Third Party & Independents Archives

Keep Your Hands Off Your Child!

An ambitious Democrat in California (Sally Lieber) doesn’t like the discipline of “spanking” and has introduced legislation that would ban parents from doing it to their own children who under the age of three. Unfortunately for her, a new poll finds that most California residents oppose the move to tell parents how to raise their own children.

A poll "of 500 Bay Area adults conducted for CBS 5 by Survey USA last Thursday found 57% would oppose such a bill, while only 23% would support it. The poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%, showed 11% undecided."

If the ban passes, a parent could be found guilty of misdemeanor child abuse for disciplining their own child. They would face up to a year in jail and $1000 in fines. No wonder there's so much opposition to legislation that literally takes the parenting away from the parent.

No two children are identical and each individual child reacts differently to parenting techniques. The old-school method of instilling fear into a child by telling him to "just wait until your father gets home" may not be as popular in this generation as it was the last, but enough people will tell you that it works and is sometimes the only way properly correct a child's errant behavior.

Critics liken spanking to child abuse and ask where the line must be drawn. While they technically have a point to make, most rational people can tell the difference between a quick spanking that doesn't cause any permanent damage and physical force that inflicts severe and lasting pain on a child - physical and psychological.

No one is arguing that the latter shouldn’t be aggressively prosecuted as we are all familiar with the stories of parents who either sexually abuse their own children or rough them up like rag dolls. We don't have to draw a line. We don't need a pie chart.

As far as of the effects of spanking go, most of us would agree that it was more prevalent in prior generations, yet you won't find many people who would say that kids are better behaved today than back when children actually revered their elders.

The only controversy about this proposed law is that a lawmaker would propose such a law weakening the ability of parents to raise their own children - and considering that no one knows a child more than his or her own parents, it's simply common sense that they are the absolute authority when it comes to parenting techniques.

But for the sake of argument, let's pretend that the law will garner enough support to pass: will it touch those children living in nightmarishly volatile environments, whose parents are truly abusive and destructive?

Instead of embracing ridiculous anti-spanking laws we should be less hesitant to support measures that would truly punish the worst child offenders; parents and strangers alike. Too many child molesters are getting off easy with offensively light prison sentences. Too many people who mean true harm are flying under the radar. And if this law passes too many delinquent children will also get off easy - children who need a good spanking and with it will eventually grow up to be respectable and decent members of society.

Posted by Scottie at January 20, 2007 4:31 PM
Comments
Comment #204167

No one should strike another person, child or adult.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 20, 2007 4:40 PM
Comment #204168

Spanking never hurt anyone. When it gets to abuse then that’s a different story. A little swat on the behind might hurt for a little while, but it does not cause any permanent damage. Sending your child to their room won’tdo any good, TV STEREO, GAME STSTEMS, AND COMPUTERS. I was lucky to have a radio in my room. Law makers have more important things to take care of then sticking their noses in child disipline.

Posted by: KAP at January 20, 2007 4:51 PM
Comment #204170
Sending your child to their room won’tdo any good, TV STEREO, GAME STSTEMS, AND COMPUTERS.

So don’t put those things in the child’s room?

It’s against the law to hit anyone, why is it all right for children?

How do you later teach your children that it’s not all right to hit someone if it’s okay for you to do it to them?

Posted by: womanmarine at January 20, 2007 5:00 PM
Comment #204175

“How do you later teach your children that it’s not all right to hit someone if it’s okay for you to do it to them?” You don’t Not very often, but sometimes violence is necessary. How do you teach your child to defend themselves or others if they are not taught. There are a lot of variables in parenting and one size don’t fit all. No one knows a child more than their parent.

Posted by: tomd at January 20, 2007 5:17 PM
Comment #204177

There’s a big difference in teaching your child to defend themselves, and spanking them. Spanking them does nothing to teach them to defend themselves.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 20, 2007 5:21 PM
Comment #204179

womanmarine
Do you have any children?

Posted by: KAP at January 20, 2007 5:34 PM
Comment #204180

I find this supremely ironic.

Many of the same people who cry bloody murder over even the slightest possibility that the government might abuse something like the domestic wiretapping program have no problem whatsover with a completely clear-cut example of the government not only intruding into our lives but actually trying to take them over.

Who raises children? The government or their parents? Chalk this down as yet another thing that is none of the government’s damn business.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at January 20, 2007 5:38 PM
Comment #204181

L.O.
Right on

Posted by: KAP at January 20, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #204195
…and considering that no one knows a child more than his or her own parents, it’s simply common sense that they are the absolute authority when it comes to parenting techniques.

And ABSOULTLY NO government has the right to tell parents how or how not discipline their own children.

But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the law will garner enough support to pass: will it touch those children living in nightmarishly volatile environments, whose parents are truly abusive and destructive?

No it won’t. There’s laws now against abusing children and parents that abuse them ignore them. The only thing banning spanking is going to do is make criminals out of good parents that don’t abuse their children.

We can think Dr Spock for crap like this. In his book he stated that spanking children will warp their personalities. He was right about that. It warps them into shape.

When I was a kid us kids were spanked when our parents thought it was necessary. We all turned out OK. My wife and I spanked our youngins when we thought it was necessary. They’ve all turned out to be good citizens and wonderful parents.
Spanking wasn’t the only form of discipline used. But the threat of a spanking straighten my young butt out more than once when I was growing up. The same goes for my kids. And grand kids. But the threat of a spanking isn’t any good if the kid knows it won’t be carried out.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 20, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #204205

womanmarine
I don’t know if your parents spanked you or not. But if they did, did it make you turn out wrong?
Fact is no parent that loves their children will fail to discipline them. And spanking, while I’ve only used it as last resort, is a viable form of discipline. There aint a kid around that likes the idea of a spanking. as I said earlier, just the threat of one straighten my butt out more than once.
It’s very easy to teach a child not to hit others and still spank them. When they hit someone and aren’t defending themselves or siblings you spank.
Not every kid is the same though. When my son was little a swift pop on the back side worked. As he got older it took as few more. But it still worked. Most my daughters it would only take one pop. Except my youngest. If she even got the idea I was upset with her she was in tears. And is still that way at 22. I only had to spank her once.
Anytime you discipline a child you need to let them know that your only doing it because you love them and want them to learn right from wrong.


Loyal

Who raises children? The government or their parents? Chalk this down as yet another thing that is none of the government’s damn business.

If the liberals have their way the government will.
And your right. It is interesting that liberals holler about government interference with wire taps but have no problem with government interference in the family.


Posted by: Ron Brown at January 20, 2007 7:32 PM
Comment #204209

Being that the ban (although pretty much unenforcable unless marks are left in visible areas which constitutes abouse anyways) is for children under 4 years old, I don;t see it as a big deal.. most children under 4 don’t engage in many activities that would constitute a spanking in the first place. I would think a “spanking” would be different than a physicial repremand wether it be a tap on the lips for vocal actions or the age old soap in the mouth. I would think the underlying problem would be more of poor parenting techniques or a lack of patience by the parents. Yes some older children may need a whooping now and again but since the bill is proposed for children 4 or under, the only problem i could see is follow up bills coming thru scne the door has been opened.

Posted by: Rhancheck at January 20, 2007 8:12 PM
Comment #204210

As far as I’m concerned, the issue here is not the merits of spanking children. That’s a whole different debate.

I don’t especially favor it. It’s a parenting technique that’s been around forever, and I think it has its place, but I’m not sure it’s especially effective and my own opinion is that many, many parents rely on it much too heavily.

But that’s just my opinion, which I’m free to hold and to share with anybody. I have no business, however, trying to force it on others using the law.

It makes me sick to think that the government would stick its nose into something as basic to human life as the relationship between a parent and child.

This whole idea, held by far too many, that it’s the government’s job to control and regulate absolutely every facet of our lives in order to make everyone conform to what THEY think is best is disasterous.

The government does a very poor job running public schools, and now they want to extend their authority over parents and children even more? They need to get over themselves.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at January 20, 2007 8:19 PM
Comment #204225

Scottie,

I’m on Lieber’s side. Spanking is much less effective than connecting with the child “eye to eye”. Spanking teaches that “might” overrules “right”.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 20, 2007 10:02 PM
Comment #204232

I have no children, and do believe that hitting children is a poor excuse for discipline.

The word discipline does not imply hitting, it is about consistency and control.

Most competent parents that I know, were spanked and hit as children and have elected not to hit their children except to maybe gain their attention in extreme circumstances. Their children are not poorly behaved or out of control. In fact, it is my experience that the opposite is often true.

Education levels have increased in America, literacy is much higher now than it was in the fifties, inspite of the cries of our poor education system. I suspect that is behind this trend. I’m not sure the government needs to define what spanking is or who should be subject to it. Defining abuse seems adequate to me.

I think we have watched the time devoted to raising children decrease among the working poor. This seems a much more serious problem of abuse or neglect, to be more precise, created by a society with twisted values


Posted by: gergle at January 20, 2007 10:59 PM
Comment #204257

Loyal
Right, a lot of parents do rely on spanking far to much. But then that’s their privilege.
Like I said earlier, I used it as a last resort. And still do with my grandyoungins.


gergle

The word discipline does not imply hitting, it is about consistency and control.

Take it from the parent of one very stubborn boy. Sometimes a whack across the butt it the only way to get a child’s attention. That kid was just like my father’s son.
There is a difference in hitting a child and spanking. While spanking does require physical contact with the child’s back side, hitting is popping them any place besides their butts.
As a kid I was never popped anywhere but on my backside unless I moved. Then that was my fault for not standing still.
As a parent and grandparent I have never popped any of my children or grandchildren any where but on their butts. In my opinion striking a child anywhere else is abuse.
Like my daddy always said. The Lord put extra padding back there so it won’t do damage when being spanked.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 21, 2007 12:54 AM
Comment #204265

Ron,
I did note that sometimes it is necessary to get a child’s attention in extreme circumstances. I don’t want to have to bring it to your attention again, or I’ll smack you :)

Posted by: gergle at January 21, 2007 3:36 AM
Comment #204270

To me the problem goes deeper then the government. Government is nothing but a tool used by those persons who seek to create a society that fits their theories of a perfect society. Those persons being sociologists.

if you think about it Sociology has replaced Philosophy as the Discipline to be used to manipulate the changes in society rather than as a guide for change. The proof is found by examining the past changes and seeing how sociological studies has impacted them.

Posted by: The Griper at January 21, 2007 7:01 AM
Comment #204300

most children under 4 don’t engage in many activities that would constitute a spanking in the first place.

Rhancheck, it was the measured and judicious spanking of my children when they were under 4 that has made it unnecessary to spank them now that they are older. I learned the technique from my parents.

Loyal O. and Ron Brown are correct. Being that abuse is already illegal, no further laws are necessary. But it’s not surprising that advocates of the nanny state would like to treat parents themselves like children - equating my relationship with my children to my relationship with strangers on the street.

Posted by: Wulf at January 21, 2007 3:23 PM
Comment #204304
Scottie wrote: Instead of embracing ridiculous anti-spanking laws we should be less hesitant to support measures that would truly punish the worst child offenders; parents and strangers alike. Too many child molesters are getting off easy with offensively light prison sentences. Too many people who mean true harm are flying under the radar.

No kiddin’ !

Government makes lots of laws, but selectively enforces them.

Besides, it’s already illegal to beat your child.

There’s a big difference between spanking and beating.

So, what good are some more questionable laws, when the exising laws are not enforced, repeat offenders are released to repeat the same crimes over and over, and known criminals are allowed to run loose, and law enforcement can’t (or won’t) take common-sense steps to protect children ?

If Sally Lieber (AD-22,CA.) wants to do something more constructive, how about enforcing existing laws to stop releasing repeat offenders, and protecting children from real monsters being allowed to run loose everywhere?

Hey Teacher Parent! Leave that kid alone (Pink Floyd - The Wall).

Now, I’m not anti-abortion or pro-abortion, but California law allows abortion, but might pass a law that outlaws spanking? Stange.

Obviously, someone has way too much time on their hands.
What’s up with politicians these days?
Why the [explicative] can’t they concentrate on the state/nation’s more pressing problems?
What’s up with the voters that keep rewarding these idiots by repeatedly re-electing them?

People like Sally Lieber are a big pain in the [explicative].
Sally Lieber doesn’t even have children.
Perhaps it is Sally Lieber who needs a spanking?

Personally, in most cases (not necessarily all), a parent that feels it is necessary to spank their children (and it should be rarely, if ever, necessary), they have probably already failed somewhere along the way, to some degree. Some children can be very difficult and truly test a parent’s patience. Some children are more naturally violent and hostile. I’ve seen some other peoples’ kids who would truly test my patience if they suddenly become my children. It would be very hard indeed to keep from spankin’ ‘em good. But, there are almost, if not always, better ways to discipline children. Almost all children want something, and those things are leverage, and sets up a system of positive feedback. Too often, parents give attention for bad behavior, setting up a system of rewards for negative behavior. Parenting is not easy, and many parents, seriously, need some parent training. Ever see Nanny 911 ? What some of these parents fail to understand, some of the most basic principles, is absolutely amazing and appalling.

So, when a baby is born, doesn’t the doctor slap it to get it to start breathing?
Will the doctor be arrested for that?

I mean, will this law make provisions for justifiable spanking?
Or will doctors need to find a new way to get babies to start breathing?
Inquiring minds want to know.
: )

Posted by: d.a.n at January 21, 2007 3:56 PM
Comment #204326

To this day I respect and love both my parents. They did spank. I was intimidated and sometimes even afraid of them. I made decisions, or shall I say decided not to do things because “spank” was in their arsenal. As I matured, the fear of letting the down drove me to succeed. Not the fear of spanking. Their punishment technique changed as I matured. What’s next, the government will step in and say that parents are imposing unncessary mental anguish on their children, the childs development, and their ability to find a meaningful place in society through verbal abuse?

Posted by: Honest at January 21, 2007 7:07 PM
Comment #204340

dan:

They already have found other ways to get babies to start breathing. http://www.askdramy.com/Chap29.html

everyone:

I really don’t see why so many people here seem up in arms over the idea that parents should not strike children younger than 4. Personally, I’m against spanking entirely, but let’s be logical here: what real justification is there for spanking a baby? Is he crying too much? Too bad, feed him or change him or hold him or just let him cry. You don’t have the right to make him shut up by hitting him. Is he playing with something you don’t want him to? Just take it away from him. You’re bigger than he is, you’re stronger and faster and supposedly smarter… use that. If he gets into something when you’re not looking, guess what? That’s your fault. It’s your JOB to look. Punishing him is misplaced. Is he throwing his food? Take the food away from him till he’s ready to eat it. This isn’t rocket science.

I’ll freely admit, I’m 25 (almost 26) and currently have no children of my own, so to some degree I’m not speaking from experience here. I have watched other people’s children, however, and I’ve never found it necessary to spank to provide discipline. Moreover, for several years I took care of my grandmother during the final stages of Alzheimers before her death. I watched her literally regress to childhood, including throwing food and tantrums and needing constant 24-hour supervision. I had her draw blood by scratching my arm with her fingernails because she was confused and didn’t know where she was and didn’t recognize me or realize I was trying to help her. Imagine for a moment an infant with an adult body and you’ll have a good idea of what I was dealing with for a period of several years. 24-7. Spanking, or other violent means of persuasion, was NEVER necessary in that time, even during the times she became violent. Passive restraint (ie, standing in her way and refusing to move, or gently holding her in place) was all that was ever needed. Sometimes just presenting a different kind of food, or prepared a slightly different way, was enough to get her to go from throwing it to quietly eating. If that works for someone in an infantile mental state with the body and capacities of a grown (and fairly strong for 92 years old) woman, why on earth would you ever need to use physical force to deal with a real infant?

Posted by: Jarandhel at January 21, 2007 9:14 PM
Comment #204373

When you people with no children have some, we can then compare discipline techniques. Until then if you don’t want to see me spank my child, turn your head. It’s none of your business and I resent you trying to make it so.

Posted by: tomd at January 22, 2007 4:09 AM
Comment #204374

If Rep. Lieber is such a good parent that she doesn’t need to spank and feels that she can dictate to every other parent how they raise their children, I’m sure she’ll have no objections when I drop my future kid off at her doorstep and tell her that since she knows better than me how to raise my child, she can do so until his/her fourth birthday.

Posted by: 1LT B at January 22, 2007 5:28 AM
Comment #204375

Definitions for and laws against abuse are already in place. There is a system in place to deal with those who harm children, whether they are there own or another’s (though the system does fail at times). Why is Lieber forcing these laws into directions they were not meant to go? Who would this law really be effecting? Parents who are doing their best to raise a child well or those who habitually beat their children?

Well, since we already have laws against those who actually hurt their children…

Honestly? This sounds more like Lieber is trying to make herself ‘look good’, rather than help the community.

Posted by: Friday at January 22, 2007 8:29 AM
Comment #204379

Right, and Sally Lieber miscalculated, since most California citizens are opposed to her no-spank BILL.

1LTB, Sally Lieber has no children.
That’s not a minor thing.
Ever seen someone without children giving advice on raising children?

Loyal Opposition wrote: As far as I’m concerned, the issue here is not the merits of spanking children.

Right, as Scottie said also. How far are we going to let intrusive, oppressive, over-bloated government meddle in our lives? And don’t these controlling, do-nothing politicians have better things to do? Where are their priorities? Like stop letting repeat child molesters loose to repeat the same crimes over and over, tracking and keeping pedophiles from living right across the street from a school, etc.) ?


  • Posted by: d.a.n at January 22, 2007 9:39 AM
    Comment #204381

    People like Jarandhel are making arguments about babies, but that’s not what this is about. My daughter, who is about to turn 4 next month and would fall under this law, hasn’t been in diapers since 2004. This isn’t about hitting a baby her to shut her up, or to bully her.

    As I said earlier, being that abuse is already illegal, no further laws are necessary. The law proposed in California would not stop abuse.

    Posted by: Wulf at January 22, 2007 10:00 AM
    Comment #204382

    d.a.n.,

    Yeah, I have seen people with no children give advice on raising children. The best example is “Dr.” Spock, who probably did more to mess up the youth of America than anybody before or since.

    Posted by: 1LT b at January 22, 2007 10:04 AM
    Comment #204383

    Wulf:

    Alright, perhaps I am thinking too young… enlighten me, please. What on earth could your toddler do that would warrant physical violence as an appropriate disciplinary response?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 22, 2007 10:24 AM
    Comment #204386

    tomd:

    When you people with no children have some, we can then compare discipline techniques. Until then if you don’t want to see me spank my child, turn your head. It’s none of your business and I resent you trying to make it so.

    You don’t need to be married to have a valid opinion on men who hit their wives (or vice versa). Why on earth would you need to have children of your own in order to have a valid opinion on parents who hit their children? And not having children doesn’t mean you have no experience helping raise other’s children, or taking care of people in a childlike mental state.

    People keep making an arbitrary distinction between spankings and beatings, between “appropriate violence” and abuse. I’m really not sure where they’re drawing the line, though. There’s no parralel line in our society when it comes to violence towards adults, certainly. If you walk up to someone on the street (regardless of whether or not they’re related to you in ANY way) and slap them ANYWHERE… face, ass, wherever… that’s considered assault. Whether it leaves a mark or not. Why is it alright to “discipline” a child through an act of assault?

    The only real rationale I’ve heard for such discipline is pavlovian… the idea being that you train the child to associate tantrums or other undesired behavior with pain, so they do them less. As sick and inhuman as I find that rationale, it nevertheless is at least honest in its attempt to address why spanking a child is “necessary”. So far, I haven’t heard any others. And it does make me wonder about the mindset of adults raised in this manner… if they were “trained” not to do bad things because they mentally associate them with pain, what happens when they’re confronted with something bad that they were not trained to associate with pain? Do they have the intellectual and emotional maturity necessary to understand WHY something is bad, in the absence of the pain stimuli, and consciously choose not to do it, if they were not taught this process as a child? Are they more likely to do bad things when they believe no one is looking and they won’t be punished for it? I really don’t see positive results stemming from this method of “discipline”.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 22, 2007 10:59 AM
    Comment #204391

    Jarandhel,

    I don’t think most here advocate spanking, but the harmfulness is being way over-blown.
    Personally, I think there are better techniques.
    I never spanked my son. My wife did a couple of times, but it was nothing more than a little swat on the butt to get his attention, or keep him from touching a hot stove, or playing with matches, etc. Whether on not that is right or wrong, it isn’t an actionable offense, and it is being severely over-blown by equating it to child abuse. There’s a big difference.

    And again, our Do-Nothing politicians and law enforcement have got much more important things to focus on, such as enforcing existing laws, which government too often enforces selectively. What good are laws, when government won’t enforce the existing laws?

    Sally Lieber exemplifies what is wrong in government these days.
    Politicians have no sense of priorities, and they waste our time and money with this sort of nonsense.

    Just look how this one irresponsible politician’s ridiculous no-spank BILL is pitting us against each other, over something that is NOT high on our list of priorities, and is blatantly hyprocritical when more important means of protecting children are being ignored.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 22, 2007 11:59 AM
    Comment #204392

    Jarandhel,

    You know my grandmother told me a story about how my mother didn’t believe in spanking. She would talk to me about all the problems with my behavior.

    She also told me how as a toddler I would listen to then forget it.

    Apparently when I was 3 and half I a hit a kid in the head with a chair, because of him touching the toy I was playing with or whatever, mind you this is all off of the story I heard.

    That day my mom wooped my butt with a wooden spoon.

    I am proud to say that I have yet to hit any one with anything other than my fists and only under extreme circumstances.

    This whole concept of seeing ‘eye to eye’ with a three year old is a joke.

    A three year old is not concerned with what you think or say.

    A three year old wants to play. Heck, most 13 year olds just want to play.

    As a young adult who is last of his group of friends to become a father and watching all these different parenting techniques be utilized, I fully intend to spank my child.

    The children that go unspanked are generally the ones who run the house, are spoiled, and totally fail to honor their parents words.

    The ones who do get spanked ARE THE ONES who can eye to eye with you.

    That is my experience.

    Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 22, 2007 12:05 PM
    Comment #204394

    Bryan:

    The more important question is where your mother was during this incident, and why she did not simply intervene to prevent you from picking up the chair, let alone hitting someone with it. Because she wasn’t paying attention, or close enough to effectively supervise you, you were able to do something wrong and harm someone else. You got punished, therefor, for her mistake. As for your own actions, I never advocated reasoning with a child of that age. There are a large number of effectively disciplinary actions… such as taking away the toy you wanted and not letting you have it for a week or two. Hitting you wasn’t necessary. All it shows is that if you hit someone else, someone bigger is waiting to hit you back. Someone who already failed in their own responsibility of supervising you.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 22, 2007 12:11 PM
    Comment #204397

    Jarandhel,

    It wasn’t her mistake, I was in sunday school.

    The lesson learned was: what it felt like to get hit.

    How is one supposed to understand why one should never create physical pain if one does not know what it is or how it comes about.

    That would be like expecting some one to be able to invest money when they have never had money.

    I am not saying every child needs to be struck, but not all children are the same. Just like not adults are the same.

    It takes different strategies to raise different children. Had I never been struck I would probably still be striking others out of anger. I have no doubt of that.

    I am not any less intelligent or ignorant or anything else less than any other. Nor is any one else who deserved a spanking.

    My dad does not spank my half-brother and half-sister. They are spoiled in their ways. They do not have much as far as possessions, but they have complete control over their parents.

    Do you have children? If so who has more control in your family? If they ask for something do they whine until they get it or throw tantrums?

    Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 22, 2007 12:30 PM
    Comment #204399

    Because she wasn’t paying attention, or close enough to effectively supervise you, you were able to do something wrong and harm someone else. You got punished, therefor, for her mistake. As for your own actions, I never advocated reasoning with a child of that age. There are a large number of effectively disciplinary actions… such as taking away the toy you wanted and not letting you have it for a week or two. Hitting you wasn’t necessary. All it shows is that if you hit someone else, someone bigger is waiting to hit you back. Someone who already failed in their own responsibility of supervising you.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 22, 2007 12:11 PM

    I must repeat what others have written here in that when you have kids and figure out a way to supervise every second of their lives to prevent them doing anything naughty let us know your technique, because you could petent it as a new invention. Spanking your kids is not about pain stimuli or any other psychobabble, it is about instilling a healthy respect for the parents in the child. Respect is a lot easier to teach to a three or four year old than say, a sixteen year old who feels his 45 year old dad is probably no match for his newfound muscles and testosterone. It’s better to instill a little fear when they’re younger.

    Proverbs 22:15
    “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

    Posted by: Duane-o at January 22, 2007 12:38 PM
    Comment #204411

    OOPS!!! I meant you could patent your omnipresence and all-seeing eye, not ???petent??? it!

    Posted by: Duane-o at January 22, 2007 2:07 PM
    Comment #204413

    Fear does NOT equal respect.

    Posted by: womanmarine at January 22, 2007 2:16 PM
    Comment #204414
    Jarandhel,

    It wasn’t her mistake, I was in sunday school.

    Then it was your teacher’s mistake. Or hers for putting you in an environment with insufficient supervision, if there were too many children for the teacher to deal with appropriately.

    The lesson learned was: what it felt like to get hit.

    How is one supposed to understand why one should never create physical pain if one does not know what it is or how it comes about.

    Any kid who’s ever fallen and scraped his knee knows about pain, what it is and how it comes about. You don’t need to inflict pain on a child for them to understand it.

    That would be like expecting some one to be able to invest money when they have never had money.

    That’s not even close to a proper analogy. Children have all experienced pain. Especially toddlers who are constantly falling while trying to walk. They know that hitting someone causes them pain. That’s why they do it. They just don’t know that it’s wrong. And it doesn’t take sinking to their level and inflicting pain yourself to show them that it’s wrong.

    I am not saying every child needs to be struck, but not all children are the same. Just like not adults are the same.

    It takes different strategies to raise different children. Had I never been struck I would probably still be striking others out of anger. I have no doubt of that.

    You have no doubt that you’d be hitting others out of anger if you hadn’t been struck, despite the fact that you don’t even remember the incident and had to have it retold to you by your mother? Why? What leads you to the belief that this one incident was so defining a moment for your character, if you don’t have any memory of it?

    Do you have children? If so who has more control in your family? If they ask for something do they whine until they get it or throw tantrums?

    I’ve already addressed this earlier in this thread. I have experience with helping care for other people’s children, and with caring for my grandmother during the final stages of alzheimers when she regressed to an infantile state. I’ve never found striking anyone to be necessary to cause behavior changes when misbehavior occurs, it only provokes and excites them more.

    Duane-o:

    Don’t talk to me about how impossible it is to supervise a child 24-7. Try supervising a 92 year old woman with alzheimers for three years. Someone with the mind of a toddler and an adult’s size and capacity to get into things. The key is being there and WATCHING them. Actual supervision. It doesn’t require any patented technique.

    As for pain stimulating respect in a child, it sounds to me like your other statement is more accurate: it makes them fear you while they’re small, before they have a chance to grow up and be a match for you, when you might have to actually fear them instead. That’s not a recipe for respect, it’s bullying. Pure and simple.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 22, 2007 2:19 PM
    Comment #204424

    Jarandhel,

    “Then it was your teacher’s mistake. Or hers for putting you in an environment with insufficient supervision, if there were too many children for the teacher to deal with appropriately.”

    It wasn’t her mistake either. It was my mistake for acting out of anger, that is why I got punished. No one can watch any one kid 24/7 for their whole life. If you say you can then you are lying.

    “Any kid who’s ever fallen and scraped his knee knows about pain, what it is and how it comes about.”

    Those days are long gone, how is one suppose to learn that on padded play grounds and strapped head to toe in safety gear.

    “Especially toddlers who are constantly falling while trying to walk.”

    How is letting them feel pain any different than inflicting pain. What happened to watching them at all times. Indifference is another form of guilt.

    “I have experience with helping care for other people’s children, and with caring for my grandmother during the final stages of alzheimers when she regressed to an infantile state.”

    I don’t see how caring for other peoples kids can even begin to relate to caring for a child as a parent. Children naturally are more cautious and more respectful, out of fear, of people not their parents because there is the not knowing the other as well as the parent.

    There is no way you are, in the eyes of the child, the same as a parent. This difference is seen even in foster care.

    As for your grandmother: do you work? Do you sleep?

    If we lived in a society were one person could support a family of a single income than that would make sense.

    In a consumer social norm where it takes two incomes to support one family I don’t see how you could expect any one person or two people to be able to watch a child 24/7.

    Even if you could watch a child 24/7, you would only be making that much more dependent upon you. There-by producing an adult who will be less capable in life.

    So either you are absoluting fear by the hand or you are absoluting fear by the eye. I would feel much more oppressed by the latter.

    Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 22, 2007 3:15 PM
    Comment #204444

    The irony of this is those that don’t advocate spanking of a child are the ones that advocate killing a child through abortion. Makes no sense you can kill a child but not spank the child.

    Posted by: KAP at January 22, 2007 5:53 PM
    Comment #204466

    Not true.
    California allows abortion, but some politician in California is pushing for a no-spank law.
    Does that make sense ?

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 22, 2007 8:06 PM
    Comment #204470

    What on earth could your toddler do that would warrant physical violence as an appropriate disciplinary response?

    You may take this as a dodge, but I’m not interested in a back-and-forth of specific examples from me followed by (likely) replies from you that something other than a spanking would have been the answer in that particular situation.

    I only wanted to note that the proposal isn’t limited to babies, or even toddlers (I wouldn’t classify a three year old as a toddler).

    But the big point here is that we already have laws against abuse. If one hits a child and it can be called abuse, then there are laws already in place to deal with that. If it is not abuse, battery, assault, etc., then it’s not your business - even if you are a legislator.

    That’s the point. Period.

    Posted by: Wulf at January 22, 2007 8:30 PM
    Comment #204479

    Wulf,
    I agree completely.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 22, 2007 8:59 PM
    Comment #204558

    Whenever my parents would spank me I would think to myself “do they still love me?” I was five or six at the time and I still remember the emotion.

    Why do you think kids cry so much after being spanked? Really think about it. It’s like their whole world is collapsing down on them.

    Posted by: AH at January 23, 2007 1:51 AM
    Comment #204622

    Just got back from a quick trip to Dallas and have been reading some of the comments posted sense I’ve been gone.
    I find it very interesting that folks that don’t have kids seem to know better how to raise them than parents do. Reckon maybe all us parents ought to drop our youngins off at their houses for a couple of weeks with full authority to discipline as they see fit? How many would start believing in spanking after just one day?
    While a 6 month old wouldn’t under stand why Momma or Daddy popped them I guarantee that a 1 year old understands full well why? A quick pop on the butt never has and never will hurt any child over a year old.
    Have any of y’all that think a child should be talked to and reasoned with instead of being spanked ever tried to reason with a 2 year old?

    Posted by: Ron Brown at January 23, 2007 3:31 PM
    Comment #204624

    That’s part of the point though, isn’t it? I wouldn’t go as far to ask “do they still love me?”. I can count the number of times that I was actually spanked as a child on one hand. I never questioned that my parents loved me — such a thought never entered my mind. I knew my parents loved me, being disciplined didn’t change that.

    Why do children throw a fit or cry when punished? People have been discussing and rehashing that for ages. I think we can agree it’s because they don’t like it, whether it is a time out, having something taken away or being spanked. Any time you punish a child you could say “their whole world is collapsing down on them.” Of course it is, they’ve just had the boarders redrawn. Raising a child is (in part) about setting limits and boundaries.

    Some say they don’t want to limit their child or scar them by disciplining them. What happens to that child when it reaches the real world where punishments are so much more sever than a spanking? As for scarring them, I honestly don’t think we give children enough credit. If a child is traumatized for life by a quick swat on the butt, what’s it like when you have do to something painful for their own good? Think about shots, setting broken bones or even just deigning them desert.

    I think several people on this thread are associating spanking with severe pain and damage a bit to much. How much physical damage pain do you actually think people cause when they spank their children? In most cases it’s little more than a swat (a light hit - normally not leaving a mark or more than a moments tingling). What do you think of when you think of a child being spanked?

    And Jarandhel? While I applaud you for taking care of your grandmother (many would choose to hand her to a nursing home or institution, it takes a great amount of time, effort and dedication to care for another person constantly), I wonder why you keep using her as a shield. You seem to hold her up saying ‘look how well I did’, while criticizing everyone who disagrees with you or brings up a valid point against you.

    Jarandhel,

    It wasn’t her mistake, I was in sunday school.


    Then it was your teacher’s mistake. Or hers for putting you in an environment with insufficient supervision, if there were too many children for the teacher to deal with appropriately.

    -Jarandhel

    Is it always the caretakers fault when a child attacks out? In that case, was it your fault when your grandmother would act out?

    And yes, an Alzheimer’s patient does have a few things in common with a young child. They (at least in the later stages) have difficulty dressing and feeding themselves. They may even need assistance going to the bathroom and walking. However, they face challenges that children (normally) do not. They often suffer from dementia, paranoia, compulsions, can’t remember their past and often lose track of the present. You can’t teach an alzheimer’s patient not to do these things nor can you hold them responsible for their actions.

    They know that hitting someone causes them pain. That’s why they do it. They just don’t know that it’s wrong. And it doesn’t take sinking to their level and inflicting pain yourself to show them that it’s wrong.


    And as for a child knowing pain and there for knowing (or perhaps I should say caring) that is what others feel, you seem to being saying that this is a simple conclusion. Instinctive even. It may be for an adult, but then we’ve already been taught this. Empathy is a learned trait, we develop it as we grow — and are shown what it is to be hurt. Besides that, there is an ocean of difference between an accidental hurt and a purposeful one.

    “…doesn’t take sinking to their level…”? Are you suggesting that children are some how less than a person? When it comes to life experiences, yes they do have less. But it reads, to me at least, that you are suggesting that they are worth less.

    Posted by: Friday at January 23, 2007 3:42 PM
    Comment #204734

    Bryan:

    “Then it was your teacher’s mistake. Or hers for putting you in an environment with insufficient supervision, if there were too many children for the teacher to deal with appropriately.”

    It wasn’t her mistake either. It was my mistake for acting out of anger, that is why I got punished. No one can watch any one kid 24/7 for their whole life. If you say you can then you are lying.

    It was her mistake that you were unsupervised enough to be able to strike another student when you got angry. If she had been watching you, she could have defused the situation before it reached that point. She could have given you a time out (I don’t mean in a punitive sense, I mean literally taking you aside and giving you a few calm moments) to get your emotions under control, she could have distracted you with another toy, or even asked the other child to share with you depending on what action would have been appropriate prior to you striking him. By the time you struck him, the teacher had already failed to maintain proper control over her classroom. That was her mistake. Kids get angry, they throw tantrums, they hit and bite other children. It’s foreseeable, particularly when unsupervised interaction is taking place with toys involved. If the teacher wasn’t capable of supervising all of the children in attendence, then it falls back on a further failure by your mother by putting you in a situation without proper supervision when she dropped you off at the class and left. All before you ever got the chance to make the mistake of hitting another child. As for needing to watch them 24/7 for their whole life, that’s not necessary. Kids grow up. Yes, the first three or four years they are going to need pretty constant, 24/7 supervision, either by you or by other trusted adults. As they grow, though, they gain maturity and you can begin trusting them to supervise themselves for certain periods. Striking them is not a necessary component to them gaining that type of maturity.

    “Any kid who’s ever fallen and scraped his knee knows about pain, what it is and how it comes about.”

    Those days are long gone, how is one suppose to learn that on padded play grounds and strapped head to toe in safety gear.

    The playgrounds I see by schools around here (Virginia) are still the same hardtop or sand we’ve always had, and I don’t see very many kids running around strapped up in safety gear. I think you’d be surprised if you looked around, kids haven’t stopped scraping their knees playing, and aren’t likely to at any point in our lifetimes.

    “Especially toddlers who are constantly falling while trying to walk.”

    How is letting them feel pain any different than inflicting pain. What happened to watching them at all times. Indifference is another form of guilt.

    Watching them doesn’t mean doing things for them, or stopping them from ever failing. There’s a time to step in, and a time not to, and it’s something you’re going to have to learn as a parent. Stepping in can actually frustrate a child more, if they’re trying to learn to do something on their own. Often it’s better to demonstrate, then stand back for a bit unless there seems to be danger of a serious accident. And there’s a great deal of difference between having someone inflict pain on you, and having it just happen. Stubbing your toe is literally nothing like being punched. Nor is falling off your bike in any way akin to having someone inflict pain on you in the hopes that it would “instill a little fear” of your parents while you’re still young.

    “I have experience with helping care for other people’s children, and with caring for my grandmother during the final stages of alzheimers when she regressed to an infantile state.”

    I don’t see how caring for other peoples kids can even begin to relate to caring for a child as a parent. Children naturally are more cautious and more respectful, out of fear, of people not their parents because there is the not knowing the other as well as the parent.

    There is no way you are, in the eyes of the child, the same as a parent. This difference is seen even in foster care.

    I’m not sure why you bring this up when you also have said you plan to spank your child, future tense. Either your child is too young for your experiences with him or her to apply to this conversation, or you also don’t have children. This therefor does equally as much to undermine your argument in favor of spanking as it does mine against it.

    As for your grandmother: do you work? Do you sleep?

    At the time, I didn’t work. My familiy needed me more. My grandmother had severe alzheimers, my father was on SSDI for a variety of complications (poor vision, heart problems, infection in his foot that resulted in an amputation) relating to untreated diabetes, my mother had to take a job in another state to continue supporting the family, and I was left as one of my grandmother’s primary caregivers and the only means of transportation my father or grandmother had. (We lived in a rural area in South Jersey.) My father and I ended up having to watch her in shifts, with him taking the morning while I slept most days (unless they had a doctors appointment in the morning I needed to take them to) and me taking afternoon till he got up around 6am. This was necessary because my grandmother had a habit of climbing out of bed in the middle of the night and trying to go wandering, despite putting rails on the bed to try to discourage this.

    If we lived in a society were one person could support a family of a single income than that would make sense.

    In a consumer social norm where it takes two incomes to support one family I don’t see how you could expect any one person or two people to be able to watch a child 24/7.

    If they can’t, they need to be able to leave the child with a caregiver who can. A babysitter, a relative, whatever is necessary. Failing that, they should seriously give the child up for adoption, because you just should not be leaving children ages four and younger alone for extended periods of time.

    Even if you could watch a child 24/7, you would only be making that much more dependent upon you. There-by producing an adult who will be less capable in life.

    So either you are absoluting fear by the hand or you are absoluting fear by the eye. I would feel much more oppressed by the latter.

    Nonsense. A child of that age IS dependent on their parents and the other adults in their life. That kind of dependence is natural and something that the child should be weaned off over time. Nor is being supervised a matter of instilling fear. In most cases it should be possible to divert a child’s attention or employ other tactics to ward off trouble before a punishment is ever necessary.

    Wulf:

    But the big point here is that we already have laws against abuse. If one hits a child and it can be called abuse, then there are laws already in place to deal with that. If it is not abuse, battery, assault, etc., then it’s not your business - even if you are a legislator.

    That’s the point. Period.

    I’m afraid your point is rather ill conceived. A legislator’s business, literally their job, is to create law. To propose amendments to existing law. We do have laws in place to deal with certain definitions of abuse. This legislator believes they do not go far enough, and has proposed such an amendment. If you don’t like it, fine, ask your representative to vote against it if you live in an area where it would affect you. But to suggest it’s not their business to legally define abuse in any way other than it is currently legally defined, even if that means extending it to areas where some parents would object, is to ignore the way our government works entirely. Who do you think wrote the other laws on abuse? They didn’t get there by themselves, they got there by legislators just like this woman who thought the previous laws were not strong enough to really protect children.

    Ron:

    I find it very interesting that folks that don’t have kids seem to know better how to raise them than parents do. Reckon maybe all us parents ought to drop our youngins off at their houses for a couple of weeks with full authority to discipline as they see fit? How many would start believing in spanking after just one day?

    It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to care for other people’s kids, and I’ve never found it necessary to hit a child. Not having children of your own does not mean you have no experience caring for children.

    While a 6 month old wouldn’t under stand why Momma or Daddy popped them I guarantee that a 1 year old understands full well why? A quick pop on the butt never has and never will hurt any child over a year old. Have any of y’all that think a child should be talked to and reasoned with instead of being spanked ever tried to reason with a 2 year old?

    So you’re actually saying that a 1 year old can reason well enough to understand why he’s being spanked, but a 2 year old is incapable of reasoning? Also, reasoning is not even the only method being suggested: Timeouts, distraction, removal of privledges, taking away toys, all of these are effective methods that don’t involve striking a child.

    Friday:

    I think several people on this thread are associating spanking with severe pain and damage a bit to much. How much physical damage pain do you actually think people cause when they spank their children? In most cases it’s little more than a swat (a light hit - normally not leaving a mark or more than a moments tingling). What do you think of when you think of a child being spanked?

    Seriously? I think of Halloween. I’m not sure what age I was, but fairly young. Not sure if I was in school yet or not. My father and I were getting ready to go out to our town’s Halloween Parade, same as we did every year. He had a monster mask that he’d gotten, and a cape as the entirety of his costume. He’d put it on, and it was scaring the hell out of my dog. She was bouncing around, more agitated than I’d ever seen her, growling at him or yiping if he got close to her. He was just laughing, thought it was funny, but she was really terrified. I was trying to get him to just take off his mask and show her it was just him. I reached for the mask as he moved, my hand missed, and I tore the clasp of his cape. He screamed at me, spanked me so hard his handprint was visible on my ass a full ten minutes later, though there was no actual bruising, and swore that we weren’t going to the parade. My mom later talked him into going anyway, but I don’t really remember much about the rest of the night. That’s what sticks in my mind. I never really got excited about the Halloween parade after that, and we stopped going. That’s what comes to mind when I think of a spanking. You?

    And Jarandhel? While I applaud you for taking care of your grandmother (many would choose to hand her to a nursing home or institution, it takes a great amount of time, effort and dedication to care for another person constantly), I wonder why you keep using her as a shield. You seem to hold her up saying ‘look how well I did’, while criticizing everyone who disagrees with you or brings up a valid point against you.

    Unfortunately, the people I am debating have a tendency to dismiss those of us who are not ourselves parents as “lacking experience” dealing with this sort of thing, and dismiss our arguments on that basis alone. I am using my experiences with her as an example that this is not simply theory, that it has had practical application, and that I am speaking from a position just as informed as theirs. If it comes across as using it as a shield, that’s probably a result of having to defend my right to take a position on this subject from so many people who think that no one who isn’t a parent could possibly have any idea what they are talking about.

    Then it was your teacher’s mistake. Or hers for putting you in an environment with insufficient supervision, if there were too many children for the teacher to deal with appropriately. -Jarandhel

    Is it always the caretakers fault when a child attacks out? In that case, was it your fault when your grandmother would act out?

    Is it their fault that the child acted out, no. Not necessarily. It is, however, their fault that the child has reached a point where they have both reason and opportunity to act out. Using an example from working with my grandmother: at a certain point in the progression of her disease, she was prone towards insisting at all hours of the day or night that she had to go to school. She was very adamant about this point, and began to try to run for the door at times. We had fairly steep steps leading up to the house, and she wasn’t very steady navigating them at the best of times, so this was quite dangerous. This is analogous to the small child who tries to run out into the street. The solution was generally to keep her in parts of the house where the front door was not immediately visible. Out of sight was out of mind for her, like it is for most children. When this was not feasible, another solution was staying by her side, even holding her hand. The contact generally comforted her and distracted her from ideas like that. If she was running for the door, we’d already failed by not anticipating the problem and correcting it before she had the chance to act out. And yes, frequently she acted out because we’d tried to rush her through something that seemed simple to us, and got her confused and frightened and disoriented, so many times it was actually our fault when in her frustration she would act out. Children can be the same way, they can get confused and frustrated and excited and disoriented very easily from things that we as adults take for granted. They don’t react to things the same way we do, and expecting them to is a real failure to empathize on our part.

    And yes, an Alzheimer’s patient does have a few things in common with a young child. They (at least in the later stages) have difficulty dressing and feeding themselves. They may even need assistance going to the bathroom and walking. However, they face challenges that children (normally) do not. They often suffer from dementia, paranoia, compulsions, can’t remember their past and often lose track of the present. You can’t teach an alzheimer’s patient not to do these things nor can you hold them responsible for their actions.

    To some extent that’s true, though at least in the case of my grandmother there did seem some limited capacity for (re?)learning. When she reached the stage you mentioned where she did need assistance going to the bathroom, we got a portable commode for her and placed it in her bedroom, because we simply could not fit into the main bathroom in that house with her and really help. It was designed with a very narrow passage between sink and shower, with the toilet tucked against the wall behind the shower, and there was a great danger of her tripping and falling into the shower if she tried to walk in on her own. (it almost happened on more than one occasion) I don’t think it was more than a few weeks before she learned exactly where to go to when she needed to use the bathroom. We still walked with her and generally held her hand to steady her, but she would very confidently lead the way. So I think the analogy holds well enough.

    And as for a child knowing pain and there for knowing (or perhaps I should say caring) that is what others feel, you seem to being saying that this is a simple conclusion. Instinctive even. It may be for an adult, but then we’ve already been taught this. Empathy is a learned trait, we develop it as we grow — and are shown what it is to be hurt. Besides that, there is an ocean of difference between an accidental hurt and a purposeful one.

    Instinct is not taught. And yes, it is instinctive, because every animal including humans have an instinct to cause other creatures pain by biting or striking them, or whatever may be appropriate to the species. There really is no confusion in that regard, though yes caring is another matter that should be nurtured. As for the idea that such empathy needs to be learned by showing children what it is to be hurt, this seems entirely counterintuitive to me. We as adults do not need to experience rape to empathize with a victim of rape. We don’t need to experience being murdered to empathize with a victim of murder. Much less do we need to have these things demonstrated on us to know that it is wrong to do them to others. Why should we purposely hurt a child to teach them not to hurt others?

    “…doesn’t take sinking to their level…”? Are you suggesting that children are some how less than a person? When it comes to life experiences, yes they do have less. But it reads, to me at least, that you are suggesting that they are worth less.

    I’m really not sure how you reach that conclusion. I am suggesting that children are less mature than adults, emotionally and mentally as well as physically. I am suggesting that a parent who strikes a child is literally sinking to a child’s level *of maturity*, hitting in order to get their way. I view the act of spanking as little more than a parental temper tantrum. I’m not clear how that would imply the children are in any way worth less, or less than a person. If anything, thinking parents can and should strike their children seems to me a far greater indicator that the children are being considered as less than people. There is no other class of persons one could strike with impunity to get them to do what you want.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 1:00 AM
    Comment #204752

    Jarandhel,

    I stated at the beginning of this thread that I wouldn’t compare child rearing techniques with you because you are not a parent.

    While I admire your support for your grandmother, you aren’t the only one to go thru similar experiences. Being 58 years old, having raised 2 kids to their mid 30’s and helping nurse several ageing family members I can assure you that individual personalities play a huge part in how you handle each person. What works for one will not always work for all. Spanking has it’s place as does time out, distractions and other things you mentioned.

    Sorry about your halloween experience, but it appears that your dad misunderstood what you were doing and over reacted. “Don’t shoot all dogs cause one has fleas.” Or possibly it was you that over reacted and deserved the spanking.

    My point is that there is no “one solution” for all situations and the parent is the proper one to made that determination.

    Posted by: tomd at January 24, 2007 5:16 AM
    Comment #204761

    “No one should strike another person, child or adult.

    Posted by: womanmarine at January 20, 2007 04:40 PM”


    This remark reminds me of a dialogue I had with my son’s middle school principal many, many years ago.

    I got a not from the principal that my son was involved in a fight and would be punished. I could request a meeting if I had any questions.

    At the meeting….
    Me: I understand Jamey was fighting. He tells me this..(I recant Jamey’s story)… Is that the way it happened?

    Principal: Probably, the teacher didn’t see how it started, but the boy’s brother was a bully last year and this boy probably will be too.

    Me: If what Jamey says is true, then he was acting in self defense. Why punish him for that?

    Principal: I won’t have fighting in my school.

    Me: I understand your concern, but there is a difference in self defense and aggression. As an example, If I came across your desk and attacked you, You would fight to get me off of you.

    Principal: No, I would have you arrested.

    Me: No doubt you would and rightly so, but you would fight to get me off of you first.

    Principal: I will have no fighting in my school, Jamey gets “in house suspension”.

    Me: How many days? You are undermining his right to self defense and I’m going to pay him every day he is punished for this.


    This principal didn’t get it and I don’t think some of you here do either. There is a time and place for force. It is up to the PARENT to teach and guide a child as to when and where the proper time and place is.

    Posted by: tomd at January 24, 2007 8:55 AM
    Comment #204769

    tomd:

    That’s a very convenient excuse for dismissing what I have to say.
    “Parents always know best, parents should be the ones to decide what
    to use.” No, they don’t. That’s why we already have laws in place to
    prevent parents from doing some things to their children that they
    think are “best”. We call these things abuse. This legislation would
    expand that definition, and you still really haven’t given any good
    reasons why it shouldn’t be expanded save for your insistance that it
    is necessary for some children. The fact is, there are ALWAYS other
    strategies you can use. If timeouts and distractions and the other
    things I mentioned don’t work, it’s the job of the parent to be
    innovative, not get lazy and hit the child till they get what they
    want. How is that any different from a child throwing a temper
    tantrum and hitting someone to get what they want?
    Spanking is the quick and easy out, and there really isn’t a place for
    it in responsible parenting. The only reasons to use it that have
    been brought up so far are to instill fear as a means of control.
    That is abuse. And saying that people who aren’t parents should have no say in it is ludicrous. The fact of the matter is, all of us have had experience with childrearing from the perspective of having been a child once. We know what techniques were used on us, and we can certainly have opinions as to their effectiveness and appropriateness. Some of us have further had experiences caring for children and adults with diminished capacities. Not having children of our own is not a reason to automatically exclude some of us who disagree with you from this conversation.

    As for my halloween experience, no my father did not misunderstand
    what I was trying to do. He knew I wanted him to take off his mask
    and show her it was him, I had been asking him for the past fifteen
    minutes to do that because he was scaring her. He just thought it was
    funny, and kept using the flashing eyes/sound effects feature of his
    mask to scare her (a very small dog, chiquaqua-mix) more. My father overreacted because he can’t
    control his temper. Still has issues with it. The last time he lost
    his temper with me, I was in my twenties and he took a swing at me for
    trying to get him to calm down and stop screaming at my grandmother. As for not shooting all dogs because one has fleas, the problem is that spanking is itself the flea. Spanking is ALWAYS an overreaction by the parent. I don’t care who says otherwise. If you are really calm and rational, you’re calm and rational enough to look for other ways to discipline a child, of which there are an infinite variety if you use a little ingenuity. If you’re not calm and rational, then you’re simply taking your anger out on the child and that is abusive. Using Bryan’s experience as an example for a moment, if I had a kid who hit another child in the head with a chair for not letting them play with a toy, I know exactly what to do to make sure they never do that again: make them pick out one of their own toys, a good one that they play with a lot and like, for them to give to the child they hit as restitution. A child who likes toys is going to be highly motivated to keep his, so is not too likely to be going around hitting other children if he knows that is the consequence he can expect. This is of course assuming the child is old enough to reason with to this degree. If they’re not old enough to connect having to give another child a toy with having hit that child, they’re certainly not old enough to connect being hit with having hit another child. All hitting them does is put them in flight mode, which certainly will distract them enough that they will stop the behavior but should not be confused with them associating the behavior with spanking. That requires the same reasoning skills that understanding a more sophisticated punishment would. More, even, since they also have to “understand” the idea that hitting is bad, but parents can hit to correct and that’s not bad, which is inherently contradictory and requires a theory of situational morality to make any sense.

    There are no one solution for all situations, but there are some solutions which should not be solutions for any situations. There are always better options than hitting a child. The state already steps in to remove certain options from parents: beatings which leave bruises, withholding education (truancy), malnourishment, even choosing to withhold medical care in some circumstances, among a wide variety of other abusive treatments. We as a society have decided that this is right, and just, and that parents are NOT the proper ones to determine on a case by case basis that these things are wrong. Why shouldn’t the same logic be applied to spanking as other abusive treatment? How can we say “Hitting a child hard enough to bruise is wrong, but slapping them on the ass as many times as you want, for whatever reason you want, in whatever emotional state you want, so long as it doesn’t leave bruises… well, that’s just fine”?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 10:06 AM
    Comment #204770

    tomd:

    This principal didn’t get it and I don’t think some of you here do either. There is a time and place for force. It is up to the PARENT to teach and guide a child as to when and where the proper time and place is.

    Yes, there is a time and place for force. I’m sorry the principle didn’t get that, but I don’t really think you do either. The time and place for force is in defense of yourself or someone else. Defense, in this instance, NOT including “defending them from themselves by correcting their behavior”, since I’m reasonably sure that convoluted line of reasoning is about to be applied. If someone is attacked, they have a right to defend themselves. If someone else is attacked, they have a right to defend that person. They do NOT have the right to assault someone else in order to get them to stop behavior they disagree with. And yes, it is the parent’s place to teach a child this… which starts by living the example themselves, and not striking the child and pretending it is morally justified.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 10:10 AM
    Comment #204784

    Jarandhel,

    You are kind of putting the cart before the horse with this topic. Before we set up discepline methods we should determine responsibility.

    When you agree to be responsible and I agree to give you responsibility for my children then YOU can decide how to descipline them. Until then, KEEP THE HELL AWAY FROM MY FAMILY.

    Posted by: tomd at January 24, 2007 11:52 AM
    Comment #204786

    tomd:

    As I mentioned before, the state already steps in in certain situations to prevent a parent from disciplining their child in abusive ways. The people, through their agent the state, have already accepted responsibility for those children that need to be removed from a home for their safety. Who do you think pays for their care when child protective services steps in? All of us. That gives all of us a say in what methods of “discipline” constitute abuse.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 12:12 PM
    Comment #204790

    “As I mentioned before, the state already steps in in certain situations to prevent a parent from disciplining their child in abusive ways.”

    We can agree with that. There are laws against abusing children.

    “The people, through their agent the state, have already accepted responsibility for those children that need to be removed from a home for their safety.”

    Only thru due process of law. and usually the state transfers that responsibility to another person known as a foster PARENT.

    “Who do you think pays for their care when child protective services steps in? All of us. That gives all of us a say in what methods of “discipline” constitute abuse.”

    So, By your logic, since we all pay for the roads we drive on, then we all should decide what kind of car you can drive? Or since we all have to pay for the poor dental health of the poor we should all decide what kind of toothpaste everyone should use?

    The law holds ME legally responsible for my children’s actions until they become adults.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 12:12 PM”

    No it doesn’t…

    Posted by: tomd at January 24, 2007 1:21 PM
    Comment #204792

    “Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 12:12 PM”

    No it doesn’t… “


    Sorry,
    The above should have been deleted.


    Posted by: tomd at January 24, 2007 1:24 PM
    Comment #204793

    Jarandhel
    Yes a 1 year old does know that they’ve done wrong when you spank them. So does a 2 year old. But neither will understand when you just sit them down and say now that’s wrong and you shouldn’t do that. Try it next time your caring for a child that young. They’ll look at you like you have two heads and go right back to it.
    If you’ve read any of my earlier post you’ll know that I’m not advocating spanking as a main form of discipline. But I do believe that it is effective and is something more parents should do. Specially the way I’ve seen some kids act.
    When a child of any age knows that their parents will spank them other forms of discipline can work more effectively.

    Regardless of the form of discipline parents use the main thing is to be consistent and carry out the discipline. If you tell a child they are going to be disciplined and then don’t do it they child gets the idea that your not serious and you’ll have a hard time keeping the kid in line.
    We were at a buffet in Valdosta one time. A couple at the table next to us had two kids about 6 and 8. The kids were acting up and creating enough noise for any ten kids. They were throwing food at each other and making a general mess of the area around them. Their parents kept saying things like stop that, I’m going to count to three, If you don’t stop that I’m going to spank you. and so on. The kids kept right on.
    Another couple came in with about 10 grand kids between 2 and 16. With that many youngins there was some noise. But nothing like what was coming from the other table. A couple of them started to squabble about something. All Grandpa had to do is just tell them to settle down and they did.
    I’ll let you figure out for yourselves which kids knew that there would be discipline following the warning.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at January 24, 2007 1:35 PM
    Comment #204811

    tomd:

    “As I mentioned before, the state already steps in in certain situations to prevent a parent from disciplining their child in abusive ways.”

    We can agree with that. There are laws against abusing children.

    Yes, there are. You still haven’t presented an argument, other than a doctrine of “parents should be the only ones to decide what is best for their children”, why spanking young children should not also be considered abuse under the law and subject to the same state action. You do realize that simply stating parents should always decide what is right for their child would also justify parents who choose to abuse their children?

    “The people, through their agent the state, have already accepted responsibility for those children that need to be removed from a home for their safety.”

    Only thru due process of law. and usually the state transfers that responsibility to another person known as a foster PARENT.

    Yes, exactly. And this would be through due process of law, that is why they are creating a LAW which would define spanking as abuse. I really fail to see where you are going with what term is applied to the replacement caregiver. It wouldn’t change the matter that the state is still stepping in and overruling the decision of the original parent. Nor does it give the foster parent carte-blanche to treat the kids in their care however they wish.

    “Who do you think pays for their care when child protective services steps in? All of us. That gives all of us a say in what methods of “discipline‎ constitute abuse.”

    So, By your logic, since we all pay for the roads we drive on, then we all should decide what kind of car you can drive? Or since we all have to pay for the poor dental health of the poor we should all decide what kind of toothpaste everyone should use?

    Actually, it’s more equivalent to the logic that because we all pay for the roads we drive on, we all decide what rules to abide in driving on them; ie, speed limits. Which is not just logical, it’s a fact.

    The law holds ME legally responsible for my children’s actions until they become adults.

    Yes, it does. So? Because you are responsible for their actions, you get to do anything you want to them to try to modify their behavior?

    Ron:

    Yes a 1 year old does know that they’ve done wrong when you spank them. So does a 2 year old. But neither will understand when you just sit them down and say now that’s wrong and you shouldn’t do that. Try it next time your caring for a child that young. They’ll look at you like you have two heads and go right back to it.

    How do you know that they understand when you spank them if they don’t understand the words? If they are old enough to logically connect the two, they’re certainly old enough to logically connect the words. And why would an alternate punishment not work just as well as a spanking, if simple reasoning is not enough? Taking away a favorite toy for a period of time, perhaps?

    If you’ve read any of my earlier post you’ll know that I’m not advocating spanking as a main form of discipline. But I do believe that it is effective and is something more parents should do. Specially the way I’ve seen some kids act. When a child of any age knows that their parents will spank them other forms of discipline can work more effectively.

    And I believe it is ineffective, abusive, and something no parent should do. Specifically because in no other area of life do we give people in authority the power to strike someone simply for misbehaving. Even criminals can’t simply be slapped around for refusing an order. I look at quotes from some of the people training the Iraqi police force on applying the concept of human rights when they are used to torture, and I can’t help but see a direct parallel with this: “I gave them an eight-hour course on human rights and anti-corruption and the daily regiment of prisons,” Stewart said. “It was interesting teaching through an interpreter. And when I said, ‘You can’t physically hit an inmate,’ I thought the staff would riot. They said, ‘How can we control them?’” http://www.utwatch.org/archives/issue/issue6_iraqiprisons.html

    This is the exact same question you guys are asking about your kids. How can we control them, if we’re not allowed to physically hit them?

    Regardless of the form of discipline parents use the main thing is to be consistent and carry out the discipline. If you tell a child they are going to be disciplined and then don’t do it they child gets the idea that your not serious and you’ll have a hard time keeping the kid in line. We were at a buffet in Valdosta one time. A couple at the table next to us had two kids about 6 and 8. The kids were acting up and creating enough noise for any ten kids. They were throwing food at each other and making a general mess of the area around them. Their parents kept saying things like stop that, I’m going to count to three, If you don’t stop that I’m going to spank you. and so on. The kids kept right on. Another couple came in with about 10 grand kids between 2 and 16. With that many youngins there was some noise. But nothing like what was coming from the other table. A couple of them started to squabble about something. All Grandpa had to do is just tell them to settle down and they did. I’ll let you figure out for yourselves which kids knew that there would be discipline following the warning.

    Well, let’s see… in your example, you have one parent outright threatening to spank her kids, and one (grand)parent just telling them to settle down. And you’re using this as an example of how spanking works, because we are automatically supposed to believe that the parents of the bad kids didn’t follow through on their threat while “obviously” the grandfather would have spanked even though he did not threaten to. You have, of course, no way of knowing whether or not the children acting out were spanked regularly or were going to be spanked when they got home for their behavior in the restaurant. You also have no way of knowing whether the other family ever spanked their kids, you merely assume it. This is not a very useful example for making your case that spanking is a necessary tool for discipline.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 3:58 PM
    Comment #204819

    Jarandhel,

    You will NOT sway me to your point of view any more than I will sway you. I say you are dead wrong on this and I will fight you thru the courts to see that it don’t happen.

    Posted by: tomd at January 24, 2007 4:37 PM
    Comment #204834

    Jarandhel
    You missed my point all together. I was using the example to show that regardless of the form of discipline used or threaten that if a parent doesnt follow through with the discipline, the kids won’t listen because they know it won’t happen.
    The fact that the kids at one table didn’t settle down shows they knew their parents wouldn’t follow through with their threats of discipline. The fact that the two at the other table did settle down shows they knew that if they didn’t some form of discipline would follow. What kind would have followed doesn’t really matter. They knew that it would happen.
    When children know that some form of discipline will be dealt out they will listen. This can be anything from grounding all the up to spanking. If they know it will happen they will listen to their parents a lot quicker than if they know it won’t.
    What do you do after you’ve taken away the favorite toy, grounded them, gave them timeout, taken away phone privileges, stood them in a corner, talked to then 100 times, sent them to bed without dinner or desert, took away TV, and washed their mouth out with soap, any other form of non spanking discipline, and the kid still won’t listen to you? Start all over? I’m willing to bet that even an anti spanker will spank then.


    First we ban spanking, then we ban timeouts, then we ban taking away privileges, then we ban any other kind of discipline. Then we take over raising the kids and teach them our values. That way we won’t have to worry about them being Christians, Conservatives, hard working, successful, or even educated. That way we can control every aspect of their lives.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at January 24, 2007 5:36 PM
    Comment #204845

    Jarandhel,

    You [tomd] still haven’t presented an argument, other than a doctrine of “parents should be the only ones to decide what is best for their children”, why spanking young children should not also be considered abuse under the law and subject to the same state action.

    Though you’re only addressing tomd here, I think that can be applied to all of us (myself included). If I remember correctly, everything stated so far has been either an opinion or a personal experience. While I’m not dismissing the merit of either, they really don’t help in a debate do they? : )

    So I went and got you a present, from one former Jerseyan to another:

    Spare The Rod

    Please look at the citations and authors’ credentials before you scoff that this is simply a continuation of what has been said here. It is backed up by research and several studies, so it isn’t simply reiterated doctorine. I believe it covers most of your counter arguments to date, but please let me know if it misses any.

    Posted by: Friday at January 24, 2007 6:27 PM
    Comment #204850

    Ron:

    You missed my point all together. I was using the example to show that regardless of the form of discipline used or threaten that if a parent doesnt follow through with the discipline, the kids won’t listen because they know it won’t happen. The fact that the kids at one table didn’t settle down shows they knew their parents wouldn’t follow through with their threats of discipline. The fact that the two at the other table did settle down shows they knew that if they didn’t some form of discipline would follow. What kind would have followed doesn’t really matter. They knew that it would happen. When children know that some form of discipline will be dealt out they will listen. This can be anything from grounding all the up to spanking. If they know it will happen they will listen to their parents a lot quicker than if they know it won’t.

    I get that point, however it does not support your position. If any form of discipline works, why keep spanking legal? It is the only form of “discipline” which involves hitting a child. Removing spanking as an option does not mean removing all means of discipline.

    What do you do after you’ve taken away the favorite toy, grounded them, gave them timeout, taken away phone privileges, stood them in a corner, talked to then 100 times, sent them to bed without dinner or desert, took away TV, and washed their mouth out with soap, any other form of non spanking discipline, and the kid still won’t listen to you? Start all over? I’m willing to bet that even an anti spanker will spank then.

    What do you do when you beat them black and blue and they still won’t listen to you? It’s a false dilemma. If the punishments you’ve been using don’t work, you think of new ones. Ones that do NOT involve striking a child.

    First we ban spanking, then we ban timeouts, then we ban taking away privileges, then we ban any other kind of discipline. Then we take over raising the kids and teach them our values. That way we won’t have to worry about them being Christians, Conservatives, hard working, successful, or even educated. That way we can control every aspect of their lives.

    And why exactly would we ban further types of discipline? What other forms of discipline would be considered assault if practiced on an adult? As much as you want to try to paint this as the godless liberals trying to crush the good conservative christian family values and control everyone, it’s not. It’s very basic logic. If prison guards can’t hit their charges, who are adults and who are presumed guilty of the crimes of which they have been accused, why on earth should parents be allowed to hit their children with impunity so long as they’re careful not to leave a mark? There are actually books on disciplining children available in this country recommending hitting children with lengths of 1/4 pvc pipe from a plumbing supply store. They add that you can get a dozen for a dollar at Home Depot and put them all over the house and in the car, even carry a length of it with you in a purse. Here’s what their website says about it:

    “The most painful nerves are just under the surface of the skin. A swift swat with a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument.”
    http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/index.php?id=84&cHash=8440f96b4a&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=89&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=12

    Do you think that’s child abuse, or is it still just a spanking? And if it is child abuse, what makes it child abuse if a spanking isn’t? Both leave no bruises or otherwise permanently injure the child… right?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 24, 2007 6:36 PM
    Comment #204874
    Please look at the citations and authors’ credentials before you scoff that this is simply a continuation of what has been said here.

    A site with an obvious agenda and an axe to grind.

    Jarandhel: Thank you. You are entirely right, and I applaud you for your perseverance in this.

    And all you folks who like to ask if others of us have children:

    What magic turned you into a knowing parent? There is some automatic wisdom that comes with childbirth? Bullshit.

    Posted by: womanmarine at January 24, 2007 8:43 PM
    Comment #204878

    Jarandhel wrote: But to suggest it’s not their business to legally define abuse in any way other than it is currently legally defined, even if that means extending it to areas where some parents would object, is to ignore the way our government works entirely.

    To suggest that the defensible reach of legislators lies wherever they choose to set it is a mentality that neglects entirely the rights of the individual. By your twisted logic, it would be hunky-dory if legislators passed a law that permitted the police to spank me. This lack of any objective standard is a sick, authoritarian hypocrisy.

    It’s just further evidence that there is no limit to what people will try to justify by tacking on a “for the children” at the end of their proposal.

    Posted by: Wulf at January 24, 2007 8:59 PM
    Comment #204892

    Jarandhel
    Spanking is hitting the child on the butt with an open hand. It does no damage. Hitting them anywhere else or with anything else is abuse. But that’s just my opinion. Some folks don’t consider it abuse to use a strap. I won’t argue with them but a pipe of any kind I’ll argue with.

    For all y’all that think spanking is abuse.
    Where you spanked as a child? If so what kind of psychological problems are you having today from it? Are you or have you been in prison because of it?

    Posted by: Ron Brown at January 24, 2007 10:23 PM
    Comment #204900

    BTW Jarandhel
    I believe that prison guards should be able to beat the crap out of prisoners. It just might get the assholes attention.
    Also very few of the convicts in this country were spanked as children. At least if what the cons told me when I worked in the prison system is true.
    They weren’t spanked or disciplined in any way as children. Then they grow up and guess what? They think they can do anything they want. This gets then sent to prison where they still don’t get any discipline. Instead bleeding hearts want them treated with kid gloves. They serve part of their time and get out and do it all over again. At just what point do you say enough?
    Isn’t it better to spank them as children than to have to warehouse them as adults to keep society safe from them?

    Posted by: Ron Brown at January 24, 2007 11:02 PM
    Comment #204911
    I believe that prison guards should be able to beat the crap out of prisoners.

    Well, that explains a lot.

    Posted by: womanmarine at January 25, 2007 1:18 AM
    Comment #205194

    Friday:

    I checked out the site you linked. Frankly, I agree with womanmarine, it does appear to have an obvious agenda. If you read the main portions of the site, it talks about how bruises inflicted due to “harsh spankings” should not automatically be considered abuse. That said, the article does not appear to have been written by the site owners, and is widely distributed on other sites. It appears to originally be from an offline publication by the Family Research Council. I will let others draw their own conclusions about this organization. I’m afraid, though, that I will not spend time refuting each point of this article myself, it has already been done with far greater knowledge of the subject than I presently possess by someone in a debate on the alt.parenting.spanking newsgroup when confronted with a poster relying on it as the source of his arguments, in most cases verbatim: http://www.geocities.com/cddugan/ProspankStudies.html

    Further, you may be interested in reading the following two articles:
    http://www.apa.org/releases/spanking.html
    http://www.nospank.net/dugan7.htm

    Taken together they give a very good picture of the differences between the studies which claim to support spanking, and the ones which do not.

    womanmarine:

    Jarandhel: Thank you. You are entirely right, and I applaud you for your perseverance in this.

    Thank you. I am trying to perservere, but it’s hard to be the only person arguing for a side, even when it’s the right side. Especially when at least some of those you are arguing against do not seem swayed by logical refutations of their positions.

    Wulf:

    To suggest that the defensible reach of legislators lies wherever they choose to set it is a mentality that neglects entirely the rights of the individual. By your twisted logic, it would be hunky-dory if legislators passed a law that permitted the police to spank me. This lack of any objective standard is a sick, authoritarian hypocrisy.

    Actually, Wulf, the contrary is true. It’s your own logic that leads to that. If spanking is alright to do to minors, if it truly does not cause harm and cannot be considered either assault nor cruel and unusual treatment, then yes there is nothing stopping legislators from passing a law that says police can spank you. Right now, all that stops them from doing that is the right, granted by our constitution, to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. Allowing legislators to pass laws against spanking on the grounds that it is abusive in no way gives them carte blanch to set any laws they desire. Outlawing spanking does not contradict any right I know of which our constitution guarantees to the people. If you believe otherwise, please make such a case, citing the particular right it violates and where the guarantee of such a right is found. Until then, yes it is the right of the legislature to define what constitutes abuse under the law, whether they choose to include spanking in that definition or not.

    Ron:

    Spanking is hitting the child on the butt with an open hand. It does no damage. Hitting them anywhere else or with anything else is abuse. But that’s just my opinion. Some folks don’t consider it abuse to use a strap. I won’t argue with them but a pipe of any kind I’ll argue with.

    I must say, I’m somewhat releaved to hear this from you Ron. I was starting to think that you might be one of the people who subscribe to the Pearl’s child-rearing techniques, particularly given your assertions that outlawing spanking was a step along the path to liberals outlawing Christianity and Conservatism. I’m glad to see that I was wrong in that.

    That said, why do you draw the lines where you do? The Pearls themselves, as sick and twisted as their ideology is, acknowledge the following fact (on the same page I previously referenced): “If an adult swings his or her hand fast enough to cause pain to the surface of the skin, there is a danger of damaging bones and joints.” Their suggestion of using a plastic pipe is meant, in their minds anyway, to be less dangerous for the child. It is designed, according to them, to sting but not bruise. So what is the difference, in your mind, between hitting someone with a pipe that does not bruise, and hitting them with a hand or strap that does not bruise? Why does not using or using a tool to spank make the act inherently better or worse? I really don’t understand what you see as a distinction here. To me, both just seem like an adult striking a child.

    For all y’all that think spanking is abuse. Where you spanked as a child? If so what kind of psychological problems are you having today from it? Are you or have you been in prison because of it?

    Yes I was, but you already know that. As for psychological problems or prison, it seems to me that these long-term effects are actually irrelevant to the argument. In order to support spanking as discipline, you don’t have to merely disprove the idea that there are harmful long-term effects from it, you need to prove that there are actual benefits from it. For the child, not merely for the adult in the form of immediate compliance to their demands. Getting punched and ending up with an outright broken nose or something doesn’t give me long-term psychological problems or make me more likely to end up in jail in the future, but that doesn’t make it any less assault. Nor does getting punched and having it not break any bones or leave a bruise lessen the fact I have been assaulted, only the severity. I suspect that many people who argue against spanking do so because a) they are afraid to acknowledge that someone they love, someone they consider a good person, could have (through ignorance, and most likely with the best of intentions) abused them. b) They are afraid to acknowledge that they themselves, through that same ignorance, may have abused others whom they love (their own children, or other minor relatives they have had in their care.). Instead of casting off the ignorance and preventing further abuse, it seems to me they cling to it in the desperate hope that they will not have to really reconsider their actions in such a harsh light. It’s sad, really, though very human.

    BTW Jarandhel I believe that prison guards should be able to beat the crap out of prisoners. It just might get the assholes attention.

    From what I understand, when you really need to (ie, self defense or defense of another prisoner) force is authorized. When exactly do you think it is necessary to beat a prisoner to “get his attention” other than those occasions?

    Also very few of the convicts in this country were spanked as children. At least if what the cons told me when I worked in the prison system is true.

    They weren’t spanked or disciplined in any way as children.

    Which is it? They weren’t spanked as a form of discipline, or they were not disciplined in any way? The former supports your position, the latter supports both our positions equally well. Please understand, children who are not spanked need not go without any form of discipline. There are other methods of discipline that can be used. It sounds from your statement like the parents of most convicts just didn’t care, and gave them no discipline at all, not just no spanking.

    Then they grow up and guess what? They think they can do anything they want. This gets then sent to prison where they still don’t get any discipline. Instead bleeding hearts want them treated with kid gloves. They serve part of their time and get out and do it all over again. At just what point do you say enough? Isn’t it better to spank them as children than to have to warehouse them as adults to keep society safe from them?

    You really think beating them is going to improve their behavior? Even assuming, for the moment, that a lack of discipline caused them to be in there, are most of the men you’re talking about who are real dangers to society (and not just in for things like possession) unfamiliar with violence and physical pain? What makes you think they would respond to it by modifying their behavior in any positive way? And why do you automatically associate not being able to do violence to someone with being unable to provide discipline? Recruits in the army can’t simply be struck by their commanding officers, but I think we could hardly argue they have no discipline. Do you really feel you were incapable of disciplining the inmates under your care without the ability to “beat the crap out of them”?

    It seems to me that this is a case of “when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

    Posted by: Jarandhel at January 26, 2007 12:52 PM
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