Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

Category: spanking (page 1 of 2)

More success raising our boy without spanking/hitting/slapping

We never did slap our kid around or anything like that, but I had originally planned on no spanking at all.  Then my son hit toddler age, and I had trouble getting him to behave.  My ex-friend Richard convinced me to spank, and to do it as hard as I could, and unfortunately, I listened.

It didn’t do one bit of good.  The only thing that ever really worked with my son was to take away things he most wanted if he misbehaved.

After breaking off relations with Richard and his wife (for psychologically abusing me and constantly causing drama), we also stopped spanking, period.  That was about three years ago.

If you read the comments on pretty much every Internet article/blog post about modern discipline, you’d think that parents not spanking/slapping their kids are causing the downfall of society.  That kids run wild because nobody spanks/belts/slaps them anymore.

But I’ve seen kids who are constantly spanked/slapped/screamed at, running wild anyway (Richard’s kids).  I’ve seen well-behaved kids who are raised without harshness.

And the older generations complained about MY generation (X) when we were young, too–even though most of us got spanked or even belted as kids.  In those days, it was still okay to use a paddle or a wooden spoon!

Nowadays in America, according to statistics, most parents do still spank their kids.  So–If most of the kids are getting spanked, then where are all the non-spanked kids who are supposedly running wild?  It must be the spanked-kids who are running wild, then!

Or maybe it’s all imaginary–the same complaints older generations have made about younger generations since the dawn of time–and kids behave no worse than they always have!

Also, violence breeds violence: If you abuse a child, you teach that child to abuse, or to find a spouse who abuses.  Why is it assault to smack your wife upside the head, but okay to smack a child (whose head is much smaller and brain much more vulnerable) upside the head?

Abused kids of today often become the criminals of tomorrow, whom society must then deal with, so it is indeed society’s business when kids are abused.  It is indeed your business if your next-door neighbor is smacking his kid around.

While I hesitate to call a short, quick spank on the well-padded butt “abuse,” especially since most parents still do it, I do intend to raise my child without violence of any kind.  I believe I have apologized to my son for spanking him in the past and following Richard’s bad advice.

He is high-spirited at home.  What brings quick compliance?  “No computer tomorrow!”  The thought of spending a whole long day without playing Minecraft or Roblox, brings him upstairs quick.  But I read that children often push the boundaries with their parents because they’re more comfortable with them.  The real test is how the child behaves for teachers and other authority figures.

Another thing you hear is, “Teachers have trouble controlling their classrooms because parents don’t spank anymore.”  Well, they DO still spank, so it must be some other reason.

And my kid sure isn’t the one causing the problem.  Every year, we hear what a wonderful boy we have, how good he is in class.  Every year, the teacher says, “He’s such a nice boy!”  “He’s a nice kid!”  “He befriended a girl who has trouble making friends.”  “He’s brilliant!”  “His test scores are far above average.”  On Thursday, during parent-teacher conferences, we heard it all again.

He also takes after me: He’s quiet, though he talks all the time with his best friends.  He has also naturally matured since second grade (he’s in fourth grade): He works well in groups, works hard, focuses (he used to be easily distracted), LOVES math (does math problems for fun!), loves to read, reads all the time.

I got paddled, and went to an elementary school where I once heard teachers paddling some poor kid, but I sure didn’t work that hard in school in 4th grade, or do my homework!

And I was a well-behaved kid otherwise, so I didn’t get paddled in school, but just having to put my name on the board was humiliating enough.

(Everybody got spanked or paddled, yet most of my classmates got in trouble more often than I did, and even gasped when I had to put my name on the board, so don’t say the paddling made me well-behaved.  No, it was natural temperament.)

At the beginning of the year, my son had some trouble remembering to do/bring in his homework.  So I gave him some tips, and told him that I would have to take 50 cents off his allowance every time he brought home another late slip.  We also had to tell him because of a problem last year, $1 off his allowance every time he gets to school late.

Guess what?  Ever since then, we’ve had no trouble with forgotten homework or tardiness.  🙂  [Update 12/23/14: So far in fifth grade, he has been remembering homework with no trouble, and his tardiness has also sharply dropped off.]

No violence, but still “hitting” him where it hurts: his allowance.  We do not have to threaten violence to get him to study.  We do not have to threaten violence to get compliance in other areas.

And it’s paying off.

 

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Parents, DON’T beat your children!

I just had to unfriend somebody for posting on Facebook that we should beat our children.  Dang it, people, in this day and age—!!!!!

Fortunately, she was an acquaintance, nothing closer than that.

But after the crap I went through with Richard and Tracy and how they beat/choked their children, and reporting them to CPS, and then getting stalked by them for a year for speaking up about it, I don’t want to go through this crap again with somebody else!!!!

I was already wary of this person after I heard her cuss at her kid one day.  But this confirmed it.  😛  If she had said “spank,” I would’ve let it pass.  But she used the word “beat.”  😛

I quietly unfriended her shortly after reading her post, and did not take a screen print.  But as near as I can recall her post, it was:

Parents, you should beat your children.  You need to be their parent, not their f**king friend.

Um….There’s a HUGE middle ground between beating/abusing children and being too lax.  😛

[Update 12/6/14:]  In early 2014, I saw her at a checkers tournament.  Hubby and I both were appalled when, during a discussion on child abuse, she justified grabbing her little boy’s ears, saying it didn’t hurt him, etc.

She may have said other things as well.  But this confirmed my decision to unfriend her.  Well, that and some abusive things she said about Hubby later on, which caused me to block her as well.  I also saw her smack the boy in the mouth once for using the same language she herself does.

 

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Spanking, Discipline and Physical Abuse: ie, Spanking Does Not Work

 

From Dr. Misty Hook, PhD, Spanking, Discipline and Physical Abuse:

Hundreds of studies on spanking spanning at least 75 years failed to provide evidence for the assertion that physical punishment improves children’s behavior in the long term (Gershoff 2008). Children who are spanked do not tend to internalize the value their parents want them to get (via the spanking) but instead are merely more likely to understand that they should not get caught.

Thus, the corrective outcome of spanking is short term at best (Larzelere 2000). In fact, one research study that followed children with serious behavior problems found that the children’s behavior actually improved after parents stopped spanking (Webster-Stratton 1990).

Moreover, the research shows that spanking is bad for kids. Spanking makes it more likely that children will be more defiant and aggressive (Taylor et al 2010), that they’ll be at risk for negative outcomes including mental health troubles (Strassberg et al 1994) and that they’re at greater risk for serious injury and physical abuse (Straus et al 1997).

I’ve heard spanking proponents dismiss this research stating that spanking is incredibly difficult to quantify and evaluate. This is definitely true, but even if you don’t believe the spanking research, all you have to do is look at other behavioral research to find corroborating justification for the spanking research conclusions.

Other research has consistently found that punishment is a vastly inferior method of behavior correction and that, put simply, violence begets violence. Per social learning theory, if you see someone use violence as a way to control another’s behavior, chances are you will too (ergo, the Cycle of Violence).

That’s one reason why it’s always astonished me when people use spanking as a way to teach children that they shouldn’t hit. The logical conclusion to that technique is: only hit those who are less powerful than you.

 

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Parent-Teacher Conference: Our Kid’s a “Crazy Inventor”

Just got back from a parent-teacher conference.  Geez, our kid is brilliant.  He’s in third grade now; scoring at the top at everything; behaving; getting along well with other kids; sweet; and the teacher occasionally asks him if he’ll be a crazy inventor when he grows up, because he’s inventive.

I can just see it now….With that hair always in cowlicks because he forgets to brush it, his Gen-X parents into stuff like goth, steampunk, D&D and unconventional sleep times/schedules–our little boy growing up into one of those begoggled steampunk turn-of-the-century inventors.

Like, say, Jasper Dale on Avonlea, my favorite character on that show, by the way.  Forget his social awkwardness and stutter–Jasper is smart and hot.  (Hey, look, somebody else agrees with me!)

We stopped spanking our son a few years ago, and yet he still is well-behaved for teachers and most other adults.  Every year he gets such praise from his teachers.  His parents were both social misfits (still are), yet he’s doing fine.  How did that happen?  His parents both had “issues” in school, yet he’s doing well.  How did that happen?

And yet, with how well this one’s turning out, we’ve been unable to have more children…..What a frickin’ shame.

 

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How Richard and Tracy’s views on parenting are wrong

The Bowersock Family episode of Supernanny demonstrates how violence and yelling does NOT make a better-behaved child, despite all the people who claim it does.  From Anonymous on IMDB:

Jo meets the Bowersock family where parents Jenniffer and Thad are having trouble with their three kids: 7-year-old Madeline “Maddie,” 6-year-old Hayden, and 4-year-old Lily Grace.

Jenniffer’s form of discipline is smacking, spanking, yelling, and even washing her kids’ mouth out with soap which shocks Jo.

Thad works as a juvenile corrections officer and when he gets off of work, he heads to the gym leaving Jenniffer with the kids.

The Bowersock kids disrespect their parents and show Jenniffer no respect whatsoever. Jo discovers Jenniffer’s abusive childhood and teaches her how to break the cycle with her own children. Can Jo help this family?

Yet Jennifer says in the intro, “I’ve never once felt bad for the way I discipline my kids.”  And herein lies the problem: abusers not feeling bad about what they do!

Richard and Tracy are an example I have seen firsthand of a family like the Bowersocks.  For all the screaming and grabbing and hitting I saw going on, those kids still wouldn’t do as they were told.  Richard would brag that they did, but I’d see different.

Children imitate their parents: If the parent is out of control, the children will be as well.  Richard said that boys who are not screamed at, grow up not respecting women.  But how can a boy respect women if his chief example is a screaming, hitting harpy?

In the early days, when I had trouble dealing with my little boy who liked hitting, I used Richard’s advice on how to discipline.  I had first tried no spanking, only to find it didn’t seem to work on him.  Richard advised three spanks.  This was before I knew what Richard’s own household was like, so I listened.

In person, he advised to spank harder, said I was doing it too lightly.  I thought with three children he knew what he was talking about, and he seemed like a decent, gentle person, so I listened.  Of course, I still couldn’t spank very hard because I just don’t have that kind of upper body strength.  Yet it wasn’t hard enough for Richard.

But when Tracy and the children moved in, weeks passed, and I began seeing how Tracy dealt with them–I began to distrust the advice he had given.  How could I have been so naïve as to take advice from someone I had never actually seen parent?

The more I saw of their ways of doing things, I took a few things that seemed to work, but the mother Tracy was out of control–and so were the kids.

She even said they wouldn’t praise the kids for doing their chores, seemed to think I was silly for suggesting such a thing, yet their kids weren’t doing their chores, while mine does his chores every day.  Screaming at the kids wasn’t working. 

My own son, who is not being raised in such an environment, is as well-behaved as you can expect from a little boy, listens to his teacher, does well in school. He does get naughty at times, but I now follow the advice of experts that one quick, light spank will not cause lasting damage.

But I avoid even that much, looking for other ways to discipline.  Jeff and I have not been perfect parents, but we try our best to recognize when we make mistakes and look for better ways.

But we got the strong impression that while Richard did recognize his mistakes as abuse once in a while, Tracy just kept justifying her harshness and thinking she’d done nothing wrong.

Once, Richard said Jeff was spoiling our son, that the problem was that Jeff didn’t want to make our son fear him.  He said maybe Jeff had been afraid of his dad and didn’t want the same thing to happen to his son.  Which was true–but the trouble was, Richard said Jeff should make our son fear him!  What is the point of that?  How is that good?

You’ll often find people saying that kids today don’t behave because they’re not whacked or yelled at.  But this isn’t true, because I’ve seen in Richard and Tracy’s household that kids were constantly yelled at and whacked, and yet the kids still kept acting up in various ways all the time.  

Don’t you see they’re imitating the parents?  That’s not being the adult and taking control, that’s acting like a child and losing control to punish the children. They pick up on that.

I remember being a child vividly: Kids want to behave for kind and gentle people, and want to misbehave for mean people.  They want boundaries, but they also want to be able to tell the difference between a kid and an adult.

You tell them don’t hit, but then beat them for not behaving.  You tell them to quiet down, but yell and scream at them.  You tell them to behave, but yell and scream at each other.  How is smacking them around going to get them to act like adults?  How is whacking the 3-year-old on the head going to teach her not to act aggressive?

Yet, especially while Richard and Tracy lived in our house, they kept complaining that my child was being spoiled, ruling the roost, not being properly disciplined–while he’s growing up to be a well-behaved boy.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing

 

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