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Tired of spanking!

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Lets start up some controversy!


No not me! We do not spank our kids, never have and never will. THIS IS A NOVEL ALERT!!! You girls with NO kids, might not be able to relate.........Ok...I am on a soap box here...here me out! I am tired of hearing about either kids who GET spanked or parents who SPANK and justify it with hilarious means(read articles below). I am just plain and simply sick of it. I just really am against it. Parents losing control of them selves teaches the kid you have lost control even more! MUCH more effective ways of disciplining your children. Just seems so....OLD SCHOOL. There is MUCH data out there if you care to read up on spanking rights and wrongs. I want to just post some data that I we have on our other board about spanking:

Article #1

10 REASONS NOT TO HIT YOUR CHILD

1. HITTING MODELS HITTING

There is a classic story about the mother who believed in spanking as a necessary part of discipline until one day she observed her three- year-old daughter hitting her one-year-old son. When confronted, her daughter said, "I'm just playing mommy." This mother never spanked another child.Children love to imitate, especially people whom they love and respect. They perceive that it's okay for them to do whatever you do. Parents, remember, you are bringing up someone else's mother or father, and wife or husband. The same discipline techniques you employ with your children are the ones they are most likely to carry on in their own parenting. The family is a training camp for teaching children how to handle conflicts. Studies show that children from spanking families are more likely to use aggression to handle conflicts when they become adults.

Spanking demonstrates that it's all right for people to hit people, and especially for big people to hit little people, and stronger people to hit weaker people. Children learn that when you have a problem you solve it with a good swat. A child whose behavior is controlled by spanking is likely to carry on this mode of interaction into other relationships with siblings and peers, and eventually a spouse and offspring.

But, you say, "I don't spank my child that often or that hard. Most of the time I show him lots of love and gentleness. An occasional swat on the bottom won't bother him." This rationalization holds true for some children, but other children remember spanking messages more than nurturing ones. You may have a hug-hit ratio of 100:1 in your home, but you run the risk of your child remembering and being influenced more by the one hit than the 100 hugs, especially if that hit was delivered in anger or unjustly, which happens all too often.

Physical punishment shows that it's all right to vent your anger or right a wrong by hitting other people. This is why the parent's attitude during the spanking leaves as great an impression as the swat itself. How to control one's angry impulses (swat control) is one of the things you are trying to teach your children. Spanking sabotages this teaching. Spanking guidelines usually give the warning to never spank in anger. If this guideline were to be faithfully observed 99 percent of spanking wouldn't occur, because once the parent has calmed down he or she can come up with a more appropriate method of correction.

VERBAL AND EMOTIONAL "HITTING"

Physical hitting is not the only way to cross the line into abuse. Everything we say about physical punishment pertains to emotional/verbal punishment as well. Tongue-lashing and name-calling tirades can actually harm a child more psychologically. Emotional abuse can be very subtle and even self-righteous. Threats to coerce a child to cooperate can touch on his worst fear—abandonment. ("I'm leaving if you don't behave.") Often threats of abandonment are implied giving the child the message that you can't stand being with her or a smack of emotional abandonment (by letting her know you are withdrawing your love, refusing to speak to her or saying you don't like her if she continues to displease you). Scars on the mind may last longer than scars on the body.

2. HITTING DEVALUES THE CHILD

The child's self-image begins with how he perceives that others – especially his parents – perceive him Even in the most loving homes, spanking gives a confusing message, especially to a child too young to understand the reason for the whack. Parents spend a lot of time building up their baby or child's sense of being valued, helping the child feel "good." Then the child breaks a glass, you spank, and he feels, "I must be bad."

Even a guilt-relieving hug from a parent after a spank doesn't remove the sting. The child is likely to feel the hit, inside and out, long after the hug. Most children put in this situation will hug to ask for mercy. "If I hug him, daddy will stop hitting me." When spanking is repeated over and over, one message is driven home to the child, "You are weak and defenseless."

Joan, a loving mother, sincerely believed that spanking was a parental right and obligation needed to turn out an obedient child. She felt spanking was "for the child's own good." After several months of spank-controlled discipline, her toddler became withdrawn. She would notice him playing alone in the corner, not interested in playmates, and avoiding eye contact with her. He had lost his previous sparkle. Outwardly he was a "good boy." Inwardly, Spencer thought he was a bad boy. He didn't feel right and he didn't act right. Spanking made him feel smaller and weaker, overpowered by people bigger than him.

SLAPPING HANDS

How tempting it is to slap those daring little hands! Many parents do it without thinking, but consider the consequences. Maria Montessori, one of the earliest opponents of slapping children's hands, believed that children's hands are tools for exploring, an extension of the child's natural curiosity. Slapping them sends a powerful negative message. Sensitive parents we have interviewed all agree that the hands should be off-limits for physical punishment. Research supports this idea. Psychologists studied a group of sixteen fourteen-month-olds playing with their mothers. When one group of toddlers tried to grab a forbidden object, they received a slap on the hand; the other group of toddlers did not receive physical punishment. In follow-up studies of these children seven months later, the punished babies were found to be less skilled at exploring their environment. Better to separate the child from the object or supervise his exploration and leave little hands unhurt.

3. HITTING DEVALUES THE PARENT

Parents who spank-control or otherwise abusively punish their children often feel devalued themselves because deep down they don't feel right about their way of discipline. Often they spank (or yell) in desperation because they don't know what else to do, but afterward feel more powerless when they find it doesn't work. As one mother who dropped spanking from her correction list put it, "I won the battle, but lost the war. My child now fears me, and I feel I've lost something precious."

Spanking also devalues the role of a parent. Being an authority figure means you are trusted and respected, but not feared. Lasting authority cannot be based on fear. Parents or other caregivers who repeatedly use spanking to control children enter into a lose-lose situation. Not only does the child lose respect for the parent, but the parents also lose out because they develop a spanking mindset and have fewer alternatives to spanking. The parent has fewer preplanned, experience-tested strategies to divert potential behavior, so the child misbehaves more, which calls for more spanking. This child is not being taught to develop inner control.

Hitting devalues the parent-child relationship. Corporal punishment puts a distance between the spanker and the spankee. This distance is especially troubling in home situations where the parent-child relationship may already be strained, such as single-parent homes or blended families. While some children are forgivingly resilient and bounce back without a negative impression on mind or body, for others it's hard to love the hand that hits them.

4. HITTING MAY LEAD TO ABUSE

Punishment escalates. Once you begin punishing a child "a little bit," where do you stop? A toddler reaches for a forbidden glass. You tap the hand as a reminder not to touch. He reaches again, you swat the hand. After withdrawing his hand briefly, he once again grabs grandmother's valuable vase. You hit the hand harder. You've begun a game no one can win. The issue then becomes who's stronger—your child's will or your hand—not the problem of touching the vase. What do you do now? Hit harder and harder until the child's hand is so sore he can't possibly continue to "disobey?" The danger of beginning corporal punishment in the first place is that you may feel you have to bring out bigger guns: your hand becomes a fist, the switch becomes a belt, the folded newspaper becomes a wooden spoon, and now what began as seemingly innocent escalates into child abuse. Punishment sets the stage for child abuse. Parents who are programmed to punish set themselves up for punishing harder, mainly because they have not learned alternatives and click immediately into the punishment mode when their child misbehaves.

5. HITTING DOES NOT IMPROVE BEHAVIOR

Many times we have heard parents say, "The more we spank the more he misbehaves." Spanking makes a child's behavior worse, not better. Here's why. Remember the basis for promoting desirable behavior: The child who feels right acts right. Spanking undermines this principle. A child who is hit feels wrong inside and this shows up in his behavior. The more he misbehaves, the more he gets spanked and the worse he feels. The cycle continues. We want the child to know that he did wrong, and to feel remorse, but to still believe that he is a person who has value.

The Cycle of Misbehavior

Misbehavior Worse behavior Spanking Decreased self-esteem, anger

One of the goals of disciplinary action is to stop the misbehavior immediately, and spanking may do that. It is more important to create the conviction within the child that he doesn't want to repeat the misbehavior (i.e, internal rather than external control). One of the reasons for the ineffectiveness of spanking in creating internal controls is that during and immediately after the spanking, the child is so preoccupied with the perceived injustice of the physical punishment (or maybe the degree of it he's getting) that he "forgets" the reason for which he was spanked. Sitting down with him and talking after the spanking to be sure he's aware of what he did can be done just as well (if not better) without the spanking part. Alternatives to spanking can be much more thought-and-conscience-provoking for a child, but they may take more time and energy from the parent. This brings up a main reason why some parents lean toward spanking—it's easier.

6. HITTING IS ACTUALLY NOT BIBLICAL

Don't use the Bible as an excuse to spank. There is confusion in the ranks of people of Judeo-Christian heritage who, seeking help from the Bible in their effort to raise godly children, believe that God commands them to spank. They take "spare the rod and spoil the child" seriously and fear that if they don't spank, they will commit the sin of losing control of their child. In our counseling experience, we find that these people are devoted parents who love God and love their children, but they misunderstand the concept of the rod.

Rod verses - what they really mean. The following are the biblical verseswhich have caused the greatest confusion:

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." (Prov. 22:15)

"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." (Prov. 13:24)

"Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death." (Prov. 23:13-14)

"The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to itself disgraces his mother." (Prov. 29:15)

At first glance these verses may sound pro-spanking. But you might consider a different interpretation of these teachings. "Rod" (shebet) means different things in different parts of the Bible. The Hebrew dictionary gives this word various meanings: a stick (for punishment, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.). While the rod could be used for hitting, it was more frequently used for guiding wandering sheep. Shepherds didn't use the rod to beat their sheep - and children are certainly more valuable than sheep. As shepherd-author Philip Keller teaches so well in A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23, the shepherd's rod was used to fight off prey and the staff was used to gently guide sheep along the right path. ("Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." – Psalm 23:4).

Jewish families we've interviewed, who carefully follow dietary and lifestyle guidelines in the Scripture, do not practice "rod correction" with their children because they do not follow that interpretation of the text.

The book of Proverbs is one of poetry. It is logical that the writer would have used a well-known tool to form an image of authority. We believe that this is the point that God makes about the rod in the Bible – parents take charge of your children. When you re-read the "rod verses," use the concept of parental authority when you come to the word "rod," ratherthan the concept of beating or spanking. It rings true in every instance.

While Christians and Jews believe that the Old Testament is the inspired word of God, it is also a historical text that has been interpreted in many ways over the centuries, sometimes incorrectly in order to support the beliefs of the times. These "rod" verses have been burdened with interpretations about corporal punishment that support human ideas. Other parts of the Bible, especially the New Testament, suggest that respect, authority, and tenderness should be the prevailing attitudes toward children among people of faith.

In the New Testament, Christ modified the traditional eye-for-an-eye system of justice with His turn-the-other-cheek approach. Christ preached gentleness, love, and understanding, and seemed against any harsh use of the rod, as stated by Paul in 1 Cor. 4:21: "Shall I come to you with the whip (rod), or in love and with a gentle spirit?" Paul went on to teach fathers about the importance of not provoking anger in their children (which is what spanking usually does): "Fathers, do not exasperate your children" (Eph. 6:4), and "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will be discouraged" (Col. 3:21).

In our opinion, nowhere in the Bible does it say you must spank your child to be a godly parent.

SPARE THE ROD!There are parents who should not spank and children who should not be spanked. Are there factors in your history, your temperament, or your relationship with your child that put you at risk for abusing your child? Are there characteristics in your child that make spanking unwise?

  • Were you abused as a child?
  • Do you lose control of yourself easily?
  • Are you spanking more, with fewer results?
  • Are you spanking harder?
  • Is spanking not working?
  • Do you have a high-need child? A strong-willed child?
  • Is your child ultrasensitive?
  • Is your relationship with your child already distant?
  • Are there present situations that are making you angry, such as financial or marital difficulties or a recent job loss? Are there factors that are lowering your own self-confidence?
If the answer to any of these queries is yes, you would be wise to develop a no-spanking mindset in your home and do your best to come up with noncorporal alternatives. If you find you are unable to do this on your own, talk with someone who can help you.
7. HITTING PROMOTES ANGER - IN CHILDREN AND IN PARENTS

Children often perceive punishment as unfair. They are more likely to rebel against corporal punishment than against other disciplinary techniques. Children do not think rationally like adults, but they do have an innate sense of fairness—though their standards are not the same as adults. This can prevent punishment from working as you hoped it would and can contribute to an angry child. Oftentimes, the sense of unfairness escalates to a feeling of humiliation. When punishment humiliates children they either rebel or withdraw. While spanking may appear to make the child afraid to repeat the misbehavior, it is more likely to make the child fear the spanker.

In our experience, and that of many who have thoroughly researched corporal punishment, children whose behaviors are spank-controlled throughout infancy and childhood may appear outwardly compliant, but inside they are seething with anger. They feel that their personhood has been violated, and they detach themselves from a world they perceive has been unfair to them. They find it difficult to trust, becoming insensitive to a world that has been insensitive to them.

Parents who examine their feelings after spanking often realize that all they have accomplished is to relieve themselves of anger. This impulsive release of anger often becomes addicting—perpetuating a cycle of ineffective discipline. We have found that the best way to prevent ourselves from acting on the impulse to spank is to instill in ourselves two convictions: 1. That we will not spank our children. 2. That we will discipline them. Since we have decided that spanking is not an option, we must seek out better alternatives.

8. HITTING BRINGS BACK BAD MEMORIES

A child's memories of being spanked can scar otherwise joyful scenes of growing up. People are more likely to recall traumatic events than pleasant ones. I grew up in a very nurturing home, but I was occasionally and "deservedly" spanked. I vividly remember the willow branch scenes. After my wrongdoing my grandfather would send me to my room and tell me I was going to receive a spanking. I remember looking out the window, seeing him walk across the lawn and take a willow branch from the tree and come back to my room and spank me across the back of my thighs with the branch. The willow branch seemed to be an effective spanking tool because it stung and made an impression upon me— physically and mentally. Although I remember growing up in a loving home, I don't remember specific happy scenes with nearly as much detail as I remember the spanking scenes. I have always thought that one of our goals as parents is to fill our children's memory bank with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pleasant scenes. It's amazing how the unpleasant memories of spankings can block out those positive memories.

ABUSIVE HITTING HAS BAD LONG-TERM EFFECTS

Research has shown that spanking may leave scars deeper and more lasting than a fleeting redness of the bottom. Here is a summary of the research on the long-term effects of corporal punishment:

  • In a prospective study spanning nineteen years, researchers found that children who were raised in homes with a lot of corporal punishment, turned out to be more antisocial and egocentric, and that physical violence became the accepted norm for these children when they became teenagers and adults.
  • College students showed more psychological disturbances if they grew up in a home with less praise, more scolding, more corporal punishment, and more verbal abuse.
  • A survey of 679 college students showed that those who recall being spanked as children accepted spanking as a way of discipline and intended to spank their own children. Students who were not spanked as children were significantly less accepting of the practice than those who were spanked. The spanked students also reported remembering that their parents were angry during the spanking; they remembered both the spanking and the attitude with which it was administered.
  • Spanking seems to have the most negative long-term effects when it replaces positive communication with the child. Spanking had less damaging long-term effects if given in a loving home and nurturing environment.
  • A study of the effects of physical punishment on children's later aggressive behavior showed that the more frequently a child was given physical punishment, the more likely it was that he would behave aggressively toward other family members and peers. Spanking caused less aggression if it was done in an overall nurturing environment and the child was always given a rational explanation of why the spanking occurred.
  • A study to determine whether hand slapping had any long-term effects showed that toddlers who were punished with a light slap on the hand showed delayed exploratory development seven months later.
  • Adults who received a lot of physical punishment as teenagers had a rate of spouse-beating that was four times greater than those whose parents did not hit them.
  • Husbands who grew up in severely violent homes are six times more likely to beat their wives than men raised in non-violent homes.
  • More than 1 out of 4 parents who had grown up in a violent home were violent enough to risk seriously injuring their child.
  • Studies of prison populations show that most violent criminals grew up in a violent home environment.
  • The life history of notorious, violent criminals, murderers, muggers, rapists, etc., are likely to show a history of excessive physical discipline in childhood.
The evidence against spanking is overwhelming. Hundreds of studies all come to the same conclusions:
1. The more physical punishment a child receives, the more aggressive he or she will become.

2. The more children are spanked, the more likely they will be abusive toward their own children.

3. Spanking plants seeds for later violent behavior.4.Spanking doesn't work.

10. SPANKING DOESN'T WORK

Many studies show the futility of spanking as a disciplinary technique, but none show its usefulness. In the past thirty years in pediatric practice, we have observed thousands of families who have tried spanking and found it doesn't work. Our general impression is that parents spank less as their experience increases. Spanking doesn't work for the child, for the parents, or for society. Spanking does not promote good behavior, it creates a distance between parent and child, and it contributes to a violent society. Parents who rely on punishment as their primary mode of discipline don't grow in their knowledge of their child. It keeps them from creating better alternatives, which would help them to know their child and build a better relationship. In the process of raising our own eight children, we have also concluded that spanking doesn't work. We found ourselves spanking less and less as our experience and the number of children increased. In our home, we have programmed ourselves against spanking and are committed to creating an attitude within our children, and an atmosphere within our home, that renders spanking unnecessary. Since spanking is not an option, we have been forced to come up with better alternatives. This has not only made us better parents, but in the long run we believe it has created more sensitive and well-behaved children.

8 ADMONITIONS TO PARENTS WHO CHOOSE TO SPANK

By now you should realize that our position on spanking is simple: don't. But we are also experienced enough to realize that some loving, nurturing, committed parents believe in spanking as part of their overall discipline package. As a pediatrician with thirty years in practice, I am also quite aware that regardless of our advice against spanking, some parents are going to spank their children. For these parents, the best we can hope for is to help them spank in a way that is less likely to become abusive. Consider these suggestions.

1. Examine your overall parenting style. If you are generally a nurturing parent practicing the attachment style of parenting, an occasional spanking is unlikely to damage your child or relationship—but it's unlikely to help it either. If, on the other hand, you are practicing a more restrained style of parenting, spanking will be another obstacle that prevents you from knowing your child.

2. Examine your relationship with your child. Do you generally feel connected to your child? Do you feel that you have a handle on why your child behaves the way he or she does and can anticipate the undesirable behaviors before they begin? Do you know what triggers undesirable behaviors and what fosters desirable ones? Do you see signs that your child feels close to you: eye contact, approaching you, putting his arms around you, wanting to be picked up, enjoying being with you, and being able to communicate with you? If this is true, then an occasional spanking is unlikely to harm your relationship. If, however, you have a distant relationship and don't feel connected to your child, physical punishment is likely to increase the distance between you.

Here is a story from a mother of two of my patients. She is an intuitive, loving parent with a strong connection to her children, and she has a huge repertoire of alternatives to spanking.

"There have been a few times when we have had to spank our kids, and it was when they were between three and five years old. It was three or four times for our daughter, maybe once or twice for our son. I don't like to see tantruming children flailing out of control. They need something to help them get control back. So on the few occasions that they were literally out of control we've used spanking. I can remember when one of them was throwing a tantrum, my husband said, 'I have to swat your bottom to help you stop.' It shocked him and he was able to regain his control."

Other parents would handle this differently and would not respond this way to tantrums. Yet these parents know their children and know their own tolerances for "out of control" behavior. One comment I do have is that the reason the swat worked is that it had shock value, meaning it was the first (and rare) occurrence. It got the child's attention because these parents saved it for the one situation they personally could not tolerate.

3. Determine where spanking fits in your overall discipline package. Do you raise your hand in the swatting position or grab the wooden spoon as a knee-jerk response the moment your child misbehaves? One way to tell if you are a reflex hitter is if your child flinches anytime you move your hand suddenly upward in his vicinity. Reflex spanking is rarely helpful for several reasons: It's done out of anger, you may spank harder than intended, and you don't allow yourself time to try alternatives. If you resolve to put spanking way down on the list of correction techniques, you will have to try alternatives first rather than immediately click into "hit mode."

4. Don't spank in anger . If you are an angry person given to impulsive hitting, realize you are at risk for spanking abusively and dangerously. Some children have a way of pushing "hot buttons" in adults, and some adults have very sensitive buttons. Examine your feelings during and after spanking. Do you spank to punish your child, or to vent your anger? Who's the spanking for, you or your child? Says Martha: Martha's Comments: "Previously, when I did spank our children, I never felt right about it. I didn't spank because the behavior was so bad, but because I had been inconvenienced, and I was taking it out on the child. I used to slap our first two children in anger, and as I slapped I could see in my mind's eye how I had been slapped by angry adults as a child. It was those flashbacks that made me realize how wrong I was for me to hit our child."

When you are angry, you are likely to spank too hard because you are out of control. (Seeing you out of control traumatizes them as much as the spanking.) Spanking in anger leaves the wrong impression on children's minds. They may be so bothered by the anger in your eyes and face that they don't realize the reason or the justification for the spanking. As a result, the punishment has no teaching value. A proper disciplinary action should improve the relationship with your child by creating a feeling that the parents are fair and consistent boundary setters; the child can depend on them to be in charge when he himself is out of control. Spanking, especially in anger, disturbs the trust between caregiver and child. In our family, we have found the best way to avoid spanking in anger is to mentally program ourselves against spanking. We have resolved never to spank. This preprogramming against spanking will override the reflex to smack a child, and give us time to think about what type of correction is best in this situation. Programming against spanking is a sort of safety valve that keeps you from possibly hurting your child.

5. Do not violate your child. Removing underwear in order to spank bare skin is a humiliating invasion of personal and private space and sexually threatening and confusing to the child. So firmly resist the traditional image of the bare- bottomed child stretched across your lap.

Should you use your open hand, paddle, or a switch to spank? Use of any one of the above will not cause permanent physical harm if you avoid too much force. The one tool we definitely advise against is a wooden spoon because we have seen bodily injury result from this club-like instrument. Any spanking that leaves black and blue marks (bruising) is wrong whether you use an object or your hand. Keep your hand open and flat—a fisted hand will be too forceful and damaging. A child old enough to spank (see number 6) will also understand that your loving hand is holding the spanking tool. The hand-versus-object debate is meaningless to him.

6. Explain the spank. Spanking without an explanation contributes little to discipline. In fact, studies have shown that calm spanking preceded by a rational explanation does less harm and more good than spanking without such reasoning. Explaining the punishment can be therapeutic for both the spanker and the spankee. It helps you decide whether or not your action is appropriate. It makes it less likely that the child will repeat the misbehavior, gives your child a chance to make a judgment about the fairness of the action, and preserves the self-image of the child by treating him as a rational person. The child will feel angry and humiliated about the spanking if he feels that there is no reason for it.

Getting the child to understand why he is being spanked helps to clear the air of angry feelings and contributes to his gaining self-control. If during your explanation you either begin to realize that you have the facts wrong or your heart is telling you there is a better way to deal with the situation, by all means switch to another corrective action and make a mental note to give this whole thing more thought.

A child under three will not be able to fully understand your explanation; he'll just know he's being hit and it has something to do with his being bad. He's probably also too young to separate his person from his action, so he'll think he's bad even though you are telling him "that was a bad thing to do."

7. Ask yourself, "Is spanking working?" Evaluate your discipline techniques every month or two, especially physical punishment. Which ones are working? Is your child misbehaving less? Is your relationship with your child getting better? Is your child's self-worth increasing? If the answers to all the questions are "yes" then you are on the right track. If any disciplinary action is not working, drop it. If you are spanking harder and more often, this technique is obviously not working and you need to consider alternatives. You need to consider other modes of discipline if you find your child is misbehaving more. Change what you're doing if the distance between you and your child is increasing.

8. Examine the time you spend with your child. Is much of your quality time with your child spent punishing? If this is so, you are likely to have an angry child and a weak parent-child relationship. The joys of parenting and the stages of growing up are too precious to waste on such negative interaction. Consider changing your approach; spend a lot of time with your child just having fun. Let your child help you work around the house or run errands. Tell him you enjoy his companionship. As your child realizes how much fun it is to be with you, he will translate this into behaving well—which can be fun, too.

CORPORAL REDIRECTION VERSUS CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

Here is an example of an alternative to spanking that physically corrects misbehavior without inflicting pain. Lauren is our family monkey; she is always climbing on things. One day Martha walked into the kitchen to see then twenty-two-month-old Lauren standing on the countertop sorting through the spice rack. (Rarely had she gotten to this level in her adventures without someone intervening.) In a rapid reflexive move, Martha swung one hand under Lauren's bottom and the other arm around her middle as she swooped her off the countertop with a firmness and swiftness that surprised them both, while saying something like "Not safe! You stay down!" Lauren happened to be bare-bottomed, so the swift, firm hand made a slightly stinging sensation on her bare skin. This registered with Lauren. She looked closely at Martha to detect anger or intent to hurt in her mother's body language. Finding none, she interpreted her removal as protection and correction rather than punishment, and she cut short her howl of protest. Martha's physical action inflicted direction, not pain. The sureness and swiftness of the movement certainly left its mark on Lauren's mind. Lauren learned, once again, that Martha is the parent and she is the child. To Lauren, Martha's bigness is not a threat but a security ("Mom can rescue me because she is big"), even though the rescues are limits to freedom that are often frustrating to Lauren. It is very important for children to get the clear message that their parents are in charge. With young children most of this impression will need to be made physically. Words alone won't work.

SIGNS YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP ABOUT DISCIPLINE

Most discipline problems can be handled by just taking the time to assess the strength of your parent-child connection, using commonsense techniques, and trying one approach after another until you find what works. Yet there are times when you need outside help. Consider two different types of counselors. Consult experienced, happy parents whose advice you value. They can offer practical tips to make living with your child easier. You may need to dig more deeply into disciplining yourself in order to discipline your child. You may require the help of a therapist. Here are some red flags that mean you are at risk for disciplining unwisely.

  • Yelling . Do you go into frequent rages that are out of control, calling your child names ("Brat," "Damn kid") and causing your child to recoil and retreat? This means that you are letting your child punch your anger buttons too easily, that you may not have control of your anger buttons, or that there are simply too many anger buttons.
  • Mirroring unhappiness. Do you walk around all day reflecting to your child that you are unhappy as a person and as a parent? Kids take this personally. If they bring you no joy, they must be no good. Life is a "downer."
  • Parentifying . Are your children taking care of you instead of vice versa? Are you crying and complaining a lot and showing immature overreactions to accidents or misbehaviors? This scares children. You're supposed to be the parent, the one in control protecting them.
  • Blame shifting . Do you unload your mistakes on your kids or your spouse? If so, children learn that the way you deal with problems is to avoid taking personal responsibility for them, and that somehow these problems are just too big for you to manage or that you don't know how to ask for help.
  • Modeling perfection . Are you intolerant of even trivial mistakes made by yourself or your child? The child gets the message that mistakes are horrible to make. This is particularly difficult for the "sponge child," the one who soaks up your attitudes and becomes too hard on himself.
  • Spanking more. Are slaps and straps showing up in your corrections? Are most of your interactions with your child on a negative note?
  • A fearing family. Is your child afraid of you? Does she cringe when you raise your voice and keep a "safe" distance from you? Is your child becoming emotionally flat, fearing the consequences of expressing her emotions?
Article #2

Spanking, Fact or Fiction???

Definitions:

Corporal punishment:

Synonymous with “physical punishment.” It means the intentional infliction of pain on the body for purposes of punishment or controlling behavior. It includes slapping, spanking, hitting with objects, pinching, shaking, and forcing to stand for long periods of time.

Spanking:

Hitting with the flat of the hand usually on the buttocks for punishment or for stopping a behavior.

In the United States, spanking as punishment has shown a long-term decline. In the l950’s, ninety-nine percent of parents supported the use of corporal punishment of children. In recent years that number has fallen. Surveys generally report fifty-sixty percent of parents supporting its use. Although a majority of parents understand that spanking does not work or teach children self-control, surveys usually show a majority of parents find spanking acceptable.

Parents who support spanking often use one of the following arguments:

Spanking is an effective way to manage behavior.

I got hit when I was a kid and I turned out OK.

If we don’t spank children, they’ll grow up rotten.

The bible says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”

Look at the facts:

Spanking argument #1 – “Spanking is an effective way to manage behavior”

Hitting a small child will usually stop misbehavior. However, other ways of discipline such as verbal correction, reasoning, and time-out work as well and do not have the potential for harm that hitting does. Hitting children may actually increase misbehavior. One large study showed that the more parents spanked children for antisocial behavior, the more the antisocial behavior increased (Straus, Sugarman, & Giles-Sims, l997). The more children are hit, the more likely they are to hit others including peers and siblings and, as adults, they are more likely to hit their spouses (Straus and Gelles, l990; Wolfe, l987). Hitting children teaches them that it is acceptable to hit others who are smaller and weaker. “I’m going to hit you because you hit your sister” is a hypocrisy not lost on children.

Spanking argument #2 – “I got hit when I was a kid and I turned out OK”

Being spanked is an emotional event. Adults often remember with crystal clarity times they were paddled or spanked as children. Many adults look back on corporal punishment in childhood with great anger and sadness. Sometimes people say, “I was spanked as a child, and I deserved it”. It is hard for us to believe that people who loved us would intentionally hurt us. We feel the need to excuse that hurt. Studies show that even a few instances of being hit as children are associated with more depressive symptoms as adults (Strauss, l994, Strassberg, Dodge, Pettit & Bates, l994). While most of us who were spanked “turned out OK”, it is likely that not being spanked would have helped us turn out to be healthier.

Spanking Argument #3 – “If we don’t spank children, they’ll grow up rotten”

Children in eleven countries are growing up without being hit in homes, in daycare or in schools. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Finland and other countries that have banned corporal punishment of children have remarkably low rates of interpersonal violence compared to the United States. Professor Adrienne Haeuser who studied these educational laws in Europe in l981 and l991 said “Children are receiving more discipline since the law in Sweden passed. Parents think twice and tend to rely more on verbal conflict resolution to manage their children”. Discipline is important. Discipline means “to teach”. We need more discipline of children such as explaining and reasoning, establishing rules and consequences, praising good behavior in children and being good models for or children. Such methods develop a child’s conscience and self-control. Children who experience teaching discipline are less likely to misbehave and more likely to become self-disciplined adults.

Spanking Argument #4 – “The bible says ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ and I must obey God”

Spanking is deeply rooted in the history and culture of the United States. The bible is often used to support, even require, that parents use corporal punishment on children. Many clergy today are speaking out against that interpretation of the bible. The Reverend Dr. Thomas E. Sagendorf of Bexley United Methodist Church in Columbus, OH says the following “I can find no sanction in the teaching of Jesus or the witness of the New Testament to encourage the practice of corporal punishment at home, school or anywhere else. A number of popular voices take a different view, often quoting Old Testament scriptures to prove their point. Those who subscribe to this argument misunderstand and misuse scripture. A similar method of selective reading could just as well be used to justify slavery, suppression of women, polygamy, incest and infanticide”.

Conclusion:

Look at the facts. Accumulated research supports the ineffectiveness and harm of corporal punishment. Children who are spanked most are more likely to be aggressive and hit others. Children hit for antisocial behaviors are more likely to increase those misbehaviors. Hitting children teaches acceptance of violence. While most of us who were spanked as children grow up to be healthy adults, spanking caused anxiety, contributed to feelings of helplessness and humiliation, and often provoked anger and a desire for revenge, feelings which have usually been repressed in adulthood but may lead to depression, adult violence, and hitting our own children. Effective discipline exists. It does not involve hitting and humiliating children.

Article #3

Ten MORE Reasons for NOT Hitting Children

  1. Hitting children sometimes leads to injuries like bruises, welts, subdural hematomas, nerve damage and broken bones.
  2. Hitting destroys self-esteem and trust. Cooperative behavior is much more likely to occur when there is a strong loving bond between parent and child.
  3. Hitting children transmits a pro-violence attitude. Children who are frequently hit learn to be hitters themselves.
  4. Hitting children teaches them that "might makes right."
  5. Hitting a child for misbehavior means that the caretaker loses an important opportunity for teaching a more appropriate behavior. Fear is not an effective way of teaching appropriate behavior.
  6. Children who are hit are likely to perform the desired behavior only when the hitter is nearby.
  7. Children who are frequently hit often grow up with childhood memories that are full of anger and resentment. Biblical scriptures used to support corporal punishment of children could be used to justify slavery, suppression of women, incest and infanticide. Using the Bible to support corporal punishment of children is a selective use of scriptures to condone secular thinking.
  8. Children are often hit for behavior which is not "bad" behavior but rather behavior which is related to their need to explore the world, and for needs related to nutrition, exercise, attention and sleep.
  9. Children learn best through teaching, discussion and observing adults who model responsible, caring, and self-disciplined behavior.

    Remember, some of these are my opinions, and **IF** if you spank, please don't hold it against me!
 
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ok obviously I have no kids but I´m completely with ya on that topic. violence is always wrong! and spanking is violence too in my eyes!

I don´t remember being spanked a lot in my childhood. my mum never did. my dad only did when I did something really bad (which I still think wasn´t justified) and he would always say "if you do this and that I will slap you so hard that your head will shake for a week". this is actually a movie quote and I think he though it was kinda "funny" so he always said that. but he never seriously hurt me.

well ONE time he must have been in a hell of a mood. me and my brother were in a little fight at the lunch table (that was when I was already like 15) and he told us to stop but we didnt. that´s when he threw a fork at my head!!! I thought this was the most brutal thing he ever did-and he never apologized, neither did my mum.

that´s one thing I don´t like about some parents (including mine), they think all their actions are smart and 100% justified and they sometimes never question their actions. they think just cause they´re my parents they´re doing everything right and that I have to live with their decisions with out having the possibility to throw in my opinion

 
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I don't think you should beat the kid... but I absolutely CANNOT STAND when I'm out somewhere - and some kid is running around causing havoc and the parents are 5 feet away and apparently just ignore him. They do a simple... "So-n-So... stop that". and then when the kid continues to do what they're doing... "so-n-so stop that" and this continues for what seems like forever - and apparently they just don't care. I don't know how some of these new methods of parenting work - and although I don't have kids... I see parents out there that have no problem letting their kids act like animals & disturb everyone around them while they just ignore it & pretend like they don't know what's going on. This happened while we were sitting outside a Chili's restaurant last weekend... a group of like 5 people (2 in their 20's I would say, a few areound 9-10, and a kid who must've been about 4) Well the 4 year old proceeded to run through & stomp on the bushes, take the beeper (that buzzes when your table is ready) and smash it the ground a million times, throw rocks at the building and cars parked right in front, and then scream at the top of his lungs... and I guess the 20 something year olds were his parents b/c all they said was "Michael. Stop that. Daddy says stop" and then returned to ignoring the kid while he continued to throw rocks. Drives me crazy!
Sorry... had to vent! lol

 

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OMG, Janelle, I agree with ya. I did spank my kids occasionally. I believe it worked for me. I agree on quite a few of your points as well, Tony.

Originally Posted by NYAngel98 I don't think you should beat the kid... but I absolutely CANNOT STAND when I'm out somewhere - and some kid is running around causing havoc and the parents are 5 feet away and apparently just ignore him. They do a simple... "So-n-So... stop that". and then when the kid continues to do what they're doing... "so-n-so stop that" and this continues for what seems like forever - and apparently they just don't care. I don't know how some of these new methods of parenting work - and although I don't have kids... I see parents out there that have no problem letting their kids act like animals & disturb everyone around them while they just ignore it & pretend like they don't know what's going on. This happened while we were sitting outside a Chili's restaurant last weekend... a group of like 5 people (2 in their 20's I would say, a few areound 9-10, and a kid who must've been about 4) Well the 4 year old proceeded to run through & stomp on the bushes, take the beeper (that buzzes when your table is ready) and smash it the ground a million times, throw rocks at the building and cars parked right in front, and then scream at the top of his lungs... and I guess the 20 something year olds were his parents b/c all they said was "Michael. Stop that. Daddy says stop" and then returned to ignoring the kid while he continued to throw rocks. Drives me crazy!
Sorry... had to vent! lol
 
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My parents spanked us only on very rare occasions (I only remember it once or twice) and hubby was also spanked a few times, and we all turned out ok
However I do realize there is a lot of evidence to show otherwise, which makes me very hesitant to spank our own future children because I can certainly see the points made in your article. Just because my brother and I turned out ok doesn't mean my kids will!
Plus I would be worried that if we did spank the kids, they would mention it at school and Social Services would be at our doorstep! So we will definitely be finding non-voilent ways to discipline the kids!


As for Janelle's story, I do think there are ways to discipline your kids in public! If you punish your kids at home by some means that they hate (e.g. time-out), then shouldn't you be able to tell the kid that if they don't stop they'll have to go to time-out when they get home or something? I don't know, we don't have kids yet so I don't know if those tactics work, but I would think you would be able to do something other than just say "stop it!" Definitely not ignore the kid!

 
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YES, good point girl geek! Thanks for replying. Did you see all the biblical references? Since you are pretty religeous, what do you think about them?


 
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Sorry i have to butt in here.I dont beleive in spanking at all.You can raise good decent human beings without putting your hand on them. What do you teach a child by hitting them,violence=respect.This is a horrible cycle that is barbaric and unnessasary.For those of you that have a prob with kids that act up a bit(not you Janelle,that kid was a monster,lol)You have to remember that children are children and sometimes they are going to act up.I wouldnt bring my children to a fancy resturant if i wasnt sure they were going to behave,but dont complain if i take them to applebee's and they cry abit .If you dont want to be bother with children then go to a non family resturant. I hate when people look at kids like they are monsters ,what do they think they were once upon a time?

For the parents who spank,there job is a lot easier than parents that dont spank.Its takes alot of love and patience not to spank and to communicate with your children. anyways thats my opionion,hopefully you guys dont hang me for it


 
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Originally Posted by Tony(admin) YES, good point girl geek! Thanks for replying. Did you see all the biblical references? Since you are pretty religeous, what do you think about them?
I haven't studied any Biblical teachings on spankings before, but I do think that article makes some good points. Sometimes it is hard for us to interpret scriptures without some historical background (like how many people would think "rod" meant a shepard's staff?) and they made some very good points. I really can't imagine Jesus being in favor of spanking anyway
 
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Nothing personal, just wonderin! Thanks and I don't think Jesus would either....






Originally Posted by girl_geek

I haven't studied any Biblical teachings on spankings before, but I do think that article makes some good points. Sometimes it is hard for us to interpret scriptures without some historical background (like how many people would think "rod" meant a shepard's staff?) and they made some very good points. I really can't imagine Jesus being in favor of spanking anyway





 
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i don't think whether you spank your child or not means anything.

i think sofi will back me up when i say ALBANIANS GO CRAZY WITH THE SPANKING andddddd back in the motherland, they whip kids with really thin sticks. my mom's brother was her teacher in school when she was little and told me the other day of a story when her brother whipped this little boy's hands because he was late for school and she said it was the funniest thing ever - even the little boy was laughing after. to us, albanians, it's SO normal. my relatives spank and/or hit (not abuse) their kids all the time when they're not listening and me and my siblings were DISCIPLINED (not abused) and we're all fine.

i'm not saying just because i'm used to seeing all of this makes it right, but i don't think it's considered abuse and it's no surprise to me at all or my culture.

sofi, where are you?


 
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Originally Posted by Jennifer

i don't think whether you spank your child or not means anything.
i think sofi will back me up when i say ALBANIANS GO CRAZY WITH THE SPANKING andddddd back in the motherland, they whip kids with really thin sticks. my mom's brother was her teacher in school when she was little and told me the other day of a story when her brother whipped this little boy's hands because he was late for school and she said it was the funniest thing ever - even the little boy was laughing after. to us, albanians, it's SO normal. my relatives spank and/or hit (not abuse) their kids all the time when they're not listening and me and my siblings were DISCIPLINED (not abused) and we're all fine.

i'm not saying just because i'm used to seeing all of this makes it right, but i don't think it's considered abuse and it's no surprise to me at all or my culture.

sofi, where are you?





Thin sticks? OMG, that seems sooo "old school". Hitting with object? wow....Slaves were whipped, and we don't do that anymore. Did you read those articles? OMG, they make some serious proof that spanking does no one good. Still think it's a level of intellect that one has to know that using violence to treat violence just doesn't work...duh! lol
 
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Good gosh,using sticks,what ,the children were cattle?I think that is completly unnessary.Good point Tony about slaves being abused and we sure as hell dont do that.If It is agasinst the law to hit another adult why is it ok to hit a helpless child?

 

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hell yeah i'm gonna spank my kids! "Go clean your damn room!" *witch slap*

lol. i'm JUST JOKING!!

i TOTALLY relate to Janelle's story about when little kids run around and scream and are little devils! I hate that. I just want to catch the kid's eye and give them a mean like a monster. lol.

but i have problems with older kids, not toddlers. sometimes i think spanking is good when i see these teenage kids being bad. makes me want to whoop them right there!

i watch dr. phil every so often. and he has some good tips about parenting out of the house. if you're out somewhere and the kid is acting up, you have to put them in a time out then and there. if you say "you're going to be on a time out when you get home" they won't really understand what they're being punished for.

like if you're out at a restaurant and have like 2 kids or something and one is acting up, one of the parents has to go and sit with him in the car for a time out. they'll see that their bro/sis is inside and eating because they're being good.

he said that you have to make sacrifices like that if you have kids.

 
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Originally Posted by Tony(admin) Thin sticks? OMG, that seems sooo "old school". Hitting with object? wow....Slaves were whipped, and we don't do that anymore. Did you read those articles? OMG, they make some serious proof that spanking does no one good. Still think it's a level of intellect that one has to know that using violence to treat violence just doesn't work...duh! lol i read the article and i see how they said it does no one good, but why have my relatives all, for the most part, turned out fine? some didn't, but that's how it ALWAYS works.
it definitely is old school, but it happens. it doesn't happen here in the US, though, but over there, it does.

 
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Obviously spanking is very controversial.

I don't see it as violence at all - I was spanked as a child, and I don't resent my mother (who was the only one who spanked me). Trust me, if I got a spanking, I'm sure I deserved it. She didn't spank me for just any little thing. I never was left with bruises, broken bones, welts, or anything else.

Believe me, I have turned out just fine. I don't advocate abuse by any means, but to me, spanking is not abuse.

 
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Originally Posted by FeistyFemme Obviously spanking is very controversial.
I don't see it as violence at all - I was spanked as a child, and I don't resent my mother (who was the only one who spanked me). Trust me, if I got a spanking, I'm sure I deserved it. She didn't spank me for just any little thing. I never was left with bruises, broken bones, welts, or anything else.

Believe me, I have turned out just fine. I don't advocate abuse by any means, but to me, spanking is not abuse.

amen, sista.
 
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Originally Posted by Jennifer

amen, sista.


Just remember, spanking is teaching through PAIN. There are much better, more effective ways of teaching...
Just cuz your parents did it does not make it right....nor more effective...

Heck my dad smoked 2 packs a day and died at 52. I don't smoke..

 
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Originally Posted by Tony(admin) Just remember, spanking is teaching through PAIN. There are much better, more effective ways of teaching...
Just cuz your parents did it does not make it right....nor more effective...

Heck my dad smoked 2 packs a day and died at 52. I don't smoke..

Amen to that!!!!Pain does not equal communcation!

 
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Originally Posted by Tony(admin) Just remember, spanking is teaching through PAIN. There are much better, more effective ways of teaching...
Just cuz your parents did it does not make it right....nor more effective...

Heck my dad smoked 2 packs a day and died at 52. I don't smoke..

i don't think it's right because my parents did it. i think it's no big deal and that it's not abuse because that's what i think.
 
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I have 2 small children (ages 2 and 6), and we do not promote spanking. It is more of a emotional and mental challenge on the parents, because you have to be consistent. It's so easy to just mindlessly swat someone on the behind. We take the time and effort to implement positive discipline techniques. It doesn't come naturally..we've read books, taken classes, etc. Before I had my own kids, I didnt' fully understand how much work being a parent involves. Nonetheless, I also didn't realize how amazing and fulfilling it would be, either.

I was only spanked a few times as a child by my father. My childhood was like a fairytale, a storybook..although I still remember being hit vividly. None of my friends spank their children either, if they did I would probably feel uncomfortable if they did it in front of me and my children.

As for parents who conveniently don't see their children misbehaving, that really, really irks me. There have been so many times when I'm at a park, party, etc. and I feel like I'm the only one watching the kids. I keep looking back at these moms/dads who are just chit-chatting away. A few times I've actually asked them to keep an eye on their own children. Ummm...hello?

 

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