A Parenting & kids forum. ParentingBanter.com

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » ParentingBanter.com forum » alt.parenting » Spanking
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Teenagers faced with spankings



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old December 6th 06, 09:15 AM posted to alt.parenting.spanking
Nathan A. Barclay
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Teenagers faced with spankings


"0:-" wrote in message
ups.com...

Nathan A. Barclay wrote:
"0:-" wrote in message
ups.com...

Please tell us the difference between say a "hard spanking" and a
beating.


To me, the biggest distinguishing factor is whether the parent is out of
control.


There are plenty of people that most coldly and in careful control do
things like take switches to the hands of babies as young as two months
old. It's even taught by one couple that claim to be an information
source for child rearing. They call it, 'training up the child."


Granted, there are nuts, and there are grossly ignorant people who take
advice from nuts. If parents have completely unrealistic expectations, the
results can be tragic, especially if the parents feel like it's their duty
to force their children to live up to their unrealistic expecations no
matter how harsh a punishment is required.

But overreacting to one extreme by rushing to the other is not a
particularly rational response. Or should we outlaw cars just because some
people drive drunk?

In a "hard spanking," the parent has himself or herself
under control to a point of being able to think about whether a spanking
or
something else is the most suitable punishment, and to base the severity
of
the spanking on the seriousness of the offense rather than on the
parent's
anger. The reason the spanking is hard is that the seriousness of the
offense warrants it, not that the parent is out of control. Most of the
time, it shouldn't be all that hard for a teenager to distinguish between
these two descriptions if he or she is willing to be honest with himself
or
herself, and to take a little time to think about how the situation
looked
from the parent's perspective.


The current data collected on this, internationally, by surveying
parents, show that regardless of the accepting or rejecting mindset
there are unwanted negative consequences. I posted that recently here.


I'm not in a mood to go hunting through everything you've posted here
recently. If you want to recount the data, or to give me a clear indication
of where to look, I'm willing to listen, but I don't intend to spend a lot
of time here this time around.

As for reasons why parents might reasonably view spanking as the most
appropriate choice, I can think of some examples. First, some teenagers
would view a spanking - even a hard one - as less bad than the
alternative
their parents would choose if they don't spank.


Such as?

Second, parents might
decide that spanking makes sense because spankings don't cause nearly as
much long-term hassle and friction as forms of punishment that aren't
over
as quickly. (That would vary a lot depending on the personalities of
individual children.)


It sounds as though you are describing parents that have a more
punitive parenting style. Why must other alternaties cause long-term
hasle and friction? If I found my children doing something I
disapproved of, it was usually dispensed with in a few minutes and
unlikely to come up again.


Good for you. Have you had problems where your children shoplifted
repeatedly? Where they drove home drunk? Where they vandalized their
school? There are parents who have had those problems, among other very
serious problems.

I strongly support efforts to find ways to solve problems without needing
threats or punishments *IF* those ways can genuinely solve a problem without
giving children the idea that everyone else has to adjust to what they want.
But nonpunitive techniques can only work properly if the children choose to
cooperate. If children refuse to cooperate, and parents refuse to punish,
there is nothing at all to hold the chilren's behavior in check short of the
point where the police get involved.

In fact spanking tends not to suppress unwanted behavior and MORE time
and hassle ensues. It also is a very weak deterent when the parent is
not actually supervising.


Which is why nonpunitive approaches are better - *IF* they work. But an
imperfect deterrent can be better than none at all.

And third, the threat of spanking could be needed to
enforce the terms of some other punishment - and any credible threat
risks
the possibility that the threat will need to be carried out.


Teaching by threat?


Threats and punishments should NEVER be used as a replacement for teaching.
But that doesn't mean they shouldn't ever be used as a backup for if
children choose to reject or ignore what they have been taught.

snip

Bruising is injury.


I'm really not interested in word games. Cows and dogs are both mammals,
but that doesn't mean dogs chew their cud or cows bark. Substituting a more
general word like "injury" for a more specific one like "bruising" is far
more likely to obfuscate the truth than to clarify it.

And if
there is a pattern of spankings hard enough to cause bruises, the
presumption has to be that either the bruising is deliberate or the
parent
is out of control.


I don't think it's a either or situation. If there is bruising there is
injury. Intent has little to do with it.


From both a moral perspective and, in many cases, a legal perspective, there
is a huge difference between deliberately inflicting an injury and
inflicting an injury by accident. It would be nice if parents had a magical
way of knowing exactly how hard they could spank a child without leaving
bruises. But in real life, bruises can be a result of an honest mistake by
parents who misjudged how hard they could spank without bruising. Laws have
to make some allowances for honest mistakes or else overzealous prosecutors
have the power to scare people away from even coming close to the limits of
what the law was intended to allow.

The child tends, when injured by the parent, to presume the parent
meant to injury, and that the child him or herself, deserved to be
injured.


With any but the youngest children, there is a simple solution if parents
realize they've spanked hard enough to cause bruises they didn't intend to.
They can apologize and explain that although they intended for the spanking
to hurt, they didn't intend for it to be hard enough to leave bruises. That
way, the children can understand the difference between what the parents
intended (and thought the children deserved based on the seriousness of
their misbehavior) and what actually happened (which went beyond what the
parents thought their children deserved).

I've watched adults posting to this newsgroup defend their own beatings
administered by their parents as 'deserved,' even when they were left
bloody as a result.


For what kinds of offenses? I would expect that either the offenses were
exceptionally serious, or the people taking that view haven't made much
effort to compare the seriousness of the punishments they received with the
seriousness of what they were being punished for.

I'll readily agree that when punishments of any kind are misused, they can
cause enormous and unjustified damage to children's self-esteem and to their
ability to see the difference between justice and overkill. But that
doesn't mean I accept the opposite extreme of sending children the message
that they never deserve to be punished no matter how they behave.

Granted, this still leaves a gray area where the parent's motive is
unclear,
or it is unclear whether the severity of a spanking is warranted by the
seriousness of a child's behavior. But the sad truth is that we live in
a
world with a lot of gray in it, and wishing we could always draw clean
lines
between black and white doesn't make the gray go away.


We should not try, nevertheless?

From what I've seen, the only people who don't see a lot of shades of
gray
tend to be unthinking zealots who are so focused on an extreme position
that
they refuse to see any merit in arguments that conflict with their
preconceptions.


Personally I have no trouble seeing the continuum from a mild pat on
the bottom of say a diapered toddler to forcing a teen ager to drop
their pants and take a sever beating with a paddle, switch, strap, etc.


Of course there is a continuum.

My question has to do with where, exactly, on that continuum "spanking"
without injury leaves off and abusive injury takes place.


Your question here tries to force the issue into a much more simplistic
model than I consider appropriate. When I look at the issue, I don't see a
line between "spanking" and "abuse." Rather, I see a continuum, with
punishments that I consider clearly reasonable on one end; punishments I
consider clearly abusive on the other; and a gray area in between where I
see room for honest, reasonable people to disagree or be unsure about
whether the punishments should be considered reasonable, abusive, or perhaps
neither one.

Further, in my view, those areas move depending on how serious a child's
misbehavior is. The same punishment could be in the "clearly abusive" range
for a child who accidentally spills a glass of milk, but in the :"clearly
reasonable" range if a child who is clearly old enough to know better
commits the crime of shoplifting.

The closest I can come to a single clear line is that spanking hard enough
to leave bruises is almost always in the "clearly abusive" part of the
continuum. But because the divisions in the continuum move depending on the
seriousness of a child's misbehavior, there are some extreme cases where I
don't regard spanking hard enough to leave bruises as in the "clearly
abusive" range.

And I regard that kind of zealotry as a whole lot more
dangerous than accepting the existence of shades of gray.


Well let's look at that.

Let's say you would call me a zealot.


Frankly, I see no point in name calling as such. The reason I brought up
the issue of zealotry was to point out the danger of trying to force issues
into simplistic black-and-white models when the issues are too complex for
any simple black-and-white model to be complete and accurate.

snip

I believe from evidence I've seen both empirically and in data, that
even mild spanking has a fairly strong risk of producing psychological
injury if not physical.


Unless the evidence has gotten a lot better than what Chris Dugan got me to
look at a few years ago, I think you're overreaching. Straus and
Mouradian's 1998 study identified a group of spanking parents - those who
never spanked as a result of having "lost it" - who had essentially the same
results as non-spanking parents. Further, the studies I've looked at
consistently failed to account for the fact that a lot of parents who start
off planning not to spank are willing to change their minds if they don't
like the results they get without spanking. That creates a potential for
the category of non-spanking parents to escape responsibility for
significant numbers of its less successful outcomes

I do see all sorts of mistakes that parents can make in regard to when and
how they use spanking. Spanking can't function as a viable substitute for
teaching - for helping children to genuinely understand why particular
behaviors are good or bad. Spanking isn't anywhere near as reliable a
technique as finding solutions that children are willing to cooperate with
voluntarily - if such solutions can be found. Spanking can't make children
magically be able to live up to unrealistic expectations. :Spanking can't
have much effect on children's behavior if children don't have a reasonably
clear understanding of what kinds of behavior are likely to result in
spankings. Threats of spankings can become essentially worthless if they
are almost always empty. So there are a lot of situations where I would
expect parents who spank not to get good results, either because they aren't
using the tool properly or because they are relying on it too much at the
expense of other, more important tools.

But trying to get from there to the idea that all uses of spanking
inherently create unacceptable risks is a huge leap. And so far, I haven't
seen any evidence that supports that leap.

I've seen mild "spankings" gradually over time
escalate into majory beatings that injure the child...and that
progression from milder "spanking" not working.

In fact from the viewpoint of a behaviorist model it appears the parent
is teaching the child to grow more accustomed to more pain. Very
strange thinking to my mind.


How often have you seen that happen when parents' expectations were
reasonable and the parents didn't get in a power struggle over something
that wasn't all that important?

I did not believe, until early this past year that passing legislation
to ban spanking was a wise thing to do.

Watching the arguments in this newsgroup, and those put forward in the
media by spanking advocates (who themselves seemed to be speaking in
zealot jargon...no basis in fact, just unsupported claims) it occured
to me I've been expecting things to improve in this area of teaching by
pain and humiliation since I was about 19 years old. So far, not enough
progress.


Conversely, when someone like you puts forth a theoretical model of "how
children react to being spanked," and I know that the model is not an
accurate representation of how I reacted to being spanked, I don't view
claims based on the model as credible. Some of your claims aren't just
unsupported. They say things that I know from personal experience are off
target - or, at the very least, not reliably on target.

The reality is that people's personal experiences in their own lives ARE
facts. And when opponents of spanking make a lot of claims that conflict
with those facts, it tends to destroy their credibility.

I think the whole issue is a lot more complex than people on either side
give it credit for being. Opponents pay so much attention to situations
where spanking doesn't work that they ignore the situations where it does
produce useful effects, while supporters largely ignore how dangerous
spanking can be when parents make mistakes in how they use it or rely on it
too much.

So I proposed, which has been routinely lied about by some posters as
"forcing parents to conform," we introduce the Swedish model.

Legislation to encourage and support a change in attitude in all of
society, where spanking is seen as offensive and poor parenting, with
of course the law providing a way to deliver VOLUNTEER services to
families that wish to learn less punitive parenting methods.

As in Sweden, I suggest no penalties for violating this law.


In my view, making something illegal without enforcing the law is a bad idea
because it weakens respect for laws in general. If research ever reaches a
point where such blanket opposition to spanking would be justified, I would
consider a resolution more appropriate than a law that turns parents who
spank into technical lawbreakers without any serious attempt to enforce the
law.

I think services helping parents learn less punitive parenting methods could
be a wonderful thing - as long as parents aren't forced to swallow
anti-spanking propaganda as a condition for using the services. There are a
lot of nonpunitive techniques that can be highly useful regardless of
whether or not parents view spanking as a viable option if their other
efforts fail. But the whole point of freedom of speech and of the press is
that people are supposed to be able to disagree with each other without
undue interference from government. If government refuses to support parent
training unless it expresses particular, controversial opinions about how
bad spanking supposedly is, that would be a serious breach of freedom of
speech and/or of the press.

For that I've been called a zealot.

It's odd, if one examines certain odd things obout our laws relating to
spanking.

I presume you are arguing that spanking is a good thing.


I certainly do not adopt a blanket view that spanking is a good thing. I
think there are situations where punishing misbehavior is better than
allowing it to go unpunished, and in some of those situations, spanking can
offer advantages over other forms of punishment. But I think it's better if
parents (and other caregivers) can find ways to reduce the need for
punishment.

I don't support laws that require us to do 'good things.'

Like I would fight any law that said I had to take vitamins. I'll take
them if I wish.

Yet every state, with one exception, has had to pass laws that
expressly protect this "good thing" called spanking.

Why would that be necessary if we really believed that spanking was a
"good thing?"


In order for you to take vitamins legally, there can't be a law against
taking vitamins. In order for parents to spank legally, there can't be a
law against spanking. All the laws that "protect" spanking really do is
prevent other laws (or other portions of the same laws) from making it
illegal.

Further, spanking is merely one of many areas where laws treat children
differently from adults. Precedent speaks very loudly against the idea that
laws have to treat children the same as adults.

No law, no statute, by the way, defines where the line is between safe
CP and abusive hitting.

The ONLY way you can tell from the law is after the fact. You know you
have crossed the line if you draw blood, or break bones, etc. And even
if you do it enough that it becomes psychologically injurious to the
child.

But why can't the law state clearly how hard, how often, with what, at
what stroke frequency, a parent can spank, based on the child's age,
and physical and psychological condition?

We don't put professional athletes on the field without a great deal of
monitoring by medical personnel to determine if they are fit to take
the rigors of their sport.

Yet we expect parents to be experts in gauging this condition readying
them to safely receive Corporal Punishment....and we see those parents
fail again and again injurying their child when they claim they only
meant to "discipline."


The catch is that good parents are the world's foremost experts on their own
children. As a result, people who regard themselves as good parents are
extremely reluctant to surrender their authority to strangers. And it's
hard to design laws that stop bad parents without threatening the freedom of
good parents - especially when there are horror stories about overzealous
social workers and prosecutors who deliberately stretch their authority a
lot farther than it was intended to go.

In theory, it might be possible to design limits that are loose enough and
flexible enough that a broad consensus could form around them. But in order
to get a consensus, people who want greater restrictions on spankiing would
have to lead the way (since they are the ones who tend to want change), yet
those people would have to support a proposal that accepts much looser
limits than they really want.

Also, the idea of widespread psychological evaluations would probably be a
deal-breaker. When and if I have kids, I would consider it completely
outrageous for a law to presume that a psychologist or psychiatrist can
spend a couple hours with my kids and magically know what is best for them
better than I do. And I'm sure a lot of other people would feel the same
way.

Strauss remarked on this. I'll have to paraphrase, but basically he
pointed out that we have other effective methods of teaching and even
if spanking were as effect spanking still has a built in risk factor
the other methods don't.

What does work?

Well, it's well known that negative attention to unwanted behavior can
and does reinforce that behavior especially in the age range that is
spanked most often, the toddler to five.


The way you word this makes it sound like the problem is almost inevitable,
rather than something that may or may not occur with any given child. Is
that your intent? And if so, how do you justify such a broad
characterization?

Positive attention to unwanted behavior by way of showing the child the
desired replacement behavior is the key. And this is not brain surgery.
It's really very simple if we let go of our "control" issues.


Are you sure this characterization is accurate? If the problem is a child's
not understanding negatives like "don't," I can see how this could work very
well. But if the problem is a child's misbehaving to get attention, is what
you describe sufficient to stop the child from engaging in the unwanted
behavior in order to get attention?


  #12  
Old December 6th 06, 06:30 PM posted to alt.parenting.spanking
0:->
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,968
Default Teenagers faced with spankings

Nathan A. Barclay wrote:
"0:-" wrote in message
ups.com...

Nathan A. Barclay wrote:
"0:-" wrote in message
ups.com...

Please tell us the difference between say a "hard spanking" and a
beating.

To me, the biggest distinguishing factor is whether the parent is out of
control.


There are plenty of people that most coldly and in careful control do
things like take switches to the hands of babies as young as two months
old. It's even taught by one couple that claim to be an information
source for child rearing. They call it, 'training up the child."


Granted, there are nuts, and there are grossly ignorant people who take
advice from nuts.


They don't think they are ignorant. Nor grossly so.

If parents have completely unrealistic expectations, the
results can be tragic, especially if the parents feel like it's their duty
to force their children to live up to their unrealistic expecations no
matter how harsh a punishment is required.


We are in agreement. And here in this newsgroup, aps, I have seen again
and again, pro spankers discuss circumstances where they would spank,
and demonstrating they have extremely unrealistic expectations of
children. The idea that any child, for instance, under the age of 12 or
so, would "willfully disobey." It's nonsense.

They are following natural imperatives to explore the universe. All an
aware parent needs to do is learn how to question and investigate and
when the parent has figured out (even if wrong) some probable natural
imperative the child is reacting to, simply show them how to get their
appropriately. Wanted behavior replacing unwanted behavior.

This isn't rocket science, and no child with parents that can figure
this out is "spanked." It's too damned obvious to a parent that can
think, and is compassionate (even in the absence of exact evidence)
that the child does not need spanking to learn.

But overreacting to one extreme by rushing to the other is not a
particularly rational response. Or should we outlaw cars just because some
people drive drunk?


I'm unable to find in your posts, other than by allusion, what the two
extremes are. I can presume that beating is at one extreme, and not
spanking at all, is at the other.

What will happen if you don't spank?

In a "hard spanking," the parent has himself or herself
under control to a point of being able to think about whether a spanking
or
something else is the most suitable punishment, and to base the severity
of
the spanking on the seriousness of the offense rather than on the
parent's
anger. The reason the spanking is hard is that the seriousness of the
offense warrants it, not that the parent is out of control. Most of the
time, it shouldn't be all that hard for a teenager to distinguish between
these two descriptions if he or she is willing to be honest with himself
or
herself, and to take a little time to think about how the situation
looked
from the parent's perspective.


The current data collected on this, internationally, by surveying
parents, show that regardless of the accepting or rejecting mindset
there are unwanted negative consequences. I posted that recently here.


I'm not in a mood to go hunting through everything you've posted here
recently.


That's okay.

If you want to recount the data, or to give me a clear indication
of where to look, I'm willing to listen, but I don't intend to spend a lot
of time here this time around.


Not a problem. Don't go getting all huffy on me. I can't see where
threatening to leave is a very effective response.

I might just forget you and let you go, unless you wish to make a
commitment to carry through on your commentary, arguments, and claims.
0:-]

Popping in and out is Troll behavior. Tsk.

But, sigh I'm a sucker for a good argument, got one? Here's what you
asked for.

I posted this just yesterday, in fact, and it refers, at the beginning,
to a prior post of mine in April of this year.

I posted the following in April of this year.

From: 0:- - view profile
Date: Sun, Apr 16 2006 10:44 am
Email: "0:-"
Groups: alt.parenting.spanking
Not yet rated
Rating:
show options
Reply | Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show
original | Remove | Report Abuse | Find messages by this author

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1114110820.htm

" ... The researchers found differences in how often mothers used
physical discipline and the mothers' perceptions of how often other
parents used physical discipline. Specifically:

* Mothers in Thailand were least likely to physically discipline
their children, followed by mothers in China, the Philippines, Italy,
India, and Kenya, with mothers in Kenya most likely to physically
discipline their children.
* More frequent use of physical discipline was less strongly
associated with child aggression and anxiety when it was perceived as
being more culturally accepted, but physical discipline was also
associated with more aggression and anxiety regardless of the
perception
of cultural acceptance.
* In countries in which physical discipline was more common and
culturally accepted, children who were physically disciplined were less
aggressive and less anxious than children who were physically
disciplined in countries where physical discipline was rarely used.
* In all countries, however, higher use of physical discipline was
associated with more child aggression and anxiety. ... "

Those last sentences pretty much says it all for the argument that
where cultures accept more CP it doesn't result in aberrent reactions
in children.

The next is a smaller study on the use of aggressively harsh CP to
preschool aged children.

I've seen posters defend the use of such methods as being "up to the
parent to decide."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0202073032.htm

.... In their article, Roy C. Herrenkohl, distinguished university
service professor at Lehigh, and M. Jean Russo, a Lehigh research
scientist, say evidence points to a strong link between child rearing
and early childhood aggression.

"Infants and preschoolers whose early socioemotional needs are not
appropriately met develop expectations that care is not available and
that others cannot be trusted or caring," the researchers say.
"Consequently, these children may view themselves as unworthy of such
care and become angry in the expectation that their needs will not be
met. This sense of deprivation gives rise to frustration and anger.

"Overly severe physical discipline in early childhood is one type of
violent behavior experienced at a time when the child is learning to
interact with the world. The experience of harsh, physical discipline
both terrorizes and humiliates the child, adding to the sense of
worthlessness and providing a model for coping in social interactions.
....

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/423496
.... Corporal punishment is associated with an increased risk of later
violence: peer violence, domestic violence, and suicide are all
correlated with parental reliance on corporal punishment. Nevertheless,
most American parents spank their children. According to Dr. Howard,
25% of children younger than 6 months old have been spanked, as have
40% of children 6-12 months old. Infants cannot understand the reason
that they are being spanked, and spanking interferes with attachment.

In contrast, parents who learn how to set firm limits without resorting
to violence teach their children a valuable lesson. Parents, in fact,
play enormously important roles in modeling how to deal with conflict
and frustration. There are a number of nonviolent negative
reinforcement techniques, ranging from the "hairy eyeball" to "time
out" models, Dr. Howard noted. ...

Comments?

As for reasons why parents might reasonably view spanking as the most
appropriate choice, I can think of some examples. First, some teenagers
would view a spanking - even a hard one - as less bad than the
alternative
their parents would choose if they don't spank.


Such as?

Second, parents might
decide that spanking makes sense because spankings don't cause nearly as
much long-term hassle and friction as forms of punishment that aren't
over
as quickly. (That would vary a lot depending on the personalities of
individual children.)


It sounds as though you are describing parents that have a more
punitive parenting style. Why must other alternaties cause long-term
hasle and friction? If I found my children doing something I
disapproved of, it was usually dispensed with in a few minutes and
unlikely to come up again.


Good for you. Have you had problems where your children shoplifted
repeatedly?


Nope. Not once, to my knowledge. I did myself at about age 6 though. I
simply was asked to make up for it to the druggist, someone we knew, by
sweeping his store for a week. I still can't pass a Baby Ruth candy bar
without a little shudder.

I wasn't spanked.

Where they drove home drunk?


Nope. My kids were very anti Drugs and alcohol. They still are, in
their forties. I had worked, when they were very small, in a drug rehab
program. I shared with them. 0:-]

Where they vandalized their
school?


My kids? Nope. They were homeschooled mostly.

There are parents who have had those problems, among other very
serious problems.


Yep, and I'd venture not a consistently non-spanking parent among them.


My guess is there are some non-spankers whose children might act out at
some point. My other guess is that they handle it pretty well by
non-punitive methods, and certainly not with CP.

I strongly support efforts to find ways to solve problems without needing
threats or punishments *IF* those ways can genuinely solve a problem without
giving children the idea that everyone else has to adjust to what they want.


One would have to be pretty stupid not to have ways that made clear
what the wanted behavior was. I've known a few parents that stupid.
They are ofte referred to as "permissive." I'm not one of those, nor
ever was.

But nonpunitive techniques can only work properly if the children choose to
cooperate.


Nope. If you can't figure out how to manage to make cooperation more
attractive then I wish you did not have children.

If children refuse to cooperate, and parents refuse to punish,
there is nothing at all to hold the chilren's behavior in check short of the
point where the police get involved.


Yep. Seems like this is a bit of a challenge.

However, what I have seen, quite consistently, is that this is the
problem spanking parents have, not non-spanking parents.

In fact, spanking itself, so destroys the relationship, that either the
child escapes the family and has to work out all the horrors as an
adult, or as a teen they really do kick out the jams, and the parent
can't hit them any more, or risk a punch in the face.

In fact spanking tends not to suppress unwanted behavior and MORE time
and hassle ensues. It also is a very weak deterent when the parent is
not actually supervising.


Which is why nonpunitive approaches are better - *IF* they work.


And you can say that punitive methods work more consistently? Really?

Where the hell have all these criminals come from? Drug addicts?
Mentally Ill?

Those things are a rarity in non-spanking families.

But an
imperfect deterrent can be better than none at all.


Are you arguing that non-spanking means doing nothing?

And third, the threat of spanking could be needed to
enforce the terms of some other punishment - and any credible threat
risks
the possibility that the threat will need to be carried out.


Teaching by threat?


Threats and punishments should NEVER be used as a replacement for teaching.


We agree.

But that doesn't mean they shouldn't ever be used as a backup for if
children choose to reject or ignore what they have been taught.


Give us an example.

snip

Bruising is injury.


I'm really not interested in word games.


Then don't play them yourself. You have repeatedly done so.

Cows and dogs are both mammals,
but that doesn't mean dogs chew their cud or cows bark. Substituting a more
general word like "injury" for a more specific one like "bruising" is far
more likely to obfuscate the truth than to clarify it.


A bruise is not an injury? Not according to medical literature.

ALL bruises are caused by injury. Though of course not all injuries
result in bruises. Grabbing a child and twisting their arm, say until
it breaks, might not leave surface visible bruising.

And if
there is a pattern of spankings hard enough to cause bruises, the
presumption has to be that either the bruising is deliberate or the
parent
is out of control.


I don't think it's a either or situation. If there is bruising there is
injury. Intent has little to do with it.


From both a moral perspective and, in many cases, a legal perspective, there
is a huge difference between deliberately inflicting an injury and
inflicting an injury by accident.


Yes. The issue is that even without intent, say as a spanking parent
would claim, intent turns out to not be relevant.

Failing to judge correctly IS.

It would be nice if parents had a magical
way of knowing exactly how hard they could spank a child without leaving
bruises.


Yep. My point exactly. They don't, as you appear to agree, so why using
CP at all?

But in real life, bruises can be a result of an honest mistake by
parents who misjudged how hard they could spank without bruising.


You could not argue for my point more successfully.

Laws have
to make some allowances for honest mistakes or else overzealous prosecutors
have the power to scare people away from even coming close to the limits of
what the law was intended to allow.


They do, currently. And also in the laws I would propose. The Swedish
model that has NO penalties whatsoever. The law is a social sanction
against CP, not a fine and lock'em up threat.

Although YOUR argument does have some small appeal, when I'm feeling
out of patience with underdeveloped in conscience folks that insist on
playing word games, and claim 'spanking' is not 'hitting,' and other
tricks of mind to fool themselves, apparently.

The child tends, when injured by the parent, to presume the parent
meant to injury, and that the child him or herself, deserved to be
injured.


With any but the youngest children, there is a simple solution if parents
realize they've spanked hard enough to cause bruises they didn't intend to.


So that would work when you punish your neighbor for mowing down your
bed of freshly planted petunias? Sock'm to teach'm and if it breaks
his jaw apologise.

Sure. That'll work.

They can apologize and explain that although they intended for the spanking
to hurt, they didn't intend for it to be hard enough to leave bruises.


I have a very important piece of information for you. It's about the
human body. If one hits hard enough to 'hurt' then there is an
extremely high probability it will leave injury.

That
way, the children can understand the difference between what the parents
intended (and thought the children deserved based on the seriousness of
their misbehavior)


Why is it an adult who has erred, even up to an including killing
others, can not be "spanked" as a punishment, but children can for
doing things that actually did no one any harm?

and what actually happened (which went beyond what the
parents thought their children deserved).


Which brings us back to, "why spank if other methods work at least as
well?"

I've watched adults posting to this newsgroup defend their own beatings
administered by their parents as 'deserved,' even when they were left
bloody as a result.


For what kinds of offenses?


Are you seriously going to argue that if the offense is serious enought
beating a child bloody is acceptable? Well, let's see if you do.

I would expect that either the offenses were
exceptionally serious, or the people taking that view haven't made much
effort to compare the seriousness of the punishments they received with the
seriousness of what they were being punished for.


Well, I guess you ARE arguing that with a serious enough offense it's
appropriate to beat the child until they bleed.

Am I mistaking your meaning?

I'll readily agree that when punishments of any kind are misused, they can
cause enormous and unjustified damage to children's self-esteem and to their
ability to see the difference between justice and overkill.


The highest incidence of 'spanking' is to those children that can NOT
understand why they are being spanking, and certainly are not able to
distinguish mistakes from intent. To them it's simply that mommy hits
me sometimes.

But that
doesn't mean I accept the opposite extreme of sending children the message
that they never deserve to be punished no matter how they behave.


This is always an interesting challenge. But pretty easily answered
when one stops the theorizing and get's real. As in the real world.

There is more than enough unpleasantness for most kinds of unwanted,
antisocial behavior.

If you respond, with the very young child, to wanted behavior with
energetic attention and meeting needs (this is even how animals do it)
you are starting off on the right track.

You don't need to set up an artificially concieved pain delivery
system.

Again and example: If a tiny child hurts you and you inadvertanly yelp
out loud, "OUCH!" because of built in instinctually imbedded reactions
humans have, you will startle that child and they will have an
unpleasant feeling...the one that goes with being startled.

That's ALL that needs to happen. You don't have to get a switch and lay
into them. They won't have the least idea what is going on, except that
you are a dangerous nut and they best start looking for ways to stay
safe around you.

In fact, the latter activity tends to make nutsos and criminals. Make a
child afraid of you and you lay the groundwork for survival skill
building...which just by coincidence, happen to be common to criminal
behavior.

Granted, this still leaves a gray area where the parent's motive is
unclear,
or it is unclear whether the severity of a spanking is warranted by the
seriousness of a child's behavior. But the sad truth is that we live in
a
world with a lot of gray in it, and wishing we could always draw clean
lines
between black and white doesn't make the gray go away.


We should not try, nevertheless?

From what I've seen, the only people who don't see a lot of shades of
gray
tend to be unthinking zealots who are so focused on an extreme position
that
they refuse to see any merit in arguments that conflict with their
preconceptions.


Personally I have no trouble seeing the continuum from a mild pat on
the bottom of say a diapered toddler to forcing a teen ager to drop
their pants and take a sever beating with a paddle, switch, strap, etc.


Of course there is a continuum.

My question has to do with where, exactly, on that continuum "spanking"
without injury leaves off and abusive injury takes place.


Your question here tries to force the issue into a much more simplistic
model than I consider appropriate.


You may "consider" what you wish. I consider it to be fundamental to
the problems associated with chosing to hit children and try to call it
something else.

When I look at the issue, I don't see a
line between "spanking" and "abuse."


That's right. There isn't any line.

Rather, I see a continuum, with
punishments that I consider clearly reasonable on one end; punishments I
consider clearly abusive on the other; and a gray area in between where I
see room for honest, reasonable people to disagree or be unsure about
whether the punishments should be considered reasonable, abusive, or perhaps
neither one.


Then why chose to use methods that are risky at best, and often not
only unsuccessful, but counter productive?

Further, in my view, those areas move depending on how serious a child's
misbehavior is. The same punishment could be in the "clearly abusive" range
for a child who accidentally spills a glass of milk, but in the :"clearly
reasonable" range if a child who is clearly old enough to know better
commits the crime of shoplifting.


At what age does a child "know better?"

The closest I can come to a single clear line is that spanking hard enough
to leave bruises is almost always in the "clearly abusive" part of the
continuum.


So if you can't see the injuries it's okay? Black children with darker
skin, for instance, don't show bruising as easily...but it is there,
medically speaking.

But because the divisions in the continuum move depending on the
seriousness of a child's misbehavior, there are some extreme cases where I
don't regard spanking hard enough to leave bruises as in the "clearly
abusive" range.


I preferred not to experiment on my children. I chose the 'easy way'
out. I simply did not hit them as a means of disciplining them.

And I regard that kind of zealotry as a whole lot more
dangerous than accepting the existence of shades of gray.


Well let's look at that.

Let's say you would call me a zealot.


Frankly, I see no point in name calling as such. The reason I brought up
the issue of zealotry was to point out the danger of trying to force issues
into simplistic black-and-white models when the issues are too complex for
any simple black-and-white model to be complete and accurate.


Neither side has a lock on what is complete and accurate.

But what I can be absolutely sure of is that CP risks injury, long and
short term, that non-CP methods don't.

snip

I believe from evidence I've seen both empirically and in data, that
even mild spanking has a fairly strong risk of producing psychological
injury if not physical.


Unless the evidence has gotten a lot better than what Chris Dugan got me to
look at a few years ago, I think you're overreaching. Straus and
Mouradian's 1998 study identified a group of spanking parents - those who
never spanked as a result of having "lost it" - who had essentially the same
results as non-spanking parents.


I am completely at sea in trying to figure out what you just said. Can
you help me understand it better?

Further, the studies I've looked at
consistently failed to account for the fact that a lot of parents who start
off planning not to spank are willing to change their minds if they don't
like the results they get without spanking.


Your proof would be?

That creates a potential for
the category of non-spanking parents to escape responsibility for
significant numbers of its less successful outcomes


It does?

It seems to me that pro spankers keep coming up with projections. They
presume all this failure on the part of non-spankers without actually
looking at facts.

I know hundreds of non-spanking families, some of whom were once
spankers, and they consistently have better behaved children with fewer
problems of all kinds.

Even the former spankers ... in fact especially the former spankers ...
report wonderful results from cultivating non-punitive parenting
methods. And I don't mean just non CP methods, but turning
energetically to NON punishment methods.

Showing a child, for instance, who is doing an unwanted behavior what
the wanted behavior is is really quite simple and in the best tradition
of teaching.

I do see all sorts of mistakes that parents can make in regard to when and
how they use spanking. Spanking can't function as a viable substitute for
teaching - for helping children to genuinely understand why particular
behaviors are good or bad.


Then I cannot help but ask, why use it at all?

Spanking isn't anywhere near as reliable a
technique as finding solutions that children are willing to cooperate with
voluntarily - if such solutions can be found. Spanking can't make children
magically be able to live up to unrealistic expectations. :Spanking can't
have much effect on children's behavior if children don't have a reasonably
clear understanding of what kinds of behavior are likely to result in
spankings. Threats of spankings can become essentially worthless if they
are almost always empty.


This last is never a problem for non-spankers, as long as they are not
those strange souls who drift from permissiveness to screaming threats.


And they are rare indeed among non-spankers. It's more often spankers
who do this shifting and bobbing about that create the most mentally
disturbed children.

So there are a lot of situations where I would
expect parents who spank not to get good results, either because they aren't
using the tool properly or because they are relying on it too much at the
expense of other, more important tools.


I can't disagree with you, and I also can't resist telling you once
again this isn't a problem for non-punitive parenting families.

But trying to get from there to the idea that all uses of spanking
inherently create unacceptable risks is a huge leap. And so far, I haven't
seen any evidence that supports that leap.


Then you haven't read the literature. From researchers to working
pediatricians, it's all out there. You only need to come to it without
a bias in favor of spanking. A very hard thing to do, apparently. I
admire that that can.

I recall a poster here as I recall, who went from being a spanker to a
non-spanker. It was as though he experienced a different reality. Which
of course, he did.

Another one tried, and went back to being a spanker. Reading his posts
over time and the 'fundy" (not religious, just fundy style thinking)
thinking he exhibitied made clear that the non-punitive method he chose
was impossible for him to incorporate.

I felt very sad about that, though I certainly didn't let him off the
hook for it.

Sometimes we have to push through our biases and keep working the
problem out.

I've seen mild "spankings" gradually over time
escalate into majory beatings that injure the child...and that
progression from milder "spanking" not working.

In fact from the viewpoint of a behaviorist model it appears the parent
is teaching the child to grow more accustomed to more pain. Very
strange thinking to my mind.


How often have you seen that happen when parents' expectations were
reasonable and the parents didn't get in a power struggle over something
that wasn't all that important?


The use of spanking IS evidence of a power struggle.

And to the child the issue no longer is on the table. Only the pain is.


Adults who report on parental use of CP are consistent in reporting
this. They can remember the spankings, but they cannot remember the
'lesson' supposedly being taught. They can't remember their "offense,"
most of the occurances of spanking for it.

Often when they DO remember it's because they were older, and because
so often the offense didn't warrant the injuries the CP left on body
and mind.

I did not believe, until early this past year that passing legislation
to ban spanking was a wise thing to do.

Watching the arguments in this newsgroup, and those put forward in the
media by spanking advocates (who themselves seemed to be speaking in
zealot jargon...no basis in fact, just unsupported claims) it occured
to me I've been expecting things to improve in this area of teaching by
pain and humiliation since I was about 19 years old. So far, not enough
progress.


Conversely, when someone like you


What am I "like?"

puts forth a theoretical model of "how
children react to being spanked,"


It's not theoretical. It's what children, and later adults, have told
me. Both personally and in clinical reports and studies.

and I know that the model is not an
accurate representation of how I reacted to being spanked,


The letter I just referred you back to is a case in point. This
insightful woman points out that she had to structure her reality to
deny her own pain.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Many victims of childhood spanking repeatedly mistake the facts....that
are gathered from other families members, including their own siblings
who witnessed the spankings.

I don't view
claims based on the model as credible. Some of your claims aren't just
unsupported. They say things that I know from personal experience are off
target - or, at the very least, not reliably on target.


I posted recently, and no, it was just yesterday so YOU can look it up
or not as your fancy takes you, a long letter by a women that discussed
her reaction to being spanked as a child.

Read it.

We all have different viewpoints even on things that we both
experienced exactly the same. We don't think we did, of course.

The reality is that people's personal experiences in their own lives ARE
facts.


You are presuming a mistaken notion. We find so often that personal
experience is so colored by the person that indeed they do NOT conform
to the facts.

As police investigators who specialize in interviewing victims and
witnesses.

And when opponents of spanking make a lot of claims that conflict
with those facts, it tends to destroy their credibility.


No it doesn't. Not if you insist on claims like people's remembered
experience being a 'fact.'

I think the whole issue is a lot more complex than people on either side
give it credit for being.


I don't. Not to someone that's made a nearly lifelong study of it.

Opponents pay so much attention to situations
where spanking doesn't work that they ignore the situations where it does
produce useful effects,


On the contrary. That's exactly what IS examined.

while supporters largely ignore how dangerous
spanking can be when parents make mistakes in how they use it or rely on it
too much.


Not only do they ignore, but they deny in the face of actual injury.

So I proposed, which has been routinely lied about by some posters as
"forcing parents to conform," we introduce the Swedish model.

Legislation to encourage and support a change in attitude in all of
society, where spanking is seen as offensive and poor parenting, with
of course the law providing a way to deliver VOLUNTEER services to
families that wish to learn less punitive parenting methods.

As in Sweden, I suggest no penalties for violating this law.


In my view, making something illegal without enforcing the law is a bad idea
because it weakens respect for laws in general.


So many people are raised with the punitive model for controlling human
behavior they are immune to the reality of how social sanctions can and
do work.

If research ever reaches a
point where such blanket opposition to spanking would be justified, I would
consider a resolution more appropriate than a law that turns parents who
spank into technical lawbreakers without any serious attempt to enforce the
law.


A "resolution?"

Explain please.

I think services helping parents learn less punitive parenting methods could
be a wonderful thing - as long as parents aren't forced to swallow
anti-spanking propaganda as a condition for using the services.


If ever there was a propaganda loaded statement ... "forced to swallow
anti-spanking propaganda."

I put carefully researched data on this newsgroup, and immediately it's
attacked as 'propaganda.'

A ploy. By propagandists themselves, who provide nothing in the way of
research to support the claims of spanking as being effective.

There are a
lot of nonpunitive techniques that can be highly useful regardless of
whether or not parents view spanking as a viable option if their other
efforts fail. But the whole point of freedom of speech and of the press is
that people are supposed to be able to disagree with each other without
undue interference from government.


I'm not arguing that we, either of us, be proscribed from debating this
issue publicly.

If government refuses to support parent
training unless it expresses particular, controversial opinions about how
bad spanking supposedly is, that would be a serious breach of freedom of
speech and/or of the press.


No it wouldn't.

Where do you get such strange ideas?

In fact the very claim YOU make applies to trying to force training to
NOT discuss the limitations and dangers of spanking.

YOU and those 'like you' have NO proof that spanking is NOT injurious.
And none that shows it is effective in any away more than non-CP
methods.

So I submit that in fact YOU are trying to censor training to represent
YOUR propaganda...that spanking is not harmful.

Now THAT is zealotry.

For that I've been called a zealot.

It's odd, if one examines certain odd things obout our laws relating to
spanking.

I presume you are arguing that spanking is a good thing.


I certainly do not adopt a blanket view that spanking is a good thing. I
think there are situations where punishing misbehavior is better than
allowing it to go unpunished,


Then logically you are arguing that spanking is a good thing.

You are mincing words.

and in some of those situations, spanking can
offer advantages over other forms of punishment.


Name them. Describe them. Give us examples.

But I think it's better if
parents (and other caregivers) can find ways to reduce the need for
punishment.


I'll say.

Reduce crime, mental illness, injury, addiction. Yep, I'm with you on
that one.


I don't support laws that require us to do 'good things.'

Like I would fight any law that said I had to take vitamins. I'll take
them if I wish.

Yet every state, with one exception, has had to pass laws that
expressly protect this "good thing" called spanking.

Why would that be necessary if we really believed that spanking was a
"good thing?"


In order for you to take vitamins legally, there can't be a law against
taking vitamins.


In order for parents to spank legally, there can't be a
law against spanking.


Yep.

All the laws that "protect" spanking really do is
prevent other laws (or other portions of the same laws) from making it
illegal.


As I said, if it's such a good thing, why do we need laws protecting
it?

I think the answer is obvious, even using your argument.

Further, spanking is merely one of many areas where laws treat children
differently from adults. Precedent speaks very loudly against the idea that
laws have to treat children the same as adults.


That was once, and still survives in some very sick ways, stated about
blacks and women.

They were "different."

They weren't, aren't, and neither are children in precisely the way we
are arguing about.

There is no more reason to believe that the infliction of pain is more
reasonable to teach a child than to teach an adult.

We KNOW that the infliction of pain can reduce learning.

Sometime I'll run across that study again, but it as scientifically
proven by direct experimentation on human subjects. (I think that's
illegal now). Subjects attempting to learn a task, about as complicated
to an adults as handling the glass of milk might be to a child, were
subjected to pain, some to more, some to less, some to none.

Want to guess how it came out, or does you bias allow it self to be set
aside for adults, but remain in place for children.

Pain and humiliation are NOT teaching tools that actually do teach the
lesson desire.

Well, unless one is a fascist and wishes to create more fascists.

No law, no statute, by the way, defines where the line is between safe
CP and abusive hitting.

The ONLY way you can tell from the law is after the fact. You know you
have crossed the line if you draw blood, or break bones, etc. And even
if you do it enough that it becomes psychologically injurious to the
child.

But why can't the law state clearly how hard, how often, with what, at
what stroke frequency, a parent can spank, based on the child's age,
and physical and psychological condition?

We don't put professional athletes on the field without a great deal of
monitoring by medical personnel to determine if they are fit to take
the rigors of their sport.

Yet we expect parents to be experts in gauging this condition readying
them to safely receive Corporal Punishment....and we see those parents
fail again and again injurying their child when they claim they only
meant to "discipline."


The catch is that good parents are the world's foremost experts on their own
children.


Not even according to them. Not even according to them. It's a self
delusion that they learn, if they can listen objectively to their adult
children, was not true.

As a result, people who regard themselves as good parents are
extremely reluctant to surrender their authority to strangers.


I hope you wouldn't argue that "bad parents" are any less willing to
surrender authority to anyone.

And it's
hard to design laws that stop bad parents without threatening the freedom of
good parents - especially when there are horror stories about overzealous
social workers and prosecutors who deliberately stretch their authority a
lot farther than it was intended to go.


Similar arguments can be presented for laws that deal with bigotry and
misogynation.

I've seen them. The civil rights movement being a case in point.

In theory, it might be possible to design limits that are loose enough and
flexible enough that a broad consensus could form around them. But in order
to get a consensus, people who want greater restrictions on spankiing would
have to lead the way (since they are the ones who tend to want change), yet
those people would have to support a proposal that accepts much looser
limits than they really want.


Your concept falls in on itself by the use of a requirement for
'consensus.'

We certainly didn't have concensus about an end to slavery and to
prohibitions concerning women's rights.

Also, the idea of widespread psychological evaluations would probably be a
deal-breaker.


I've not argued for that. Nor would I.

When and if I have kids, I would consider it completely
outrageous for a law to presume that a psychologist or psychiatrist can
spend a couple hours with my kids and magically know what is best for them
better than I do. And I'm sure a lot of other people would feel the same
way.


The model I suggested has no requirement for psychological evaluations.


Strauss remarked on this. I'll have to paraphrase, but basically he
pointed out that we have other effective methods of teaching and even
if spanking were as effect spanking still has a built in risk factor
the other methods don't.

What does work?

Well, it's well known that negative attention to unwanted behavior can
and does reinforce that behavior especially in the age range that is
spanked most often, the toddler to five.


The way you word this makes it sound like the problem is almost inevitable,


It is. As a parent. What happens when you tell a small child to stop
jumping on the furniture?

rather than something that may or may not occur with any given child. Is
that your intent? And if so, how do you justify such a broad
characterization?


Because children are, the younger they are, more alike in fundamental
ways developmentally.

They all need pretty much the same access to the invironment and to do
the same experiments.

Take the one where they repeat a particular movement, over and over
again, like gently banging their heels on the couch while sitting
watching TV, or reading a book.

Even the most careful non-punitive method of intervention is unlikely
to succeed in stopping such behavior at a certain age. Nature is
driving it.

The child needs to keep moving. The building of their circulatory
system demands it.

Positive attention to unwanted behavior by way of showing the child the
desired replacement behavior is the key. And this is not brain surgery.
It's really very simple if we let go of our "control" issues.


Are you sure this characterization is accurate?


Having done it thousands of times? Yes, I'd say so.

If the problem is a child's
not understanding negatives like "don't," I can see how this could work very
well.


In fact you have presented the perfect example of just when such
replacement WILL work.

The response would be, 'honey, don't do that, do this.' But I wouldn't
say it that way, on the off chance my momentary mention of the unwanted
behavior might be heard more clearly than my offer of the replacement
behavior.

I'd simply tell a child, say that was badgering me for a snack, "you
can eat anything you wish on your section of the bottom shelf of the
refridgerator."

And of course I'd have anticipated this, as I did when my children were
growing, and have those finger foods available for them that I felt
most would meet their need.

Occasionally I'd try new foods there, and because there was no
pressure, and THEY could make a choice between things, they try out new
foods.

My son got hooked on string beans. But eventually got over that
addiction when he discovered cut up potato chunks. Then it was...well,
you get the idea.

But if the problem is a child's misbehaving to get attention, is what
you describe sufficient to stop the child from engaging in the unwanted
behavior in order to get attention?


And you can't see that child handing you a tool for teaching?

Dear me. I'm stumped.

If YOU don't get it from your own example you have to be blocked from
seeing my explanation.

Should I give up now?

Oh ****, I can't resist.

The need for attention is the tool built in by nature for strong
learning experiences.

You will either give that child NEGATIVE attention (which can include
ignoring as well as spanking) or you can give them positive attention
in the form of teaching wanted behavior.

Now, have I oversimplified, or do you see the light coming on over your
head?

Hell, you yourself claim that other tools beside spanking need to take
precedence.

Certainly this is one of those.

This depiction of children as little bundles of contrary wilfully
disobedient creatures seems to be a constant theme in the spanking
crowd.

Dobson made a bundle writing books about it and how to torture the
child into submission.

I guess he knew his audience.

Kane

  #13  
Old December 6th 06, 06:46 PM posted to alt.parenting.spanking,alt.usage.english
Daniel al-Autistiqui
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Teenagers faced with spankings

On 6 Dec 2006 10:30:24 -0800, "0:-" wrote:

And they are rare indeed among non-spankers. It's more often spankers
who do this shifting and bobbing about that create the most mentally
disturbed children.


Why did you say "rare"?

daniel mcgrath
--
Daniel Gerard McGrath, a/k/a "Govende":
for e-mail replace "invalid" with "com"

Developmentally disabled;
has Autism (Pervasive Developmental Disorder),
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,
& periodic bouts of depression.
[This signature is under construction.]

  #14  
Old December 6th 06, 07:04 PM posted to alt.parenting.spanking,alt.usage.english
Ray O'Hara
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Teenagers faced with spankings


"Daniel al-Autistiqui" wrote in message
...
On 6 Dec 2006 10:30:24 -0800, "0:-" wrote:


Faced?


  #15  
Old December 6th 06, 08:09 PM posted to alt.parenting.spanking,alt.usage.english
0:->
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,968
Default Teenagers faced with spankings


Daniel al-Autistiqui wrote:
On 6 Dec 2006 10:30:24 -0800, "0:-" wrote:

And they are rare indeed among non-spankers. It's more often spankers
who do this shifting and bobbing about that create the most mentally
disturbed children.


Why did you say "rare"?


Because it's true.

It's spankers that more often have among them parents that are
inconsistent.

Non-spankers, because they don't have a spanking "backup" tend to
remain consistent in the tools they do use. To put it bluntly, it's a
superior set of tools.

And so easy and pleasant to use, why not do so?

My observation.

What's yours?


Kane



daniel mcgrath
--
Daniel Gerard McGrath, a/k/a "Govende":
for e-mail replace "invalid" with "com"

Developmentally disabled;
has Autism (Pervasive Developmental Disorder),
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,
& periodic bouts of depression.
[This signature is under construction.]


  #16  
Old December 7th 06, 11:44 AM posted to alt.parenting.spanking
Nathan A. Barclay
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Teenagers faced with spankings


"0:-" wrote in message
ps.com...
Nathan A. Barclay wrote:


If parents have completely unrealistic expectations, the
results can be tragic, especially if the parents feel like it's their
duty
to force their children to live up to their unrealistic expecations no
matter how harsh a punishment is required.


We are in agreement. And here in this newsgroup, aps, I have seen again
and again, pro spankers discuss circumstances where they would spank,
and demonstrating they have extremely unrealistic expectations of
children. The idea that any child, for instance, under the age of 12 or
so, would "willfully disobey." It's nonsense.

They are following natural imperatives to explore the universe. All an
aware parent needs to do is learn how to question and investigate and
when the parent has figured out (even if wrong) some probable natural
imperative the child is reacting to, simply show them how to get their
appropriately. Wanted behavior replacing unwanted behavior.

This isn't rocket science, and no child with parents that can figure
this out is "spanked." It's too damned obvious to a parent that can
think, and is compassionate (even in the absence of exact evidence)
that the child does not need spanking to learn.


My personal experience from when I was a child proves beyond any possible
doubt that you are wrong about this. Sometimes children simply decide that
something that they've been told not to do is enough fun that they want to
do it anyhow. Granted, if parents take enough time, they can often find a
way to redirect the children's choices by offering them something that's
almost as much fun, or maybe even more fun, that they wouldn't have to feel
guilty about doing. But that doesn't mean the children's disobedience isn't
willful.

When I read your claim, I started thinking back trying to find the first
occasions when I can be absolutely sure that I willfully disobeyed my
parents - where I knew I wasn't allowed to do something but made a
deliberate choice to do it anyhow. I can come up with two situations when I
was no older than six, and possibly younger. (I know I couldn't have been
older because we moved to a different house when I was six, but beyond that,
I have no way of pinpointing my age.)

One situation involved playing with the shower curtain in a way that had the
bottom of the curtain in the tub but had it draped over the side hanging
over the outside so my younger brother and I could put water in the part of
the curtain where it sagged over the outside. (It's kind of hard to
explain.) My brother and I had been told repeatedly not to do it because my
parents were afraid we'd break the shower curtain. But I couldn't figure
out how what we were doing could break it, and I knew I was being too
careful to spill water outside the tub, so I wasn't inclined to give up my
fun and obey my parents. As it turned out, the shower curtain did break,
and my brother and I got in trouble. (The flaw in my reasoning was that I
didn't even begin to comprehend that the place that would break was where
the curtain was held up by hooks through holes, far above my head. Now I
can recognize that the stress on the holes was vastly greater than the
stress on the part I was paying attention to as a little kid.)

The other early occasion I remember involved vitamin pills. We didn't
generally have candy around, but chewable vitamin pills tasted good, and
there were times when I snuck extra ones even though I knew I wasn't
supposed to.

I'll strongly agree that a lot of things young children do are caused by
things other than willful disobedience. Sometimes they don't even
understand that they are doing something wrong. Other times, they forget
about rules they are supposed to obey - especially if they get carried away
with what they are doing. But the idea that children have to be around age
12 before they are capable of making willful choices to disobey is
completely preposterous.

But overreacting to one extreme by rushing to the other is not a
particularly rational response. Or should we outlaw cars just because
some
people drive drunk?


I'm unable to find in your posts, other than by allusion, what the two
extremes are. I can presume that beating is at one extreme, and not
spanking at all, is at the other.


Merely choosing not to spank is not, in my view, an extreme position. The
people I regard as genuine extremists are people who refuse to accept any
possibility that spanking can ever be a useful tool - who refuse to accept a
possibility that their own opinion regarding spanking might not be entirely
on target. And that is especially true when such people seek to use
government power to push or force their view that spanking is always,
inherently harmful onto others.

Similarly, I regard people who believe it's impossible to rear children
successfully without ever spanking them as extremists on the other side -
albeit a different kind of extremists from those who take the severity of
the spankings to extremes.

What will happen if you don't spank?


What happens if parents don't spank depends a lot on the children and on
what the parents do in the way of alternatives. There seem to be quite a
few families that can do fine without spanking. But that doesn't mean that
all families would do equally well without it. Nor, for that matter, does
the fact that a family can do fine without spanking serve as proof that the
family wouldn't have done better with it if the parents used spanking in a
careful way. The whole issue is extremely complex.

The current data collected on this, internationally, by surveying
parents, show that regardless of the accepting or rejecting mindset
there are unwanted negative consequences. I posted that recently here.


I'm not in a mood to go hunting through everything you've posted here
recently.


That's okay.

If you want to recount the data, or to give me a clear indication
of where to look, I'm willing to listen, but I don't intend to spend a
lot
of time here this time around.


Not a problem. Don't go getting all huffy on me. I can't see where
threatening to leave is a very effective response.


Not a threat, and not getting huffy. Just a statement of fact. I looked in
on the newsgroup thinking if Chris Dugan was still active here (which he no
longer seems to be), I'd ask him a question about the current state of
research. In the process, I stumbled across your question about the line
between a "hard spanking" and abuse, and I figured I'd offer an answer. But
I really don't need to be putting a lot of time into a discussion here. I
appreciate your reposting the information so I can look at it without having
to go on a hunt.

I might just forget you and let you go, unless you wish to make a
commitment to carry through on your commentary, arguments, and claims.
0:-]

Popping in and out is Troll behavior. Tsk.


Popping in and out can also be a result of a person's having more interest
in a subject than he has (or is willing to take) time to discuss it.

But, sigh I'm a sucker for a good argument, got one? Here's what you
asked for.

I posted this just yesterday, in fact, and it refers, at the beginning,
to a prior post of mine in April of this year.

I posted the following in April of this year.

From: 0:- - view profile
Date: Sun, Apr 16 2006 10:44 am
Email: "0:-"
Groups: alt.parenting.spanking
Not yet rated
Rating:
show options
Reply | Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show
original | Remove | Report Abuse | Find messages by this author

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1114110820.htm

" ... The researchers found differences in how often mothers used
physical discipline and the mothers' perceptions of how often other
parents used physical discipline. Specifically:

* Mothers in Thailand were least likely to physically discipline
their children, followed by mothers in China, the Philippines, Italy,
India, and Kenya, with mothers in Kenya most likely to physically
discipline their children.
* More frequent use of physical discipline was less strongly
associated with child aggression and anxiety when it was perceived as
being more culturally accepted, but physical discipline was also
associated with more aggression and anxiety regardless of the
perception
of cultural acceptance.
* In countries in which physical discipline was more common and
culturally accepted, children who were physically disciplined were less
aggressive and less anxious than children who were physically
disciplined in countries where physical discipline was rarely used.
* In all countries, however, higher use of physical discipline was
associated with more child aggression and anxiety. ... "

Those last sentences pretty much says it all for the argument that
where cultures accept more CP it doesn't result in aberrent reactions
in children.


I think you are reading too much into the words "associated with."
Statistical associations can be a result of inherent cause-and-effect
relationships, or of cause-and-effect relationships that occur only some of
the time, or of having the same factors that can cause one thing also be
able to cause another. There can even be other, even more complex
interrelationships. It would take a lot of additional (and much deeper)
research to make a scientifically sound determination of which is actually
the case.

From my experience with teachers when I was in school, I would expect major
links between spanking and insecurity to show up in cases where parents (or
teachers) are so strict that children routinely worry that they might
accidentally do something that gets them in trouble. The problem would be
even worse if parents have unrealistic expectations, thereby making it
essentially impossible for the children to reliably stay out of trouble even
when they are trying to behave, or if parents have a hair trigger that
almost anything can set off when they are in a bad mood. On the other hand,
if children feel comfortable that they won't get in trouble as long as they
are trying to behave, the only time the prospect of spanking would give them
a reason to feel insecure is when they are doing or have recently done
something they know was wrong.

Now consider what happens if you average those scenarios together without
trying to distinguish between them. Such an average gives you a causal link
between spanking and insecurity even though the link is a serious problem
only in certain types of situations. So I don't see any reason for parents
to worry about creating excessive insecurity as long as they try to give
their children the benefit of a reasonable number of reasonable doubts.

By the way, in the long term, too much security can be at least as dangerous
to children as not enough. If children's actions don't ever have
consequences, how are children supposed to learn to think before they act?

The next is a smaller study on the use of aggressively harsh CP to
preschool aged children.

I've seen posters defend the use of such methods as being "up to the
parent to decide."


snip

In my view, if parents resort to harsh punishments of children that young,
something is almost certainly very seriously wrong. My likely suspects are
that either the parents' expectations are unreasonable, or the parents'
expectations are so unclear or inconsistent that the children can't figure
out how they need to behave to stay out of trouble. Either way, spanking
harder isn't going to solve the problem.

I've long thought that the limits on the severity of corporal punishment
ought to depend on what a child is being punished for. Parents should have
relatively wide latitude in how they punish behavior that they can
reasonably view as exceptionally serious, assuming their children are old
enough to understand how serious the behavior is. But giving parents the
same latitude when a four-year-old spills a glass of milk is absurd.


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/423496
... Corporal punishment is associated with an increased risk of later
violence: peer violence, domestic violence, and suicide are all
correlated with parental reliance on corporal punishment. Nevertheless,
most American parents spank their children. According to Dr. Howard,
25% of children younger than 6 months old have been spanked, as have
40% of children 6-12 months old. Infants cannot understand the reason
that they are being spanked, and spanking interferes with attachment.

In contrast, parents who learn how to set firm limits without resorting
to violence teach their children a valuable lesson. Parents, in fact,
play enormously important roles in modeling how to deal with conflict
and frustration. There are a number of nonviolent negative
reinforcement techniques, ranging from the "hairy eyeball" to "time
out" models, Dr. Howard noted. ...

Comments?


It never ceases to amaze me how badly parents can misuse spanking. The
irony is that the more I know about how badly a lot of parents misuse
spanking, the harder it is for me to accept correlations between spanking
and adverse outcomes as evidence that ALL uses of spanking are
counterproductive. There is simply too much room for the bad parents to be
dragging down the average.

It sounds as though you are describing parents that have a more
punitive parenting style. Why must other alternaties cause long-term
hasle and friction? If I found my children doing something I
disapproved of, it was usually dispensed with in a few minutes and
unlikely to come up again.


Before I go on, I'll point out that you used the word "punitive" here.
Since you did, I wrote my response talking about punishment in general, not
specifically about spanking. But some pieces of your response to what I
wrote look as if you're assuming I used "punish" as a synonym for "spank."

I know a lot of people seem to think as if spanking were the only punishment
that really counts. But I try to be careful to use "spank" when I am
talking specifically about spanking, and use "punish" when the arguments I
am writing apply to punishments in general rather than only to spanking. In
many cases, I shift from talking specifically about spanking to talking
about punishment in general because I believe the same or very similar
issues also apply to other forms of punishment. That being the case, it is
important to keep an eye on which term I am using at any given time.

The reason why I made the shift to talking about punishment in general in
this case is that arguments against "punitive" parenting styles are only
arguments against spanking in situations where there is a practical,
genuinely nonpunitive alternative to spanking. To the extent that some kind
of punishment is sometimes necessary, a completely nonpunitive parenting
style is no longer an option. Therefore, the choice in those particular
situations is not between nonpunitive parenting and spanking, but is merely
between spanking and some other form of punishment.

Good for you. Have you had problems where your children shoplifted
repeatedly?


Nope. Not once, to my knowledge. I did myself at about age 6 though. I
simply was asked to make up for it to the druggist, someone we knew, by
sweeping his store for a week. I still can't pass a Baby Ruth candy bar
without a little shudder.

I wasn't spanked.


No, you were punished in a different way. But what happened to you was a
far cry from "dispensed with in a few minutes." In fact, I strongly suspect
that more than a few kids would choose a spanking over having to sweep up
for a week.

I agree with you that it's good when parents can find ways to solve problems
without resorting to threats and punishments. But that doesn't mean
nonpunitive techniques are always sufficient.

Where they drove home drunk?


Nope. My kids were very anti Drugs and alcohol. They still are, in
their forties. I had worked, when they were very small, in a drug rehab
program. I shared with them. 0:-]

Where they vandalized their
school?


My kids? Nope. They were homeschooled mostly.

There are parents who have had those problems, among other very
serious problems.


Yep, and I'd venture not a consistently non-spanking parent among them.


How many seriously bad parents in our society choose to be consistently
non-spanking parents? There is a huge problem of self-selection bias in
trying to compare spanking parents with non-spanking parents in current-day
America, and if any study has even come close to doing an adequate job of
controlling for that problem, I'm not aware of it.

My guess is there are some non-spankers whose children might act out at
some point. My other guess is that they handle it pretty well by
non-punitive methods, and certainly not with CP.


My guess is that a lot of parents who start off planning not to spank change
their minds because they aren't happy with the results they get without
spanking. The ones that stay non-spankers tend to be the ones who have
better-than-average success with alternatives, either because they have
better parenting skills and are willing to put more effort into making
alternatives work, or because their children are more naturally cooperative.
The ones that change their minds and start spanking are probably
disproportionately likely to be bad parents no matter whether they spank or
not. If this guess is right, it throws the results of studies on the
subject way out of kilter - especially in regard to what we could expect if
we banned spanking.

I strongly support efforts to find ways to solve problems without needing
threats or punishments *IF* those ways can genuinely solve a problem
without
giving children the idea that everyone else has to adjust to what they
want.


One would have to be pretty stupid not to have ways that made clear
what the wanted behavior was. I've known a few parents that stupid.
They are ofte referred to as "permissive." I'm not one of those, nor
ever was.

But nonpunitive techniques can only work properly if the children choose
to
cooperate.


Nope. If you can't figure out how to manage to make cooperation more
attractive then I wish you did not have children.


So how would you deal with a case of repeated shoplifting in a genuinely
nonpunitive way?

If children refuse to cooperate, and parents refuse to punish,
there is nothing at all to hold the chilren's behavior in check short of
the
point where the police get involved.


Yep. Seems like this is a bit of a challenge.

However, what I have seen, quite consistently, is that this is the
problem spanking parents have, not non-spanking parents.


Probably because the non-spanking parents you know do punish their children
in ways other than spanking if the situation gets serious enough.

In fact, spanking itself, so destroys the relationship, that either the
child escapes the family and has to work out all the horrors as an
adult, or as a teen they really do kick out the jams, and the parent
can't hit them any more, or risk a punch in the face.


You seem to write as if you think all parents who spank are the same. They
aren't.

When parents do their job properly, they stop relying on "I'm bigger than
you" as the primary basis for their authority when their children are young,
and start building a different foundation by earning their children's trust
and respect. To the extent that the parents continue to punish their
children sometimes, the children understand that there are reasons behind
their parents' expectations, and that the expectations are not just
arbitrary bullying of someone bigger over someone smaller. The children
might not always agree with the parents' reasons, but they can at least
respect the fact that their parents are trying to do what they believe is
right. So when the children are too big for the parents to use physical
force to enforce a punishment, the parent-child relationship still has a
solid foundation under it.

The kind of disaster scenario you're painting here sounds more like what I
would expect if parents don't make the transition - if parents keep trying
to rely on physical power as the foundation for their authority without ever
earning their children's trust and respect. Or, worse, if the parents use
their authority in ways their children view as fundamentally unfair, and
perhaps as not even making much effort to be fair. In that kind of
situation, spanking can maintain a limited amount of control for however
long the kids are small enough to be spanked. But when the kids get too
big, the whole situation can easily fall apart because there isn't really
anything else to hold it together.

You mention having worked in a drug rehab program. I suspect that your view
of spanking may be colored by having been exposed far more to the worst
outcomes from parents who spanked than from the best.

In fact spanking tends not to suppress unwanted behavior and MORE time
and hassle ensues. It also is a very weak deterent when the parent is
not actually supervising.


Which is why nonpunitive approaches are better - *IF* they work.


And you can say that punitive methods work more consistently? Really?


It's not either/or. Parents can use nonpunitive methods most of the time
but keep punishment available as an option for situations where nonpunitive
methods aren't working.

Where the hell have all these criminals come from? Drug addicts?
Mentally Ill?

Those things are a rarity in non-spanking families.


They are also a rarity in spanking families where the parents have a strong,
generally positive relationship with their children, are they not?

I recognize that there is a subset of spanking parents whose abusive,
extremely negative, and/or neglectful parenting styles give rise to a huge
proportion of society's problems. But blaming the entire category of
spanking parents for the problems those parents create is both unfair and
logically unsound.

But an
imperfect deterrent can be better than none at all.


Are you arguing that non-spanking means doing nothing?


No. There are all sorts of other punishments that parents could use
instead. But they would have the same "when the parent is not actually
supervising" problem that spanking does, wouldn't they? In fact, some, such
as grounding, can be even more problematical because the child can violate
the terms of the punishment if the parent isn't willing or able to supervise
closely.

Threats and punishments should NEVER be used as a replacement for
teaching.


We agree.

But that doesn't mean they shouldn't ever be used as a backup for if
children choose to reject or ignore what they have been taught.


Give us an example.


How about the situation where you shoplifted? Should you not have been
punished for that?

snip

Bruising is injury.


I'm really not interested in word games.


Then don't play them yourself. You have repeatedly done so.

Cows and dogs are both mammals,
but that doesn't mean dogs chew their cud or cows bark. Substituting a
more
general word like "injury" for a more specific one like "bruising" is far
more likely to obfuscate the truth than to clarify it.


A bruise is not an injury? Not according to medical literature.

ALL bruises are caused by injury. Though of course not all injuries
result in bruises. Grabbing a child and twisting their arm, say until
it breaks, might not leave surface visible bruising.


My point is that calling a bruise a bruise is the most accurate and precise
way to talk about it. Substituting a different word loses precision, so I
can't see any reason why you would do it unless you're playing a word game
trying to use connotations attached to the word "injury" to make bruises
sound worse than they are.

From both a moral perspective and, in many cases, a legal perspective,
there
is a huge difference between deliberately inflicting an injury and
inflicting an injury by accident.


Yes. The issue is that even without intent, say as a spanking parent
would claim, intent turns out to not be relevant.

Failing to judge correctly IS.

It would be nice if parents had a magical
way of knowing exactly how hard they could spank a child without leaving
bruises.


Yep. My point exactly. They don't, as you appear to agree, so why using
CP at all?


Either because they're going to leave enough safety margin between how hard
they spank and how hard a spanking they think would be likely to leave
bruises that the risk is probably trivial, or because they think the child's
behavior was serious enough that leaving bruises wouldn't be a terrible
tragedy.

Granted, bruising is technically classified as an injury, but it is such a
common and minor sort of injury that it would be irrational to regard it as
a horrible disaster. A number of minor injuries can add up to a major issue
if parents spank hard enough to leave bruises on anything resembling a
regular basis. But as long as parents recognize that they've spanked too
hard if they end up leaving bruises and don't spank as hard in the future,
and as long as parents don't start off swinging hard with an implement
that's significantly heavier than anything they've used before, I'd be a
whole lot more worried about the danger of football injuries than about the
danger of injuries from spanking.

But in real life, bruises can be a result of an honest mistake by
parents who misjudged how hard they could spank without bruising.


You could not argue for my point more successfully.

Laws have
to make some allowances for honest mistakes or else overzealous
prosecutors
have the power to scare people away from even coming close to the limits
of
what the law was intended to allow.


They do, currently. And also in the laws I would propose. The Swedish
model that has NO penalties whatsoever. The law is a social sanction
against CP, not a fine and lock'em up threat.

Although YOUR argument does have some small appeal, when I'm feeling
out of patience with underdeveloped in conscience folks that insist on
playing word games, and claim 'spanking' is not 'hitting,' and other
tricks of mind to fool themselves, apparently.


I don't care much for the "spanking isn't hitting" word game myself. On the
other hand, I don't much like the "substitute the word 'hit' for the word
'spank'" word game either. One gane tries to make spanking sound less
serious than it is, while the other tries to obfuscate the difference in
purpose betwee-n spanking and other forms of hitting. (On the other hand,
if parents spank because they got angry and lost their tempers, I regard the
word "hit" as entirely appropriate because their inability to control their
tempers raises serious doubts about their purpose.)

The child tends, when injured by the parent, to presume the parent
meant to injury, and that the child him or herself, deserved to be
injured.


With any but the youngest children, there is a simple solution if parents
realize they've spanked hard enough to cause bruises they didn't intend
to.


So that would work when you punish your neighbor for mowing down your
bed of freshly planted petunias? Sock'm to teach'm and if it breaks
his jaw apologise.

Sure. That'll work.


It would work to the extent of letting my neighbor know that I didn't think
what he did was so bad that he deserved a broken jaw, which is the point I
was addressing. My point wasn't that an apology would make bruises cause
less physical pain, or guarantee that the child won't be angry or upset over
having been spanked so hard. My point was that an apology would address the
problem of children's thinking they deserved to be spanked hard enough to
leave bruises.

Beyond that, I'll point out that you're cheating in the design of your
analogy. What I would be doing in your analogy would be illegal even if I
didn't break my neighbor's jaw. In order for the analogy to be valid, there
would have to be a law that people whose petunias are mowed down are allowed
to slug the person who mowed them. Also, the difference between breaking
someone's jaw and just hitting someone in the jaw is at least an order of
magnitude larger than the difference between spanking hard enough to cause a
bit of bruising and just spanking hard.

They can apologize and explain that although they intended for the
spanking
to hurt, they didn't intend for it to be hard enough to leave bruises.


I have a very important piece of information for you. It's about the
human body. If one hits hard enough to 'hurt' then there is an
extremely high probability it will leave injury.


I think you're seriously overstating the danger here, unless maybe you're
trying to define reddening of the skin as an injury. The reason why the
buttocks are the current location of choice for corporal punishment is that
they have enough padding to allow a fair amount of pain without causing
injury. I don't remember whether I ever checked whether my bottom was
bruised after I got spanked or paddled as a child, but I don't remember any
cases where it hurt to sit for more than a very brief period right after the
spanking - or hurt much to sit even then. (I won't make any claims
regarding what might have happened before I was old enough to remember.)

That's not to say that I would expect it to be difficult to spank hard
enough to cause welts or bruises - especially spanking a toddler or using an
implement that's heavy relative to a child's age. But I don't think the
safety margin is normally as paper thin as you make it sound.

That
way, the children can understand the difference between what the parents
intended (and thought the children deserved based on the seriousness of
their misbehavior)


Why is it an adult who has erred, even up to an including killing
others, can not be "spanked" as a punishment, but children can for
doing things that actually did no one any harm?


Because the kinds of spankings normally used on children wouldn't be severe
enough to make much difference on adult crimes. Personally, I'd rather get
a paddling like I got in school than have to pay a fine for a speeding
ticket. Which is why it makes sense to require me to pay the fine instead
of paddling me.

I think there are some situations where it would make sense to offer adult
criminals an option of choosing corporal punishment - especially if a fine,
jail time, or community service would end up hurting the person's family.
But the kinds of corporal punishment that would be needed would be severe
enough that a lot of people would have an emotional reaction of rejecting
them as too "cruel." Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to empathize with a
beating than it is to empathize with the cumulative effect of spending
months in prison, and that difference in empathy skews our judgment
regarding the relative cruelty of a beating versus a few months in jail.
(The same basic problem, on a smaller scale, can cause people to misjudge
spanking to be a lot more cruel than grounding.)

---

I'm going to split the rest into a separate message because this post is
already very long and your next question is important enough I don't want it
to get lost.


  #17  
Old December 7th 06, 03:21 PM posted to alt.parenting.spanking,alt.usage.english
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Teenagers faced with spankings


Daniel al-Autistiqui wrote:

Why did you say "rare"?


Why did ***you*** say 'rare'?

  #18  
Old December 8th 06, 07:23 PM posted to alt.parenting.spanking
0:->
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,968
Default Teenagers faced with spankings


Nathan A. Barclay wrote:
"0:-" wrote in message
ps.com...
Nathan A. Barclay wrote:


If parents have completely unrealistic expectations, the
results can be tragic, especially if the parents feel like it's their
duty
to force their children to live up to their unrealistic expecations no
matter how harsh a punishment is required.


We are in agreement. And here in this newsgroup, aps, I have seen again
and again, pro spankers discuss circumstances where they would spank,
and demonstrating they have extremely unrealistic expectations of
children. The idea that any child, for instance, under the age of 12 or
so, would "willfully disobey." It's nonsense.

They are following natural imperatives to explore the universe. All an
aware parent needs to do is learn how to question and investigate and
when the parent has figured out (even if wrong) some probable natural
imperative the child is reacting to, simply show them how to get their
appropriately. Wanted behavior replacing unwanted behavior.

This isn't rocket science, and no child with parents that can figure
this out is "spanked." It's too damned obvious to a parent that can
think, and is compassionate (even in the absence of exact evidence)
that the child does not need spanking to learn.


My personal experience from when I was a child proves beyond any possible
doubt that you are wrong about this.


It appears we are off to a bad start.

Are you sure that your personal experience is not in conflict with
facts from other sources?

And the personal experience, in fact, should be the only arbiter of
'the truth?"

Hey, despite my education in the field and 50 years of examining this
and my experience throughout that time, much of it professional as well
as personal, I would not offer such a blanket statement as that.

There is always the possibility I've been wrong...why, back in 75 I can
recall that I was...well, that's a long story.

Want to start over?

Start with my statement you follow your claim with. Thanks.

Kane


Sometimes children simply decide that
something that they've been told not to do is enough fun that they want to
do it anyhow. Granted, if parents take enough time, they can often find a
way to redirect the children's choices by offering them something that's
almost as much fun, or maybe even more fun, that they wouldn't have to feel
guilty about doing. But that doesn't mean the children's disobedience isn't
willful.

When I read your claim, I started thinking back trying to find the first
occasions when I can be absolutely sure that I willfully disobeyed my
parents - where I knew I wasn't allowed to do something but made a
deliberate choice to do it anyhow. I can come up with two situations when I
was no older than six, and possibly younger. (I know I couldn't have been
older because we moved to a different house when I was six, but beyond that,
I have no way of pinpointing my age.)

One situation involved playing with the shower curtain in a way that had the
bottom of the curtain in the tub but had it draped over the side hanging
over the outside so my younger brother and I could put water in the part of
the curtain where it sagged over the outside. (It's kind of hard to
explain.) My brother and I had been told repeatedly not to do it because my
parents were afraid we'd break the shower curtain. But I couldn't figure
out how what we were doing could break it, and I knew I was being too
careful to spill water outside the tub, so I wasn't inclined to give up my
fun and obey my parents. As it turned out, the shower curtain did break,
and my brother and I got in trouble. (The flaw in my reasoning was that I
didn't even begin to comprehend that the place that would break was where
the curtain was held up by hooks through holes, far above my head. Now I
can recognize that the stress on the holes was vastly greater than the
stress on the part I was paying attention to as a little kid.)

The other early occasion I remember involved vitamin pills. We didn't
generally have candy around, but chewable vitamin pills tasted good, and
there were times when I snuck extra ones even though I knew I wasn't
supposed to.

I'll strongly agree that a lot of things young children do are caused by
things other than willful disobedience. Sometimes they don't even
understand that they are doing something wrong. Other times, they forget
about rules they are supposed to obey - especially if they get carried away
with what they are doing. But the idea that children have to be around age
12 before they are capable of making willful choices to disobey is
completely preposterous.

But overreacting to one extreme by rushing to the other is not a
particularly rational response. Or should we outlaw cars just because
some
people drive drunk?


I'm unable to find in your posts, other than by allusion, what the two
extremes are. I can presume that beating is at one extreme, and not
spanking at all, is at the other.


Merely choosing not to spank is not, in my view, an extreme position. The
people I regard as genuine extremists are people who refuse to accept any
possibility that spanking can ever be a useful tool - who refuse to accept a
possibility that their own opinion regarding spanking might not be entirely
on target. And that is especially true when such people seek to use
government power to push or force their view that spanking is always,
inherently harmful onto others.

Similarly, I regard people who believe it's impossible to rear children
successfully without ever spanking them as extremists on the other side -
albeit a different kind of extremists from those who take the severity of
the spankings to extremes.

What will happen if you don't spank?


What happens if parents don't spank depends a lot on the children and on
what the parents do in the way of alternatives. There seem to be quite a
few families that can do fine without spanking. But that doesn't mean that
all families would do equally well without it. Nor, for that matter, does
the fact that a family can do fine without spanking serve as proof that the
family wouldn't have done better with it if the parents used spanking in a
careful way. The whole issue is extremely complex.

The current data collected on this, internationally, by surveying
parents, show that regardless of the accepting or rejecting mindset
there are unwanted negative consequences. I posted that recently here.

I'm not in a mood to go hunting through everything you've posted here
recently.


That's okay.

If you want to recount the data, or to give me a clear indication
of where to look, I'm willing to listen, but I don't intend to spend a
lot
of time here this time around.


Not a problem. Don't go getting all huffy on me. I can't see where
threatening to leave is a very effective response.


Not a threat, and not getting huffy. Just a statement of fact. I looked in
on the newsgroup thinking if Chris Dugan was still active here (which he no
longer seems to be), I'd ask him a question about the current state of
research. In the process, I stumbled across your question about the line
between a "hard spanking" and abuse, and I figured I'd offer an answer. But
I really don't need to be putting a lot of time into a discussion here. I
appreciate your reposting the information so I can look at it without having
to go on a hunt.

I might just forget you and let you go, unless you wish to make a
commitment to carry through on your commentary, arguments, and claims.
0:-]

Popping in and out is Troll behavior. Tsk.


Popping in and out can also be a result of a person's having more interest
in a subject than he has (or is willing to take) time to discuss it.

But, sigh I'm a sucker for a good argument, got one? Here's what you
asked for.

I posted this just yesterday, in fact, and it refers, at the beginning,
to a prior post of mine in April of this year.

I posted the following in April of this year.

From: 0:- - view profile
Date: Sun, Apr 16 2006 10:44 am
Email: "0:-"
Groups: alt.parenting.spanking
Not yet rated
Rating:
show options
Reply | Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show
original | Remove | Report Abuse | Find messages by this author

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1114110820.htm

" ... The researchers found differences in how often mothers used
physical discipline and the mothers' perceptions of how often other
parents used physical discipline. Specifically:

* Mothers in Thailand were least likely to physically discipline
their children, followed by mothers in China, the Philippines, Italy,
India, and Kenya, with mothers in Kenya most likely to physically
discipline their children.
* More frequent use of physical discipline was less strongly
associated with child aggression and anxiety when it was perceived as
being more culturally accepted, but physical discipline was also
associated with more aggression and anxiety regardless of the
perception
of cultural acceptance.
* In countries in which physical discipline was more common and
culturally accepted, children who were physically disciplined were less
aggressive and less anxious than children who were physically
disciplined in countries where physical discipline was rarely used.
* In all countries, however, higher use of physical discipline was
associated with more child aggression and anxiety. ... "

Those last sentences pretty much says it all for the argument that
where cultures accept more CP it doesn't result in aberrent reactions
in children.


I think you are reading too much into the words "associated with."
Statistical associations can be a result of inherent cause-and-effect
relationships, or of cause-and-effect relationships that occur only some of
the time, or of having the same factors that can cause one thing also be
able to cause another. There can even be other, even more complex
interrelationships. It would take a lot of additional (and much deeper)
research to make a scientifically sound determination of which is actually
the case.

From my experience with teachers when I was in school, I would expect major
links between spanking and insecurity to show up in cases where parents (or
teachers) are so strict that children routinely worry that they might
accidentally do something that gets them in trouble. The problem would be
even worse if parents have unrealistic expectations, thereby making it
essentially impossible for the children to reliably stay out of trouble even
when they are trying to behave, or if parents have a hair trigger that
almost anything can set off when they are in a bad mood. On the other hand,
if children feel comfortable that they won't get in trouble as long as they
are trying to behave, the only time the prospect of spanking would give them
a reason to feel insecure is when they are doing or have recently done
something they know was wrong.

Now consider what happens if you average those scenarios together without
trying to distinguish between them. Such an average gives you a causal link
between spanking and insecurity even though the link is a serious problem
only in certain types of situations. So I don't see any reason for parents
to worry about creating excessive insecurity as long as they try to give
their children the benefit of a reasonable number of reasonable doubts.

By the way, in the long term, too much security can be at least as dangerous
to children as not enough. If children's actions don't ever have
consequences, how are children supposed to learn to think before they act?

The next is a smaller study on the use of aggressively harsh CP to
preschool aged children.

I've seen posters defend the use of such methods as being "up to the
parent to decide."


snip

In my view, if parents resort to harsh punishments of children that young,
something is almost certainly very seriously wrong. My likely suspects are
that either the parents' expectations are unreasonable, or the parents'
expectations are so unclear or inconsistent that the children can't figure
out how they need to behave to stay out of trouble. Either way, spanking
harder isn't going to solve the problem.

I've long thought that the limits on the severity of corporal punishment
ought to depend on what a child is being punished for. Parents should have
relatively wide latitude in how they punish behavior that they can
reasonably view as exceptionally serious, assuming their children are old
enough to understand how serious the behavior is. But giving parents the
same latitude when a four-year-old spills a glass of milk is absurd.


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/423496
... Corporal punishment is associated with an increased risk of later
violence: peer violence, domestic violence, and suicide are all
correlated with parental reliance on corporal punishment. Nevertheless,
most American parents spank their children. According to Dr. Howard,
25% of children younger than 6 months old have been spanked, as have
40% of children 6-12 months old. Infants cannot understand the reason
that they are being spanked, and spanking interferes with attachment.

In contrast, parents who learn how to set firm limits without resorting
to violence teach their children a valuable lesson. Parents, in fact,
play enormously important roles in modeling how to deal with conflict
and frustration. There are a number of nonviolent negative
reinforcement techniques, ranging from the "hairy eyeball" to "time
out" models, Dr. Howard noted. ...

Comments?


It never ceases to amaze me how badly parents can misuse spanking. The
irony is that the more I know about how badly a lot of parents misuse
spanking, the harder it is for me to accept correlations between spanking
and adverse outcomes as evidence that ALL uses of spanking are
counterproductive. There is simply too much room for the bad parents to be
dragging down the average.

It sounds as though you are describing parents that have a more
punitive parenting style. Why must other alternaties cause long-term
hasle and friction? If I found my children doing something I
disapproved of, it was usually dispensed with in a few minutes and
unlikely to come up again.


Before I go on, I'll point out that you used the word "punitive" here.
Since you did, I wrote my response talking about punishment in general, not
specifically about spanking. But some pieces of your response to what I
wrote look as if you're assuming I used "punish" as a synonym for "spank."

I know a lot of people seem to think as if spanking were the only punishment
that really counts. But I try to be careful to use "spank" when I am
talking specifically about spanking, and use "punish" when the arguments I
am writing apply to punishments in general rather than only to spanking. In
many cases, I shift from talking specifically about spanking to talking
about punishment in general because I believe the same or very similar
issues also apply to other forms of punishment. That being the case, it is
important to keep an eye on which term I am using at any given time.

The reason why I made the shift to talking about punishment in general in
this case is that arguments against "punitive" parenting styles are only
arguments against spanking in situations where there is a practical,
genuinely nonpunitive alternative to spanking. To the extent that some kind
of punishment is sometimes necessary, a completely nonpunitive parenting
style is no longer an option. Therefore, the choice in those particular
situations is not between nonpunitive parenting and spanking, but is merely
between spanking and some other form of punishment.

Good for you. Have you had problems where your children shoplifted
repeatedly?


Nope. Not once, to my knowledge. I did myself at about age 6 though. I
simply was asked to make up for it to the druggist, someone we knew, by
sweeping his store for a week. I still can't pass a Baby Ruth candy bar
without a little shudder.

I wasn't spanked.


No, you were punished in a different way. But what happened to you was a
far cry from "dispensed with in a few minutes." In fact, I strongly suspect
that more than a few kids would choose a spanking over having to sweep up
for a week.

I agree with you that it's good when parents can find ways to solve problems
without resorting to threats and punishments. But that doesn't mean
nonpunitive techniques are always sufficient.

Where they drove home drunk?


Nope. My kids were very anti Drugs and alcohol. They still are, in
their forties. I had worked, when they were very small, in a drug rehab
program. I shared with them. 0:-]

Where they vandalized their
school?


My kids? Nope. They were homeschooled mostly.

There are parents who have had those problems, among other very
serious problems.


Yep, and I'd venture not a consistently non-spanking parent among them.


How many seriously bad parents in our society choose to be consistently
non-spanking parents? There is a huge problem of self-selection bias in
trying to compare spanking parents with non-spanking parents in current-day
America, and if any study has even come close to doing an adequate job of
controlling for that problem, I'm not aware of it.

My guess is there are some non-spankers whose children might act out at
some point. My other guess is that they handle it pretty well by
non-punitive methods, and certainly not with CP.


My guess is that a lot of parents who start off planning not to spank change
their minds because they aren't happy with the results they get without
spanking. The ones that stay non-spankers tend to be the ones who have
better-than-average success with alternatives, either because they have
better parenting skills and are willing to put more effort into making
alternatives work, or because their children are more naturally cooperative.
The ones that change their minds and start spanking are probably
disproportionately likely to be bad parents no matter whether they spank or
not. If this guess is right, it throws the results of studies on the
subject way out of kilter - especially in regard to what we could expect if
we banned spanking.

I strongly support efforts to find ways to solve problems without needing
threats or punishments *IF* those ways can genuinely solve a problem
without
giving children the idea that everyone else has to adjust to what they
want.


One would have to be pretty stupid not to have ways that made clear
what the wanted behavior was. I've known a few parents that stupid.
They are ofte referred to as "permissive." I'm not one of those, nor
ever was.

But nonpunitive techniques can only work properly if the children choose
to
cooperate.


Nope. If you can't figure out how to manage to make cooperation more
attractive then I wish you did not have children.


So how would you deal with a case of repeated shoplifting in a genuinely
nonpunitive way?

If children refuse to cooperate, and parents refuse to punish,
there is nothing at all to hold the chilren's behavior in check short of
the
point where the police get involved.


Yep. Seems like this is a bit of a challenge.

However, what I have seen, quite consistently, is that this is the
problem spanking parents have, not non-spanking parents.


Probably because the non-spanking parents you know do punish their children
in ways other than spanking if the situation gets serious enough.

In fact, spanking itself, so destroys the relationship, that either the
child escapes the family and has to work out all the horrors as an
adult, or as a teen they really do kick out the jams, and the parent
can't hit them any more, or risk a punch in the face.


You seem to write as if you think all parents who spank are the same. They
aren't.

When parents do their job properly, they stop relying on "I'm bigger than
you" as the primary basis for their authority when their children are young,
and start building a different foundation by earning their children's trust
and respect. To the extent that the parents continue to punish their
children sometimes, the children understand that there are reasons behind
their parents' expectations, and that the expectations are not just
arbitrary bullying of someone bigger over someone smaller. The children
might not always agree with the parents' reasons, but they can at least
respect the fact that their parents are trying to do what they believe is
right. So when the children are too big for the parents to use physical
force to enforce a punishment, the parent-child relationship still has a
solid foundation under it.

The kind of disaster scenario you're painting here sounds more like what I
would expect if parents don't make the transition - if parents keep trying
to rely on physical power as the foundation for their authority without ever
earning their children's trust and respect. Or, worse, if the parents use
their authority in ways their children view as fundamentally unfair, and
perhaps as not even making much effort to be fair. In that kind of
situation, spanking can maintain a limited amount of control for however
long the kids are small enough to be spanked. But when the kids get too
big, the whole situation can easily fall apart because there isn't really
anything else to hold it together.

You mention having worked in a drug rehab program. I suspect that your view
of spanking may be colored by having been exposed far more to the worst
outcomes from parents who spanked than from the best.

In fact spanking tends not to suppress unwanted behavior and MORE time
and hassle ensues. It also is a very weak deterent when the parent is
not actually supervising.

Which is why nonpunitive approaches are better - *IF* they work.


And you can say that punitive methods work more consistently? Really?


It's not either/or. Parents can use nonpunitive methods most of the time
but keep punishment available as an option for situations where nonpunitive
methods aren't working.

Where the hell have all these criminals come from? Drug addicts?
Mentally Ill?

Those things are a rarity in non-spanking families.


They are also a rarity in spanking families where the parents have a strong,
generally positive relationship with their children, are they not?

I recognize that there is a subset of spanking parents whose abusive,
extremely negative, and/or neglectful parenting styles give rise to a huge
proportion of society's problems. But blaming the entire category of
spanking parents for the problems those parents create is both unfair and
logically unsound.

But an
imperfect deterrent can be better than none at all.


Are you arguing that non-spanking means doing nothing?


No. There are all sorts of other punishments that parents could use
instead. But they would have the same "when the parent is not actually
supervising" problem that spanking does, wouldn't they? In fact, some, such
as grounding, can be even more problematical because the child can violate
the terms of the punishment if the parent isn't willing or able to supervise
closely.

Threats and punishments should NEVER be used as a replacement for
teaching.


We agree.

But that doesn't mean they shouldn't ever be used as a backup for if
children choose to reject or ignore what they have been taught.


Give us an example.


How about the situation where you shoplifted? Should you not have been
punished for that?

snip

Bruising is injury.

I'm really not interested in word games.


Then don't play them yourself. You have repeatedly done so.

Cows and dogs are both mammals,
but that doesn't mean dogs chew their cud or cows bark. Substituting a
more
general word like "injury" for a more specific one like "bruising" is far
more likely to obfuscate the truth than to clarify it.


A bruise is not an injury? Not according to medical literature.

ALL bruises are caused by injury. Though of course not all injuries
result in bruises. Grabbing a child and twisting their arm, say until
it breaks, might not leave surface visible bruising.


My point is that calling a bruise a bruise is the most accurate and precise
way to talk about it. Substituting a different word loses precision, so I
can't see any reason why you would do it unless you're playing a word game
trying to use connotations attached to the word "injury" to make bruises
sound worse than they are.

From both a moral perspective and, in many cases, a legal perspective,
there
is a huge difference between deliberately inflicting an injury and
inflicting an injury by accident.


Yes. The issue is that even without intent, say as a spanking parent
would claim, intent turns out to not be relevant.

Failing to judge correctly IS.

It would be nice if parents had a magical
way of knowing exactly how hard they could spank a child without leaving
bruises.


Yep. My point exactly. They don't, as you appear to agree, so why using
CP at all?


Either because they're going to leave enough safety margin between how hard
they spank and how hard a spanking they think would be likely to leave
bruises that the risk is probably trivial, or because they think the child's
behavior was serious enough that leaving bruises wouldn't be a terrible
tragedy.

Granted, bruising is technically classified as an injury, but it is such a
common and minor sort of injury that it would be irrational to regard it as
a horrible disaster. A number of minor injuries can add up to a major issue
if parents spank hard enough to leave bruises on anything resembling a
regular basis. But as long as parents recognize that they've spanked too
hard if they end up leaving bruises and don't spank as hard in the future,
and as long as parents don't start off swinging hard with an implement
that's significantly heavier than anything they've used before, I'd be a
whole lot more worried about the danger of football injuries than about the
danger of injuries from spanking.

But in real life, bruises can be a result of an honest mistake by
parents who misjudged how hard they could spank without bruising.


You could not argue for my point more successfully.

Laws have
to make some allowances for honest mistakes or else overzealous
prosecutors
have the power to scare people away from even coming close to the limits
of
what the law was intended to allow.


They do, currently. And also in the laws I would propose. The Swedish
model that has NO penalties whatsoever. The law is a social sanction
against CP, not a fine and lock'em up threat.

Although YOUR argument does have some small appeal, when I'm feeling
out of patience with underdeveloped in conscience folks that insist on
playing word games, and claim 'spanking' is not 'hitting,' and other
tricks of mind to fool themselves, apparently.


I don't care much for the "spanking isn't hitting" word game myself. On the
other hand, I don't much like the "substitute the word 'hit' for the word
'spank'" word game either. One gane tries to make spanking sound less
serious than it is, while the other tries to obfuscate the difference in
purpose betwee-n spanking and other forms of hitting. (On the other hand,
if parents spank because they got angry and lost their tempers, I regard the
word "hit" as entirely appropriate because their inability to control their
tempers raises serious doubts about their purpose.)

The child tends, when injured by the parent, to presume the parent
meant to injury, and that the child him or herself, deserved to be
injured.

With any but the youngest children, there is a simple solution if parents
realize they've spanked hard enough to cause bruises they didn't intend
to.


So that would work when you punish your neighbor for mowing down your
bed of freshly planted petunias? Sock'm to teach'm and if it breaks
his jaw apologise.

Sure. That'll work.


It would work to the extent of letting my neighbor know that I didn't think
what he did was so bad that he deserved a broken jaw, which is the point I
was addressing. My point wasn't that an apology would make bruises cause
less physical pain, or guarantee that the child won't be angry or upset over
having been spanked so hard. My point was that an apology would address the
problem of children's thinking they deserved to be spanked hard enough to
leave bruises.

Beyond that, I'll point out that you're cheating in the design of your
analogy. What I would be doing in your analogy would be illegal even if I
didn't break my neighbor's jaw. In order for the analogy to be valid, there
would have to be a law that people whose petunias are mowed down are allowed
to slug the person who mowed them. Also, the difference between breaking
someone's jaw and just hitting someone in the jaw is at least an order of
magnitude larger than the difference between spanking hard enough to cause a
bit of bruising and just spanking hard.

They can apologize and explain that although they intended for the
spanking
to hurt, they didn't intend for it to be hard enough to leave bruises.


I have a very important piece of information for you. It's about the
human body. If one hits hard enough to 'hurt' then there is an
extremely high probability it will leave injury.


I think you're seriously overstating the danger here, unless maybe you're
trying to define reddening of the skin as an injury. The reason why the
buttocks are the current location of choice for corporal punishment is that
they have enough padding to allow a fair amount of pain without causing
injury. I don't remember whether I ever checked whether my bottom was
bruised after I got spanked or paddled as a child, but I don't remember any
cases where it hurt to sit for more than a very brief period right after the
spanking - or hurt much to sit even then. (I won't make any claims
regarding what might have happened before I was old enough to remember.)

That's not to say that I would expect it to be difficult to spank hard
enough to cause welts or bruises - especially spanking a toddler or using an
implement that's heavy relative to a child's age. But I don't think the
safety margin is normally as paper thin as you make it sound.

That
way, the children can understand the difference between what the parents
intended (and thought the children deserved based on the seriousness of
their misbehavior)


Why is it an adult who has erred, even up to an including killing
others, can not be "spanked" as a punishment, but children can for
doing things that actually did no one any harm?


Because the kinds of spankings normally used on children wouldn't be severe
enough to make much difference on adult crimes. Personally, I'd rather get
a paddling like I got in school than have to pay a fine for a speeding
ticket. Which is why it makes sense to require me to pay the fine instead
of paddling me.

I think there are some situations where it would make sense to offer adult
criminals an option of choosing corporal punishment - especially if a fine,
jail time, or community service would end up hurting the person's family.
But the kinds of corporal punishment that would be needed would be severe
enough that a lot of people would have an emotional reaction of rejecting
them as too "cruel." Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to empathize with a
beating than it is to empathize with the cumulative effect of spending
months in prison, and that difference in empathy skews our judgment
regarding the relative cruelty of a beating versus a few months in jail.
(The same basic problem, on a smaller scale, can cause people to misjudge
spanking to be a lot more cruel than grounding.)

---

I'm going to split the rest into a separate message because this post is
already very long and your next question is important enough I don't want it
to get lost.


  #19  
Old December 9th 06, 05:13 AM posted to alt.parenting.spanking
Nathan A. Barclay
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Teenagers faced with spankings


"0:-" wrote in message
news:[email protected] com...
Nathan A. Barclay wrote:
"0:-" wrote in message
ps.com...


We are in agreement. And here in this newsgroup, aps, I have seen
again
and again, pro spankers discuss circumstances where they would spank,
and demonstrating they have extremely unrealistic expectations of
children. The idea that any child, for instance, under the age of 12
or
so, would "willfully disobey." It's nonsense.

They are following natural imperatives to explore the universe. All an
aware parent needs to do is learn how to question and investigate and
when the parent has figured out (even if wrong) some probable natural
imperative the child is reacting to, simply show them how to get their
appropriately. Wanted behavior replacing unwanted behavior.

This isn't rocket science, and no child with parents that can figure
this out is "spanked." It's too damned obvious to a parent that can
think, and is compassionate (even in the absence of exact evidence)
that the child does not need spanking to learn.


My personal experience from when I was a child proves beyond any
possible doubt that you are wrong about this.


It proves YOU, a single case, anecdotally, draw this conclusion. There are
other people out there.


Unless and until you offer compelling evidence that my experience was
entirely atypical, I'm inclined to trust my own experience over your
theoretical psychobabble. Human beings are extremely complex, so any
attempt to develop a theoretical model of how we think and react will almost
inevitably be simplistic and less than entirely accurate.

Sometimes children simply decide that
something that they've been told not to do is enough fun that they want
to do it anyhow.


Depending on age - developmental stage - they mostly do not really
"decide" anything at all. Nature is deciding. Before about 6 years old,
normally, children are responding entirely to the external world
reflexively


That doesn't mean they are never capable of making a deliberate choice, does
it?

If this were not so they would not need parents to protect them. They
could just 'decide' as we adults do, what to do next.


You're missing an important point. Just being capable of making deliberate
decisions is not enough to be ready to be an adult. Adults also need a lot
of knowledge and experience to base our decisions on. We need to truly
understand what something like "a broken arm" or "death" is instead of their
just being words or vague concepts. We need some grasp on probability - on
understanding that even a small chance of something very bad happening isn't
worth it. And we need the ability to fully understand complex
cause-and-effect interrelationships.

Children are ready to start making simple choices about simple things long
before they are capable of making the kinds of vastly more complex choices,
about vastly more omplex things, that adults have to make. For the most
part, the need for punishment arises from the need for simple, easily
understood consequences because the child isn't ready yet to live in a world
with adult consequences.

They would die in a few days without us. Because they are not fully
developed.

They are ignorant practical experimental physicists, among other things.
But they will experiment. If they do not, they risk the chance of never
developing the skills for living.


Another thing they are is human beings who enjoy doing things that are fun
for them. And they need to learn that doing whatever is the most fun is not
always acceptable.

Also, children need to be prevented from engaging in experiments that are
unacceptably dangerous, harmful, or destructive. Consider, especially, what
can happen if a child uses a baby as the subject of experiments. To some
extent, it is possible to eliminate dangers by modifying a child's
environment. But as children get older, they need to learn to start taking
responsibility themselves for not engaging in kinds of experiments that
their parents tell them are unacceptably damaging or dangerous, especially
if the children are ever going to be allowed in an environment that is not
made thoroughly safe for them.

Granted, if parents take enough time, they can often find a
way to redirect the children's choices by offering them something that's
almost as much fun, or maybe even more fun, that they wouldn't have to
feel guilty about doing. But that doesn't mean the children's
disobedience isn't willful.


It's nature. Not willful at all.

They haven't the mind to make the will come from, yet. Or we wouldn't call
them children, minors.


If you've spent much time around children age four or five, and you don't
think they have will, you are living in a state of denial. There are a lot
of things they don't have anywhere near as much of as adults - information,
experience, understanding of complex interrelationships, and such. But they
very definitely have will - as they can make abundantly clear when someone
tries to get them to do something they don't want to do or to stop doing
something they want to do.

snip

When I read your claim, I started thinking back trying to find the first
occasions when I can be absolutely sure that I willfully disobeyed my
parents - where I knew I wasn't allowed to do something but made a
deliberate choice to do it anyhow. I can come up with two situations
when I was no older than six, and possibly younger. (I know I
couldn't have been older because we moved to a different house
when I was six, but beyond that, I have no way of pinpointing my age.)

One situation involved playing with the shower curtain in a way that had
the bottom of the curtain in the tub but had it draped over the
side hanging over the outside so my younger brother and I could
put water in the part of the curtain where it sagged over the outside.
(It's kind of hard to explain.)


R R R R....No, not to anyone that was a child it isn't. You were doing
physics experimentation and nature was driving you. You only THINK you
were deciding yourself. That you were more conscious of your involvement
and engaged your mind in the exercise shows that you WERE in fact about 6
years old. That's when the brain starts doing abstract cause and effect
work, and exactly the kinds of experiments you are describing become the
rule.

You were not just doing physics, you were doing social dynamics as well (I
know my parents don't want me doing this).

A crucial time for children, indeed.

And crucial that parents handle it without pain and humiliation. There is
more than enough for most but the brain damaged child to be upset at
making a mess, or upsetting his or her parents, with being whaled on as
well.

My brother and I had been told repeatedly not to do it because my
parents were afraid we'd break the shower curtain. But I couldn't
figure out how what we were doing could break it, and I knew I
was being too careful to spill water outside the tub, so I wasn't
inclined to give up my fun and obey my parents. As it turned
out, the shower curtain did break, and my brother and I got
in trouble. (The flaw in my reasoning was that I didn't even begin
to comprehend that the place that would break was where
the curtain was held up by hooks through holes, far above my head. Now I
can recognize that the stress on the holes was vastly greater
than the stress on the part I was paying attention to as a little kid.)


Man you are describing exactly the kinds of situations I've been pointing
out.

I note that you say, "got in trouble." I presume you weren't spanked. Yet
you learned...you knew what trouble was. It did not have to be CP driven
for you to understand.

That is the case for most children.


On the contrary, until the shower curtain broke, my parents tried to deal
with the problem without resorting to punishment - and it didn't work. My
brother and I did get spanked after the shower curtain broke, althouggh that
was not the entire punishment; my parents also said they wouldn't be buying
us candy for a while because they'd be using the money to buy a new shower
curtain. (I remember being confused by that, because it didn't seem like we
usually had candy around anyhow.)

My memories after that are a lot fuzzier, but I'm pretty sure getting
spanked that one time when the shower curtain broke didn't stop me. I don't
think there was ever a case where I actually got punished when a shower
curtain didn't break. And since I didn't understand how what I did broke
the shower curtain and I'd put water in the shower curtain a lot of times
without its breaking, I didn't expect to break a shower curtain and get in
trouble if I kept doing it. And to whatever extent I did keep playing with
shower curtains that way, there was never another case where one broke as a
result.

But back to my original point of why I brought this incident up, I was
definitely quite capable of making a deliberate choice to do something my
parents had repeatedly told me not to at an age no older than six.

The other early occasion I remember involved vitamin pills. We didn't
generally have candy around, but chewable vitamin pills tasted good, and
there were times when I snuck extra ones even though I knew I wasn't
supposed to.


Do you think spanking would have made you stop sneaking "candy?"

Do all children that are spanked stop the unwanted behavior?

Not so as I've noticed. Now getting sick from eating too much candy could
be as good or better a teacher.

And there is one other thing. If children are getting into things that are
dangerous to them they are too young to understand...so why aren't those
things being secured safely by THE PARENTS?


I didn't bring this up as an example of a situation where spanking would
help. I brought it up as a case study of a child no older than age six
making a deliberate choice to do something he knew he wasn't allowed to. I
agree that spanking is of only very limited value when children can figure
out a way to do what they want without getting caught. But when there isn't
a way for children to avoid getting caught, spanking can have a much
stronger effect.

I'll strongly agree that a lot of things young children do are caused by
things other than willful disobedience. Sometimes they don't even
understand that they are doing something wrong. Other times, they
forget about rules they are supposed to obey - especially if they get
carried away with what they are doing. But the idea that children
have to be around age 12 before they are capable of making
willful choices to disobey is completely preposterous.


No it isn't. You just wrote the reasons they often do things without
willful intent to disobey.


You're missing a very important point. Consider the following two
statements.

1) A lot of inappropriate behavior does not involve a deliberate intent to
disobey.

2) Sometimes young children do make deliberate choices to disobey.

Those two statements are NOT mutually exclusive. From my own experience in
my own childhood, I can say definitively that both statements were true in
my case at least as early as age six.

I do think a lot of people - especially certain types of religious nuts (at
least nuts insofar as their understanding of children's motivations is
concerned) go ridiculously overboard in presuming that when children
disobey, it is an act of willful disobedience. I think children deserve the
benefit of reasonable doubts as to whether or not they intended to disobey.
But I don't think it's good for children when that benefit of the doubt
turns into an unrestricted license for deliberate disobedience.

Externally applied controls have limited learning potential. Engaging the
child's own self control is the ultimate in teaching, and learning.
Successfully.


When it works.

Merely choosing not to spank is not, in my view, an extreme position.
The people I regard as genuine extremists are people who refuse to
accept any possibility that spanking can ever be a useful tool - who
refuse to accept a possibility that their own opinion regarding
spanking might not be entirely on target.


Most don't come to an epiphany. Most have giving a great deal of thought
to it. Most spankers appear to not have thought about choosing spanking.
Most non-spankers have chosen often after long and difficult examination,
and argument.


The fact that a person became converted to an idea after a lot of thought
does not prevent the person from being a zealot, or even a potentially
dangerous zealot.

And that is especially true when such people seek to use
government power to push or force their view that spanking is always,
inherently harmful onto others.


That claim is not universal. What they do claim is that we cannot know at
what point spanking is and isn't harmful, and why take the risk, since
non-spanking alternatives are rarely if ever harmful, or risk harm.


I don't view that line of reasoning as extreme. I think it's dangerous to
base laws on that line of reasoning because if there are situations where
spanking is useful, and we outlaw spanking, we pretty much destroy our
chances of finding the situations where spanking is useful. But the
underlying sentiment is well within the bounds of how people can reasonably
react to the existing research.

I will point out, though, that refusing to spank does risk harm if other
approaches consistently fail and parents run out of other ideas. If you
know that not spanking isn't working, and there is any realistic possibility
at all that spanking could help get the situation under control, then
refusing to spank carries a risk.

If you are right, parents who don't spank will never reach that point. But
if I am right, significant numbers of them will - if only because they
aren't willing to take the time to research and try every alternative
available.

Counter arguments are the ones that go to extremes. Especially proponents
that publish. The idea that a child will become and out of control
criminal if farcical.

I keep inviting over the years, anyone that posts here to come up with a
short list of unspanked criminals. No researcher has ever found any such
people in criminal populations.


At http://www.geocities.com/cddugan/NoFear5.htm I found a reference to a
1991 Straus study. The page describes the results of the study as follows:
"Straus (1991) found that juveniles who had been physically punished were
nearly twice as likely to have committed theft and over three times as
likely to have hit a non-family-member with an object in comparison with
unspanked children."

I agree with you that a lot of claims made by supporters of spanking about
what happens if children aren't spanked are ridiculous. But it looks to me
like your claims about how impossible it is for children who aren't spanked
to end up having their behavior go out of control are also a serious
distortion of the truth.

Similarly, I regard people who believe it's impossible to rear children
successfully without ever spanking them as extremists on the other
side - albeit a different kind of extremists from those who take the
severity of the spankings to extremes.


I see rather a lot of the former and few of the latter.

Most people do not think spanking is harmful in all the possible
conformations of it. But they DO recognize the inherent risks.

I can drive my car at 140 MPH if I chose. And most time's where I chose to
do so I am in no danger...because nothing happened.

Or am I?

What about factors I cannot control?


This raises the question of whether the correlations between spanking and
negative outcomes are results of factors parents can't control, or are
results of factors parents can control. Consider the various risks involved
in driving 140 miles per hour. What kind of shape is your car in? How
straight is the road? How good is your visibility? How good and careful a
driver are you? Is the road limited access, and is it fenced off from
animals? Is there slower traffic in front of you? Is the road divided to
essentially eliminate the risk of hitting an oncoming car? Are you going to
try to do something else that divides your attention at the same time you're
driving?

Under optimal conditions, people could very easily view driving at speeds
far in excess of America's speed limits (if not necessarily all the way up
to 140) as worth the risk. But if you would average together all of the
different kinds of drivers, under all different kinds of conditions, driving
fast would look a whole lot worse.

Similarly, if parents can figure out the risk factors that make spanking
dangerous, and avoid or minimize those risk factors, I believe there are
situations where the benefits outweigh the remaining risks that can't be
controlled. But studies that lump wide rangers of conditions together are
essentially useless in confirming or refuting my belief.

The same goes with choosing to spank. Likely 99 percent of the time no
harm will be done.

I think I'll just not drive my car at 140 MPH, what do you think?


I doubt that I'd have enough confidence in my driving skills to go all the
way up to 140, but in a relatively new car under optimal conditions, I'd go
way past 70 if the law allowed it.

snip

Statistical associations can be a result of inherent cause-and-effect
relationships, or of cause-and-effect relationships that occur only some
of the time, or of having the same factors that can cause
one thing also be able to cause another.


Yep. And that is good enough to run world wide industries with.

There can even be other, even more complex
interrelationships. It would take a lot of additional (and much deeper)
research to make a scientifically sound determination of which is

actually
the case.


Of course. In the interests of scientific research that is true of ALL
such findings.

We don't wait for the final definitive answer to be found, because science
has discovered there really is no such thing.

Good approximations...association strong enough for practical purposes are
used in every other field...why not in child rearing practices?


Herein lies the crux of our dispute. You regard the approximations as good.
I regard them as so simplistic as to be all but useless for my purposes.

My situation is like that of a factory owner who believes he has very good
pollution controls on his factory. I'm not willing to accept studies
indicating that the average factory, regardless of whether or not it has any
kind of decent pollution controls, exposes people around it to dangerous
levels of pollution. I'm only willing to accept research that shows that
factories with pollution controls reasonably similar to mine still generate
dangerous levels of contamination.

---
I'm snipping your responses that interrupt my writing below so the context
will be clear for what I do want to reply to. Some of what I'm snipping is
your impressions based on your own experiences, which might be worth
discussing except that you have shown such an enromous bias that I'm not
prepared to trust in your ability to be an objective observer where the
issue of spanking is concerned.
---

From my experience with teachers when I was in school, I would expect
major links between spanking and insecurity to show up in cases where
parents (or teachers) are so strict that children routinely worry that
they
might accidentally do something that gets them in trouble.
The problem would be
even worse if parents have unrealistic expectations, thereby making it
essentially impossible for the children to reliably stay out of trouble
even when they are trying to behave, or if parents have a
hair trigger that almost anything can set off when they are in a bad
mood. On the other hand, if children feel comfortable that they
won't get in trouble as long as they are trying to behave, the only
time the prospect of spanking would give them a reason to feel
insecure is when they are doing or have recently done
something they know was wrong.


Now consider what happens if you average those scenarios together
without trying to distinguish between them.
Such an average gives you a causal link
between spanking and insecurity even though the link is a serious
problem only in certain types of situations.


You are giving more credit than is deserved. That would not be a "causal"
link, but a correlation.

And I'm not really sure what you are trying to say.


If you read what I wrote as a unified whole, it shouldn't be hard to follow.
To put it in terms of set theory, suppose set A contains subsets A1 and A2.
There is a significant causal link between subset A1 and result B, but not
between subset A2 and result B. If you look at set A as a whole, you see a
causal link going from set A to result B, but the reality is that only A1
produces the causal link.

Basically, I'm postulating that at least most of the feelings of serious
insecurity associated with spanking come from a specific subset of
situations where spanking is used. That subset is situations where the
people who spank are so strict, inflexible, or unreasonable that the
children have to worry about getting spanked even when they are trying to
behave. I see no reason to expect a similar general feeling of insecurity
just at being around an authority if children are comfortable that they
won't get spanked (or otherwise punished or penalized) unless they willfully
choose to disobey. But when studies fail to distinguish between the two
subsets of situations where spanking takes place, it looks as if all
spanking creates a serious risk of insecurity instead of just a certian
subset doing so.

So I don't see any reason for parents
to worry about creating excessive insecurity as long as they try to give
their children the benefit of a reasonable number of reasonable doubts.


The mindset of the punisher.

Why not give the child the benefit of a reasonable number of assurances
they are doing the right thing...that replaces the doing the wrong thing?

It's a much more powerful motivation and learning tool.


I don't see how you can give children assurances that they are doing the
right thing if they refuse to do the rright thing.

By the way, in the long term, too much security can be at least as
dangerous to children as not enough.


Really? How so?


This is ridiculous. You interrupt here to ask a question that I already
answered in my very next sentence.

If children's actions don't ever have
consequences, how are children supposed to learn to think before they
act?


Whoa whoa whoa? Who said that non-spankers contend that actions should not
have consequences?

The question is just how painful and from where should those consequences
come, and what delivery system should be used?


You are being inconsistent. When I talk about there being times when some
kind of punishment is needed, you dodge by complaining about the punitive
nature of my writing. When I talk about the danger if children don't have
consequences for their behavior, you dodge by saying that a choice not to
spank doesn't mean there won't be consequences. The reality is that when
parents shield their children from so much of the natural consequences of
their actions that what is left is not a useful deterrent, either there will
be some kind of punishment, or there will not be meaningful consequences at
all.

If punishment is useful in a situation, it is completely irrational to
reject spanking just because it is a punishment. If you reject punishment,
you're left without any meaningful consequence at all in cases where the
genuinely natural consequences are not enough. You're trying to have your
cake and eat it too. All that does, as far as I'm concerned, is make me
regard you as a person whose reactions are driven by emotion rather than by
anything resembling sound logic.

snip

I've long thought that the limits on the severity of corporal punishment
ought to depend on what a child is being punished for.


I've long thought that it should be limited by them being sovereign human
beings with a right to protection from deliberate pain and humiliation.


Did you think even for a moment what the word "sovereign" means before you
wrote this? For children to be sovereign human beings, they would have to
have ALL of the same rights as adults. Your own writings earlier in this
post show a clear recognition that children aren't ready to be sovereign
over their own lives.

Parents should have
relatively wide latitude in how they punish behavior that they can
reasonably view as exceptionally serious, assuming their children are
old enough to understand how serious the behavior is. But giving
parents the same latitude when a four-year-old spills a glass of
milk is absurd.


Your logic escapes me.

Now you are actually suggesting some 'limits' be imposed. How would you
'give' various amounts of latitude....by law?


Limits are already imposed by our laws against child abuse and governing
when social workers are authorized to intervene. I think it would be better
if the laws were restructured to put a greater emphasis on the relationshp
between the severity of punishments and the seriousness of children's
misbehavior, thereby providing greater latitude to intervene when parents
punish children harshly for minor offenses while still giving parents
relatively broad latitude in punishing more serious offenses. And when
there is room for disagreement about whether or not an offense should be
considered serious, I think parents should be given the benefit of the doubt
in determining what standards they set - at least as long as the standards
they set for their children are reasonably consistent with what they live by
themselves.

snip

I contend that logical and natural consequences, metered by parents, is a
far more effective learning tool than interrupting the child and hitting
them. The latter breaks the cause and effect link, and even the child too
young to KNOW about cause and effect needs a
backlog of experiences when he or she finally reaches their capacity
to integrate and understand cause and effect.


There is a difference between a natural consequence of an action and a
punishment disguised to look sort of like a natural consequence. My
inclination is that it's better to be honest and straightforward about the
fact that a child is being punished than it is to try to pretend that a
punishment is a natural consequence of a child's actions.

In some cases, a punishment closely related to a child's actions can help a
child understand the cause-and-effect relationship behind why the parent
felt a need to punish the child, or why what the child did was wrong, or why
something worse could have happened if the parent didn't stop the child from
engaging in inappropriate behavior. Other times, a punishment related to a
child's offense can serve a double purpose of punishing the child and
temporarily reducing the child's opportunity to do the same thing again. In
those kinds of situations, punishments closely related to a child's offense
can offer enormous advantages over more generic punishments such as
spanking.

Ironically, spanking can play a similar role in helping children understand
why hitting is wrong. I saw a story on the news a few years ago where
otherwise non-spanking parents tried everything they could think of to stop
their son from hitting their dog, without success. Finally, they spanked
him and explained that how he felt when he got spanked is how the dog feels
when he hits it. It worked. (The story was a local interest piece on the
news following a segment on 20/20 regarding spanking.)

But the less assistance a punishment provides in helping a child understand
cause-and-effect relationships, the less benefit there is in taking the time
to figure out and implement a punishment that is specifically related to the
child's offense. And a parent who makes up a punishment that's sort of
related and tries to pretend it's not a punishment is being dishonest both
with himself and with his child.

snip

In fact the definition of those terms like "punish" and "discipline," are
always on my mind in these discussions. Too often "discipline" is used by
spankers to include spanking. The word means to learn, nothing more,
unless you are using it as a noun...which wouldn't apply.


How many dictionaries did you check? All three dictionaries incorporated
into dictionary.com came up with a meaning for the verb relating to
punishment. The first was "to punish or penalize in order to train and
control; correct; chastise." You can look up the others yourself if you
want to.

snip

Nope. Not once, to my knowledge. I did myself at about age 6 though. I
simply was asked to make up for it to the druggist, someone we knew,
by
sweeping his store for a week. I still can't pass a Baby Ruth candy
bar
without a little shudder.

I wasn't spanked.


No, you were punished in a different way. But what happened to you was
a far cry from "dispensed with in a few minutes." In fact, I strongly
suspect that more than a few kids would choose a spanking over
having to sweep up for a week.


You aren't seriously going to argue that the child is the best judge of
how he or she will learn best, are you?


No. I'm making the point of how stupid it is to treat spanking as if it
were somehow magically more cruel than other forms of punishment.

What does a child know of distraction and misdirection (which spanking
does all too well).

I got to think about those candy bars every time I swept that particular
aisle.

A spanking is not a good learning tool. One "gets over" a spanking usually
pretty quickly, even a fierce beating. snip

Sometimes a long slower learning process has much more useful effect.


I agree that for something as serious as shoplifting, it's best if at least
part of the punishment is something longer and slower than a spanking so the
child doesn't put the whole thing behind him too quickly, with too little
thought. (And I'd regard a spanking on top of a week of sweeping as
overkill for a six-year-old.)

But longer, slower punishments can also have a down side. They disrupt
children's lives more, and can disrupt other people's lives more in the
process. And there is more time in which resentment could potentially breed
and grow before the punishment is behind the child.

I wasn't in pain as I swept. I was in contemplative gathering of
information. I couldn't use it very well, but the memory was strong, and
stayed with me in later years if I was tempted again.

A spanking doesn't just temporarily stop a behavior....it gives the child
an excuse to do it again on the off chance he won't be caught...which
criminals will tell you is actually quite seldom.


The only way spanking can give children an excuse to do something is if the
children are given the impression that it's okay for them to misbehave as
long as they're prepared to accept the punishment if they get caught.
Otherwise, I think your use of the words "gives...an excuse" is way off
base.

Purely in terms of deterrent effect, I don't see a fundamental difference
between what happened to you and what would probably have happened if you'd
gotten a hard spanking instead. You could have decided to take a chance of
having to sweep up again just as easily as a child who got clobbered with a
paddle could have decided to risk another paddling. Or if you don't think
one hard paddling would have been as scary a prospect as having to sweep up
again, how about more thna one?

What I'll bet really happened with you was that one or both of your parents
spent some time talking with you and making sure you understood as fully as
they could explain it why shoplifting is wrong. Then the severity of the
punishment helped drive home how serious a thing shoplifting is and, in the
process, gave you some time to think about what your parents had said. So
when you thought about shoplifting later, it wasn't just the fear of having
to sweep floors or some such again that stopped you. A lot of it was
remembering why shoplifting is wrong.

If I'm on the right track here, it was how good a job your parents did of
making sure you understood why shoplifting is wrong, and of helping you be
the kind of person who doesn't want to do things that are wrong, that made
you choose not to shoplift again, not the fact that your punishment was
having to sweep the floor instead of being spanked. Chances are excellent
that if you'd gotten a very hard spanking instead of having to sweep up for
a week, you still would have thought about getting in trouble if you
considered shoplifting again, but would also have thought about why it was
wrong and not done it. The extra time sweeping floors gave you to think
might have made a difference, but probably not enough of one to be decisive.

What would have set your parents and you up for disaster would not have been
if they spanked instead of making you sweep, but rather if they relied so
much on any kind of punishment that they didn't take much time to explain.
If all your parents did was yell at you a little about how horrible a kid
you were to steal, and then make you sweep floors for a week, would it have
had anything resembling the same effect?

If you are not laying down a learning experience that requires some fact
gathering and comparison, contemplation, then you aren't teaching. You are
just controlling..and humans are forever dreaming up ways to escape
control.


What fact gathering and comparison did sweeping floors give you that
spanking wouldn't have? What did having to sweep floors, in and of itself,
give you to contemplate, other than the fact that you hated sweeping floors?
The punishment served to reinforce your parents' teaching, and to provide an
extra mental connection to make you think about that teaching if you
considered shoplifting again. But the real TEACHING came from somewhere
else - just as it needs to (but too often doesn't) when parents spank.

snip

How many seriously bad parents in our society choose to be consistently
non-spanking parents?


Few to none, most likely. Not and follow through, at any rate.


Do you know what self selection bias is? Your statement a bit farther down
makes me wonder. I'll go ahead and explain it in case you might have
forgotten, or in case anyone else who reads this isn't familiar with the
term.

Ideally, scientific studies should divide people into caegories at random.
That way, the people in each category are likely to be essentially the same
other than in the specific factor being studied.

In contrast, with every study on spanking that I've ever heard of, the
parents being studied select which category they will be in themselves by
their choice of whether or not to spank. That creates a problem because the
same factors that cause them to choose to be spankers or choose to be
non-spankers can also influence a whole lot of other choices they make as
parents. For example, if parents choose to spank because they are too lazy
to think about anything else they could do instead, that same laziness can
cause problems in all sorts of other ways that have little or nothing to do
with the fact that they spank. That problem is known as self-selection
bias.

In a society where we both agree that it's probable that almost all
seriously bad parents spank at least occasionally, it would be absolutely
amazing if a heavily disproportionate percentage of the really messed up
people were not people who were spanked as kids. The self-selection bias
involved in that issue is one of the worst you'll find anywhere. Yet you
consistently fail to acknowledge that self-selection bias problem when you
talk about how many messed-up people were spanked as kids.

There is a huge problem of self-selection bias in
trying to compare spanking parents with non-spanking parents in
current-day America, and if any study has even come close to
doing an adequate job of controlling for that problem, I'm not
aware of it.


Then the trick is to get them to self select by motivations. Same as with
slavery, and emancipation of women.


Are you really crazy enough t think that terrible parents would magically
become good parents if they just stopped spanking?

My guess is there are some non-spankers whose children might act out
at some point. My other guess is that they handle it pretty well by
non-punitive methods, and certainly not with CP.


My guess is that a lot of parents who start off planning not to spank
change their minds because they aren't happy with the results they
get without spanking.


They aren't happy with the feelings of not being in control. It's a false
fear, because win or lose they are always "in control." Who can't control
a 2 year old child?


A person who gives up the will to do so.

They feel out of control because it's unfamiliar territory and they give
up.

The ones that stay non-spankers tend to be the ones who have
better-than-average success with alternatives, either because they have
better parenting skills and are willing to put more effort into making
alternatives work, or because their children are more naturally

cooperative.

Yep. Life is like that. So if people lack those things that's an adequate
excuse for spanking?

I'd say the two populations should swap. Those predisposed to spank should
be forbidden to, and those that are strongly opposed should be given the
choice.

The ones that change their minds and start spanking are probably
disproportionately likely to be bad parents no matter whether they spank
or not. If this guess is right, it throws the results of studies
on the subject way out of kilter - especially in regard to what we
could expect if we banned spanking.


So if we banned spanking those predisposed to NOT spank wouldn't have a
problem with it.

And the others?

Tough ****, as they say.

You've already defined them as less, even IN-competent.


You're missing my point. Did you even try to understand the point I was
making, or were you too busy looking for a way to spin what I wrote into an
attack on spanking?

If any significant number of parents who aren't good at being non-spanking
parents quit trying and become spanking parents, the result is that the
overall category of non-spanking parents looks better than it would if those
less competent parents had remained in the category. At least part of the
difference between non-spanking parents and spanking parents is an illusion
insofar as actual difference in the quality of the parenting techniques is
concerned. If those less successful non-spanking parents were required to
remain non-spanking parents, the category of non-spanking parents would look
worse.

Further, to the extent that those parents are less competent or incompetent
overall, rather than just not good at making non-spanking methods work,
having them jump categories to the spanking category drags down the average
for the category of spanking parents. The difference isn't just a
difference in the methods the parents use, but is a difference in the
underlying quality of the parents themselves. If the parents who use one
method average being better parents than the parents who use another method,
the method that has the better parents use it will look better than it
really is, and the method that has the worse parents use it will look worse
than it really is.

So how would you deal with a case of repeated shoplifting in a genuinely
nonpunitive way?


Depends on the age. Below 4, explain and walk away after returning the
item.

Above that age begin introducing restitution.


If, by restitution, you mean more than just having to give back what was
taken or pay for it, I don't regard that as entirely nonpunitive. I suppose
it could be argued that it's not punitive for people who are caught
shoplifting to have to repay store owners for thefts by similarly competent
(or incompetent) shoplifters who get away with their shoplifting. But
anything beyond that would definitely qualify as punishment.

And never leave out how it make YOU the parent feel, your emotions upon
learning the child has taken something of someone else's without
permission and payment.

It's far easier than it might appear. A word or two is all that is needed.


snip

When parents do their job properly, they stop relying on "I'm bigger
than you" as the primary basis for their authority when their children
are young, and start building a different foundation by earning their
children's trust and respect.


Could I earn your trust and respect by making you afraid of me?


I'm really disappointed, not to mention frustrated and sometimes angry, that
you don't make more effort to understand what I am trying to say. What you
did here was take what I was trying to say and twist it as if it meant
almost the exact opposite.

A lot of what goes into building trust and respect has nothing to do with
punishment. It has to do with things like helping children, and setting a
good example, and teaching them and offering them guidance, and helping them
understand things, and sometimes just being there for them. You should
recognize that at least as well as I do, yet you completely ignored it.
Why?

The relationship between punishment and trust and respect is a complex one.
When punishment is clearly unfair, and especially when the person doing the
punishing is perceived as not even making much effort to be fair, it
destroys trust and respect. But people don't respect pushovers either. If
parents want respect, their children have to view them as doing their job as
parents - which includes preventing the children from doing things that they
know are wrong.

I would expect the ideal to be if parents can find ways to genuinely solve
problems without having to resort to threats or punishments. Then the
children can respect their parents for having done the right thing without
any emotional baggage from having been punished.

If parents do punish, but they do it fairly, they generate some short-term
turbulence in the sea of trust and respect. But if the children look back
later and view the punishment as having been just - or at least understand
why their parents thought it was just - I think the long-term result can
still be to help build respect. And parents can earn that they will try to
be fair in deciding whether and when children's actions are serous enough to
warrant punishment - a trust that alleviates fear of unjust punishment.

How DO we gain another's trust and respect?

I had a supervisor once on a very large contract that I liked a lot. She
was being used by administration to punish workers that disagreed with
policy (policy that was not in the best interests of the customers) and
while she was fairly new, two years on the job, she was well trained and
conscientious.

I knew she needed to move on, so I did the ultimate "punishment" to her.

I walked into her office one day with no one around but her and I, put on
my most kindly face and said, "I'm so very disappointed in you."

She instantly opened up to ask me why. And I could tell her what I was
seeing. She left and moved on to better things 60 days later. Even
forfeiting an educational bonus to do so.

If I'd walked in, insulted her, challenged her authority, in other words
really punished her, she'd likely still be there helping to destroy that
enterprise...as it did self destruct eventually.


Does the sense you're using the word "punished" in here really have anything
to do with discipline? What would the purpose of starting off with an
attack under such conditions have had to do with training or teaching,
especially in the absence of any prior reason to think you thought she was
doing something wrong?

I'll also note that I am very much against insulting children as a form of
discipline. Contrary to the "sticks and stones" saying, cruel words can
leave some of the deepest and most lasting wounds of all.

To the extent that the parents continue to punish their
children sometimes, the children understand that there are reasons
behind their parents' expectations, and that the expectations are
not just arbitrary bullying of someone bigger over someone smaller.


They do? When? At 45?

The children
might not always agree with the parents' reasons, but they can at least
respect the fact that their parents are trying to do what they

believe is
right. So when the children are too big for the parents to use physical
force to enforce a punishment, the parent-child relationship still has a
solid foundation under it.


You aren't going to like this, but that's the spankers warped world view
via the spanking experience.

When children are too big to spank the ultimate betrayal has taken place
if the child now believes their parent is to be trusted.


I've just decided that continuing this discussion is pointless. What you
say here is the last straw in convincing me that your prejudice is so thick
that I don't think there's any hope of your comprehending anything that
doesn't fit the simplistic theoretical models you've built in your head.
You refuse to truly, honestly listen enough to learn from me, even though
the mismatch between my experiences and your mental models ought to make it
glaringly obvious that there at least might be things you could learn. And
the information you're giving me is pretty much all stuff I've seen before,
usually about a zillion times before.

The only reason I see why I might want to keep going is that you do mix in
some useful parenting tips here and there. But at the moment, I don't view
that as worth the time and aggravation.


  #20  
Old December 9th 06, 11:05 AM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.parenting.spanking,alt.support.foster-parents
Greegor
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,243
Default Teenagers faced with spankings

Kane wrote
Hey, despite my education in the field and 50 years of examining this
and my experience throughout that time, much of it professional as well
as personal, I would not offer such a blanket statement as that.


Can we see your resume' since you put yourself forth as an expert?

 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
More Teenagers Seek Help From Psychiatrists Jan Kids Health 29 April 23rd 06 05:53 PM
Third of US teenagers are unfit Roman Bystrianyk Kids Health 1 January 3rd 06 02:57 AM
Teenagers' behaviour 'worsening' Roman Bystrianyk Kids Health 1 September 20th 04 12:12 PM
PA: Erie Co., CYS failure-Busy chasin' spankings? Fern5827 Spanking 0 June 14th 04 04:19 PM
Why are so many teenagers so foul mouthed and disgusting? [email protected] General 8 April 13th 04 06:59 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 ParentingBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.