotten standards of living generally make people care less about that sort of thing. So people largely resorted to beating and shaming kids because it's less complicated and easier (in an immediate sense) than parenting in a way that requires some thought and sustained effort.

So why does bad parenting persist when we ought to have enough luxury to address the problem? As you've noted there are cycles which are difficult to interrupt, and miserably-parented people will make miserable parents. And a lot of people are still struggling with supporting themselves and dealing with broken households and those kinds of struggles still distract from idealism.

It's unfortunate and inevitable that some people use it as an excuse for bad behavior, but being a parent is pretty darn hard. There have been many, many times where I was at my wit's end and could understand all too well the attraction of resorting to more brutal tactics. [Frown] If I had no real knowledge of any other way, and if I was under the impression that it was my job, (spare the rod spoil the child) then I'd be one of those parents being harsh towards kids.

I'm glad that you want to examine what we can do make better, happier people by treating children better. However, I hope that you don't let this twist you into knots. You need to focus on being a happy person, too.

</ramble>

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dabbler
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Synesthesia, my comment had nothing to do with whether I think the comment is wrong. [Smile]
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I think that there are times when spanking is appropriate.

You are wrong, excepting times in which a child is in immediate physical danger.
In your opinion.


I am not advocating abuse, but equating spanking a child to abuse in most cases is not accurate, nor is it useful. Children are not delicate flowers. They sometimes need a strong incentive to behave at times, and spanking is one way of providing that, particularly if you are short on time.

It isn't lazy parenting, or abusive, to spank your child. Sometimes it is the only way to get though at that moment.

In MY opinion, of course. I also ride a bike without a helmet, drink in moderation, and play rough with my dog.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
quote:
Originally posted by dabbler:
Orincoro, your comment doesn't make his comment wrong.

Well, in my opinion it kind of is. but, I'm totally against it.
When is spanking appropriate?

I think it can be an acceptable practice if <impossibly long list of qualifications>. That's the problem. It's too hard to define what's OK and what isn't.

A blanket "never spank" is not a realistic legal requirement - we can't make criminals out of a huge chunk of the populace, I don't think (and this reminds me of the war on drugs and how I think that's probably worse for kids than spanking could possibly be) - but I think it's a good default position for giving advice when you aren't prepared to provide comprehensive parenting tutelage.

If people were spanked themselves and cannot themselves identify any problems with how it was done then I think it's reasonable to allow that it can be done appropriately, although I'd tend to err on the side of just figure out some other way to get the message across. Just because you might be able to do it right doesn't mean you have to.

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Christine
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I actually think attitudes toward children are slowly getting milder, not harsher. Spanking, which was a matter of course throughout human history, is finally getting called into question (as evidenced by this very thread). We are studying childhood and babyhood and learning about these times, discovering that a baby's cry is not the same thing as a child's tantrum. Of course, not everyone is on board, but we are thinking about our parenting.

Personally, I don't think there is ever a time to spank. If my child runs into the road (and they have) I grab them and pull them back. Having grabbed them, spanking is now superfluous as they are out of danger. I have dragged my son home like a sack of potatoes when we were out on a walk and he repeatedly tried to run into the street. He was ticked off at that idea!

I think spanking is lazy parenting. The people I know who spank often can't think of other punishments, especially in the heat of the moment. They don't structure their lives and their homes to deal with children (for example, not baby-proofing the medicine cabinet and then thinking they should spank when the curious toddler gets inside).

On a completely separate note...the whole good child is a quiet child thing is kind of to be expected. I mean, I do try to understand that children will be children but sometimes the NOISE! It's uncomfortable for many parents and so even if they don't do it consciously, they will end up rewarding the calmer, quieter behavior.

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Raymond Arnold
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I was spanked. I do not have a problem with it. Rather than a long list of qualifications, I have only two (well, my dad did, but it worked just fine as far as I'm concerned and if I have children I will likely use them)

1: It was only one quick spank
2: Spanking was a punishment only used when I was warned IN ADVANCE that spanking was the punishment.

The biggest problem with spanking (and with "not spanking," because many parents are unprepared for how frustrating children can be and have no idea how to get a message across, resulting them eventually breaking their 'no spanking' rule in the heat of the moment) is that when it is used as a last resort by desperate parents, it's a lot easier to end up being borderline abusive than if you set out rules in advance that you firmly communicate to your child.

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scifibum
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quote:
mean, I do try to understand that children will be children but sometimes the NOISE! It's uncomfortable for many parents and so even if they don't do it consciously, they will end up rewarding the calmer, quieter behavior.
Yes, this is true.

It could be overdone but there's some need to civilize the critters, too. Quietness is often a big portion of courteousness.

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Synesthesia
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Yeah, I have sound issues so that high pitched scream kids make can drive me up a tree.
I'm glad things are getting milder. That folks are learning more and more about what makes children tick, that there's all sorts of people who don't buy that whole DON'T PICK UP THAT BABY SHE WILL MANIPULATE YOU thing. It's nice.
There's the other extreme though, like in this article I read today where a mother had a play date and the other child hit her son and the other mother just said, they are just kids.
I don't get the concept of hitting a child for hitting a child anymore than I understand hitting a child for crying and whining because then they'd cry and whine MORE and not less, but I don't get just letting a kid hit another kid and not doing anything about it.
Times like that, I can see those spare the rod people's points, but, I'd rather use a rod for gently guiding lambs then for hitting them. As lambs are so tiny.

I do have a strong capacity for happiness, since a mere good song can get me drunk, but I can't help being so frustrated by the idea of inflicting pain on kids. They are so... small. So.. short.

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Scott R
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quote:
Spanking, which was a matter of course throughout human history, is finally getting called into question (as evidenced by this very thread).
Interestingly, I was doing some research on Victorian-age navies; boys who were brought on were whipped as part of ship's discipline. According to a couple sources, boys who came from poor backgrounds were ENTIRELY unprepared for it; boys whose parents were wealthy, and who had attended boarding school, were already habituated to corporal punishment. One of the most frequent complaints that was leveled against the Royal Navy came from lower-class parents of midshipmen who weren't used to this sort of treatment.

The research didn't clarify if it was the whippings or the humiliation that was most objectionable... but generally today, we think that corporal punishment is the province of undereducated and poor. From what I've read, it wasn't always so.

In any case...I'm generally opposed to spanking. Raymond Arnold expressed my feelings pretty well.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
And what can be done about it? I don't know where these attitudes came from. This concept that a child can be "bad" for crying or "good" for being silent. It doesn't exist because children are neither good or bad when they're toddlers, they are just children.
The general idea of children's behavior in the Gilded Age was "seen but not heard."

Childhood and children as we think of them today are a relatively new and interesting concept. It seems like we've come full circle in a way. Children were treated almost as slave labor for generations, and then in the 20th century, we stopped and looked upon kids as kids, not adults, but with defined timespans of development, toddler, pre-teen, teen, adult. Now it feels like we're headed back the other direction with the onslaught of pop culture, and the many pressures that modern youth have to undergo as their trial by fire to enter adulthood. It's pretty wicked compared to a generation or two ago.

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MattP
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While I've occasionally spanked my kids (single swat on clothed bottom), I'm inclined to agree that it is lazy parenting as I've found that over the course of 16+ years and 6 kids that the frequency and apparent necessity has steadily decreased. I'm pretty sure that my youngest, a precocious 3-year-old boy, has not "required" any spanking at all.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
... There are cultures who don't believe in being harsh towards kids, but I got to wonder if our modern western world has made things harder in terms of raising kids and instincts ...

I find it hard to lay the fault (if it is one) with the "modern western world." In my opinion, it would seem that that world is actually much more permissive (or less punishing) than either the developing world or the eastern world (or both), if we're going to be broadly generalizing that is.
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Christine
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We had a house guest come by a couple of weeks ago with a 3-year-old daughter and he used spanking as a punishment. After he left, my 4-year-old started hitting more and we're only now getting it under control. I can't be 100% sure if there's a connection, but I do have my suspicions.
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Samprimary
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Usually. It's pretty easy for children to model that behavior because it's such a vivid event. It's such a striking (no pun intended) use of force by an adult for a child to witness.

This is just one of the myriad reasons why the pros consider spanking a problematic crutch used in lieu of better parenting options.

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
... There are cultures who don't believe in being harsh towards kids, but I got to wonder if our modern western world has made things harder in terms of raising kids and instincts ...

I find it hard to lay the fault (if it is one) with the "modern western world." In my opinion, it would seem that that world is actually much more permissive (or less punishing) than either the developing world or the eastern world (or both), if we're going to be broadly generalizing that is.
I reckon. According to a fellow I used to harp on, physical punishment is apart of Chinese culture (he's from China). He commented on some anti-spanking facebook statuses of mine.

Hitting just seems to lead to more hitting. I really can't think of a good reason to hit a kid, and it's too easy to hit them over something kind of ridiculous.

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Mucus
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Not just Chinese, here's a humorous South Asian look for example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn5jlrxcpkI

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sinflower
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quote:
This concept that a child can be "bad" for crying or "good" for being silent. It doesn't exist because children are neither good or bad when they're toddlers, they are just children.

Are you saying that toddlers can't have a fundamentally "good" or "bad" nature, because they don't have individual personalities yet? Or that they aren't intelligent enough to have an understanding of the concept of right and wrong, so you can't judge any of their actions as good or bad? Elaborate please, I'm a bit confused by this statement. If a toddler hits another one repeatedly, hurting him badly, is he committing a "bad" action?
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scifibum
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Actions are more amenable to such labels than toddlers. Hurting another child is a bad act. The kid doing it is doing something wrong. The act should be stopped and then prevented from happening again (with age-appropriate discipline).

You gain nothing by labeling the kid a good kid or a bad kid. Address their actions, and encourage them to be nice people. If you somehow communicated to the kid that he was a "bad kid", then it'd most likely be counter productive.

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sinflower
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quote:
Address their actions, and encourage them to be nice people. If you somehow communicated to the kid that he was a "bad kid", then it'd most likely be counter productive.
I'm not saying you should COMMUNICATE it to the kid himself/herself. I'm not suggesting any action actually. I'm saying that young children can be bad people, or good people, or "insert adjective" people. Toddlers are also very changeable, but I think young children can have developed personalities and they can be bad ones (according to each person's individual definition of "bad" of course, it's a vague word).
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:

I think spanking is lazy parenting. The people I know who spank often can't think of other punishments, especially in the heat of the moment. They don't structure their lives and their homes to deal with children (for example, not baby-proofing the medicine cabinet and then thinking they should spank when the curious toddler gets inside).


My parents were hardly lazy, nor were they abusive. They most certainly didn't lack imagination for finding other punishments.

Yet they spanked us on occasion, and we all turned out fine. As did the vast majority of people who grew up with us.

Feel free to not punish your own children that way, of course. You don't need my approval, or permission.

But I don't need yours to raise my children the same way I was raised, and calling me a lazy parent for doing so is as far from the truth as you can get. (not any one person specifically....I am not offended, just stating my position on this).

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Sterling
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Like a lot of things, spanking is a power that I don't think everyone should have. I don't think every parent should have it, and its possibility of abuse makes me waver towards the side that it shouldn't be encouraged at all. That isn't to say that there aren't parents who could use such a form of discipline wisely and well.

I think toddlers are capable of acting "well" or "badly", but any kind of broad rule about what warrants punishment is likely to get misused. A child who is full and sleepy and thus quiet isn't being "good"; a child who has gone from being over-stimulated to being stuck in a high chair with a room full of gabby adults and nothing to do isn't being "bad" when they start to act on their boredom and frustration. Likewise a child who breaks something they thought was colorful and interesting and didn't know was dangerous or fragile.

I think there are too many adults who aren't capable of separating their emotional reaction to a child's behavior with what's good for the child to learn over the long term, what behavior they actually want to encourage, and recognizing in a moment of tension the reasons that might have caused the child to act in a way that's frustrating or inconvenient.

I generally feel that communication, firmness, and the occasional "time-out" or loss of priveliges works well for me. I don't claim that my experience with my own child is going to work as a broadsheet for everyone.

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Samprimary
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I guess I should just repost some posts I made years ago.

2005:

quote:

- The popular myth that lack of physical punishment correlates with aggression and crime is entirely false; in fact, the opposite is true. People who were not spanked as kids are the least likely to engage in assault or theft in adolescence, AND ALSO the least likely to commit child or spousal abuse in adulthood.

- IN ADDITION, the more violent, criminal behavior a person exhibits, the higher the statistical likelihood that they were physically punished as a child. The correlation between frequency of childhood physical punishment and later antisocial behavior is supported BEYOND spurious correlation (Straus & Kantor, 1994, Gunnoe & Mariner, 1997; Straus et al., 1997).

- Milder forms of spanking in the home correlated with aggressive school behavior to a significant degree, and heavier forms of physical punishment (bordering on or even exceeding legal regulations on permissive spanking) correlated with aggressive behavior at school to an even more significant degree; any child who had been abusively hit even once in their entire life was excluded from the 'spanked' group, yet the correlation between spanking and school aggression remained significant. Higher 'dosages' of physical punishment moving upwards into bounds of classification of abuse accompanied greater measurable degrees of long-term harm, with legal and calm punishments similar in nature but not in magnitude to issues faced by abused children; the level of physical punishment relating strongly to the magnitude of social problems.

- The National Family Violence Surveys used a highly controlled set of parameters in the study of ties between aggressiveness and delinquancy (Straus & Gelles, 1990) and found them in abundance. MacMillan (1999) used a larger sample and found significant correlations between spanking in childhood and psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems in adulthood.

- Aggressiveness in children has also been linked to maternal permissiveness and negative criticism, more closely than to physical discipline, but the fact that some negative factors are even more linked to aggressiveness doesn't constitute support of spanking, but it does show the similarities of result in different forms of parenting systems that have adverse effects.

- The American Academy of Pediatrics, the professional association of U.S. pediatricians, officially took a stand against all forms of spanking in April of 1998.

quote:
Abstract:

When advising families about discipline strategies, pediatricians should use a comprehensive approach that includes consideration of the parent-child relationship, reinforcement of desired behaviors, and consequences for negative behaviors. Corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behavior. ....

The following consequences of spanking lessen its desirability as a strategy to eliminate undesired behavior.

- Spanking children <18 months of age increases the chance of physical injury, and the child is unlikely to understand the connection between the behavior and the punishment.
- Although spanking may result in a reaction of shock by the child and cessation of the undesired behavior, repeated spanking may cause agitated, aggressive behavior in the child that may lead to physical altercation between parent and child.
- Spanking models aggressive behavior as a solution to conflict and has been associated with increased aggression in preschool and school children.
- Spanking and threats of spanking lead to altered parent-child relationships, making discipline substantially more difficult when physical punishment is no longer an option, such as with adolescents.
- Spanking is no more effective as a long-term strategy than other approaches, and reliance on spanking as a discipline approach makes other discipline strategies less effective to use. Time-out and positive reinforcement of other behaviors are more difficult to implement and take longer to become effective when spanking has previously been a primary method of discipline.
- A pattern of spanking may be sustained or increased. Because spanking may provide the parent some relief from anger, the likelihood that the parent will spank the child in the future is increased.

YON REFERENCES LISTE, OF WORKS CITEDAGE

Gunnoe, M.L. & Mariner, C.L. 1997. "Toward a Developmental-Contextual Model of the effects of Parental Spanking on Children's Aggression." Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 151:768-775.

Haeuser, A.A. 1990. "Banning Parental Use of Physical Punishment: Success in Sweden." Presented at the Eighth International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, Hamburg, Germany, 2-6 September.

MacMillan, H.L.; Boyle, M.H.; Wong, M.Y.Y.; Duku, E.K.; Fleming, J.E. and Walsh, C.A. 1999. "Slapping and spanking in childhood and its association with lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a general population sample." Canadian Medical Association Journal 161(7):805-809.

Straus, M.A. 1991. "Discipline and Deviance: Physical Punishment of Children and Violence and Other Crime in Adulthood." Social Problems 38(2):133-155

Straus, M.A & Gelles, R. J.. 1990. Physical Violence In American Families: Risk Factors And Adaptations To Violence In 8,145 Families. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Straus, M.A & Kantor, G.K. 1994. "Corporal Punishment of Adolescents By Parents: A Risk Factor in the Epidemiology of Depression, Suicide, Alcohol Abuse, Child Abuse, and Wife Beating." Adolescence 29(115):543-561.

Straus, M.A. and Mouradian, V.E. 1998. "Impulsive Corporal Punishment by Mothers and Antisocial Behavior and Impulsiveness of Children." Behavioral Sciences & The Law 16(3):353-374.

Straus, M.A.; Sugarman, D.B. and Giles-Sims, J. 1997. "Corporal Punishment by Parents and Subsequent Anti-Social Behavior of Children" Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 151(8):761-767.

Strassberg, Z.; Dodge, K.A.; Petit, G.S. & Bates, J.E. 1994. "Spanking in the Home and Children's Subsequent Aggression Toward Kindergarten Peers." Development and Psychopathology, 6:445-461.

Trumbull, D.A. & Ravenel, S.D. (1996) "Spare the Rod? New Research Challenges Spanking Critics" Family Policy, FRC, 9(5), October 1996.

2007

quote:
Most who spank are just trying to get their kids in line and they are going with what they think works.

They probably also work under a belief that it is neglectful to not incorporate spanking as a disciplinary method. In that sense, most who do it are only trying to do what's right for the kiddo. In and of itself, spanking is not something I consider to be a cruel act. I just advocate that it is a misinformed practice that has better alternatives, and this only really contests viewpoints that assert that spanking is a 'necessary' or 'preferable' practice that is integral to parenting.

of course if anything in that old post of mine is BS, feel free to rip it to shreds.
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0Megabyte
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I was never spanked.

When I went to a private school in rural Mississippi, and other kids were spanked, my father made clear in no uncertain terms that if I did something wrong, he and my mother were to be notified, and then they'd take care of it. The teachers were not to touch his son. The idea of someone else spanking me was something my father would not tolerate, and my mother wasn't fond of the idea either.

And they never spanked me either. Then again, I also never really did anything bad when I was young.

However, I am not absolutely against spanking. I wouldn't want anyone else to spank my child... but if I were to do it, it would have to be under some pretty special circumstances. Discipline is important, as I've seen from far too many unruly kids (such as my brother's kids, who walk all over him and are, to be honest, terrible, terrible people) but spanking isn't something that seems to me something I'd primarily do. My step brother Steven got spanked a few times when he was young, but he was quite the terror as a child. Now he's just a moody teenager (what teenagers aren't?) who thinks quite highly of himself and is at times insufferable.

He's still a good kid with a great heart, but he's a teenager. And certainly not a broken one, either. At the same time, my cousin Joseph, who was spanked quite a bit, occasionally was... quite afraid of his father, at least when he did something wrong. He never seemed bad to me, but then I never saw him when in discipline mode.

Meh. I couldn't really find a good point or conclusion there in my ramblings on the subject. I am not for annihilating any possibility of using it, but it's certainly not always the best thing to do. It's a tool, a dangerous tool to be handled carefully and used only with the utmost care if at all. And I know my parents wouldn't ever let anyone do it to me. Perhaps I'll follow suit.

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AvidReader
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Sam, do you happen to know if any studies have been done on matching discipline techniques to a child's personality? Cause there's a lot of punishments out there, and they may or may not work for any given child.

I've got a friend who'll tell you he liked being sent to his room. If his mom wanted to get his attention about a behavior, she had to get the belt out or he didn't listen. So was he aggressive as a teenager because he was spanked, or did she have to spank him because he had an aggressive personality and only responded to aggression?

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Actions are more amenable to such labels than toddlers. Hurting another child is a bad act. The kid doing it is doing something wrong. The act should be stopped and then prevented from happening again (with age-appropriate discipline).

You gain nothing by labeling the kid a good kid or a bad kid. Address their actions, and encourage them to be nice people. If you somehow communicated to the kid that he was a "bad kid", then it'd most likely be counter productive.

What he said. If parents just label their kids as bad for doing something they don't like, like whining or throwing a tantrum, they are more likely to harden their hearts against that child. I'm not saying it's OK to whine and throw a tantrum, but I don't know how many times I've felt like that after a long day and I'm crammed onto a train ready to explode. The child could be hungry, tired, any other thing but bad. Even if a toddler hits another toddler, they don't have the brain development to know it's wrong to do that until they are taught REPEATEDLY by their parents not to. A child needs compassion and understanding the most.
Just look at the difference in perspectives this post has. http://nogreaterjoychildren.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/spank-him-again-if-he-keeps-crying-spank-him-again/
The first person understands that a two year old is TWO. That nutwit Pearl tells you it's all about winning even if you have to hit a child repeatedly to make them get the message, but it isn't right because all the kid wanted was to be near his mother and he wasn't being bad at all.
Plus there's always making the child feel like they are bad to consider as well. I believe that being patient with a child and understanding has got to be better than being too harsh or aggressive. One thing a child could do is act "bad" in order to receive more attention even if it's negative.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
Sam, do you happen to know if any studies have been done on matching discipline techniques to a child's personality? Cause there's a lot of punishments out there, and they may or may not work for any given child.

I've got a friend who'll tell you he liked being sent to his room. If his mom wanted to get his attention about a behavior, she had to get the belt out or he didn't listen. So was he aggressive as a teenager because he was spanked, or did she have to spank him because he had an aggressive personality and only responded to aggression?

I [ut the part I'd like to discuss in bold because it states my feeling on this matter better than I did. I am not saying run out and beat your kid. I am not saying no one abuses it. I am not saying that spanking is the only tool, or that it is even the best tool most of the time.

My parents spanked me probably 2-3 times a year as a kid. It wasn't their first choice, or their only solution. But it was always a possible choice, and as I grew older it was used less and less. They never hurt me, and most of it was drama. My dad would say"go get my belt!", and when we did he would snap it behind our backs, and we would jump and yell out.....even though he had not touched us with it yet. [Big Grin]

I have seen many kids raised without spanking, and most of them were very, very bratty as toddlers. Quite a few of them bratty to the point of danger in public places. So I don't think that raising your kid without spanking is easy, nor am I impressed with it's results.

It may work for you, but I think I'll continue with the way I was raised. My kids will never fear me, but they will know that there are consequences to their actions, and that one of those might be being spanked.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
quote:
Originally posted by Christine:

I think spanking is lazy parenting. The people I know who spank often can't think of other punishments, especially in the heat of the moment. They don't structure their lives and their homes to deal with children (for example, not baby-proofing the medicine cabinet and then thinking they should spank when the curious toddler gets inside).


My parents were hardly lazy, nor were they abusive. They most certainly didn't lack imagination for finding other punishments.

Yet they spanked us on occasion, and we all turned out fine. As did the vast majority of people who grew up with us.

Feel free to not punish your own children that way, of course. You don't need my approval, or permission.

But I don't need yours to raise my children the same way I was raised, and calling me a lazy parent for doing so is as far from the truth as you can get. (not any one person specifically....I am not offended, just stating my position on this).

I have consistently found that pro-spanker's best evidence for their approach is that "I turned out fine." Well, I was spanked and I didn't turn out fine. To this day, I hate belts. I won't go so far as to say I'm afraid of them anymore, but the fact that my parents hit me was a memorable and traumatic part of my childhood. They didn't do it often, they didn't even come close to crossing lines into abuse, they didn't leave marks, etc. They just used spanking as a punishment and it did not work for me. They weren't lazy, either -- I don't think spanking is always lazy parenting but I do see it an awful lot. Recently, someone explicitly told me that he just wasn't good at thinking up alternative punishments. (seriously) This conversation is fresh in my mind right now and it drove me up the wall.

I do not support spanking under any circumstances, though I do accept that in cases of immediate danger, when you want to get an immediate and forceful change in behavior, it can be effective and is probably not lazy. ETA: In fact, there can be a natural fear response on the part of the parent in this case.

So to get more specific, I think spanking is lazy when used in the following ways:

1. constantly or exclusively
2. when the parent doesn't want to spend time enforcing other punishments
3. when the behaviors being punished could be stopped through other means (such as childproofing a home)
4. when it is threatened, but never doled out

I find it very problematic in the following situations, though I wouldn't classify it as lazy:

1. when it is being used to control a child's mood or feelings ("Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about!" my dad loved this one)
2. when it is being used to control a child's attitude or perceived attitude, especially when the child has recently been punished. I once heard a popular radio host (the focus on the family guy) suggest that if a child was balling his fists or otherwise not being properly submissive, then he should be hit. Yikes!

Oops...have to run so I'll have to stop there.

[ March 10, 2010, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: Christine ]

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
1. when it is being used to control a child's mood or feelings ("Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about!" my dad loved this one)
I would say that this sort of thing DOES cross into or at least flirt with the realm of abusiveness, whether or not it actually left a physical mark.

A lot of the descriptions I've heard about how other people spank do strike me (no pun intended) as unhealthy. While I don't have a strong memory of them, I'm pretty sure I could count the number of times I was spanked on my fingers, possibly on one hand, and again it was always something firmly communicated to me in advance, with as much emotion divorced from it as possible. (It was scary, but only insofar as toddlers are naturally afraid of getting hit, there was no deliberate build up of "I'm gonna get my BELT!!!!" (Not to mention they didn't use belts. To this day I'm not even sure how the belt-punishment was supposed to work. All I can imagine is using it like an actual whip, which does sound horrible to me).

I would like to know if there are statistics on the results of different kinds of spanking, because from the sounds of it the "I'ma gonna go belt my belt!" style of spanking is so different from what I experienced that I wouldn't even put it in the same category.

I think the product of this debate (both on this forum and (inter)nationally) would be more useful if the focus on "what specific parenting behaviors are genuinely bad" rather than "Aww children are so small and cute how could anyone hurt them?"

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

I would like to know if there are statistics on the results of different kinds of spanking, because from the sounds of it the "I'ma gonna go belt my belt!" style of spanking is so different from what I experienced that I wouldn't even put it in the same category.

I admit to being curious about the effects of different spanking styles myself, although this would be very difficult to judge. No spanker seems to think that his/her approach is wrong and when pressed, very few admit to putting themselves in the situations I mentioned. I have personally witnessed people doing these things but in separate conversations about how they spank, they'll claim they don't do it that way.

It is worth noting that at least one study found the effects of spanking diminished somewhat in cultures where spanking was considered more acceptable.

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theresa51282
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I don't spank my daughter. I have noticed the few times I have had the urge to spank it had a lot more to do with me having lost my temper and patience than with the nature of what she was doing. What I mean is the same behavior would usually have made me a lot less upset but because of circumstances beyond her control, I was less able to handle the behavior. It seems totally unfair then to spank her because I was having a rough day. I recognize how hard it would be for me to only spank fairly and consistently so I just don't do it at all. I don't find her to be a bratty child at all. She is really a easy going kid who listens as well as can be expected for a two year old. She loves to be out in public and is very well behaved when she is out and about. She often gets compliments in restaurants for being polite and well behaved.
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BlackBlade
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theresa51282: Are you so certain the reason you were feeling especially exasperated was not that your child, in those instances, was not reigning in their behavior when you tried your more conventional methods?

----

I myself was spanked maybe three times in my entire life, but my parents were not afraid to grip me, or put me against a wall while they gave me a piece of their mind. They were much more fans of removing privileges I valued and escalating the more I ignored their parameters. They were also smart enough to give me proportionate punishments. But they also recognized if I had already determined to change my behavior, and in response, cut the punishment short and show mercy.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by dabbler:
Orincoro, your comment doesn't make his comment wrong.

No, his comment his wrong despite the existence of my comment. My comment changes nothing much- except to register disagreement with his parenting philosophies. In fact, I am surprised by them. Perhaps I ought to have said so. Porter, I am taken aback at your comment. It is very disappointing to hear.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I think that there are times when spanking is appropriate.

You are wrong, excepting times in which a child is in immediate physical danger.
In your opinion.


I am not advocating abuse, but equating spanking a child to abuse in most cases is not accurate, nor is it useful. Children are not delicate flowers. They sometimes need a strong incentive to behave at times, and spanking is one way of providing that, particularly if you are short on time.

My opinion based on a large amount of experience in child care, as well as having been hit myself as a child. It didn't work for me, and it has never worked for any child I have ever known who has been hit. It makes things worse. It did for me, and it did for every other child I knew of who was hit.

And I am, for clarity's sake, talking more about parents who make a habit of it. Obviously those who do it less may get different results. Habitual physical intimidation of your child is not a good idea. Porter should grow a pair and learn to deal with his kids without hitting them, if that's what he's saying he does.

I didn't equate it to abuse. I don't think it's always abuse. I think there is only one situation in which it is "appropriate," and that is to stop a child from acting to harm his or herself. Only case. Blanket statement. No exceptions.

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Geraine
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I think there is a differene between spanking and hitting.

The frequency, the amount of force, and the reason for the discipline can be the difference between hitting and spanking.

I don't agree with hitting. I am fine with spanking.

I hate to use this example, but when you are potty training a puppy, one (rather effective) method is to rub the dog's nose in the business if they go on the floor. The dog learns very quickly not to do that anymore.

A child is the same in a lot of ways. If a child does something wrong for the first time, I am ok with putting them in time out and telling them not to do it anymore. If they continue to do it, then I feel a small swat on the rump is appropriate. A two year old is not going to understand your explanation on why what they did was wrong. If they associate pain to a certain action, then they are less likely to do it. Not any pain that lasts more than a few seconds mind you.

I was the oldest of 6 kids. I was spanked a lot. I wasn't a bad kid, but sometimes I did some pretty stupid things. I noticed that my younger siblings almost never got spanked. This may have had something to do with the older kids keeping them in check and keeping them out of trouble because we knew what the consequence would be.

The last time I was spanked was when I was 14. Well, more like my mother beat the snot out of me. I was very rude to her, and was screaming at her at the top of my lungs calling her all sorts of horrible names. She ran up the stairs, busted my door open, (My mother is only 5'6, I still have no idea how she did this, adrenaline maybe) tackled me, then slapped me on my face about 5 times before she broke into tears and went back downstairs. I knew I had hurt her by calling her those horrible things more than she had hurt me. That was the last time I have ever yelled at my mother.

I see with one of my little nieces that my brother spanks her without telling her why she is being spanked, or spanks her when she accidently does something wrong. I don't agree with this. If you are spanking a child you should make it clear WHY they are being spanked, and only if they deliberately did it.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I think there is a differene between spanking and hitting.

Spanking doesn't leave a mark. That is why adults do it. They don't want to see the consequences of their physical intimidation of a child, so they smack the child open handed on the back or the butt, because they can't face the prospect of hitting the child in the stomach or the chest or face.

I'm sorry, I can't sit in on this conversation if it's going to provoke such an emotional reaction for me. The idea of calmly deciding you're going to hit your child is ridiculous. It's not a line of thinking that applies in any other aspect of our lives. We don't talk about the appropriateness of hitting our coworkers, but our children can't fight back, and are disempowered legally, physically and psychologically to defend themselves. The idea of hitting a child makes me sick, and the idea of people who justify it also makes me sick. Enough said.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Spanking doesn't leave a mark. That is why adults do it.

Hmm. Nope.

Nice try.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
That is why adults do it. They don't want to see the consequences of their physical intimidation of a child...
I think you seriously undercut your message by sounding this hysterical about it. I mean, I don't spank my children, but you've got me rolling my eyes here at the remarkable hyperbole some of y'all are using.

Adults who spank do not choose to spank "because it doesn't leave a mark." They spank because a smack on the buttocks hurts a great deal less and is far less likely to do any lasting physical damage than, say, a punch to the head or stomach.

I think, too, there's a useful distinction to be made between a sustained campaign of physical intimidation and the occasional spank. That some people here aren't making that distinction, to be honest, strongly suggests to me that they aren't parents.

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dabbler
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You must be reading into his statement something that I just don't see. He said "I think that there are times when spanking is appropriate." and you basically said, 'only when a child is in immediate physical danger, spanking is appropriate.' Did MPH say in his statement that he believes there are times when spanking is appropriate beyond immediate physical danger? I'm not seeing it. MPH could easily mean the same thing you meant. That immediate physical danger is the only appropriate time for spanking, but that it is appropriate.

Therefore, I don't understand how you can read into his statement anything more than your own statement.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I believe that there are times when spanking can be appropriate beyond immediate physical danger.
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Scott R
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quote:
I believe that there are times when spanking can be appropriate beyond immediate physical danger.
There may be. In general, though, I don't think that most people are wise enough to know when those times are.

I don't believe I am. I hate giving my kids a swat-- I hate what it makes me feel like, and the fear I see in their faces. Beyond that, I don't think that my kids learn the right lesson from corporal punishment. They don't learn appropriate behavior, IMO; they learn to be afraid of me when I'm angry. The pain and the humiliation of corporal punishment is too much for a lesson about behavioral limits to take effect.

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Geraine
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Orinoco, I understand your frustration with the topic. What is your idea of punishment when a child does something wrong?

I am not saying you have to spank a child to be an effective parent. In my opinion though if that possibility is always looming, the child will be more apt to listen to you. You may only have to spank the child once and never have to do it again.

For my siblings and I, it worked. I have always loved my parents, and to this day I will swear they are the best parents a person could ask for. I don't remember the spankings as a child, but I remember the things they did for me in providing a good home with food, beds, clothes, love, and learning.

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