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Old 07-27-2010, 12:12 PM   #46
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I hear what you and Anitram are saying but again I think it's a comparison to ordinary premediated violence and again I don't think they are comparable.

Normal premeditated violence has to do with a desire to harm the other, hostility, hatred etc none of which are (or at least should) be present with spanking. Perhaps you've heard the old parental cliche "this hurts me more than it hurts you."

It seems like we're creating a lose-lose situation. If it's done in anger, it's wrong and if it's done with consideration it is creepy. Which is fine, I guess. I'm certainly not here to argue that everyone should be comfortable with spanking. Each parent and each child is different, and if there's one thing I've learned since becoming a parent is that it's very hard to judge until you're in the situation yourself.
It's funny you should mention the "this hurts me more than it hurts you" thing. When I read Anitram's post, it made me think of exactly that, delivered in a creepily calm Ward Cleaver-esque kind of way.

I guess with me, in theory, I don't believe in spanking at all, for the reasons I've mentioned. It was never done to me (I think I may have been on the receiving end of a few "swats," but I can't even remember for sure), and I've never spanked or swatted my daughter. I was very fortunate though, in that she was always a fairly easy child to deal with, and reasoning and explaining worked very well with her. When she was too young to reason with, I'd use distraction, remove her from harm/remove things from the surroundings that could be potentially dangerous, and try my best not to put her in situations where she would act out. In practice though, I realize that every child and every situation is different.

If I remember correctly, the old thread on this topic had to do with a study that was done regarding the potential harm of spanking. I suppose if it came down to a choice between banning spanking and keeping it, I'd come down on the side of banning, simply because I think that the children who could be potentially harmed by it would be protected, and as I've said, those parents who do use it sparingly and judiciously have better, non-physical methods of correction that they can use. But would I like to see good parents who swat occasionally tossed into prison? Not at all. I just think that it wouldn't be much of a hardship to ask the group who does use it properly to find other methods, in order to protect the (probably much larger, I suspect) group of children in the care of parents who use it improperly.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:33 PM   #47
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As far as teachers beating kids - I went to school in the former Eastern Bloc and we had our hair and ears pulled, were smacked, etc. Many of those teachers were seriously abusive and in fact there is a saying that literally means "teacher is God and stick".

If any teacher hit my child, they would have serious legal issues to contend with. I don't even believe in hitting my own (non-existent) children, nevermind having a grown adult stranger do it. Totally unacceptable, IMO.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:36 PM   #48
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If any teacher hit my child, they would have serious face trauma, period.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:44 PM   #49
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When my daughter started grade 3, she had a male teacher for the first time, and he could seem somewhat imposing. He called me at the start of the school year one day after school (before she got home) to let me know that he'd raised his voice to the entire class, and she had been so upset by it, she was in tears. He was very apologetic, and asked me to explain to her that he knew she was a good girl, but that he would need to speak that way to the class from time to time, and that it wasn't directed toward her. He turned out to be one of her most favourite teachers ever.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:26 PM   #50
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One further note. I find that in the African-American community that I work in (the school I teach in is predominantly black), a much "harsher" level of spanking is considered acceptable than in other culture groups I've worked in. The terms "whipped" and "beat" seem to have more currency. It's very much about putting the fear in kids and I find that long term it really does nothing to improve the kids' behavior (except when Mom or Dad are watching). That's just my observation and I'm hesitant to say how accurate that is.
I grew up in this type of community and this is where Phil likes to live and teach. What I've noticed, and maybe this is a newer thing, is that these are usually empty threats. I hear (from my own porch) stuff like, "Ima beat yo ass!!" or "Git back here 'for I whip you!" and it sounds terrible at first until I realized that these parents were never even coming out of the house to stop what the kids were doing bad, let alone actually spanking them. I hear this stuff on a daily basis and have never once seen a parent actually do it and more often than not the child completely ignores the threat. I'm not saying they should spank or beat, but I do believe that when you say you are going to do something or you tell the child there is a consequence for that action, then you MUST follow through. That's why the kids just giggle and treat their parents like doormats. I confess I'm guilty of thinking the kid might need a good swat. For example, there used to be kids living next door that would come out and intentionally provoke my dogs, who would start barking viciously and running the fence. The kids would throw things over the fence, scream, and run back and forth. Since I don't have time to be hollering at other peoples' stupid kids, my usual reaction was to throw some food in the yard to distract the dogs, or just bring them in. Their parents' reaction was to simply yell, "What da fuck you doin? Ima beat yo fuckin ass if you don't quit" but never ONCE did a parent step foot out of the house to remove the child from my property, never once ordered that they get off my fence and come inside.

I wonder if it doesn't improve behavior because most of the time it's an empty threat and the kids know it?

Phil has seen it in school as well, where really all he can do is threaten to remove recess, to which the kid usually does not respond and continues being a brat. Then, when it's recess time and the kid is not allowed out, he throws a fit and calls the teacher names. They just don't understand when someone threatens to revoke a privilege and then actually follows through. Most of the kids he taught had the emotional maturity of a three year old, and it all goes back to parenting. Inherently they are not bad kids.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:36 PM   #51
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As far as physical and emotional/verbal abuse-having experienced all three growing up, I'd take physical. The scars take far less time to heal. That being said I'd still choose neither. There can sometimes be a very fine line between spanking and abuse, and that line can sometimes be easily crossed. And abuse can be justified as "spanking". Not saying that everyone who spanks can and will abuse, or that they can't clearly define and follow the distinction.

People have the right to raise their kids as they see fit, other than anything that's legally defined as abuse..but still, when I see people spank or hit their kids in public it makes me cringe so much that I just want to run away from it.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:58 PM   #52
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... I do believe that when you say you are going to do something or you tell the child there is a consequence for that action, then you MUST follow through. That's why the kids just giggle and treat their parents like doormats. ...

I wonder if it doesn't improve behavior because most of the time it's an empty threat and the kids know it?
I completely agree. Never threaten anything you're not prepared to follow through on, and if the threat doesn't work the first time, follow through. This, and lack of consistency are a HUGE part of the problem I've seen in kids who are disciplinary problems. They need to be aware of boundaries, and that consequences will always follow.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:26 PM   #53
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now that i've shared too much ...
What about a "Disciplining your Lover" thread.

Er, sorry, wrong forum.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:29 PM   #54
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I grew up in this type of community and this is where Phil likes to live and teach. What I've noticed, and maybe this is a newer thing, is that these are usually empty threats. I hear (from my own porch) stuff like, "Ima beat yo ass!!" or "Git back here 'for I whip you!" and it sounds terrible at first until I realized that these parents were never even coming out of the house to stop what the kids were doing bad, let alone actually spanking them. I hear this stuff on a daily basis and have never once seen a parent actually do it and more often than not the child completely ignores the threat. I'm not saying they should spank or beat, but I do believe that when you say you are going to do something or you tell the child there is a consequence for that action, then you MUST follow through. That's why the kids just giggle and treat their parents like doormats. I confess I'm guilty of thinking the kid might need a good swat. For example, there used to be kids living next door that would come out and intentionally provoke my dogs, who would start barking viciously and running the fence. The kids would throw things over the fence, scream, and run back and forth. Since I don't have time to be hollering at other peoples' stupid kids, my usual reaction was to throw some food in the yard to distract the dogs, or just bring them in. Their parents' reaction was to simply yell, "What da fuck you doin? Ima beat yo fuckin ass if you don't quit" but never ONCE did a parent step foot out of the house to remove the child from my property, never once ordered that they get off my fence and come inside.

I wonder if it doesn't improve behavior because most of the time it's an empty threat and the kids know it?

Phil has seen it in school as well, where really all he can do is threaten to remove recess, to which the kid usually does not respond and continues being a brat. Then, when it's recess time and the kid is not allowed out, he throws a fit and calls the teacher names. They just don't understand when someone threatens to revoke a privilege and then actually follows through. Most of the kids he taught had the emotional maturity of a three year old, and it all goes back to parenting. Inherently they are not bad kids.
Wow, I had no idea you and Phil were living in the 'hood.

I can't speak to how many of my students' parents followed through. My one student that got expelled had a very heavy-handed (and I mean that literally) approach to discipline. He eventually started beating them up (he was living with his grandparents) and they turned him over to the state or something like that.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #55
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What about a "Disciplining your Lover" thread.

Er, sorry, wrong forum.


VP, I give props to your daughters teacher for calling. It is great that he took the time to call and let you know that it wasn't intended towards her, and if you could explain that to her. I am not surprised that he ended up being your daughters favourite teacher!
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:43 PM   #56
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Wow, I had no idea you and Phil were living in the 'hood.
It's not so bad where we are right now, some of my neighbors are not the most classy people but the ones next door moved out and a nice family is there now. But where I grew up is another story. My childhood home 2000+sq ft house on a double lot sold for only $7K last summer if that's any indication of the "quality" of the area. As a kid I was threatened and have been shot at. The school where Phil used to work was in that neighborhood.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:49 PM   #57
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What about a "Disciplining your Lover" thread.

Er, sorry, wrong forum.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:29 PM   #58
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One further note. I find that in the African-American community that I work in (the school I teach in is predominantly black), a much "harsher" level of spanking is considered acceptable than in other culture groups I've worked in. The terms "whipped" and "beat" seem to have more currency. It's very much about putting the fear in kids and I find that long term it really does nothing to improve the kids' behavior (except when Mom or Dad are watching). That's just my observation and I'm hesitant to say how accurate that is.


from what i've seen anecdotally on the DC Metro, as well as in the super-fancy European preschool where i taught (which had a few super-fancy african-american parents), i think this is generally accurate when speaking broadly.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:18 PM   #59
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What about a "Disciplining your Lover" thread.

Er, sorry, wrong forum.
Or is it? Quite possible that early experiences lead to later, um, preferences.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:28 PM   #60
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It should be noted that I do not mind disciplining other people's brats.

Oh, there is a little girl who lives next door to me and every time she hits her sister, pulls her hair, takes away her toy. I would set her on a chair for a time out. I would also tell her very clearly, "we do not hit, pull hair or take things from others."

My son and step daughter were never allowed to hit each other, any of their playmates or animals. This in not acceptable behavior.
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