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View Poll Results: Physical punishment aganist children. Acceptable or Unacceptable?
Acceptable 50 56.82%
Unacceptable 38 43.18%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-18-2009, 08:45 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by adidasss View Post

Do you think society would run amuck if corporal punishment was outlawed everywhere? Because the evidence in Sweden seems to be pretty positive so far...*unsure*
If a child isn't taught discipline from an early age, then how are they going to understand rules and show respect for authority?
Tantrums, poor schoolwork and bullying other kids is usually the result.
Some kids need a smack because all else fails.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:46 AM   #82 (permalink)
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do any of yall got kids? Thats my first question.
i got three children 11,8 and 4.

Do i spank em? GOttDamm right I do, if they Try to Disrespect me or an Elder.
(children test their limits) thats a fact.( not my lil one tho) shes still learnin REspect.
IF you dont give a $hit bout your child you will let him do whatever the fack he/she wants to do with out callin him/her out.

That IMO is messed up.
I would rather my kids know whats up and whats expected from them and whats expected from THier mommas side, than be all weird and shady bout $hit!
I agree that kids need negative consequences for negative actions and I also agree that punishment needs to be consistent so they know what goes and what doesn't.

However, have you ever thought about replacing the ass-whoopin' with another less physical method like timeout? Or do you feel that physical punishment is the only viable option here?

And this might be a weird thing to ask, but do you feel like if your children don't respond well to spanking, the solution is to spank them harder next time? I'm guessing I would because it seems intuitive.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:47 AM   #83 (permalink)
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i've been following this and i don't really want to get too much more involved but I had to comment, after all you know where i stand vaguely - but tore surely on some level this whole thread concept is intuitive on your part?
As those of us who were smacked draw on our personal experience to assert that measured 'positive discipline' is not harmful in the long term (a grand generalization to be sure); surely yourself (and i'm guessing Marijan) are taking the 'well I wasn't physically punished and I turned out fine, so any form of corporal discipline is unnecessary and cruel' stance?
I know you have good intentions and are interested in the wider effect of this ingrained method of child-rearing, but doesn't the sheer majority (even in these comparatively 'lax' and conscientious times) in the poll make you think that maybe this kind of scolding is natural in society? Welly maybe not natural (we like to think of ourselves as reasoned, evolved beings after all) but not so abhorrent and inexcusable?

I think maybe you are playing down the personal experience part a bit too much, because this is important for gauging that line between discipline and abuse, which I won't even try to deny is a huge problem (although just how endemic it is I don't know, where are the figures and how reliable are they?), nobody here is claiming to having been abused.

On the face of it illegalizing corporal punishment outright is an assured way of reducing *reported* child abuse. But isn't it also a gross violation into people's domestic lives, their privacy?
I can't be bothered to chase up the wiki sources, but I guess for these social analysis they interview a cross section of society and draw their conclusions on averages? I will admit that I'm far from perfect and not the most well-rounded individual, but not even on a subconscious level could I trace it back to the occasional smacks I had as a young child... I'm not prepared to make that generalization for everybody here either

However I think there's possibly something in it. My family could be very argumentative at times (okay, often) but this was only in teenhood when the hormones were really flying. Was it suppressed rage from growing up with the threat of physical violence? I don't think so as I can tell you if I really was intent on doing something I shouldn't as a 5 year old, I would probably do it repeatedly if I thought I could get away with it... It wasn't an ever-present threat either from my dad, but a last resort.

I don't know your (tore and Marijan's) family circumstances growing up, but I can tell you that living in close quarters with several siblings with two working parents is probably more likely to lead to a dysfunctional family unit - when kids are bored they do stupid things and they need attention as much as they need their own space, stress levels can go through the roof for parents and a smack can be the most effective way for kids to differentiate.
These kind of working/lower-middle class living conditions are obviously really common and on a practical level I would be interested to hear what alternative methods you might advocate under these circumstances?
Or indeed how well these legislations have gone down in Sweden? Are Sweden and Norway not comparatively wealthy countries with historically liberal attitudes? (I'm not against this)

edit: this is a shambolic mess of a post, but i'm hoping you'll pick it apart so i can respond
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Last edited by Molecules; 03-18-2009 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:47 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Molecules View Post
edit: this is a shambolic mess of a post, but i'm hoping you'll pick it apart so i can respond
I agree, but I'll try and do my best

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Originally Posted by Molecules View Post
i've been following this and i don't really want to get too much more involved but I had to comment, after all you know where i stand vaguely - but tore surely on some level this whole thread concept is intuitive on your part?
As those of us who were smacked draw on our personal experience to assert that measured 'positive discipline' is not harmful in the long term (a grand generalization to be sure); surely yourself (and i'm guessing Marijan) are taking the 'well I wasn't physically punished and I turned out fine, so any form of corporal discipline is unnecessary and cruel' stance?
I have referred to personal experiences, but I can say right now it's not what I really wanted. When I did it, it was only to try and make points at the same level as others as most posters in this thread have been speaking from personal experience and seem to put more credibility in it than I think I do personally.

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Originally Posted by Molecules View Post
I know you have good intentions and are interested in the wider effect of this ingrained method of child-rearing, but doesn't the sheer majority (even in these comparatively 'lax' and conscientious times) in the poll make you think that maybe this kind of scolding is natural in society? Welly maybe not natural (we like to think of ourselves as reasoned, evolved beings after all) but not so abhorrent and inexcusable?
Violence is part of human nature and also the natures of many other animals. However, I don't think the goal of a society should be to live as natural as possible. For example, for males - rape can be a very good strategy for reproduction. After all, the cost of having a child that way for the male is very little if the mother is the one bringing it up and we see these strategies and counter strategies in many species of animals. There's no reason to think it can't be viable for humans, but we still don't want it in our societies.

In society, we give up freedoms for the greater good. Maybe some of those freedoms are freedoms to do things that may come natural to some of us. It's a social contract - I agree to give up my right to hit my children if everyone else does the same. However, even if hitting is natural, I think it's by far most natural for those who were hit themselves. As stated and supported before, the behaviour is inherited through practice.

I think a better goal for society would be to increase the happiness of it's members and I think a ban on corporal punishment would help further that goal. The reasons are numerous and you've undoubtedly read many of them already. A rough general idea could go like this : violence leads to unhappiness and more violence. I think when you introduce spanking, that in turn may generate even more spankers (also found scientific support for this). Such a positive feedback doesn't necessarily concern itself with wether the spanking is on the whole positive or negative, so it can spread a negative trend in society.

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Originally Posted by Molecules View Post
I think maybe you are playing down the personal experience part a bit too much, because this is important for gauging that line between discipline and abuse, which I won't even try to deny is a huge problem (although just how endemic it is I don't know, where are the figures and how reliable are they?), nobody here is claiming to having been abused.
I recognise that the majority won't have any problems with this and that even if there are problems, they can be hard to spot judging from only one's own experiences. Noone knows how things could have been like in a separate reality where people upheld a ban for example.

However, I think small differences in simple things like how we communicate with eachother will eventually become a big impact even if they seem trivial on the individual scale. Also, I'm not just interested in majority who have no problems .. I'm also interested in the minority and if they are represented here, I'm guessing many of then wouldn't want to "come out" with their stories of how they were abused in this thread .. I expect them to be a minority and also further underrepresented in addition to that.

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Originally Posted by Molecules View Post
On the face of it illegalizing corporal punishment outright is an assured way of reducing *reported* child abuse. But isn't it also a gross violation into people's domestic lives, their privacy?
No because the number 1 goal of such a law is not to invade homes and punish smacking parents. The article which evaluated the effects of the ban in Sweden posted 3 goals where the number 1 I believe was to change how people view violence against children. Number 2 was to make abuse more "visible" and abuse is by definition not the same as corporal punishment, but in a society without such punishment, abuse stands out more easily.

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Originally Posted by Molecules View Post
My family could be very argumentative at times (okay, often) but this was only in teenhood when the hormones were really flying. Was it suppressed rage from growing up with the threat of physical violence?
I can only speculate that if my father had smacked me when I was a teenager, I might've smacked back. They didn't give me much to rebel against and I think that smacking would've put fuel on my fire and distanced us further.

Don't take this as an argument against anything by the way and feel free to forget it. It's only me wondering out loud and sharing some thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molecules View Post
I don't know your (tore and Marijan's) family circumstances growing up, but I can tell you that living in close quarters with several siblings with two working parents is probably more likely to lead to a dysfunctional family unit - when kids are bored they do stupid things and they need attention as much as they need their own space, stress levels can go through the roof for parents and a smack can be the most effective way for kids to differentiate.
These kind of working/lower-middle class living conditions are obviously really common and on a practical level I would be interested to hear what alternative methods you might advocate under these circumstances?
Or indeed how well these legislations have gone down in Sweden? Are Sweden and Norway not comparatively wealthy countries with historically liberal attitudes? (I'm not against this)
This is harder for me to reply to because I have no experience as a parent. Again, I have to speculate, but like you (I think) I believe that raising kids without corporal punishment will be harder than with it. Possibly, it requires more work on behalf of the parents - at least until the kids understand the negative consequences and know when they apply (f.ex when the kids stop testing the limits).

A popular alternative to corporal punishment is timeout which is supposed to be very effective (the child is put in a timeout zone and has to stay there for f.ex the same amount of minutes as their age). A potential drawback is that the kids will probably have to "test out" this system before it works properly and that initial period will probably drive parents temporarily mad. Also, a focus on rewards for good behaviour (positive reinforcement) rather than punishment for bad (negative reinforcement) is supposedly very effective.

If you remove corporal punishment, you are essentially removing that tool from the parenting toolbox. I agree that this can make it harder for many parents, especially those who have relatively few tools. Maybe one should make parenting courses more easily accessible/cheaper/etc alongside a law like this.

As for the ban's success in Sweden, I posted the abstract of an article describing the effects of the law on the first page. The law has been in place since 1979 and society have since progressed in every area the law was supposed to improve it in, so the conclusion is that it was successful.

I think it would be successful for Norway as well
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:35 AM   #85 (permalink)
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I can only speculate that if my father had smacked me when I was a teenager, I might've smacked back. They didn't give me much to rebel against and I think that smacking would've put fuel on my fire and distanced us further.
Hahaha no I didn't mean I got smacked as a teenager, I was just speculating on these claims that smacking young children contributes to an angry personality and maybe my family would have been more harmonious when I got older had I been spared the rod (like the Flanders family in the Simpsons), as this is the angriest period I remember, but that's teenagers for you so probably not!

In principle I agree with everything you've said, it's idealistic and god knows a Utopian planet and a race free of violence and the need to ever use physical force is easy to balk at; but I'm a pessimist and I don't think people will ever evolve past their greed and instincts of self-preservation, and as such will find it very hard to self-lobotomize themselves of aggressive instincts. Belabouring the point a little maybe, but I think that kind of sea change would be necessary for average, time-constrained, nerve-shredded wageslaves to take the time to get over that initial hump when it comes to gaining your child's respect through alternative methods.

All of this is pure conjecture for me anyway being far from a parent, but if it ever transpires I have kids I'm sure like any civilized person I would belate physical punishment for as long as possible - unlike my parent's generation I'll have these 'naughty corner' methods to try out.

Oh and I remember my parents once trying a bit of positive reinforcement, except instead of buying us stuff for being good we got to choose chores out of a jar. I guess the raffle element was meant to enthuse us. Needless to say that didn't last long...

At the end of the day I am still slightly ambiguous about the evidence at hand, of course I would love it if there were no more pathetic specimens who took out their rage on their children, and anybody would stand up against that minority. So why not cut it off at the source? Really why not? Instinct, social norms, habit, convenience... So many excuses.

I'm going to go courting now and I'll get back to you in a few years and tell you how it all worked out. If tore's parents could pull it off then I'm sure with alot of perseverance, patience and Music For Airports drowning out the screams I could raise a good kid without having to smack them more than 10 times . Or maybe it's just a Norwegian thing...
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:42 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Satch, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head.

And I think that what you said about the percentage of physical discipline that parents are issuing these days is definitely abuse.
That would be the data Tore is looking at and not realizing that physical discipline done the right way is not contributing to his figures.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #87 (permalink)
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A popular alternative to corporal punishment is timeout which is supposed to be very effective (the child is put in a timeout zone and has to stay there for f.ex the same amount of minutes as their age). A potential drawback is that the kids will probably have to "test out" this system before it works properly and that initial period will probably drive parents temporarily mad. Also, a focus on rewards for good behaviour (positive reinforcement) rather than punishment for bad (negative reinforcement) is supposedly very effective.
* negative punishment

reinforcement = the act of trying to promote a behavior; positive adds a good stimulus (i.e. reward), negative removes a bad stimulus

punishment = the act of trying to discourage a behavior; positive removes a good stimulus, negative adds a bad stimulus (i.e. spanking)

strictly based on psychology definitions, anyways.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:24 PM   #88 (permalink)
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* negative punishment

reinforcement = the act of trying to promote a behavior; positive adds a good stimulus (i.e. reward), negative removes a bad stimulus

punishment = the act of trying to discourage a behavior; positive removes a good stimulus, negative adds a bad stimulus (i.e. spanking)

strictly based on psychology definitions, anyways.
edit :

Dur, at first I didn't get your point. You're right, punishment and reinforcement are different things. My bad!
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:09 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Regarding the studies you posted, how many other factors did they investigate? Because I think that corporal punishment would be much more common in homes of a lower socio-economic status, a situation that already skews the child's development slightly towards the results of the study.

There are so many variables in the statistics that I kinda feel like it would be a case of over regulation to make laws based off that evidence.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:25 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Regarding the studies you posted, how many other factors did they investigate? Because I think that corporal punishment would be much more common in homes of a lower socio-economic status, a situation that already skews the child's development slightly towards the results of the study.

There are so many variables in the statistics that I kinda feel like it would be a case of over regulation to make laws based off that evidence.
That's certainly a good point and I'm sure the setup for many of these tests are not ideal as such trends are very hard to study. However, judging from the amount of studies covering this from different angles and ending up at the same conclusions, I'd say I think the overall pattern is credible.

I'm also sure there's a fair amount of misinformation out there from both sides of the fence considering how this issue emotionally involves so many different people, but at least scientific ethics should help keep such corruption out of scientific results.
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