Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something to Cry About

"Spankings: Effective form of punishment for children or physical abuse."


Now, my mother's black so that means that as a child I was spanked. And today I don't hold any resentment towards her for it. I think I turned out okay. It can be an effective form of punishment to let a child know they fucked up and I've seen plenty of children in need of some stiff correction; time outs just don't cut it sometimes. I know time outs just bored me, they didn't show me that what I did was wrong.

Clearly there's a line to be drawn between spanking and whooping your child's ass, the two are not the same at all. Child abuse is kicking a toddler in the head, punching them in the jaw, depriving them of food and water, telling them they're worthless. A stark difference between that and a firm hand on the butt. True child abuse leaves children traumatized and scarred for years, being corrected with an open hand simply doesn't do that. At least not to me or anyone I know.

As far as spanking turning a person onto rough sex and BDSM later in life, I don't even know where to begin with that.

Teach (Citizen of the World)

The research shows that children who are hit even just occasionally are more aggressive with their peers than those who are never hit by their parents. Which also makes intuitive sense, because the clear message with spanking is that the way you control others or get what you want is to use physical force. Additionally, the research suggests that it may be effective in a short-term way, but does not work in the long run.

There has been extensive scientific research on physical punishment. Just one example - about a third of male children have a lack of a particular gene, which is only linked with later violence if they are physically abused. 85% of those boys, the overwhelming majority, go on to commit violent acts. It isn't clear yet what level of corporal punishment triggers it, but reason Both the American Academy of Pediatrics the American Psychological Association have taken an official stand against any use of corporal punishment. The U.S. stands out among Western societies for their reluctance to let go of hitting children as a means of punishment in the schools. The UN is working to ban the use of violence (and yes, this includes spanking) against children as a form of punishment.

There are philosophical reasons to be opposed to the use of spanking. It's a shame-based punishment. Imagine what your life would be like if your boss were allowed to "correct" you by hitting you? It would be humiliating. Why should children be subject to that sort of humiliation? Some people argue that the Bible advocates physical punishment. Indeed, there are some examples of this in the Old Testament. It condones slavery as well. Jesus, however, never advocates the use of corporal punishment. Quakers, as part of their peace testimony, advocate against hitting children.

On a personal note, my boys are 14 and 11 and neither their father nor I have never hit them. Not once. They are well-behaved in school, academically successful, sociable and compassionate. I know others will disagree with me on this, but when I work with parents in my practice, I always try to help them find other means of discipline. I can't think of a single justification for hitting a child. Here's a link that summarizes some of the research:


Woozie said...

How am I going to argue against a psychologist? THIS IS UNFAIR MAN! It's like Celine Dion vs. Fred Williamson on I Know Black People.

Um, I knew about spanking and increased aggression and didn't really consider that much of a problem. Obviously I didn't know about the 'awakening' violent tendencies part which certainly alters my opinion of spanking.

Kiyotoe said...

Yeah, Teach did break it down for us on the analytical/psychological effects....

HOWEVER, just like you lil' brother, my mom is black too and so is my dad so let's just say I grew up with many opportunities for my violent tendencies to be awakened.

I can only go from personal experience and what I see. When we're lucky enough to bring a life into this world, it's going to be hard for me to raise my son/daughter based on what I've read in a book as opposed to what I've seen with my own eyes to be effective or non-effective.

I just can't see myself sending my kid into a corner after he's flooded the second floor by stopping up the sink and letting the water run. And even if I did, I don't see my kid learning his lesson from that. Not at a young age anyway.

I know first hand that as a kid gets older though, the look of disappointment or hurt in a parent's eyes can be equally if not more painful than a stint across dad's lap.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you were going to post my answer when you emailed me. I should hit you for that.

And by the way, both my parents are white, and I was hit all the freaking time when I was growing up.

Woozie said...

Damn negro, three posts. You gonna go out like this?

Robin said...

Glad to see you at my place.

Were our answers so bad you've decided to quit?

Then again, all alright?

Give it up, Lav....

(I mean... Woozie's watching...).