Why is this such a touchy subject? (Rewritten)

Mar 2, 2000 (Updated Apr 29, 2000)

First and foremost I'd like to say that I do know this is a highly controversial review area. I applaud those who actually take the risk of getting bad reviews for voicing their epinions about this. It took me a while to get up the nerve and because of this I'd appreciate those who choose to rate this review poorly to at least be kind enough to tell why. If you have a valid point you may even sway my stand on this particular subject! Also, keep an open mind when reviewing ANY epinion on this subject. Just because they don't agree with you doesn't mean anyone deserves an NR or SR. If they cover the subject clearly enough and give reasons behind their thinking *no* one deserves an NR. If everyone had your outlook on life then there would be no epinions! With that said..rate away :)

After reading other epinions on this subject, along with the comments on them, I realized that maybe my epinion on this subject wasn't clear and concise.

When reading some (not all were like this but these stuck in my mind the most) of the epinions I felt bad for the people. There are stories about people who got spanked a lot while young..beatings, slaps across the mouth, physical punishment into teen age years. These stories broke my heart for one big reason. This is not punishment..this is abuse. No person deserves to be slapped across the face, beat, or physically punished past a certain mental maturity (to make that more clear..no one should have any of this happen to them but I think physical punishment {i.e. smacking of hands/bottom with hand} to a certain age isn't abuse if it's gentle and explained).

When I was young I was smacked on the bottom and sent to the corner. At 8 I was spanked with a belt and sent to my room. At 9 my parents drew the line with the physical punishment and I was punished by losing privalages. I don't agree that physical punishment should be used that late in life with children. I slap my 15 month old daughter's hands once lightly when she disobeys repeatedly. At this age children don't know right from wrong and have to be taught. EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT WHEN IT COMES TO EFFECTIVE MEANS OF BEING TAUGHT RIGHT FROM WRONG BUT NO CHILD SHOULD BE ABUSED. The first time my daughter tried to pull stuff off our table I removed the stuff and told her no. After a while I realized that some things just can't be removed from reach and a more effective means of teaching had to be instilled. When she reached for stuff on the table I'd smack her hand lightly to knock it away and say 'NO' sternly but not overly loud. If she still reached for it I'd smack her hand away again and make her sit on my lap for a minute while explaining to her why she can't do that. Each time the amount of time spent on my lap increased. Now if she reaches for something on the table and I say 'no' she listens. Her daddy has a little harder smack and a little louder 'no' and isn't quite as effective..which just solidifies the lesson that children listen better when you speak softly (tested that tonight and it's true!).

No child should be punished past a certain age of maturity. When a child is young (say under 3) they understand simple equations of life. Disobeying + not listening when caught = a sharp smack to hand and that, in turn, equals pain. Your child can learn 2 lessons, depending on the overall demeanor, either pain means don't do it again at all or pain means don't get caught. It's when your child is able to discern the meaning between right and wrong (or figure out the simple equation of life) they've reached a certain time in life where explaining things is going to be more effective. When my parents chose to physically punish me (and I don't view it as abuse since it was few and far between and VERY well deserved) when I was old enough to realize the humility of it..it hurt worse than the pain of a whipping. They were wrong for doing this but I still love them. They were punished far worse as children than they punished us so I applaud them for not continuing the cycle.

You should never punish your child when you're mad. Send them to their room until you both cool down and then try talking about it. In most cases (especially the repeated ones) just finding out if the child realized what was done wrong isn't enough. A punishment befitting the crime should be used. If the child refuses to pick up the toys then box them up and store them in the attic for a month or more. More likely than not the toys strewn about are their favorite and they'll learn fast with this technique.

Don't punish your child in public. Not only do people view you as a terrible person but it's embarrasing for those of us forced to watch it. I was in a Petsmart the other day and heard this man, across the store, yelling at the top of his lungs at his child. He was not only yelling but calling names and threatening bodily harm. I was embarassed to be on the same aisle with him. I, unfortunately, was behind him in line and almost said a few words about his attitude when he threatened to box his kid's ears "again". He went on to comment to the cashier that he should have brought the dogs since they were smarter and better than his own kids. This disgusted me. I think everyone has had or will have a child who misbehaves in a public place. My 15 month old does it ever so often and though it's annoying we deal with it in a quiet manner. If she throws a tantrum in the store my husband or I take her out of the cart and hug her until she stops screeching. If the store isn't crowded my husband races her around in the cart..which takes her mind off of things. If things progressively get worse he leaves with her while I finish shopping. Punishing your children in public will do nothing but bring embarassment on yourself or those around you.

There are people out there who say no negative punishment at all. You shouldn't use negatives, harsh language, loud voices, or physical punishments. I thought I could raise our daughter like that but quickly realized that it's impossible. Those who truly believe they can will learn that you will slip up at least once along the lines. Negative words can not be avoided. For those who *still* whole heartedly believe they can avoid any of the negative punishments...do you have children at all? Taking care of other people's children is a LOT different. You get to go home when things get rough..or at least know you'll be going home soon.

And, yes, I still do believe that if there was more discipline in the world today there would be less juvenile crime. One person commented on my last epinion that there has been a drop in juvenile crime in the last few years. If you believe that a 100 less thefts by children is a drop and thereby good when there is 10 new murders in school then that study is correct but I feel sorry for the shadowed life you lead. I put weight on crimes. I'd much rather see 100 children stealing than have one child go in and gun down even one of their classmates. If any one of those kids had been afraid of the consequences they wouldn't have been likely to commit the crime. A child who is punished consistently for what they do will learn to think about the consequences before they commit the act. Children who aren't disciplined at all will think of the consequences after the act is commited..and in the case of a shooting..it's too late.

Finally I'd like to say to the people who think that those of us (the people who do smack our kid's hands or bottoms as a punishment) are horrible people and abusive to our children..we're as human as you. We just choose to live our lives in a different way. Don't go around giving us bad reviews just because of our beliefs. That is intolerant. If you rate my review low I'd appreciate an explanation so I can see *your* point of view. Who knows, you may change my opinion ;)

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