A Conversation for How to Teach your Child the Basics

Ha

Post 1

Will Jenkins (Dead)

I notice no-one's posted here, obviously bringing-up children is an issue people try and avoid. Should you smack your children?


Ha

Post 2

Barney's Bucksaws

Have you opened a can of worms! There's so much debate on this one. I, personally believe a well-aimed smack on a little bottom does no harm, and stops an activity IMMEDIATELY. Children have to learn self-discipline, and until they learn, discipline has to come from outside themselves. A child disciplined from an early age, say the Terrible Two's, learns quickly, and it doesn't take long before the little taps aren't needed, and a word will do. What I am against is yelling. That really solves nothing, except, perhaps to tell the kid you can't handle the situation, and have totally lost control. And guess what - they won.


Ha

Post 3

Will Jenkins (Dead)

I like having discussions on controversial topics. Personally I agree with you I was brought up that way and it did me no harm. I'm only 15 so what do I know?


Ha

Post 4

Barney's Bucksaws

Will, my son's 21, and he agrees with it too. He was never harmed by the odd smack. They were saying, years ago now, that spanking crushed a child's creativity (?). I'm here to tell you it isn't so! My boy is an artist - drawing, painting, diaramas (sorry, can't spell), a fine actor, and musician. He's in a profession that requires all his creativity (his REAL job, that is) - he's in marketing.

I'm willing to bet you're a young man who's parents are proud of him, because you always (well, mostly) behave appropriately, and they don't have to worry about you in any given situation. Maybe more "adults" should listen to more 15-year-olds.


Ha

Post 5

Will Jenkins (Dead)

Certainly if more adults did listen to 15-year-olds deodrant would be in more plentiful supply smiley - tongueout


Ha

Post 6

Barney's Bucksaws

Guilty as charged, Sir smiley - winkeye


Ha

Post 7

Sho - gainfully employed again

A little smack on the bum. Not a whacking great slap in the face - which I have seen on more than one occasion!!

I agree with you - and hope my two "little angels" will grow up ok following the same principles!


Ha

Post 8

The Nitpicker

I only used smacking in the pre-verbal stage and then ONLY to stop my children from doing things that were positively dangerous e.g. sticking hairpins into the electric sockets (this was something neither of my children actually did - that was my brother). After that stage I think that children need to learn as quickly as possible to REASON and accept that there are some things that are unacceptable - this includes VIOLENCE which is what smacking is!


Ha

Post 9

Barney's Bucksaws

In a perfect world, ""no, no, darling, please don't do that" would work. Or maybe I just had a TERRIBLE Terrible-Two. That little dude wouldn't take no for an answer! Physical consequences seemed to be the only thing he understood until he was nearly 5. Suddenly it seemed to get through to him that no means no. Then I could draw in my horns! It wasn't that I struck out automatically. He was given several chances to stop the behavior with a word of warning.


Ha

Post 10

The Nitpicker

But did you try to reason with him? The other function of reasoning is that it also helps you to distinguish between things you really care about stopping your child from doing and things that are not actually crucial. "No darling, please don't do that" is rarely adequate without some explanation of why. If you begin to explain why at the earliest possible age there is some chance that your child will begin to understand that reasoning is an important human activity and get into the habit of doing it him/herself. Examining the reasons for ones actions, and the possible consequences, is a very important skill that so many children do not learn because they are often just told what to do with no understanding of why. Yes, it is asking a lot of a parent and yes, the reason is sometimes just 'because I say so' but if you tell your child that they will develop in inner 'policeman' and you will not have to worry so much about what they are getting up to when you are not 'policing' them.


Ha

Post 11

Wednesday Addams (sleeping, mostly)

reason? with a two-year old?


Ha

Post 12

phw

OK, I just have to reply to this.
To smack children is just as bad as yelling (and worse) and it is an indication of the exact same thing: that you cannot handle the situation.
And arguments like, "I hit my children and look, it hasn't done them any harm!" are best kept to oneself, sorry.
This is not meant to be personal. The thing is, I have spent one year working with children who grew up with physical violence and I have seen what this *can* do.
I don't say that one slap has severe consequences for the rest of the kid's life, of course, but there is no way to argue, that physical violence generally does no harm (no, not even 'in moderation').
For all the non-believers: the literature on this subject is huge.


Removed

Post 13

Spiritual Warrior

This post has been removed.


Ha

Post 14

Spiritual Warrior

I agree with this to an extent - but sometimes there just isn't time to reason with kids. They have to know to obey first and ask questions later, or you'll shout "Stop right there", and they, not having been given a reason yet will continue to walk out in front of that car....

It is a good idea to reason with them - perhaps even better to get them to work out the reason themselves, but in any case the questions should come after the obeying, with the 'default reason' being that it's fairly likely they'll get a smack, or at least told off if they don't obey.

SW.


Ha

Post 15

Caledonian

Whether you agree with the idea or not, phw is suggesting that physical punishment, even to the degree that it's been accepted in the past, actually can have significant harmful effects on children.

I'm not certain if that is actually true, but he's right, there've been some fascinating studies that seem to indicate that.

[bows respectfully]

--Caledonian


Ha

Post 16

Barney's Bucksaws

True story: Someone I know has a son, who has never been hit. He has been reasoned with and given "time out" (God I hat that expression!) all his life. Should be a happy, well-adjusted, easy-going, easy-to-manage little guy by age 5, right?

At age 5, he hit his mother so hard in the stomach she had to go to Emergency for treatment. He went to therapy, and last I heard (he's now a teenager) he's been tossed at school for violence. Seems to me, he's never really learned there are consequences to actions.


Ha

Post 17

Sho - gainfully employed again

Thanks for posting that. I am sick and tired of hearing "don't do that, don't do that, don't do that.... (repeat ad infinitum)" and the kid keeps on doing it. Fine if it's picking it's nose. But when it's hitting my (smaller) kid over the head with a pan, or walking out in front of a car or worse then: stop the child. In the case of hitting my 1 yr old over the head with a saucepan (by a 5 year old who had been "reasoned" with all his life) I told the mother that, following her guidelines of don't do that because I don't like it, I would batter her kid over the head with the pan, and she could "reason" with me. I would display a 5yr old's understanding of "don't do that" and she could scrape the kid off the floor when I had finished. She looked at me aghast and said "violence isn't the answer". In that case I would love to have known what the question was.
So: very carefully, without wishing to cause offence to anyone (especially anyone who was physically abused as a child) I give my kids (2 and 3) the occasional smack. When they're doing something which is dangerous to them, I shout. Very loudly. When another kid is hurting my kids, I address the parents (they only get one chance to stop it though before I remove their child from the vicinity of my kids physically). I don't interfere when I see other parents smacking / shouting at their children, unless I think it's dangerous to the child.
There are worse ways of disciplining a child (shutting them in their room for half an hour at age 2 is frightful).
end of rant
Sho (who was smacked a total of 4 times before she stopped being naughty - but then I'm (nearly) perfect!)


Ha

Post 18

The Nitpicker

Yes, as I said above I reasoned with my two year olds to TEACH them what it is. I also DID smack them when they did anything really DANGEROUS but only when it endagered them or others. They learmed to reason with themselves BEFORE they did anything they had any doubts about by the time they were about four years - two years of justifying to them AND myself WHY they should not do something was exhausting and very boring but it worked for us. Maybe this is because it stopped me from trying to put restrictions on them about unimportant things such as getting dirty or singing tunelessly all the time - both very annoying habits, to parents, but part of childhood. They also learned the things that fell into this category, i.e. it just annoys Mummy but not necessarily all adults, and to care enough about me not to do those things either.


Ha

Post 19

Caledonian

With all due respect: just what is your point?

I've heard of kids who were (occasionally) physically punished who also were messed up -- but that doesn't prove anything. Neither does your example of the not-smacked violence-boy.

SOME studies seem to indicate that children who are "moderately" physically discliplined are more likely to have specific emotional problems than children who aren't. The studies could be wrong. Or, it's possible that there is a right way and a wrong way to hit a child, and the observed effect is due to those parents who are doing it the wrong way.

At the very least, it seems to me that there might be more than one way to teach children that there are consequences to actions -- ways that do not necessarily include hitting them. If you disagree, fine -- but please offer more than anecdotes if you intend to support that position.

[bows respectfully]

--Caledonian


Ha

Post 20

I'm not really here

I was smacked as a kid, and all it taught me was that if I was going to misbehave I'd better not get caught.
I rarely smack my own child, and he has ADHD, so is not the best behaved little boy. I tell him to do or not do something, and if he doesn't obey I get up and make him start/stop what he is doing. We have a few shouting matches, true, but I always win as I won't back down. I always make a point of explaining why to him, and I've done that since he was a baby. If he didn't unsderstand, so what? He grew up being used to being talked to and he learnt to listen.
I think that as long as you teach your children to respect you and you show them where their boundaries are you won't need to smack. (Of course, this doesn't stop me giving him a smack on the had when he needs it, but never in temper and he always knows what he's done to derserve it.)
He did hit out at me when he was in a temper once, and I won that one by saying "I don't hit you so don't hit me" and he never did it again. I couldn't say that if I belted him all the time.


Key: Complain about this post