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Old 11-27-2007, 06:33 PM   #16
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I have a real issue with them going so far as to tell people they can't do that in their own homes. Sorry, what? Since when do you get to decide what people do in the privacy of their own home?

Angela
You're not allowed to assault another adult in your own home. If a friend comes over and you don't like a comment they make, you can't slap them. For centuries, men were allowed - even encouraged - to physically reprimand their wives. Thank goodness that's changed. I think it's ridiculous these same rights aren't assigned to children.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:47 PM   #17
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I'm not sure how well attempting to draft a law that 'defines exactly when spanking becomes abuse' would work, because then you're getting into murky waters like evaluating the overall emotional dynamic of the parent-child relationship in question, the parent's precise frame of mind at the time, etc. I can agree that those kinds of factors do affect a child's experience of spanking, that the level of force used isn't the sole determinant there. But I don't really see how you can quantify them. You could certainly legislate limits on the level of force itself (whether objects are used, whether welts or bruises result or are likely to, etc.); that much I don't see a problem with.

We haven't seen reason to spank any of our kids to date, but my own parents used it very occasionally as a punishment...I think my next oldest brother was spanked maybe three times, which was the most any of us got; my sister and I were both spanked once, my oldest and my younger brother were never spanked at all. From having talked with them about it, my sense is that none of us felt or feel any resentment, confusion or humiliation over it. The way my parents used it, it was a ritualized means of getting across that we'd done something not merely 'naughty' but pretty seriously wrong, something we knew better than to do and which had bad consequences for people other than ourselves. And they didn't do it in a way that conveyed rage or contempt. No biggie, at least not for us. I do agree that it's not "necessary," but that's true of lots of things that fall under the heading of parenting techniques. I think if you're going to argue that it should be banned altogether for not being "necessary," then you should also be able to show that it's innately damaging and therefore automatically inferior to other disciplinary tactics.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
You're not allowed to assault another adult in your own home. If a friend comes over and you don't like a comment they make, you can't slap them. For centuries, men were allowed - even encouraged - to physically reprimand their wives. Thank goodness that's changed. I think it's ridiculous these same rights aren't assigned to children.
That's a good point, but it still seems odd to me to have the government regulate what people do in their own homes.

And again, there is a difference between assaulting adults/children and a simple, quick tap on the behind. Like I said, I wouldn't use spanking as my method of discipline if I had kids, but at the same time, I don't think this is the best means of solving the problem, either.

Angela
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:54 PM   #19
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I've never understood people who claim to spank dispassionately. If you're that unemotional, can't you take a step back and think of better forms of punishment/reinforcement?
I agree.

All of the times I was hit or the times I've seen other kids get hit (siblings, cousins, kids at the grocery store, Super Nanny...) the parents were fighting with the kids and then it escalated to spanking. I know I know, I don't HAVE kids, but I have nannied full time for four of them (one that had a mental disorder) and I know what happens when they are so bad and not listening - we get frustrated and then mad. Yes, it happened to me too, I'm only human. I never spanked the kids, but I'd get mad and argue with them and sometimes the only thing stopping me from spanking them was the fact that they weren't mind. I know there's no point in arguing with a child. There's even less of a point in arguing with a child and then hitting the child because you let it get that far.

I train dogs and I'm also a huge fan of Super Nanny. It's amazing how learning theory is learning theory, operant conditioning is operant conditioning. It doesn't matter if it's a dog or child, the same concept apply. In both dogs AND children, I see handlers/parents that spend so much time struggling against/fighting with the dog/child and trying to get rid of the "bad" and never enough time marking and rewarding what is good.

As for the law, I don't really have a problem with it, I just don't see how it would be enforced.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:41 PM   #20
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:20 PM   #21
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We were never spanked, hit, slapped or anything else as kids. Ever. Strangely enough, the fear of it alone whipped us into shape. Which potentially makes us dumb kids since we never caught on that they wouldn't actually go through with it.

My Mom was vehemently against it, and still is to this day.
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk


You're not allowed to assault another adult in your own home. If a friend comes over and you don't like a comment they make, you can't slap them. For centuries, men were allowed - even encouraged - to physically reprimand their wives. Thank goodness that's changed. I think it's ridiculous these same rights aren't assigned to children.


pretty much my view.

i know most parents spank because they think it's the "right" thing to do -- and i think there's a clear difference between a spanking that's been threatened and then enforced as a specific punishment for a specific act and outright abuse. and i do think most parents would be able to make that distinction quite clear for the child.

but why do you get to smack your child, but no one else?
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:10 AM   #23
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Why do you get to regulate and control what, when and how much your child eats; where, when and with whom s/he hangs out; where s/he goes to school, how much TV and internet access s/he gets, when s/he goes to bed, and a zillion-and-one other forms of authority you don't get to exercise over other adults? Obviously children need and deserve rights, obviously they need and deserve protection from abuse and neglect by incompetent parents and other caretakers; but they aren't legally treated as adults, and it would be completely infeasible to do so.

A parent with no inhibitions about using plain old words to vengefully shame and humiliate a child can do way more damage than one who uses occasional spankings with discretion and restraint; it's much more a question of context and relationship dynamics than the precise form of discipline used, IMO.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:33 AM   #24
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Originally posted by yolland
I'm not sure how well attempting to draft a law that 'defines exactly when spanking becomes abuse' would work, because then you're getting into murky waters like evaluating the overall emotional dynamic of the parent-child relationship in question, the parent's precise frame of mind at the time, etc. I can agree that those kinds of factors do affect a child's experience of spanking, that the level of force used isn't the sole determinant there. But I don't really see how you can quantify them. You could certainly legislate limits on the level of force itself (whether objects are used, whether welts or bruises result or are likely to, etc.); that much I don't see a problem with.

We haven't seen reason to spank any of our kids to date, but my own parents used it very occasionally as a punishment...I think my next oldest brother was spanked maybe three times, which was the most any of us got; my sister and I were both spanked once, my oldest and my younger brother were never spanked at all. From having talked with them about it, my sense is that none of us felt or feel any resentment, confusion or humiliation over it. The way my parents used it, it was a ritualized means of getting across that we'd done something not merely 'naughty' but pretty seriously wrong, something we knew better than to do and which had bad consequences for people other than ourselves. And they didn't do it in a way that conveyed rage or contempt. No biggie, at least not for us. I do agree that it's not "necessary," but that's true of lots of things that fall under the heading of parenting techniques. I think if you're going to argue that it should be banned altogether for not being "necessary," then you should also be able to show that it's innately damaging and therefore automatically inferior to other disciplinary tactics.
There are many studies out there showing that corporal punishment can be damaging. Here's one I found in about 5 seconds of searching: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/...48d1c2032aef73

Briefly, it has a high n (n = 4888), and it excluded any p's who reported physical or sexual abuse. Results show that there is a linear relationship between the frequency of spanking or slapping and depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol dependancy and externalization of problems. People who were never slapped or spanked fared best, those rarely slapped or spanked had higher incidences relative to those who were never spanked or slapped,. while those who were sometimes or often spanked or slapped had the highest incidences of these disorders. I suppose you could say that this proves your point, that spanking used sparingly can have a positive (or at least nonharmful) effect. If this is the case though, then why hit your child at all, why not use another method? Why run the risk of miscalculating how often is too often, or how hard of a hit or slap is too hard? If you rarely need to use it, surely you can pull something else out of your parental bag of tricks to get the point acoss?

We have them so we can love and nurture them, teach and guide them, and share experiences with them. What seems inherently wrong to me is that we intentionally inflict physical pain on them in order to punish when we really don't need to. That it's physical pain that comes with at least some risk is reason enough to choose another method of discipline, from my perspective.


Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Why do you get to regulate and control what, when and how much your child eats; where, when and with whom s/he hangs out; where s/he goes to school, how much TV and internet access s/he gets, when s/he goes to bed, and a zillion-and-one other forms of authority you don't get to exercise over other adults? Obviously children need and deserve rights, obviously they need and deserve protection from abuse and neglect by incompetent parents and other caretakers; but they aren't legally treated as adults, and it would be completely infeasible to do so.

A parent with no inhibitions about using plain old words to vengefully shame and humiliate a child can do way more damage than one who uses occasional spankings with discretion and restraint; it's much more a question of context and relationship dynamics than the precise form of discipline used, IMO.
The things you mention above that parents have control over their children and not of other adults all have a key feature - they do not inflict physical pain.

I do agree with you about the potential for harm with verbal abuse. I can't access any stats or studies at the moment, my school server isn't letting me on remotely, but I think it's fairly safe to say that maybe not all, but many people who verbally abuse their children also use physical punishment. It's all part and parcel of not having basic human respect for another person.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:02 AM   #25
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As people have said their is a huuuuuuuge difference from spanking with a belt or wooden spoon, or punching/kicking/pushing to the ground etc and a slap on the wrist, or bottom.

I was rarely hit when I was a child, but when I was it was for a REASON. One time I smeared toothpaste into the carpet, then proceeded to cut my hair and stick it to it. A stupid thing to do and I got a few slaps to the bottom for it.
Another time I was kicking a ball around. Mum told me to stop, I didn't kicked it hard and broke the TV. Another few slaps and grounding for 2 weeks for that!

The fact of the matter is, children are not these tiny fragile don't say a bad word or they'll grow up into sexual abusers or self harmers!!! type of people. They are rough and tumble. The need discipline, a consequence for their actions. While slapping is definately not the be all and end all, outlawing it is putting more and more power into the hands or someone who doesn't know what to do with it.

I am VERY VERY against child abuse, but im sick to death of people blaming everyone else over their fucking problems. You know what? My mum yelled at me, smacked me, sent me to bed without dinner on a few occasions, wasn't that affectionate but i'm healthy, well adjusted with a healthy self esteem. I ain't blaming a fucking dot on her, and I hate those "Studies" that say things like that. Take your own responsibility!
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:14 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
There are many studies out there showing that corporal punishment can be damaging. Here's one I found in about 5 seconds of searching: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/...48d1c2032aef73
It does look like a well-designed study. I skimmed through PsycInfo and the Ebsco databases back 10 years looking for more studies of that specific nature (longterm affective, cognitive and behavioral effects of spanking) and in addition to the one you linked, found another which more or less drew the same conclusions (Gershoff 2002), as well as two which found no significant relationships (Paolucci & Violato 2004; Slade & Wissow 2004), so I'm guessing this may be a somewhat contentious topic. (Apropos of nothing, I was also startled by how much of what pulled up were studies comparing parental discipline practices across ethnic and racial lines...I guess that's a hot research area?) Still, a good reminder about the importance of looking beyond the anecdotal ("Well, my parents...") with this issue--that definitely does tend to impose a bias; I can certainly acknowledge it does for me.

One thing I don't like about that study, though, is that it made no distinction between spanking and slapping (by which I assume a slap on the face is meant). Maybe this view is unique to my family, but while I've never personally used either, I'm MUCH more opposed to the latter than the former. My parents never slapped any of us (whoops, back to those anecdotes again ) and they certainly believed it was wrong to do so. To me, the problem with slapping as a form of punishment/discipline is that it's completely indistinguishable from what every kid recognizes as the most common and instinctive physical expression of aggression out there--they see other kids doing it to each other all the time during fights, they see adults doing it to each other on TV during fights. Slapping says: I'm extremely angry at you right now to the point where I can't control it, and/or I don't give two shits how much this might hurt you. Spanking, on the other hand, is ritualized behavior--you don't see adults turning other adults over their knees and spanking them, well at least not unless your parents let you watch the wroooong kind of TV--and is almost exclusively associated with parental discipline of children. Obviously that's no magic bullet against its being (mis)used as an expression of aggression, but to me the difference is significant; I'm highly skeptical that it's possible to slap your child in the face and NOT have the effective primary 'message' be (as it would be with most any other slap) "Shut the f*** up you stupid little snot"--something I've never said and never would say to any of my children. I don't however see spanking that way.
Quote:
I suppose you could say that this proves your point, that spanking used sparingly can have a positive (or at least nonharmful) effect. If this is the case though, then why hit your child at all, why not use another method? Why run the risk of miscalculating how often is too often, or how hard of a hit or slap is too hard? If you rarely need to use it, surely you can pull something else out of your parental bag of tricks to get the point acoss?
I don't really have answers to any of those "whys"--as I said earlier, I don't assume spanking is necessary; it's just that I don't see it as a priori 'bad' to the point where I'm comfortable saying, "This is always unacceptable." Certainly I would say that if you're using a belt, whaling away at the child over and over, or shouting, hissing, or glowering hostilely at them before, during or after the spanking, that is NOT in keeping with doing it with "discretion and restraint." At that point you'd be conveying pretty much the same message as a slap would.
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The things you mention above that parents have control over their children and not of other adults all have a key feature - they do not inflict physical pain.
True. I was responding to what I took to be the implication that children's rights to not have their liberties of the person interfered with should be equal to those of adults, not suggesting that all said forms of interference are necessarily morally equivalent. I agree that when, how often, and how to spank is in practice more 'loaded' than most of those.
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I do agree with you about the potential for harm with verbal abuse. I can't access any stats or studies at the moment, my school server isn't letting me on remotely, but I think it's fairly safe to say that maybe not all, but many people who verbally abuse their children also use physical punishment. It's all part and parcel of not having basic human respect for another person.
I think the association may be the other way around--that physical abusers are almost always also verbal abusers. I will say (again, falling back on personal anecdotes here) that I can't recall the parent who did the (rare) spanking in my family growing up ever being verbally (or physically) abusive, whereas the other parent (who 'never laid a hand on anyone') unfortunately resorted to quite a lot of verbal abuse, especially in our early-to-mid-teenage years, and it definitely did some damage. Nothing worth a pity party over, but enough that my sniveling inner teenager can't help laughing bitterly at the idea that I should be less disturbed by the latter parent's "disciplinary" tactics than the former's. Personally I wouldn't rather have had the law involved in monitoring either, though.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:08 AM   #27
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Well, I experienced both: physical abuse from my father and the very, very rare spanking from my mom and I can tell you there is a WORLD of difference between the two.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:19 AM   #28
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:21 AM   #29
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but why do you get to smack your child, but no one else?
Good question, I've always wondered same. Maybe because it's in the name of discipline. People used to discipline their wives too I guess. Some people really do not now where discipline ends and abuse begins, believe it or not.

Spanking law won’t hit where it really hurts
By Peter Gelzinis | Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | http://www.bostonherald.com

Banning spanking in one’s home is a lot like compelling people to wear seat belts in their cars. As well-intentioned as both notions may be, they are completely unenforceable.

To be cited for not wearing a seat belt, you must first get caught speeding, running a red light or plowing your car into something or someone. At which point, seat belts are the least of your problems.

It’s pretty much the same thing for the “anti-spanking” bill Lexington Rep. Jay Kaufman will present for a State House debate this morning. The spare-the-rod-spoil-the-child, government-out-of-my-life crowd is sure to be in full froth before a throng of local and national media.

House Bill 3922 has nothing to do with creating any kind of super-duper reconnaissance to see if little Johnny is getting whacked for talking back at the dinner table. Because, let’s face it, that’s impossible.

Yet that is exactly how talk radio, “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show, CNN and that self-appointed guardian of American values and loofah sponges, Bill O’Reilly, will play it: One more liberal plot to undermine parents’ rights . . . not to mention a tantalizing counterpoint at Santa time.

Never mind that the legislation written by Kathleen Wolf, an Arlington nurse, has several references that excuse “minor physical contact” by a steamed parent looking to administer some discipline . . . i.e. a purposeful tap to the rump. It even goes on to allow for “the reasonable use of force” by a parent to defend against the child who decides to strangle Mom with Dad’s belt.

“I am keenly aware,” Kaufman said yesterday, “that bills are very dull instruments when it comes to trying to legislate good behavior. But what I’m grateful for with this is the chance to engage the public in a conversation on the troubling, almost epidemic rise, in the number of child abuse cases we see each year. It has simply become unacceptable, and if a bill like this can shed some more light on the issue, then the effort is worth it.”

I am old enough to remember when corporal punishment was a fundamental part of the public school experience in Boston. Along with an inventory of books, paper and pencils, each teacher I had from elementary school on had access to a thin, two-foot switch of rattan affectionately known as “The Stick.”

It could come down across your knuckles or the tips of your fingers for any number of misdemeanors. I’ve often wondered where the Boston School Department purchased its supply of Sticks. Hard to imagine a place like, say, Staples carrying an inventory of bamboo designed for whipping. But then, I can’t imagine today’s kids actuallyholding their hands out for three or four whacks.

When he was traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, Jay Kaufman said he found himself waiting in line at the Los Angeles airport not far from a 3-year-old in full meltdown. The child simply would not stay still, Kaufman recalled, and eventually wandered away from his mother and into some pretty heavy pedestrian traffic. As Mom was bringing the child back, she gave the little girl a firm whack on the tush.

No, Rep. Kaufman did not signal for a citizen’s arrest. But then, when it comes to spanking, every parent is convinced they know how to do it just right, and it’s none of anybody else’s damn business - least of all the state.

Problem is, DAs across the state this year charged about 5,000 people with not knowing where discipline ended and abuse began. Aside from all the righteous indignation and chest pounding, House Bill 3299 is not likely to impact the rising tide of child abuse in this state, let alone become a civil law.

“If all this (bill) did was get more parents thinking about how they discipline their child,” Kaufman said, “that would be success as far as I’m concerned.”

Problem is, the parents who might think about such a measure before spanking their child are not the ones who show up at an ER with a battered child. It’s a little like those drivers who never gave a thought about a seat belt law until they went through the windshield.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:40 AM   #30
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Originally posted by yolland
Why do you get to regulate and control what, when and how much your child eats; where, when and with whom s/he hangs out; where s/he goes to school, how much TV and internet access s/he gets, when s/he goes to bed, and a zillion-and-one other forms of authority you don't get to exercise over other adults? Obviously children need and deserve rights, obviously they need and deserve protection from abuse and neglect by incompetent parents and other caretakers; but they aren't legally treated as adults, and it would be completely infeasible to do so.


but i can control what other adults do in my house. i can kick them out if they use inappropriate language, make offensive comments, i can refuse to let others use my DVD player if they want to watch inoffensive things. there are a zillion-and-one different ways in which i can regulate the behavior of others whilst in my own home, but i cannot ever hit another adult in my own home (or anywhere) unless it's in self defense.
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