Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Spanking It.

Earlier I was reading one of my favorite forums, and encountered a thread about whether it’s “good” to spank your kids. It took 10 seconds or so for the discussion to turn into a pissing contest between self-righteous jackasses who believe their child is enlightened and hence they don’t need to resort to “Neanderthal punishments” and those who think that under various conditions, their child needs “a good ass-whooppin’.” I’ll call the first group “The Elitists” – it goes without saying that of the latter group, any parents that actually inflict real physical harm on their kids need to be shot.

It’s unfortunate that my informal (and hence totally inaccurate) “internet data” observations tell me that a large handful of people land in one of those two buckets, and only under rare circumstances do you encounter comments from someone that concedes that punishments depend on a unique harmony of circumstances and characteristics of a person’s child, and everyone is different. Growing up, I definitely had moments where I needed to be informed assertively and swiftly that my actions were wrong, and I got a spanking. Note that this is where the Elitists say, “people who spank their child are *hitting* them.” The Elitist also thinks that people who spank their kids are “uneducated, mullet-wearing, redneck idiots.” To these assertions, I say 1) there are times when busting out the dictionary definition of a word is appropriate and relvant, but this is not one of those times since a spanking is more of a symbolic measure than an actual physical “strike,” so 2) The Elitist is the idiot for having such an unrelenting, myopic view on the subject. Clearly every child is different – and hey, I’ll bet there are some kids that don’t need to be spanked – but Elitist comes across sounding like an ignorant prick most of the time. Whatever happened to the days of the well-formed, non-condescending opinion? How about “I don’t believe in spanking my kids, and I disagree that what you’re doing is necessary.” Here’s an actual quote from an Elitist: “my [two-year old] son is smart enough to realize the hypocrisy in teaching them not to hit, but then hitting them yourself.” What an asshole!

The grand irony of the Elitist’s forms of punishment is that “taking away toys” and “time out” can be effective like spanking, but are they really that much better? (Just to play devil’s advocate for a second here.) Your child does something bad, so instead of spanking them, you take away their favorite stuffed animal. Their Hobbes, their companion, their partner – he’s gone – for them, what might as well be eternity. So when they do something bad, they’re not going to be punished, then return to normalcy, but they are going to be psychologically damaged by the prospect that life may never be the same because of what they did. Time out? A little bit of isolation is always nice for the child who yearns for attention, to taunt them with the prospect that they are going to be alone forever (as far as they are concerned).

Again, not that I believe any of this is true, but as I mentioned previously, it seems to me that the correct disciplinary measures are a byproduct of the child’s personality, circumstances, and past results about what has worked for the parents through their experiences.

Thank God my parents had the insight to understand how their kids reacted to different type of discipline (including SPANKING – WATCH OUT) as we were growing up, because we sure turned out better for it. Well, at least I did – I’m not too sure about my brother (I kid, I kid!).


Blogger robby said...

i saw the title "Spanking It" and thought that i had much to contribute.

then i realized it was about a form of punishment for kids.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Badger said...

I loved the title of this post :)

Watch out - one of these days I'm going to make a post called "Grandma's Cookies" and it's going to be straight-up scandalous.

12:30 PM  
Blogger ParrottLover said...

beat the shit out of your kids, SO I DON'T HAVE TO.

2:08 PM  

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