View Poll Results: is it ever allowable for a Parent to punish their child with force?

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  • Yes

    46 66.67%
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Thread: Parents: Punishing Kids [W:361]

  1. #291
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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Again, you appear to be conflating spanking as equivalent to being violently beaten about the head and ears with fists and boots, when the two are not remotely the same. This is a common reaction among those who have no clue what they are talking about in this debate. You're confusing (either unreasoningly or deliberately) the image of angry out-of-control violence with the use of controlled spanking as a disciplinary tool in some cases.

    And slinging the word "coward" around from the safe anonymity of the Internet is a pretty contemptible habit...
    Violence is violence. The amount of violence doesn't just somehow make it not violence. Stop trying to justify violence. To say this is bad and this is good because of the amount of violence is absurd on it's face.

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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    Violence is violence. The amount of violence doesn't just somehow make it not violence. Stop trying to justify violence. To say this is bad and this is good because of the amount of violence is absurd on it's face.

    Absolutism about things which have a broad range of expression, is an unrealistic viewpoint.... and one of the chief problems with libertarianism.

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  3. #293
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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Absolutism about things which have a broad range of expression, is an unrealistic viewpoint.... and one of the chief problems with libertarianism.
    Mounting your argument on arbitrary lines in the sand is ridiculous. If you are against violence done towards children than you are against violence done towards children. This whole nonsense where people try to separate abuse into spankings and beatings is nothing but empty rationalization by abusers.

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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    First I have to say that my daughter is only 7 months old now, so I don't have first hand experience (pun intended) with punishing her yet, but naturally, it's a topic I've been considering for a while, put a lot of thought in and did quite some reading on.

    In general, my opinion is that physical violence against a child is generally a bad thing and should be avoided if possible. That said, I don't think mild physical punishment is necessarily a big deal or even abuse, as long as the context is right. Most likely, mild spanking is easily understood by a child, as long as it comes together with communication and explanation, and the child realizes well it has done wrong. While on the other side, even very mild spanking that hardly ever hurts but just shocks the child, may be very traumatizing when the child doesn't understand the reason and is left alone with this shock.

    But as a matter of principle, I'm rather comfortable with a zero tolerance policy towards spanking, because it's a slippery slope and the line to abuse is very thin. Basically all parents who abuse their kids start with "just spanking", and basically of them think "I'm just spanking a little". Also, I don't think spanking should ever become a habit for a parent, or even worse, serve as a means to vent the own frustration. Spanking out of that motivation, rather than a means that focuses on the learning effect in the child, is *always* bad and there is no excuse, IMO.

    It's also a huge misunderstanding, IMO, that discipline requires physical violence, and absence of spanking equals lack of discipline. I've seen enough examples of very disciplined children who have never been spanked, and on the contrary, kids who have often been spanked and then act even wilder, at least when dealing with other people than their spanking parent, out of spite and to pass on their frustration. There are other and better means of creating discipline than spanking, and I'm pretty sure they work well with most children.

    ALso, there is the danger that children learn the wrong lesson from spanking (especially spanking that is not accompaigned with sufficient communication): That it's okay to use physical violence against those who are weaker to get your will. The worst schoolyard bullies I met in my life were all children who were excessively spanked by their parents. They had to regain their sense of strength and self-confidence by scoring victories over weaker children.

    When it comes to the different theories I read about, it seems that the according literature sees three main branches of education styles: The authoritarian education, the anti-authoritarian and the democratic education.

    Physical punishment is usually a sign of authoritarian education; the parent is a tyrant, a dictator who has to be obeyed as a matter of principle, it must never be questioned and the child has no or few voice in the decisions the parent(s) make. Even worse than disobedience is questioning the parent's authority, and this alone is punished. This style of education breeds authoritarian and either passive or violent characters, and it is associated with many personality disorders in adult life.

    The extreme opposite is anti-authoritarian education: The child is supposed to develop entirely naturally and is given no limits or rules. Problems naturally arise when such kids start violating the needs and limits of other people. Problems also arise regarding discipline and social behavior.

    Often lauded is a democratic education style, which looks like a sane middle way: The child is given a well defined, broad leeway inside which it may realm independently, but the limits that do exist must be strictly enforced. Rules all agree on are a matter of negotiation between parent and child, while of course the parents maintain the last word, but not without first listening to the concerns and opinions of the child, and proposing compromises when possible. It is vital to teach the child empathy, and to respect the needs and limits of other people, in exchange for other family members respecting the needs and limits of the child.

    Perhaps more important than the question whether mild spanking is okay, is the question about the appropriate style of education. When spanking takes places, either deliberately or "accidentally" out of an extreme situation, the context is probably more important than the spanking itself.


    So far my idealistic ideas today. But hey, ask me again in 3 years or so.
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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    First I have to say that my daughter is only 7 months old now, so I don't have first hand experience (pun intended) with punishing her yet, but naturally, it's a topic I've been considering for a while, put a lot of thought in and did quite some reading on.

    In general, my opinion is that physical violence against a child is generally a bad thing and should be avoided if possible. That said, I don't think mild physical punishment is necessarily a big deal or even abuse, as long as the context is right. Most likely, mild spanking is easily understood by a child, as long as it comes together with communication and explanation, and the child realizes well it has done wrong. While on the other side, even very mild spanking that hardly ever hurts but just shocks the child, may be very traumatizing when the child doesn't understand the reason and is left alone with this shock.

    But as a matter of principle, I'm rather comfortable with a zero tolerance policy towards spanking, because it's a slippery slope and the line to abuse is very thin. Basically all parents who abuse their kids start with "just spanking", and basically of them think "I'm just spanking a little". Also, I don't think spanking should ever become a habit for a parent, or even worse, serve as a means to vent the own frustration. Spanking out of that motivation, rather than a means that focuses on the learning effect in the child, is *always* bad and there is no excuse, IMO.

    It's also a huge misunderstanding, IMO, that discipline requires physical violence, and absence of spanking equals lack of discipline. I've seen enough examples of very disciplined children who have never been spanked, and on the contrary, kids who have often been spanked and then act even wilder, at least when dealing with other people than their spanking parent, out of spite and to pass on their frustration. There are other and better means of creating discipline than spanking, and I'm pretty sure they work well with most children.

    ALso, there is the danger that children learn the wrong lesson from spanking (especially spanking that is not accompaigned with sufficient communication): That it's okay to use physical violence against those who are weaker to get your will. The worst schoolyard bullies I met in my life were all children who were excessively spanked by their parents. They had to regain their sense of strength and self-confidence by scoring victories over weaker children.

    When it comes to the different theories I read about, it seems that the according literature sees three main branches of education styles: The authoritarian education, the anti-authoritarian and the democratic education.

    Physical punishment is usually a sign of authoritarian education; the parent is a tyrant, a dictator who has to be obeyed as a matter of principle, it must never be questioned and the child has no or few voice in the decisions the parent(s) make. Even worse than disobedience is questioning the parent's authority, and this alone is punished. This style of education breeds authoritarian and either passive or violent characters, and it is associated with many personality disorders in adult life.

    The extreme opposite is anti-authoritarian education: The child is supposed to develop entirely naturally and is given no limits or rules. Problems naturally arise when such kids start violating the needs and limits of other people. Problems also arise regarding discipline and social behavior.

    Often lauded is a democratic education style, which looks like a sane middle way: The child is given a well defined, broad leeway inside which it may realm independently, but the limits that do exist must be strictly enforced. Rules all agree on are a matter of negotiation between parent and child, while of course the parents maintain the last word, but not without first listening to the concerns and opinions of the child, and proposing compromises when possible. It is vital to teach the child empathy, and to respect the needs and limits of other people, in exchange for other family members respecting the needs and limits of the child.

    Perhaps more important than the question whether mild spanking is okay, is the question about the appropriate style of education. When spanking takes places, either deliberately or "accidentally" out of an extreme situation, the context is probably more important than the spanking itself.


    So far my idealistic ideas today. But hey, ask me again in 3 years or so.


    Part of the problem when this issue comes up (as it so often does) is the focus becomes myopic on the spank/no spank.... when that question is really just a small small part of the whole discipline equation.

    Proper child discipline exists as part of a proper relationship between parent and child. There has to be lots of love to establish that relationship, and children spell love T-I-M-E.

    Clear communication in both directions is a must at all times.

    As much as possible, rules that may result in punishment need to be spelled out ahead of time, and the punishments need to fit the offense; and vitally important the child must be made to understand what they did wrong.

    Good discipline is one branch of good parenting and is a complex subject.

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  6. #296
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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Again, you appear to be conflating spanking as equivalent to being violently beaten about the head and ears with fists and boots, when the two are not remotely the same. This is a common reaction among those who have no clue what they are talking about in this debate. You're confusing (either unreasoningly or deliberately) the image of angry out-of-control violence with the use of controlled spanking as a disciplinary tool in some cases.

    And slinging the word "coward" around from the safe anonymity of the Internet is a pretty contemptible habit...
    Of course I know what I'm talking about. I've raised a son, and was raised by folks with the whole other opinion on the subject.
    'Controlled spanking'? Is that how you think the child perceives it? Why is the child's reaction to being overpowered, helpless to defend theirself, somehow not as important as an adult's reaction in the same situation?
    And I don't make a habit of using the word 'coward', and I don't rely on the 'safe anonymity of the internet'. You've mistaken me for a whole other body.
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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Mal View Post
    Of course I know what I'm talking about. I've raised a son, and was raised by folks with the whole other opinion on the subject.
    'Controlled spanking'? Is that how you think the child perceives it? Why is the child's reaction to being overpowered, helpless to defend theirself, somehow not as important as an adult's reaction in the same situation?
    And I don't make a habit of using the word 'coward', and I don't rely on the 'safe anonymity of the internet'. You've mistaken me for a whole other body.
    I swear some people think children are a different species. Why do they think children would be better off from being abused by their parents? Do they think adults are better off when they get abused by fellow adults? The logic behind some peoples arguments is so ****ing warped.

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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    I swear some people think children are a different species. Why do they think children would be better off from being abused by their parents? Do they think adults are better off when they get abused by fellow adults? The logic behind some peoples arguments is so ****ing warped.
    I imagine they would resist corporal punishment for bad behaviour. Too bad their children are unable to resist.
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  9. #299
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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    I swear some people think children are a different species. Why do they think children would be better off from being abused by their parents? Do they think adults are better off when they get abused by fellow adults? The logic behind some peoples arguments is so ****ing warped.
    What's warped in my opinion is those who view a spanking as abuse.

    Let's see little Johnny is playing close to the stove and wanting to reach up to the hot pot that is boiling away. Daddy says "No No Johnny "hot" you will get hurt". And takes the child away from the stove. Johnny goes back around the stove and Daddy once again says "No No Johnny "hot" you can't play around the stove. The phone rings Dad answers the phone and in a couple of seconds the child manages to topple the boiling pot onto him. Now which pain do you think is worse. The third degree burns the boiling substance in the pot caused or the smack on the bottom to teach and instill in the child not to get around the stove?

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    Re: Parents: Punishing Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by vesper View Post
    What's warped in my opinion is those who view a spanking as abuse.

    Let's see little Johnny is playing close to the stove and wanting to reach up to the hot pot that is boiling away. Daddy says "No No Johnny "hot" you will get hurt". And takes the child away from the stove. Johnny goes back around the stove and Daddy once again says "No No Johnny "hot" you can't play around the stove. The phone rings Dad answers the phone and in a couple of seconds the child manages to topple the boiling pot onto him. Now which pain do you think is worse. The third degree burns the boiling substance in the pot caused or the smack on the bottom to teach and instill in the child not to get around the stove?
    If the boy insists on touching it I say go ahead and let him. I once had a kid that insisted on touching the stove, so after a few times explaining to him the situation I just let him touch it. Afterwords he knew I was right about the stove and didn't dare touch it again.
    Last edited by Henrin; 09-21-14 at 11:06 PM.

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