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Should parents smack their children?

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Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:14 pm
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thunder_dude7 says...



I was spanked. Though, according to my siblings, not as much as them.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with spanking. All in all, it's a very effective way to punish a misbehaving child. Now, obviously, abuse is wrong, but we are talking about spanking.

I agree with overeasy that you don't necessarily need to cause pain.

Time out? You realize what that is, right? You send them to a corner to think about what they did!

"Are you thinking about that, Billy?"

"Yeah, dad, I'm thinking about it.[/obvious sarcasm]"

Kids probably formulate their new plans in time out!

They need to learn that bad behavior results in something bad. "Time out" is time for kid's overwhelming imagination to work. Spanking is a punishment.

Besides, there are much worse punishments. Like making them pick their own stick. Then you're playing a mental game with them.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:36 am
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Rei says...



Which is exactly why it needs to be done properly. There needs to be dialogue on a level that the child understands about why the child was put in time out, and they shouldn't be in time out longer than necessary. As well, your voice and body language need to show that you are serious. Parents who hit their kids that I have observed don't use effective non-violent body language. If time-out doesn't work, be creative. Think of something else.

Even if I was allowed to hit my students, I wouldn't. When it comes to the kids being violent, find out the reasons they hit the other kids. The student I spend most of my time with used to shove kids all the time because they wouldn't share a toy with him or because he had a toy that they wanted. I didn't even tell him that you shouldn't shove kids to get them to share. I told him how to ask for a turn politely and that if the other kids wouldn't share that he should come to me. Sometimes it took a little convincing, but the other kids would share with him, and eventually he saw that they were willing to give a toy to him so he started giving the toy to them if they asked nicely. All it took to keep him from what caused a lot of his hitting was providing a simple alternative. And this kid turned three last December and has language delays. Just think of how well it would work with other kids who don't have any language delays.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:07 am
Cade says...



Rei wrote:Who says they need to understand the whys? Even babies understand cause and effect. Why else would they keep crying when they are hungry or need to be changed? They know that if they cry mommy will feed or change them. Bring it to their level so they understand instead of trying to bring them to your level.

Bringing it to their level was precisely what I was trying to say...a child who doesn't understand cause and effect will understand the more direct physical punishment--not necessarily pain, but at least a small shock.
I was under the impression that babies do not understand cause and effect, but that they cry when they are uncomfortable...crying is one of the few things built into humans, it's not something the baby contemplates and decides to do. I think you actually have to decide to take advantage of a cause-and-effect situation like that.

I'm a fan of time out, but sometimes it just doesn't work. That one kid I spanked while babysitting for beating up his brother refused to go to time-out, even though his mother showed me exactly where he was to sit for time-out, and told him to go there if I asked him to. Kids who are completely belligerent or out-of-control need more reinforcement than time-out. This same kid, a five-year-old, kicked me, pulled my hair, sprayed water at me, and threw one of my shoes down the laundry chute, and of course decided his two-year-old brother was a perfectly acceptable punching bag. He had no intention of taking me seriously. He laughed and tried to run away. That's not the kind of kid you can reason with, at least not immediately.

khfan890 wrote:People are just big babies with their kids today.

I agree! All this new-age parenting sort of bothers me...some of the methods have their benefits, but I don't see any reason to reject the parenting philosophies that made our grandparents and parents (for the most part) morally upstanding members of society. Spanking doesn't mean hitting a child each time he does something wrong. I see a lot of sense in Vernon's dad's method, too, when it comes to older children. Counting to ten teaches the kid responsibility...whatever punishment follows 'ten' is their fault, and older kids learn that pretty quickly.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:47 am
thunder_dude7 says...



Parents who hit their kids that I have observed don't use effective non-violent body language.


Which obviously makes everybody who spanks their kids misunderstanding, evil people. Of course!

The thing is, why are the kids acting up? Because they are bored and want attention. So what, exactly, are they missing out on during time out.

Rei, I applaud you on having such well behaved and smart students. Thing is, the little ones (As in, 1 or 2 year olds) aren't quite as smart and won't catch on. Why, exactly, would a child who could care less about other's feelings use the manners you taught? The kid was upset, but he cared about their feelings somewhere in there. A kid who really could care less wouldn't have listened.

I like Vernon's dad's idea. Very useful. Gives them a chance to correct their behavoir, and if it continues, consequences.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:54 am
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Incandescence says...



Even if I was allowed to hit my students, I wouldn't. When it comes to the kids being violent, find out the reasons they hit the other kids. The student I spend most of my time with used to shove kids all the time because they wouldn't share a toy with him or because he had a toy that they wanted. I didn't even tell him that you shouldn't shove kids to get them to share. I told him how to ask for a turn politely and that if the other kids wouldn't share that he should come to me.


I have never heard of someone spanking their child for not sharing a toy, Rei. You're constructing straw mans to support your point. I was only spanked as a child when I did something very, very bad--lying, being belligerent, hurting someone/thing, etc.

The other problem I have with the philosophy you're effectively giving your students is that you're making it victim-based and telling them that authority will always dish things out in a fair and reasonable way. The sad fact of actually-existing reality, however, proves otherwise: the institutions we commit ourselves to repeatedly undermine and compromise us, and we have to contend with that. While I'm not saying your method is wrong or doesn't teach them something valuable, I'm also saying you're not punishing wrong-doers, who will only fear doing wrong when an adult is present--and later, when they themselves are adults, then who will they fear?

Of course, your method here is absolutely important too. I would never say it isn't important to realize that authority can also be used for good/beneficial things for you. But it also needs to be exerted towards bad behavior, as well, which is where spanking comes in to play.

In any event, you still haven't shown that spanking a child is ineffective. Instead, you've just said, "There are alternatives." Good, fine, but spanking is an alternative to your method as well, and I think we are simply asking here that you acknowledge that as well. If you have reason to believe that it's not an alternative, please let us know why--besides your personal experiences with parents who do it. My parents are not bad people or abusive, and nor are my friends' parents. Just because you can find an example or examples doesn't mean it's true for the entire population.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:29 pm
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Eimear says...



I do agree with Brad, after reading his concise arguments. However, I wasn't spanked. Once I went into one of our unused gardens where unsavory people had been known to walked through after being told not to, and I was slapped on the back of my legs. It didn't hurt, moreover it shocked me, and I understood the seriousness of it because my parents were so scared that I might have been kidnapped.

Other than that, we had a seat in our kitchen that you had to sit on if you were bad. It meant that you were excluded from whatever activity or conversation, and I suppose it was the isolation rather than the 'time to think about what you'd done' that made me learn. I learned from the consequences rather than mulling over my actions. I really do commend my parents because out of all ten children, I'd say we are calm, thoughtful people who'd never rely on physical violence, if the situation wasn't serious enough.

I wouldn't consider any parents- my sister for example, who doesn't spank their children as 'soft' however. Everyone has different parenting techniques.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:08 pm
thunder_dude7 says...



OK, this argument has gotten me very mixed up...

I'm sorry if it came across that I would spank a child as punishment every time they did something wrong. I meant that when they did something very bad, spanking is a valid form of punishment.

After mulling over Eimear's statements, I figure that time out could work if the child was actually doing something fun. For example, acting up during play time.

The thing I don't think works about time out is that it results in the same punishment for any misbehavoir. The typical time out rule I've heard is "A minute per age", ie 1 year old for 1 minute, 5 year old for 5 minutes, ect. But that lacks the ability to adjust. For example, taking a toy deserves less punishment than hitting another child with a toy.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:09 pm
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Blink says...



Personally, I'm sort of against it.

I feel it would make the child too weak-minded, as if they must only do what there parents told them to do. It might work at say one or two but around 6 onwards you would just get angry with your parents and begin to mistrust them, perhaps ignoring the punishment concept entirely. I was not spanked, since I was fully aware they couldn't go any above that before they could be looked into for abuse, something none of us wanted.

I respected them because of what they wanted me to do--I would consider what they told me and they let me make my own decisions--still do.

I suppose that's more personal experience, but overall I'm not completely either way.
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:23 pm
Rei says...



a child who doesn't understand cause and effect will understand the more direct physical punishment--not necessarily pain


If they do not understand cause and effect with other things, how will they understand it with hitting? Hitting a kid is still a cause-and-effect situation. There are "physical" consequences that don't involve slapping them. I had a kid who kept running off on the field trip I took last week, so what I did was hold his wrist instead of his hand, then made him sit in my lap and held onto him.

I have never heard of someone spanking their child for not sharing a toy, Rei. You're constructing straw mans to support your point. I was only spanked as a child when I did something very, very bad--lying, being belligerent, hurting someone/thing, etc.


You miss the point entirely. I was talking about hurting kids, nor was I talking about you, so get over yourself. He was starting fights because people were not sharing. I didn't slap him for hitting. Instead, I providing an alternative to starting fights. And teach them the real consequences of lying. e.g. kids lie to me about having to go to the bathroom, so the next time they ask, I won't take them because I don't believe them.

I'm also saying you're not punishing wrong-doers, who will only fear doing wrong when an adult is present--and later, when they themselves are adults, then who will they fear?


Which is why you teach them the right thing to do instead of just punishing the mistake. You don't punish, you teach. And why does fear always have to be involved? To give you another example, if you've got students who have problems with bad, negative, language, instead of sending them to the office or threatening to wash their mouth out with soap, teach them the value of positive language. What are they really going to value if they only follow the rules out of fear of being hit? I'd say fear of punishment is not going to work simply because it only makes people try not to get caught. If fear of punishment was enough, why are jails so over-crowded? With my student,

Gives them a chance to correct their behavoir, and if it continues, consequences.


Why does that consequence have to be violent? You say that kids won't learn hitting as a way of solving problems if they themselves are hit as children, but you do. You see hitting as a valid solution to behaviour problems. I see no reason why that wouldn't spill over into other situations.

By the way, Brad, I have worked with over two hundred children in a classroom and saw how their parents handle them, and studied behaviour modification. Not to mention I take in everything I see and make the connections. My observations about these things are just as valid as your personal experiences with your parents.
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Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:35 pm
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PenguinAttack says...



Howdy, kids. ^^

I thought I might take a little time and add my two coins to the pot.

Firstly: While I understand where you’re coming from, Rei – you seem to believe that smacking your child equates to abuse, which is fair enough. Your opinion is your own. But when speaking with a number of people who don’t see it that way, your argument gets lost. < Which isn’t to say your argument isn’t valid, I’m just saying that we appear to be on two separate pages.

I understand that you mean to say that smacking your child is not okay, because there are alternatives that you see as better for the child available. And that violence in any form is negative toward the help and growth of a human being. < Both entirely understandable view points.

You stated three definitions, positive and negative reinforcement and punishment. I think what I most want to make clear is that I find smacking to be negative reinforcement; of course, it can also be punishment – but to a child, negative reinforcement and punishment are the same thing, they both affect the child in a negative way. I believe that in any case above, the individual is usually focusing on what behaviour they expect and want to happen, rather then what the child has done wrong – outliers excepted, of course. In this way – punishment and negative reinforcement are basically the same, except for a parent’s intentions. A child cannot know the intentions of a parent, he/she will only understand that what they did was not right, and therefore they must correct it, or something negative will happen.

All that aside, or in the middle, ^^ I don’t have anything against smacking your child. My parents did it to me, I don’t condone violence, but I hardly see a small smack as violence. Yes, there are different methods of disciplining children – Also, I should hope you wouldn’t smack a child for not sharing, that’s disproportional to the action. With most smacking, it is proportional to the action that needs disciplining; any excess should not be condoned.

So, yes, I agree with it. I did me no harm, and my mother believes in it, I asked her today and her response to me was “it was the only thing that worked” ^^ Time out’s, grounding, nicking my books from me; smacking was most effective to teach me. I think I turned out pretty okay. xD

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Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:54 pm
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thunder_dude7 says...



I agree with the Penguin.
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Archstormangel says...



I still get spanked D:
As a kid, it's not bad
Now, they spank me and i just sit and grumble and hate them. And then I do what they asked me once. The next time we repeat the process. Past a certain age, kids will want to rebel, will not want to give their parents the satisfaction of obeying from violence.

But when I was younger, it worked fine.

Oddly enough, my parents STARTED spanking me when I was six.
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Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:32 pm
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~Volant~ says...



I was only spanked once as a child. But that was because I grew up watching four older siblings be spanked and decided I didn't want that myself. haha. All my parents had to do was threaten, and an image of Mit being spanked, and I'd stop instantly. Of course, after a few years of that, it didn't work, and I had to expirience a spanking for myself before I remembered that I really didn't want to be spanked. And it worked very, very well.

I was also only slapped once, and that was because I kept talking back and continued to talk back the entire day. I was slapped, and I've never talked back again.

I am not a violent person. In fact, I can't see many movies because I faint at the sight of blood. My teacher showed a clip of jaws, and I was sent to the nurse.

By all means, I think a well-deserved smack is good.

Also, giving a child a cookie for each small achievement is not a good thing. I wasn't given a pat on the back for finishing my chores or finishing my homework. If I wanted a cookie, I had to earn it. I've also seen kids who don't consider themselve bad or mean because their parents only told them what was good about them, and not was bad. I'm very glad that I had parents who told me exactly how it is. They didn't point it out maliciously. "Shut up, brat, or you'll never find a friend!" But they did tell me my shortcomings so that I didn't experience a sharp drop in self-esteem.

And, I'm afraid of saying it, but I'll be blunt: you can't sit a five-year-old down and have a talk to him about what he did wrong. Pain really is the quickest way to reach them, and reach them effectively. There's a better way of saying that, I just can't find it, so keep an open mind for a little bit longer.

My friend's mother drinks coffee every morning, and she likes it extra hot. My friend saw coffee as a grown-up thing, and like every little kid, he wanted to touch it. His mother would push his hand away and say, "Careful, it's hot." But he didn't listen. Finally, his mother said, "Fine, if you won't listen to me, touch it." He touched it, slightly burned himself, and never again touched anything his mother told him not to touch. He was around five at that time. See, telling him every morning didn't work.

Smacking kids, really, teaches them a lot. You don't have to whip them or anything. And anyway, a spanking or a slap fades pretty quickly. I never had any bruises, but I knew what was wrong, and I learned quick.
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Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:04 am
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Rubric says...



Hmmm I'm starting to agree with all of these advocates for the odd smack. Honestly I can't see why we limit this to children. I mean, There's this friend of a friend who's a little slow on the social niceties. Rather than having to go through all of the details and reasonings (honestly who can be bothered? I know I'm right, because I'm smarter than him).

So from now on I'll reinforce every piece of advice with a spank, a smack; or perhaps go with Volant's charming idea and burn him with boiling water.

After all, I'm bigger and more reasonable than him, it just makes sense.
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Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:45 pm
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~Volant~ says...



>.< Please, Rubric, don't use sarcasm. It's annoying and immature and it's not going to sway me.

Galatea wrote:
Also, not a fallacy, but sarcasm is absolutely inappropriate on these boards, especially used to (usually) incorrectly represent an opposite point of view.

For example: I'm a smelly republican! I love war and I love Jesus! I don't need to think for myself because the government does it for me! War is awesome! Poor people are lazy! Etc. etc.


I'll repeat what she said: sarcasm is absolutely inappropriate on these boards, especially used to (usually) incorrectly represent an opposite point of view. This is one of those "incorrectly represent" instances.

Anyway:

So from now on I'll reinforce every piece of advice with a spank, a smack; or perhaps go with Volant's charming idea and burn him with boiling water.


Misquoting is a fallacy (#6, "out of context," on the fallacies page). He persisted in disregaring her warnings. This was after weeks of him not paying attention to her attempts to protect him. He was slightly burned. He doesn't have a scar, he wasn't seriously hurt, and he is very emotionally stable.

And parents should not add a spank or a smack to every piece of advice to a child. A spank or a smack should only be administered if a child is bad.

For instance:

"You should brush your teeth, otherwise you'll get cavities. *Smack*"

is a bad thing to do. The kid is sitting there, "What did I do?!"

But:

"You've been lying to me. You stole your brother's hard-earned money and you've been lying about it this whole time. *Smack*"

As long as it's been proven, that's fine. I mean, it's a bit over the top if the kid is knocked to the ground, bleeding, and goes to school with a huge bruise on his face. But a well-earned slap is fine. Then the kid is sitting there, "I shouldn't steal money."
Last edited by ~Volant~ on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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