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#400234 03/29/08 05:37 AM
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My grandmother remembers as a child that when she was bad she was sent out into the yard to find a willow branch - and her mother would then beat her with it. So she had to choose her own "beating implement". Kids used to be beaten with belts, too. I was once hit repeatedly with my own sneaker.

Is this abuse - or is this the way to teach children not to do something again?


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This is abuse. My mother used to make us go find our own switch, too. She would inspect it to make sure it wasn't too skimpy. If it was, we had to go and get a thicker one. Then she would place it on top of the refrigerator, sticking out just over the edge so that we could see it. She never actually used it on us, but let it be there as a constant threat. Before "child abuse" was a term, hitting, spanking and beating with a belt was acceptable child rearing. Now society knows better, yet some parents still practice brutality on their children. But a parent can use words and mannerisms to abuse as well - this was my mother's form of torment.

My ex-husband was beaten with a leather belt by his father. He grew up to be an emotional and psychological abuser. Just like my mother. If you abuse your child, you will produce either another abuser, a victim or someone who fluctuates between the two.

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I believe that spanking with a belt is indeed abuse. My parents used my father's belt on us when we were growing up. I don't believe that it is acceptable discipline. If we hit our kids to teach them a lesson than they will most likely grow up to think that is the way to resolve a problem. Hitting is abuse, plain and simple. Whether with your hands, a belt, a stick or switch etc. I agree that our society knows better now and spanking should be a thing of the past.

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Shay - that's exactly what my grandmother said. She said she was nervous choosing the switch because if it wasn't solid enough she'd get something worse - so it was a balancing act of getting something "just barely nasty enough". But they did get hit with them, right after the selection process.

I was spanked until I was 13 or 14 - right up until I grew taller than my mother. Then one day she went to hit me and I got defensive - I really didn't want to be hit. She saw that look in my eyes that I might actually try to defend myself and she stopped. So the only reason she really stopped hitting me was that she was no longer bigger than me. That alone told me something.


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As a proponent and advocate of Positive Discipline, which is a completely non-punitive and ideally non-coercive, non-manipulative form of "discipline," I personally find the idea of hitting a child completely reprehensible.

Now that's not to say that I wouldn't ever feel like hitting my kid. But I often feel like hitting a grown-up as well. And yet, most adults understand that hitting another adult is not acceptable, and considered assault. But at least adults can defend themselves.

Children are COMPLETELY dependent on us -- for shelter, for food, for all forms of security and especially for love and approval and self-worth. Hitting a child, and setting ourselves up as a threat and a source of fear, instead of love and guidance and couldn't be a bigger violation of the responsibility we take and the promise we make to them when we decide to have them in the first place. Regardless of whether spanking is abuse in any legal or moral framework, there is no upside. There is nothing that spanking can accomplish that more gentle discipline and guidance cannot. And in a practical sense, spanking and punitive discipline is actually often counterproductive.

Hmmm.. I'm not opinionated on this, am I? wink

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How often did kids that were spanked with belts also get hit with the buckle? Probably more times than once. I've heard horror stories from people who were disciplined with belts, wooden spoons..you name it.

How a parent could tell a child not to hit other children and then turn around and smack them themselves is amazing. To hit a child is not only abusive; it's demeaning.

If we control with power, when our babies grow up and get out of our sight I believe that they will have no self discipline. The mind set will be that there's nobody there to hit them and bring them back in line so....go for it!

I feel the same way about raising your voice and screaming at children. Screaming is emotionally abusive. My motto is to teach, teach, teach not scream and hit.

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I definitely consider belt spanking abuse. My mother use to hit me with her leather work belt. It had little metal circles around the center that would leave welts on my legs. She stopped using it when she was caught by my grandfather. He said he would disown her if she ever used it again. I don't remember the circumstances that ever lead up to being struck I only remember the treatment. It's probably one of the reasons my mother and I are not close.

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My mom used to tell me that when she was a kid, if she did something wrong her mom would take her by the hand and TAP it with her fingers saying "Don't-do-that!" (well, except in french). This was enough to make my mom bawl like a baby, since her parents never hit or yelled at her or her siblings unless they did something horrendous. On the other hand, she said that while at school (!) the teacher would use a ruler to beat the students. Her brothers would grit their teeth and laugh at the teacher to get him really mad, so mad that he'd break the ruler on them. That is just another thing that can happen when you resort to physical punishment, it's all too easy to get "carried away" with it, for it to be a fight between egos instead of teaching the kid not to do something wrong. Just like the battle of egos between you, Lisa, and your mother. She found out that her ego no longer outstripped yours and that she could wind up being the one with a whack.

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I think it depends on the age your talking about and what they did. I remember running away from home at 2 yr old I saw a nice couple setting on the porch a few blocks down the road and wondered over while my mom when to the bathroom inside. I had just learned how to open the chicken coup gate (this was where I played it had a sandbox and grass no chickens or anything it just had the chicken wire fence...)I got out and ran down the road to go play with the nice people. of course my mom came out the gate open and thought someone had taken me or something so she starts screaming for me trying to find me in a panic when she saw that I was down the road playing in these peoples yard she came and got me and busted my butt with her hand all the way home saying you dont cross the street by yourself ever ever ever and repeated it until we got home and you know when I got made at 8 and wanted to run away from home I packed a can of corn my tapes and player and my dog and a old t shirt of dad's and a picture of us (he had died a few year before) and I ran to the Allie looked both ways and when to the neighbors house but I did not CROSS the street by myself! I think spanking kids when they are very little and stubborn like me is ok if it is for something major like I could have been hit by a car kidnapped.... and at the time I thought my butt would fall off and I didnt set down for the rest of the day either but there was not a mark on me and she didnt use a belt or anything.
When I was about 14 I told my mom that I did not have to do anything she wanted me to do and I could do what I wanted to do. She went to hit me and I fought her I am 5 times her size! She hit me on the butt with her hand and I said that dont hurt and laughed...she got a belt and whopped my but and the back of my thighs until I said I was sorry and I would never say it again!. THAT was a mistake I didnt made again either! I learned how to set down and have a respectful conversation and reason out the problem and lesson to her side of the story and not just think and care about what I wanted!

now with that said... I dont think spanking a kid for every little thing is right you just teach them that hitting is ok as long as you are bigger and older! they dont mind any better just because you hit them. and to flat out beat a child is wrong and they should be shot! but I see so many kids that throw tantrums in the middle of the store and they are 10 or so years old and then I see so many kids that beg and pleaded until there parents give in whether it is good for the child or not.

I was broke of that before it got started and I only did it one time and that was all it took! when my mom said no and I kept it up she would say I will bust your behind! and She would too if she said it she meant it! and back in the 80 around here no one thought twice about it. by the time I was 5 I could set in public and play by myself or set quietly I did not interrupted adults talking and I did not asked to be invited along with others or asked them to buy me something! If they adults were telling stories I could set with them and lesion in and even get to talk and tell stories of my own.

I like kids who are this way. They make me want to play with them and be around them. but the ones that are like YOU HAVE TO BUY ME this or that or TAKE me here or there I cant stand! I really dislike them and then they grow up with that same attitude and I really really hate them!

I think the reward good behavior and the time out chair and all that is fine for most things but if that doesnt work to stop problems like tantrums and fits and doing dangerous things like running into the street or getting into the medicine cabinet... then it is time to bust some butt and stick to your guns it you just threaten that just makes it worse. I bet my mother busted my butt 10 time my whole life and my dad busted me for stealing a thing of chap stick when I was 3. he busted my butt and made me return the chap stick to the store manager and say I was sorry! I never stole anything again after that! I dont dare! He may come back from the dead and bust my [censored] again and he promised he would bust me better the next time...

the thing about busting kids is that if you just threaten then they will do it over and over again because maybe you will but probably not so it is worth it to go something bad and get away with it most of the time. BUT beating the kid for every little thing without explanation doesnt help either. I always KNEW what I was getting busted for and WHY. I knew what the rules where and what would happen if i broke them even at 2yrs old I may not have understood the why but I knew dont meant dont and no meant no! I could ask why and my mom would explain but when kids are little they dont care why or need to be reasoned to or any of that they want what they want and that's it!

In my experiments babysitting kids that have parents they will bust the butts when and only when they TRUELY NEED it are better kids. I never lasted long at the houses where they did the time out chair (after a while they figure out that they dont have to stay because you will just send them back to the chair and it is a fight that they always win unless you bust there butts the first time and any other time they get out of the chair!) so busting is the last resort in any case. and when it is not then the kids run wild and the parents and everyone else who have the displeasure of coming into contact with this hellion are slaves or at lest miserable!

I Know I will probably be shot for this post but it is just IMHO!

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oh if bty If I had not been 5 times my mothers size when she belted me I would conserter it abuse but since she is soooooo small it kind of balenced out. I knew I could have taken the belt away anyways... but I had and still have a healthy respect for my mom. I dont hold with the belt whipping for younger or smaller kids but when they are teens and everybit as big as there parents it kind of evens out. but I would not recommed using a belt everyday on a teenager. by the time a kid hits 9 or 10 they should be old enough to reason with and know the rules and have respect for there parents... my mom belted me because I thought I had out grow the belt and there for I was an adult and could do what I wanted to do. One time and I learned my leason!!! She had asked then told me to set down and we would talk about it but oh no not hard headed stubburn me I didnt care what she thought wanted ot needed I was going to do it anyways I was in charge now! WRONG!!! that was all it took the 4 hit with the leather part of the belt and my mom crying that did it!

she didnt use the buckel or anything like that and she didnt leave a mark on me it stung bad enough to get my attention but that was all.

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Wow, Lisa, that is amazing. I have the same story. One day i was simply too big to just take it and looked like i was going to fight back. Right after that, groundings became punishment.

I admit the spankings were a lot easier than the groundings.

My DH says his step father used to beat him 10-25 times at a time with his belt. That is abuse in my book. He also got hit at school with paddles. Quite a bit.

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In many cultures children are treated as treasured, important parts of the family and are never hit. The children tend to thrive in this environment and behave well.

If you've put a child into a situation where you had to hit them, often it is because you expected an unreasonable decision from a child who was not yet ready to make that kind of decision.


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Any form of violent physical contact designed or intended to subjugate or bend another person's will to your own - is abuse. Even a smack on the back of the hand.
period.
No more, no less.

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I agree,Alexandra
Hitting a child or adult with a belt, or any other object is assault, and abuse


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I was belted by my father up till about 8 years and to this day I will go over to an adult hitting a child in public and stare at them till they stop, sometimes with tears in my eyes.

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Originally Posted By: Lisa Low Carb Ed
If you've put a child into a situation where you had to hit them, often it is because you expected an unreasonable decision from a child who was not yet ready to make that kind of decision.


Like when people expect a baby to be toilet trained before they are ready. It's futile to punish a child for being unable to perform a task that they are simply too immature to master.

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It's not only abuse, it's not effective. Belts can seriously injure a child.

I was occasionally spanked as a child. My dh asked what I had done. I have NO idea -- told him my folks probably were having a bad day. He thought that was hilarious, even though I was serious. When he told my folks this (thinking they would find it funny, too) -- they nodded and said I was probably right.

Spanking, whipping, etc. tends to cause children to be sneakier, harbor resentment and so forth. There are MUCH better ways to discipline a child than hitting him or her.

I suspect that the more restrictive and controlling a parent is, the more "difficulties" they will have raising their child. Obviously, we can't give a very young child complete say over all aspects of their life -- but as they get older, they need to learn that they ARE to be in control of themselves, and if the parent is always telling them "to this or else!" -- they learn the wrong lessons. If the parents, instead, enlist their child as a partner, the child grows up feeling respected, and respectful.


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I remember my mother saying "wait until your father gets home", but I don't remember my father ever hitting.

I also remember my mom pulling her arm back to hit my rear end once. I waited for the painful blow, wincing with fear, and got a little tap. When I asked her what happened she said she couldn't do it because she was too mad. She believed that abuse was when you hit in anger. I was about five when she explained this to me. So I learned two lessons. One, whatever I did made her really mad; I should never do it again. Two, anger should not be displayed physically. My mother promised to punish me when she calmed down.

Hitting with a belt means that time has elapsed from the action, so the anger had time to settle. Go pick your weapon that I will hit you with cruel and manipulative.

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Any form of physical "punishment" is abuse. You can punish a child for wrong-doing by taking away privileges. I see no reason whatsoever to physically hurt a child to make your point.


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Hands/belts/hairbrushes/branches/spatula's/paddles/etc more than I can possible remember all were used as forms of punishment in our household. And to be honest I can't tell you what I did any single one of those times, I do however remember - in great detail the punishments themselves. Seems to be counteruntive to be left with the memory of the violence over the lesson.


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I actually think it's a really good sign that just one generation ago we all remember so vividly being hit - and that in our modern generation none of us would "pass that along" to our children.

That's a pretty impressive improvement record, after thousands of years of society hitting children!


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Mind you.... I can think of a few who might benefit from a little, gentle hanging, drawing and quartering.....

gentle, mind you....!grin

(In all likelihod, their parents might also benefit from a quiet word in their shell-like.....)

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I imagine there are kids out there who are terrors because their parents mis-raised them in one way or another. I imagine there are also kids who are terrors for "genetic" reasons - i.e. they have chemical imbalances or such that make them scream and yell and have no self control. I wonder if there are really any kids who do not fall into one category or another though ...?


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I was beaten...er...disciplined, I mean, when I was a kid as well.

My father would start out with ping pong paddles until he started breaking them. Then it was pieces of wood...er...paddles I mean.

This one time when I came home a half hour late my father told me to go to my room and he would be up in a few minutes. A few minutes later he came into my room with this thing that looked like a wooden cutting board with a handle only thicker. It was about 4 inches thick and the paddle was about 8 inches wide and about 12 inches long.

He had gone down in the cellar and made it with a piece of wood and a band saw. I called it the "Bed Wetter" because that is exactly what I did when he commenced to beating...er...paddling me with it.

My brother and I used to hide it but he was like a blood hound and would find it. I may have swatted my children on the butt a couple of times when they were younger but it was just a light "attention getter" but have never spanked them nor have I beaten them with paddles or belts.

My birth mother was abusive to us. I accidentally crapped my pants when I was three years old and she threw a shoe at me for it. She was physically abusive right up to the day when my father came home and caught her in bed with his best friend, but that's another story. She left that day, I was five years old and never saw her or heard from her ever again.

I always said I would never spank my kids and I never have. I guess I was lucky as to not grow up and be physically abusive... my kids are lucky too, I guess. lol.


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Vance,
Congratulations on breaking the cycle of abuse in your home. You are living proof that a child that has been abused can grow up to have healthy relationships with their own children and spouse.

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Vance, that is really inspiring. i am so sorry you had to experience that kind of abuse, and from both parents, but it sounds like you stopped the cycle of violence from going forward, and good for you! smile

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So many of use say the same thing.. we were spanked/ beaten/ paddled/ belted/ etc. when we were children and all managed to grow up and be healthy adults.

So short of what we feel was abuse at the time, in the long run it didn't hurt us. (although i'm sure in the cases where parents went overboard and truly abused their child it left a lasting impression) So what about kids now days? Most parents won't spank, or paddle, or do anything anymore. They rely on timeouts, groundings, etc. And what has happened.. We don't have well behaved children that listen to their parents. We have 8 year old who will stand toe to toe with their mother screaming and telling her no. Children are acting out every day, and as much as people want to feel like their positive reinforcements are working. There not. Children are worse.. much worse.. in aspects to behavior, and respect versus they were a generation ago.

So we don't spank anymore, but we arn't raising mature adolescants anymore.. is that a healthy trade off?

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Now before I get completely blasted.. I know that there are cases where parents were very overboard and crossed the line to abuse. I'm not arguing for them. I'm just pointing out that with the lack of "physical discipline" in some aspect or another, children have gotten worse. Period

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I don't think you can generalize like that, though. There were tons of obnoxious children 40 years ago. There are tons of obnoxious children in modern times.

If you want some fun, read back in Roman times, their actual accounts (which are still preserved in many books) of what the Romans thought of their kids. The Romans thought their kids were spoiled, jerks, did not listen tot heir parents, ran wild, and should all be beaten black and blue.

It is something *every* generation feels when looking back at their own childhood ...

If you personally were NOT raised to be allowed to be a jerk - then that is good. There are many children in modern times who can say the same thing.


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"So many of use say the same thing.. we were spanked/ beaten/ paddled/ belted/ etc. when we were children and all managed to grow up and be healthy adults."

While many of us that were abused as children (yes, I consider physical punishment abuse)grew up to lead healthy lives, there are countless that did not. Instead, these children grew up in confusion, pain, anger etc. Some grew up to abuse their own children and continue the cycle of abuse. I remember the times I was spanked with a belt. I remember the pain. I remember wondering what I had done that was so bad. I wondered why it was okay to hit me, yet at the same time told I could not hit anyone else. Physical abuse sends a certain message to children and it's not a good message. I realize this is a touchy subject, with so many emotionally involved in the discussion. However, I feel it is necessary to point out that not all children spanked with belts, paddles, sticks etc. grow up to lead healthy lives. Emotionally, many are challenged and spend years trying to heal from the abuse they endured at the hand of their parents or teachers.

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That's interesting, thank you for sharing.

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I love how the people defending spanking were the parents who had FOUR kids under the age of six!!

'But Ted and Andrea Fouriezo, who have four children under the age of 6, defend spanking as a necessary means of setting and enforcing limits with their kids.'

So really what they're saying is they have lost control of their family because there are too many toddlers running around ... and they don't have time for actually dealing with the underlying problems ...


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I won't argue with the study, as it brings up some great points. But if we use discipline and love to help shape our children. Then why do we have more fights in school. More school shootings. More teachers that are afraid of their students.

Maybe spanking isn't the answer..I'm fine with that, I was never a fan of it when I was getting it. But it seemed like that was the last thing that worked. Kids are getting worse... it's not simple a generation gap that leads us to think they are being disrespectfull. They are killing each other, more and more each day. If the discipline we are using isn't working, we need to try something else.

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I think again you're looking at this emotionally, not factually smile

"In a recent report the CDC concluded that school violence was on the fall and declining. The student homicide rates have fallen from .07 to .03. According to cdc.gov, "From 1999 to 2006, 116 students were killed in 109 school associated incidents, translating to an average of 16.5 student homicide victims each year and an average annual homicide rate of .03 per 100,000 students."

The rate is going DOWN. It is just that the media blasts every instance all over the news, every second of every day with tons of photos. We are bombarded with it. In the past, if it happened in Georgia, people in California might not even know.

How about non-fatal crimes?

"The rate of nonfatal violent crimes at school has declined from 48 per 1,000 students in 1992 to 33 per 1000 in 1999 5. The rate of serious school-related violent crime, including rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault, has also generally declined over that time period. In 1999, 7 out of every 1000 students were victims of serious violent crimes while at school or going to and from school 6."

Again it is that the media is sensationalizing these incidents so that they all seem URGENT and SCARY and EXCITING.


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When I read the comment about the ancient Romans' opinions of their offspring, my instinctive first thought was "Is it any surprise the Empire fell?" A civilization that has lost control of its offspring cannot teach them, and therefore cannot survive.
The long term survival of any society depends on what can be taught to the younger generations.

Are today's parents less in control than those of generations past? I don't know. I know is certainly seems that way in my little corner of the world, but my experiences are not national statistics and averages, just what I see around me.

Is physical punishment the only way to ensure kids will behave? No. Is a swat on the butt the only thing some kids will understand? Yes, but often those are kids who have been taught no other language of discipline.

Just some stray thoughts...



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Good topic, and it's one that I hope will survive, not to be drowned out completely in the gumdrop, lollipop world of "time-outs."

I don't think that girls should get a belt, but when boys defy their fathers (if they're around), I don't think an occasional belt swat is barbaric or cruel. I know many fine men today who admit they were quite unruly 30 years ago, but when they saw that belt come out, they knew their fathers meant business. It wasn't as much of a "pain" thing as much as it was a "shame" thing to be swatted by their sire. Psychology plays big here when done right, by the right people.

Of course, everyone always thinks they're the "right" people. frown

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I feel many parents aren't confident enough to let their children be individuals. So in order to keep them in line (or exert control over them because THEY feel inadequate or under control), they try to make kids into little obedient robots.

And, for the most part, this doesn't necessarily result in "obedient" or adjusted adults--but, rather, people who grow up to feel shame for being their unique self.

I agree with Lisa: those who hit lack the skills to invest in their children and are intimidated by feeling/being out of control--so they lash out in fear ("Oh my! What will my grandparents think if my children aren't 'kept in line'?!").

I was hit as a kid, and it did psychological damage. I suffered major depression in college and had to get counseling. (I was a straight A kid who was NOT a problem child. Hell, I wasn't even allowed to leave the house to GET into trouble!) Fortunately, after counseling, the depression never returned (but IBS and anxiety stayed with me as a result of the verbal and physical abuse).

I was afraid to have kids because, as a former counselor/Psych minor, I knew the statistics: parents often do "what they know"...which means that those who are hit go on to be hitters--perpetuating the cycle of abuse.

However, I DID ending up having a child...and I did NOT propogate the cycle of abuse. I don't hit my child, and I certainly don't humiliate or scream at him. He's an adorable 9 year old who is loving, respectful, creative, clever and kind. Everywhere he goes he spreads sunshine (e.g. the dental assistants all claim that he's THEIR "little man"!)

We spend the TIME and attention to actually RAISE our son. I homeschool him and there is LOVE and RESPECT demonstrated by my husband and me AS A COUPLE. It does no good to try to teach respect without parents not having any for one another--let alone strangers.

I'm grateful that I turned out to be an exception to the abuse rule--and comforted that I don't have to feel the guilt, self-doubt or self-righteous justification that hitters/abusers are plagued with because THEY are the ones so out of control and lacking self-esteem and self-respect.

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I'm a non smacker. No physical punishment whatsoever allowed in our home. Spanking and threatening are degrading and shame inducing. They cause psychological damage that often isn't obvious for years. There's so much information and evidence supporting the damage that spanking does that it's a no-brainer for me.

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Originally Posted By: Lisa Low Carb Ed
I think again you're looking at this emotionally, not factually smile



Based on the facts presented.. I have no choice but to agree.


Maybe I am unlucky and it's just this community that produces 90% delinquents to 10% normal children.

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This, to me, is one of the saddest topics on the planet.

"If the discipline we are using isn't working, we need to try something else."

Yes Skeeter, I absolutely agree with you. The answer is love, respect, tolerance, a listening ear, and recognizing no child is private property but a completely unique, separate individual with a voice, who is to be respected and treated with dignity.

If children receive this when they're young the chances of them acting out badly when they're teenagers is greatly reduced.

Savage teenagers are literally shouting their childhood stories of humiliation to us - through their behaviour.




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I received belt spankings as a kid and I do not feel it is abuse, unless a line of actual serious injury is crossed. My folks wouldn't just grab a belt and start whaling away, we would stand on our tip toes, bend over our beds, and take the smacks. Always on a bare behind, so it sure hurt. But heck, kids get hurt more than that on a football field and nobody says that's "abuse."

I never got hit with the buckle. And I certainly don't think that all kids who aren't spanked are bad kids. Just that parents have a right to use physical punishment if that's what works best in their own house.

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A belt is a weapon when it is used to hit other people and I believe it is a well documented fact that any physical contact to another person with a weapon is abuse. Kids playing football get hurt but they are playing a game and they are not being knocked over while playing by adults but by other children in a sports contest. I do not believe that physically punishing children is ever acceptable.


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Originally Posted By: Kate Woods -Taxes
A belt is a weapon when it is used to hit other people and I believe it is a well documented fact that any physical contact to another person with a weapon is abuse.


Legally, that isn't the case in the context of parents and their minor children, at least not in the United States. Of course, you have the right to consider anything you want 'abuse' in the conversational sense. But parents do have a legal right to spank their children.

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Perhaps the question has less to do with the legality of belt spanking than it has to do with how disrespectful it is. If we want children to grow up and respect other people and not to be violent toward other people is it the best possible way to teach a child to behave with respect toward others when they have not been treated with respect as a child?


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I think the question is - would a parent really feel that beating a child was the "best" way to discipline them? There are hundreds of other punishments which are as effective and meaningful. They just might take more effort on the parents' parts.

So are they taking the quick/easy way out?


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I guess it depends on one's view of what "respect" means. I was always taught, and still believe, that respect has to be earned. You don't earn respect just by blessing the planet earth with your presence. If you screw up, your parents ought to respect you enough to say "you should've known better, and there will be punishment resulting." Whether that punishment does or doesn't involve spanking, I'm not sure I see a connection between that and "respect", because I don't know how the word is being defined.

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Originally Posted By: Sue R.
I guess it depends on one's view of what "respect" means. I was always taught, and still believe, that respect has to be earned. You don't earn respect just by blessing the planet earth with your presence. If you screw up, your parents ought to respect you enough to say "you should've known better, and there will be punishment resulting." Whether that punishment does or doesn't involve spanking, I'm not sure I see a connection between that and "respect", because I don't know how the word is being defined.


I completely disagree.
Respect is something you should have from day one, for everything and anything that has as much right to live, breathe, eat, sleep and be protected as much as you deserve to be.
Whatever rights you believe you may have as a human being - to shelter, warmth, protection and nourishment, in whatever measure keeps you functioning - then other beings have that equal right.
And if you believe you have a right to be respected with regard to your opinions, politics, religion, gender and colour - then anyone else has that right too.
Regardless of age.
Respect for another being is a fundamental quality.

Now, that some people may either grow in your mind, and deserve a greater measure of respect, due to their words and actions, is one thing.
That some people may lose some of your respect, due to the things they say and do, is another.
But fundamentally, every human being has a right to Dignity and Respect.
And part of this respect means never laying a finger on them in violence or anger, and certainly never without their permission.

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And furthermore, (excuse me) in addition to the above, if anyone can demonstrate to me a good, justifiable and valid reason, for why we should not respect the dignity and existence of another being, and thereby give ourselves the liberal permission to inflict physical harm upon them, simply because we want to - I'd be interested to hear it.

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I was spanked as a child. I was never beaten. I never felt as if my parents were trying to hurt me. When I did recieve a spanking afterward I would always have a talk with my parents and they always told me they loved me. I know a few times that I was spanked; I cried but not because it hurt but because I was introuble, I knew I was wrong, I got caught, I disappointed my family.

I think that some adults just don't know the limits and boundaries. When spanking are you trying to really hurt the child? Or teach them a lesson?


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First of all please understand this is not a criticism or condemnation of your parents specifically.
The thing about the older generation, is that they "didn't know any better" and were ascribing to a method of discipline considered as acceptable.
This said, if you were spanked, you were beaten. There's no two ways about it.
The limits and boundaries realised today, have some countries actually considering the factor that for an adult to smack their own child is illegal.
This is how far 'modern thinking' has come.
I feel sure that some parents are trying to administer memorable discipline, and teach a lwesson.
But tell me, would you approach an adult you know well, or a colleague, if they're annoying you, and smack them?
If they'd crossed the line, and you wanted to 'teach them a lesson' would you hit them in order to do so?
No.
You wouldn't. Because surely, as an adult, you might be able to reason with them instead. You could remove them from the point of conflict and isolate the situation....
Much as you could do with a child. Remove them from the point of action, isolate them, and reason with them.

Besides, it's assault. It's against the law to hit another human being, even if you are provoked, it's not a justifiable action. And they might hit back.

All factors unavailable to a child.
so 'administering discipline' by hitting a child, is just as unacceptable - if not more so.
The limits and boundaries are breached the moment an adult considers laying one single finger on a child in order to inflict pain as a means of 'teaching a lesson'. Trying to hurt the child? Of course they were! The memory of pain is a fear-ful lesson!

And with regard to your signature? A very good one.
This is what I stand for. the complete and total elimination of violence against any individual inflicted upon them willfully by another.


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Originally Posted By: Alexandra

I completely disagree.
Respect is something you should have from day one, for everything and anything that has as much right to live, breathe, eat, sleep and be protected as much as you deserve to be.
Whatever rights you believe you may have as a human being - to shelter, warmth, protection and nourishment, in whatever measure keeps you functioning - then other beings have that equal right.


Well, that's a fair statement of your position. I don't agree, and never will, but that would seem to be the basis of why we differ on corporal punishment.

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Explain to me, please, why you think it's acceptable to use physical force to subdue another human being, who is in no position to either defend themselves or to retaliate.
Tell me what on earth could possibly be right about hitting another human being who, as an adult, would be within their rights to file a legal complaint of violence or actual bodily harm against you, but simply because they are under-age, don't have a leg to stand on?

Truly.
I really would be interested to know what your view is.

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Originally Posted By: Alexandra
Tell me what on earth could possibly be right about hitting another human being who, as an adult, would be within their rights to file a legal complaint of violence or actual bodily harm against you, but simply because they are under-age, don't have a leg to stand on?


Because they are your child. That is a full, complete reason that does not require supplementation or elaboration of any kind. The relationship between a parent and a dependent child is not like any other relationship between human beings.

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Respect is not something that is earned. Trust is something that is earned. Every person has a right to be respected. I agree that it is a basic right to have respect for your being and your person. I am not sure I understand the reasoning that because the child is 'your child,' then you may discipline using physical punishment. Parents do not 'own' their children. This is not an ownership issue. Regardless of whether or not it is 'your child' they do not deserve to be hit in any form. An adult would not go up to another adult and hit them because they were angered by them. Yet, daily, children are being hit and beaten by adults. Another factor to look at would be the fear that children feel when being abused or hit in some form. Do the children that are physically punished respect their parents or do they fear them? I believe it is the latter. I believe that children who are physically hurt react with compliance out of fear, not out of respect. Physical punishment does not breed or foster respect, which brings us full circle on the respect issue. Again, respect is not earned, it is a right that everyone has, regardless of gender or age.

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Originally Posted By: Janet_Boyer
I feel many parents aren't confident enough to let their children be individuals. So in order to keep them in line (or exert control over them because THEY feel inadequate or under control), they try to make kids into little obedient robots.

And, for the most part, this doesn't necessarily result in "obedient" or adjusted adults--but, rather, people who grow up to feel shame for being their unique self.

I agree with Lisa: those who hit lack the skills to invest in their children and are intimidated by feeling/being out of control--so they lash out in fear ("Oh my! What will my grandparents think if my children aren't 'kept in line'?!").

<snip>


Originally Posted By: Lisa Low Carb Ed
I think the question is - would a parent really feel that beating a child was the "best" way to discipline them? There are hundreds of other punishments which are as effective and meaningful. They just might take more effort on the parents' parts.

So are they taking the quick/easy way out?


I totally agree with Janet and Lisa's points here.

I think the reason we are seeing the "Time-outs"* etc NOT working (ie, undisciplined kids running amok) is because it takes a bit of skill and creativity and time to work out how to "control" your child non-violently. Many, many parents simply don't have the time especially, some also lack the skills and imagination, to get into a long-term system of gently correcting and nurturing their child towards good behaviour.

The easy way out is smacking that child. Sadly, as others have noted, it may be the quick and easy way at the time, but it sets back the long-term positive system, sometimes permanently.

The visible result to the general public is a lot of children who are undisciplined, either because the parents haven't got the mix right, or because the parents caved and lost ground by smacking.

That time and energy a parent can put into positive behavioural nurturing is an investment, and these situations may improve vastly if more parents saw it as an investment in their child's wellbeing, rather than a chore that is easier dealt with in the negative.

(* not saying "time-out" is the best punishment, just picked it up as an example from one of the other posts.)


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Let me start by saying that I don't have children myself, so I can only speak about what I witness on a day to day basis out in the community.

That being said.... I was hit very rarely as a child--maybe 3 times my whole life. I still had a healthy fear of my father and did not disobey him often. He treated us well, but the things I hear 90% of children (even the ones most people would say are the "good" kids) say to their parents, would have gotten me a slap on the face for sure. It didn't happen because I treated him with respect.

So he didn't use force to get me to behave, and he didn't threaten it either. I just seemed to know not to mess around. Maybe because it was just us and him, I'm not sure. I don't know how parents should go about disciplining their kids today, but I do see how poorly behaved so many children are nowadays..

So what does work? How do you get your kids to grow up as decent human beings?


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Originally Posted By: Sue R.
Because they are your child. That is a full, complete reason that does not require supplementation or elaboration of any kind. The relationship between a parent and a dependent child is not like any other relationship between human beings.


Any human can spawn a new life. It does not take skill, it only takes an easy sex act. I don't believe that that sex act then gives one of those people unlimited rights to hit or yell at or mistreat the child. There are numerous laws to support this position. A parent has a relationship with a child - and so does a teacher, so does an adoptive parent, so does a mentor, so does a stepparent. A mother or father is not "uniquely special" in any meaningful way, that gives them a right to abuse a child. A mother or father is held to the same standards of society as any other adult. They need to treat that child with care and respect for their rights.

It concerns me if parents feel "just because I happened to have sex with the mom, I now have the right to beat the child". That does not make any sense to me. Contributing sperm towards an egg in a 10-minute session does not give you unlimited rights to do anything you want to a legally protected child that is in being months or years later.


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Originally Posted By: Sue R

The relationship between a parent and a dependent child is not like any other relationship between human beings.

Too damn right it isn't - but look at what you've said here...
Let me get this straight...

You're implying that the very fruit of your loins, the being you end up loving unconditionally - is the person you have a right to inflict violence upon.
Strangers, and people outside of your circle, whom you feel may not be deserving of your unconditional feelings, or may fall outside the scope of any affection - you wouldn't hit.

Screwy, really, isn't it?

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Lisa, Alexandra, Elle and Kelli, I agree with all of you.

Sue...your supposed "full, complete reason that does not require supplementation or elaboration of any kind." reply sounds like what an abusive person would say because they really don't have a good reason for what they've done but would rather absolve themselves from any real responsibilty for their actions.

For Example: Like, "Because I'm your mother, that's why"
Or "Do as I say, not as I do"

What are these statements REALLY saying? I don't need to or have to explain myself because I am a "perfect parent" unfailible, un-flawed, I am above any critizism because I HAD A CHILD. Like Lisa said, anyone can spawn a child.
Whoop-dee-do...your still human. What a shame.

That comment to me rings loudly with OTHER issues, not about being a PARENT and "raising" a child, but more about control and self rightousness and power.

What ever happened to "talking". What ever happened to setting a good example and being a good role model?

My father would throw BS at me like that sometimes, he'd say "Because I said so, that's why" he felt belittled if he was asked to explain himself to his child...his puney little child who deserves no respect, no explaination for why they are hit...I'm sorry but it's just wrong to me. And not only that but it destorys any chance a parent would ever have of acknolweding that maybe, just maybe THEY'RE NOT RIGHT ALL THE TIME...they make mistakes too, but when you don't allow for any discussion or respectful exchange of views you destroy learning, you stunt growth and you engrain ignorance.

***I feel many parents aren't confident enough to let their children be individuals. So in order to keep them in line (or exert control over them because THEY feel inadequate or under control), they try to make kids into little obedient robots***

I think fear has a lot to do with it for sure.

Just out of curiostiy Sue, since you say respect must be earned...what does a young child do for an adult exactly that would earn them such "respect" anyway?

When you say they earn the respect, does that mean after they've done whatever that is, then you don't spank them afterwards ever again because they've "earned" the respect at that point?

I think maybe your definition of respect is a little twisted...like it means, as long as the child never does anything you view as "wrong" or you don't "like", they are being respectful...but the minute they do something you don't particularly like or want them to do, they should be "spanked" for it?

All I can say is...what a shame...

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Lisa - your 2nd post way up on this thread is uncanny. When I was a child from about 5 until 11 yrs old, about once every week or two, my mother would tell me to go get the belt and would whip me with it wherever it wouldn't 'show'. Generally the infraction was not doing a chore fast enough or the right way or cheerfully enough (you had to look and sound just so...), or (the irony of it all) something my older brother had done and smoothly blamed on me. Each incident ended with my mother saying that if I told my father, I'd be in even bigger trouble.

This all stopped when I got taller than she - and when I told 2 friends. I remember the very last time very clearly. I grabbed the belt right after she hit me with it so it spiraled all the way up my arm with a final snap right by my armpit. I told her never ever to hit me again, and that I'd told my best friends what she was doing. It's sad to remember, even after all this time, that when I did get up the guts to tell my dad later on, he basically just said now, now, I'll talk to your mom... as if the whole awful pattern were just some misunderstanding. Bleah.

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Spankings with belts and other items were a sign of the times. I was spanked with wooden rulers, coat hangers and such. My husband got the belt and switches. It didn't leave any lifelong scars on us, thankfully, because they were rare events...at least for me. But regular physical punishment absolutely does affect a child's psyche in a negative way!

I believe that teaching a child is the goal. Natural consequences of behavior is a good thing to teach because you want your children to grow up to make good decisions for themselves. I dislike punishment. I think punishment is unnecessary for all but the worst willful and repeatedly harmful behavior.

The other night as we took a stroll, a young couple with two children, one in a stroller and the other skipping along side, walked by. The little boy scampered about and ran on some wet grass. His father and mother scolded him and he ran onto the sidewalk saying, "I'm sorry!"

His mother hissed, "Sorry doesn't make it go away. You're getting a spanking for that!"

We were shocked and dismayed. This was an obviously educated and well-to-do young couple in their '20s. What is the point of the spanking? He ran onto the grass so what? And if apologizing doesn't "make it go away" then why bother saying I'm sorry? What was the spanking going to teach him?

Physical punishment is barbaric. We have evolved as a society to rise above it.

With that said, I have bapped my kids once in a while, like a swat on the hand so keep them from doing something like sticking a key in an electric outlet or pulling their sister's hair. Once in a while, I think moms have a right to be like a mama bear.

But hey, after being raised by a yeller and a spanker, I think I've done well to not do the same to my kids. Ask them and they'll agree! My husband never raised his hand to the kids and he was beat by his mom all the time.

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Belts and ESPECIALLY switches are child abuse. And forcing a child to pick one from the tree is downright cruel and unusual. My step-dad, who was only dating my mom at the time (I was seven), demanded I do this over the phone and that after I had done so to stand it in the corner of my room for me too look at from my bed so that I would not forget what was coming to me when he got off work that night.
After I was dismissed I handed the phone back to my mother who continued to coo romantically with her new beau. It was nearly my bedtime and the middle of November so I put my heavy coat on over my jammies and went out to the front yard to cut a "suitable" branch from the bald mulberry tree. I came back in just as my mom had hung up the phone. My legs and hands were cold and bare and as I stood there with a switch in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other she said to me sweetly and dreamily, "Oh sweety, I would have helped you."
That hurt more than the beating I got later that evening.

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*ugh* That is worse, Schmorgenderby. frown

Hitting a child has psychological effects, even when parents show an "outpouring of love" afterward. It just confuses kids. "I will hurt you but I still love you."

Making you choose the switch and wait in anticipation of the coming abuse is wicked.

If parents want to their children to behave, they need to teach them to behave. Hitting them is the method used by ignorant circus trainers on animals.

My friend was psychologically and physically abused by her step father. The fear and manipulation was horrible, and the fact that her mom just watched on the sidelines DID hurt worse.

My friend amazes me with her strength. God bless you for being a survivor.

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Just a [i]few[/i] against hitting kids: American Academy of Pediatrics United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children Center for Effective Discipline Christians For Non-Violent Parenting Parenting in Jesus' Footsteps - www.parentinginjesusfootsteps.org PsycHealth, Ltd., Behavioral Health Professionals

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Moderator note: Contents removed because of forum and BellaOnline TOS violations. You have set your profile to not receive PMs, so I am unable to contact you privately. You are free to state your opinion regarding this subject. However, please do so according to the Child Abuse Forum Guidelines posted here. It's just as easy to state your opinion respectfully as it is to resort to name calling.

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Sorry, my opinion is that it is abuse. There is no reason to hit someone with an implement with the intent to cause pain. That is assault. You do that to a grown up you end up in jail. Assaulting a child just shows that the adult is a bully.

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I know this is a bit of a bump, but i would like to add my input to this. Abuse as in psychical abuse, can really mess up a child. A child does not need to be psychically hit and scolded when the child is likely to be tormented in schools by other mean children. Not only is hitting with a belt abuse, the child can associate that pain with school and usually fun activities. For example, if a child was abused in school by children (which happens very often) for a disability or because he is different than everyone else, and goes home and gets hit by a belt for something he might not even know what he did was wrong, that can only lead to bad outcomes. I was tormented in school. I was the shyest person there, but I wasn't always shy. I was always hit by belts, spanked and given outrageous and unreasonable punishments for things I didn't even know I did. I started to associate the pain with children in school, flinching a lot towards friends even, because I was afraid to get hit. I didn't know it at the time, but I was aspergic and the belt hitting only escalated the fears of public communication. Now you may say, &quot;physical abuse works.&quot; It does work. But it is not effective and long term. When the children know that the &quot;abuser&quot; is gone, he will most likely repeat his past actions again and again. Why hit children when you can politely tell them to stop and use positive reinforcement? Most times it is because we don't know how to handle the situation. Take scenario a and b: A) The daughter was found smoking at age 16. The mother finds out and orders the dad to hit her and tell her to stop. She might or might not stop, or go behind their backs and do it again. In the end, everyone is hurt and frustrated. B) The daughter was found smoking at age 16. The mother finds out and go for a heart-to-heart talk. &quot;I am frustrated when you smoke and it scares me. Smoking is not something I want you to rush into at such a young age. Can you please tell me why you want to smoke?&quot; the mom asks. &quot;Mom, I am frustrated at how things are running. Dad is always mean and this is the perfect outlet for stress. Can you please help dad be nicer?&quot; This is where we could of got off track with the results we wanted and went to hitting, but thats not what we want. We want to find solution that fits everyone, and the only way to do that is talking about what is frustrating them or coercing them to perform as they did, not hitting them and finding a behavioral quick fix.

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Forgetting what the rules were 20 years ago. Nowadays the answer is yes. Spanking with a belt is abuse and kids can and are taken into care because of it, if the parents cannot be educated. www.invisibletears.co.uk

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belt spanking is abuse abigail, you cant do anything by todays laws. when i was 14 yrs old i threw a snowball at a teacher and he sent me in to stand in the corridor until he came in, there were others on the corridor waiting for the strap which they took. when it was my turn he picked up a thick cane and told me to put my hand out, i refused stating snowballing was a fun thing to do as we all do it. ha wasnt having that and sent me to the headmaster, he said bend over or you will get expelled, i bent over and he hit me 6 times drawing blood? i had a bruise 9 inches thick, that man should of been jailed.

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I had a similar experience or two, not good. :eek:

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