Designed With Today's Parents In Mind
June 11, 2006 12:09 AM   Subscribe

The folks over at Biblical Child Training know that as a parent in today's complex society, it can be rough. That's why they sell a variety of biblically themed products to help you beat instill a set of Christian values in your young'n. Clearly their marquee product, the Chastening Instrument compares favorably to more traditional alternatives, and is, by all accounts biblically approved.
posted by jonson (55 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Only five swats for taking drugs? That's not a bad deal.
posted by mullingitover at 12:14 AM on June 11, 2006

you know what else is nine inches long and one and a half inches wide?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 12:15 AM on June 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Pat Robertson's cerebrum?
posted by blucevalo at 12:20 AM on June 11, 2006

Should an adult need a weapon to beat up a child?

Should the child, who is smaller, be granted a larger weapon in order to achieve a fight that still won't be fair?
posted by Cranberry at 12:22 AM on June 11, 2006

Heh, I recognize the material that the "chastening instrument" is made of. It's a squeegee blade for screenprinting.

Y'know, if they got out more they'd realize there's a whole industry dedicated to "chastening instruments", with a wide variety of instruments to choose from - but they're usually only offered in one color. Black.
posted by loquacious at 12:38 AM on June 11, 2006

you know what else is nine inches long and one and a half inches wide?

God's Immaculate Rod?
posted by homunculus at 12:41 AM on June 11, 2006 [2 favorites]

You know, Mom used to send us out in the field to choose the stick she was going to smack us with. If you brought back something that was thinner than her thumb, she went out and picked something for you.
posted by frogan at 12:54 AM on June 11, 2006

Ned Flanders Approved!
posted by Rhomboid at 12:59 AM on June 11, 2006

Children are stupid. Or, at least they know a lot less than adults.

When I've witnessed an adult physically or verbally abusing say a 6 yo child I recognize that adult as someone who cannot outwit a child.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 1:19 AM on June 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

I can't read this without thinking of that influentual bastard Gary Ezzo and his fabulous childcare philosophy. I'm sure there are plenty of other 'christian' child care guides out there that seem completely nuts, but this idiot probably did more harm to families over the last decade and a half than all teh gay combined.
posted by maryh at 1:26 AM on June 11, 2006

When I've witnessed an adult physically or verbally abusing say a 6 yo child I recognize that adult as someone who cannot outwit a child. awesome.

personally, im on the fence about pain as a training tool. I knew a child who'se mother was all "earth goddess" and "power crystals" and he was a total ass till she started spanking him. When administered in a calm and rational way, its effective, but the reasoning behind it seems to mirror the death penalty (killing is so wrong, that we're going to kill you) so im torn.

all that aside, if you're buying toys for your child spanking fetish, you need help.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:33 AM on June 11, 2006

When I've witnessed an adult physically or verbally abusing say a 6 yo child I recognize that adult as someone who cannot outwit a child.

yeah, if you can't convince the child to sincerely beat himself, then what good are you as a parent?

seriously, though, that's the best use of the brick testament in an fpp, ever. thanks jonson.
posted by shmegegge at 1:51 AM on June 11, 2006

But if you do need a chastening implement, who better to buy it from than The Waltons?

I bet each and every one of those squeegees has been hand-whittled out of plastic by Grandpa Walton's own set of whittlin' irons.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:00 AM on June 11, 2006

So it isn't illegal to hit children in America?
posted by A189Nut at 2:01 AM on June 11, 2006

Properly applied, calmly and without going over the line, there is nothing wrong with spanking.

You cannot reason a small child into knowing why it is important to obey mommy about such things as running into the street and sticking forks into toasters and running with scissors.

I did spank my children. They always knew ahead of time what a spanking offence was, I only spanked them for out and out rebellion, not for childhood silliness. My children were wellbehaved, NOT ROBOTS, and I got compliments when I took them places, because they weren't running around like wild animals.

They always knew I meant what I said. They didn't get worn out listening to me nag, and for the most part I didn't even have to spank much at all. We were all much happier for it.

What I think is cruel is letting a child run amok, getting his or her own way all the time, etc. No matter what disciplinary tool one uses, it is important to remember that the parent has the right and the duty to have that child obey him or her, for the child's own welfare. I see parents afraid of their own children and it sickens me. No three year old should boss his mom around.
posted by konolia at 4:12 AM on June 11, 2006

Their ordering steps are numbered 0-3. Closet thelemites or something?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:32 AM on June 11, 2006

Adults using spanking are. imho. doing a couple big errors ; good faith and being well intentioned aren't reasonable excuses ( why ? Think about it, was burning witches reasonable, no matter how good the intentions ?)

The first error is physical violence: why should parents ,who are willy nilly the most trusted, most respected, the primary source of stability and example to a children deliberately make a children feel -pain- not in self defence ? Put yourself in your children shoes, would you like it if your boss spanked you for not meeting budget ?

The Army Drill sergent scream on top of his lung and he s the definition of supremely annoying asshole , he scream constantly and for no apparent reason. Yet when the soldier does as the sergent teaches, he stops screaming at the soldier and goes screaming elsewhere..phew ! He is gone ! Wow, it pays to do thing well as he goes away ! It double pays.

Childrens don't want to feel again the pain, so if they connect their behavior to the pain of spanking they _stop_ the behavior, because nobody wants to feel pain's deep primordial level , but it is also painful. Certainly one would say it is done for the good of the children that still doesn't know what is best ; regardless, If I kalled konolia a motherfucking shrek of a stupid hoar for spanking her childrens that wouldn't be a good idea, and if I smacked her into conformance to my ideas that would even be worse ! A better method can and must be found.

So for instance I could take konolia and lecture her on how spanking is a bad idea and call her _stupid_ or _unruly_ or attack the fact the is a woman, generalize and says all woman are _bitches_ and going on and on and on till I break her into comformance : but that would harm konolia deeply and teach her that put downs are a good way to handle people and obtain what one wants. Similarly, spanking her childrens is a way to teach them violence works and you don't unlearn that or worse one could become attached to violence as a method.

Or maybe I can do better

a) I may not take the children to a dinner in a closed space, which would be best but it not always possible

b) I could bring the children at risk of annyoing others, but as my children are my priority they also need to come with me when necessary, and learn to interact with more people and other kids. Using the support of other sensible parents, I can teach them how to behave among other takes patience, determination and time (and all of this we traded for a faster miserable are we becoming) so that their behavior becomes more careful, watchful of others, but not afraid of others.

c) I still can use the logical equivalent of spanking which is becoming overly annoying or doing something the childrens dislikes, then stop immediately doing that annoying thing when he/she comforms.

Sorry I could go on but my time is running out and must post right now...bottom line is : if one finds way not to be violent and threatening yet being effective in directing behavior, that pays a lot.
posted by elpapacito at 6:01 AM on June 11, 2006

"if one finds way not to be violent and threatening yet being effective in directing behavior, that pays a lot."

violence isn't only physical, elpapacito. you say that you "could" be verbally abusive and misogynistic, and even though you claim that you're choosing not to do so you've still laid out the threat and introduced the idea. seems to me that, in a conversation between adults or children, threatening abuse is way out of line.
posted by cubby at 6:33 AM on June 11, 2006

"I'm very proud that in the entire recorded history of our family, there has never been...any kind of homosexual relationship." - Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)
posted by boost ventilator at 6:46 AM on June 11, 2006

I'm not against spanking, exactly. I spanked my kid once. It got her attention and offended the living daylights out of both of us. I don't think it should regularly be done in cold blood and after due deliberation, though, because not only is pain a lousy behavioral conditioner, it teaches kids to respect pain and force instead of good management or dignified authority as a way of getting things done. And most of the people I know who argue in favor of spanking smoke cigarettes secretly, which is bad for your lungs.

Though spanking at least is better than devious passive-aggressive guilt-trip manipulation because it makes it clearer that a power relationship is involved.
posted by Peach at 6:46 AM on June 11, 2006

"God has filled our quiver with 6 wonderful "arrows," granting us the holy privilege and awesome responsibility of "shooting" them into the world as His mighty warriors for Christ!"

He's talking about his kids...

Holy arrows... Gotcha.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:17 AM on June 11, 2006

Spanking might guide some adults to Christian correctness in our brave new theocracy.

Various acts, statements, and espoused beliefs of some alleged Christians make a case, after all, for grown-up spanking.

A stinging slap or two for Ann Coulter as retribution for horrible venom spit in her recent book, comes to mind. “You bad snake woman who has clearly swallowed a big frog,” I can hear our public chastener say, “I swat you in the name of human decency.”

That smarmy little bug killer Tom DeLay has a very calm, bitch slap session coming from our nation’s master at hand, Shaquille Daddy O’Neil, who I summarily appoint to the position.

George Bush, Karl Rove, Don Rumsfeld please report to the office. What a satisfying way to build a better Taliban.
posted by BillyElmore at 7:18 AM on June 11, 2006

That Brick Bible thing is hilarious. I love how they brought in Teddy Roosavelt as a special guest executioner for the Beastiality chapter.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:05 AM on June 11, 2006

seems to me that, in a conversation between adults or children, threatening abuse is way out of line.

What do you mean by "way out of line" ?
posted by elpapacito at 8:07 AM on June 11, 2006

i have no faith in the christian faith system. but i will say, kids need a whipping sometimes. life does not reason with you when you make mistakes. that is the lesson of the "rod" if you will. sure reason with your child as much as you can , if that does not work teach them the valued lesson of the "rod".

not all kids need a spanking, but many need one more than anything else.

i see it all the time, some kid throwing out in public , and mom helpless to the little monster.

when i was growing up we never acted out in public. cause we knew we would get a good ass whipping.

if you're still unsure, just think how much better things would be if we could yank our leader's britches down when they act up and paddle their spoiled butts.

if it would work on bush it will work on your kid.
posted by nola at 8:25 AM on June 11, 2006

"Put yourself in your children shoes, would you like it if your boss spanked you for not meeting budget ?"

My sexy female boss or my bearded leering boss?

""God has filled our quiver with 6 wonderful "arrows," granting us the holy privilege and awesome responsibility of "shooting" them into the world as His mighty warriors for Christ!""

God has filled my penis with holy arrows...
posted by klangklangston at 8:28 AM on June 11, 2006

There is something called "grace-based" discipline that is the alternative to this for Christians who do not believe that God wants them to spank their children.

I've never spanked my kids. The idea of "lovingly" swatting them with a special instrument is beyond creepy to me. What works in my house? Taking away their computer time, or their Legos.
posted by Biblio at 9:25 AM on June 11, 2006

not all kids need a spanking, but many need one more than anything else

is my favorite quote of the month.
posted by jonson at 9:46 AM on June 11, 2006

I spent three weeks in Bali last year and I know rather a lot about the place. One of the things about them is that they never spank, chastise, or otherwise raise their voices to a child. They're very good people -- they only time they'll ever interfere with your life as a tourist, is, apparently, if they see you spanking a child and then they have a tendency to take the child to the police station when you're gone!

There are kids anywhere and every since one of them I met was polite, cheerful, full of energy, even slightly michievous at times, but friendly, honest, and so damned well-behaved.

My parents very very rarely spanked me and when they did it was almost nothing, a swat on the bot. The times I remember when they did this, I richly deserved it too. Generally, they got their way by being right most of the time and explaining their reasoning -- logic can be surprisingly effective. So I have no personal bad experiences with parental violence.

That said, very many of my friends do; and after seeing the Balinese children, I would be strongly tempted to try to raise my kids without ever hitting them. It would probably be very difficult in this violence-worshipping culture but it would be worth a try.

(As a datapoint, I tried to get a movie without violence last night when I was in a video store with two friends -- without being obvious that I was vetoing the violent ones. I just had to give up -- they wouldn't suggest any that didn't have a lot of guns and shooting -- we got Team America which is at least very funny.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:54 AM on June 11, 2006

you know... i watched The Village for the first time last night, and I can't help but feel like its the same line of thought. Why can't people just adapt!?
posted by Doorstop at 10:08 AM on June 11, 2006

What do you mean by "way out of line" ?

training someone to respond to violence is just as bad as training them to respond to the fear of violence. using the threat of violence is also more emotionally damaging in the long run, since fear can take longer to go away than pain.

while i would not personally spank my children - i was raised without it and i appreciate my parents' approach - i do think that it is possible for parents to use spanking in a way that is not violent (ie- not based on fear). children need clear expectations, consequences, and follow through. a rule is agreed upon, the consequences for following and for breaking that rule are negotiated, and then the child has the final choice of how to act. for some kids and parents, rewards and the denial of rewards are good enough consequences. for others, a system of reward and punishment is enough. as long as the consequences are clear, then the child is not motivated by fear because they know what will happen to them if they break the rules and if they follow them.
posted by cubby at 10:23 AM on June 11, 2006

What happened to good ol' verbal abuse?
posted by alteredcarbon at 10:34 AM on June 11, 2006

Here's the problem with spanking. It doesn't teach the child self-control. It's simply a learned response to avoid pain. When they get old enough to not be hit anymore for infractions (of course with this family, that might be never), they still haven't learned the real reason why they should behave. Spanking is not a meaningful consequence. If instead you give your child meaningful consequences for their behavior (eg. they don't clean their room, so you take away one of their favorite toys), they will learn that now and later in life that there are consequences to their actions.
posted by katyggls at 10:35 AM on June 11, 2006

I kid. I kid.
posted by alteredcarbon at 10:36 AM on June 11, 2006

In America, the incidence of spanking seems to be at least somewhat related to culture and socioeconomic status.

From my experience, low-income white and black people will often go on about how "Sometimes kids just need a whooping. My momma whooped me, and blah blah blah blah blah" Yet, at the same time, the most ill-behaved children are often those who come from low-income white and black families.

At the other end of the spectrum, asian kids are usually some of the most well-behaved, regardless of socioeconomic status. Do asian parents hit their kids?

Datapoints, please.
posted by kenoshakid at 10:46 AM on June 11, 2006

The American Academy of Pediatricians strongly recommends against the use of physical punishment.

They put out a book called "Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12, " which says spanking:

- emotionally harms the child.
- emotionally harms the parent.
- can cause physical harm.
- teaches the child that might makes right.
- teaches that violence is a valid way to handle conflicts.
- creates distrust between parent and child.
- teaches it is OK to hit other people to solve problems.

Spanking has been linked to increased aggression and anxiety in children.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:01 AM on June 11, 2006

here's the real problem with spanking:

your hand gets sore.
posted by shmegegge at 11:09 AM on June 11, 2006

homunculus wins, but MonkeySaltedNuts gets the "on topic" favorable mention.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:20 PM on June 11, 2006

"When to Stone Your Children" ROFL! Omg, the Brick Testament site is hilarious. Incredible. The thing is, having watched Osama, where kids actually do get stoned, -to death-, no, not that stoned, it's frikking heartbreaking.

Those poor fundy kids. When they're not kept in puritan pinafores as a "joyful handmaiden" *gag*, wearing "church shirts" or being Daddy's Little Princess, they're getting walloped.
posted by nickyskye at 1:46 PM on June 11, 2006

influentual bastard Gary Ezzo

Bastard is too good a word for him. When even Jimmy Dobson is going on his radio show calling you a crank, you're way out of line.

From my experience, low-income white and black people will often go on about how "Sometimes kids just need a whooping. My momma whooped me, and blah blah blah blah blah" Yet, at the same time, the most ill-behaved children are often those who come from low-income white and black families.

I'm upper middle class, as were most of my friends growing up. We got whooped with switches and flyswatters. And I don't think that out of that group we've been that deviant compared to the general population.

At the other end of the spectrum, asian kids are usually some of the most well-behaved, regardless of socioeconomic status. Do asian parents hit their kids?

Oooh. Stereotypes. I live in a city where Asians are the dominant minority, and I don't think they're any more or less well-behaved than white kids.

If you reduce your argument to its most fundamental level, it says that there's a coorelation between spanking your kids and their future socioeconomic status. That doesn't make any logical sense to me.
posted by dw at 2:31 PM on June 11, 2006

What is the best way to raise children who will disrespect and defy authority figures? What is the best way to train them endure and resist physical violence and emotional manipulation?
posted by wobh at 3:36 PM on June 11, 2006

"Mommy whipped me good and it never did me no harm."

Well, aside from the fact that you're now the kind of person that hits children. Betcha Mommy's real proud.
posted by Sparx at 5:14 PM on June 11, 2006

from the Spare-Rods link in the FPP:

For maximum effect:
• Have the child tell you the reason they are being punished.
• Parent should wait one minute between each swat.
• Apply no more than 5 swats per day.
• Spank only on the rump.
• Child must be wearing clothes.
• Use force sufficient only to get the child's attention.
• Support child's torso so no stress can be placed on their spine.

After punishment is served:
• Give your child a hug and tell them that you love them! The punishment was for their behavior only.

Love, Joey

Thanks, Joey.
posted by NationalKato at 5:29 PM on June 11, 2006

I got compliments when I took them places, because they weren't running around like wild animals.

I wouldn't run around like a wild animal either if I was afraid that doing so would cause someone that I trust to HIT me.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own space. No one, and especially not children, should be disciplined with physical violence. Why is that not obvious?
posted by eunoia at 7:36 PM on June 11, 2006

Look, I'm sure there's kids out there that respond to physical discipline well, not growing to fear or resent their parents, and that some of you here may even have lived through such an upbringing and can swear to the thing high atop somewhere you're none-the-worse for wear and zip-a-dee-dah. But the problem is, not every kid comes out unscathed and you don't know which you're hitting until after.

My mother used a belt. It was thick and wide, brown on one side and black on the other, fancy embroidery covering it in a rainbow of color. The buckle was brass and twisted to look like braided rope. I can not only see it in my mind clearly, I can remember what it smelled like when my mom waved it under my nose, when she was threatening to spank us. When she didn't use it on me or my sister, she actually wore it.

She would throw us face down on the bed or up against a wall and hit so hard, the belt would wrap around my leg and I would feel it across my seat, around my hip, and then all the way around to between my thighs. Not only was sitting hard after it was used, sometimes I had to stretch my legs out in front of me, because bending them hurt.

I once accused her of abuse, and she told me that abusers hit worse, didn't feed their kids, and locked them in closets. She convinced me for years that what she did was love and not abuse, and because I didn't want to believe my mother would take her frustrations out on me, I believed it. Then she would tell me to ask my friends if they got spanked, and since some of them did... what the fuck? It's normal, right? If my friends are getting spanked, spare the rod and spoil the child, and even Mr Drummond spanked his boys on tv -- that totally meant it was the right thing to do. Right?

But I loathed that belt, and sometimes I loathed her.

She spanked us with that from when I was little until I was thirteen. She came at me and we fought for the belt. I shouted for my sister to call the police. Mom managed to get the belt and hit me until I couldn't sit because I refused to cry, and then hid out in her own room for several hours after.

She never hit my sister that day, and she never hit either of us after that. We never talk about that time. She has a scar on her neck still from where I scratched her in the fight over the belt.

I love my mom, and in other ways, she was fantastic and went above and beyond.

When I was growing up, my mother knew exactly what shows we were watching; books we were reading; places we played; friends we had; the names of our teachers and what they taught; and had the phone numbers to any house we had ever stepped foot in.

She made do with very little and no help, and part of me knows that those spankings were borne from the stress of being a single parent and getting by on just by the skin of her teeth. It was about being too tired and too busy to figure out a way to connect with us, and taking the easy way with the belt.

But I can't see that as effective discipline when all I learned was how to flinch when Mom mad a sudden move.

And I can't find it in me to respect parents who hear stories like this and try to convince me that spanking is an effective way to discipline a child.

Because I may not be a spanking parent, but I was a spanked kid....and I'm just not buying that line.

Not when I still remember the smell of leather.

Which is probably more than any of you wanted to know, and the post was probably a ha-ha, look at the crazy Christian spanking site, aren't they funny. But, meh, spanking is one of those Pavlov issues, where it rings up and I go to the closet to pull out the soap box.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:17 PM on June 11, 2006 [2 favorites]

Nothing like a good spanking to show your Christian love for those closest to you...
posted by ronin21 at 8:33 PM on June 11, 2006

I wasn't spanked as a kid. My dad especially showed great restraint. He was a very solid guy, bricklayer, played semi-pro football, forearms like Popeye, certainly capable of great physical violence. And he would just calm and level talk to me about why what I did was wrong, what I'm going to do to fix it, and how it's never going to happen again.

Which, given my temperment was the exact right thing to do.

I had insane rage as a child. I utterly demolished a bike I had (one of those one's with the banana seat) by picking it up and throwing it down again and again over several blocks. My neighbor - who was a Marine and had been at Iwo Jima - said that was the angriest he had ever seen anyone and it was the foulest language he'd ever heard.
I got into fights, etc. etc. I don't know whether it's genetic or what.
The discipline of the martial arts is really all that helped me keep it together.

I suspect if I was hit with one of these polyurethane sticks as a child I'd start my career as a serial killer right after I killed my parents with it ('cause they had turned to the devil...or something).

I don't have kids that warrent spanking. I'm not absolutely opposed to it. But violence is (to paraphrase Sun Tzu) like fire. Perhaps in small controllable amounts it can be beneficial, but it can too easily become uncontrolled. The possible benefits are not, to me, worth the risk.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:40 PM on June 11, 2006

I have a 19 month old son I will never spank. Nope. I was spanked, not alot, but I was. Thing is, I have read some of these books. "To Train up a child" and the Ezzo books. There is good and bad in all of them. But in the end I default to this statement. I taught school for 10 years, and never, not once did I hit a kid. And beleive me when Isay that I had MUCH less power and behavioral control at my beck and call as a teacher than I do as a parent.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 10:51 PM on June 11, 2006

1. Daycares are not allowed to spank.

2. Good daycares manage to maintain order without spanking, regardless of a diversity of outside parental philosophies. (With the exception of a handful of extremely troubled children who are probably from abusive or otherwise extraordinary environments. )

3. Therefore, spanking is unnecessary to maintaining day-to-day discipline.


1. Mentors who work with the most troubled children are not allowed to spank.

2. Good mentoring is proven to positively affect the development of children.

3. Therefore, a good, positive, growth relationship with a troubled child does not need to include corporal punishment.

Spanking is a cure for a defect of the parent, not the child. Non-corporal punishment has to be 100% consistent and very few adults are capable of that. Anyone who argues any differently has a bias, probably from their own childhood or from their own parenting experience. It's probably the deepest bias possible. The anecdotal "children who are not spanked who are hellions" probably come from families where punishment is inconsistent or nonexistent.

Parents need to treat their parenting with professionalism.

Meh, that's the good part of my comment. Here's the rant: I see this in public all the freaking time: Child is mildly misbehaving, perhaps climbing on furniture in a waiting room. Parent ignores child. Child climbs in a more dangerous way. Parent eventually notices and chastises child verbally from across the room, child pauses then restarts behavior. Parent chastises again from across the room, then ignores child again. Child continues behavior, parent chastises third time, with warning of corporal punishment. Child continues misbehavior. Parent finally fucking gets off their fat ass and walks to child, hitting them, then walks back to other side of room with a swagger. Child cries.
posted by Skwirl at 12:08 AM on June 12, 2006

Alice Miller wrote an excellent book against corporal punishment for children, called, aptly, For Your Own Good. I think it's a healing book for anyone who was physically hurt by a parent or teacher as a child.

I'm of the belief that whatever emotional pains you do not heal, you pass on.

There's a friendly and intelligent site about the expression of anger within a family, Get Your Angries Out and a page on what research says about corporal punishment.

FunkyHelix, A powerful and sad share. I'm sorry you had to endure the physical abuse your mother meted out to you. That was abuse. It sounds like you still suffer from ptsd with the smell of leather triggering the trauma/memories.

cubby and Smedleyman, So beautifully said.
posted by nickyskye at 12:13 AM on June 12, 2006

Blah blah blah

So, parenting is difficult. Being consistent and ever-vigilant is difficult or impossible for many (most?) parents. So, for these many, what are they to do? Raise up bad kids? Or apply some pain to the backside when things get too out of control?

Seriously, I'm wishy-washy on the subject. I was verbally and emotionally abused as a kid. I very much wished I would get spanked and be done with it.

Maybe all the stuff I hear about kids in school being 'out of control' is so much exaggeration, or only the worst examples. Or maybe something was done better 40+ years ago than today. Could it be that the paddle, and threat thereof, had some beneficial affect?

Certainly I've seen some amazing child rearing accomplishments that were free of corporal punishment. But they were small kids, of an age when positive attention from the parent is the #1 pleasure in life. What about latter?

So many comments in this thread amount to "spanking bad", with nothing at all to support the statement. Thanks for sharing your opinion, but opinions are cheap and easy.

Fortunately, I don't really have to worry about this, as I've no attention to get kids. Besides, I'm the sort who would explain things in such lengthy detail, no child would ever risk the lecture a second time around!
posted by Goofyy at 3:44 AM on June 12, 2006

Call it what you like, at the end of the day you're hitting a child.
posted by tkolar at 8:04 AM on June 12, 2006

"Call it what you like, at the end of the day you're hitting a child."

I call it "Fun."
posted by klangklangston at 8:46 AM on June 12, 2006

The only lesson I want them to learn at that age is that if they run out into the street, I'm tearing their tail up if a car didn't hit them first. At that age they do not reason like we do, and they NEED that fear to help them be safe.

Plus I am totally weary of brats in restaurants screeching and carrying on. Mine did not do that, so they got to go places and do things and enjoyed getting compliments from strangers on their behavior. They were NOT afraid of me, but they knew I meant for them to behave. And yes, it did teach them selfcontrol, because they had a very good reason to exercise it!

There is one caveat to all this. You have to keep your child's heart and you have to know that you have their best interests at heart. I was raised in a home where I was spanked for stupid stuff and not encouraged. My own kids were encouraged and NEVER told they were stupid or bad. I have a wonderful relationship with all of them as adults.

I do NOT believe in emotional manipulation of kids, and I do NOT believe in raising robots (I have seen that and it squicks me out.) I believe in respecting a child's developmental stages, and I believe you cannot expect a young child to behave in the same fashion as an older one.

This spanking thing is way more complicated than people think. Just wailing away on little Junior very well can turn him into a bitter delinquent. That is NOT what i am talking about.
posted by konolia at 2:47 PM on June 12, 2006

My parents were very minimal in spanking but it happened. The times I can remember actually learning a lesson as a child didn't involve spanking - they involved positive encouragement or the concept of a "time out" - which wasn't really the child-friendly version of today, but being made to stand in the corner to think about it until I'd apologize. All I can remember about spanking is that I became more adverse to trying any new behavior as a kid that my parents didn't recommend. There were a number of things that I thought were off-limits when I was a young child that I later found out weren't -- I was just afraid to try or even ask about them because I thought the possibility of punishment was there.

konolia, I believe that you've always had your children's best interests at heart, but it's also completely possible to keep children under control and polite without physical punishment. It's more complicated in that many (most?) parents can't draw the line between light physical punishment, if there is such a thing for small children, and outright abuse. It's a slippery slope and I commend you for not crossing it. But you have to acknowledge that there are effective options that don't involve violence, no matter which child is in question. It's a conscious decision in parenting.
posted by mikeh at 4:03 PM on June 12, 2006

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