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Yesterday I was told not to spank my child anymore because its considered sexual abuse.


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Showing 1476-1500 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 10:07:44 AM PDT
A. Lamb says:
Shaking a child is a very bad idea. I think that's horrible.

Posted on May 28, 2012 10:15:52 AM PDT
Daisy says:
Becky, Yes, so much of cultivating "re-spond-ability" is about learning how to slow down, take a breather and give oneself over to reflective thinking so as to find - with the guidance of loving parents - constructive solutions and then *choose* to employ those solutions. Well structured time outs lend themselves to learning to ground oneself responsibly.

Whenever one 're-acts' to a child's (or anyone's) acting out, one is coming from a place of frustration and fear. Parental reactive behaviors (whether screaming, hitting, name calling or coldly withdrawing all emotion) simply mirror, and re-inforce as acceptable, the child's frustrated, fearful behaviors. When any one of us is re-acting, we have either forgotten we always have choices or we have never learned about autonomous choice in the first place.

This is why I say that if one must re-act, it's better to be honest about one's propensity for immature reactivity and go ahead and swat a child out of anger. There's a better chance for remorse in that case. Where there's remorse, there is some greater hope for willingness to change destructively patterned (unconscious:) behaviors. It's my conviction that the calculated decision to enact corporal punishment (supposedly anger free/really emotionally numbed out) is far more destructive than the spontaneous, non-calculated (albeit, emotionally immature) swat.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 11:21:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2012 11:25:36 AM PDT
P. Campbell says:
To:James C.
Absolute nonsense. Abuse leads to abuse. Do you get smacked for bad behavior? Why should your child?

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 11:48:25 AM PDT
Becky says:
I like your word, Daisy! Re-spond-ability. Being able to respond constructively is so important, but it takes thought to respond. Reaction is something we all do. It happens quickly, without time for thought. If a dog runs in the street in front of us, there is no time to think out the best way to respond; if we do so, it will be too late. Instead we react. We swerve or break. We also do the same thing in child rearing. Our child runs toward a busy street, at that moment there is no time to plan an effective intervention for keeping our toddler out of the street. We run and grab the child. This reaction is likely followed by more reactions, until emotions begin to calm and return to normal. The parent may swat, cry, scold, shake; many reactions are possible. It's understandable that the person is reacting instead of responding, they are in a state of high arousal, a fight or flight response which redirects blood and energy from the frontal lobes of the brain to the muscles in order to ensure quick action. If the parent does something he or she regrets, maybe accidentally knocking over the child and causing an injury, we understand at this point, because the parent truly was trying to protect the child from a serious danger, without time to analyze other, less drastic dangers.

Later, when calm, the parent can respond. They can think through an appropriate way to prevent the child from approaching the busy street. Closer supervision when near streets, training, a high fence around the yard, all can help prevent this situation from occurring again in the future. The parent may apologize to the child for the skinned knee, while explaining that the skinned knee isn't nearly as bad as the danger of the street.

When a parent reacts through spanking, the child is likely to understand the emotion behind the spanking. Mom is scared because what I was doing is dangerous. Dad is angry because I broke his favorite chair. The child understands these emotions, and if taught about emotions, he also understands that these emotions are appropriate reactions to what happened. This doesn't mean the parent's behavior was an appropriate reaction, but the emotion was appropriate. If the parent recognizes this, he or she can now learn better ways to channel anger, and plan in advance a better response to a similar situation.

I agree that spanking "without anger" is different. Taking the time to plan just how much pain to cause, just how much the child "deserves" for the offense, has a completely different feel. The parent take time to "calm down" so as not to spank in anger. Gaining an outward appearance of composure while quietly contemplating the offense and what punishment to mete out. Masked anger can drive the spanking that may ensue. Repressed anger still guides a person's actions, and is able to be relieved by violent expression, but if the person is unaware of the effect anger is having, he will not be able to respond appropriately to the anger, instead will only react with the anger. (I'm sure you know by now, I am not a psychoanalyst, but this is recognized outside of psychoanalysis, just with different terms in other fields). Unfortunately, whether or not the person recognizes that anger is in play, relief of anger through aggression increases the likelihood of aggression when angered again.

One way to counteract this is to become aware of signs of anger, such as flushing skin, clenching fists, difficulty thinking of anything other than what you are angry about...When confronted with these or other symptoms, it is best to admit to yourself, and to others if you are ready to do so, that you are quite angry right now. Take some time, accept your anger, take a walk, do what you need to do to cool down so that you can think rationally. When you're heart begins to warm thinking of the positive characteristics of your child, you are closer to being ready to rationally think of a way to handle the problem.

Anyway, I've gone on too long again, but I do enjoy our interchanges :)
Thank you again

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 2:55:07 PM PDT
unkabob says:
This is exactly why delinquency is running amok in this Country. The child has no barriers to cling to as he/she matures and without those inert barriers they tend to rebel and eventually become enemies of the state. Maybe that's what it's all about.. To keep the judicial system busy and the institutions full. I was spanked when I was a kid because.... I did bad things! I knew this, I WANTED to be shown what was acceptable and what was taboo.. I learned it then taught my children in like manner and now they are forbidden to teach their kids (in fear of being fined, jailed or having their kids taken from them).. We are creating generations of criminal potentials and it's our own g'ment that's demanding we do so with their covert propaganda. I can envision a child sticking his finger in a fire.. I can imagine the parent taking him to a side and explaining the dangers of sticking his finger in a fire then I can visualize the child walking off and sticking his finger in the fire once again.. With a good spank on the butt, it would have only happened that once. We're creating future apathy for our children and the authorities do not hold themselves responsible.

Posted on May 28, 2012 3:14:36 PM PDT
If this thread were all people had to go by, you'd think it was a black and white world! Thank goodness for shades of gray.

Posted on May 28, 2012 3:30:24 PM PDT
Lisa says:
I have 8 children, 5 girls and 3 boys, all of them have had a spanking at some point in their early life. Some of them had more spankings than others, due to their different personalities they would learn faster than their other brothers or sisters. I never once pulled they pants down to spank. Discipline can have many forms, spanking is just one example, but consistency (follow thru) is key along with a good home environment to grow up in. None of my kids have been in jail/prison, none have been sexual predators/molesters. The oldest is 41 and the youngest 23. All but my youngest is married with their own kids. All my kids grew up in Los Angeles area.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 5:29:08 PM PDT
Becky says:
You say your kids are forbidden to teach kids? Really? Where do you live that parents will be fined or jailed for TEACHING kids. I think you may be mistaking teaching with hitting. The two are really quite different....

You imagine a child sticking a finger in a fire, and needing to be spanked to learn not to do so again. I imagine a child putting his hand near a fire, recognizing the heat, and pulling his hand back to a comfortable spot. No need at all for physical punishment, although the parent can use this opportunity to teach the child the meaning of the word "hot". Either way, a young child should be supervised around fire, to not supervise would be negligent, and spanking is a poor excuse for negligence.

Posted on May 28, 2012 6:55:03 PM PDT
Imagine if all that parenting required was imagination? Imagine!

Posted on May 28, 2012 7:05:20 PM PDT
Island Girl says:
I am no expert in judging characters but by reading your story, you seem like a capable mom who only wants what's best for her child. I am 29 years old and I am thankful that my parents spanked me when i was a kid and out of line. Their spankings and discipline did NOT leave me hating them nor did they leave any physical or psychological scars. They helped shaped me to be the good person that I am today. Just be careful what you do in public though because there are people who will interpret it the wrong way, I mean, because there are parents that do go overboard.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 7:51:25 PM PDT
Becky says:
Problem solving skills are also necessary ;)

Btw, my example was actually very near to real life, except it was a cup of coffee that forever taught my son the meaning of "hot" and to be careful of objects that may be hot. He was with an adult family member, touched the cup, and as he pulled his hand back, the adult told him "hot". Not only did my 10 month old son understand, when I came in the room, he made sure I knew, and wide eyed, pointed to the now cooled down cup and warned me "HOT!" several times until he knew I understood. He was just as interested in protecting me, as I was in protecting him. My only issue with the situation was that an adult should not set a cup of hot coffee within reach of a baby! That is completely unacceptable :-/

Posted on May 28, 2012 8:12:10 PM PDT
i was spanked w/ a wire hanger before (yes, mommy dearest)..and i dont think i have sexual inclinations that are weird (no weirder than the people i know). dont know what spanking has anything to do w/ sex. it hurts ~_~

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 10:50:58 PM PDT
lol that is crazy what that lady said to you I would not have been tempted to punch her in the eye but i would have put her in her place and went about my day.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 10:55:55 PM PDT
layback says:
you don't know what you're talking about.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 6:10:14 AM PDT
Daisy says:
Durr D Dwag,
You say: " I can envision a child sticking his finger in a fire.. I can imagine the parent taking him to a side and explaining the dangers of sticking his finger in a fire then I can visualize the child walking off and sticking his finger in the fire once again.. With a good spank on the butt, it would have only happened that once."

Let me give you something else to imagine. It's baby's first birthday. Her parent's are so excited on this wonderful occasion - friends and relatives have been invited for the big day - grandparents are beaming, babies and little ones are tumbling about happy to see each other - delighted by the balloons and streamers. A big moment arrives! Father stands by with his camera while mother brings the birthday cake towards the baby. Everyone is singing. Baby is a little bewildered, perhaps a bit overwhelmed, also happily curious ... the mother, not knowing better (she will next year!) brings the cake close to her baby and says, 'blow out your candle'. In the wink of an eye, baby instead touches the burning candle and immediately withdraws her finger while crying out in pain. Father immediately puts down the camera to help Mother get the baby out of her high chair. Family and friends simultaneously make sounds of sympathy - some crowd a little closer and others say make a little room. Aunts, and grandmothers reminisce while the first time pregnant mother to be takes mental notes. Baby, now in Mother's arms, is still crying as her finger get's the requisite cold water and kisses - and is not only hearing 'hot' from her mother, but from concerned others. In a couple of minutes, all is well and baby is happily having her first mouthfuls of birthday cake while everyone beams and now a wiser Mother takes some photos too.

Now, since this is a functionally child friendly household, this baby will have learned about 'hot' from the time she was an early crawling baby (or sooner). How? Maybe Grandma would have held her curious grand-daughter up at a safe distance to see the soup cooking on the stove. Mother would have certainly many times over stirred her baby's hot cereal and blown on it w/big eyes repeating "hot", don't touch. Hot hurts! Father would have on several occasions pushed his coffee well out of baby's reach in serious tones proclaiming, "Don't touch. Hot!". Bath water would have been tested every day of the baby's first year of life and baby would have been told, "Not yet, the water is too hot. Ah, now it's just right for you."

Since all this and more would have occurred repeatedly in the 365 days preceding her first birthday cake and her unfortunate encounter w/the candle, baby now has an especially strong motivation to believe that what her trustworthy parents say is true. Her trust in reality now takes a deeper dimension - and - trust me on this: She's not going to stick her finger in any more fire! And all this gained without getting hit for the crime of getting hurt.

Imagine that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 6:51:08 AM PDT
hurting your children does nothing but HURT them temporarily and cause them to begin to resent you for hurting them! they will not respect you for it!
the "problem" with today's youth is that there are too many people with too much ignorance breeding!

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 6:51:50 AM PDT
raise your hand if being hit means being loved?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 11:20:53 AM PDT
T. A. Rhodes says:
I don't consider spanking an effective form of discpline nor do I consider it sexual abuse or when done in the manner most people describe I don't even consider it abuse. Just don't think it's effective. Might want to use a finer brush for those strokes your painting.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 11:42:10 AM PDT
Reki-III says:
The only kids I see as bullies in school is those with the alcoholic father abusing the mother, or those whoes parents take the 'don't do that' policy. After all, all you have to say is 'don't do that' and they will listen to you.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 6:31:54 PM PDT
Daisy says:
TA Rhodes, You claim to no one in particular and everyone in general: "I don't consider spanking an effective form of discpline nor do I consider it sexual abuse or when done in the manner most people describe I don't even consider it abuse. Just don't think it's effective. Might want to use a finer brush for those strokes your painting."

I'm sort of curious. Could you please explain how you justify your own completely subjective opinions as something other than very broad strokes?

Posted on May 30, 2012 10:38:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2012 10:39:48 AM PDT
There is so much judgement and condemnation against spanking. When a child does something against the explicit instruction of the parent that risks his life, limb, or abduction, a spanking may be in order. Willful and violent displays of hostility, such as the example of the little boy throwing a glass jar on the floor at the grocery store, may in fact indicate that a spanking is way overdue. There should be as few spankings as possible yet still retain parental authority. For some this may be none. Certain boys may need to be spanked every every year from age 2 to 10. Worst of all is the parent who slaps the child's hand 87 times a week.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 3:03:44 PM PDT
Becky says:
In reply to mr. critic,
There is so much judgement and condemning young children to be spanked. When a child does something against the explicit instructions of the parent that risks life, limb, or abduction, better supervision is in order. Willful and violent displays of hostility, such as the example of the little boy throwing a glass jar at the grocery store, may in fact indicate that the child has been exposed to too much violence. There is no reason to believe that spankings are necessary to retain parental authority. Certain boys may need parents to be extra watchful to "catch them being good" in order to reinforce desired behavior...
You see, when you make statements with no serious consideration for the possibility that they may be untrue, those statements can be turned to argue against the point you wish to make. However, there is strong scientific support for the fact that spanking can be harmful. There is also solid evidence that children can, and do, learn to comply without spanking, when parents provide a nurturing, authoritative environment. Just a little something to think about.

Posted on May 30, 2012 3:45:53 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 30, 2012 5:00:04 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 4:54:59 PM PDT
witchie+ says:
Becky: "Certain boys may need parents to be extra watchful to "catch them being good" in order to reinforce desired behavior..."

That kind of parenting requires a huge amount of time and attention to parenting. When I was still a practicing Social Worker and I tried to teach my clients how to do it, they became very angry. The message I received from these kinds of parents was that they viewed their children as almost inherently bad and reinforcing good behavior should not be done because they "did not deserve it".

Some of the comments on this forum remind me of the comments that my "reluctent" clients made.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 6:14:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2012 6:31:45 PM PDT
Becky says:
Kathleen,
Yes I agree, at first, this approach will require a lot of work, particularly if the parent waits until the child is "out of control". The other, very important point is that parents, teachers, and many others who work with children often find it difficult to reinforce positive behavior in children with whom they have conflict, because they don't believe the child "deserves it". But, the point is not to make the parent of other adult feel like they've gotten their vengeance, the point is to change behavior. Also, while it will be difficult at first if there are already problems in the relationship, as time goes on, and the child's behavior improves, the reinforcement does not need to be as frequent. Over time it will be faded.

Further, the key is not actually giving more positive reinforcement, it's the timing and quality of the reinforcement. For instance, many children act up for attention. Being yelled at or spanked gives the child the craved attention. If the parent can ignore minor misbehaviors, and redirect with minimal attention when major misbehavior occurs (this is where time outs can be valuable), the behavior will no longer receive the reinforcement, and after a brief period when the behavior may escalate temporarily, the behavior will become less frequent, sometimes disappearing dramatically overnight. Something that reduces the likelihood of a temporary burst in the behavior is reinforcement when the undesired behavior is not occurring. So if the child acts up for attention, the parent should provide attention when the child is behaving appropriately. This doesn't have to be constant. The parent can still cook dinner, clean, and even relax in front of the TV, but every now and again, pop his head into the kiddo's bedroom and say something pleasant, or tousle the child's hair. The child craves attention, and had a reliable way of getting attention, but now the contingencies have changed. The child can still get attention, but now the attention is provided when the child is behaving appropriately. At this point, it isn't more work to provide attention at the proper time, but it still requires parents to remain mindful of their own responses to their children's behavior. If the child is beginning to act up again, parents need to remind themselves to be vigilant in providing appropriate reinforcement at the proper time. An added benefit, providing reinforcement in the form of praise or hugs is much more fun for everyone involved, compared to reinforcement in the form of yelling or hitting, and if the appropriate behavior is being reinforced, the changes are wonderful.

If the child's behavior is really out of hand, it's time to see a professional. A badly damaged relationship needs treatment to repair, and if simple techniques are not working, there is nothing wrong with seeking help. In fact, there is something seriously wrong with stubbornly continuing to on the same unsuccessful course. Parents who use the "well that punishment didn't work, so next time I'll just double it!" approach are doing both themselves and their children a disservice. Double what does work, not what doesn't.

One of the worst things that can be done, is the approach of "my child is out of control so when I have a moment of peace, I'm not going to risk stirring up trouble by saying anything". Temporarily it may seem to "stir up trouble" when you do give your child attention at these times, but this is just because the child isn't used to the changes.

I know it can be difficult to get some parents to understand this. For some parents, I'm at a loss as to how to help them to see the patterns, even when I have data to show it. I've actually heard the argument "well of course he behaves for you, you do things for him when he behaves". Even when parents see it, they can still put blinders on and resist.... I've had this difficulty, both when working in practicum in mental health, and working with children with autism and their parents. I find it much easier in my current job because the parents get to see how well these principles work with the therapists first, and this helps most develop buy in when we ask them to use the same principles.

Btw, I in no way believe that boys have inherently more behavior problems than girls, I was simply writing a parallel response to the comment I was responding to.
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