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Corporal punishment - For or against?


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#1    redhen

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:04 AM

I know that Robert Heinlein's 1959 book Starship Troopers is seen by some as blatantly Fascist, and the movie even more so, but my thoughts echo Heinlein's about corporal punishment, and bad or lack of parenting.

This is the from the end of Chap 8; the context being a history class.

"Mr. Dubois then turned to me. "I told you that 'juveline delinquent' is a contriction in terms. 'Delinquent' means 'failing in duty.' But duty is an adult virtue -- indeed a juvenile becomes an adult when, and only when, he acquires a knowledge of duty and embraces it as dearer than the self-love he was born with. There never was, there cannot be, a 'juvenile delinquent.' But for every juvenile criminal there are always one or more adult delinquents -- people of mature years who either do not know their duty, or who, knowing it, fail.

"And that was the soft spot which destroyed what was in many ways an admirable culture. The junior hoodlums who roamed their streets were symptoms of a greater sickness; their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights' ... and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure."

I don't know if I'd go as far as public floggings, but I bet it would and is, in many parts of the modern world, a strong deterrent. There is also a relationship to capital punishment; context being raising a puppy;

"He had singled me out again. "Suppose you merely scolded your puppy, never punished him, let him go on making messes in the house ... and occasionally locked him up in an outbuilding but soon let him back into the house with a warning not to do it again. Then one day you notice that he is now a grown dog and still not housebroken -- whereupon you whip out a gun and shoot him dead. Comment, please?"
"Why ... that's the craziest way to raise a dog I ever heard of!"
"I agree. Or a child. Whose fault would it be?"
"Uh ... why, mine, I guess."
"Again I agree. But I'm not guessing."


#2    markdohle

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:26 AM

I think at least in the United States, our society is dying, becoming more fragmented and since there is no chance things will get better in the near future, we will probably become some kind of dictatorship, allowing one man to make us feel safe.  Punishment is needed, by that I mean that we all need to be held accountable for our actions.  Young people need discipline and correction.  The problem is that many parents abuse their children by beating them because they are in a bad mood etc. Children are not property, so parents don't have the right to make choices for their children that would endanger them in any way.  We just don't one day wake up being good neighbors, it is learned and then integrated into ones inner life, that is learned from the example, or not, of parents.  TV and the entertainment industry are not good role models for our young.

Often corporal punishment has nothing to do with teaching but merely taking out ones frustrations on those who are powerless.  With the demise in many places of the family structure, our problems will only grow.  I see no way out of our situations; we are too far down the road.


Of course it is not all bad, there is always a mixture.  It is the chaos I am talking about, the contempt shown for others who are different is another aspect of our culture in the United States that is becoming more prominent.  I suppose in the end it does come down to the family, how children are raised or not.  Much of our anger comes from those formative years, if not all of it.  

People may think I am being pessimistic, maybe, but I can see how things are changing over the years and we are still not at the end of that road.  Cultures, all of them have an ending, ours is no different.  We either grow towards cultural integration or we disintegrate.  




#3    redhen

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:48 AM

View Postmarkdohle, on 04 March 2013 - 12:26 AM, said:

Often corporal punishment has nothing to do with teaching but merely taking out ones frustrations on those who are powerless.


That's abuse though not punishment, that's a different problem. I think that if we had more corporal punishment, we would have less capital punishment.

Quote

With the demise in many places of the family structure, our problems will only grow.  I see no way out of our situations; we are too far down the road.

Heinlein wrote this book in 1959,  I think he would be dismayed to see our state of affairs today, but not shocked.


#4    White Crane Feather

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:25 PM

It's rediculouse to think you can teach a child to not be violent, abusive, and disrespectful, by being violent, abusive, and disrespectful.

It's common knowledge among peadiatricians that if you swat a toddlers hand when they reach for something they shouldn't, the toddler then starts to swat others when they don't like something.

Children ARE NOT DOGS. Dogs have their own social language built on dominance. Is that the way a thinking compassionate society should behave? Like a pack of wolves?

Unwavering operating values with punishment being quick and tailored  but not violent  is the best ways to teach children discipline. I do it for a living and work with hundreds even thousands of children over the years, and I have three boys of my own and a degree in the science of human choice ( economics).

Edited by Seeker79, 04 March 2013 - 04:26 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#5    shadowhive

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:07 PM

View Postredhen, on 04 March 2013 - 02:48 AM, said:

That's abuse though not punishment, that's a different problem. I think that if we had more corporal punishment, we would have less capital punishment.

It doesn't sound like much difference. In the days of corporal punishment in schools the cane was used as a form of punishment for students. The problem was that all too often the punishment became abuse but it was ok because it was 'punishment'. My grandparents told me once that some of their fellow pupils got the cane for giving the wrong answer, asking questions or even something as simple as coughing.

Any system of corporal punishment would end up running the risk of similar abuses and I don't see that as an improvement.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
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#6    redhen

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 04 March 2013 - 04:25 PM, said:

It's rediculouse (sic)to think you can teach a child to not be violent, abusive, and disrespectful, by being violent, abusive, and disrespectful.

Again, no one is advocating abuse. That's a straw man argument.

Quote

It's common knowledge among peadiatricians (sic) that if you swat a toddlers hand when they reach for something they shouldn't, the toddler then starts to swat others when they don't like something.

Is that right? The only way children learn to hit others is because they have been disciplined?

Quote

Children ARE NOT DOGS. Dogs have their own social language built on dominance. Is that the way a thinking compassionate society should behave? Like a pack of wolves?

Another straw man. Heinlein is not talking about how dogs or wolves behave in their natural environment. He is using the analogy of teaching a puppy not to p*** anywhere it wants to raising a child.

Quote

Unwavering operating values with punishment being quick and tailored  but not violent  is the best ways to teach children discipline.

So a quick, decisive "timeout" will do the trick as long as it's done within "Unwavering operating value" ?What does that even mean?

Quote

I do it for a living and work with hundreds even thousands of children over the years, and I have three boys of my own and a degree in the science of human choice ( economics).

And out of those thousands of children, you have never spanked one of them? God help us.


#7    IamsSon

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:25 PM

Anyone who's actually read "Starship Troopers" (one of my favorite books) or any of Heinlein's work knows if anything Heinlein's views were the complete antithesis of fascism; the guy was so libertarian he would probably scare most of today's libertarians.

I think leftists have done an amazing job of equating physical abuse with corporal punishment and American/Western European society is much the poorer for having bought into this.

As an officer in the military--someone who had been required to go through a great deal of training and preparation--I have a very clear understanding that it is almost impossible to have a civilian understand how to function as a soldier.  To require a civilian to act as a soldier would most likely result in his injury, and potentially his death and/or the death of others; and would at least result in their (and my) frustration.  It would be incredibly unfair to simply turn a civilian lose in a military environment and tell him he is now a soldier  The tasks, procedures, processes, and even the terminology one learns basic trainee learns are essential.

As a parent, I realized my child was in the same spot as a civilian is in before undergoing basic training.  He did not have the capability of understanding anything.  Language, spoken or written was absolutely meaningless to him.  I could go hoarse talking to him and he would not understand a single thing. But it was my duty to insure he learned everything necessary for his survival and eventually his success while insuring he did not get himself maimed or killed due to his ignorance.  He did not understand language, but his body came pre-wired to avoid pain and discomfort, so I had to deal with him from that standpoint while I trained him to understand language.  He might not understand, "Please do not yank on the TV's power cord because you may pull the TV off it's pedestal and on your head," but he understood that every time he pulled on the cord I would smack his hand and that hurt and he did not want his hand to hurt, so he should not pull the cord.  I seriously doubt a seven-month-old grasps that a "timeout" is supposed to be discipline.

Edited by IamsSon, 04 March 2013 - 06:27 PM.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#8    White Crane Feather

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:46 PM

View Postredhen, on 04 March 2013 - 05:30 PM, said:



Again, no one is advocating abuse. That's a straw man argument.



Is that right? The only way children learn to hit others is because they have been disciplined?



Another straw man. Heinlein is not talking about how dogs or wolves behave in their natural environment. He is using the analogy of teaching a puppy not to p*** anywhere it wants to raising a child.



So a quick, decisive "timeout" will do the trick as long as it's done within "Unwavering operating value" ?What does that even mean?



And out of those thousands of children, you have never spanked one of them? God help us.
Says you, I have a feeling your definition of abuse might be different than mine. Seeming how you are willing to strike a child in the name of discipline, I'm sure it is.

Talk about a straw man...disciplining no, hitting ... Yes. Children learn by observing the adults in their lives. If you hit them, they will learn that hitting is a way to solve problems.

He used the analogy not me.

Oh... Discipline can go far beyond timeouts... I'm afraid you are constructing more strawmen yourself.

An operating value is a an unspoken or spoken cultural rule with the expectation of people within that culture to follow it. It's far more powerful than standard rules. They are used in business, nations, and even households. When you stand up listening to your national anthem, that is an operating value. In my school, when there is a ceremony everyone and I do mean everyone automatically sits straight up pays attention and the room goes dead silent. Even the loud fidgety four your old complies automatically.

A wonderful example are the highly educated and disceplined Hindu family's in my community. I teach many of them, donate my facilities to their language school, and I love them to death. All of their kids are expected to do well in school, nearly all of them take the highest honer classes and go off to great universities. Non of these kids are partyers or run around the neighborhoods causing problems. They are ultra respectful all the time, and they hardly ever quit... Anything. I have not asked them all, but I know for a fact their cultural values frown heavily upon any kind of violence especially toward their children. I'm not speaking for India here just the culture of these people in my area. These people are not flowery fluffy "timout" people. They lead highly disciplined households. They instal their values through example and strict adaherance of operating values.

Now the kids that get "spanked". They act nothing like these other kids. Violence of any type is only an option in self defense.

Indeed god help us. No I have never struck any of my students as a disciplinary measure. They are not my kids. And if Somone struck my child I might loose control over that self defense rule.

Your complete reasoning is backwards. All scientific and medical research in this area has a unanimouse voice on the issue, and it fits well with a very old and wise adage. " violence begets violence". There is no argument against it. People that believe in hitting their kids were probably hit themselves, thereby completeing the cycle.

Stop hitting children people, it's not doing any good for them or society. And yes. My dad was born in 1929, I grew up with "the switch". And no... The only thing it ever bred in me was anger.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#9    Sherapy

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:59 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 04 March 2013 - 06:25 PM, said:

Anyone who's actually read "Starship Troopers" (one of my favorite books) or any of Heinlein's work knows if anything Heinlein's views were the complete antithesis of fascism; the guy was so libertarian he would probably scare most of today's libertarians.

I think leftists have done an amazing job of equating physical abuse with corporal punishment and American/Western European society is much the poorer for having bought into this.

As an officer in the military--someone who had been required to go through a great deal of training and preparation--I have a very clear understanding that it is almost impossible to have a civilian understand how to function as a soldier.  To require a civilian to act as a soldier would most likely result in his injury, and potentially his death and/or the death of others; and would at least result in their (and my) frustration.  It would be incredibly unfair to simply turn a civilian lose in a military environment and tell him he is now a soldier  The tasks, procedures, processes, and even the terminology one learns basic trainee learns are essential.

As a parent, I realized my child was in the same spot as a civilian is in before undergoing basic training.  He did not have the capability of understanding anything.  Language, spoken or written was absolutely meaningless to him.  I could go hoarse talking to him and he would not understand a single thing. But it was my duty to insure he learned everything necessary for his survival and eventually his success while insuring he did not get himself maimed or killed due to his ignorance.  He did not understand language, but his body came pre-wired to avoid pain and discomfort, so I had to deal with him from that standpoint while I trained him to understand language.  He might not understand, "Please do not yank on the TV's power cord because you may pull the TV off it's pedestal and on your head," but he understood that every time he pulled on the cord I would smack his hand and that hurt and he did not want his hand to hurt, so he should not pull the cord.
Iamson,

This is not a strategy I would use or have used as a parent, corporal punishment is no longer supported in the psychological community, child development, or as a parenting tool today.

I make no value judgements though, it  sounds as if you did not know any other way, the good news is now as a culture (for the last 20 plus years ) we know better ways and what once was the main stay of parenting is of no value/use nowadays (in most circles.)

I have raised 3 amazing sons and I used the current ideas of psychology( profoundly  understanding the stages) my kids went through and adjusting my parenting accordingly. I have not had any problems parenting (or with my kids that required corporal punishment of any kind.) I have been able to talk to my kids (age appropriate of course) from the start. But I parented using reason and my kids use reason to manage their lives, it was not complicated.

IMO--our kids become what we have conditioned them too become, this has a lot to do with how we as the parent understand --not only ourselves-- but our maturing children.

Edited by Sherapy, 04 March 2013 - 07:03 PM.


#10    White Crane Feather

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:07 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 04 March 2013 - 06:25 PM, said:

Anyone who's actually read "Starship Troopers" (one of my favorite books) or any of Heinlein's work knows if anything Heinlein's views were the complete antithesis of fascism; the guy was so libertarian he would probably scare most of today's libertarians.

I think leftists have done an amazing job of equating physical abuse with corporal punishment and American/Western European society is much the poorer for having bought into this.

As an officer in the military--someone who had been required to go through a great deal of training and preparation--I have a very clear understanding that it is almost impossible to have a civilian understand how to function as a soldier.  To require a civilian to act as a soldier would most likely result in his injury, and potentially his death and/or the death of others; and would at least result in their (and my) frustration.  It would be incredibly unfair to simply turn a civilian lose in a military environment and tell him he is now a soldier  The tasks, procedures, processes, and even the terminology one learns basic trainee learns are essential.

As a parent, I realized my child was in the same spot as a civilian is in before undergoing basic training.  He did not have the capability of understanding anything.  Language, spoken or written was absolutely meaningless to him.  I could go hoarse talking to him and he would not understand a single thing. But it was my duty to insure he learned everything necessary for his survival and eventually his success while insuring he did not get himself maimed or killed due to his ignorance.  He did not understand language, but his body came pre-wired to avoid pain and discomfort, so I had to deal with him from that standpoint while I trained him to understand language.  He might not understand, "Please do not yank on the TV's power cord because you may pull the TV off it's pedestal and on your head," but he understood that every time he pulled on the cord I would smack his hand and that hurt and he did not want his hand to hurt, so he should not pull the cord.  I seriously doubt a seven-month-old grasps that a "timeout" is supposed to be discipline.
bull****.

I have never smacked my child's hand. He is 21 months now. He knows exactly what I mean when say no, and I can let him know he is wrong by the look on my face, and if he didn't comply I know what he hates.. If you don't believe me I'll post a video of me scolding him at about 12 months. The look on his face is priceless. Never needed to hit him, in fact our pediatrician carefully reminds us not to do those kinds of things everytime one of our kids get to that age. He dosnt need to tell us, but the medical community is trying to educate all of us. I have two older boys 7 and 5 that we raise the same way. They are models of respect and control in their school. Not that their are not occasional problems at home ( their brothers) but no one has ever struck their little hands. Sheesh people... Just pick up a few books why don't you, go take some childhood development courses, this is not the nintenth century anymore.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#11    IamsSon

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:11 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 04 March 2013 - 07:07 PM, said:

bull****.

I have never smacked my child's hand. He is 21 months now. He knows exactly what I mean when say no, and I can let him know he is wrong by the look on my face, and if he didn't comply I know what he hates.. If you don't believe me I'll post a video of me scolding him at about 12 months. The look on his face is priceless. Never needed to hit him, in fact our pediatrician carefully reminds us not to do those kinds of things everytime one of our kids get to that age. He dosnt need to tell us, but the medical community is trying to educate all of us. I have two older boys 7 and 5 that we raise the same way. They are models of respect and control in their school. Not that their are not occasional problems at home ( their brothers) but no one has ever struck their little hands. Sheesh people... Just pick up a few books why don't you, go take some childhood development courses, this is not the nintenth century anymore.
Yeah, OK.

I've seen kids who are "talked to."  They are the ones who kick their moms, yell and run around in restaurants, can't be taken to the movies because they won't shut up, all while Mommy and Daddy either completely ignore how obnoxious their disrespectful little brat is, or they smile contentedly at how "precocious" their little darling is.

Edited by IamsSon, 04 March 2013 - 07:14 PM.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#12    Sherapy

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:14 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 04 March 2013 - 06:46 PM, said:

Says you, I have a feeling your definition of abuse might be different than mine. Seeming how you are willing to strike a child in the name of discipline, I'm sure it is.

Talk about a straw man...disciplining no, hitting ... Yes. Children learn by observing the adults in their lives. If you hit them, they will learn that hitting is a way to solve problems.

He used the analogy not me.

Oh... Discipline can go far beyond timeouts... I'm afraid you are constructing more strawmen yourself.

An operating value is a an unspoken or spoken cultural rule with the expectation of people within that culture to follow it. It's far more powerful than standard rules. They are used in business, nations, and even households. When you stand up listening to your national anthem, that is an operating value. In my school, when there is a ceremony everyone and I do mean everyone automatically sits straight up pays attention and the room goes dead silent. Even the loud fidgety four your old complies automatically.

A wonderful example are the highly educated and disceplined Hindu family's in my community. I teach many of them, donate my facilities to their language school, and I love them to death. All of their kids are expected to do well in school, nearly all of them take the highest honer classes and go off to great universities. Non of these kids are partyers or run around the neighborhoods causing problems. They are ultra respectful all the time, and they hardly ever quit... Anything. I have not asked them all, but I know for a fact their cultural values frown heavily upon any kind of violence especially toward their children. I'm not speaking for India here just the culture of these people in my area. These people are not flowery fluffy "timout" people. They lead highly disciplined households. They instal their values through example and strict adaherance of operating values.

Now the kids that get "spanked". They act nothing like these other kids. Violence of any type is only an option in self defense.

Indeed god help us. No I have never struck any of my students as a disciplinary measure. They are not my kids. And if Somone struck my child I might loose control over that self defense rule.

Your complete reasoning is backwards. All scientific and medical research in this area has a unanimouse voice on the issue, and it fits well with a very old and wise adage. " violence begets violence". There is no argument against it. People that believe in hitting their kids were probably hit themselves, thereby completeing the cycle.

Stop hitting children people, it's not doing any good for them or society. And yes. My dad was born in 1929, I grew up with "the switch". And no... The only thing it ever bred in me was anger.

Yes, having standards/awareness/education as a parent is the place to start. It is not complicated if we as a parent use violence to solve problems it limits our kids to this as an option for conflict resolution down the road.

I truly do not know of many people that use corporal punishment anymore due to the well documented risks of doing so.

I would recommend reading The Biology of Violence  http://www.goodreads...ogy_of_Violence for an in depth look at  The study of  Biology and human behavior.


#13    CrimsonKing

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:14 PM

Comparing corporal punishment to abuse is asinine.This goes along with the "if someone hits you at school turn around and go tell a teacher" Yeah so they can literally beat the **** out of you when you try to turn and run off.Best way to deal with a bully?Stand up to them and fight back.No wonder our country is full of a bunch of soft help me gov types anymore.The world is a tough place and only getting worse,its time people toughen back up or lay down and get walked over.

"If it is not advantageous,do not move.If objectives can not be attained,do not employ the army.Unless endangered do not engage in warfare.The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger.The general can not engage in battle because of personal frustration.When it is advantageous,move;when not advantageous,stop.Anger can revert to happiness,annoyance can revert to joy,but a vanquished state cannot be revived,the dead cannot be brought back to life." Sun-Tzu

#14    White Crane Feather

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:15 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 04 March 2013 - 07:11 PM, said:

Yeah, OK.

I've seen kids who are "talked to."  They are the ones who kick their moms, yell and run around in restaurants, can't be taken to the movies because they won't shut up, all while Mommy and Daddy either completely ignore how obnoxious their disrespectful little brat is, or they smile contentedly at how "precocious" their little darling is.
Do you not believe me?

There is a difference between undiscplined and disciplined but not violent. A big difference.

Edited by Seeker79, 04 March 2013 - 07:17 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#15    Sherapy

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:17 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 04 March 2013 - 07:07 PM, said:

bull****.

I have never smacked my child's hand. He is 21 months now. He knows exactly what I mean when say no, and I can let him know he is wrong by the look on my face, and if he didn't comply I know what he hates.. If you don't believe me I'll post a video of me scolding him at about 12 months. The look on his face is priceless. Never needed to hit him, in fact our pediatrician carefully reminds us not to do those kinds of things everytime one of our kids get to that age. He dosnt need to tell us, but the medical community is trying to educate all of us. I have two older boys 7 and 5 that we raise the same way. They are models of respect and control in their school. Not that their are not occasional problems at home ( their brothers) but no one has ever struck their little hands. Sheesh people... Just pick up a few books why don't you, go take some childhood development courses, this is not the nintenth century anymore.

Same with me I have 3 sons; I would of not even considered hitting my kids.





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