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12:39 PM
It seems my question has struck a chord.
0
Q: How to spank in public without having everyone around you assume you're a child abuser?

LCIIII believe corporal punishment to be a useful tool in the tool-shed when it comes lovingly training my beautiful 3 year old boy.[1] For the purposes of this question, I'll just say that my style of corporal punishment is to stop what my child is doing, calmly tell them why I'm going to spank them...

But I agree with the answer. It really is impossible.
 
1:01 PM
And discipline really is something meant to be done in private...
 
 
5 hours later…
6:01 PM
@LCIII - I would be happy to discuss this with you here. If it's not too contentious, we can start with the example of your wife hitting you for bad behavior, telling you how she expects you to behave in the future, then giving you a hug and a kiss. What is your honest gut reaction to such a scenario?
@LCIII - and please don't think everyone is against you. Lots of questions here strike a chord, sometimes quite surprisingly.
 
6:26 PM
@anongoodnurse Thanks! I don't want to be contentious either. I like hearing every point of view.
 
@LCIII Hi, I'm here. :-)
Please let me start out by saying I don't think every instance of corporal punishment is abusive.
@LCIII What I find more disturbing is not respecting the valid feelings of others.
 
@anongoodnurse Regarding this, I think the situation is fundamentally different. Neither my wife nor I believe we are in positions to discipline one another (this would be in contrast to, say, Saudi Arabia). And I think the situation is different with us and our kids. I think by virtue of having children I have a responsibility to train them up and discipline them and that I have authority over them.
 
@LCIII I understand that fully, but say it were to happen. What would your reaction be?
 
Furthermore, I think that the physical discipline from a parent is itself not moral or immoral. It's just a tool like time-outs or whatever. A spanking can be a beat down or flick on the hand.
@anongoodnurse I'd be hurt and I'd wonder why she did that. So I'd probably yell "Why did you do that!?"
 
I'm not so much discussing physical as emotional abuse.
 
6:33 PM
I think I know where you're going here.
@anongoodnurse I see
 
You would be angry, then.
 
@anongoodnurse More hurt than angry, but yeah. Angry, too.
 
And justifiably, correct?
 
@anongoodnurse Yes
I guess
 
OK, hurt and angry is even better.
 
6:33 PM
Even better?
I know where you're taking this
I think I know anyway
 
Now suppose your wife then wanted to give you a hug and a kiss right after, without apologizing.
would you welcome that?
 
No I wouldn't. I'd want an explanation.
 
Or would you shy away from her "loving" touch.
Right. And that is normal.
 
I'd want to know why she did that and why she would think it was OK.
 
my question to you is why do you think children feel any differently?
Do you think children aren't hurt and angry when they are hit?
Do you think they can't feel that betrayal yet at their age?
I'm not here to "trick" you. I'm hoping to share my experience with you.
@LCIII You can feel comfortable being honest. I won't use it against you.
 
6:39 PM
No, I appreciate it. It's good to have beliefs challenged. I'm not against being wrong.
 
neither am I, truly.
None of us have all the answers.
 
For starters, let me frame all this by saying that I think my son is crazy about me, and I'm crazy about him. I come home and he runs to me and yells DADDY and that makes me so happy. I would never intentionally do something that I thought was psychologically messing him up. In fact, I think the very consistent discipline we give him has been tantamount to why he is such a wonderful little and why him and I have such a great relationship.
 
I believe you. I really do. But the question stands. Can children, young children, feel betrayed by their parents?
 
I always get scared talking about physical punishment to people I don't know because I always think that they think I'm beating my kids and they live in constant fear of me. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Now to answer your question
@anongoodnurse I think my son feels differently because, in his little eyes, I'm the invincible, all-powerful, law-giving, super-dad. That's how kids see their parents. That's how our kids see mommy and I. I tell them that they're getting a consequence (we don't use the word "spanking") and I tell them why. Then I deal it out. 90% of the time, my son initiates the hug. He knows I don't enjoy causing him pain but he has also learned that I "have" to. So in his eyes, justice is being served.
I never force a hug on him.
This is a fundamentally different relationship than i have with my wife. This is also why I don't expect to be spanking my son past age 8 or 9 because by then he's old enough to have his actions explained.
 
I'm glad to hear that your son is the initiator of the hug. It changes the situation significantly.
But you still haven't addressed my question. It seems like your answer is fundamentally "no" because you can't, in his eyes, make a mistake.
"Consequence" is a label. It doesn't change the fact of the matter. I believe in consequences. I also believe most people don't want a real consequence to bad behavior.
 
6:47 PM
@anongoodnurse The more I think about, the more I'm convinced I can't really answer your question without inviting you into my world and seeing exactly how I give out punishment. All the little nuances is what makes what I'm describing to you either psychological abuse or not.
 
A "consequence" can be legitimate (a fine for illegal parking) or not legitimate (sriracha sauce in the mouth for using a curse word). "Consequence" is the label used by the person in the position of power.
@LCIII OK, I'm up for that.
 
I never give a consequence when I'm mad. My wife and I are good about holding each accountable to this. I never spank harder for "big" offenses. It's consistent, and my son knows that once the consequence is over then the issue is over.
 
@LCIII Or, maybe you don't want me to invade your world; I understand that too.
 
Honestly, I think the way that some parents do time outs can be WAY more relationally detrimental to kids because the kids never really know when the parent stopped being mad
 
That's an interesting point, and a pretty good one.
 
6:51 PM
If I do something bad and my parent says "Go to your room!" I have a theatre in my mind just imagining how mad my parent is.
 
I think I agree with you.
I agree with you.
I think "consequences" given without consideration are wrong.
 
When I give a consequence, I strive to make it clear that the issue is over and done and Daddy isn't mad at all. i think that's my main motiviation behind making sure I give them a hug/kiss afterwards.
 
OK. Still...
 
@anongoodnurse Totally. Especially around bed time and stuff like that. It just riles them up more.
 
yep.
@LCIII Still... do you think a child can feel hurt and angry at you. Plain and simple.
 
6:53 PM
And I think my kids like it. For sure my son, if I gave him a consequence and didn't hug him afterwards I know he would think I'm still mad or something.
 
Fair enough, and a good point.
 
And see, this is one of those things that I don't expect anyone to believe unless they are in my house and see my family
 
No, LCIII, You're not correct about that. I'm sorry, but I do not agree with you there.
 
bout what
 
You certainly know your child, while I do not.
do you think a child can feel hurt and angry at you? Plain and simple.
(I don't agree that I can't have any knowledge about something I am not a direct witness to.)
There are all kinds of fallacies. One is "Argument from Age" meaning someone with more experience has a more valuable point of view simply because they are "older and wiser" than you are. If this feels like where I'm leading you, call out that fallacy; It's a valid fallacy to keep in mind.
 
6:59 PM
@anongoodnurse Absolutely. Sorry, you asked this earlier and I missed it.
 
I am not saying my opinion is valuable because I'm older and more experienced.
There is also a fallacy called "Argument from Authority". I won't pull that on you, either, even though I've been working with people for decades.
 
@anongoodnurse No problem. I like being asked questions. I didn't know you were older, either.
 
lol, yeah, lots. :-)
 
I think, though, that you might have gotten the impression that after I give a consequence I force a hug on my kid no matter what even if he's mad at me or something. I don't do that
In fact, the whole "hug after a consequence" thing was never really planned at the start but is just sort of happened and now it's routine.
 
I will believe you for the moment. But you have not answered my basic question.
 
7:03 PM
@anongoodnurse Sorry, I'm all over the place. What Q was that?
 
Do you think a child has the capacity and the presence of mind to feel hurt, angry, or betrayed by/with/by you?
 
@anongoodnurse I think my son, who is 3, does have that ability, yes. And I'm sure he's felt that way before.
 
OK.
I believe it as well.
The question, for me, is: do you respect the child's right to feel this way?
 
@anongoodnurse Uh, yes? I can't say I've thought a lot about it (maybe I'm overly insensitive) but for the sake of your question: Yes, I respect the child's right to feel that way.
 
OK. That is, I believe, one of the most important parts of trust. The trust of your child is paramount, as is the trust between your wife and yourself. It didn't sound, from your question, that you were taking your child's feelings into consideration when giving consequences.
That was the issue I was reacting to.
The breach of trust that occurs when one's feelings are not recognized.
 

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