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Lets corporally punish HIM!

August 25, 2011 - John Stack

I think its about time we all finally admit that these bombastic conservative talk show hosts have got to go. I’m saying Sean Hannity and his guest Bill Cunningham. How does one actually back someone who says ‘"I say beat kids appropriately and with love." BEAT your kids? ‘Beat’ and ‘love’ do not go in the same sentence. My Webster’s dictionary describes ‘beat’ as ‘to strike, to hit repeatedly, to pommel, to crush, to defeat’. This is what you want to do to your children?! My guess is this blowhard will now claim he meant no ill meaning with this word (like Michele Bachmann redefining the word submissive to mean respectful – whereas my dictionary says ‘to surrender, to yield oneself to another, meekness, docile, obedient – which of those is a synonym for respect?).

There is only one good point of corporal punishment - ‘immediate obedience’ . Then again, after a tough day at work I bet ingesting crack cocaine makes you feel better immediately, and not many people are advocating that as a useful or positive method of relieving stress. What are some of the ideas about why corporal punishment is a good thing?

It is only fear which restrains children from misbehaving. Show them something to be afraid of and they will behave. If this is true, how does fear equate to beating? Can we not then say ‘you better clean up your room or we are sending you back to the foster home or that we won’t love them anymore?’. That sure is throwing fear at someone. How about ‘I will lock you in your room for days with only a pot with some drinking water if you don’t comply’. I’m sure a kid would feel fear from that. Again, these would probably make someone comply instantly. Most experts agree that withholding something a child likes or wants is a much better deterrent. If I tell my daughter to clean her room or she can’t watch ‘Backyardigans’ I am sure I am just as successful at her being immediately comliant as ‘beating her’ plus there is no long term affects. If I say in an easy tone ‘You can’t watch your show until your room is clean’ I have heard of no studies that say my child is more apt to become more aggressive, be more likely to abuse their own children, more likely to have criminal or anti-social behavior, or diminish the quality of the relationship with the child and parent. All of these are related to corporal punishment though. Of course this doesn’t mean your kid will be perfect if he grows up in a non-violent home, nor does it mean a child who is beaten will have bad social behaviors. But, the one does have an astronomically greater correlation than the other.

‘It’s the only way to stop the child from ‘spoiling’. Cunningham used this ridiculous argument when he said ‘, it is one of the reasons, of many, why children today are out of control." Truly, I couldn’t find any other essay on the internet that claimed that ‘not enough beating’ was a major reason for children ‘being out of control’. Know how to make sure your kids aren’t spoiled? Don’t spoil them! If you are at a store, don’t but them everything they want. Don’t let them choose what to have for dinner. There are 100 different responses that work much better and have long lasting results than the immediate obedience of corporal punishment. If a child is fussy and whiny at a store – they get that from home. It doesn’t magically show up once you cross that threshold.

‘I'm successful and doing well today because my parents hit me when I did something wrong. ‘ Really? Do you know that you are where you are because your parents hit you? Also there is a lot of disconnect (cognitive dissonance) going on. Terrible parents who beat and shame their kids and have terribly underperforming lives and accomplishments and out of control kids will say that also. ‘My parents hit me and it didn’t make me a bad person’. Uh- two things – the hitting may have correlated to who you are, and , uh, you are also not all that upstanding. Such as Hannity or Cunningham. They claim to be successful BECAUSE they were hit as children. Well, I will give them that they are big cowards today – probably from the hitting. I admit they are overly aggressive because they were hit as kids. And in a society where now only the most ridiculous, loudest, meanest and least civil people seem to be making the most money, I will correlate that to them being hit as a kid. If I thought hitting my kids would make them grow up like Sean Hannity I’d put them in a giant bubble and post a guard around them at all times.

But mostly, how does hitting actually help your relationship? The claim is the fear directly affects them to be compliant- true. But, the fear also directly affects them – such as if I mess up, I will be hit. And, I must be a bad kid if my parent always beats me. My parent must not love me if he/she beats me. If I see someone else doing something I don’t like, I see that beating them violently is the best way to solve the problem.

I also don’t trust you. Yes, I said it to you all you parents. All of us get upset. Sometimes very upset, and sometimes our kids are around. If it is normal for you to ‘appropriately spank’ your child if they do something wrong when you are calm, do you really totally trust yourself to be appropriate when you are upset? My therapist Lisa always says ‘when we stress – we regress’. This is true for all of us. If you don’t ever physically punish your children when they are misbehaving there is a tremendously less chance of you being overly violent to them when you are in a very bad state.

There are many many different ways to discipline your kids. Introducing them into a world where violence is an accepted form of discipline should not be one of them.


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