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Poll
Question: Should children be spanked?
Absolutely yes! - 33 (18.8%)
In some cases, yes. - 80 (45.5%)
Maybe. - 13 (7.4%)
No, probably not. - 20 (11.4%)
Absolutely not! - 30 (17%)
Total Voters: 176

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Author Topic: Spanking - Yea or Nay?  (Read 59271 times) Average Rating: 3
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« Reply #90 on: April 28, 2009, 10:08:43 AM »

^ I second this nomination!  Grin
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« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2009, 11:51:37 PM »

My answers to the questions are on the first page. But here is where my discipline chart comes from
http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=14


Using one form of discipline straight across the board for all offenses is not effective. Like i said before we do spank, it we have MANY other repercussions for poor behavior as well.

Are there other folks who have used "If-Then" charts (or something similar)?  If so, have they been effective?  Have they included (generally) spanking amongst the discipline forms, or have you kept spanking off?
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« Reply #92 on: April 30, 2009, 10:45:02 AM »

My answers to the questions are on the first page. But here is where my discipline chart comes from
http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=14


Using one form of discipline straight across the board for all offenses is not effective. Like i said before we do spank, it we have MANY other repercussions for poor behavior as well.

Are there other folks who have used "If-Then" charts (or something similar)?  If so, have they been effective?  Have they included (generally) spanking amongst the discipline forms, or have you kept spanking off?
Well, I don't spank children because I don't have any of my own, but I do keep a discipline log for my students. They know what the consequences are after being entered into my discipline log a certain number of times. There is a flow. First, lunch detention, second parent phone call, third referral to the principal.
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« Reply #93 on: April 30, 2009, 12:48:30 PM »

Well, I don't spank children because I don't have any of my own, but I do keep a discipline log for my students. They know what the consequences are after being entered into my discipline log a certain number of times. There is a flow. First, lunch detention, second parent phone call, third referral to the principal.

Are there others in your school who use a similar system?  Any idea as to the success of your methodology versus others in your school who don't use it?
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« Reply #94 on: April 30, 2009, 01:41:22 PM »

Well, I don't spank children because I don't have any of my own, but I do keep a discipline log for my students. They know what the consequences are after being entered into my discipline log a certain number of times. There is a flow. First, lunch detention, second parent phone call, third referral to the principal.

Are there others in your school who use a similar system?  Any idea as to the success of your methodology versus others in your school who don't use it?
I think some use this sort of discipline method. This was definitely a method that was taught to us in our teaching courses. As for its effectivenes, when my students are working the class is so quite you can hear a pin drop. Would that qualify as effective? I don't know. I would like to thinks so because it creates a structure learning environment.
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« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2009, 02:16:28 PM »

Are there others in your school who use a similar system?  Any idea as to the success of your methodology versus others in your school who don't use it?
I think some use this sort of discipline method. This was definitely a method that was taught to us in our teaching courses. As for its effectivenes, when my students are working the class is so quite you can hear a pin drop. Would that qualify as effective? I don't know. I would like to thinks so because it creates a structure learning environment.

Sounds like a structured environment that allows (a) learning without distraction, (b) more time for questions and individual attention because of fewer discipline problems, and (c) a good example of how discipline should work (voluntary, not anger or fear-based).
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« Reply #96 on: April 30, 2009, 04:21:15 PM »

Since a lot of you are so into the Lord of the Rings Trilogy--instead of spanking, why don't you just dress up as a Uruk-hai and scare your child into good behavior?




True, it can be as equally traumatizing as spanking, but it prepares the child for the REAL monsters in life, right?? Grin
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« Reply #97 on: April 30, 2009, 04:25:48 PM »

Since a lot of you are so into the Lord of the Rings Trilogy--instead of spanking, why don't you just dress up as a Uruk-hai and scare your child into good behavior?




True, it can be as equally traumatizing as spanking, but it prepares the child for the REAL monsters in life, right?? Grin
RIGHT!? LOL
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« Reply #98 on: April 30, 2009, 04:32:24 PM »

Since a lot of you are so into the Lord of the Rings Trilogy--instead of spanking, why don't you just dress up as a Uruk-hai and scare your child into good behavior?




True, it can be as equally traumatizing as spanking, but it prepares the child for the REAL monsters in life, right?? Grin

As long as I can put you on-call to comfort the sobbing kids at 3 am when they wake up from their fourteenth nightmare about the Fighting Uruk-hai, sure. 
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« Reply #99 on: April 30, 2009, 05:03:20 PM »

As long as I can put you on-call to comfort the sobbing kids at 3 am when they wake up from their fourteenth nightmare about the Fighting Uruk-hai, sure.  

Oh, no... Monster-scare-tacticians-for-hire don't come with psychological care and bedtime-follow-ups! Grin
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« Reply #100 on: April 30, 2009, 05:27:45 PM »

As long as I can put you on-call to comfort the sobbing kids at 3 am when they wake up from their fourteenth nightmare about the Fighting Uruk-hai, sure.  

Oh, no... Monster-scare-tacticians-for-hire don't come with psychological care and bedtime-follow-ups! Grin

I want my money back!   laugh
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« Reply #101 on: April 30, 2009, 07:31:43 PM »

As long as I can put you on-call to comfort the sobbing kids at 3 am when they wake up from their fourteenth nightmare about the Fighting Uruk-hai, sure.  

Oh, no... Monster-scare-tacticians-for-hire don't come with psychological care and bedtime-follow-ups! Grin

I want my money back!   laugh

If you're asking for a refund, you've paid too much! Cheesy Wink
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« Reply #102 on: May 01, 2009, 12:37:42 AM »

Since a lot of you are so into the Lord of the Rings Trilogy--instead of spanking, why don't you just dress up as a Uruk-hai and scare your child into good behavior?




True, it can be as equally traumatizing as spanking, but it prepares the child for the REAL monsters in life, right?? Grin

As long as I can put you on-call to comfort the sobbing kids at 3 am when they wake up from their fourteenth nightmare about the Fighting Uruk-hai, sure. 

And have them put their faith in my comfort instead of the Lord's Prayer under their bedsheets?? Is outrage! We're suppose to all be working on Theosis here! laugh
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« Reply #103 on: June 03, 2009, 01:56:19 AM »

EofK and other young parents,

I was spanked as a child but I don't really consider it an effective form of discipline. Most children are very bright and spanking isn't really much of a deterant if your little ones are a trouble-makers like I was. All spanking taught me to do was to be more devious as a child Cool. In fact, it was a challenge for me to see what I could get away with without getting caught.

But before you use any form of discipline first check the three basic necessities, food/drink, rest, and health. Sometimes bad behavior will stem from being hungry/thirsty, tired or sick. Sudden crankiness or foul moods might mean a little one is getting sick or teething. And a full tummy and good nap puts everyone in a better mood, including mommy!   Cheesy

So then, the first form of discipline I used was distraction. It works really well when children are under the age of two.
Example: baby stands on the rocking chair and rocks it surfer dude style with hands in the air while yelling, "wee, mama lookee me!" Shocked  Shocked  Shocked grab baby off rocker and say,"yeah, baby, you're cool, let's go upstairs and see what daddy is doing!"

As distraction became less effective I would use forceful removal from the situation (ie: stop crying right now or else we will go home.) Taking a child away from their friends at the park, pool or party one or two times really gets the point across like no spanking ever could. By the third time, all I had to say was,"Do you want to go home now so you can continue to cry or do you want to behave and stay so you can play?" "No, mommy, I don't want to go. I will be good!!" Wink Cheesy

This form of discipline was also a perfect lead into consequences. By the time a child is five or six, consequences works really well. A perfect example I can think of is my older son was constantly forgetting jackets, toys or other personal items at school, parks, friend's homes, etc. The second time he lost his baseball glove I told him he would have to find a way to buy a new one himself. So when our city had their annual garage sale, my small-fry business man set up shop with his little wooden table and sold his homemade blueberry muffins to hungry shoppers. By lunch time, we counted up his earnings and he was very excited to see he had made $30.00! Wow, he had made some hard cash all by himself but we then reminded him he had enough money to replace the missing glove. Somehow, in all the excitement of selling the muffins, he had forgotten about the glove and he became very upset that he would have to use his money he earned to buy a new one but that was the deal. The next day he took HIS money and went down to the store and purchased the new glove. After that experience we noticed he no longer left behind his belongings.

I think the reason I like disciplining with consequences is because it has the added benefit of teaching your child how to think. Every time you give them a choice to behave or not, they have to use their minds to think about the situation and decide what they are going to do. Decision making is a part of what we have to teach our children to do so this form of discipline works right along with it. And the nice thing about it is they can make mistakes when the consequences for bad decisions are small.

Now, my little guy is as big as his dad and we are still learning what works and doesn't work. He is 15 and he has, at this point, not done anything too horrendous to lose my trust. I told him he is like a kite flying in the air and with each new life challenge he successfully accomplishes I will let the string out little more so he can soar higher. Next year will be interesting because he will get his driver's license so I will check back in and let you know how it is going.

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« Reply #104 on: June 03, 2009, 10:28:28 AM »

^Thanks, that was a very informative post! Smiley

We are big believers in the distraction method.  It works just about every time with Cait, since she's 19 months old now. 
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« Reply #105 on: June 03, 2009, 10:30:49 AM »

Next year will be interesting because he will get his driver's license so I will check back in and let you know how it is going.



Ah yes... the issuing of a driver's license. Heh heh... Been there and done that with my three. Have fun.  Wink Wink
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« Reply #106 on: June 03, 2009, 10:36:02 AM »

Been there and done that with my three. Have fun.  Wink Wink
HA!
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« Reply #107 on: July 02, 2009, 05:01:33 PM »

I like that, LOL.
Thankfully my parents never hit me!! But I did deserve every spanking I got!!! Spanking is NOT hitting.

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« Reply #108 on: July 03, 2009, 10:32:53 AM »

I'm not entirely against spanking, but it is overused and abused by parents quite often.  If I ever have kids, I will never be able to go there.  I think the key to discipline is consistency, fairness, and not being angry while doling it out- and spanking doesn't have to enter into the equation.

I was belted as a kid by my mother- often for ridiculous things.  I feel that she delved into the abuse category on more than one occasion.  She always hit me in anger.  She also thought it was hilarious to keep the belt in a prominent place and crack it sometimes when she thought my sister and I were getting too rowdy.  I was downright terrified of my mother when I was younger, because one never knew what would set her off.  Her worst times came when my father wasn't home.  Add to all of that, her yelling rages and rants that often seemed very random and it isn't a pretty picture.  It has taken me a long time to forgive her- but I'll never forget.

For a long time, I didn't want children of my own because I was terrified that I would turn into my mother.  It's only been recently that my husband and I have discussed having children and we're in agreement about finding discipline options besides spanking.
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« Reply #109 on: July 03, 2009, 03:47:37 PM »

Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with using "corrective force" against your child.  I was brought up in an immigrant family, so I was struck whenever I acted out.  Being brought up in a very anglo-Canadian area, most would look at me in horror that "sitting on the stairs" wasn't the most extreme punishment I received.  It did not give me a warped view of violence, nor did it negatively impact me.  I acted up, I was hit, I stopped, I learned (for a little at least  laugh).  Parents should punish their children however they seem fit (within reason, of course), I just wish people wouldn't judge another's methods.
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« Reply #110 on: September 10, 2009, 05:46:13 AM »

My thoughts.

Spanking is not violence.  If you slap someone on the butt with the same amount of force you spank a child with it is considered playful.  Spanking isn't painful, it's humiliating.  When you do it you're asserting your dominance.

The alternatives to spanking are far far worse. 

When you reason with children you teach them that parents and children are equals (let me know if that doesn't come back to bite you later) and worse you teach them to argue with you.  As the child gets older he will get good at arguing, and the confrontations will get longer and longer and longer...

Another popular method of correction used by people who oppose corporal punishment is psychological torture.  The behaviorist method.  For example pretending a child doesn't exist until their behavior is acceptable to you, or putting him on a long-term behavior modification program where he has to get a teacher's signature every day saying he didn't misbehave.  If you do this there is a circle of hell reserved just for you, and you will be lucky if your child doesn't eventually try to murder you in your sleep.

Method three is drugs.  No.  Bad parent. 


When a kid misbehaves you pick him up, bend him over your knee, and whack him on the backside.  The ordeal will be over in seconds and you can both go back to what you were doing almost immediately.  Everything you need the child to know is incorporated into that one action and the meaning is very clear: 1) me parent, you child, and 2) no.

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« Reply #111 on: September 11, 2009, 09:24:15 AM »

These are not the only alternatives. What about redirection? The child is doing something they ought not be doing. Show them something more acceptable. What about meeting their needs? The child is crying loudly. Perhaps the child is hungry, or tired. What about time out? The child is crying hysterically. Send them to their room until they can calm down enough to properly evaluate their behaviour.

There are many more alternatives to spanking, and none of them involve torture or drugs.
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« Reply #112 on: September 11, 2009, 09:43:06 AM »

These are not the only alternatives. What about redirection? The child is doing something they ought not be doing. Show them something more acceptable.
Once a child hits a certain age this may be a useful alternative but I highly doubt that the very young would understand this.
What about meeting their needs? The child is crying loudly. Perhaps the child is hungry, or tired. What about time out? The child is crying hysterically. Send them to their room until they can calm down enough to properly evaluate their behaviour.
The danger here is that the child may learn that in order to get one's way, one should throw a fit.

There are many more alternatives to spanking, and none of them involve torture or drugs.
Spanking is a far cry from torture.
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« Reply #113 on: September 11, 2009, 11:11:20 AM »

These are not the only alternatives. What about redirection? The child is doing something they ought not be doing. Show them something more acceptable.
Once a child hits a certain age this may be a useful alternative but I highly doubt that the very young would understand this.
What about meeting their needs? The child is crying loudly. Perhaps the child is hungry, or tired. What about time out? The child is crying hysterically. Send them to their room until they can calm down enough to properly evaluate their behaviour.
The danger here is that the child may learn that in order to get one's way, one should throw a fit.

There are many more alternatives to spanking, and none of them involve torture or drugs.
Spanking is a far cry from torture.

Actually, redirection works best on the very young child, until about age 2-3.  When they're that small, they don't have much of an attention span so showing them a new toy or taking them to a different room is usually enough to make them forget what it was they shouldn't be doing.  It's not really something the child needs to understand, it's mostly just a matter of distracting them. 

As far as meeting needs, I also have toddlers in mind here.  Really young kids don't understand why they feel miserable, so they cry.  Just the other day, I didn't plan my drive home very well so I had my two year old daughter in the car for over an hour and she ran out of juice.  She spent the last 20 minutes of the drive screaming hysterically because she was tired and hungry and couldn't understand that we still had several miles to drive before getting home.  The next morning, I packed extra juice, two apples, and some graham crackers for the drive home and she was just fine.  Now on an older child, yeah, they may cry and whine because they want some flashy toy.  With an older child, explain the situation (we can't afford it, or let's wait until your birthday to get that, whatever).  Depending on the age and maturity of the child you could arrange for them to "earn" the toy by doing chores and saving money or have them clean out old toys to trade for the new toy.  Or just tell them they don't need the toy, but explain why. 

On your last point, I believe Mr. Y was referring to the "psychological torture" portion of Clancy Boy's post.  I don't see spanking as torture either (to a certain point, though; it can certainly be considered child abuse in some cases) but I do believe there are more effective ways to discipline.  The key is to understand child development; very young children don't really benefit from spanking because they don't understand why Mom or Dad is smacking them, just that it hurts.  Yes, it may make them shy away from doing whatever got them in trouble, but I don't like the me-against-you effect it has on the parent/child relationship and I do think it teaches kids it's ok to hit when you're upset.  Older kids may understand they're being spanked because they misbehaved but if they're old enough to understand that, they're old enough to understand they shouldn't kick the cat, for example, because it hurts the cat and we shouldn't try to hurt any form of life.  To me, spanking is just the less-effort approach.  It's easier and it gets the job done, yes, but I'd prefer to take the time and effort to do something that means more in the end.
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« Reply #114 on: September 11, 2009, 11:43:23 AM »


Proverbs speaks of the rod quite frequently. From a Biblical perspective one must spank their children.

Well, then one must also put them to death by stoning if they disobey you and remain stubborn (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). What's your recommendation regarding the kind of stones - round, oval, square, ...?  Undecided

I suppose the difference is that the use of the rod is one of the Old Testament prescriptions which has been adopted in the Christian Church for 2000 years.  So that is not in the same category as stoning for adultery. And the cessation of using the rod has not come from any new insight developed within the Church but from the external pressure of secular society.


Returning to this point of sparing of the rod; I have always read this verse as being about the need to discipline children rather than the need to physically hit them. I have never seen this as literal, but some do, of course. I would say, the problem with a literal interpretation of  "spare the rod" is the idea that all children should be smacked. May I ask, is this the official Orthodox stance, Father? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. 


I've come across this discussion before on forums and I have said I don't believe in smacking children (not that I am sitting in judgement), people have come back and said they are not talking about "hitting", they are talking about "smacking". Well, if you give a child a light tap, what is the point of that? I've also heard it said that it should not signify a lack of control by the parent, but should be a considered, controlled punishment. I'm sure if I sat down and thought about giving someone a slap, I would end up deciding not to.. Having said that, discipline is very important. My Nan raised me from an early age and there were times she did have to take me away if I was having a tantrum, she tended to take me to a room and sit with me, blocking the door, saying and doing nothing until I had calmed down; I did always calm down and then sheepishly came and stood by her wanting a hug, which I always received. So, she ignored me, until I realised it was not going to get me anywhere; she encouraged and rewarded good behaviour with lots of attention, but she completely ignored bad little Sarah.  Grin I understand there are times when heads are being banged against a brick wall, though. As I said, bad behaviour/tantrums cannot be tolerated and children should be taught that it is simply unacceptable behaviour and not only shouldn't be tried with YOU, but is unacceptable per se. I look after my friend's two children (she has a few problems..) and I could show you tantrums like no other... laugh
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« Reply #115 on: September 11, 2009, 01:18:47 PM »

I don't have kids of my own yet though I have done a fair amount of babysitting kids of all ages. I have spanked kids (younger siblings & cousins only in this case), grounded them, sent them to their rooms, made them sit in corners, banned luxuries, all by the instruction of their parents.

I have nothing against spanking, it is a Biblically attested option, and in my experience the most effective method for kids aged 2 - 10. The important thing, no matter what method you choose, is consistancy. Kids must know when they've crossed the line and what to expect when they do. If parents are not consistant with discipline then the child will become insecure, manipulative or rebellious. An important thing to avoid is delaying discipline and this is not always easy, cause let's face it, kids have knack of being disobedient at times when it's least convenient. Who wants get up get from watching their favourite TV show to punish their 4 year old who just flushed their car keys down the toilet? If punishment is not immediate, the child can see this as an opportunity to "push the boundaries" harder next time, and respect for authority will dimish as a result. And so you'll need to make a decision, who do you serve? Yourself or your child? Loving your child means serving the needs of your child and discipline is one of those needs, and this often requires sacrifice. We must discipline our children in love as our Heavenly Father disciplines us in love.

I hope someday that I too will be a good mother.
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« Reply #116 on: September 11, 2009, 07:29:30 PM »

My thoughts.

Spanking is not violence.  If you slap someone on the butt with the same amount of force you spank a child with it is considered playful.  Spanking isn't painful, it's humiliating.  When you do it you're asserting your dominance.

The alternatives to spanking are far far worse. 

When you reason with children you teach them that parents and children are equals (let me know if that doesn't come back to bite you later) and worse you teach them to argue with you.  As the child gets older he will get good at arguing, and the confrontations will get longer and longer and longer...

Another popular method of correction used by people who oppose corporal punishment is psychological torture.  The behaviorist method.  For example pretending a child doesn't exist until their behavior is acceptable to you, or putting him on a long-term behavior modification program where he has to get a teacher's signature every day saying he didn't misbehave.  If you do this there is a circle of hell reserved just for you, and you will be lucky if your child doesn't eventually try to murder you in your sleep.

Method three is drugs.  No.  Bad parent. 


When a kid misbehaves you pick him up, bend him over your knee, and whack him on the backside.  The ordeal will be over in seconds and you can both go back to what you were doing almost immediately.  Everything you need the child to know is incorporated into that one action and the meaning is very clear: 1) me parent, you child, and 2) no.



Agree.  Used this method to raise three boys, now 25, 22, and 20.  All three well adjusted and over at my house nearly every evening, so I could not have been that bad of a parent. 
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« Reply #117 on: September 11, 2009, 09:27:04 PM »

My thoughts.

Spanking is not violence.  If you slap someone on the butt with the same amount of force you spank a child with it is considered playful.  Spanking isn't painful, it's humiliating.  When you do it you're asserting your dominance.

The alternatives to spanking are far far worse. 

When you reason with children you teach them that parents and children are equals (let me know if that doesn't come back to bite you later) and worse you teach them to argue with you.  As the child gets older he will get good at arguing, and the confrontations will get longer and longer and longer...

Another popular method of correction used by people who oppose corporal punishment is psychological torture.  The behaviorist method.  For example pretending a child doesn't exist until their behavior is acceptable to you, or putting him on a long-term behavior modification program where he has to get a teacher's signature every day saying he didn't misbehave.  If you do this there is a circle of hell reserved just for you, and you will be lucky if your child doesn't eventually try to murder you in your sleep.

Method three is drugs.  No.  Bad parent. 


When a kid misbehaves you pick him up, bend him over your knee, and whack him on the backside.  The ordeal will be over in seconds and you can both go back to what you were doing almost immediately.  Everything you need the child to know is incorporated into that one action and the meaning is very clear: 1) me parent, you child, and 2) no.



Agree.  Used this method to raise three boys, now 25, 22, and 20.  All three well adjusted and over at my house nearly every evening, so I could not have been that bad of a parent. 
You agree that the only three alternatives to spanking are treating them as equals, psychologically torturing them, or drugging them?
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« Reply #118 on: September 12, 2009, 08:15:05 PM »

My thoughts.

Spanking is not violence.  If you slap someone on the butt with the same amount of force you spank a child with it is considered playful.  Spanking isn't painful, it's humiliating.  When you do it you're asserting your dominance.

The alternatives to spanking are far far worse. 

When you reason with children you teach them that parents and children are equals (let me know if that doesn't come back to bite you later) and worse you teach them to argue with you.  As the child gets older he will get good at arguing, and the confrontations will get longer and longer and longer...

Another popular method of correction used by people who oppose corporal punishment is psychological torture.  The behaviorist method.  For example pretending a child doesn't exist until their behavior is acceptable to you, or putting him on a long-term behavior modification program where he has to get a teacher's signature every day saying he didn't misbehave.  If you do this there is a circle of hell reserved just for you, and you will be lucky if your child doesn't eventually try to murder you in your sleep.

Method three is drugs.  No.  Bad parent. 


When a kid misbehaves you pick him up, bend him over your knee, and whack him on the backside.  The ordeal will be over in seconds and you can both go back to what you were doing almost immediately.  Everything you need the child to know is incorporated into that one action and the meaning is very clear: 1) me parent, you child, and 2) no.



Agree.  Used this method to raise three boys, now 25, 22, and 20.  All three well adjusted and over at my house nearly every evening, so I could not have been that bad of a parent. 
You agree that the only three alternatives to spanking are treating them as equals, psychologically torturing them, or drugging them?

Actually, I don't consider those alternatives.  To be an alternative, I would have to believe the action to have the same effect, or at least the same potential for success.  I don't.  I also have no regard for "redirection" and "time outs".  It is that sort of BS that has caused much of the undisciplined behavior that I see so much of today.  Like I told one less than adequate parent who seemed horrified at my suggestion that she discipline her completely out of control brat "perhaps if you learn to spank him now, someone won't be forced to shoot him later." 
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« Reply #119 on: September 13, 2009, 05:12:33 AM »

Like I told one less than adequate parent who seemed horrified at my suggestion that she discipline her completely out of control brat "perhaps if you learn to spank him now, someone won't be forced to shoot him later." 

So this is what it comes to. Shooting people is, I believe, a crime. In certain countries, itself punishable by death. You drag your argument into the mud when you say things like this.

A light tap, when administered in calm, not in anger, might be useful in making a child realize that what it has done is wrong. But there are plenty of other symbolic penalties (sitting on the naughty step etc.), which should be as effective. If a 'spank' is hard enough to hurt properly, or administered in anger, then it is damaging. I don't care how many fine, healthy, well-adjusted children survive it. Some children are capable of coming through horrific abuse without it destroying them. That is testimony to their resilience, not evidence that such abuse is somehow ok.

On a final note, whoever thinks the 'joke' image of a wooden paddle is funny needs seriously to consider their humanity. It's horrible.
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« Reply #120 on: September 14, 2009, 12:56:54 PM »

What I find amazing about how most of the secular world frowns upon spanking is that as morally degraded as our society is, bad behaviour in public is still not considered acceptable. Case in point:

I was once on a trans-pacific flight (a really long flight) and there was this mom and her little brat (3-5 years) among the passengers. This little monster (yes monster!) was deliberately and unapologetically causing a disruptance while everyone was trying to sleep. He ran up and down the aisle screaming his head off, and jumping up and down, while his mom did nothing. Eventually he became too much for her and she told him to "stop it" and "sit down", to which he screamed "shut up!" back in her face, and then carried on terrorizing the rest of us. What do you think was going through my mind and minds of the rest of the passengers? I promise you everyone (including me) wanted to whack that little beast!

Now I didn't tell you all this story to give you the impression that I endorse violence, but to demonstrate that the same people who accuse parents who spank of child abuse, when they see them spank their kids, are more than happy to spank someone's else's kid themselves if that kid starts becoming a nusence to them. Oh the hypocrisy!
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« Reply #121 on: September 15, 2009, 02:28:19 PM »

The "little brat" or "beast" is a child who is clearly uncontrolled. 

Part of the problem regarding this subject is the hypocrisy of a society that gives the impression that only "your children" have tantrums in public. The most unhelpful thing for any parent with a child having a tantrum in the supermarket are those people who tut as if their children are always little angels. Parents need to be supported by others not made to feel failures when their "little brats" kick off.  Disciplining a child is made all the more difficult when other adults act as if a tantrum is unusual behaviour. Tantrums are normal, and are part of growing up.  When parents are stared at and made to feel failures by those around them, then they are reluctant to discipline as they know they are being judged, and whatever they do someone will disagree. So, firstly, I would say, society needs to lighten up. Situations... such as a plane are difficult as a parent cannot take the child outside. I wonder if anyone offered to help the mother on that plane rather than just tutting.  Did anyone try to entertain or distract the child? A child telling a parent to shut up, etc, shows that there are some serious issues which need to be resolved - this is completely unacceptable. Obviously, ideally, children's bad behaviour should be nipped in the bud at home. Many children have been allowed to grow out of control, but the failing lies with the parents and maybe society.  However, I still do not see how physical punishment is a solution to the problem... 

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« Reply #122 on: September 15, 2009, 05:00:27 PM »

What do you think was going through my mind and minds of the rest of the passengers? I promise you everyone (including me) wanted to whack that little beast!
Really? You have the capacity to read the minds of everyone aboard a trans-Pacific flight? Wow, what a power.
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« Reply #123 on: September 15, 2009, 06:08:30 PM »

I could see it in their faces and I heard the mutterings of all around me. Are you happy now?

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« Reply #124 on: September 16, 2009, 12:35:12 PM »

I could see it in their faces and I heard the mutterings of all around me. Are you happy now?
Okay, so not mind-reading. Just X-ray vision and wolf-like hearing. That's so much more plausible.
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« Reply #125 on: September 16, 2009, 12:39:29 PM »

Actually, I don't consider those alternatives.  To be an alternative, I would have to believe the action to have the same effect, or at least the same potential for success.  I don't. 
Funny, then, that you would say you agreed with Clancy Boy.

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I also have no regard for "redirection" and "time outs".  It is that sort of BS that has caused much of the undisciplined behavior that I see so much of today.
You seem to have some sort of inside knowledge of the parenting methods of everyone around you. Perhaps you run an electronic surveillance and wiretapping ring?

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Like I told one less than adequate parent who seemed horrified at my suggestion that she discipline her completely out of control brat "perhaps if you learn to spank him now, someone won't be forced to shoot him later." 
Hmm. I wonder why the parent might have been horrified at this statement. I think I would have called the police, on the grounds that you were threatening me and my child. And what, pray tell, gives you the right to insinuate that this person's parenting skills were 1) not working to train the child and 2) any of your business?
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« Reply #126 on: September 16, 2009, 01:22:07 PM »

Here's an article about a recent study of the effects on spanking children under the age of three.  I must say I do agree with this article that children under the age of two or three really can't understand spanking and if it's not done very, very carefully then you can seriously harm the kid both physically and psychologically.  I noticed the article mentions spanking tends to be more effective and less harmful around the range of 2-6 years.  That makes sense to me, though I still prefer other methods. 
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« Reply #127 on: September 17, 2009, 10:35:59 PM »

These are not the only alternatives. What about redirection? The child is doing something they ought not be doing. Show them something more acceptable.

That's not punishment.

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What about meeting their needs? The child is crying loudly. Perhaps the child is hungry, or tired.

Again, not a punishment.  Of course parents are supposed to meet their children's needs.

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What about time out? The child is crying hysterically. Send them to their room until they can calm down enough to properly evaluate their behaviour.

So the kid will just get used to being alone in his room.  Not a desirable outcome as far as I'm concerned, and not really a punishment at all. 

What it is is a break for mom & dad.  And to be honest if you're to the point that you need to get away from your kids something is already very wrong.  What did people do before every kid had his own room and it wasn't possible to shut him up just by popping in a Disney video?

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There are many more alternatives to spanking, and none of them involve torture or drugs.

Like I say, I don't really consider any of those punishments.
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« Reply #128 on: September 17, 2009, 10:58:19 PM »

The key is to understand child development; very young children don't really benefit from spanking because they don't understand why Mom or Dad is smacking them, just that it hurts.

Why does the child need to understand?  I thought we were all Orthodox here Tongue
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Yes, it may make them shy away from doing whatever got them in trouble, but I don't like the me-against-you effect it has on the parent/child relationship and I do think it teaches kids it's ok to hit when you're upset. 

There is no "me-against-you" when you spank, it's "I-control-you".  You want that.  When you explain or reason with a child you either bring them up to your level or bring yourself down to theirs.  Both are undesirable.

When you do long drawn-out punishments like groundings and time-outs the parent has to maintain an adversarial relationship with the child to maintain the conditions of the punishment.  The child will try to wear down your resolve, and unless you are Robot Parent 2000 he will sometimes succeed -- and he'll succeed more often as he gets older and he learns which levers move you most effectively.  That is the very definition of a me-against-you relationship because you are in fact struggling against your child.  Bad trap to get sucked into.

I firmly believe punishments should be, swift, memorable and should not result in any kind of prolonged ordeal or separation from the group.  After I spank my kids we're best friends again after no more than a couple minutes and there is no lingering resentment whatsoever.
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« Reply #129 on: September 17, 2009, 11:04:11 PM »

On a final note, whoever thinks the 'joke' image of a wooden paddle is funny needs seriously to consider their humanity. It's horrible.

Why is it horrible?  It doesn't hurt.
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« Reply #130 on: September 18, 2009, 03:52:18 AM »

The key is to understand child development; very young children don't really benefit from spanking because they don't understand why Mom or Dad is smacking them, just that it hurts.

Why does the child need to understand?  I thought we were all Orthodox here Tongue
The reason is a mystery you may discover in time.  For the moment just obey.

And here I was thinking that was the attitude we were to have towards God and the Church. Oops. The commandment doesn't say, 'Obey your parents blindly,' it says, 'honour them'.



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Yes, it may make them shy away from doing whatever got them in trouble, but I don't like the me-against-you effect it has on the parent/child relationship and I do think it teaches kids it's ok to hit when you're upset. 


There is no "me-against-you" when you spank, it's "I-control-you".  You want that.  When you explain or reason with a child you either bring them up to your level or bring yourself down to theirs.  Both are undesirable.

When you do long drawn-out punishments like groundings and time-outs the parent has to maintain an adversarial relationship with the child to maintain the conditions of the punishment.  The child will try to wear down your resolve, and unless you are Robot Parent 2000 he will sometimes succeed -- and he'll succeed more often as he gets older and he learns which levers move you most effectively.  That is the very definition of a me-against-you relationship because you are in fact struggling against your child.  Bad trap to get sucked into.

I firmly believe punishments should be, swift, memorable and should not result inL any kind of prolonged ordeal or separation from the group.  After I spank my kids we're best friends again after no more than a couple minutes and there is no lingering resentment whatsoever.

Lovely. Good for you. Since you're so keen on not instilling any undesirable childhood behaviours (you don't want them to become used to 'being alone in their room'; you don't want to get onto 'their level'), why doesn't it bother you that you're teaching your child that a violent retaliation to their misdemenour is rightly best forgotten 'after no more than a couple of minutes'? Would you want your adult daughter or son to feel this way with a violent partner?

If you truly can manage to hit without hurting, good for you. If you can do it with a calm, not angry spirit, even better. But in that case, how is it a punishment? What does it achieve if all you are actually doing is tapping your child's hand?

Either it hurts, and therefore 'works' but has the potential to damage a child. Or, it doesn't hurt, and therefore works purely because of the humiliation-message attached to the action. If the latter, why choose this method of humiliating and not another?

I assume you have never been hit with a wooden paddle if you think that doesn't hurt. A child's skin is very thin and tender, and trust me, I'm an adult and it would hurt me to be hit with a piece of wood!
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« Reply #131 on: September 18, 2009, 10:11:21 AM »

These are not the only alternatives. What about redirection? The child is doing something they ought not be doing. Show them something more acceptable.

That's not punishment.

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What about meeting their needs? The child is crying loudly. Perhaps the child is hungry, or tired.

Again, not a punishment.  Of course parents are supposed to meet their children's needs.

Quote
What about time out? The child is crying hysterically. Send them to their room until they can calm down enough to properly evaluate their behaviour.

So the kid will just get used to being alone in his room.  Not a desirable outcome as far as I'm concerned, and not really a punishment at all. 

What it is is a break for mom & dad.  And to be honest if you're to the point that you need to get away from your kids something is already very wrong.  What did people do before every kid had his own room and it wasn't possible to shut him up just by popping in a Disney video?

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There are many more alternatives to spanking, and none of them involve torture or drugs.

Like I say, I don't really consider any of those punishments.

Again, I think we are talking about two different age groups.  Ytterbiumanalyst and I have a two year old daughter and we both feel it is inappropriate to spank her because she is (a) pretty small (b) too young to understand why we'd hit her and (c) she has proven to us that she can change her behavior with redirection, time out, or with a firm "No."  If she were a few years older, perhaps spanking would be immediately effective, but with her personality I think it would do more harm than good.  She responds very well to gentler modification (and let's admit it, behavioral modification is what we're going for) and the three times I have given her a swat on the bum she just gets more upset.  Spanking is not a one-size-fits-all tool.  If it works for your kids and you and it's not hurting them physically or psychologically, great. 

Sometimes our daughter gets very whiny and throws herself in the floor and we've found that when she does that, it usually means she's either hungry or tired.  Once those needs are met, no more whining.  Why would I need to punish her for something that is a natural bodily process?  The only thing that would come of that is that she'd think there was something wrong with her when she's hungry or tired or that mom and dad get mad when she needs something.  What I'm trying to teach her is to tell me when she needs a snack or a nap.  I know she's capable of it; she's got the vocabulary for it and she can recognize her body's signals.  The key is to help her make the connection between "I feel yucky" and "I should tell Mom I'd like a snack."

Addendum:  It's far more preferable to take a break from a screaming kid than to let your anger and frustration build until you're spanking them out of anger and not as a controlled measure of discipline.  This is how parents get angry enough to shake a baby to death or beat them until they have broken bones. 
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« Reply #132 on: September 18, 2009, 10:38:04 AM »

The key is to understand child development; very young children don't really benefit from spanking because they don't understand why Mom or Dad is smacking them, just that it hurts.

Why does the child need to understand?  I thought we were all Orthodox here Tongue
The reason is a mystery you may discover in time.  For the moment just obey.

Unless you want your child to keep repeating the behavior and just learn to endure the spanking, then yes they absolutely need to understand their behavior is not appropriate.  It doesn't need to be a long conversation, just "No, don't pull the cat's tail, that hurts!" is enough.  Sure, you may have to repeat that a few times because kids learn through repetition (even adults do) but that's preferable to just swatting them every time you're inconvenienced.

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Quote
Yes, it may make them shy away from doing whatever got them in trouble, but I don't like the me-against-you effect it has on the parent/child relationship and I do think it teaches kids it's ok to hit when you're upset. 

There is no "me-against-you" when you spank, it's "I-control-you".  You want that.  When you explain or reason with a child you either bring them up to your level or bring yourself down to theirs.  Both are undesirable.

How is "I-control-you" not "me-against-you?"  Maybe that's just my personality, but I don't like to feel like someone is trying to control me.  In my experience, kids do a lot better when you show them how to behave correctly, not just smack them around until they blunder their way into what you want.  And no, I don't want to lord over my daughter's every action.  I want her to learn and grow freely and if she does something out of line, I'll step in to show her a better way.  Explaining and reasoning with a child is designed to bring them up to your level... that's what "raising" a child is.  You want them to be reasonable, well-behaved adults who can understand why certain actions are undesirable.

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When you do long drawn-out punishments like groundings and time-outs the parent has to maintain an adversarial relationship with the child to maintain the conditions of the punishment.  The child will try to wear down your resolve, and unless you are Robot Parent 2000 he will sometimes succeed -- and he'll succeed more often as he gets older and he learns which levers move you most effectively.  That is the very definition of a me-against-you relationship because you are in fact struggling against your child.  Bad trap to get sucked into.

Time out need not be a long, drawn-out punishment.  Five minutes is an eternity to a child and just long enough for mom and dad to have a breather.  Grounding isn't effective until your child is older, around 8-10 years old would be my guess.  Again, my child is two and not ready for that form of discipline because her attention span isn't long enough to see the connection between her behavior and being grounded from going somewhere or taking away toys.  We only take away toys if she's using them dangerously at this point.  I understand children are very good at trying to manipulate parents, but it's the parent's responsibility to be an adult and not give into the child's coaxing.  Make it clear that you will not be swayed and they're less likely to keep pushing. 

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I firmly believe punishments should be, swift, memorable and should not result in any kind of prolonged ordeal or separation from the group.  After I spank my kids we're best friends again after no more than a couple minutes and there is no lingering resentment whatsoever.

And I firmly believe that punishment is not always the answer.  Understanding your child is.  Maybe they're throwing a fit because they want to play outside but they don't understand it's time to get in the car to go to school; that's not something that calls for punishment, it calls for letting your child know it's non-negotiable, we're getting in the car and we'll play outside later.  Maybe they're mad because they're tired; make it possible for them to take a nap.  Maybe they really want that shiny new toy; give them an opportunity to earn it or tell them that toy is not appropriate. 

Furthermore, the more a parent spanks a child, the more watered down that punishment becomes.  My parents spanked me and I eventually learned that I could either outrun Mom, find a way to do what I wanted without getting caught, or just endure it and get back to what I was doing.  It was far more effective for my mom to tell me she was disappointed and she knew I could behave better. 
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« Reply #133 on: September 18, 2009, 11:20:04 AM »

The key is to understand child development; very young children don't really benefit from spanking because they don't understand why Mom or Dad is smacking them, just that it hurts.

Why does the child need to understand?  I thought we were all Orthodox here Tongue
The reason is a mystery you may discover in time.  For the moment just obey.

Unless you want your child to keep repeating the behavior and just learn to endure the spanking, then yes they absolutely need to understand their behavior is not appropriate.  It doesn't need to be a long conversation, just "No, don't pull the cat's tail, that hurts!" is enough.  Sure, you may have to repeat that a few times because kids learn through repetition (even adults do) but that's preferable to just swatting them every time you're inconvenienced.

Quote
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Yes, it may make them shy away from doing whatever got them in trouble, but I don't like the me-against-you effect it has on the parent/child relationship and I do think it teaches kids it's ok to hit when you're upset. 

There is no "me-against-you" when you spank, it's "I-control-you".  You want that.  When you explain or reason with a child you either bring them up to your level or bring yourself down to theirs.  Both are undesirable.

How is "I-control-you" not "me-against-you?"  Maybe that's just my personality, but I don't like to feel like someone is trying to control me.  In my experience, kids do a lot better when you show them how to behave correctly, not just smack them around until they blunder their way into what you want.  And no, I don't want to lord over my daughter's every action.  I want her to learn and grow freely and if she does something out of line, I'll step in to show her a better way.  Explaining and reasoning with a child is designed to bring them up to your level... that's what "raising" a child is.  You want them to be reasonable, well-behaved adults who can understand why certain actions are undesirable.

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When you do long drawn-out punishments like groundings and time-outs the parent has to maintain an adversarial relationship with the child to maintain the conditions of the punishment.  The child will try to wear down your resolve, and unless you are Robot Parent 2000 he will sometimes succeed -- and he'll succeed more often as he gets older and he learns which levers move you most effectively.  That is the very definition of a me-against-you relationship because you are in fact struggling against your child.  Bad trap to get sucked into.

Time out need not be a long, drawn-out punishment.  Five minutes is an eternity to a child and just long enough for mom and dad to have a breather.  Grounding isn't effective until your child is older, around 8-10 years old would be my guess.  Again, my child is two and not ready for that form of discipline because her attention span isn't long enough to see the connection between her behavior and being grounded from going somewhere or taking away toys.  We only take away toys if she's using them dangerously at this point.  I understand children are very good at trying to manipulate parents, but it's the parent's responsibility to be an adult and not give into the child's coaxing.  Make it clear that you will not be swayed and they're less likely to keep pushing. 

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I firmly believe punishments should be, swift, memorable and should not result in any kind of prolonged ordeal or separation from the group.  After I spank my kids we're best friends again after no more than a couple minutes and there is no lingering resentment whatsoever.

And I firmly believe that punishment is not always the answer.  Understanding your child is.  Maybe they're throwing a fit because they want to play outside but they don't understand it's time to get in the car to go to school; that's not something that calls for punishment, it calls for letting your child know it's non-negotiable, we're getting in the car and we'll play outside later.  Maybe they're mad because they're tired; make it possible for them to take a nap.  Maybe they really want that shiny new toy; give them an opportunity to earn it or tell them that toy is not appropriate. 

Furthermore, the more a parent spanks a child, the more watered down that punishment becomes.  My parents spanked me and I eventually learned that I could either outrun Mom, find a way to do what I wanted without getting caught, or just endure it and get back to what I was doing.  It was far more effective for my mom to tell me she was disappointed and she knew I could behave better. 

I think you make good points. Thinking about how parents and children communicate in general, I wonder how much styles of punishment/discipline matter for when your child is older.

My parents spanked me, and yes, I learnt to obey and do what they said. But if that's how you're punished, you don't learn to express the things EofK mentions (eg. 'Mum, I'm hungry) - you just learn to accept that the adult is right and you're not allowed to be hungry now.

We'd always been punished for doing the 'wrong' thing, rather than having the situation explained or discussed. Yes, if a child insists it doesn't want its broccoli, or it wants a drink of juice, you may feel it's being disobedient and should be punished. But then, you (as a parent), have to learn at some point that your child is growing up. You see, if your child grows up knowing that it can't expect an explanation for your decision, that child will learn very well to anticipate and fall in with your demands - but at some point that child has to grow up and make its own way, and you're in for a shock.

I can't see why being a parent shouldn't be about the parent learning too. If you just smack your child every time it disobeys, how will you learn what that child really thinks, or likes? I realized this on holiday with my mum recently. I've not lived at home for the last few years, and I'd gotten out of the habit of anticipating what mum thought was right - but she hadn't! We'd go into a restaurant, and she'd say, 'shall we order a half-bottle of wine?' I'd take it as a genuine question, and say, 'no, actually, I'll have water, they do the same wines by the glass' - and she had no practice in explaining to me that what she really wanted was to share some wine, so she'd say nothing, not order herself any wine, and feel cross because I didn't anticipate what she was thinking! It's a really silly example and doesn't matter much, but it really came to mind when I read EofK's post. I'm not really blaming my mum, but we did struggle a lot because she was so unused to negotiating anything with me.
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« Reply #134 on: September 18, 2009, 12:06:33 PM »

I can't see why being a parent shouldn't be about the parent learning too. If you just smack your child every time it disobeys, how will you learn what that child really thinks, or likes? I realized this on holiday with my mum recently. I've not lived at home for the last few years, and I'd gotten out of the habit of anticipating what mum thought was right - but she hadn't! We'd go into a restaurant, and she'd say, 'shall we order a half-bottle of wine?' I'd take it as a genuine question, and say, 'no, actually, I'll have water, they do the same wines by the glass' - and she had no practice in explaining to me that what she really wanted was to share some wine, so she'd say nothing, not order herself any wine, and feel cross because I didn't anticipate what she was thinking! It's a really silly example and doesn't matter much, but it really came to mind when I read EofK's post. I'm not really blaming my mum, but we did struggle a lot because she was so unused to negotiating anything with me.

Excellent point.  I think that's part of why parents get so frustrated when their kids hit 2-3 years old and suddenly the child is trying to exert some independence; it's not a matter of misbehaving, it's the child following the natural path of growing up.  Give them some space to grow and learn what their boundaries are without constantly smacking them around.  The idea is to make sure you have firm, consistent boundaries but to give the child the ability to choose what is right, not just force it on them unquestioningly.  The same thing happens when they become teenagers; they suddenly want more independence and if they're not taught how to make responsible choices about their behavior, they display the same kind of hissy fits you'll see in toddlers.   laugh

Your holiday with your mom is a pretty good example, Liz.  It's hard for parents to remember their adult children are independent adults anyway, but especially when they're used to controlling their children.  My parents still think that I have to be told how to do things or reminded how to raise my daughter.  I certainly ask their advice from time to time, but I also think we've handled her pretty well so far. 

Kids are, thankfully, resilient enough that they'll turn out ok with most forms of child-rearing, but I'm not just concerned with what works for the moment.  I'm concerned also with what is the most beneficial for my kiddos.
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Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams
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