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From: Saysfaa (
Subject:         Re: Corporal Punishment
Date: November 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm PST

In Reply to: Corporal Punishment posted by PasadenaDana on September 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm:

My kids are grown and nearly grown now but I did spank them when they were young.

I did not “resort” to spanking, as if it were something wrong that I did anyway because I couldn’t make anything else work or out of frustration or anger. It was a thought-out, deliberate choice of parenting technique with clear expectations as far as what would precipitate a spanking and how it would be delivered. In particular, it was not done when I was angry or frustrated... in those cases, either my husband did it or I did it much later.

It was based on a commitment to teaching my children self-discipline and respect for others combined with an understanding of developmental psychology. It has since been confirmed with an understanding of abnormal psychology… especially the role of social interaction in depression. It was also based on noticing children and young adults we wanted our children to be like (and those we didn't want ours to be like) and talking with their parents about what they did and why.

Many people/books told me that it was better to distract the child or to remove the temptations than to allow him face the temptation and choose to control himself. I agree - in some situations. I also think it is important that the distractions and/or the removals don’t happen too much. I see it as setting curbs like along a road. If there are no curbs or they are so far apart that the child can ignore them or they are so gradual or short that he can cross them without thinking about them then he has a much harder time learning to respect boundaries. If the curbs are too close together, he has a much harder time learning to choose his course and/or to steer himself through life.

Many people also told me that it was better to socially isolate the child (it was usually called “Time-out”). I think that is much more damaging than a spanking – especially in modern societies which tend to be excessively socially isolating compared to the hunter-gatherer and agrarian societies in which we were designed to live.

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