Originally Posted by happysmileylady
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.
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.
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.