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Thread: I can't believe my college classmates ...

  1. #1
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    Unhappy I can't believe my college classmates ...

    I'm taking a class online this quarter - Childhood Development. One of the components of this class is an online discussion, posted on message boards.

    This entire quarter, I've been frustrated with posts like this from classmates. (From a discussion on gender typing children) ...
    We all here the saying "girls will be girls" and definatly "boys will be boys". To most extent i believe that children are born with a gene that makes them do "boy things" or do "girls things" abviously with some acceptions.
    I'm fascinated that my classmates will submit work like this. I'm all for informality on the web, but when you're involved in academia, it's time to check your spelling and capitalize your I's.

    So far, I've been okay with posts like those; after all, they're making me look good with my accurate spelling and my recognizable grammar rules.

    Now our discussion centers around physical punishment. Most of my virtual classmates are involved with children: most of them have a tie to daycare centers. Out of 10 (or so) people who've responded to a prompt about physical punishment, I am the only one who believes that spanking is wrong, and that hitting a child is never right.

    I guess what I'm looking for is one other person out there to say, "Hey, I believe that too." I've had my eyes opened; I know there are lots of parents out there who spank. I never realized just how many. Anyone on this board agree with me?
    Please?
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  2. #2
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    Hey, I believe that too.

    However, I know someone who makes her child choose her spanking tool from a selection of kitchen implements (wooden spoon, spatula, etc. no knives, don't worry!). To me, that seems cruel. Her kids are great (still very young), and she and her husband are very nice and love their children very much.

    I guess we all grow up with different ideas of what's acceptable.
    -Rebecca


    Endurance comes from exhaustion. Keep running!
    --DH, aka "Coach"

  3. #3
    I have an opinion on spanking vs. not-spanking, but I'll keep quiet on it because it's simply an opinion from a person who has chosen to remain child-free, and therefore irrelevant. Or at least that's how I look at it!

    The post above made me giggle. I have to proofread daily, and I catch things all the time. It's stunning, actually.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by beckms
    Hey, I believe that too.
    Thanks!

    I guess we all grow up with different ideas of what's acceptable.
    Very true. I hope your friend's child doesn't grow up with an undue fear of cooking! (For the record, I remember being swatted once with a wooden spoon, and I'm okay in the kitchen!)

    I forgot to mention another way I'm coming across as a smarty on the message boards: I know how to make words bold or in italics. Heh. I'm a goober.
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by MKSquared


    I know how to make words bold or in italics. Heh. I'm a goober.
    Yes. You are a goober.
    -Rebecca


    Endurance comes from exhaustion. Keep running!
    --DH, aka "Coach"

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by beckms


    Yes. You are a goober.
    Bwhahahahahahah!
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

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    Sometimes nothing gets their attention like a swat on the butt.

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    Re: I can't believe my college classmates ...

    Originally posted by MKSquared


    This entire quarter, I've been frustrated with posts like this from Out of 10 (or so) people who've responded to a prompt about physical punishment, I am the only one who believes that spanking is wrong, and that hitting a child is never right.

    I guess what I'm looking for is one other person out there to say, "Hey, I believe that too." I've had my eyes opened; I know there are lots of parents out there who spank. I never realized just how many. Anyone on this board agree with me?
    Please?

    Yes! Yes! Yes! When my children are fighting and hit one another I tell them that "We don't hit people we love". Spanking does nothing but hurt and embarrass the child. Children don't need "punishment" they need "discipline". I find it scary that people that think it's O.K. to hit children actually work with them.

  9. #9
    I'm going to put my foot in it here - please don't throw tomatoes!!! I'm going to have to back BlueMoose up when she says a swat on the butt gets their attention. Although it sounds horrible, there are a few times in a child's life that a bit of fear and pain will serve them well. While I don't believe that we should be whacking our kids about the head, arms, etc, I do think that a spanking as a punishment for major misbehavior is acceptable under certain conditions; ie, the punishment fits the crime, it's not done in the adult's anger, and the child is not caught off guard. The irony is some parents say they'd never hit their child, but have no problem yanking their arms or screaming at them in fits of anger never ceases to amaze me.

    That said - and please please please don't boo me off the board - MaryKate and I are both college students and I'm also shaking my head and laughing at the quality of work some of my classmates are turning in - the misspellings, pronunciations, etc are appalling. The poor professors - what must they think? I enjoy every brownie point I get for turning in neatly typed, proofed, and edited papers WITH MY NAME ON THEM!

    Debie
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  10. #10
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    I'm with you, MKSquared. I was raised to fear my stepdad, and it's a barrier to a normal adult relationship with him now. To his credit, he has acknowledged that he was wrong to behave as he did (and it was very much in excess of the occasional swat on the butt, so I don't know how that sort of corporeal punishment would affect kids long-term). IMO, fear is expedient, but it's not effective in the long-term. Fear works only as long as the parent is watching, whereas respect works in the absence of supervision. Here's a thought: if it's okay to hit in an inherently unequal relationship in order to drive home a point, why isn't it okay in others? Why can't my boss hit me if I'm not doing my job? Why is it considered assault for a parent to hit an adult child? Why shouldn't I hit my husband if his driving puts us in danger? Is it too barbaric? Is it disrespectful? Are there other remedies? Maybe it's all of the above. Why, then, does most of American society think it's acceptable to smack a little child on the behind? Sorry if I've offended anyone, but my upbringing has left me with strong opinions on the subject.

    -Amanda
    "Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it's my responsibility to make it better."-Tom McCall (Oregon governor from 1967-1975)

  11. #11
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    Just in case anyone is interested ...

    Recently the Supreme Court of Canada announced that it would hear a case on spanking. It will definitely be interesting to see what results, at least from a legal standpoint. Here's a little article for those who'd like a bit more info:

    http://www.criminal-lawyer.on.ca/spanking.html

  12. #12
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    Hmm. . .interesting discussion. I don't have kids yet -- so perhaps I'm not really qualified to speak at all on the topic. My parents spanked my sister and me occasionally when we were growing up -- this punishment was used very, very sparingly (maybe 5 times the whole time I was a child). It was sort of the "ultimate" punishment if we had done something really forbidden. The spanking was not done in anger or in an abusive way at all. But, when I read Mandarin2j's response, I can see the argument there, too. I mean, it is never OK for a husband to hit his wife, so why should it be OK for a mother (or father) to hit his or her child? Where does a spanking cross the line to abuse -- if a belt (or kitchen utensil) is used? If the hitting is on the face? If the child is bruised?

    It's a really tough topic -- I guess if I ever have kids, it's something I'll have to think about very carefully.

  13. #13
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    I was raised that if you got in trouble at school, you got in trouble at home. Needless to say, I didn't get in trouble at school except for once.

    My parents rarely spanked unless the behavior fit the punishment. They always spanked with love, and only once or twice on the butt sufficed.

    If I had a child I would follow their lead.

    Don't spank when you are mad.
    Spank only when the behavior fits the punishment.
    spanked with love, and only once or twice on the butt suffices.

    I rarely got into trouble, but when I did if spanking fit, spanking I would get. Usually I didn't get spanked, I got a very good talking to.
    Leisa

  14. #14
    I don't have children either- yet. Still I feel that I must share with you my experiences. I was spanked as a child, usually with a belt. Actually I was punished a few times where Mom/Dad was so enraged that I wouldn't call it spanking, but something much more. It left me not only scared of them, but I learned to shut off from my emotions. I knew that if I cried or screamed it wouldn't make any difference. Later on I endured this deep resentment and rage. Looking back now, years after and with much therapy under my belt, I see that my whole family hit one another. We siblings would hit one another, Mom and Dad would hit us or even each other if things were really bad. We learned that from them!! This pattern of violence continued as I was a young adult. I would get so angry with boyfriends that often I would smack them.

    Now I realize that parental "discipline" via spanking isn't the whole reason for my troubles, still I firmly believe that I learned hitting was OK from my family.

    When DH and I have children, I know it will be an issue for me to deal with. It took me years of therapy and patience to learn how to control my anger issues, so I'm sure that I won't spank my children. It's just my belief that it isn't the best way to go.
    The way to become boring is to say everything.
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  15. #15
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    Just need to say ... I love this board.

    While we disagree, I don't feel like anyone's jumping down my throat. I don't feel like jumping down anyone else's throat, even if I don't believe in what they're expressing. It's very different from the firestorm that's going on on the discussion boards for my class ...
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  16. #16
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    We do not have children, but we have decided that when we do have them we will not hit them. I grew up in a violent household, and while my siblings and I were not beaten or abused, the atmosphere was often one of stress and fear. I grew up with serious anger management issues and little ability to resolve conflict.

    My husband was disciplined but never hit or yelled at. He is now a calm and reasonable adult with excellent conflict resolution skills.

    That's all the evidence I need.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

    --Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Chefzhat
    I'm going to put my foot in it here - please don't throw tomatoes!!! I'm going to have to back BlueMoose up when she says a swat on the butt gets their attention. Although it sounds horrible, there are a few times in a child's life that a bit of fear and pain will serve them well. While I don't believe that we should be whacking our kids about the head, arms, etc, I do think that a spanking as a punishment for major misbehavior is acceptable under certain conditions; ie, the punishment fits the crime, it's not done in the adult's anger, and the child is not caught off guard. The irony is some parents say they'd never hit their child, but have no problem yanking their arms or screaming at them in fits of anger never ceases to amaze me.


    Debie
    Well stated, Debie.

    I have spanked only a handful of times, and not with an object. I think I was spanked 3 times growing up. I grew up in a VERY loving household without fear, and I believe my children will say the same thing when they are grown.

  18. #18
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    I should add that those were my experiences only. I did not mean to suggest anyone on this board is not doing right by their children.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

    --Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

  19. #19
    Don't worry Jessica!

    I'm sad for our members that have grown up with abuse, fear and pain in their lives. I also grew up with a parent that shrieked, yelled, hit us kids with paddles, switches, fly swatters, purses, anything that was in her hands and it was not a pleasant experience. I did not have a healthy fear of my parents, I was petrified of them.

    My chosen discipline (with help from Dr. Dobson) is based on education, explanation, and responsibility. And there have been a very few occasions when the flat of my palm has had to be placed upon their backsides. There is a difference between how I was brought up and how I am bringing up my children (and would you believe that my parents now tell me that they are spoiled? Yup, taking parenting input from them, sure, you bet . . . )

    I love discussions where we all learn something about issues and about each other!

    Hugs,
    Debie
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  20. #20
    i was never hit as a child, but i was spanked when i deserved it. and i admitt i thank my mom for it. it really helped me, and when she spanked me i deserved it, and i behaved. granted, this only happened maybe 5 times during my childhood, because i learned quickly to behave because i didnt want my butt sore!

    i never resented it, nor did her spankings lead me to believe hitting & violence was okay. i knew the difference. i honestly thank her for "putting me in line". it was a good experience and i learned from it.

    i think it is different for different people.

    what my mom did was strictly spanking. she never took out the belt or ruler, it was a form of punishment & well deserved. some of these kids i see out at the grocery store need to be spanked or disciplined in some other manner. they do no respect their parents & do no longer respond to verbal.

    i am not saying people should go around hitting their kids, but i think a spanking, when necessary is okay.

    just my opinion though.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by sunberst
    i was never hit as a child, but i was spanked when i deserved it. and i admitt i thank my mom for it. it really helped me, and when she spanked me i deserved it, and i behaved. granted, this only happened maybe 5 times during my childhood, because i learned quickly to behave because i didnt want my butt sore!

    i never resented it, nor did her spankings lead me to believe hitting & violence was okay. i knew the difference. i honestly thank her for "putting me in line". it was a good experience and i learned from it.

    i think it is different for different people.

    what my mom did was strictly spanking. she never took out the belt or ruler, it was a form of punishment & well deserved. some of these kids i see out at the grocery store need to be spanked or disciplined in some other manner. they do no respect their parents & do no longer respond to verbal.

    i am not saying people should go around hitting their kids, but i think a spanking, when necessary is okay.

    just my opinion though.

    Ditto.
    Leisa

  22. #22
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    I was abused as a child. I was quite often beaten with a belt and if I cried I was hit a couple of more times just to give me something to cry about. My parents didn't see it as abuse simply as the same way they were raised. As a child I hated my parents and was not too fond of them when I was a teenager, either.
    I have 3 sons and when DS#1 was very young and I smacked his bottom once for not listening when I said no, I heard my mother's voice come out of my mouth. It was the worst feeling in the world and it was the last time I smacked one of my boys.
    It was a very difficult thing to refrain from doing but I was determined to end that cycle. Often they would be put in their bed so that I could cool down. As they got older I was able to say to them that I was very angry and that I was going to my room but that I would talk to them later.

    Hitting a child only teaches a child that hitting is OK. Giving it another name doesn't really change it's result. My boys were taught that they have no right to touch another person without that person's permission.

    Now as young adults they know that I'm joking when I say, "I just might have to smack you!"
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  23. #23
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    I was supposedly "spanked" as a child, but since it involved hair pulling, wooden spoons, hairbrushes, etc, my view is quite dim on spanking. I understand that some people use spanking strictly as a punishment, not the beatings that I received as a child in the name of a spanking, but I think that it is a poor discipline tool.

    I believe in discipline. My children do not and will not talk back or engage in rude behavior in public without dire consequences. I think extremely spanked children like myself mistake the majority of spankers as people who lose control---but I also think the majority of spankers mistakenly see non-spankers as people who don't believe in discipline---both are more than likely incorrect.

    I don't think the occassionally spanked child will grow up to think it's okay to hit people but I don't understand why the behavior is acceptable from parent to child but NOWHERE else. It is wrong to hit animals, other people etc. so why hit at all? Every time you hit a child you are CHOOSING to not address the problem behavior you are trying to correct. I have never been able to understand the correlation between "you did something VERY wrong, therefore I am going to hit you". What positive lesson is learned from this for future use? How does this help in the real, adult world?

    I think that all children benefit from being strictly disciplined---I just know there will always be disagreement on how it should be administered. It is unfortunately one of those decisions that are almost always made based on your own personal experience with it.

    Kristi
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    www.planetmarshmallow.com

  24. #24
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    Not a parent, but a teacher checking in. I could say I dont believe in spanking, but I GUESS I will say I would believe in it as a LAST resort if everything else has been tried many times.......

    then Im still not convinced....
    ~Kim~

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  25. #25
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    Mary Kate,

    I was often spanked/hit as a child, even as a teenager. I learned that it was okay to hit and to be hit. Not good... Instead of therapy, I became a teacher. Taking classes such as yours, I learned about behavior modification that did not involve physical punishment. Research shows that negative reinforcement, especially hitting, only instills fear and anger. It doesn't correct the offending behavior. Hence, I am against spanking. (I don't think that parents who spank once a year are wrong.)

    Just out of curiosity, is this class part of a degree-seeking program? Just asking because I am a little concerned about the day-care operators who believe in spanking. Do they spank other people's children as well as their own??

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by Kiko
    Just out of curiosity, is this class part of a degree-seeking program? Just asking because I am a little concerned about the day-care operators who believe in spanking. Do they spank other people's children as well as their own??
    The class is a requirement for several programs. It's Child Development (Psych 261), and it's required for some teaching programs and Early Childhood Development, among others. I addressed the daycare operators on the board, and mentioned that I'm very sad that they'd look at my (hypothetical) child and think, "That child needs a good spanking." I don't think any of them would spank someone else's child, but the thought is still there ...
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  27. #27
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    I raised my son alone from the time he was about 3 years old. I could never come to peace in my own mind that punishing him by hitting him did anything except release my own anger. That's just me. I can remember about 2 different times when I popped his leg totally in anger for doing something that he knew he shouldn't. I actually still regret those 2 or 3 times because it wasn't punishment to him...but totally my own frustration.

    I know every parent is totally different. My brother and his wife use the spanking technique. Their kids are very well-behaved...but I think it's almost from being afraid to do something more than because they know better. My sister and husband yell and spank. I don't actually see well-behaved there either. As for my own immediate family, I think my own technique worked.

    When my son was small, I started with "remove the child from the problem...or the problem from the child". When very little, if he tried to play in a house plant, I moved the plant. If something was dangerous, I would do the firm "No!" and either move him or the danger. When he was about 14 months old, he did his own first punishment and actually walked to a corner and sat down in it. (I had been explaining to him why he could LOOK at the Christmas lights, he could even TOUCH the Christmas lights, but he could NOT try to walk away from the tree WITH the lights! I told him I'd have to put him in the corner if he did that again. He walked around the corner and sat down!!)

    As he got older, I had to suit the punishment to the crime. He spent time in his room (NOT with the TV, a video game, etc.)...he could read books...he could be quiet...but he could not be near me. I spent time in my own room..."Mommy's time! I'm getting angry and we both need to spend a few minutes apart". The best punishment came when he was old enough to write!!! I loved that time!! His absolute worse punishment was to go to his room and write a letter to me about what he had done, why he had done it, and what he planned to do in the future. He HATED it!!! I loved it!!

    He grew up being a really great kid. He's 19 now and actually a good friend!! He actually talks to me about "stuff". He tells me college stories.

    We've got a great relationship.

    So...my gut is to fit the punishment to the crime. Spanking might be the answer...but maybe there's another option that would work better.

    PS...when I grew up, I rarely had spankings. Instead, what I remember is my brother being spanked. My sister and I would get to go outside and pick out a 'hickory stick'. There's nothing better than hearing that "vaaripppppp" as my mom would slide her fingers down that teeny tiny stem and pull off all the leaves except the few at the end. Knowing it was for my brother was SUCH a relief!! Hey...it was in the south and in the mid-to-late 60's.

  28. #28
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    I was spanked a lot as a child. Many of you can count the number of times you were spanked on one hand. I lost count a long, long time ago. Dad's weapon of choice was The Belt. Mom preferred The Switch or The Hand Across the Face (actually, she only slapped me across the face 3 times, but 2 of those 3 times were in public). Sometimes we got to pick out our own switch. Fun times in our household, I tell ya what. But we were lucky because mom never DREW BLOOD with the switch like her mom did and because dad only hit us with the leather of the belt and not the buckle. We certainly got hit harder if we cried or if we tried to shield our bottoms with our hands (getting hit on the hands with a belt hurts like hell but I did it every time). Oh, my sister didn't get hit as much as I did because she bruised easily. I got hit alot because I was too smart for my own good but i had no common sense. I was stupid enough to question the way things were instead of accepting them, which was "Talking Back" or "Sassing". Sometimes my hair was pulled as punishment, too. I stopped getting hit so much after I turned 13, but my mom was seriously not a cool person to be around before she went on Prozac. Personally, I would have rather taken one of my mom's switchings than put up with her sneaking and spying on me and put downs. I totally hated my mom growing up (though I was quite certain I was going to Hell for that). Even though dad hit me more and harder, she did stuff to me emotionally that has taken me a long time to get over, like telling me on the way to school in fromnt of our neighbor that my dad thought I was a pig (ok, I was like 130 lbs and very thin for my frame back then...no wonder my sister became bulemic). This was right before a HUGE bio exam but I was so upset the teacher let me take the test later. Or the time she and my dad locked me in their bedroom and read excerpts from my diary while she held me down and he hit me with the belt because I'd confided in my diary that I'd confided in a teacher that my parents were so strict (but i never mentioned that they hit me, ever, just that they wouldn;t let me walk to the library after school with my friend). And I used the word ***. Once.Some stuff I'm still not over---I lock up a lot of stuff when she comes over because she sees nothing wrong with snooping. I have a hard time trusting people. I doubt myself in social situations. I have a VERY hard time believing that people really, sincerely like me. But my mom is a different person now for the most part and I do love her.

    Funny thing is, I really don't see them as being abusive. I guess because I feel like if I accept that it means that they were bad parents, and they weren't, or that I should love them less or admire them less, which I don't. My mom had a seriouly messed up childhood and just didn't deal with it before she had kids. Dad was raised not to talk back, that DAD was always right, and that hitting as punishment was ok...I don't think they handled the situation as well as they could have, but I can understand where they were coming from and why they did what they did.

    As for where I stand, I think a pop on the hand or on the behind when they are little and have done something REALLY bad is ok...but I don't know if I can bring myself to ever spank.
    "It covers your bread like a stinkyfishy tarp
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  29. #29
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    Interesting subject, a spanked child checking in. I argee with Sunberst. Hitting and being spanked are two different things. I have no issues with bieng spanked. My dad did the spanking and it was just a couple swats. We of course realized that the spanking was given for very bad behavior. When I had my first child in 1983, I would at times give Jesse a swat, but rare don't ya know he was a darn near perfect child Then when I had my daughter in 88 I was more laid back on the spanking issue.

    It's all in how it's down, a parent should never be out of control. When my dad dished it out, he was always calm and explained why this was going to happen.
    The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance, and even our very existence depends on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives

    -Albert Einstein-

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    19,680
    The notion of hitting a person (regardless of age or gender) in order to “teach them a lesson” is bizarre to me, though the notion that *something* is being taught, is not. And the theory of "hitting with love” is as antithetical to me as “drunken driving with responsibility”; I think the only way parents truly, effectively communicate their beliefs and values to their children is through example, and a smack as means of communicating dissatisfaction with behavior doesn’t work for me. I think kids need to see their parents’ values in action in order to believe they really can work. E.g., When I was a teenager I had a notebook in which I wrote personal ramblings, quotes from literature, general life observations, etc. One night I was sitting around the dinner table with my parents and some subject came up, about which I had a poem in my journal. I ran upstairs, got the journal, and read the poem. A while later, a friend rang the door bell to pick me up to go to a café. About fifteen minutes after, I remembered that I’d left my journal on the kitchen table - YIKES! (And, I had two older siblings at home!) I called home right away, and Dad answered. I told him I’d left a “notebook” on the table, and he immediately said, “I know – I tucked it under your pillow.” He didn’t have to say, “I didn’t look at it” because he’d proven so many times to me that he wasn’t the kind of person who would do that. I wish he were here today so I could thank him again for his great example.
    PS: Don't know if it's relevant one way or the other, but I don't recall ever having been hit as kid -- though I definitely remember being taught about "bad behavior"!

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