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Is spanking your kids ok?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Rex, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Bastet

    Bastet Vile Stove-Toucher

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    I'd have to agree with Mister Emu on this particular point. While I do not believe that spanking should be the automatic way a parent disciplines their child, I do believe that, in certain cases where a child's life is in immediate danger from their actions - as in the case of a child running out on the street - then a quick smack on the bum is ok. I have watched my mother raise my younger brother and sister (she had them when I was in my teens), and, while I don't agree with all of her methods of discipline (some of which are in the list below), in that particular instance, I think she was right. You can try to sit a child down after they've run onto the street, and try to explain to them why what they just did was dangerous and stupid, but before you finish the sentence, that child is just as likely to have run right back out there and been hit by a car. After being spanked once or twice for doing it (and then afterwards, when the immediate danger of them doing it again had passed, having it explained to them why it was dangerous and stupid), my little brother and sister didn't run out on the street anymore. All mum had to do was say "Stop!" and they would.

    Don't get me wrong, I am an advocate of non-physical - and non abusive - forms of discipline. Removal of privileges, grounding, and explaining why what the child did was wrong, and how it made you feel, I think, do work well. I just also think that there are rare ocassions when a smack on the bum doesn't go astray. I think that a definition of 'spanking' is needed here too. There is vast difference between a quick smack on the bum, and someone putting a kid over their knee and laying into them repeatedly. I know people who were 'spanked' with a wooden spoon, or a belt, or a ruler...and most of them also heard "you wait till your father gets home...". I don't think any of those are right. I don't think clipping a kid around the ear is right. I also don't think putting a child down verbally is right. Some things I've heard said...it saddens me. Some of that is a lot more harmful than a rare smack on the bum. As was also pointed out by someone else, I don't think smacking/spanking older children works either.
     
  2. dolly

    dolly Member

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    My greatest concern for that is that the parent is terrified in those situations - when the child's life is in immediate danger. This means that they aren't thinking rationally, and thus are not in a good state of mind to be delivering such a form of discipline. Generally though, I think rationalization, prevention and grounding are safer and work better - prevention especially if the child is young. Toddlers, for example, should never be in a position where they can place themselves in immediate danger. Where is the parent during all of this?


    That's certainly true.
     
  3. Hope

    Hope Princesinha

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    Dolly, I read some of those articles--thank you. They were good, but what I did notice in more than one is that spanking was not outright proven to be harmful. As one article stated--which I totally agree with--it is more about the context and severity of the spanking than the actual spanking itself that can harm the child. As I have said more than once, not every wrongdoing deserves a spanking. Also, spanking does not necessarily mean 'hitting the child as hard as one can' or 'hitting them in such a way as to leave marks.' I advocate neither of those types of spanking.

    As far as my analogies about pain--no, they weren't perfect, but I think you missed my point. I simply used them as examples to show that pain is not always 'bad.' Of course, children don't get to choose whether they get to be spanked or not--if the child had his/her way about things, he/she would do whatever they pleased. Obviously, children lack the knowledge and understanding of their parents, therefore parents are there to help instill these things in them. Proper discipline helps shape them in the right way, just as proper training helps shape an athlete in the right way.

    Also, there is only so much comparison between a dog and a child, in my opinion.
     
  4. dolly

    dolly Member

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    And as I said, yes the context, environment, and severity do affect the amount of damage the child will suffer, but you will see that the children who are rarely (once or twice every couple of years) and those who are not spanked are the ones who do not suffer the consequences. The articles admit, and I agree, that the rarest, barest, most minimal tap-on-the-hand "spanking" leaves a minimal increase in risk, all spanking still has that risk.

    I understand that, but my point was that corpral punishment is not one of those cases.

    You missed my point. These are the reasons why spanking is not a "good kind" of pain.

    I agree, but "proper discipline" can not and will never be corporal punishment in my mind.
     
  5. Bastet

    Bastet Vile Stove-Toucher

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    I don't think you could say a terrified parent is much good at delivering any form of discipline.

    Generally they are better, but they don't always work in life or death situations.

    Ever walked down the street with a toddler? Things like that happen in a split second. You could suggest that every toddler be kept strapped in a stroller, or in one of those harnesses like a dog - but not all kids will put up with either of those things. Some want to walk, and they want to do it independantly. As closely as you watch a child, it's very easy for them to run into the road, and often they're already on the road, or close to it, by the time you catch them. Kids can run off because they're mad at you; kids can run off because they're in a good mood and playing. That's not a result of bad parenting, it's just the way it is.

    I'd still like to hear your definition of "spanking". You seem to be interchanging "spanking" with "corporal punishment", and I for one, see the two very differently.
     
  6. Quoth The Raven

    Quoth The Raven Half Arsed Muse

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  7. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    Woo, long thread...

    I think spanking is appropriate with some children up to a certain age. Beyond that age, when the child is old enough to be affected by other forms of punishment, I think it gets very close to abuse to spank the child.

    Of course, the cut off age for 'old enough to understand other punishments' will vary from person to person.
     
  8. dolly

    dolly Member

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    True, but the other forms don't risk the child's health. A terrified parent might not realize how hard/etc they are hitting the child, but the only risk of talking to them is babbling, etc.

    Yes I have. If they aren't in a stroller or in my arms, I hold their hands tightly and have them walk on the side away from the road. I also stay as far away from the road as I can without traspassing, etc. If they try to bolt and you are watching and holding them closely, it isn't overly difficult to catch them. The trick is to catch them quickly and immediately. If you let them get more than a few feet from you - well that's when the trouble happens. ; )

    It's not always the result of bad parenting, but I firmly believe that there are certain things the parent can do to prevent it.

    I use spanking as a synonym for corporal punishment, and I consider any use of physical pain, which has no lasting damage, for the purpose of discipline to be corporal punishment. I don't consider tapping a child's hand in such a way where it makes a moderate sound, but doesn't cause pain, to be corporal punishment.
     
  9. dolly

    dolly Member

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    They can try. I still believe though that they can be stopped fairly easily if the right actions are taken, or prevented all together. Perhaps when it happens to me my opinion will change, but as of now I don't believe it.

    I'm not saying that in situations where the child does something like running into the street, it doesn't mean that the parent is a bad parent. I just think it means that they aren't focusing enough on the child. Maybe they were distracted, worried, or whatever - probably unconsciously. But if one does watch, it can be prevented.
     
  10. Bastet

    Bastet Vile Stove-Toucher

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    Shouting, swearing, putting the child down verbally...in times of extreme stress, these things can come out of people's mouths, whether they actually believe what they are saying or not. I don't see how that is any less harmful than a smack on the bum. Especially considering children of the age I am talking about, have nappies on their bums to protect them from the pain of a smack. Unless you're smacking a kid hard enough to break bones (which I'd say would have to be done with a closed fist, which is definitely not what I define as spanking), you're not gonna leave a handprint through a nappy.
     
  11. dolly

    dolly Member

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    It isn't any less harmful. I never said it was.
     
  12. Bastet

    Bastet Vile Stove-Toucher

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    No, but you said: "the only risk of talking to them is babbling, etc."

    I just pointed out that it's not. ;)
     
  13. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Not any more - my kid is older than most of ReligiousForums


    Does that lighten the mood?

    -pah-
     
  14. dolly

    dolly Member

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    Hahaha yes. : )
     
  15. SaraLee

    SaraLee Member

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    I agree that spanking in any form is not a good way to teach a child. If a child is too young to understand reasoning with speech, they certainly will not understand why a parent is inflicting pain on them. It can't be explained to the child and the only thing that leaves an impression on a child is that the person whom they love the most can and does inflict pain and hurt on their body, mind and spirit. What kind of lesson is that to teach?

    For people who make a case for spanking children who are not of the age of reasoning, then how does one justify spanking children who are of an age of reasoning? The justification is then changed to suit the age...they just don't listen to what the parent tells them. Gosh, why not, if spanking at a young age was the cure all from an early age on, one would think that the lesson would have been learned from a very young age and spanking would be obsolete. Stands to reason that if spanking was an appropriate means to an end for very young children all those parents who spanked their children for infractions early on would have delightfully well mannored children who understood the importance of healthy functioning and interchange with others at a very young age and spanking would cease, but that isn't the norm. Spanking tends to go on and on for many years for the same infranctions.


    We would never think of spanking adults who act inappropriately, who do not perform their jobs to the satisfaction of their boss's or those who shirk their marital responsibilities. We'd find that an atrocious and intolerable idea because as adults, we have a choice to not tolerate harmful actions from others for any reason, even if we ourselves are acting inappropriately. We have recourses for such acts of injustice. Those who do inflict pain on adults are seen as unfit but those same people rationalize that it is 'fit' to use pain on defenseless children.

    SaraLee
     
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  16. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Thank you....you saved me a lot of typing! I agree wholeheartedly. I've raised 3 sons without using physical punishment and they didn't get away with murder. All three have turned out to be lovely young men (the 12 year old is still working on it).

    I read somewhere that you should never hit a child in anger. I'm supposed to wait until I'm calm? "C'mere son, I want to slap you upside the head for something you did yesterday and I'm calm now." :bonk:
     
  17. dolly

    dolly Member

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    Yes, well said Sara and Melody. : )
     
  18. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I would like to extend this idea to not only cover spanking, but also the treatment and discipline of a young child in general. I babysat three kids tonight, and had a bit of a revelation. The two older boys pretty much kept company with themselves, but their younger 4 year old sister played with me the entire time. We mostly watched her little barney movies or whatever they were--she had lined the movies up in the order that she wanted to watch them in. After the second movie, the boys came up wanting to watch a movie of their own. I was in dire need of a break, (bright colors, generic songs, and bad, although slightly frightening costumes were giving me a headache.), so I told her that we would watch the boy's movie before the third and final movie that she had picked out. Well, that is not what she had had in mind AT ALL! She pleaded with for a moment, and when I still wouldn't budge, began to cry.

    Now, I could've taken the route that I think most parents would have taken, which would have been to say "Quit your crying or go to your room. I'm being perfectly reasonable here, you're still going to get to see it, just later." Instead, I sat her down and talked to her, in an attempt to find out what she was feeling. After a couple of questions, she finally answerd why it was such a big deal for her to wait to watch it. *sniffle* "Well, I just like it so much and I couldn't wait to watch it." *sniffle, sniffle*

    Now, we all know what it's like to get excited about something. We also know what it's like to get excited about something and then have it taken away. The way I saw it, was that it would only cause unecessary pain on her part--her excitement for the movie was so innocent....Because she sat down and talked to me about it, I had the boys watch their movie downstairs, and we watched hers upstairs. The kids were all happy--I was a little Teletubbied-out, but ultimately no worse for wear.

    When I get married and have kids, (or 'if' I suppose, lol), my house will be run on logic and intelligent problem solving. None of this 'because I'm the mom, that's why" business....Yes, I know what you're all thinking--"Heh, heh--she talks big now!"
     
  19. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I doubt that you, Ceridwen, will stray too far from your ideals. At least, not for long. You seem pretty resourceful. I used to babysit the kids of one of my best friends. She had never, not even once, spanked her kids. The worse punnishment she would inflict on them is to send them to watch TV. The kids were so well behaved that babysiting them was a pleasure, and now, years later, I can see that both kids turned out well.
     
  20. dolly

    dolly Member

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    Well said, Ceridwen. I intend to use a similar method on my children. The best thing about it is that not only does it work the best, but it only has positive affects as well.
     
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