19 votes

Shame on those who defend the "loving smack": it's just plain violence against children

22 comments

  1. [2]
    mat
    Link
    I hate the line "well I was smacked and I turned out OK" It always makes me think "No you didn't, you think hitting kids is acceptable. That's not someone who is entirely OK"

    I hate the line "well I was smacked and I turned out OK"

    It always makes me think "No you didn't, you think hitting kids is acceptable. That's not someone who is entirely OK"

    18 votes
    1. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      You know this is just a tautology right?

      You know this is just a tautology right?

      8 votes
  2. [19]
    mrbig
    Link
    I believe a good smack can be extremely educational, the problem is regulating what constitutes a good smack and how to differentiate it from abuse. So prohibiting it altogether might as well be...

    I believe a good smack can be extremely educational, the problem is regulating what constitutes a good smack and how to differentiate it from abuse. So prohibiting it altogether might as well be the best option.

    7 votes
    1. [8]
      Spel
      Link Parent
      Do you believe that there is any way of using violence to correct the behaviour of children that does not teach the lesson that violence is an acceptable way to "correct" behaviour that you don't...

      Do you believe that there is any way of using violence to correct the behaviour of children that does not teach the lesson that violence is an acceptable way to "correct" behaviour that you don't like?

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        NaraVara
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Sure. You just need to have a moral framework that differentiates objective standards of morality from subjective preferences. If you believe things like “treating people with respect is better...

        Sure. You just need to have a moral framework that differentiates objective standards of morality room from subjective preferences. If you believe things like “treating people with respect is better than being disrespectful” are qualitatively different kinds of statements than what flavor of ice-cream you prefer you should already be comfortable drawing such distinctions.

        At the most obvious level, I’m a kickboxer so punching people in the face is literally how you teach people to keep their guard up. At the end of the day 90% of it is muscle memory, and regular positive/negative reinforcement inculcates that on a level that trying to rationally explain that someone should maintain their guard does not. Moral frameworks aren’t that different and while we rationalize most of them after the fact, our in-the-moment actions are dictated more by habit than anything else.

        And a big part of learning how to train as a martial artist is learning how to control your application of force to whatever is appropriate for the circumstance. Light sparring means you strike to let people know they’ve been struck but to not hurt them long term. But sometimes you do hard sparring because being able to persist in spite of pain and keep your composure under the pressure of someone striking to hurt you is part of what you’re training for.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Spel
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          To be honest I don't see how this is relevant at all. In martial arts there is no one who is in a position of power, everyone is consenting and causing pain is not the actual goal.. It's like BDSM

          To be honest I don't see how this is relevant at all. In martial arts there is no one who is in a position of power, everyone is consenting and causing pain is not the actual goal.. It's like BDSM

          4 votes
          1. NaraVara
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            You’re introducing news concepts of power disparity and a consent framework now, but the original claim was that violence can’t be used to teach a lesson without also teaching that it’s an...

            You’re introducing news concepts of power disparity and a consent framework now, but the original claim was that violence can’t be used to teach a lesson without also teaching that it’s an appropriate response to any behavior you dislike. I’ll set aside the fact that both claims are wrong and the BDSM analogy is kind of tortured because even if they were right, they wouldn’t make sense in this context at all.

            The fact is, violence is done, kids learn a lesson from it, and because of the context under which it is being done (an explanation goes with the strike from an instructor with authority) there is no inculcation that’s might-makes-right. So the claim that you can’t have one without the other doesn’t hold up.

            It doesn’t hold up because it depends on making an inappropriate conflation of moral claims with personal preferences. There is nothing to indicate that kids aren’t capable of drawing this distinction themselves when they’re being reprimanded, I certainly understood it when it happened to me.

            4 votes
      2. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        You’re implying that I disagree with the last premise. I do not.

        You’re implying that I disagree with the last premise. I do not.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Spel
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Am I wrong in concluding then that you believe that there is something that is a "good smack", that is not abusive, but does teach that lesson? If not, what am I misunderstanding?

          Am I wrong in concluding then that you believe that there is something that is a "good smack", that is not abusive, but does teach that lesson? If not, what am I misunderstanding?

          5 votes
          1. mrbig
            Link Parent
            Your interpretation is correct.

            Your interpretation is correct.

            2 votes
      3. mrbig
        Link Parent
        Now that I'm on the computer: your objection can pose no threat to my position because, if I'm here defending corporal punishments, I'm obviously very comfortable with other people holding the...

        Do you believe that there is any way of using violence to correct the behaviour of children that does not teach the lesson that violence is an acceptable way to "correct" behaviour that you don't like?

        Now that I'm on the computer:

        your objection can pose no threat to my position because, if I'm here defending corporal punishments, I'm obviously very comfortable with other people holding the same belief. Including my own children.

        IDK what you were expecting, TBH!

        1 vote
    2. [9]
      mike10010100
      Link Parent
      In what instances?

      I believe a good smack can be extremely educational

      In what instances?

      4 votes
      1. [5]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        Let me step in in this one with an anecdote: I was three or four and my mother had taken me to see Ninja Turtles in theatres. Coming out of the movie I was amped up and apparently hyperactively...

        Let me step in in this one with an anecdote:

        I was three or four and my mother had taken me to see Ninja Turtles in theatres. Coming out of the movie I was amped up and apparently hyperactively going around ninja kicking things throughout the mall. I refused to listen to repeated pleas from my mother to stop. She took my into the bathroom spanked me, and I was immediately in line. Nearly thirty years later, I don't harbour any complexes because of that spanking, I'm not a violent person, I don't believe violence is the best option in most child rearing scenarios, but I do understand why it was done at that particular moment, nor do I believe it was wrong.

        Toddlers don't always respond to positive influence and discussion. They aren't always capable or willing to be rational. When all the other methods fail, when your child is actively causing harm and refusing to listen to reason, and you don't have the time or the privacy to deal with it, then yes a spanking may be the appropriate response.

        10 votes
        1. [4]
          mike10010100
          Link Parent
          There are many, many other ways of ensuring that a toddler will stay in line, one of the most successful being informing the toddler that if they do not stop the behavior, they will be going home...

          I refused to listen to repeated pleas from my mother to stop. She took my into the bathroom spanked me, and I was immediately in line.

          There are many, many other ways of ensuring that a toddler will stay in line, one of the most successful being informing the toddler that if they do not stop the behavior, they will be going home for time out, then following through on that.

          Yes, it's often inconvenient, but there is always a viable alternative to violence.

          12 votes
          1. [3]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            We were going home and she did involve threats of grounding, those were the aforementioned pleas. As I said, a toddler does not always think with reason. "You're going to have a time out not now,...

            We were going home and she did involve threats of grounding, those were the aforementioned pleas.

            As I said, a toddler does not always think with reason. "You're going to have a time out not now, but 45 minutes from now after we drive home" may not always trigger the best-behave mode. It's inane to believe that reasoning with a 3 year old is always possible.

            I'm glad we have moved away from a world where the threat of violence was a constant child rearing tool. That doesn't mean that the rare spanking should be treated as a war crime. We have swung from one extreme to the other. Now you can't go anywhere without flustered parents trying in vain to verbally control their misbehaving children because a spanking they are terrified of CPS if they so much as lay a finger on their child.

            11 votes
            1. [2]
              mike10010100
              Link Parent
              I think you're being a bit hyperbolic. Having a child is constantly inconvenient. That's part of the consequences of deciding to have children. When you choose to use violence against a child, you...

              I think you're being a bit hyperbolic. Having a child is constantly inconvenient. That's part of the consequences of deciding to have children.

              When you choose to use violence against a child, you teach only that violence is the answer to inconvenient solutions.

              You are allowed to immediately restrain a child. That is not abusive. You are allowed to sit a child down, tell them they are not allowed to move. If they do, they will be picked up and put back in the place where they're supposed to be sitting, this time for longer. This is the consequence of their behavior.

              This is an immediate consequence: boredom and isolation from stimulus.

              Spanking in a bathroom tells them that might makes right, and that they should act out of fear of violent retribution, not out of a desire to avoid consequences of their own actions.

              13 votes
              1. AugustusFerdinand
                Link Parent
                Ah yes, the prison system version of punishment. That has worked extremely well and ensured that rules are never broken... No, it teaches them escalation of consequences: verbal reprimand, loss of...

                This is an immediate consequence: boredom and isolation from stimulus.

                Ah yes, the prison system version of punishment. That has worked extremely well and ensured that rules are never broken...

                Spanking in a bathroom tells them that might makes right, and that they should act out of fear of violent retribution, not out of a desire to avoid consequences of their own actions.

                No, it teaches them escalation of consequences: verbal reprimand, loss of privilege, loss of stimulus/freedom, pain. Pain should never be the first option, in fact it should always be the last option, but it should be an option and it is a very good teacher.

                5 votes
      2. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        I could bring lots of anecdotes, but I think it would be as useful as trying to convince a staunch Vegan that sometimes killing animals for meat is OK. So I'll just re-estate my prior position,...

        I could bring lots of anecdotes, but I think it would be as useful as trying to convince a staunch Vegan that sometimes killing animals for meat is OK. So I'll just re-estate my prior position, which I think is a strong one: in the end, my opinion on "smacking" doesn't matter. It should be prohibited anyway:

        the problem is regulating what constitutes a good smack and how to differentiate it from abuse. So prohibiting it altogether might as well be the best option.

        1. [2]
          mike10010100
          Link Parent
          I mean the plural of anecdote is not data, and all data suggests that it's universally a bad idea. If you want to discuss psychology papers or other scientific literature, I'd be more than happy...

          I could bring lots of anecdotes, but I think it would be as useful as trying to convince a staunch Vegan that sometimes killing animals for meat is OK.

          I mean the plural of anecdote is not data, and all data suggests that it's universally a bad idea.

          If you want to discuss psychology papers or other scientific literature, I'd be more than happy to engage that discussion.

          1 vote
          1. mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I don’t see the point in discussing scientific papers because my position is largely irrelevant: smacking should be prohibited wether it’s harmful or not. To make it clear: that’s because it would...

            I don’t see the point in discussing scientific papers because my position is largely irrelevant: smacking should be prohibited wether it’s harmful or not.

            To make it clear: that’s because it would be unpractical or impossible to prevent abuse without also preventing what I might consider legitimate corporal punishment.

            3 votes
    3. JohnLeFou
      Link Parent
      I think I do agree with you. My parents only gave spankings in place of physical danger. Running out in the street, climbing up on the roof, throwing a kitchen knife, were all things that were...

      I think I do agree with you. My parents only gave spankings in place of physical danger. Running out in the street, climbing up on the roof, throwing a kitchen knife, were all things that were punished physically as a surrogate for the physical consequences without the danger of serious harm. Yelling, tantrums, etc were never punished that way.

      That said, I don’t think I’d spank my kids, but I’m not a parent yet so I think I’ll step back from making any hard declarations.

      4 votes
  3. mrbig
    Link
    As an addendum: "loving smack" sounds unsettling romantic to me. Or something out of 50 Shades of Grey.

    As an addendum: "loving smack" sounds unsettling romantic to me. Or something out of 50 Shades of Grey.

    2 votes