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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:04 PM
Original message
The spanking poll...
Edited on Fri Jan-26-07 04:10 PM by JackRiddler
Actually, I can't post a poll and don't really believe in them - so here's a question for discussion.

I'm looking for an extreme baseline to begin to define what is acceptable in disciplining a child:

1) Your child, under 3 years of age, runs out into the street / tries to climb over a balcony railing / wants to poke a fork into an outlet. What measure do you take to impress upon the child that this behavior is undesirable?

2) Your child of 4 hits a smaller child for the 15th time. Is spanking (with force equivalent to what a 4-year-old can muster) an acceptable way to educate about the pain of being hit?

EDIT: Please if you would specify if you have raised children of your own, and if so how you handled such situations.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Two questions
Edited on Fri Jan-26-07 04:09 PM by malaise
Where did a child of four learn to hit a smaller child?
Was it from parents hitting her/him? Was it from parents hitting each other?

Children can be taught about danger without being hit. If there are toddlers in the home outlets should be covered.

Put simply children live what they learn. Violence begets more violence.

Gr.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. "Where did a child of four learn to hit a smaller child?"
In the trees 2 million years ago. We're animals first, people second.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
55. oops
Edited on Sun Jan-28-07 12:14 AM by JackRiddler
(dupe - delete)
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Leftisalwaysright Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. NEVER
I don't think it's ever appropriate to spank a child. If you can't get through to your child through non-violant means then it reflects badly on you as a parent. We spank pets because they cannot understand what we say. Children who are old enough to spank CAN understand what we say and therefore shouldn't be spanked.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. They may understand...
..., but as a survival instinct, children are self-centered by nature. I really don't think you can rely simply on empathy from a 3-year-old.
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geardaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. You should never spank pets. n/t
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. We do?
I've never spanked my pet. She (my cat) doesn't do anything to warrant a spanking. A spray of water sometimes, when she's scratching the sofa, yes. But hitting? No way.

Personally, spanking won't be a part of my repertoire of raising a child. I can see if the child is a demon child, raising holy hell when they are older (six or seven years old, maybe), but I plan on being a strict disciplinarian without the spanking. I know friends who spank, and none of them are ever in danger of actually harming their child. I just don't think that I could do so, though. I think consistent follow through is important. If you make a threat, you must stick to it if they don't behave. Take away all their fun. Leave the restaurant. Yelling is appropriate, if controlled. But always stay on point, and never diminish them as a child, straying from the disciplinary topic at hand.


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hashibabba Donating Member (894 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. I don't spank my pets. They don't understand what you
want, so you hit them? That doesn't make sense. There are plenty of training methods you can use rather than beating them. When they get sick, do you take them to the woods and shoot them? Even my 77-year-old father doesn't smack dogs when paper training them any more.
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. What if your child builds a nuclear weapon and plans on exploding it?
Would you allow Jack Bauer to spank the child?
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:09 PM
Original message
LOL. You already know what I think.
1. Outside near a street, hold their hand. No hotel or apartment balconies at that age. Outlet covers.

2. Hitting to teach hitting is wrong? Doesn't make any sense to me at all.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Don't future warriors need to learn that violence is what backs up authority?
Isn't that in the NeoCon Future POTUS Training Manual?
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. Usually, I would prefer to let experience be the teacher.
Unfortunately, your first example might have lethal or at least severe consequences so "let him/her try it" is right out. If simply keeping the kid contained and away from danger did not work, I might resort to a swat on the ass to compell obedience.

I would not allow it to get to the fifteenth time. First, I wouldn't let him or her play with the smaller kid for awhile and would look for some alternative discipline, probably the loss of a privilege or some confinement.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. your outlets should be child proofed, if they aren't then the parent
should get spanked.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. I hate to tell you but when my son was two he learned to pull out those outlet covers.
They aren't that secure. I yelled at him real loud, he never tried it again. But I understand some kids don't mind yelling.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I switched my outlets 3 times...
it was exaspperating...my toddler taught my father in law how to use the outlets...so they were grandpa proof but not toddler proof.

Once I did have to smack his hand because not matter how I yelled, explained or time-outed him...it did not sink in...he figured I was keeping him from some great experience the cute little bugger...
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
49. My mother never had those. I never got fried.
I suspect you didn't either. If you had fried your brain with a light socket, you would probably be posting on Free Republic instead of DU. :-)
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:23 PM
Original message
I have 3 kids...
1) Your child, under 3 years of age, runs out into the street/
tries to climb over a balcony railing / wants to poke a fork into an outlet.
What measure do you take to impress upon the child that this behavior is undesirable?


Keeping my pre-school child away from danger is MY JOB!!!
And not just pre-school but I can't imagine spanking a child
over 5 anyway or at any age for that matter!
Remove child from danger.
Hold their hand when outside, on the street.
Put guard on windows/outlets. Baby proof!!

2) Your child of 4 hits a smaller child for the 15th time.
Is spanking (with force equivalent to what a 4-year-old can muster)
an acceptable way to educate about the pain of being hit?


My oldest tried to drop a metal dump truck toy on my 2nd oldest infant.
I stopped him. He was 3. I held him more and included him with the baby's care.

They get along well, to this day. :) All grown up now.

Timeout works!!!! :)

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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
17. I suppose I should have been legalistic...
Since so many people are looking for the loophole.

I assure you that I childproofed, secured outlets, held hands in the street, and did all those things that parents with three brain cells and half a heart to spare do to keep their children safe.

But no precautions are perfect... and one does visit places outside the confines of one's own apt... and children do evade your loving grip at times. Surely not yours, of course, you were perfect.

So what if one of these things happens despite your best effort?
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I answered your questions. Why are you getting snippy? n/t
:crazy:
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. you have to physically run over to get your child back from the street
etc., you are upset, scared and your child sees this. Spanking is not what the child will be thinking of - they will be frightened and concerned about the look of terror they saw on your face as you rushed to get them out of harm's way.

I hold them until we are both a little settled. Sit them down, and tell them that Mommy was scared because they could have been really hurt by what they were doing. That is why they are not allowed to be in the street by themselves (or whatever the situation.)

The hitting a child to teach children not to hit is just silly. Time Outs or 1-2-3 can be very effective at modifying behavior.

I have 3 children (7, 14, 16). Spanking is actually the easy method. Working to modify behavior is much more difficult.

I used 1-2-3 when they were older and Time Outs in the toddler and preschool years.

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mcar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #28
43. 1-2-3 is very effective
It still works on my 9YO :toast:
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #43
51. Maybe, except...
...it teaches that it is okay to be disobedient for 1 & 2. I suppose it is still a boundry that the child respects. Unless you are like one of my relatives who explores every possible fraction between 2 and three and never quite gets to three.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
48. Speaking as a parent, spanking is not effective
I tried both ways. The spanking didn't work. The timeouts and firm, eye-contact insistence that they obey me did work.

The key is persistence and patience. Children will test and test and test. They want to know if you really mean what you say. Spanking doesn't teach them that you care. Putting them in a timeout for the 16th time after they've done something for the 15th time does teach children that you care.

Don't hit. It doesn't work. There's already too much violence in the world.

This is my opinion based on my own personal experience as a parent.
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Lord Byron Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. This makes us look like kooks
Imagine how well that would play on CNN: "Democrats vow to outlaw spanking and parent-child corporal punishment!"

Sometimes physical force is necessary to instill obedience. I am not ashamed to say that my parents backed up their words with the threat of physical force.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Actually, no. It makes us look compassionate.
Sometimes physical force is necessary to instill obedience. I am not ashamed to say that my parents backed up their words with the threat of physical force.

I can't even think how to respond to that. And, I back up what I say. I just don't hit my kids.
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Lord Byron Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. It's just traditional child-rearing
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Lots of things that were traditional weren't any good.
Just because it 'used to be that way' doesn't make it the best way. At all.
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hashibabba Donating Member (894 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. Traditional? That's ridiculous. There are plenty of
punishments a kid would hate and yet learn from besides spanking. Ever heard of science or psychology and learning to do things in a new and better way? At least if you're giving them time-outs and things, you're not teaching them to hit people.

My parents spanked us and I don't really care. But that doesn't make it the best way to do things in 2007.

We could go even more traditional and just cut off their hand if they do something wrong. Steal a bun? Off with your hand! After all, they do it in other countries. Its traditional.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
50. If the kiddo is out of control...
...there may be compassion in refusing to lay down the law, but it still needs to be done. What's right and what subjectively feels good are not the same thing.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
10. Spanking sucks, and we will not hit our child.
There is too much pain in the world already.

We have a just-now two year old. He listens, responds, and when he doesn't "submit" to our guidance, we remove him from the situation.

So far - he's obeying all the rules (after his requisite testing period - :))
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. You should try tasering him.
:sarcasm:

Good for you. I don't/didn't hit either. Mine are 16,14 and 10 and they're turning out pretty well.
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
16. Raised one. She's 19 now.
When she was really small I used a special stern tone of voice and said, NO! She'd always be startled and then look at me. I then would proceed to explain why she shouldn't do whatever it was. The explanation was gentle and age appropriate. If (when!) she had a fit it was timeout. She was my little shadow and hated to have to sit in the "timeout chair" while I was doing other things.

As for the hitting another child, she never struck another child.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
18. I wouldn't spank in either hypothetical.
I don't see how spanking would improve the outcome or behavior.

I have two daughters, ages 9 and 11.

1) Your child, under 3 years of age, runs out into the street / tries to climb over a balcony railing / wants to poke a fork into an outlet. What measure do you take to impress upon the child that this behavior is undesirable?

By the timer my kids were 3 they were well aware that these were unacceptable, so I'd do again whatever I did, which I guess was to educate them.

2) Your child of 4 hits a smaller child for the 15th time. Is spanking (with force equivalent to what a 4-year-old can muster) an acceptable way to educate about the pain of being hit?

Start by removing the child from the presence of the smaller child. Talk about it. If the behavior repeats, repeat those steps with the addition of time out or other penalty. Again, at 4 we didn't have this problem.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
22. from my experience with two kids
1. yes I have spanked on the very rare cases where nothing else worked. Timeouts work great for my kids but there a few key points in my parenting experience with them that the message was just not sinking in and after months...and I literally mean months of trying to train them not to do something or to warn them of the danger...it didn't sink in until I swatted a butt or smacked their hand...but never enough to hurt them.

2. Never for hitting another kid, but then my children weren't the type to do that.

My sister's oldest child would bite until his brother bled. My sister tried everything, time outs, reasoning..you name it...she swore she would not hit him. My mother cured him of it...wanna know how. He bit his brother on the face...the poor mite was bleeding...and the older one (he was about three) was standing there...so my mother looked at him and said "I used to bite my sister and you know what happened because I did that?"...my nephew asked..."what?"....and my mom took out her top plate and shocked the shit out of him...he never bit his brother again......I still laugh about that...


Now I was spanked as a kid and I turned out fine...but my parents never over spanked and only when I really overstepped the line. I respected my parents, and love them very much.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #22
31. Profound
One of my sibblings sons bit his younger brother and I bit him just as hard. He never bit anyone else again ever. He is now 22. My sis and her husband still laugh. The now young man doesn't even remember the incident.
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left is right Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
24. I agree that spanking for the second scenario is wrong, sometimes
and with certain children one swift spank on the bottom is necessary if the situation is one of danger. Twenty-five years ago when my children were 4/3, the younger one was hell-bent on destroying herself. If it was dangerous, she had to do it. She could unlock any lock; put her on the floor and she went straight for the plug covers and she could remove them faster than it took me to put them in. Take your eyes off her for a second and she was gone (Now, remember I had two under the age of 4, so attention gets divided.) Telling her about danger in a calm and rational manner only assured that she would try what ever the dangerous thing was. With 2nd child, the only thing that ever kept her safe was the knowledge that dangerous things brought pain. When the situation wasn't grave, I would turn my head (so I didn't have to watch the inevitable unfold) and just let it happened but I am not ashamed to say she got a few spanks. I did not have that problem with child number 1, so I didn't have to resort to that kind of thing with her.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
26. spanking is sexual
Chicago Tribune, Washington Bureau, March 13, 2002

Porn fighters break ring of kid-spanking fetishists
By Naftali Bendavid

WASHINGTON -- Investigators are in the final stages of breaking up a ring of child-pornography enthusiasts in the United States and Canada who derived sexual pleasure from the severe spanking of children. Nine people already have pleaded guilty, including one in west suburban Chicago.

Members of the loose-knit group, which investigators have nicknamed "the Spanking Club," harshly beat children--often their own--with paddles, canes or other devices, and then exchanged videos of those spankings through the mail, officials said. The videos also featured close-ups of genitalia and other pornographic elements.

Those who investigate crimes against children say they cannot remember another such case, featuring an organized group focused on the pornography of spanking children. In all, authorities have removed 12 children ranging in age from 4 to 14 from their parents or guardians.



(More at http://www.nospank.net/101.htm -- scroll to the, ahem, bottom for a great little cartoon!)


All things considered, I really wonder about the adults who are so vehemently defensive of this questionable practice.
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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #26
38. ding ding ding....
I would only spank another consenting adult....

really people....spanking...IS sexual control....we have finally realized that.

If you think it s okay then you need therapy.

It is not appropriate for adults to spank minors.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. in all the times I've ever added this little insight to the discussion...
... you are the FIRST person ever to acknowledge it.

Most people just can't bear to go there, y'know.


Thanks for your post!


:)
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #26
52. Okay, let's play the pervert card.
Wow. Never heard of that and I have prosecuted a lot of child abuse.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
29. effort is needed to divert before it happens.. that way they learn the 'Idea' is unacceptable..
Discipline is an aspect of Disciple.. one who follows.. one must lead, not just pop up when a wrong is done..

here is the Golden Rule.. 'A child will get a 'cup' of attention every day, if they get half a cup of positive attention,... they will find a half a cup of negative attention.. negative attention is more exciting.. that is why you never yell or hit. they will learn to manipulate you to get the exciting stuff.

..and some kids cups are bigger than others..

i had a lot of long talks with my son with eye contact, i was stay at home father.. when he was an infant on up.. he grew up to be a thoughtful person, if he did something like run into the street i had a conversation with him about why and the consequences..

this is my favorite quote by the Dalai Lama.. 'a negative thought will continue and increase exponentially until replaced by a positive thought, however the the positive thought must be cultivated.'
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
30. We covered this in child development...
back in the day when I was still a Social Work undergrad. At the time the going notion was that you reserved spanking as a last resort to use if the child was putting themselves or others in immediate danger. Something to stop them in their tracks right then. And even then to use it only as much as necessary to stop the dangerous behavior and get them away from the situation.

Still sounds pretty logical to me. Spanking is not normally a good idea. Teaches kids that it's ok to hit and even worse that if you're bigger you can hit someone to make them do what you want. And yes I know that sounds really odd to some grown-ups...but you have to consider that little kids think and reason differently than adults do.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. oorrrrrr you could just pick up the kid and remove him from the scene...
We covered this in child development back in the day when I was still a Social Work undergrad. At the time the going notion was that you reserved spanking as a last resort to use if the child was putting themselves or others in immediate danger. Something to stop them in their tracks right then. And even then to use it only as much as necessary to stop the dangerous behavior and get them away from the situation.


Simply picking up the kid would put a stop to things even quicker. Why complicate matters with some kind of random butt-handling manoeuvre? That makes no sense.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. that would be the first and preferred method
Removing the child from the situation. But if I child is engaging in repeated dangerous behavior and nothing else works...sometimes a spank on the butt does. I don't endorse it...and the point I was actually trying to make is that is should be a last resort and NEVER used just because.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. here's what I'm inclined to doubt...
But if I child is engaging in repeated dangerous behavior and nothing else works...sometimes a spank on the butt does.


You know what? I don't buy that.

Thing is, some children are susceptible to correction, and some are not. If nonviolent punishments don't work, there's really no reason to expect that a mere "swat on the butt" will, either. There's simply nothing magically efficacious about a mild butt-slap. If lonely timeouts and the like have no deterrent effect for a particular child, then why would anything shy of a vigorous beating?

Some children are not correctable -- at least, not with any non-abusive method. Those who are correctable can be handled with methods other than spanking.
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FooFootheSnoo Donating Member (304 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #30
47. my thoughts exactly
I don't see how spanking would be warranted in either situation. In the first situation, maybe a smack on the hands if the child is playing with a light socket. A smack on the hands won't hurt nearly as bad or be as damaging as electrocution. In the second situation I'd put the child in their room.

I'm not going to criticize a parent who spanks their child to prevent life-threatening harm.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
33. nothing more ironic than a parent hitting a child saying dont hit....
and the absurd, i have really really seen parents do it. as far as the other things, child under three running inot street and all those dangerous things. i was with that child at all times knowing that young the kid does not have a concept. i did not leave one that young in a room by themselves to get into trouble. and i would generally direct and redirect attention away from the dangerous instead of calling attention to the dangerous, with any kind of warnng because that seems to make it more like the child would focus on it.

i never resorted to hitting, to get the message across. i simply knew tat my kids at that age required my full attention to keep them safe

how i handled it

and i do not think spanking is wrong or should be out law.... i chose not to use spanking, hitting of any kind.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
35. my first memory of life was being savagely beaten by my father and laying on the ground as he walked
away complaining how bad his hand hurt... i vividly remember thinking that really absurd, i had a visual context of the total disconnect of his being..

a am autistic, i perceive the would visually, i am a high functioning autistic with good verbal skills. i was beaten on a regular basis till i was a teenager.. when he said he was going to whip me for something stupid.. i picked up a 2x4 and told him that i didn't think that was a good idea.. he walked away and never threatened me again.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. I am so sorry!
Good for you for defending yourself!

But of course, you shouldn't have been put in the position of needing to defend yourself. Home is supposed to be safe.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. i was able to break the cycle of abuse and have been sober for 7 years now..
i had to suffer alcoholism to understand him.. but i managed to recover thru meditaton and Buddhist studies..
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
36. I've never understood this.
1. The child does something that might result in some serious injury, so the parent, the person the child trusts most in the world, is going to hit/hurt the child to show the child that it is wrong to do something that might result in the child getting hurt.

2. The child hits someone else, so the parent hits the child to show that hitting is wrong.

To me, that is totally :crazy: and seriously misses out on some good educational opportunities.

I have 3 children, all past the toddler stage and I have been told they are very well behaved children. I have never spanked.

For #1, after doing the all the prevention possible, if the child still manages to slide his/her hand out of mine and run into the street/sneak out of a locked door and climbs on the balcony railing/somehow pries the cover off the plug in before sticking a fork in it, the first thing you do is remove the child from the situation as fast as you can with a firm and scared NO! DANGER!. The more emotion in your voice, the better. Then you explain, at age level, how dangerous what just happened was. For a 2 year old, it might sound like, "NO fork in these holes! These holes are OWIE! They will make you very owie and you will need to go to the hospital! If you were owie, mommy and daddy would be very sad! very very sad!". If you are really scared, your voice WILL impress upon your child how serious you are. They can sense that kind of thing.
Another technique, say, for showing a child how dangerous a car is, would be to stick something under a car tire, like a grape, and back over it (with the child being supervised by another adult) and show the child how powerful a car is, and how cars can squish and hurt things. Or drop a melon from the balcony to show it shatter. Reiterate how much you love your child and how you don't want to see them get hurt and how those things would hurt them. From that point on, it is your duty as a parent to watch more closely and head off those things before they come to pass. See them going near the locked balcony door? Remind them they are not to touch it. Walking along side a road? Make them hold your hand. If they refuse, find another option. Stroller, harness, anything. It is YOUR duty as a parent to keep that child safe. If they don't stop sticking things in outlets, despite every childproofing invention there is, switch off the appropriate breakers.
As you can see, this takes a lot more work than a swat on the bum. Short term, the swat works, but IMO it is the lazy parent who swats first. I'm more concerned with my children's longterm emotional health and am willing to put in the effort.

As for #2 - this is the PERFECT time to teach the child empathy!! A 4 year old is definitely able to understand empathy. Although, your objective is to stop the hitting the first time, it should never escalate to 15 times. Remove the child from the situation. Explain that hitting is wrong, hitting hurts. Not a lecture, the child will tune you out. Getting down on the child level, eye to eye and being serious and saying, "Hitting is wrong. You do not hit. It hurts people. No more hitting. If you hit again, there will be no more playing" gets the point across. If they hit again, remove them from the other child and do not let them play with the other child and remember to tell them why, "I told you not to hit. You hit again. Hitting is wrong, hitting hurts. You need to stay over here now so you do not hit." I always like to point out at the same time, "Look, (insert the hittee's name here) is crying. She/he is very sad! You hit him/her! Hitting hurts. It would hurt if she/he hit you, wouldn't it? You wouldn't like it, would you?" I really think teaching empathy (what many repukes lack) is definitely more important than getting them to stop quickly and easily with a swat. Again, much more work than hitting is.

Now the only time these sort of things don't work is when children have been generally ignored or only paid attention to in a negative manner. The old saying that children crave attention and if they only attention is negative they will take it, is true.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
37. If I already have said more than once about doing something dangerous...
I'll give him a swat on the butt. Did that with my son when he was four.

When it comes to hitting that is completely unacceptable, but I feel if I spank or even swat my kid over that it does nothing to teach him how wrong it is. I will separate the kids if hitting occurs. They'll get a time out. Both will be given a talking to after the separation. In my experience one kid hitting another is rarely one sided.
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mcar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
41. Answers
1) My child used to love to run out the front door and run down the street when he was 2. Fortunately, we live on a very quiet, dead end street. I solved the problem by turning the deadbolt on the front door and putting a little metal "doorstopper" thingy (it flaps over the door to prevent it from opening, my pediatrician had them in her office) on the door to the garage. My outlets were covered.

Problem solved. No spanking necessary.

2) Who the #$%^ would hit a child as a punishment for hitting? The message sent is "it's OK to hit someone smaller than you." Even my fundie brother figured that out with his first child.

Same child was a biter, especially with his older brother. Time outs, scolding, losing toys or privileges and insisting on his apologizing to his brother stopped it after while.

I have two children who are now 19 and 9. I have never spanked either of them and see no justification for spanking. There are many ways to discipline children that don't involve violence.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
44. My experience with 2 kids, was that disciplining was much easier after
I found my voice of authority.

Some things you can ask nicely, to teach your kids manners, e.g., "Please close the door behind you.", or, "Would you please pass the potatoes?"

The instances you've mentioned require telling them in a calm, firm voice (not yelling, in fact, I've found a quiet voice to be more effective), "No. We do not do that." simply and matter-of-factly, with the expectation that your child is going to listen, as you take him/her to the time-out place. To do this, you need to disconnect yourself from your emotions; which is in my opinion, the hardest thing about parenting.

It's important for them to understand that time-out is not a punishment, but a place for them to reflect on the information you've given them, and collect themselves emotionally. It's ok to give them a reassuring hug. Let them know that you love them, and you need them to understand that this behavior is not acceptable...end of story. If they ask why, tell them; but I wouldn't offer an explanation unless they ask...otherwise you'll have a lot of 'splainin' to do.

The other thing I've found is that your children generally act as you expect them to. When Mr GoG would bring our toddlers to my concerts, he'd always end up walking them around the lobby because they'd start to whine after awhile. I never had a problem with either of them, in restaurants and movies as well. I'm certain it's because I simply expect them to behave well.

Having a take-charge parent is so reassuring to a child. I'm sure you've heard before that kids often act up because they want limits or discipline. Don't think of it as "being the heavy" or "the meanie". You're wrapping your child in a cozy blanket of boundaries. You're the boss; and they don't need to worry about what is right and what is wrong. You will be there to praise good behavior, and teach them what's not.

My 2 cents, anyway... :hi:
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-26-07 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
46. Have certainly raised 'em myself
and the answer to those questions is much more about prevention than about "punishment".

Children that age need constant supervision. When they manage to get into trouble anyway (and it surely happens, despite a parents' best efforts), then you protect them first, and then explain to them what they did wrong. And over and over and over again, until they understand. Once you've identified the problem (a runner, a balcony-climber, an outlet-poker, etc.) you take extra measures to protect against those accidents. Gate the yard or lock the doors, railings on the balcony, get those outlets covered. Spanking will teach them nothing. Repetition, distraction and prevention are the keys.

Spanking is especially ineffective in teaching social skills and empathy. How do you teach a child that hitting is wrong by... hitting? It makes no sense, and it doesn't work.

Spanking is the refuge of ignorant or lazy parenting, IMHO.
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Wiley50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
53. I'm All For Spanking Pols. Let's Start With Smirk And Snarl n/t
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
54. A GENERAL RESPONSE WITH THANKS TO ALL...
Edited on Sun Jan-28-07 12:56 AM by JackRiddler
The point of this thread was to provoke a discussion.

I wouldn't have imagined a context in which I would "defend" spanking, except that a lawmaker plans to introduce a bill to make it a criminal offense, with penalties to include prison. Now I realize this bill will almost certainly never be a law, but it's still shocking.

Perhaps I should have reminded everyone about the proposed bill in the original post. Because what I missed in this discussion, and in the other threads on this so far - and the reason for my mild provocation in the OP (the second example especially) - is a sense of the indisputable, negative impact that the criminalization of spanking would entail.

I agree with the gist of those who say, there are better ways than spanking to teach children the self-control that intelligent social beings rightly require amongst themselves. And so what? Are we all saints, and should we be punished if as loving parents we still on occasion resort to a slap on the ass? Should I have been handcuffed and carried off to jail for the <10 times I spanked my child? Should my mother have been locked up for a few months or years for the >50 times she spanked me?

My heart goes out to those who describe shocking physical abuse from their childhood, but there are already laws against that. We are talking here about the conventional understanding of spanking, not of beatings and sticks and tasers and sexual abuse and other horrible acts that are nevertheless irrelevant to the spanking law proposed by the CA legislator.

My heart also goes out to those who describe shocking psychological abuse. Consider how many people will say their experience of spanking is rather trivial, even as they describe how their lives were nearly ruined by horrible things their parents said to them. Can we pass a law against parents who make wrecks of their children by constantly repeating statements that make them feel small, ugly, or unwanted? Can we pass a law against the conveyance of unhealthy body images? Because these often do more damage than spanking, you can be sure.

This "progressive" law has been proposed for California - home of the LAPD. Are you telling me that if it was on the books, it wouldn't be applied selectively against people of color, exactly like the drug laws? Do you really think spanking is a matter for the criminal courts, rather than education and a discussion on pedagogy like the one in this thread?

As to that discussion - is spanking ever "right," or at any rate the lesser evil compared to other strategies? - there's plenty to say, but I hope to focus people first on why criminalization is nuts.

-------------------

But having made that essential point, onward to the pedogogic debate: Please consider how absolutist some of the above comes across. After my lifetime as a single person, of thinking spanking was backward and unnecessary, I found myself forcing toddlers into warm clothes and clean diapers - in effect, using my giant relative size to invasively impose my will against highly stubborn resistance that could last as long as half an hour. I think those who have changed diapers know what I'm talking about, sometimes that's just how it is! By comparison, spanking may have still been unnecessary and backward, but it hardly seemed so barbaric. And I'm really not sure that 1-2-3 or corner timeouts are less confusing or more effective or more civilized or less likely to teach the wrong lessons.

Perhaps we need to be more tolerant of our imperfect human natures and accept that every parent-child relationship is going to be different and in 99 percent of the cases never going to be improved through coercive statist intervention!

THANK YOU ALL.
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