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DCF leader: It's OK to spank
August 17, 2002 6:35 AM   Subscribe

DCF leader: It's OK to spank The man named Thursday by Gov. Jeb Bush to head Florida's notoriously inept child welfare agency is an evangelical Christian who views spanking that causes ''bruises or welts'' as acceptable punishment. In a 1989 essay entitled The Christian World View of the Family, Regier and co-author George Rekers railed against abortion and gay couples forming families, and emphasized that husbands have ``final say in any family dispute.''
posted by bas67 (82 comments total)

 
The essay also said Christians should not marry non-Christians, that divorce is acceptable only when there is adultery or desertion and that wives should view working outside the home as ''bondage.'' The ''radical feminist movement,'' the essay adds, ``has damaged the morale of many women and convinced men to relinquish their biblical authority in the home.'' Is this guy scary or what?!?!
posted by bas67 at 6:36 AM on August 17, 2002


Florida again, eh? Startin' to seem like a 50-foot concrete wall built along the southern Georgia border would solve a lot of problems these days ...
posted by RavinDave at 6:56 AM on August 17, 2002


We could always just give Florida back to Spain.
posted by Locke at 7:30 AM on August 17, 2002


The essay also said Christians should not marry non-Christians

fact: I recently broke up with my girlfriend because she was just too unbaringly right wing. I mean, I can handle keeping under god in the pledge, but a nationwide ban on gay marriages? LATER, TOOTS!

Florida again, eh? Startin' to seem like a 50-foot concrete wall built along the southern Georgia border would solve a lot of problems these days ...

why not the whole mason-dixon line? just give me some advance warning.

anyways, I dunno about spanking to the point of welts, but the luxury of age (er, sorta!) has afforded me the opportunity to be thankful my parents didn't spare the rod. I'm afraid my peers definitely missed out on the discipline boat. is anyone with me?
posted by mcsweetie at 7:30 AM on August 17, 2002


No, I wish they had spared it.

People who suffered through corporal punishment as children seem to wear it as a badge of honor, like "it was bad, but it made me a better person for having survived it. Look how unspoiled I am."

Hitting someone is almost always wrong, especially a child.
posted by swift at 7:49 AM on August 17, 2002


Maybe he'll spank some sense into Jeb's unruly offspring.
posted by rushmc at 7:53 AM on August 17, 2002


Ugh, no, Mcsweetie. I was slapped so often that I automatically flinched whenever my mother came into range. That and the belt, hairbrush, ping pong paddle, and wooden spoon never did anything to adjust my "attitude" which was my parents' chief complaint about me.

All the parenting classes and books that I have read lead me to believe that corporal punishment is just flat-out wrong. You cannot teach your children how to chose the right path in life by instilling fear in them. Once the fear of punishment is removed (i.e. the child gets bigger and stronger than the parent), then his/her choices become based on what s/he thinks s/he can get away with.

Understand, I do not advocate no punishment or no boundries. Just not physical punishment. Let the child learn there are consequences to his/her actions in the form of loss of treats, timeouts, etc.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:00 AM on August 17, 2002


Let the child learn there are consequences to his/her actions in the form of loss of treats, timeouts, etc
Secret Life of Gravy, that's all fine and dandy. But there are problems with that comment.
And his name is Griffin. I told myself that I would never spank a child, or resort to physical punishment before I had children, and then Griff came along.
If I take away treats, he screams and hits louder because his treats get taken away. If I do a time-out, he screams and hits everyone because he knows that time-out can be held off by more screaming and hitting.
My child has no mental or physical defects, and is very intelligent. So intelligent that it scares me, quite frankly.
A little pat on the butt does wonders for a kid. (No, not a beating. I am strictly against this form of abuse.) The spankings he gets are basically the equivalent of someone swapping your behind with a feather, but it does the trick.
posted by bradth27 at 8:25 AM on August 17, 2002 [1 favorite]


Actually enforcing discipline is a lot harder that just giving the kid a swat. You have to set up rules from a very early age and remain consistent with them. No would always have to mean no. Never once did I have to hit my son. If he acted out in public as a toddler we just left, no "you better stop or I'm gonna...." and then never follow through. Kids will test the boundaries. They are supposed to and you as the parent are supposed to set them and remain firm. Yes it's hard to have to leave a restaurant or party or to have to ground the kid because then you are grounded too. But hitting kids only teaches them to hit and to fear you, not to respect you. There were very few fits with my son because no always meant no, not ask again and again until the parent gives in. Kids are smart and if you give in once they think you always will.

As far Florida is concerned the whole place is just nuts.
posted by bas67 at 8:25 AM on August 17, 2002


bas67, you have stated the matter perfectly. In my corner of the world, I see the lack of consistancy as the greatest parenting failure, usually because the parent becomes worn out before the child. It is amazing what energy the little guys can summon to get their way.

bradth27, you have my deepest sympathies. Sounds like you have an exceptional child on your hands. Here's hoping he will turn out to be a brillant free thinker.

By the way, is it just me or do have the Bushes have an inherent knack of chosing the wrong person for the job?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:48 AM on August 17, 2002


We could always just give Florida back to Spain.

You think Spain would be silly enough to take them? Better idea: give Florida to Quebec. (Then, when Quebec cedes, they'll have somewhere to move.)

IMO, spanking is the refuge of parents who haven't the willpower to find another solution. There is always a non-violent solution -- but it might require creativity or commitment that the parent is unable to give.

An idea for dealing with Griff, for instance: empty out a spare room in your house. Put Griff in that room when he's tantruming, and close the door. The worst he can do is punch a hole in the wall. It's a time-out: he doesn't get to choose not to be timed-out.

Or maybe he needs to run off his anger. Have him run laps around the block. You can follow on a bicycle (no need to punish yourself!)

Or maybe he does have a physical mental defect. Maybe his brain chemistry is screwy. You can tell by looking.

Meds would be an absolute last resort, of course. Far more likely is that your discipline has been inconsistent, and he has learned how to behave in a way that gets him his way. "So intelligent that it scares me" sounds like he's smart enough to have your number: get a little violent, and he gets to control you.

Parenting's a bitch, eh?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:52 AM on August 17, 2002


Regier has disassociated himself from that essay and its views.
He said he broke his relationship with The Coalition on Revival Inc. a year after the paper was published because of the group's extreme interpretations of the Bible.

"It is not my position that corporal punishment should result in welts or bruises," Regier wrote. "My own wife of 34 years is a registered nurse, and I am extremely supportive of her career. I support women in the work force as well as women holding an equal role in marriage."
Hm. Sounds like the Miami Herald didn't do its homework very well.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:56 AM on August 17, 2002


So Bush is trying to hide behind the fact (if it is fact) that he did not know about this guy's writings before he hired him? Isn't it a bit irresponsible not to discuss opinions on children and family with the guy who you're naming to run the Department of Children and Famlies?
posted by troybob at 8:57 AM on August 17, 2002


Parenting's a bitch, eh?
Yes it is. He's actually a wonderful kid, don't get me wrong. He's only about to turn 3, so jogging around the block might not be a good idea at this point. However, I have tried the empty room technique, and it worked a few times...at first. He's too smart to punch holes in the wall, he knows Dad would pat his butt. heh. What that usually results in is he screams and screams and screams until he screams some more and then the wife and I decide that we need some sleep after a few hours of screaming.... plus, I would like for him to have vocal chords when he gets older.
The last time I tried it, he figured out how to open the window, locks and all, take off the screen, (storm windows no less!), and crawl out.... at 2 years old. I thought it was working until I looked out the window and he was happily playing on his swingset.
Sometimes, there are unique situations. My Mom tells me my sister was the same way, although I never had tantrums such as this. Mom said that what she would do would be to back her up to the crack in a door, put her shirt-tail in the crack, close the door, and let her stand there screaming and punching air until she exhausted herself. My sister has a child that also had similiar problems, and is now perfectly fine at 11, which gives me some hope. ( My sister is a wonderful, laid-back schoolteacher, so she turned out okay too.)
I have always felt that physical punishment is wrong, but this child has changed my views. I don't really even spank the kid, I only pat him lightly, really. But it seems to do wonders. If I lock him in a room, (time-out) he screams for hours to be let out. If I pat him on the butt, he instantly stops whatever he's doing and says "Okay, Dad. " and smiles.
This tends to make me think this is the punishment most suited for this particular child. If he screams too long, his nose gets all snotty, and his eyes puff out, and he starts foaming at the mouth and choking on snot and foam and...you get the picture. Plus, for a few days afterwards, his voice is all scratchy. This goes on until he falls asleep standing up mumbling to himself while crying. This actually seems more psychologically damaging to him than a little pat on his rear. He suffers hardly at all, and he almost always goes back to being the good kid again.
As for this guy in Florida? He's nuts.
posted by bradth27 at 9:12 AM on August 17, 2002


Hm. Sounds like the Miami Herald didn't do its homework very well.

So he was co-chairman of a group, had his name on their publications, but didn't know what they actually published?

Either:
-He supports these draconian, backwards beliefs.
-He is capable of being completely ignorant of the operations of an organization he is leading.

Either way, sounds like a spectacular manager for the DCF, eh?
posted by malphigian at 9:14 AM on August 17, 2002


bradth, you may want to hunt down a book titled "The Omnipotent Child."

Note that your behaviour is rewarding his behaviour: ultimately, he wins. He has dictated your behaviour.

Your mother has provided suggestions that will prevent him from thwarting the time-out room.

I'm also going to step right in it and state that your child has bizarre brain wiring/chemistry. Screaming uncontrollably for hours on end is not normal.

As an off-the-wall suggestion, try treating his screaming bout as hyperventilation. Have him breathe from a paper bag for a minute, see if that calms him down.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:30 AM on August 17, 2002


The problems you hear about Florida stem a great deal from the transient nature of the state's population. A wall might not be a bad idea, if it keeps all the nuts from up north from rolling down here.

I am no fan of Jip! Jeb, but this story seem mucky and sensational. I would not wish the job of running DCF on anyone, but this guy has not even been given a chance. But then again, it is election time, so let the mud fly!
posted by piskycritter at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2002


Either:
-He supports these draconian, backwards beliefs.
-He is capable of being completely ignorant of the operations of an organization he is leading.


That sounds like another great leader I know.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:42 AM on August 17, 2002


Fish, I'd like to see YOU force a three year old that's screaming and punching and etc. to breathe through a paper bag for a few minutes.

Bradth - Get your kid checked out learning disabilities/intellect level. There are child shrinks that can play with your kid for a few hours and then give you reccomendations about how to treat and discipline the child. My sister and I both have genious level intellects in some areas, but she's crippled by a complete lack of self-confidence and I've got a type of high-functioning autism called Aspbergers. For me, a simple change of diet fixed most things. Being able to undo screens and locks (esp. if child-safed) is not what I remember normal three-year-old behaviour as. Does your son play with Legos? Or at this point, Duplos, the monster-sized version?

As far as kids go, my sis and I were both hell children.
As far as spanking/hitting kids go, consistent punishment (no matter what it is, really) is the only thing that will not psychologically damage a kid. Note that Dr. Spock, the original salesman for the 'be nice to your kids' thing, has since retrated his book and statments that it's never OK to hit kids.
My grandmother used to break wooden spoons over my dad's rear when he misbehaved, up until he was a teenager and finally got bigger than her. At that point, he didn't need the discipline anymore. *he turned out fine*. When I was two and three, my parents did precisely what bradth is doing... a pat on the rear, and a couple of good swats when something especially severe happened. The spanking was punishment, the pat was the reminder that we could be punished for what we just did. After we reached kindergarten age, we didn't need to be spanked or even patted. The last time my mom touched me in any sort of anger is when I got in a three-hour running argument with her over cleaning my room, and she hauled off and smacked me. That was 11 years ago. I haven't fought with anyone like that since then. See? Proper result!

Teach children consequences of their actions. Newton's Second Law, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction" should apply to behaviour modification as well. Note that I am not saying haul off and beat the carp out of your kids, but a judicious tap or paddling when something bad happens keeps a child's behaviour within tolerances, which is precisely what parenting is designed to do.
posted by SpecialK at 9:47 AM on August 17, 2002


The Miami Herald did its homework. Mr. Regier is listed right now on the Coalition on Revival 's website as a member of its Steering Committee:

http://www.reformation.net/cor/steeringcte.htm.

I guess he forgot to tell them he was no longer on board.
posted by rdone at 10:00 AM on August 17, 2002


I grew up in a spanking house - never to the point of getting welts though. But I knew that i should stop what I was doing when my mom mentioned "the paddle." And I turned out fine, IMHO. So mark one point for the spankers.

My girlfriend grew up much differently - her parents never laid a hand on her, and she frequently slept in their bed. It seems kinda creepy to me, but she turned out fine as well. So mark a point for the non-spankers.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 10:11 AM on August 17, 2002


spanking is not beating. spanking is more of an association of bad consequence (pain) with bad action (misbehavior).

beating is the crazy shit where the kid is unconscious, heavily bruised, or bleeding as a result.

there are some kids who don't need to be spanked. some kids are just born good listeners and have been taught well by their parents to listen.

however.

when little kids lets sat 4-7 are acting up, it is not ok to beat a kid into a coma. they're little kids!
it is ok to give them a corrective shock when they screw up. some kids deserve it.

you can't explain laws of physics to (most) first graders. you can't "reason with them with a non-violent solution." they are children. a five year old will not fully grasp the concept of throwing bugs at girls and eating dirt.

i'm sure we've all been in a store when a punk kid is whining and screaming because his mom is denying him the newest superpowerpokefightermaxmachinemonbot and therefore denying him true universal happiness.

i think childrens actions make it pretty obvious that they aren't adults nor do they have a mature view of the world and how it works (well, duh). this is why we treat them "like children."

no, you can't spank an underling at work when they screw up. yes, you can spank your kid when they screw up.

anyone who says otherwise, has not had to deal with multiple children on a regular basis. if you see one or two kids in your day, then you might luck out and visit 2 angels or something.

try teaching or summer camp counciling, you will see the truth.
posted by RubiX^3 at 10:13 AM on August 17, 2002


The essay also said Christians should not marry non-Christians, that divorce is acceptable only when there is adultery or desertion

I guess I don't see the problem with those two point, although I would add abuse as a qualifier for acceptable divorce. It just seems like common sense that inter-religious marriages will be problematic. Of course, if he wants to make these things law, well, thats another thing entirely.

Also, I was spanked with a wooden spoon on occasion. Usually for breaking something, or saying or doing something disrespectful. It's an attention getter which snapped me (and I saw it work for my sisters, who were RARELY, if ever, spanked) out of many a temper tantrum. As Rubix said, not all children need to be spanked, but you can always tell the difference between a parent who disciplined their children and one who did not. I bet Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold were never spanked, or disciplined in any way, for that matter. (I know many of you claim that there are great alternative ways to discipline a child, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to reason or even communicate with a 3-7 year old in the midst of a temper tantrum, they have to be physically moved to another room or tapped to get them to listen). Again, discipline is the key, and for some children, spanking is an appropriate type of discipline. Spanking != beating. I guess in Sweden, though, there is no distinction between the two.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2002


"Florida? But that's America's wang!"
             --Homer Simpson
posted by arco at 10:23 AM on August 17, 2002


I'm also going to step right in it and state that your child has bizarre brain wiring/chemistry. Screaming uncontrollably for hours on end is not normal.

It isn't as if he does it all the time. Maybe once a week or so. He's stubborn, not wired wrong. Trust me.
As an off-the-wall suggestion, try treating his screaming bout as hyperventilation. Have him breathe from a paper bag for a minute, see if that calms him down.

My child settles down instantly with a little pat. Why should I offer the horror of forcing him to do something like this? Jesus, the visual is scary even to me.

SpecialK-
Thanks. I feel horrible for what I do, even though it's the equivelant of someone coming up behind you and giving you a pat ont he back. That's how hard his "spankings" are.
As for seeing a specialist, I have sent him to three. They usually tell me "This is one smart kid" and then tell me to use time-out, or give me a prescription for medication. No thanks, no Stepford children around my house.
posted by bradth27 at 10:24 AM on August 17, 2002


malphigian: did you read the Post article? Non-profits always try to line up a raft of impressive co-chairs for their letterhead. He joined, found the group was too extreme for his beliefs, and quit it. How is this unreasonable? I belonged to the Sierra Club for a year before I realized they weren't really interested in the environment, and quit. (No, I wasn't a co-chair...)

The Herald reporters didn't do their homework because it looks like they didn't make a serious attempt to interview Regier on this issue (they couldn't have waited a couple hours for him to get off the plane?) but instead freely quoted his political enemies from Oklahoma and local Democratic candidates. The Herald rushed into print, the Post waited a day and got a more balanced story.

rdone, don't misrepresent the data. Those aren't the current members of the board. Those are "Steering Committee Members who Signed the Manifesto in 1986". Regier says he quit about a year after that essay was published in 1989. The site itself says, "Among these Christian leaders are some who have since passed on or who have since retracted their support for COR, its vision, and its goals." You can almost smell the dudgeon.

BTW, five fresh fish, I love the idea of giving Florida to Quebec. Have you got a province interested in taking Mississippi off our hands? Maybe the EU would like to take DC...
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:25 AM on August 17, 2002


Yes, I read the article, no disagreement that the Herald reporters did a hack job, my point was about the man himself...

Whatever non-profits do to "round up" people, it doesn't say much about the man that he was a co-chair for even a year... either he agreed with their beliefs, or he was clueless about an organization he put his name on as a "co-chair".

So, he's a reactionary or he's oblivious, take your pick.
posted by malphigian at 10:41 AM on August 17, 2002


Hitting someone is almost always wrong, especially a child.

Thanks for asserting your moral superiority, swift. Do you have any basis for your sweeping conclusion?

I'm with mcsweetie. My parents slapped me on the butt on a few occasions (well short of bruising), and I think I am better for the experience. I am certainly not going to rule out spanking my children, although it will not be my first choice.

A professor once told me that he spanks his children only in cases where they directly question his authority. That's a little vague, but seems like a good starting point.
posted by Galvatron at 10:51 AM on August 17, 2002


malphigian: he's definitely a reactionary, if by that you mean a right-wing fundamentalist Christian. I'm sure I, no less than you, disagree with many of his core religious beliefs. But that doesn't mean he's a bad hire for the post he's in. I'm not concerned that some Oklahoma state representatives from the opposition party are happy to bad-mouth him.

I'm mainly annoyed that it looks like those Herald reporters did a smear job on him. The man is credited with rooting out corruption in Oklahoma's Department of Health and Human Services. Geez, give him a chance.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:12 AM on August 17, 2002


Just to jump in a little on the bradth27 thing:

The whole point of not spanking a child is to avoid trauma to the child. If a timeout is massively more traumatic, then it defeats the entire purpose. It doesn't sound as if Brad is beating is child--in fact it barely sounds like a spanking. It sounds like a rather gentle, though physical, way of saying "no". It produces the desired results without drugging or traumatizing the child. The boy hasn't "won" anything--he's obedient when this method is used. He's learning to be a good human being. I fail to see what's wrong with that, as the method is relatively gentle.

I'm a little boggled at hearing "time out at all costs" and "drug the child"--those scenarios are infinitely worse than what is being done now.

And before you ask: no, I don't have children. I'm looking at this from a purely practical standpoint. Get the job done with the least harm. That's what Brad is doing, and good on him.
posted by frykitty at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2002


malphigian: or he's a liar, no?

bas67: i think you're methods will eventually win, whereas i'm sure that corporal punishment almost always has negative side effects.

Besides, properly managed restraints work just as well as smacks: any child up to the age of , say 7 y.o. (by which time certain lessons will have usually been learnt, and some stages grown out of) should be 'holdable' by the average parent. By this I mean a short term, firm, loving but overwhelming cuddle or hug, with arms and - if necessary - legs temporarily immobilised. No discipline should be without a time limit, and its sufficient to only hold a child till the 'emergency' or danger has passed.

No child should learn that consequences are avoidable - they don't distinguish between 'natural' consequences ("playing with fire leads to pain quite often") and logical ones ("if you hit your baby brother, I will remove a privilege"). There's a lot more to holding than i've described here, i've been trained in it over many years, and know the limits which must be in place to prevent its overuse / abuse. However, it is more effective, more humane and less abusive than allowing an out of control child to use his or her distress to dominate a family, and not learn of consequences.

On the issue of that guy getting the top job in Childrens Services: it wouldn't happen here, as parents can be prosecuted for physical abuse for what he thinks is acceptable. Besides, he's confused his personal & professional boudaries to the extent that a member of a different faith would likely have no trust in the guy treating him/her with no prejudice. He's overstepped the mark, and should not be employed in that position.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:30 AM on August 17, 2002


As a parent, the occasional swat for young children was invaluable. Marks and bruises, never. Hitting in anger, never.
For what it's worth, even WorldNetDaily reports this appointment and his history as news, not a vendetta against one of their own.
posted by Buckley at 11:31 AM on August 17, 2002


More on Regier from Oklahoma (I haven't had time to blog this myself yet, but I will):

He is a right-winger, a friend of Gov. Frank Keating's, and headed the Oklahoma Department of Health for five years. It's agreed he did a good job cleaning up waste and corruption there, but it's also agreed that anyone who tried could have done the same thing. The Oklahoma Health Dept. was run for years by a strong politician who treated it much like J. Edgar treated the FBI, and it took about 10-15 years after his departure for anyone to force changes in it. So credit him with doing a job that needed to be done.

Other than that, Regier's service is, shall we say, uninspired. He's a darling of the right wing because he took more than $10 million in unspent welfare money -- yes, money that the state did not spend on aid to families with children by ruling them ineligible to receive it -- and spent it on the ridiculous "Marriage Initiative" that encourages parents to get married whether they love each other or not. This is the same program Bush has modeled his federal version upon, supposedly because Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation and something "must be done." (As it turns out, Oklahoma's divorce rate is about 31st in the nation, and lower than just about any surrounding state. Oops, the right-wing isn't stopping that from funnelling millions to churches to push kids to the altar.)

Regier undisputedly awarded over a million dollars in state contracts to a political friend by circumventing the competitive bidding process, but only one Democratic state senator had the nerve to say anything about it. And he spent who knows how many thousands of dollars running for governor here earlier this year before actually bothering to find out he's ineligible to hold the office. He was a Reagan-Bush bureaucrat until Clinton was elected and, like Oklahoma's current governor, only came to Oklahoma when he got kicked out of his political appointee job.

Once again, Oklahoma media, led by what CJR calls The Worst Newspaper In America for its deliberate policy of not criticizing right-wingers, failed to report on this "Chrisitan World View of the Family" paper despite Regier being in high state office for over five years, and despite the man being a gubernatorial candidate for months. It took Florida media about three hours to figure it out. The same happened with Keating's $250,000 in "donations" to push psychotropic drugs on state inmates when he became a candidate for attorney general -- Newsweek got it in about a week when the local media hadn't found it out in seven years.

Yeah, the report is old, but Regier didn't ask that his name be taken off it, nor has he ever publicly disavowed it until now. It would have been nice if we in Oklahoma had learned of it, but our press corps is far more interested in being subservient than in reporting news.
posted by mdeatherage at 11:55 AM on August 17, 2002


not all children need to be spanked, but you can always tell the difference between a parent who disciplined their children and one who did not. I bet Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold were never spanked, or disciplined in any way, for that matter.

It would be nice if there were one way to do things that always worked. But the anti-spankers would say, I bet those poor kids were screwed up because their parents spanked them. And whichever happens to be the case, it probably has very little to do with who they turned out to be. Kids may grow up to resent spankings or interpret them as "might makes right" or they may grow up to understand that bad actions have bad consequences. I don't support spanking but non-physical punishment can be just as abusive and traumatic. Parents just have to do the best they can.

I don't think I was ever spanked but of course I don't remember much before I was two or whatever, so I'm not even sure. I don't think I would spank my kids mostly because i have a bad temper and I'd be afraid if I allowed myself to discipline physically I might strike in anger, and that is abuse in my mind.
posted by mdn at 12:01 PM on August 17, 2002


A time out that lasts longer than 10 minutes to a child that doesn't understand the concept of time passing is unfair - and is likely the reason for his massive overreaction. You could try something new: limit your timeouts (he still won't like 'em), read some different parenting techniques, hold him. Or whatever non-violent strategy that works. And praise (not the lord, the child) every day for something. And say 'I love you' a lot (that's the one that english dads struggle with, but you yanks are more in touch with your emotions, right?) .
Almost all toddlers become more co-operative as they reach Nursery age (4 y.o. or so), in many ways, its just a question of time. That stubborn streak should mellow, as long as the other bits are in place. I'm sure you hate the 'patting' bit, there are worse abuses. I just have this idea that there's always a walk away/ignore/remove/hold/reason with peaceful method, so i'm maybe ideological about it. Not cos I was badly abused (I can only remember a couple of 'leg slaps' from my mum), I just believe that big people shouldn't hit little people, and vice versa. They are like logical sponges - they soak it all up, and act it out for real.

This quote is mad:
"...not all children need to be spanked, but you can always tell the difference between a parent who disciplined their children and one who did not. I bet Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold were never spanked, or disciplined in any way, for that matter..." Yeah right, theat spanking is the only form of discipline- blech. Moronic, just moronic. Kids deserve better. We all do.

Parents need to stop bullies, and bullying. Full Stop.

(",)
posted by dash_slot- at 12:07 PM on August 17, 2002


It would have been nice if we in Oklahoma had learned of it, but our press corps is far more interested in being subservient than in reporting news.

For more proof of that, here's the Tulsa World's take on it in today's (8/17) op-ed section. (I would have linked this, but their content management system changes the URLs after only a few days).

Oklahoma official takes on new challenges
Jerry Regier, who left no stone unturned in cleaning up the state Health Department scandal here, is heading for Florida to head up that state's Department of Children and Families, an agency with serious problems.
It will be a daunting task to fix that agency, but Regier might be the person for the job. He will have to address caseworkers losing track of foster children, leaving children in abusive environments, and falsifying reports.

Regier has the credentials for the job. He worked under President Bush in the early 1990s as head of the National Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and was a Reagan appointee to the National Commission on Children. He came back to Oklahoma to serve as a cabinet secretary for Gov. Frank Keating, who later asked him to straighten out the Health Department in the wake of that agency's bribery and "ghost" employee scandals.

In Florida, a 5-year-old girl was missing for 15 months before the agency did anything. In another case, a caseworker reported that a 2-year-old boy was fine when in fact he had been beaten to death. A Florida newspaper then easily located nine children the department said were missing.

Regier offered to help with Florida's child welfare crisis and apparently impressed officials there so much they offered him the job.

Regier's impressive resume includes not only a solid professional background but also unfailing honesty and integrity. When it came to light he might not be eligible to run for governor because he had not maintained residency here for 10 years, he dropped out of the race. Some politicians have maintained the charade of a residency here while living elsewhere so they could run for office here. Regier is not that kind of guy.

Florida's gain is our loss. We wish Jerry Regier well.

posted by Dirjy at 12:32 PM on August 17, 2002


Mississippi is on its own, Tove. You might be able to excavate it and turn it into a nice swimming pool.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:41 PM on August 17, 2002


dash: I didn't say spanking was the only option, I left room for other forms of discipline, but that was my general point (which you put in bold), that discipline is important, the form is not so relevant.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:43 PM on August 17, 2002


It just seems like common sense that inter-religious marriages will be problematic.

You mean...like Protestants and Roman Catholics?

In all seriousness, I know tons of people--some of my own relatives included--who are in Jewish/Christian (including Jewish/Southern Baptist), interdenominational Christian, Hindu/Jewish or, in one case, Hindu/Muslim marriages. All happy, most for several decades. It's one of those things that causes trouble if you don't discuss it, but nary a problem if you do.

Incidentally, if these people want to restrict divorce on religious grounds, I'd be very surprised if they don't also want to restrict remarriage as well, on the grounds that it constitutes adultery. In fundamentalist circles, the two tend to go hand-in-hand, although not necessarily outside them. The much debated text in question is Matthew 5:31-32; for a case in point, see this attack on Hillsdale College and its former president, George Roche (scroll down).

(I've been reading through the fiction of a hardline Calvinist evangelical from the nineteenth century--total depravity of man, predestination, the whole shebang--and she's far more liberal than these folks. Go figure.)
posted by thomas j wise at 12:46 PM on August 17, 2002


What exactly is this 'Biblical spanking' they are defending, with a stick or lash, that leaves 'welts and bruises'? That's for convicts and leather people, not children. This is insane and brutal.
posted by crunchburger at 3:08 PM on August 17, 2002


bradth27: I'm with you, drugs are almost never the answer. What works for me may not be what works for your child. I'm no saint as far as child rearing goes. My concern for good behavior was on the selfish side. I wanted to be able to go out and bring my son with me. It's much easier to do that with a well behaved child that people want to be around. I was also lucky enough to be able to stay home with him until he was 2 so I didn't have to undo any bad babysitting habits. But I do think that kids are much smarter than parents give them credit for and they will find your weak spot and go for it. No one wants to be the bad guy all the time. The key for me was consistent feeding times, bed times and as he got older consistent behavior rules. It was always the same. So when he did test it the outcome was never a surprise, so eventually he stopped testing. Trust me bradth27 your son doesn't like crying himself into a choking fit, he just knows that it gets the desired result. He's smart, he figured you out. If it stops getting that result, he'll stop doing it. Good luck and when he's driving you crazy, just remember how sweet he looks when he's sleeping. God made puppies and babies cute for a reason -- so you won't kill them, LOL :)
posted by bas67 at 3:15 PM on August 17, 2002


On the spanking thing, I have to chime in. As I get nearer and nearer to my delivery date (still a couple of months to go), I've been devouring parenting magazines, books, articles and what have you.

And I have to say that the "non-spankers" often come across like the "morally superior vegans" which is to say that they seem to suggest that if you disagree with them, then you are a morally deficient person not deserving of discussion...and I'm astounded by how many of them don't have children.

As an example, I offer you a story from Parenting Magazine, where they discuss discipline. One incident they mentioned was a case where a mother was getting dinner and requested that her toddler wash his hands before sitting down. The toddler (4 yrs old) did not. When the mom demanded to see his hands, the child reacted by flipping his placemat over, dumping food onto the table, the floor, his mom, his baby sister and the walls. The mother yelled at him and sent him to his room.

The magazine suggested that she handled it wrong...that she should have...get this nonsense...apologized to the kid for "infringing on his personal space", then requested his help in cleaning up the mess.

I am not having that sort of behavior. I will not have it. If they want to throw food on the floor, I will not apologize for yelling at them. They will go hungry that night. I wouldn't spank them while I was as angry as that would make me, but I'm certainly going to let them know that they've made me angry by misbehaving and that there are serious penalties for misbehavior. Do all kids need to be spanked? Probably not. Do some kids need to be spanked to get their attention? You betcha.

For people who are not the parents of Child X to get up on some moral high horse and pretend that they know how to raise someone else's kid is sheer effrontery. That is how we end up with child welfare departments that take kids away from perfectly good parents and put them in abusive foster care.

There, I've said it. I'm sure I'll get flamed. But damn, it just bugs me when people get all superior about how much better they are than other people just because they've made different choices.
posted by dejah420 at 5:13 PM on August 17, 2002


Before you go too far out on that limb, maybe you better define what you mean by "spanking." For many people, spanking means a bare-ass beating with a spatula or belt. That's unarguably abusive and unnecessary.

If hitting your child is a habitual disciplinary tool, it's time to admit you need help, and seek help in developing better parenting techniques. There's no need to make yourself and your children suffer.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:14 PM on August 17, 2002


Spare the rod and spoil the child. Nothing wrong with spanking. Not beating ; spanking.

Also there is absolutely no reason that gays need to marry. There really is no reason to enter this discussion, because it's so ridiculous. I know plenty of people will get rabidly furious over a simple comment as that, but it is really that simple. Gays have existed since the dawn of humankind, gay "marriage" has not, and should not.
posted by hama7 at 6:35 PM on August 17, 2002


hama7,

Was there any point at all to that comment or are you just trying to push some buttons?
posted by bas67 at 6:50 PM on August 17, 2002


As far as gay marriage goes, why should I have to go to a lawyer and spend thousands of dollars just to have the same kind of arrangements and protections straight people get just by saying "I do" and signing a piece of paper?
There are a growing number of gay couples that are having children and some legal structures need to be set up. You don't want to call it marriage, fine. Call it what ever you like. But to tell me that I could walk into a casino and find some rich old man that I barely know and convince him to marry me on spot and that's legal but I can't marry someone who I have shared every aspect of my life(emotional, spiritual, financial and physical) with for 6yrs?!?! That's crazy
posted by bas67 at 7:00 PM on August 17, 2002


Sooo-oo-oo....when do you date the very first marriage to? Before the dawn of time?
Maybe at the noon of time?
Or is it maybe in the cool afternoon of time?

I don't have to accept that a non-member of my community can tell me what my needs, wants and rights are.

BTW - could you answer these lil ole questions for me?
1. What do you see the purpose of marriage as being, and (acknowledging that gay people, like me for one in this thread, can & do procreate 'naturally') in what way does it not apply to us?

2. Which of your rights are diminished by the enhancement of my rights?

3. Which of your rights would you like for me to deny?

Feck off, bigot troll.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:29 PM on August 17, 2002


I told you you'd get angry. But it's true.

And calling me a "bigot troll" kind of makes you a troll to, doesn't it, hypocrite?
posted by hama7 at 7:43 PM on August 17, 2002


I can't marry someone who I have shared every aspect of my life(emotional, spiritual, financial and physical) with for 6yrs?!?! That's crazy

Individuals and couples have every right to spend their lives with any partner they choose, gay or straight.

The state has no responsibility to recognize a gay partnership as "marriage", because technically it's not.

This is just the reason discussing this issue is ridiculous, because nothing but ridiculous, infantile and asinine name-calling result. (see above)
posted by hama7 at 7:50 PM on August 17, 2002


Instead of repeating yourself, are you gonna answer the questions I put above?

I deny that I was trolling: in my book your comment fits the dictionary.com definitions -
"...big·ot (bgt)
n.
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. "

"...troll

An electronic mail message, Usenet posting or other (electronic) communication which is intentionally incorrect, but not overtly controversial (compare flame bait), or the act of sending such a message. Trolling aims to elicit an emotional reaction from those with a hair-trigger on the reply key. A really subtle troll makes some people lose their minds. "

But tho my finger was quick to anger, you're not that good...
posted by dash_slot- at 7:54 PM on August 17, 2002


So I guess your answer to the questions that I and dash-slot asked is "because I said so!" Wow, convinced me.
posted by bas67 at 8:03 PM on August 17, 2002


So why does the state get involved in hetero relationships, turning them into voluntary contractual protected arrangements? Technically, it's not "marriage" these days: but technically - as marriage itself could be redefined by any sovereign authority - it could be.
Once that is understood, the question becomes "is this [banning two loving people from the same benefits, responsibilities and gifts commitment] legitimate discrimination?" The onus is on the nay sayers now.

Speak up, won't you?
posted by dash_slot- at 8:05 PM on August 17, 2002


I am sorry if posting one's opinion is seen as trolling, but I don't think it is. I think it's an opinion that you don't agree with. It's cute to slap a nasty little lable on a comment, thereby diminishing the comment's intent and intentionally launching an ad hominem-style on its author, which you did. Very original.

Where I come from, a comment that I disagree with causes a disagreement, not a barrage of name calling and rushing to the dictionaries.
posted by hama7 at 8:05 PM on August 17, 2002


I give up, you win. Have a nice day.
posted by hama7 at 8:08 PM on August 17, 2002


hama7,
Why did you bring this up if you don't want to talk about it. Tell me why you think this way. I'm interested.
posted by bas67 at 8:09 PM on August 17, 2002


thanx for giving up....

....but i would have preferred to hear your reasons.

the references in dictionaries are not my definitions, they are the accepted definitions in the cyber world. Are none of us allowed to use 'troll' now? or just gay people with significant others? (mind you, that actually excludes this old w*nker..)

i did say Feck off - a mild insult in ireland, where i come from. other than that no 'ad hominems' AT ALL.
just stand up for y/self, you brought it up
posted by dash_slot- at 8:22 PM on August 17, 2002


I still give up, but I would like to discuss this. You still win.

Also I left out the word "attacks" after "ad hominem-style" above. And "to" should have been "too". Right.

How about this: could you please, as emotionlessly as possible, explain to me why monogamous, gay, committed partnerships need to have acknowledgement from the state? I have no idea what that status would achieve. Maybe you can enlighten my "bigoted" and hopelessly closed way of thinking.

As for members of a community, if a community acknowledges the committed partnership, why does it need governmental approval? Inheiritance does not require marriage, either.

As for children in such partnerships, that's another can of worms I'd rather not open at the moment.
posted by hama7 at 9:09 PM on August 17, 2002


They need acknowledgement from the state so that
1. if I or my partner needs medical attention one of us can make the decisions for the other. Otherwise a family member can step in and bar the partner from even visiting in the hospital.

2. So if I die without a will (as many straight married couples do) my home and belonging will be inherited by my partner. As it is now, if I die and I own my home, my family members could step in and remove my partner from her home the same day and take all of my possessions. They could bar her from making funeral arrangements.

3. So if I was without insurance, my partner could cover me under her insurance as do many straight married couples.

4. So we could file jointly on our tax returns and save some money.

5. So laws that say that during a custody agreement between a mother and father, a judge cannot remove visitation rights from a lesbian mother. In a case here in Ga. a woman was denied visitation with her sons because her divorce agreement stated that she was not allowed to have overnight guests that were not family members (either by blood or marriage) with her sons present. So she went to Vermont and had a commitment ceremony to satisfy that agreement. She lost because the court here did not recognize her relationship as marriage. She was forced to make a choice between her partner and her children. No court would ever do that to a husband and wife!

There are many others and many that involve children (that you don't want to discuss) but maybe it would just be nice to be treated as everyone else for a change. I work hard, pay taxes and am a productive member of society. Why not give me the same rights as others. In my state, Georgia, you don't even have to get married for the state to give you these rights. You just have to be a man and a woman who have lived together for a year and have considered yourself man and wife and PRESTO your married in the eyes of the law. My girlfriend and I have live together for over 6yrs. and have had a commitment ceremony and no "PRESTO" for us.

There was that emotionless enough for you?
posted by bas67 at 10:43 PM on August 17, 2002


I completed the coursework for a PhD in child development, and we spent a couple of weeks in one class reviewing and debating the spanking literature, so I gotta drop my 2 cents here:

As others here have said (bas67), being consistent is everything. You can spank the hell out of your kids while still letting them walk all over you. If spanking is the only tool in your toolbox then you're headed for trouble. If you're spanking out of anger rather than to correct a behavior, I'd be worried then, too. And of course the Coalition on Revival stuff about welts and bruises being ok is wack. But assuming the presence of a good array of other disciplinary tactics, I wouldn't worry so much about spanking.

Important issue that is seldom brought up: Spanking or no spanking, does the parent have a good bond with the child? And besides being consistent with discipline, is the parent also consistent in terms of providing for the kid's other needs? Spanking seems like a red herring when compared with this other stuff.

There were a bunch of hardcore anti-spanking people in my class, but discussion revealed that their position is mostly ideological. They believe there's always a non-spanking solution to a problem because the *want* to believe that.

Here here, deja420 -- you hit the nail on the head. Kids are different from one another. Why do people think that there *must* be some simple thing that a parent can do with a particular child that will solve the problem easily? Maybe it's uncomfortable to accept that sometimes there isn't an easy answer?

Five fresh fish: You don't have nearly enough information about bradth27's style of parenting to pass judgement as you do. None of us does.

Secret Life of Gravy: If we shouldn't spank because fear will fail as a motivator, how are time outs, withholding treats, etc. any different? Wouldn't you be shaping behavior by using fear of these consequences as a motivator?
posted by boredomjockey at 11:17 PM on August 17, 2002


All of this conflicting parenting advice reminds me of the old saw about the man who had five theories on raising kids and later ended up with five kids and no theories...
posted by adamsc at 11:22 PM on August 17, 2002


Thanks bas67.

I dont understand your first point, but number 2 could be solved by simply making out a will. Number 3 seems like a good idea,and is similar to number 4. Number 5 is just asinine, thoughtless selfish behavior magnified in ridiculous intensity by a legal battle. And I realize it's not fair, but it's also not fair to two children to produce them and then "discover" that one is a lesbian.

Also, not to split hairs, but isn't common-law marriage 7 years?

So basically, tax breaks and insurance coverage are the major advantages of state recognition of monogamous, committed, same-sex couples. Those are pretty good reasons, I certainly want tax-breaks and insurance too, but I don't think those are good enough reasons. And aren't those things already available for same-sex couples, just not through marriage?

Thanks to modern science, same-sex couples are able to have children, but they can't do it naturally, unless the offspring are clones. That may be the biggest problem. A couple unable to naturally produce heirs has no need for an institution invented to produce heirs, ancestors, lineages, family lines. Same-sex relationships can not do this, and that's why there aren't long histories of same-sex lineages.

The second problem is children in such relationships, since you bring it up. Without going into a psychological treatise on the effects of this situation on children, because I am not a doctor, I would say that the child is displaced, in most cases. The child has one parent that is a man and one that is a woman, naturally. And those are his parents, referring again to the point above.

Some also take umbrage at the 'legitimization' of same-sex marriage, citing that same-sex marriage is inherently not the same as actual marriage. I don't really care which is 'true' marriage, and I am not even going to touch the religious side of this debate, because I don't think it's terrifically important.

It is very popular politically these days with people who support postmodernism and its many moral relativities to argue that the patriarchial opressor has no meaning and that reality is fluid and can be determined personally at random there are not 'better' thing or 'worse' things, just things, which is why actual people are able to have actual debates about the word "is".

I think same-sex marriage as an institution is one of these moral vagaries, but also has in it some vengefulness, as if to say. "we the opressed will finally be recognized and get what you bastards have owed us all along! Aaarrgghh!"

These are a couple of reasons why I do support same-sex partnerships, but I don't support them as "marriage".


I may have left a few things out, but that was just way too long.
posted by hama7 at 11:50 PM on August 17, 2002


And obviously I forgot to close the italics after "not".
posted by hama7 at 1:32 AM on August 18, 2002


Please, sir, please make me equal to you. I'll be forever grateful. I'm really human, just like you! O, you will, sir, but not quite? O, thank you sir, thank you! I knew you'd understand! Thank you sir, thank you.[/sarcasm]
"I dont understand your first point" (about "if I or my partner needs medical attention")

Does this or this article help? ( I found it by using this amazing tool on the innernet called 'Google' - yeah, funny name, but if you really want to understand something, they can find an article on it for you....you can put in a simple phrase - i tried with "lesbian hospital visits" & "make medical decisions for each other + eligible for 300 state benefits given to married" But then, I really wanted to understand.
"As for members of a community, if a community acknowledges the committed partnership, why does it need governmental approval? Inheiritance does not require marriage, either." So, if your civil rights in Mississippi are breached, just appeal to the local 'community', ok? Yeah, that usually works. Besides, many people get married when their community don't approve: guess what - it doesn't matter in the eyes of the law, if they wanna marry & are of sufficient age - that's it. Equality is all we request. Same criteria: no discrimination.
"but number 2 could be solved by simply making out a will." OK, remove the necessity from straight co-habitors, or add it to gay co-habitors. Equal treatment is all we want.

"Number 3 "So if I was without insurance, my partner could cover me under her insurance"...seems like a good idea,and is similar to number 4 (= So we could file jointly on our tax returns and save some money.)"
Great, we're getting somewhere.
"Number 5 (= So laws that say that during a custody agreement between a mother and father, a judge cannot remove visitation rights from a lesbian mother) is just asinine, thoughtless selfish behavior magnified in ridiculous intensity by a legal battle." Well, thats what some divorces are like: and discrimination based on sexuality is asinine, you are right but it happens, and affects the kids badly.

"And I realize it's not fair, but it's also not fair to two children to produce them and then "discover" that one is a lesbian." May not be fair, but sometimes, it happens in that order. People can be self less and put the kids 1st, meaning work out some way of co-parenting. I'm not speaking out of my ass here, this has been my experience. It has not been easy, but it can be done.

"So basically, tax breaks and insurance coverage are the major advantages of state recognition of monogamous, committed, same-sex couples. Those are pretty good reasons, I certainly want tax-breaks and insurance too, but I don't think those are good enough reasons.( Aww, please?) And aren't those things already available for same-sex couples, just not through marriage?" (Where? Please, tell me where is GayLesboland? maybe that's why so many of the men around here are eithe rstraight or married...)

"Thanks to modern science, same-sex couples are able to have children, but they can't do it naturally, unless the offspring are clones." >(That'll be news to my 14 y.o. daughter) (and her mother, come to think of it) "That may be the biggest problem. A couple unable to naturally produce heirs has no need for an institution invented to produce heirs, ancestors, lineages, family lines. Same-sex relationships can not do this, and that's why there aren't long histories of same-sex lineages." (Don't need long lineages, we need equal rights)

"The second problem is children in such relationships, since you bring it up. Without going into a psychological treatise on the effects of this situation on children, because I am not a doctor, I would say that the child is displaced, in most cases. "(Yup. Your point being... what? Maybe all kids should be assessed for psychological difficulties. As it happens, most studies seem to show that children of lesbian or gay parents are well balanced... "Research on gay fathers has similarly found no reason to believe them unfit as parents (Barret & Robinson, 1990; Bigner and Bozett, 1990; Bozett, 1980, 1989)"

results ... have revealed normal development of gender identity among children of lesbian mothers

"...we the opressed will finally be recognized and get what you bastards have owed us all along! Aaarrgghh!"..

o-kaaaay.
Well, gee, thanks for all the support. How on earth did I miss it? (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 3:05 AM on August 18, 2002


And just to bring this back around to the topic of the FPP, it should be noted that Regier is not only against gay marriage, but is heavily in favor of spending your tax money to promote straight marriage even between people who don't want it.

What could be more unequal than denying gay couples the right to marry while spending their tax dollars to pressure men and women to do it when they don't want to?
posted by mdeatherage at 3:36 AM on August 18, 2002


... whilst simultaneously decrying gays for their short term and promiscuous relationships.... and their inability to procreate and maintain a family...
posted by dash_slot- at 3:55 AM on August 18, 2002


mdeatherage: but is heavily in favor of spending your tax money to promote straight marriage even between people who don't want it.

Huh? People who don't want to get married, generally don't get married.

dash_slot: very thorough post, and very well done. Heavy bold use too. Dramatic. I really do appreciate your comments, aside from the nasty, sarcastic ones.

I said that insurance and tax breaks are available to same-sex couples, and they are, in bold, if you will.

Insurance and tax cuts are not a guarantee to anybody, and I think insurance is a choice, selected by individuals, not provided by a socialist state.

As much as I appreciate your "equal rights and justice" shtick, and condone same-sex partnerships as a natural, if not so common, occurrence, I still can't see a reason to necessitate state recognition. And there still is no reason for same-sex partners to demand marriage status and children!

Look, if I really love my sister, and we want to get married, there are laws in place that prohibit that kind of behavior for genetic reasons. Should incestuous couples then demand "equal rights and justice"??? Absolutely NOT, because there is a good reason for its prohibition.

I might shack up with my sister secretly in some trailer park, but I certainly wouldn't demand tax cuts and insurance benefits, demanding equality with conventional marriage, because mine would not be.

But we all knew we wouldn't agree form the outset, didn't we?
posted by hama7 at 4:27 AM on August 18, 2002


It may shock and offend you all that this was a Fark topic today too.

*gasp*
posted by hama7 at 5:19 AM on August 18, 2002


And....er...why is an incestuous relationship a useful analogy to a gay partnership?

Jonathan Rauch has an interesting article on why he thinks denying gays the right to marry has probably itself undermined marriage.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:36 AM on August 18, 2002


And....er...why is an incestuous relationship a useful analogy to a gay partnership?

I think I explained that above.

As for undermining marriage, isn't that what I have been saying?
posted by hama7 at 6:40 AM on August 18, 2002


<rant>
I've been watching this thread with dismay for some time. We have straight people discussing gay marriage, we have childless people discussing parenting skills and homosexuality has been compared to incest. Though I should know better by now I find myself amazed at the lack of tolerance for other views and judgmental positions taken by some.

In the interests of disclosure I should point out that I am the custodial parent of three children (6, 8 and 10) two of whom have been diagnosed with ADD/HD. Without going into a series of sordid details I should also mention that their mother has a long history of same-sex relationships.

First. I have been known to spank my children. There are times when it is necessary for their safety to send a clear and immediate message... all the parenting theories and time outs in the world do little good as an active child runs into traffic or wanders near a cliff edge. I'm not even going to start justifying my actions or discussing definitions, we're all pretty smart folks (with a notable exception or two) and can certainly distinguish the difference between a swat on the butt and a beating.

One is a choice the other a crime.

Secondly, though suggested at times, I do not medicate my children. I've weighed the evidence and for now have decided that dietary and behavioral methods are adequate, but if at some point their attention deficit issues become severe enough to jeopardize their safety (sometimes concentration is NECESSARY) or ability to learn, I will certainly reevaluate this decision.

The attacks on bradth I find particularly distasteful. Unless you live in this mans house, participate in the raising of his child or have evaluated the child in a medical setting you simply DO NOT have a clue what your talking about.

The gay marriage thing is just dumb. If my ex could obtain the tax breaks and insurance available to same-sex couples it would immediately improve the lives of my children. This would come at NO expense to anyone else. They work hard and pay their taxes, their sexual behavior is nobodies business.

It's really very simple. If the gay couple wants to marry it isn't societies place to allow or disallow it, marriage is a legal contract and how those body parts fit together is irrelevant. Remove the archaic religious and social issues and there is no reason at all the sanctioning of same-sex marriage would interfere with anyone elses rights. So what's the harm, and why in this day and age is it even an issue?
</rant>
posted by cedar at 6:56 AM on August 18, 2002


hama7: i'll lay off the bold, if you can address the questions put several times in this thread.

- bas67 's 1st response to your anti-equality post

- what is the purpose of marriage, and who may deny an individual his/her rights?

- why can't the state simply redefine marriage?

I do appreciate that you are debating without insulting, but if i come across as too sharp in my sarcasm, you need to know it hurts me. denying me my rights actually is painful. i'd rather satirise than insult, it makes the point, hopefully without pain. but really, we who are denied equality are in pain.

to be consistent in the attitude to marriages, should the state refrain from licensing ministers/civil officials to perform wedding ceremonies to all, ( = a version of equality), or should they allow people of the same sex to be married by willing ministers/officials?

Also, I wonder if it is the public acknowledgement of normalcy that must not be granted at all costs. That is the unspoken desire of most long term gay partners which is a given right for all heterosexuals that wish for it. Denying justice to others because they are different is mean, peurile and what most of us teach our kids to avoid.

hama7, it seems to me that thomas j wise/Jonathan Rauch are interested in promoting gay marriage equality as a way of bolstering the institution all round: where did you say that?

cedar: i hope nothing i have written implies judgement on the pro-smackers. i personally could not smack my girl when she was younger, tho frustration led me to shout mercilessly at her on more than one occasion. for some, that would be the greater crime. [plus, i appreciate your comments on same-sex marriage, given that you could be a lot more bitter.]

lets look forward: in a couple of decades, we'll be explaining to our kids which side of the great civil rights debate of the '00s we were on, just like our parents talk of marches in Northern Ireland and the Southern States for what are now considered natural - equal rights for all. discrimination has not disappeared - but government and judicial prejudice is massively diminished. with no harm done.

ps - have you a link to the fark thread, i couldn't see it!
posted by dash_slot- at 8:20 AM on August 18, 2002


cedar: i hope nothing i have written implies judgement on the pro-smackers. i personally could not smack my girl when she was younger, tho frustration led me to shout mercilessly at her on more than one occasion. for some, that would be the greater crime. [plus, i appreciate your comments on same-sex marriage, given that you could be a lot more bitter.]

I think that regardless of where you fall on the corporal punishment scale, the most important thing is to be a conscious and engaged parent. Raising our children is undoubtedly the most important job we'll ever do, it should be done with thought and consideration. Passivity is the worst kind of abuse.

Bitter? Nah... if anything I have empathy for someone who tried so hard, for so long, to be something she wasn't.
posted by cedar at 8:37 AM on August 18, 2002


Secret Life of Gravy: If we shouldn't spank because fear will fail as a motivator, how are time outs, withholding treats, etc. any different? Wouldn't you be shaping behavior by using fear of these consequences as a motivator?
posted


There is a difference between learning to make a choice based on fear of violent retaliation and learning to make a choice based on reasonable consequences. You don't worry about your boss slugging you for being repeatedly late, but you might fear losing your income. And I trust all you people who say you are using a "pat" or a tap. That is not a spanking.

As for the same-sex marriage issue. It still escapes me why people claim this infringes on their rights. I've heard the "santity of marriage" arguement and dismissed it because I see too few people in this country taking marriage vows seriously. Most of the huge, costly wedding ceremonies I have been to in the last 10 years have ended in divorce less than 2 years later.

I wish we had a true separation of church and state in this country as (I believe) they do in France. A civil ceremony for legal reasons followed, if desired, by a religious ceremony.

And (cliche alert) I wish we were all a little more tolerant..of different life styles as well as different parenting styles.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:47 AM on August 18, 2002


cedar,
I think full disclosure is a good idea for me too since I've been very vocal on the topics discussed.

I have a 15yr. old son who currently resides with his father and we have a joint custody agreement. I am a lesbian and I too tried for a very long time to be something I'm not and that led to years of drug and alcohol abuse. I resolved those problems and have been sober for 10yrs. My ex-husband in an effort to get more money in child support tried to play the lesbian card in court and threatened to stop me from seeing my son because I live with my partner. It didn't work. I didn't have a problem paying more for my son's care. I think that infuriated him even more.

There, now you know where my opinion come from in case you were interested.
posted by bas67 at 2:58 PM on August 18, 2002


There is a difference between learning to make a choice based on fear of violent retaliation and learning to make a choice based on reasonable consequences. You don't worry about your boss slugging you for being repeatedly late, but you might fear losing your income.

Um, are we still talking about punishing young children?

"Reasonable consequences" has little meaning to someone who would rather have the ice cream now than have the bicycle later.
posted by Galvatron at 3:20 PM on August 18, 2002


Secret Life of Gravy: I've heard the "santity [sic] of marriage" arguement and dismissed it because I see too few people in this country taking marriage vows seriously

When I think about what this topic does for my emotional health, I worry more about the sanity of marriage....
posted by dash_slot- at 3:25 PM on August 18, 2002


For people who are not the parents of Child X to get up on some moral high horse and pretend that they know how to raise someone else's kid is sheer effrontery. That is how we end up with child welfare departments that take kids away from perfectly good parents and put them in abusive foster care.

As someone who grew up in foster care, group homes and eventually became an emancipated minor I must say that I have never in my experience met anyone who was taken away from "perfectly good parents" the abusive foster care part is generally correct though.
posted by thermopolis at 4:30 PM on August 18, 2002


Why you go away, hama? Why you no come back to me, baby? Huh?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:08 AM on August 23, 2002


I promise....we'll just talk, ok? Don't go away and not tell me why!! You can't do this to me.... please, baby, please...
posted by dash_slot- at 4:49 PM on August 23, 2002


O, god, can't you see it's driving me back.. to the forbidden tags...
posted by dash_slot- at 5:02 PM on August 23, 2002


I didn't want it to end like this...we've grown apart, I know, hama... it's not you, it's me, I guess I wanted too much.....*sniff*
posted by dash_slot- at 7:32 PM on August 23, 2002


[ I know, I know, I should forget him, he's gone for good this time. But... I can't help believing him, he said such nice things to me.... it's just a communication problem, I don't think he means to constantly put me down. I'm sure he wants to make things right between us, I think it's just his upbringing was quite traditional, y'know...]
posted by dash_slot- at 7:40 PM on August 25, 2002


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