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Old 07-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #43
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Re: Can spanking cause mental illness

Originally Posted by dancermommy1 View Post

Funny, it's well established that incentive methods with MAYBE some "light" discipline (e.g. "no" with an unpleasant sound or odor) are far more effective in animal training than corporal punishment. Yet, we fail to transfer that knowledge to humans, who are also animals, and exhibit many of the same behaviors...
Actually I disagree. I remember going through puppy kindergarten and we had to bring the puppies in with pinch collars. Teaching the puppy to sit involved a light, quick tug up on the leash, pinching the collar, combined with a tap on the bottom, even going so far as to physically shove the dog's bottom down. And anyone who has watched "The Dog Whisperer" knows that with the aggressive dogs, he certainly gets more agressively physical, to the point of holding dogs on the ground, forcing them to lay down, until they calm down. Even if you disagree with his methods, the number of sucess stories he does have points to the physical discipline he does use being very effective. And all across the animal kingdom, animal parents, from dogs to cats to whatever, use physical methods to discipline their litters, from small bites and nips to swats with the paw to whatever else. Physical discipline is certainly alive and well across the animal kingdom.

Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
I agree with you on spankings there. DD1 ran out into the street, and other than me grabbing her shirt and yanking her backwards off her feet, would have been hit by a car. I did spank her. But not everyone does. For many people spanking is the go to discipline method, even if it's a swat on the butt. They get a swat for everything, and a harder spanking for more serious infractions. And then when it comes to using objects, some people hit much harder with an open hand than with a spatula or spoon. My point was most people have a different idea of what constitutes a spanking. One poster made the analogy that spanking and hitting are not the same, just like cheddar and swiss are not the same, while both still cheese. I think that's not necessarily fair, because there is clear delineation between types of cheeses, cars, etc, but no clear delineation between spanking and hitting.

I guess I'm really curious at what point on the continuum people who spank vs. People who don't classify it as abuse, and if there's a difference.
I totally agree that physical discipline is on a continuum. That's part of what makes it SO hard to conduct studies like this. Spanking's definition is subjective. Just like there's no clear boundary between when a sprinkle becomes a drizzle becomes a rain shower becomes a downpour.

There's also no clear definition when it comes to verbal abuse either. Is telling a 10 yr old he's acting like a three year old automatically verbal abuse? What about if the kid is told that every single day? What about if it's only said once a week but with an extremely nasty tone each time. What about the statement "You are being stupid?" It's not quite name calling, but it's not really the same thing as saying "you are acting stupid." It doesn't quite mean the same thing as either one of those, is it verbally abusive?

Or what about "timeouts?" Making a child sit on the naughty step for 3 minutes, probably not abuse. But what about locking the child in the room for 3 hours and not taking him to the bathroom resulting in him peeing on himself? What about if the room the child is locked in is a large closet?

It's all a continuum really. And, it's nearly impossible for ANYONE, a spanker or not, to specifically point out the specific point on the continuum that any phsysical discipline becomes abusive. Obviously there's one end where everyone can say that clearly doing XYZ is abusive. The question is, where on the continuum is that point crossed. It's just not clear.

Originally Posted by KaleidoscopeEyes View Post
spanking is hitting .
Again...a sprinkle and a downpour are both rain, but that doesn't make them the same. A waterspout and a EF5 tornado are both tornados but they certainly aren't the same. Cloth diapers and sposie diapers both catch poo, but they certainly aren't equal. Pretending that the words "spanking" and "hitting" have the exact same meaning is as silly as pretending that Kobe Beef T-Bones and a McDonalds hamburger are exactly the same, just because they both came from a cow.
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