Like training any intelligent animal, non-violent discipline comes after discipline has been established.
There's a world of difference between smacking a child and beating a child, smacking is a short, unpleasant consequence to blatant and deliberate misbehaviour, and will lead a child to remember and try to avoid consequences like it in future. Beating is abusive and can lead to long term psychological effects and have an opposite effect on moderating behaviour.
When kids are young they don't have the cognitive tools to deal with empathic concepts, so if they do wrong, get told off, then do it again, I think its perfectly acceptable for them to get a smack.
Once kids are older and they have a firmer grasp of language and a better sense of the world and people around them, then you can employ discipline and enforcement through dialogue and other passive techniques.
However if a child hasn't learned to respect their parents at a young age this process becomes much harder and its readily apparent that many kids who aren't disciplined with any kind of penalty, eventually grasp the concept that there is no actual consequence to them personally if they misbehave, at which point they become difficult to manage and can lead to them getting into all sorts of difficulty as they get older.
We don't start to develop a sense of concience and empathy until we start approaching our teens, so many kids find it very difficult to self-regulate their own behaviour through the reasoning processes adults and older kids use to moderate their behaviour toward and around other people.
So I fully, completely agree with a parents right to smack their child when its appropriate and as an aid to discipline. However I think anything approaching prolonged or regular beating should be considered abuse.
Every single person I know was smacked as a child, not one of us has any harmful psychological issues, lack of self esteem, motivation, problems with substance abuse or trouble staying happily within the law. Normal, well rounded, respectful, happy people. So the 'studies' about smacking are all b*ll*cks IMHO.
Woah, you don't have any idea what kind of emotions *that* post will stir up. I'll assume you're trying to be ironic or just spin off the humor in the link. I understand it was an attempt at humor from the author's part but it's just tasteless to me.
I got disciplined as a kid, and when I was 12 and the stupid ass state-run schools gumption finally kicked in my dad ended up labled a child abuser, which he really isn't, although I can think of a few times he went over the line looking back on things.
It's all fucking bullshit.. I've dealt with people who use this passive bullshit all my life and you know what? I walked ALL FUCKING OVER THEM and did not care.
I NEVER stepped out of place around someone I knew would hit me or otherwise harshly restrict my freedom to do things. Because either they were people I didn't know well enough to know what they were capable of, or they were people who already established discipline from me at an early age.
Child abuse is some fucked up shit, but lableing everyone who uses corporal punishment some kind of aggressive abuser is fucking bullshit, so the hippies can stuff that in their pipe and smoke it.
I have long since passed my emotionally turbelent stage, but even then I rarely ever struck out at someone, although I did have a tendency to destroy property. As an adult I have always been a laid back, still quiet version of my younger self who lets most shit roll off his back. Even my case worker has commented how laid back and at peace with the world I seem to be.. How's that for a product of an "abusive home" ?
There's a fine line between discipline and abuse. It's one thing to "correct" your kid by a tone of the voice or a sit down talk, but another to beat them (not talking about being firm nor discipline, as a simple smack for a defiant kid). Striking someone is mentally damaging. Either it's physical, there's also emotional too. Verbally attacking is just the same as physically abusing or just as damaging - might as well hit while your at it. I grew up in a household with one parent, while the other walked out - I was always the subject to take it out on. I suffered both forms, but mostly emotionally - like I was "no good" or "shouldn't been born", though never understood as I was always respectful and mature for my age. I've always had a head on my shoulder, so I left and lived my own life, figuring I didn't have to put up with it. Didn't have much family, but my friends became my extended "pack". Anyhow you look at it, if you want to hit someone to damage them, your an abuser, either physical or emotional - no other word about it. That sticks with you for life: rejection and emotional pain. If you agree with the author of the page above, I would like to give you a "smack" along with him - and it would be for "good cause" , taking you walked all over everyone in your life and have no disregard for feelings...
Discipline is one thing (as kids can get out of hand, and so can parents - people have their own freewill and choices in life to either be civilized or terrorists), but abuse is another...
I do think it's a bit harsh calling a parent who spanks a kid an "abusive parent". Not being a parent, it's hard to say what is or isn't good parenting. And in that same breath, anyone who isn't a parent should realize that not everything is as simple as black and white.
I do personally feel there are better ways to deal with children than physical punishment. Looking at it objectively, it's not even that great of a too to change behavior. It most cases it doesn't discourage a behavior as much as it encourages the hiding of a behavior.
Now, this is more of a personal example and not really a true debate of the fact, but I know punishment never ever worked in my family. My sister would get spanked for doing something bad, and she just wouldn't care. However she would go ballistic if we just made her sit in a corner for a minute. I know that my brother would always say "That didn't hurt" when he got spanked. I even heard my gramdmom tell me a story when she was a child. She would go out in the morning and ride the horses they owned without a saddle or supervision. She would come back knowing she would get spanked. In her mind it was worth getting spanked because she enjoyed riding horses more. She said that if they had simply grounded her for playing the rest of the day she'd never do it again.
So I'll make the argument against physical punishment not really because of 'right' or 'wrong' but more of an argument of effectiveness. I do want to state that calling someone who spanks their children 'child abusers' is unfair.
Ok, I can feel how this subject is upsetting me just reading all the posts. Let me just say this; we've come a long way today in terms of research and understanding of the human psyche and how we work. Not one serious person with that knowledge can disprove that physical punishment on a child isn't damaging in some way.
And the old "My daddy spanked me and I turned out just fine" ultimately fall by the wayside. Maybe you got through it fine, that's not proof that your parents were "doing it right".
I recieved physical punishment by my mother as a child. Looking back I was very impulsive and unruly, had a lot of problems at school etc. I how ever don't think my mother did anything wrong other than the spanking. She understood where most of my problems came from, she was a excellent parent in that. However,as so many other people she had been raised with the concept that physical abuse was a good form of disciplinary action. I doubt she even stopped to think about what it would do since back then they didn't really have that knowledge widespread. She did as best she could an in many other ways was the best parent I could ask for.
The difference between my mother and me is that I know better. It's a fact that physical punishment hurts. And you can't tell how much it will hurt the child (if any) until it's too late. And let me also say that in some cases, the child will grow up never understanding that it has hurt him. thus passing on this *wonderful* disciplinary action.
The problem with physical punishment isn't that physical punishment by itself is damaging. It is that there is no established way to physically discipline someone, or any kind of rule for parents to go by.
I believe there is a cutoff age for physical punishment, where it simply is no longer effective and leads to potential damage to someone. The whole idea of physical punishment is not to beat someone until they are black and blue, it is to establish the mentality that doing a certain action = physical discomfort.
Our bodies work this way all the time in the real world.. You don't carelessly play with electricity - why? Because you get shocked and it hurts like a bitch.
You don't carelessly slam cardoors shut, because if your hand gets stuck, that's going to hurt.. You don't touch hot, because it is going to burn you and that HURTS.
Pain is just as much a learning mechanism for our brains, as it is a warning system to flee danger. You learn not to do certain things because it will hurt, and as you get older you learn to make judgements about potential outcomes of situations that could be painful in the end.. Taking a huge jump on your bike, crossing the street without looking, etc.. Some of us like the risk while others learn that it is wise NOT to do something.
Physical punishment when applied properly, can work in the same way, as long as the goal of the punishment is understood by the parent. When you give a kid a few whacks on the bottom, or a quick slap to the face, your intention isn't to HURT them, it is to develop the idea that you made a bad choice.
Your back talk to your mom and she smacks you? You eventually reach a point where you stop back talking to her - as a little kid. When you become a teenager physical punishment should stop, and I think this is where most damage by abusive parents is done. Then other punishments need to be employed such as restricted privileges, loss of property, etc. A combination of light physical punishment (a slap), a loss of privileges and property, and then sitting down and talking about WHAT YOU DID, is the best way to discipline someone.. Not some pussy ass timeout.
Nobody talks to their kid after they smack around. That is where the discipline falls apart, because you are leaving it up to an immature and still developing mind to decide why they were hit and what they did wrong. That doesn't work on teenagers because of the volatility of emotions, and being at odds with your parents as you come into your own, etc. You just assume they beat you because they hate you, etc..
If I had a child and they ran out in front of traffic to go see their friend, I would give them a quick whooping on the ass, ground them for a day, and then sit down and tell them WHY I did it. Explain that they can't run out in front of the street because cars do not stop when they don't see you, and you could be hurt or killed and that would make me very sad.
If some elitist harvad psychologist wants to say I'm damaging my kid, they can go fuck themselves, really. That is another reason why these methods don't work. Parents always have these know it all white coats, telling them they don't know how to raise their kid, they are doing it wrong, they NEED to do it THIS way, and threaten them with shit like they are screwing up their kid forever.
You don't get a parent to discipline properly by telling them they fail as a parent. You suggest to them to try something else and see if they think it is working better, and make it clear you are not invading their space as a parent or trying to take over their job.