Corporal Punishment

Is there a Doctor in the house?

           Ancient Indian Proverb: “Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” I admit, that sounds backwards; however, you might want to reflect on that Proverb, meanwhile…

          This site is designed to aid parents in molding their children to form a solid foundation of strength and power. Many parents have been heard to say, “Wouldn’t it be great if there were some place a parent could go to gain good, simple advice on parenting? It sure would be nice!” Well, here you have it: this is the guide that will aid you in molding a child to be all the Creator intended him/her to be. The time involves the most critical span of time in your child’s life: from birth to five years of age. That’s when you set the foundation for all challenges your child will endure. The wonderful and magical thing is by personalizing the guidelines on this site, you will be part of his/her “Bridge to Success.” In other words, you and your Little One will enjoy life as it is meant to be: a “barrel of fun!”

          In the past, parents were confused and disappointed when their children misbehaved. The Bible says “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” (I’m paraphrasing) that might mean, inflict pain on the child to correct unacceptable behavior; especially, when the child embarrasses his parent(s). The only problem with that is, parents will sometimes become angry and turn the spanking into a beating, sometimes to the degree that it results in child abuse. They call it “corporal punishment.” Well, let’s talk about that. What is “corporal punishment?”

          The dictionary defines Corporal punishment as a form of impact on a child that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offense, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behavior deemed unacceptable. The term usually refers to methodically striking the child with the open hand or with an implement, whether in judicial, domestic, or educational settings.

          Incidentally, I used to hate it when my mom instructed me to “go get me a switch,” I knew what was coming next!

          To continue: Corporal punishment is defined by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child as: “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.”

          Let me just say, children have the same RIGHTS as the rest of us: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. For example, a child has the RIGHT to be rude, obstructive, and abrasive; on the other hand, the parent(s) has the RIGHT to apply consequences when the Little One chooses to exercise his “right.”

          I don’t want you to get out of sync here, but this is the time to define a RIGHT: a RIGHT exists (any individual, parent or child) only if it does not require someone else to make it happen.

          In spite of that definition by the esteemed world body, “corporal punishment” of minors within domestic settings is still lawful in 49 of the 50 United States. Only the tiny state of Delaware outlawed it as “child abuse” (they did that in 2012). 

          Incidentally, In the year 2000, the result of a survey involving “Corporal Punishment,” determined it was widely approved by U.S. parents. ^ Reaves, Jessica. “Survey Gives Children Something to Cry About”, Time, New York, 5 October 2000.

          Nevertheless, if you think “corporal punishment” is cruel and unusual, and that the parents who practice it are mean and inhumane, you might be correct; on the other hand, you are a prime candidate to be a lousy parent.

           If you think “corporal punishment” is needed to keep children in line, and lack of it is the reason we have such a problem with our children today; then you might need to re-think your requirements of what is needed to keep “children in line”.

           In my day, Dr. Spock was the end-all of parental advice. If you think he spoiled a complete generation because many parents believed he knew more about parenting than they did (after all, he was a Doctor), then personalizing the guidelines on this site is probably your “cup of tea”.

          If you have been looking for a practical website that will cause “corporal punishment” to be unnecessary, will provide the necessary ammunition to provide the parenting skills a caring parent needs, will address and counteract theories such as those proposed by Dr. Spock, then continue accessing this site.

          In fact, “corporal punishment” is a misnomer of how to correct aberrant behavior. That’s one reason corporal persuasion: not “corporal punishment” (when used judiciously) might be effective; on the other hand, when used in excess or as a means of punishment, it can be detrimental to your relationship with your Little One.

          You may disagree, but I guarantee you, there is never a need to punish your child (strong, but true statement). The reason is your Little One is the result of your input; in other words, because of your input or lack of it (by default) he is exactly the way you have taught him to be. In still other words, if punishment is to be inflicted, maybe you should be the one to be punished.

          That’s a contentious statement, I know, I simply said it to support, “never a need to punish your child.” However, when the need arises, your responsibility in molding him to expect to be accountable for his actions, might be to activate painful consequences.

It’s a shame, but some good intentioned individuals believe a parent should never, ever, hit his child. I disagree. However, keep in mind, there is a difference between a spanking and a beating: a spanking should be very brief; it is intended to provoke tears and pain, but no harm.

          A beating is different: it is defined as extended, harmful, painful behavior by a more physically, more powerful individual. The point is, beating your child provides no beneficial results and it should be forbidden (by you), mainly because it provides limited aid in molding your child or changing his inappropriate behavior. On the other hand, it might cause him to be resentful and seek vengeance (“whenever he can weasel out an opportunity”). A parent may be disappointed with a child’s behavior; sure, it can cause the beginnings of anger, but never strike a child in anger, and never strike him in the face.

Just as an aside: corporal punishment remains a subject of grave concern. Why? Because it is part of the discipline routine, and it’s often tough to say “No/stop/come here.” Just the other day, a “furious neighbor” wrote to a newspaper columnist and asked, “When is spanking a child OK?” She went on to explain the situation she shared with a neighbor and the neighbor’s four-year old child. To close out her concern, and include her thought, she said, “I remember the few times I gave my kids a really good whooping was when they did something that endangered their lives.” She ended by saying, ”I don’t believe you can raise a child without sometimes giving them a real shock when they do something very serious.”

            The columnist responded to the concerned individual respectfully by saying she understands the purpose of the question. She added that it was obvious the real question was “Am I going to support your opinion about spanking. The answer is a resounding No!” The columnist continued and admitted she had not been there to witness the danger and disrespect of the child; “however, (it) allows me to see spanking for what it is, a violent act against the defenseless.” I totally disagree with the columnist.

            Sounds like Dr. Spock reincarnate. Let me just say, opinions are neither right nor wrong, they are simply expressions of a person’s understanding of their reality. Nevertheless, I also disagree with the columnist’s message about hitting: she said, a “parent who is presumably teaching not to hit (I think that’s a cowardly presumption) is an effective way to undermine his own message and expose himself as a hypocrite.” The columnist must have been a very successful parent or had a wonderful relationship with her child. Nevertheless, a child should be taught to be well-rounded, especially when it comes to defending him/herself. The best defense is a good offense, there is no hypocrisy in learning to hit (things and people).

          I’ve probably said enough about “The Corporal (corporal punishment).”  

          Now, pay attention! (I know I shouldn’t say it quite that way, but this is an extra important point): when the need to activate painful consequences arises, you should look your child in the eyes, and an explanation of the cause of the event should be exchanged with him. Incidentally, sometimes, “that look” alone can cause your child to alter his behavior (sometimes before he completes the unacceptable behavioral act).

          The major key is that whatever consequences you invoke should be completed immediately after the act (in some instances “immediate” might be after the two of you arrive back at home). The way it works is that it should be completed in such a way as to elicit acknowledgement from him that he understands your action and the need for invoking painful consequences.

          That interchange will do at least three things: it will reduce the need to invoke painful consequences in the future, it will reduce ill-will with him (especially if the delay in immediacy is to avoid embarrassing him), and it will cause a ripple effect (a tradition of parental activity); what I mean by that is, when he becomes a parent, he will be inclined to say to his Little One, “Here are the consequences of your action, and this is the reason why. You do understand that, right?” (that should be stated in your own words).

One or two good, solid swats on the back of the hand, followed by a sincere hug, will usually be adequate. On the other hand, an extended “spanking” (not beating) might be necessary if he continues to be obstinate (you be the judge).

          In addition, the interchange technique insures (to a degree, to both you and your Little One) that the spanking is necessary. You don’t have to be there to know that following up with that technique (including a sincere hug) can be magical!

          If you are a parent, or your children are preparing to become parents, there is no better guide to erecting a “Bridge to Success,” than cuddling with this website. If you are a grandparent, you are fully aware of the result of your efforts as a parent. When you access this site, you will know beyond a shadow of doubt that this is a substantial guidepost for every parent, especially the new one. The reward is that you will enjoy your grandchildren to an even greater extent.

           Sometimes we don’t think about the idea that everyone has two parents; however, not everyone will be, want to be, or can be, a parent. However, if you find yourself in the position of caregiver, you will find the goal of this site is to provide you with essential tools needed to bridge the gap between infancy and adulthood — that is not a simple task. The primary reason for that is, we humans need a solid foundation to survive the trauma of changing conditions. In the case of individuals (I said it before), the foundation is erected during the first five to seven years of his existence (think pink for girls/blue for boys – wasn’t that easy?).

          The five-year timeframe is the focus of this site because it encompasses the span prior to caregivers other than you, the parent, corrupting the identity of your little “Bundle of Joy.” By absorbing the essentials within this site, both the parent and child can expect to experience life as it is meant to be: a “barrel of fun” and excitement. Many of you might be thinking, “What does he mean, ‘prior to the caregiver corrupting the identity of (my) child.’”

          That’s an excellent question, let me be clear about that: we have an abundance of caregivers who provide our youth with unique methods to solve a variety of problems: each of us should be grateful for their positive contribution. On the other hand, our caregivers should be gearing our youth toward a foundation with the thought in mind to better determine truth from fiction (an individual does that by adhering to the fact that the core of truth is consistency along with brevity). In addition, caregivers should be partnering with parents in an effort toward maintaining a moral compass supporting the idea that life is a “barrel of fun”.

          One final item before we continue our “Bridge to Success”: many individuals have found that one of the primary methods of achieving success at anything we do is to find someone who is already successful at whatever it is; find out what he did and mimic him/her. However, because of the fact that every parent is different and every child is different in relation to the parent, mimicry may not always produce parent/child success. That’s one of the things that causes this site to be unique. The techniques/methods outlined here enhance both the sameness and differences in the parent/child relationship. In other words, you’ll know when and how to mimic, and when and how to lead the charge to a new frontier of joyful interaction with your Little One.

          Now, “let’s begin our project, or as the wrestling guy likes to say, “Let’s get ready to rumbleee!”

The first step along the “Bridge to Success” is, Three Big Things. Please access that section right now…

 

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