Willy, I caught him in the act of trying to put his finger in the outlet. I slapped his hand, and said "no". I can't think of anything else that would work. Regarding his slapping his sisters, you approach is probably better than mine. However, raising kids is an emotional experience, and from what I could see, reasoning with my son was not working. He is adult now, and reasoning with him still does not work, but now, he is on his own to make his mistakes, which have been far worse than a slap in the face, believe me.
To spank or not to spank?
First off, I'm not FOR spanking, but I'm not AGAINST it either. It just depends on the circumstance it is being used.
And no one can convince me that there is NO DIFFERENCE between a swat, a spanking, and a beating. I've had all three during my upbringing, and let me tell ya, BIG DIFFERENCE. Also, I believe the reason for the hitting can make a difference. I was beaten for some of the most inane reasons. The worst was for forgetting to take out the kitchen trash. Now, it is my adult opinion, that nothing could have excused the lashing I got, but the idiotic reason just adds to the injustice I feel to this day.
Another thing, I think that ALL aspects of a child's upbringing has to be considered. If the kid has loving parents that are involved and nurturing, then an occasional swat on the tush for a transgression isn't going to leave them scarred for life. To put a microscope on just ONE aspect of a child's life and declare it is going to do irreversible damage is just plain absurd.
So, a parent doesn't hit a kid. But they neglect the him or her by not feeding or bathing them. Or, like another poster wrote, abused them verbally. Those things can be just a damaging, if not more so. Burned in my memory are some of the very hurtful things that were said to me. More so than the beatings, and believe me, I got beat A LOT.
As for my own children. They are a handful. Yes, I have swatted on occasion. AND yes, in public. I DARE anyone to say anything to me. Generally, it is very evident that it is needed because my verbal admonitions are not being heeded and the transgression is serious enough to warrant such action. However, I always try to talk first and reason with them. I am very patient, but some things I will not tolerate.
As I write this now, my son has lost his privilege of playing Nintendo for today. As this point, THAT weapon in my arsenal seems most effective.
Edited by - BeautifulGarbage on 21 August 2002 15:59:3
Thank you BG, for your comments. You have lived with children, and you understand how barbaric they can be. Nowhere never did answer the question as to how many children she has. My guess is, none. She reminds me of my cousin. He never married and was an 8th grade math teacher. When I visited him, I felt like I was being interigated as to my children's progress. I didn't say much. I just considered him to be ignorant on the subject.
I'm not sure what you were rebutting, as I didn't direct any of my comments to you or to the issue being discussed in this thread. I just thought it was inappropriate for mevirginia to insinuate that Nowhere has mental problems merely because she doesn't agree with his opinion.
Having gotten that off my chest, I'll assume your "rebuttal" was your citation of two incidents in your family life that prompted you to use corporal punishment, and dive into this debate.
I'm not here to tell anyone how they ought to raise their kids. I have never struck my daughter, ever, notwithstanding the fact that she's probably deserved it on more than one occasion. I don't believe that violence is a very intelligent means of solving kids problems; I try to outsmart her and use other means to get her to behave appropriately. For the most part, I've been successful, although certain problems have persisted and she's getting good at outsmarting me on some things.
I totally condemn any sort of extreme physical punishment, including without limitation striking children with objects such as belts, wooden spoons, etc.. As a JW, I was subjected to this, and still resent it today. However, minor physical punishment, such as a slap to stop one from electrocuting themself or to prevent other serious harm from occurring is certainly a reasonable response, although it is not one that I would be likely to use. As for slapping the kid to keep him from hitting his sisters, again, it's not something I would do, but I can't condemn you for taking such action.
I agree with Nowhere that violence will never solve the world's problems, nor will it solve your children's problems. Spanking has the desirable short-term effect of immediately correcting the undesirable behavior, but could also adversely affect the parent-child relationship, which trust is an important part of. Parents need to be patient, no matter how difficult it might be. If a parent decides to use moderate physical punishment as part of their discipline regime, I would hope that decision is based on lots of thought and research into the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach, rather than an inability of the parent to control their anger.
BTW - Nowhere, if you're female, I apologize for referring to you in the masculine tense.
144001, You have one daugher. We had two daughters and a son, so I have a bigger sample of children's behavior than you. As I originaly wrote, I never had to lay a hand on my daughters. Now, let's talk about my son. You say you wouldn't handle it the way I did. How would you handle it when you are dealing with a toddler with a vocabulary of about ten words, and is about to kill himself.
A bigger sample of children's behavior is not necessarily a better sample. You have no clue of what our family has gone through, and this forum is no place for me to publicize all the gory details. Suffice it to say that my experience as a parent has been extremely extraordinary as well as extremely difficult, but I continue to use psychology rather than physical violence as a disciplinary solution. However, it could be possible that some day this is insufficient, at which time I would reevaluate my approach.
As for the toddler and the electric socket, as I said, I don't think you did anything wrong and your approach was certainly reasonable. Fortunately, we avoided this problem by child safing our house. Nevertheless, if I were in the situation, I'd probably yell and very forcefully remove the child from the situation. Then I would explain to the child the reason why he ought to avoid engaging in that conduct. If it persisted, I would probably go to my next level of discipline, which is daddy taking favorite toys away, after a good warning. This one seems to be very effective. If that didn't work, I'd lock him in his room, again after warning him that this was coming. Of course, such responses are intended for use with toddlers - other means would be necessary for older children.
Having responded to your hypothetical, I must also acknowledge the very real possibility that this approach might not work. As parents, we must always adapt our approaches to constantly changing circumstances. If I ever do resort to physical punishment, it will most certainly be my approach of last resort.
you understand how barbaric they can be.
I see you have met my kids.
144001, you are missing a few points here. You say I should explain it to him? I pointed out that he was a toddler and had a very limited vocabulary. You said I should send him to his room. That is a great idea. I send him to his room where he can find other electrical outlets, and have another opportunity to kill himself.
BG, I love the quiet ones, and I love the aggresive kids as well. For willy and nowhere to try to tell me how to do it when they have not lived it, is just foolishness. BG, yes, I know your kids because I have kids much like your own. I remember when my oldest daughter was in her teens. She hated my guts. Now, we are best of friends. Now, if any of you haven't been there, then don't tell me about it.