Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child and a Trip to Home Depot

An explanation of the image: It is one of your blog queens who gave up her glamorous image for the sake of a point. She is wearing Three Stooges lounge pants, a “10 Reasons That Captain Kirk Is Better Than Captain Picard” T Shirt,  a bathrobe and Cheetos (the national uniform of bloggers.)  However, she is also wielding a plumbing supply line in order to beat any kids or dogs who try to steal her Cheetos or Star Trek T shirt.

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Today we are wrapping up our review of To Train Up A Child, authored by Michael and Debi Pearl. Their approach to “child training” has drawn both applause and criticism. It is interesting that there seems to be no middle ground with regard to the Pearl’s approach to child rearing. Before we get into the Pearls’ teachings on “the rod”, we want to share another unusual way they “trained” their children.

Michael Pearl writes:

When I was yet young I determined that I would rear no sissies. When an infant fell over from a sitting position to the floor and bumped his head, we pretended to ignore it. When a toddler took a spill, we let him lie, whimper a second and then climb back up for another try. When a toddler fell out of the wagon or stumbled into the dirt, we let him deal with it. When the young ones wrecked their bicycle and skinned their knee, we paid no attention except to say something like, “You shouldn’t go so fast until you learn to ride better.” (pp. 85-86)

With an attitude like that should it surprise anyone that the Pearls heavily promote the use of “the rod” in their “child training”?

At the beginning of Chapter 5 – The Rod, Pearl explains that he observed a “miserable, constantly complaining, whining and angry” child and his mother. He writes: “The mother, made miserable by the little tyrant’s rebellious antics, was ill-tempered toward him. But she continued to plead with him…” (p. 35) Pearl explains that he said to the mother, “Why don’t you give him a spanking and make him happy?” (p. 35)

Michael Pearl introduces his discussion of the rod as follows: “Let’s talk about spankings—sometimes called “whippings.” “He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (Prov. 13:24).” (p. 35) Remember, Pearl is a KJVO kinda preacher…

One thing that Pearl excels at is proof-texting. On page 44 of To Train Up A Child, he asks whether the reader comforts his children with a rod. Then he writes: “If you have not seen the rod as a comfort to your child, you have missed its purpose.” Immediately following this statement, he quotes Psalm 23:4, as follows: “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Let’s stop right here. What does the Scripture mean by the words “rod” and “staff” in this context?

William Barclay interpreted Psalm 23 this way:

“He [the shepherd] had his rod and his staff. The staff was a long crooked stick. Always the shepherd walked with it in his hand, and, when a sheep showed signs of straying, he would stretch out and pull it back with the crook. He carried the rod at his belt. It was a stout piece of wood, perhaps three feet long, with a lump of wood the size of an orange at one end of it. With this the shepherd fought the battles of the flock, using it to drive off wild beasts and to defend the flock against the robbers who would steal the sheep.”

If the rod in Psalm 23:4 is equated with discipline, it simply does not fit the context. Does it make any sense that sheep would lie down in green pastures beside still waters only to be beaten with a rod? Absolutely not! The rod in this verse is not used to beat the sheep – instead, it is used to comfort them. The shepherd uses the rod to drive away wild animals that would hurt the sheep.

Pearl also lists 2 Samuel 7:14 “I will chasten him with a rod…” and Psalm 89:32 “Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes”, which more aptly apply to the correct interpretation of “rod”.

On page 45 the rod is called a “magic wand”. According to Pearl, it can do magic things when used on your children. Here’s what he says will happen if you don’t use the rod: “Rail to use the rod on this child (who is a bully to other kids), and you are creating a “Nazi”. Pearl concludes:

Somehow, after eight or ten licks, the poison is transformed into gushing love and contentment. The world becomes a beautiful place. A brand new child emerges. It makes an adult stare at the rod in wonder, trying to see what magic is contained therein.” (p. 45)

How is the rod applied? Here are Pearl’s instructions to parents:

“Use your own judgment as to what is effective. I found five to ten licks usually sufficient. Sometimes, with older children, usually when the licks are not forceful enough, the child may still be rebellious. If this occurs, take time to instruct and then continue spanking. A genera’ rule is to continue the disciplinary action until the child is surrendered.” (p. 46)

What is an “instrument of love”, as Pearl calls a rod? He explains that a spanking must cause pain. Then he tells the parent to “select your instrument according to the child’s size. For the under one year old, a little, ten- to twelve-inch long, willowy branch (striped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch in diameter is sufficient… For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective.” (p. 47)

Let’s stop right here and see what Dr. James Dobson says about the appropriate ages to spank children. In The New Dare to Discipline Dobson explains: “There is no excuse for spanking babies or children younger than fifteen to eighteen months of age.” (p. 65)

Pearl is absolutely WRONG here. To spank a baby under the age of one is ABUSIVE.

Immediately following this section, Pearl cautions parents who would act in the extreme. To his credit he states: “The rod should not be a vent for the parent’s anger… There is no place for that selfish vindictive streak in the discipline of children.” (p. 48)

Then Pearl share his “Philosophy of the Rod”, which is: “The rod is the parents’ main tangible aid to bring the child to understand the judgment of God—and eventually the grace of God.” (p. 50)

Here’s the part of To Train Up A Child that bothered me terribly. It has to do with “Persistence”. Pearl begins this section by saying that some have asked, “But what if the child only screams louder, gets madder?” (when being spanked).

This is how he responds:

Know that if he is accustomed to getting his unrestricted way, you can expect just such a response. He will just continue to do what he has always done to get his way. It is his purpose to intimidate you and make you fell like a crud pile. Don’t be bullied. Give him more of the same. On the bare legs or bottom, switch him eight or ten licks; then, while waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If the crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive, whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If the crying is still defiant, protesting and other than a response to pain, spank him again. If this is the first time he has come up against someone tougher than he, it may take a while. He must be convinced that you have truly altered your expectations.” (p. 80)

Immediately following these instructions, Pearl writes:

There is no justification for this to be done in anger. If you are the least angry, wait until another time. Most parents are so guilt laden and paranoid that they are unable to carry this through to the end.” (p. 80)

And right after the above statement is this statement:

“If you stop before he is voluntarily submissive, you have confirmed to him the value and effectiveness of a screaming protest. The next time, it will take twice as long to convince him of your commitment to his obedience, because he has learned the ultimate triumph of endurance in this episode in which he has prevailed. Once he learns that the reward of a tantrum is a swift forceful spanking, he will NEVER throw another fit.” (p. 80)

We believe the above excerpts from To Train Up A Child demonstrate that the Pearls provide conflicting instruction to parents about the use of the rod. On the one hand they are told to spank with the rod until they “conquer” their children by having them surrender their will; yet they are to use the rod without being angry…

You may recall that we began this series with a post called “Are Plumbing Lines Being Used as Weapons of Child Destruction?” It does seem rather odd to us that such devices would be used as rods. Who came up with that idea? One possibility is Michael Pearl. Here’s how he answers the question “What instrument would I use?” (as a rod) on the No Greater Joy website:

What instrument would I use?

Michael Pearl responds:

“As a rule, do not use your hand. Hands are for loving and helping. If an adult swings his or her hand fast enough to cause pain to the surface of the skin, there is a danger of damaging bones and joints. The most painful nerves are just under the surface of the skin. A swift swat with a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument. It will fit in your purse or hang around you neck. You can buy them for under $1.00 at Home Depot or any hardware store. They come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps the kids in line.”

Armed with instructions from the Pearls and my fellow blogger, I (Dee) headed off to my local Home Depot to get me a plumbing supply line. Being plumbing challenged, I sought help from a man in an orange vest. I explained I needed a plumbing supply line about 1/4″ in diameter. He led me to Aisle 4 and then asked me what kind I needed? “Huh?”, I intelligently replied. He then went on to offer me all sorts of lines: cooper, metal, hard plastic, clear, and so on. “Don’t know,” I muttered. Then, he said, “What do you need it for?”

I then went on to explain that there was this guy in Tennessee who believes that people should spank their kids with such an instrument. His eyebrows hit the top of his head and he nervously glanced around. Fearing he would call security, I hurriedly explained that I was writing a blog that would be critical of such a thing. He still seemed suspicious and said he had absolutely no idea what sort of line I needed but he walked around with me (probably to insure that I wouldn’t start beating customers) and we decided on one that seemed to fit the bill. You can see it in the picture at the start of this post.

Here is the problem. I am an occasionally intelligent person yet I had no idea what Pearl was talking about. Can you imagine a young, naive couple trying to pick out such an item? I wonder if anyone went home with a copper pipe to punish little Johnny? Frankly, this was a very disconcerting, yet revealing, visit to Home Depot. Thankfully, your glamorous blog queen escaped being questioned by the police.

Lydia’s Corner: Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26 Luke 10:38-11:13 Psalm 76:1-12 Proverbs 12:15-17

Comments

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child and a Trip to Home Depot — 104 Comments

  1. How is Pearl not in jail for child abuse? He has admitted to it!

    ps. Kirk might be better than Picard but Janeway is the best. No lie- I bought her “biography” when I was about 12 years old.

  2. “If an adult swings his or her hand fast enough to cause pain to the surface of the skin, there is a danger of damaging bones and joints.”

    Do you realize that he’s talking about the parent’s bones and joints, and not the child’s? That’s the way I read it.

    Most people say, “Eat the meat and spit out the bones” when it comes to dealing with people like this. Truly, there’s far too little meat to be found in this book to make partaking of it worthwhile.

    Deb, there are a few spelling errors in the quotes. Not sure if they are in the book itself, but if they are, you might want to put a (sic) after each to show that you’re not making the error, Pearl is. (Not that he doesn’t make enough errors in this piece of rubbish.)

    After this, you should do a review on his wife’s book on marriage, Created To Be His Helpmeet. Lots of shocking, sickening, stupid, and truly unScriptural advice in there, too.

  3. Dee,

    How much did you pay for your “rod”? If Home Depot sells plumbing line by the foot, how can it be cheaper by the dozen?

  4. Thanks Tikatu, There weren’t any spelling errors in the book. I was in a hurry, and they will be corrected ASAP.

  5. I could name some… is there an official list? If so no I don’t know it, but I like this one : “Picard’s name is known and respected throughout Klingon space. Kirk’s name is cursed and vilified.” :)

  6. Yikes! The thought of a dipstick parent taking this way too seriously and coming home with a hard pipe and administering 10 or more “licks” does sound pretty sickening.

    The thought of you in Home Depot having that conversation with an employee is kind of funny though.

    I’m going to be a pain in the rear again in this post and bring up the following:

    “We believe the above excerpts from To Train Up A Child demonstrate that the Pearls provide conflicting instruction to parents about the use of the rod. On the one hand they are told to spank with the rod until they “conquer” their children by having them surrender their will; yet they are to use the rod without being angry…”

    This is not necessarily conflicting. True, their application of this in their own family could be way off, and others may certainly read this portion of the book and incorrectly apply it. Isn’t it a good thing that they’re telling parents not to do this when angry because that’s probably what’s going to lead to overdoing it and crossing the line into abuse? Adding more spankings on for not accepting the first with a right spirit is not in and of itself a sign of administering the rod in anger.

    That being said, I’d be inclined to believe that Pearl either had some very stubborn and willful children or that there was something lacking in the other areas of parenting (like affection, care, consideration, etc) if he felt the need to do this sort of thing quite often.

  7. Jenn,

    Your last statement was spot on. Based on what I read in To Train Up A Child, there was not much in the book that explained how to “train” your children by displaying affection to them (cuddling, hugging, taking care of a boo boo, etc.) Yep, this book was written primarily by a father who did not want to raise “sissies” as he phrased it.

  8. This is why I despise one size fits all Christian help books. There are kids who fall off bikes and get right back on. There are other kids who want to go to the hospital when they fall off once, get a popsicle and ice pack over one bump.

    My kid would have blood gushing out of her head and keep on playing. She never acted sick when she was real sick…because she never wanted to miss anything. I had to watch that like a hawk because once she had a horrible infection and with NO outward symptoms for long time and it got real serious. Finally she spoke of some “discomfort”.

    I wish folks would beware of the “Christian formula for living” market. It is a consumer driven market. And proof texts are used for everything.

    I am more familiar with Debbie Pearls book about being a “helpmeet” (which is not even the correct translation) and it is HORRIBLE.

    Is this how the Pearls make a living, btw?

  9. I Don’t know how you guys were able to stomach reading that book. Hats off to you for warning purple.

  10. I don’t know about Kirk being better than Picard.
    Kirk was young and slept with every moon princess and quasar queen that was available. And I grew up watching reruns of the original Star Trek and have a deep loyalty to the original cast and crew (FavoriteDrMcCoyLine: D*mn it Jim, I’m a doctor not a brick layer!”)
    Kirk, er William Shatner is turning 80 and has become a foul-mouthed old man, much to my distasted.

    Piccard, besides adding class to the show, the actor who portrays him (forgot his name) is an advocate against domestic violence. How can you not love the man?

    (OFF TOPIC MUCH??? :D :D :D )

  11. Patrick Stewart and I prefer Piccard to Kirk even though I grew up loving the original series (so much so that I know that quote came from the episode, “devil in the dark”)

  12. Mara

    Actually, I agree with you. I love Picard but my kids brought me that shirt to cheer me up one day.

    Here are four reasons from the shirt.

    Kirk would have thrown Wesley off the bridge.
    Kirk would never, ever drink tea.
    Kirk would never sing to children during a crisis.
    If Kirk found a strange, spinning probe, he would blow it up.

    I should also add that when one of my daughters was in fourth grad, she dressed as Janeway for Halloween (now I am sure some people will know that I am an apostate). She loved the idea of a woman running a starship and I know this is waaaaay too much info. However, I will give more reasons from the T shirt upon request.

  13. Stunned

    I wish you could have seen the guy’s face at HOme Depot. I wonder if they have put me on a watch list. Thankfully, I did not go to my usual Home Depot.

  14. DB

    If you reads my bio, you will see out that I became a Christian during an episode of the original Star Trek series. It actually had nothing to do with the episode but, to this day, I watch all things Star Trek like. Good memories. And, I love Picard more than Kirk. I was introduced to “Earl Grey-hot” on that show and I that is still my favorite tea. My husband teases me when I get a cup.

    Apropos to this series, I saw an old episode that I forgot in which Picard was to be a role model to a boy. It was fun seeing the great Picard made nervous by trying to get through to a kid. Even Troi was grinning devilishly .Child rearing is not for wimps.

  15. You are killing me with the picture! LOVE IT. What glams look like when slumming. The only thing missing is your parents basement.

  16. Okay, in looking back at this post to check comments I do have to wonder at the wisdom of your choice to use a plumbing line to defend your shirt and cheetos. If you have to beat off an attacker you might spill the cheetos or get your shirt dirty. Much better to incapacitate them before they get too close.

  17. Pingback: Deb’s Review of TTUAC – Part 3 | Why Not Train A Child? UNITED STATES

  18. I have NO idea of how much that plumbing line hurts but after reading advice elsewhere of using a wooden spoon on a toddler I was infuriated and marched into my kitchen. [Brits find using wooden spoons really weird - we use them to cook with....] I took hold of a wooden spoon and went into our bathroom. I think we all know how hard it is to hit ourselves enough to hurt – it’s a built in safety thing in the brain! Anyhow, I hit myself twice through my jeans, on my derriere, and only a medium swat. BOY did that hurt! I looked – my skin was bright red. Later on that evening [I could still feel the sting but not so 'immediate' ] I went to have another look – it was still bright red. I waddled through to the lounge to show my husband – and explained about my test – he was disgusted as this was about 6 hours later.

    Next morning.. still there… DH was even less ..’happy’. It still stung a little too. It took over 30 hours for those red marks to go. Hit a toddler with a spoon ?? I don’t think so! I wouldn’t hit anyone with one!

    I would like to get some of that plumbing line and try it … but I think I am too much of a wimp … which tends to tell me a lot !

    Poor children … all I can say is … ONE day .. the Pearls will be sorry.

  19. I read a postsecret today… “My father beat me and called it spanking.” Sound familiar eh?

  20. Hermana Linda,

    Do you know who originally came up with the idea of using glue sticks and plumbing lines for spanking, and when did these instruments first get promoted?

  21. What is this glue stick thing they are talking about? I only know about those little 4 inch jobs that go in hot glue guns. They can’t possibly mean those??

    One of the things I find most disturbing about this is that they actually had to put some effort into thinking about this kind of thing. Let’s see…what can I smack my kid with that will really make him suffer, yet not leave any marks? Hmmm……

  22. Jan H

    Yep, that’s what they mean. It is carefully thought out behavior to give the parents plausible deniability if questioned. I smacked myself with one. They hurt. The plumbing supply line hurt even more.

  23. Jan H,

    The glue sticks used for spanking are the ones that are a foot long. They are very easy to find among craft supplies. Sadly, if you Google glue sticks and spanking, quite a bit of information comes up. Here’s one website that tha discusses this spanking instrument. Supposedly, they don’t leave marks. :-(

    http://www.cafemom.com/group/3200/forums/read/10919190/Is_No_Greater_Joy_a_cult

    “There is a clique of young, homeschooling parents within my church who avidly follow the advice of No Greater Joy cofounders, Michael and Debi Pearl. And I get an uncomfortably cult-y feeling from them. They wear glue sticks around their necks to identify themselves to other Pearl fans. They even wear them in church. Their glue sticks are for whipping babies and younger toddlers on their bare skin, starting at less than 1 year of age.”

  24. 10 Reasons Picard Is Better Than Kirk
    1) Picard outwits Q time and again; Kirk saved from Trelane’s by Trelane’s parents.
    2) Picard wouldn’t have had to be forced to kiss Uhura.
    3) Picard actually smarter than his first officer.
    4) No one laughs when Picard’s doctor says, “He’s dead, Jean-Luc.”
    5) When nurse Chapel re-appeared as Troi’s mother, she fell for Picard.
    6) Picard was never killed by his first officer.
    7) Kirk near 60: thinking of retirement; Picard near 60: still in prime.
    8) Kirk fights has-been Greek god, Picard worshipped as god.
    9) Picard never let a bald midget in a dwarf ship with a scary dummy fake him out for an entire episode.
    10) Kirk never mind melded with a Vulcan to help the VULCAN with his self control.

    (selected from various websites)

  25. 1) Q is Trelane’s father

    2) Picard would have avoided forcing Uhura to be a pawn.

    3) Honestly? That is nit quite a level playing field, is it?

    4) Just get Jordi to fix his artificial ticker.

    5) But she didn’t have the sense not to rub a Ferengi’s ears.

    6) His first officer couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag, either.

    7) You would think by then 60 would be the new 30.

    8) He has also been the Arbitor of Succession and has preserved peace between the Federation and Klingon Empire while Kirk almost brought on a war. Ka’plah!

    9) He was also wise enough to listen to Guinon(sp.)

    10) Although he did mistake a Romulan for a Vulcan.

  26. Wow. :(

    That is quite sick that they wear the glue sticks around their necks.

    I cannot imagine what it’s like to be a child growing up under that. I think that would be awful.

  27. Junkster

    Well done! I forgot that Troi’s mother was Nurse Chapel. She was one of my favorite characters. In fact, my husband claims my personality is not far off from hers-I am somewhat flamboyant at times and I am always glamorous. Not only was Picard worshipped as a god, he became Borg and came back. I believe the episode Locutus (?sp) of Borg was my favorite. he could make even a Borg seem classy.

  28. DB

    My pugs like to have their ears rubbed. I often call them my little Ferengi but they have no lobes! I am impressed. How fluent are you in Klingon? Do you remember the name of those worm things that they ate alive?

  29. taH pagh taHbe’. DaH mu’tlheghvam vIqelnIS.quv’a',

    yabDaq San vaQ cha, pu’ je SIQDI’?pagh,

    Seng bIQ’a'Hey SuvmeH nuHmey SuqDI’,'ej,

    Suvmo’, rInmoHDI’? Hegh. Qong — Qong neH —’ej QongDI’,

    tIq ‘oy’, wa’SanID Daw”e’ jecho’nISbogh porghDaj rInmoHlaH net Har

  30. Dee,
    You really forgot that Majel Barrett. wife of Gene Roddenberry, was both Nurse Chapel and Lwaxana Troi? That’s like forgetting that Jesus had 12 apostles! :)

    I wouldn’t expect everyone to know she was also Captain Christopher Pike’s “Number One” (first officer) in the original pilot (The Cage) and in a later episode (The Menagerie) that used footage from the pilot.

    But surely you remember her other recurring role in the various Star Trek series….

  31. Junkster

    This is very hard for me to admit but I do not remember. Now, I could appear smart and google it but I wanted to show true humility and beg your pardon for such a lapse in Trek knowledge. I remember The Cage episode and The Menagerie well. Forgot about Chapel, however.

    I need to redeem myself . So, I met Gene Roddenberry (sp) in college and went to a screening that he presented on the filming errors in Star Trek. They were hysterical. Does such a meeting gain me any brownie points?

  32. Some of you need a new blog site for Christian Star Trek fans!!!!! ;)

    I rarely had time to watch it while raising kids, maintaining a great marriage relationship, creating and running two businesses (at the same time), then recovering from a car wreck (broken neck, etc.) and becoming an attorney, establishing a practice, and, all the while, keeping up with responsibilities at church. Who had time to keep up with the Star Trekkers???

  33. Possibly,

    But I went to several Dragoncon conventions (is that redundant?) in Atlanta and heard most of the crew speaking, Nimoy, Shatner, Koenig, Nichols, Kelley, Doohan .. was lots of fun…and of course some of the new guys as well, Stewart, Spiner, Frakes.

    Probably the only thing that has been around for longer than my kids….the longest continually existing thing in my life…wow, is that sad or what :)

  34. ARCE

    You had a broken neck! My goodness. Did you have any permanent damage? I am so sorry.
    Somehow Star Trek was one of those things that always fired my imagination. I never watched much TV-big reader instead. But I never missed an episode.

    Perhaps if I had, i would be doing something more important than kvetching in the blogosphere.

  35. DB
    Forgot about the computer as well. So sad. I am beginning to realize what a great actress she was.

  36. Only a little limitation on how far I can turn my head and a bit of a sensitive nerve in my right arm — a thumb and forefinger that always are waking up from being “asleep” and a spot on my elbow that when brushed against something feels like I hit the funny bone. Oh, and occasionally a real pain in that arm just below the elbow. Hypnosis, including a self-hypnosis thing I can do, deals with the pain pretty effectively.

    The accident was >18 years ago now. But it is why I ended up going to law school. Lost the businesses due to being away for 8 months in post-accident recovery and therapy and had to find a new career.

    Blessed to be alive, blessed to be able to walk, blessed to be able to see (eyes were full of glass fragments).

    Accident was caused by drunk driver pulling out to pass while being passed and running us off the road. We went end-over-end and the Suburban got too short for this 6′ tall driver.

  37. What’s sad about Star Trek is the only film most of my generation has seen is the new one ( not that I didn’t fall in love with it all over again after seeing it!). I must admit as a 6 year old girl I was more scared of the Borg attacking than monsters in my closet or something. I’m pretty sure the season finale of Voyager was a defining moment in my childhood… :)

  38. Dee,
    Meeting “The Great Bird of the Galaxy” in person means way more than knowing his wife’s recurring bit roles. here’s another tidbit for ya — Roddenberry’s middle name was Wesley.

    DB,
    Definitely nepotism. But at the time of the first pilot Roddenberry was married to someone else. When the network execs decided to try again with a second pilot, they said he had to either get rid of Spock or Number One, so he kept Spock. (he brought back Barret as Chapel later after he divorced his first wife and married her.) He wanted to keep Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike, but Hunter decided to sek a movie career instead.

    So I guess that in some alternate universe out there is a world in which William Shatner was never James T. Kirk. I’m glad I was in this universe and not that one. (It’s probably the same universe where Walternate and Fauxlivia now reside.)

  39. Junkster

    I humble bow at your feet. I am not worthy to program your TIVO. I knew nothing of what you just shared.

    OK,question for you. What shall we call Peter and Fauxlivia’s baby? And, is Walternate hoping that said baby can power that big, bad machine? Will he accelerate his aging? I find the occ appearances of Nimoy as Bell fun. Love that man.

  40. ARCE

    The world is blessed that you were driving your “Texas Cadillac” during your accident. It is wonderful that God, through your accident, led you into the law. It gives me great hope for the profession that someone like you is out there, practicing with integrity and leading a life of humility.

  41. Thanks, Dee. My business attorney (a deacon in our church) and I were at a Cub Scout weekend camp out and watching the boys all day, talking about what I would do with the rest of my life. He suggested that I become an attorney, that I would be a better minister if I did, than if I went to seminary, which was another thought. And I do try to minister through my practice.

  42. Let’s stop right here and see what Dr. James Dobson says about the appropriate ages to spank children. In The New Dare to Discipline Dobson explains: “There is no excuse for spanking babies or children younger than fifteen to eighteen months of age.” (p. 65)

    James Dobson has zero credibility with regard to disciplining children or pets.

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2004/12/monstrous-james-dobson-further.html

    Anyone who would do this to a small dog has the potential to be just as abusive to a small child. (The average 15-month old weighs 22 pounds. “Siggie” weighed only 12 pounds.) Even if he was exaggerating, he certainly seemed proud of this story.

  43. Lise

    My daughter grew up on Voyager and loved 7 of 9. She was a favorite character of mine as well, but likely for different reasons ;)

    There is a lot of interesting trivia we could share from TOS I suppose. I doubt any single TV show has had so much impact on society, nor as many movies and spinoffs.

    Anyone other than me get really annoyed and the Watergate scandal because the hearings interrupted perfectly good Star Trek reruns? I don’t know how many afternoons I came home from school hoping to finally tune in a good episode of Star trek only to yet again see it preempted by those special investigators and their hearings.

    Also remember that the text space shuttle, the one they dropped from a 747 for aerodynamics testing was named … Enterprise. It’s now up in the Smithsonian.

    Which also houses the original 11 foot Enterprise model for filming (which incidently, was only detailed on one side – hence the reason the majority of orbits where left to right)

    I think one of the most bizarre twists was reading about the development of ‘transparent aluminum’, something that in the 4th Star Trek was brought back to our generation by our time traveling Enterprise crew in a Klingon bird of pray complete with cloaking device. This transparent aluminum was not particularly practical though – it was an effect that only lasted a fraction of a second.

    And in Nov 2010 we saw a report of real antimatter contained long enough to begin analysing its properties.

    And I can’t help but think certain cell phone designs at least subconsciously mimic the ‘communicator’ from TOS ;)

    Fun stuff, good memories. And I still love the episode (Bread and Circuses) where Kirk and crew find themselves orbiting a modern Earth duplicate where the Roman’s rule and cars are named after the Roman Gods (anyone here own a Saturn?) and Kirk ends up in a Gladiator’s ring fighting a demoted Gladiator that had joined of a persecuted group of ‘sun’ worshippers …

    Uhura clears the confusion back on the bridge after they all have returned as they are trying to figure out how such an advanced culture could worship the sun:

    “”Don’t you understand? It’s not the sun up in the sky. It’s the Son of God.” Kirk replies with a note of jubilant humility: “Caesar … and Christ; they had them both. And the Word is spreading only now.”

    I doubt you could get THAT story on today’s networks.

    Zeta

  44. Notastepfordsheep: The conclusions of the ‘James Dobson is a monster” link are absurd. Dobson doesn’t want to ‘crush’ the child, he want the child to respect the parent and obey them. Contrary to popular belief, parents generally have the best interests of their children at heart, and in most situations, especially when they are young, it is in the child’s best interests to do what their parents tell them.

    It is also important that we learn to obey legitimate authority. For while the consequences of disobeying our parents may be unpleasant, the consequences of disobeying the real world authorities and laws as adults can be fatal. A person that does not learn to follow legitimate rules, that does not learn that what they ‘want’ is not necessarily the most important thing, a person that does not learn to control their inner child, their random impulses, is a person that is far more likely to spend their life in jail, and far more likely to hurt themselves or others.

    What Dobson advocates is the gradual infusion of self-control on the unrestrained, untamed, irrational and random will of a child through discipline so that it does not later become the unrestrained, irrational and random rantings of a child in an adults body. If done properly, this does not the crush the personality and will of the individual. In fact, it provides the child with the tools needed to maximize their individuality in a productive way as a useful part of society.

    And unlike the Pearls and the Ezzos, Dobson IS a psychologist. According to Wikipedea:

    “Dobson earned a doctorate in child development from the University of Southern California in 1967. He was an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years. He spent 17 years on the staff of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. Dobson is a licensed psychologist in the State of California.”

    So while you may not like some of his ideas, he is legit in his training and position. And you are way out of line to impune him as you have.

    Zeta

  45. I’m not against the occasional swat to the backside of a disobedient child, particularly when said child is in immediate danger, so don’t think I’m some sort of bleeding heart “liberal” who thinks you can always reason with a child.

    I was talking about the story about the dog. That was a direct quote from his book, and I’ve read the same quote in other places. I stand by my point that anyone who would treat a small animal this way would likely not hesitate to treat a child the same way. I don’t care how many “child development” degrees he has on his wall. His account — in his words — of chasing a 12-pound dachshund around the room flailing at it with a belt because the little dog didn’t want to go to bed when Dobson wanted him to (as if the dog was destroying the house or attacking him instead of contentedly sitting on the fuzzy toilet lid cover) is over the top. Dobson clearly stated that he had to show the little dog who was boss, and the only way he apparently could do this was with a belt. He’s a 200-plus-pound grown man. If this was indeed a gentle family pet, why didn’t he just pet the dog, gently pick him up, and carry him to his bed? I didn’t “impune” Dobson. His own words did.

    I’m sick of seeing James Dobson put on a pedestal. I know people who read his books, listened to his radio program, and thought every word he spoke was some pearl of wisdom that, if applied to their own children, would produce godly, obedient children. Sadly, things didn’t quite work out that way.

  46. I’ve had my share of disciplinary routes with dogs. A dog is not a child, it is an animal, and establishing who is the alpha is critical to maintaining order. On the other hand. Dobson is a child psychologist and not a dog psychologist and unfortunately did not chose the best route to establishing himself as alpha (though what he did apparently did work).

    The link also does not contain the entire context of the story. But more importantly, you seem to once again take the tack that all physical aggression is bad. When I took Karate with my older sun, we showed a good bit of aggression to each other in play, an amount I would imagine many of you here would thing of as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’. It was very good training for both of us. It was very good discipline.

    Some of what we are dealing with here is the mindset that is afraid of pain. Pain is not always bad. Pain and struggle produce strength in the right amounts and doses. And the ability to face pain with strength is a necessary tool in life.

    Zeta

  47. By the way – have you ever tried to pick up and ‘pet’ a dog baring its teeth with ears laid back intent on defending its territory? Good grief! Once a dog takes that posture, you’d darn well better be ready for some kind of struggle, and you’d better win.

    Zeta

  48. As I have said before … I never did and never will respect a person who hits another adult, child or an animal.

    Respect is not just ‘deserved’ by a parent – it is earned. It’s a two way street. I learned well enough without my parents hitting me, that as an adult there would be ‘consequences’ meaning police or jail etc. I knew about ‘authority’. Hitting me taught me nothing about authority except that it could be abused.

    As for the dog story – have you heard of the Dog Whisperer? He manages to control dogs that are baring their teeth and defending their territory without hitting them. If you treat a dog right in the first place – you are NOT going to get into a place where it suddenly bares it’s teeth on you!

  49. “So while you may not like some of his ideas, he is legit in his training and position. And you are way out of line to impune him as you have.”

    I disagree. Dobson had become an idol to many. He is also very authoritarian not only in what he teaches but HOW he lives and has run FoF. (In fact, he “stepped down” but still runs the show!)

    He is ridiculous on gender roles. In fact, when I was helping market LWO in mega’s, he would not allow his female staff to wear pantsuits. They HAD to always have on hose with a skirt or dress. This was impractical for some who had to crawl around on stages, set up displays, etc.

    Now, let us step over the “National Day of Prayer” (Shirley Dobson) who agreed not to mention Jesus so as not to offend people!

    But he has become a multimillionaire and that is what counts.

    http://www.ryandobson.com/#/home

    Ryan sure learned how to mine the Christian market. Now he is on the speaking and book circuit. For what? Because he is 1st generation of a celebrity and Daddy knows all the celebs. I have seen this way too many times. Can’t they become “Christian” architects or something?

    Don’t people ever wake up from following these people as expert Christians?

  50. I will confess I have generally enjoyed and benefited from Dobson’s information, though I have not followed him much the last 10 years so I do not know if he’s gone off track. Nevertheless, unlike the Ezzo’s and Pearls, he does have the education and training that should be sufficient for him to know what he is talking about concerning children. That doesn’t mean he does necessarily – after all, Jason Lisle has a degree in Astrophysics but willfully ignores the implications of his knowledge because he prefers to see things differently.

    But I don’t follow or worship any particular person on any issue. But I seriously doubt he is a ‘monster’.

    The dog issue (and the dog whisperer) may actually put a fine point on the protests of those not fond of spanking, in that when understanding well how dogs are wired, and how their social interactions are structured, it is indeed true that Dobson’s approach simply was not the best way to deal with a dog in general. In fact is was indeed likely one of the worst ways. My guess is Dobson is acting out how his own dad disciplined dogs, how he was raised to do it.

    Zeta

  51. I don’t enjoy reading Dobson telling us how to hit children. I enjoy it even LESS when he says that if a child cries too long or hard then to ‘give it a little more of what made it cry in the first place’… How DARE he presume to know what is going on in that little one’s mind!

  52. Well, teal, I guess we have a different view of these things then, no don’t we. Keep in mind though that you seem at least as over the top on this as I probably seem to you.

    You strike me as the kind of person that would never let a kid do anything even remotely dangerous, that a boy raised in your home would have a hard time finding out how to be tough, would never have the opportunity to go hunting or climb a mountain or learn Karate or play football. Is that a false impression on my part?

    Zeta

  53. I appreciate one of our astute readers alerting us that there is a church in Wisconsin that believes babies as young as “one and a half months old” can be spanked with a dowel rod. This church has received significant funding from Lori Wick (a Christian author) and her husband. We will continue to follow this unfolding story.

    http://www.countyofdane.com/press/details.aspx?id=2452

    “During interviews with detectives, Phil expressed his belief that the Bible dictates the use of a rod over a hand to punish children. He stated that children only a few months old are “worthy” of the rod and that by “one and a half months,” a child is old enough to be spanked.

    Throughout the investigation, the church members were open with detectives about their “spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy. They described using wooden dowels and wooden spoons on the bare skin of children, starting as young as 2 months old. The dowels were described as being 12” to 18 “ long and the diameter the size of a quarter. According to ABC church members, Phil would instruct parents on how to utilize rods for spankings. One person described the children being emotional, grumpy or crying as behaviors that would constitute a spanking with a dowel. The victims include a total of twelve children ranging in age from infants to six years. All of their parents described redness and bruising as common effects of the spankings.”

    Just a few days ago (3/26/11) AOL News published an article on this developing story, which you can read at this link:

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/26/members-of-aleitheia-bible-church-in-wisconsin-charged-with-abus/

  54. Totally false actually Zeta !! As my husband and I are both martial artists of over 40 years now, .. my son had plenty opportunity to be ‘tough’ and in fact took up Judo for a while!!

    My husband is very gentle and I thank God for it.. And why .. would we want our son ‘tough’ ? I would rather he was gentle than ‘tough’ !

    Football? Our son wasn’t interested. Hunting was out as one he didn’t want to kill animals and two in the UK it’s pretty rare. And why would you think that our son didn’t have these opportunities?

    As a martial artist it is all about discipline – teaching and learning – and not agression.

    You said that : Pain and struggle produce strength in the right amounts and doses. And the ability to face pain with strength is a necessary tool in life: Unquote

    So are you saying that you should spank/hit your child to ‘toughen them up’ ? And how would you like to be toughened up by perhaps not having that anaesthetic when having a few stitches, or when at the dentist as I am sure it will ‘toughen you up’ for something. What .. I have no idea! Or perhaps … like me … you can see that ‘facing pain with strength’ might mean when the child hits back ???

  55. Hi Teal,

    Bravo. That’s actually the kind of answer I was hoping you would give. Sorry I was a bit harsh in my question – probably a bit out of line actually. So good on you.

    Now to answer your questions of me.

    Why would you want your son ‘tough’. Let’s be careful the precise definition. As you used the word it seems you have missed my meaning. ‘tough’ can mean brutal, or even a kind of criminal. But it can also simply mean strong or resilient. I meant it in the sense of strong or resilient. So my use of ‘tough’ is not in terms of how a child would act toward another, but how well they can endure and triumph over what is done to them.

    So why would I want my kid ‘tough’ as I used the word: So that they can handle the rough treatment the world will dish out without being crushed by it.

    Also, as I am using the world, ‘tough’ and ‘gentle’ can (and should) go together. Just as ‘strong’ and ‘gentle’ can go together.

    No, on your last statement you kind of walk back into the mindset I was hoping you didn’t really have. And it does seem you don’t differentiate well between brutality and necessary pain. In a martial arts setting, did you not spar with others? And did that not sometimes result in painful lessons that taught you well? Did you consider the full on sparring ‘brutal’, or was it ‘training’ (discipline). When your instructor gave you a good block or punch or kick that hurt like crap, was he being brutal to you? I can remember one time my instructor let me find out why I was not ready for any kind of fancy spinning kick. The pain was a really good incentive to wait for that kind of thing. Can you even truly learn a martial art with out some bruises or even broken bones? Does that make it brutal?

    I guess my point is that the pain aspect of a properly administered spanking is not about brutality, it is about connecting the instinctive aversion to pain to the unwanted behavior. That is the goal. It is not to hurt the child beyond the temporary pain, it is not to teach the child that hitting is the answer, it is not to get revenge on the child for bad behavior. As long as all the people involved, including the child, understand that, then I don’t think spanking is any more traumatic for a child than any other form of disciplinary action. But it does have the advantage of connecting an instinctive aversion to a behavior. And why is that good? Because our brains don’t really have to be super involved to get the instinctive reaction. And for children of the appropriate age for spanking, that is an important thing.

    But I doubt you’ll likely never follow my reasoning on this, because you can’t see spanking as anything but hitting (lashing out at/beating) a child. But maybe if you think about how your Martial Arts instructor ‘hit’ you primarily to ‘train’ you, not to brutalize you, you might be able to at least comprehend how someone might see spanking differently from how you see it.

    Zeta

  56. My / our martial arts teacher never hit us to ‘train’ us. And as for getting injured, it was very seldom and always because of a wrong move on someone’s part. Also, in the martial art scene we CHOSE to do that. We CHOSE to put ourselves on the mat and perhaps get hurt a little. It was never brutal because we as adults knew what we were getting into. Children don’t choose to get spanked or hit !! Our children are strong and resilient … both the daughter and the son … and we never had to hit them to get them that way!

    For me there is NO ‘properly administered spanking’. If I cannot and shouldn’t hit my husband or animal there is NO way I should be hitting/spanking a defenceless child. There is no ‘spanking with love’ as you the parent might think you are .. but I the child certainly do NOT feel that way.

    And maybe YOU didn’t find it traumatic to be spanked. I sure as hell did. It ruined my relationship with my parents for good. I never hit people, I always knew it was wrong. So when THEY hit me, all I could feel was resentment, anger and hate. I lost my respect, trust and love for them. I never have respected anyone who hits another, and how can I trust someone who hits me? I felt totally unloved and that nonsense, the post spanking pep talk of ‘oh by the way we love you’ meant nothing to me – as they had just proved they didn’t by hitting me! I NEVER learned anything good from being spanked – quite the opposite. I could never understand being spanked as to why my parents couldn’t just talk to me about whatever it was !

    ‘Children of an appropriate age’ – what does that mean? Children that aren’t likely to hit back because they are tots? Children that are ‘too young for reason’ ? If they are too young to reason, they are too young to be hit. If they are older and can reason they are too old to be hit. All human beings and animals deserve not to be hit. Not just adults and criminals.

    Why hurt the child at all?? Why not show and teach by demonstration? We did, we never spanked out children and they are great adults. My daughter now has two of her own whom she is not spanking either .. and they too are great children.

    We preferred to teach our children right from wrong and to demonstrate it in our lives. Not have them live in fear of us, or the fear of being hit, and not think properly about doing right and why.

    My parents sure failed too after all it tells us in the Bible not to ‘exasperate our children’…. I was sure exasperated!!! I like to say too .. that the ‘This is hurting me more than it’s hurting you’ feeling that parents get is their conscience, telling them that it’s wrong to hit a person 2/3 smaller than themselves!

    Spanking IS hitting. I don’t see any difference either, between hitting in anger when you can truly go too far and do injury, and the hitting in cold blood which I found to be totally unacceptable as a child and in fact was even more emotionally damaging.

  57. Perhaps too .. if you feel that spanking to teach a lesson is a good thing, perhaps the bank manager can spank you to teach you to not overdraw your account, or the policeman can when you run a red light, or your minister can spank you if you are five minutes late for church? What about the wife spanking you if you have forgotten once again to take the bin out? Or the husband spanking the wife if dinner is burned ? Or the criminal in jail who is found smoking in the wrong place? Don’t tell me that you are only disciplining a child and not your self/wife/husband/criminal because if spanking helps train us when small, it can do so when we are grown!

  58. Zeta,

    I am sure there are some kids who have gone through a living hell of drugs, witnessing spouse abuse, been involved in gangs, spend time in prison maybe even committed some pretty serious crimes, who, in the end turned out to be ok, got their act together and turned into some pretty “tough” adults, capable of withstanding virtually anything negative that the world throws at them … this does NOT turn the things they went through into a valid child rearing methodology.

    Sure, some kids get hit as punishment and they turn out ok, this does not validate hitting as a good choice…

  59. Teal,

    I think we are finally hitting on the primary difference between us. You were either abused or felt abused by your parents spanking. I was not abused as a child, nor did I feel abused by my parents spanking. But in your response are a whole host of irrational attitudes that it appears to me come from whatever spanking was to you and the anger/hurt you feel from it. However you experienced it, to you is was abuse.

    I never perceived my parents spanking me as something they were doing to abuse me, get back at me, or to get revenge on me. Indeed, before my dad would give me a spanking, he would always say that proverbial line “This hurts me more than it does you”. I remember asking him how that could possibly be true. And he told me: “Because I love you. I don’t want to hurt you. I only spank you because I feel it is necessary to help you do what you should do.” Now it sounds like your parents did something similar, but something in your experience made you not believe them, and something in my experience made me believe my dad was telling me the truth.

    And that is the crux of it as far as I am concerned. If a person has been brought up to believe spanking is a necessary part of discipline, and they truly love their children, there is no joy in spanking. There is no revenge, there is no over the top beating that can produce lasting damage to the child. There is only a sense of duty, that this is what is required to help purge the child’s foolish notions and thoughts, to help the child to learn to do that which is good and right. And I personally believe that if that is indeed what is in the parents heart, the child perceives it.

    And you know, I bet that applies to all forms of discipline. If the child does not perceive love from the parent, then probably any discipline will feel to them like they are being attacked or hit, whether it involves hitting or not.

    We could debate IF that belief is correct (that spanking is necessary part of discipline) rationally IF you (and others like you) could get it out of your heads that spanking administered from this vantage point and methodology is always abuse. That spanking is always some form of lashing out at the child by the parent. It simply is NOT that when it is part of loving discipline. And it is indeed hard on the parent who truly loves their child.

    But you probably can’t even comprehend there is truth in what I just said. Because you were abused, you can’t see that your situation does not represent what people like me think of when we say we speak of spanking is a legitimate form of discipline.

    So how do we cross this divide? Can you rationally accept that I did not experience an sense of abuse from my parents hand even though I was spanked? Can you move out of your experience and even try to comprehend another persons point of view on this? I can indeed see your side of this, I am not going to tell you you were wrong to perceive what came your way as abuse. But I do challenge the notion it is always that way.

    Your comments along the lines of

    “if you feel that spanking to teach a lesson is a good thing, perhaps the bank manager can spank you to teach you to not overdraw your account, or the policeman can when you run a red light, or your minister can spank you if you are five minutes late for church?”

    Show how different we see this. This is all adult on adult/ peer on peer. It would be and is abuse in those situations. Although if my behavior is bad enough, a police officer does have the authority to and WILL beat me into submission – or where you not aware of that?

    On a purely academic side, I am curious what was the difference between us growing up. Was it a difference between how our parents administered the discipline, or was it a fundamental difference in our personalities. Because clearly, you and I viewed our parents discipline very, very differently. My parents spanked and I have a great relationship with them, I never felt abused, I could not even fathom that parents abused their children I was so naive in that regard.

    I had a friend in high school who had an abusive father, who would beat him, with his fists. I simply could not believe it. I knew spanking only as a relatively harmless thing my parents did to teach me right from wrong. It hurt a bit for a few minutes and then was gone. I had no idea that parents would actually beat and physically hurt their children in such a way as to leave lasting scars or make them fear for their lives.

    So perhaps Teal, you could put aside your anger and hurt for a time and we could compare experiences and see if perhaps we could isolate what was different? I would tend to think your parents were more toward the abusive side of this for you to have perceived it so differently than I did. Indeed, as was commented earlier about Dobson’s dog, the only likely reason the dog reacted that way to his master was that the dog was abused from a dog point of view. And that may be true of you as well. But I can tell you that ALL spanking is not abusive, and not all children feel abused by spanking, because I was never abused by my parents, nor did I ever feel abused even though I was spanked. And to be honest, as I said, I only had one friend growing up that ever perceived his parents discipline as abuse. Most of us just laughed about our parents spanking, it was a common experience, one we wanted to avoid, but not something we felt was bad or directed at us personally (as in a personal attack, which is pretty much how you seem to have experienced it).

    Zeta

  60. Oh my once again how wrong you are !! According to most people I know who are ‘pro spanking’ I was not abused. I say differently because, to me hitting another being is abuse. But yes.. I felt abused, unloved etc. Just because they told me they loved me, just because we had good times, does nothing for me – as over all of it is stamped are these overwhelming memories of being spanked.

    Because I love my children – I didn’t hit them. I taught them. I demonstrated by example. I was NOT a bully.

    Yes I am quite aware that a policeman can use his baton on you – but he has to have a very good reason, like he believes that my violence may injure him and so he defends himself. Not because I swore at him, not because he didn’t like my attitude. Or perhaps policemen have different rules in the USA ?

    I knew of abuse as a child, as I knew of a boy who was also beaten by his parents and came to school with bruises, I also know that MY mother was beaten by her father with a belt repeatedly because she, a mere female, deigned to stand up to him. [Pity she didn't learn that hitting was bad, but no that would have been too ... simple]

    Perhaps now I have ‘put aside my anger and hurt’ as you put it, I can say that what was different was ME. I had an early sense of right and wrong, and had intelligence to wonder why on earth they couldn’t TALK to me instead of spanking me. I couldn’t understand even back then, why my mum would smack my little sister who was just around 3 instead of redirecting her etc. I was a quiet, well behaved child who respected authority. They had NO need to hit me. My elementary school had Corporal Punishment, and I lived in fear of it until I realised that I wasn’t going to be hit as the slipper was only used about 5 times in my whole 7 years there. And my high school didn’t use it at all. Our pupils were known to be polite and helpful etc, whereas the other high school just down the road, filled from the same catchment area did use Corporal Punishment – and their pupils were hooligans and truants. I might have truanted too if I thought I was in danger of being hit.

    If you laughed off your spankings, I don’t think they could honestly been of much use to your parents. And I think that you might have behaved yourself anyway if they had taught you instead of hitting you. I think too you might have realised just how wrong it is to hit a child. Someone who is so much smaller than you. So much more delicate. Someone who owns their own body and who deserves dignity.

    As for you and your friends not feeling abused by being spanked, I suggest you read up on Stockholm Syndrome in relationship with being spanked as a child.

    Me angry ?? Day to day not so much. But hearing about children being hit/spanked/swatted/whipped etc …. yes I am angry … I am furious. And I will not stop just because some children grow up and feel ‘fine’ and go on to perpetuate violence. Just as slavery, rape and buggery of small children in Ancient Rome and beating of wives have been banned, I will go on till my dying day praying that hitting children is put in the rubbish bin of history where it belongs.

  61. Teal,

    Ok then, by your own admission, it was you. Fine, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Now, look back over your post Teal. Look at its own hostility. Sounds to me like you’d like to take a paddle to anyone who promotes spanking no matter how benign. Would you enforce laws that would take loving parents away from their children and destroy perfectly good families over your personal hatred of spanking? Sounds like you would.

    You do realize that spanking has been the preferred method of child discipline for a long long time. And many, many millions if not billions of children have grown up without any of the bitterness you have over it. And without any long term suffering on their own part over it. But you would declare all those families abusive, and paint all those parents as cruel inhumane souls who got their jollies knocking around those little tots who couldn’t fight back.

    Do you realize how patently absurd that is?

    Now, again, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt as to whether the issue was some twist in your own psyche, or your parents abuse. But it would seem you want to take full credit for it. So be it.

    So what does that mean, you know you had loving parents, parents who sometimes but never abusively spanked you and you have completely buried yourself in your anger over that to the point of allowing your own anger to destroy two of the most precious relationships you can have? You mean you can’t look back at their culture and the time in which you were raised and simply realize they were doing the best they could based on what they themselves had been taught was the right way to raise children?

    I don’t get that Teal. I don’t get that at all. But it does put your comments on spanking into perspective.

    Zeta

  62. “You do realize that spanking has been the preferred method of child discipline for a long long time”

    Zeta, I hope you realize that the world as a whole has rejected Jesus and has gone their own preferred way. Arguing that something has been the “preferred method” is false. Maybe the reason it has been that way is that the church has taught erroneously that it is the “required” method, as you see the Pearls and others saying. Maybe the reason it is that way is that people who do not have the Spirit working in them to bring about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, have no other recourse than to parent by striking their children. (Even then not all non-Christian parents use corporal punishment.) I realize that when that parent becomes a believer they may still feel that is it right for them to continue to parent that way. I don’t think it is best, but you seem to. That’s the freedom we have in Christ, to not be forced to agree.

    The crux of the matter is: if the Bible teaches that parents “must” use corporal punishment, then we should all go off and live our lives and stop talking about it. But if the Bible neither requires, nor prohibits, corporal punishment, then it becomes an issue of wisdom. If it is an issue of wisdom both Teal and I are free to say that we believe that the Pearls, Dobsons, Tripps, Ezzos, ad nauseum, are not wise and to give our reasoning. That reasoning can include our personal feelings on the matter. And you are free to say what you are saying and defend your view of wisdom and to give your personal views on the matter.

    My personal feeling is that you are trying hard to win a battle with those of us who believe differently from you, and you are trying to “spank” those who oppose you, but with words! :)

  63. Thank you Heather .. you are far more eloquent than I !

    For myself, as I have said over and over again – just because something has been done for hundreds if not thousands of years does not make it right. We rejected Pagan Gods, we banned hitting wives, rape and buggery to toddlers as done in Ancient Rome [all done of course, in the 'name' of education and discipline!] and we banned slavery.

    Yes.. I would stop hitting children in a heart beat. There is nothing ‘benign’ in hitting a child. I did not say that parents who spank are ‘getting their jollies’ but I do believe they are perpetuating a violent act on a defenceless child who is far smaller than them.

    I can look back and say that my parents did ‘what was normal at the time’ to a degree – as many children were NOT hit even back then, however, when confronted just a few years ago before she died, about the pain they caused me my mother said that I was fine, I was allright and ‘happy’. I wasn’t .. I was very upset, lonely and hurt little girl.

    I live thank God, in a country and part of the world where hitting children is already illegal, at home or school. And we do not see the rates of trouble, violence and criminal behaviour we see in the States. How patently absurd is it, to hit a child when there are screeds of information on just how damaging it can be out there ? When you are told by the likes of myself [and believe me, there are a LOT of us too] that spanking us ruined our young lives and made us fearful? That it taught us nothing except to not trust the two people who were there to love and protect us? When as I have said before – you would never hit another adult or animal?

    Discipline – yes. Hitting a child – no. No. Not in my wildest nightmares.

  64. Teal – you said:

    “For myself, as I have said over and over again – just because something has been done for hundreds if not thousands of years does not make it right. We rejected Pagan Gods, we banned hitting wives, rape and buggery to toddlers as done in Ancient Rome [all done of course, in the 'name' of education and discipline!] and we banned slavery. ”

    There is an elephant in the room that you folks just will not admit is there:

    People have been raised with spanking as part of their discipline for centuries AND HAVE BECOME GOOD, NORMAL, PEOPLE, WITH GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR PARENTS.

    I’m not saying because spanking was done for centuries it is ok. You are not listening to me AT ALL, or you are not particularly good at logic.

    I am saying the people have turned out fine for centuries with spanking as part of the recipe. I am not even saying their are not BETTER ways of disciplining children. I am saying the kind of extreme position you represent is over the top, absurd,because it clearly is not as harmful as you say it is.

    So – are you even reading the words I write, or are you so irrational and angry you can’t even take the time to figure our what it is I am saying?

    Zeta

  65. Heather, I agree with you. I think if you actually were reading my posts, you’d understand that the position you have articulated (with the exception of the last line) is pretty much my position on this issue.

    Teals position is the extreme. All spanking is bad, and all parents that spank are bad. No discussion appears to be possible. She is so averse to spanking she’d apparently lock up parents that do it if she could on some misguided crusade to ‘save the children’, inflicting on those same children a trauma 100 orders of magnitude worse than any trauma they might receive from a spanking.

    Indeed, in my own childhood, the trauma I received from bullies that were undisciplined by the school due to the namby pamby weak approaches to discipline that have resulted from the rantings of people like Teal was at least 100 times worse than any trauma I received from the worst of my own parents punishments.

    If nothing else the lesson we should take from proverbs is that we should not be afraid make our children ‘hurt’ (see the big quotes around that word?) in order to teach them what is right. That the consequences of a lack of discipline are far worse than the consequences of the discipline itself even if that discipline involves hitting.

    And that lesson seems completely lost of people that view the world as Teal does.

    You see, even though many times I have said there may well be better methods of discipline than spanking, even though I have made clear I do not view spanking as ‘best’ or preferred except in certain extreme cases, that does not count in Teals world because I will not condemn all spanking as evil, and I am not willing to wrench children from the loving arms of parents who happen to on occasion use that method of discipline.

    I view that as extreme Heather, and that is why I challenged her. Is it wrong for me to speak up because I think she is wrong? Is it wrong for me to point out that taking children from loving parents is wrong?

    Basically, to me, her position (and Karls and others here) boils down to the same kind of black and white thinking that resulted in prohibition (the time in the states when alchohol was outlawed). For some people, the fact that too much wine can produce alcoholism means that one should never, ever drink an alcoholic beverage. And that to me is just as absurd as the position that because some parents are abusive in their use of spanking means that ALL spanking is abusive.

    And that really is all I am trying to challenge. In a different environment than the rabidly anti-spanking rhetoric we are seeing here, you’d see what would appear to you a very different kind of approach from me. Indeed, I find this entire line of discussion most uncomfortable because I am forced by their extreme position to appear as If I advocate abusing children, which I do not in any form. We simply disagree on the position that ALL spanking is abuse.

    Zeta

  66. Zeta,

    A clarification…I did not say (or intend to say) that all spanking is abusive. What I meant to convey is that we know that any spanking has the very real potential for psychological harm. You cannot predict which spanking will cause harm based on the intentions of the parents or the force of the spanking.

    In addition, there seems to be adequate support for the position that there are many alternative methods which can produce equally good or better results and which do not carry the baggage of “potential harm”.

    With those things in mind, it simply seems foolish to adhere to spanking as a reasonable methodology.

  67. Karlton,

    Thanks for the clarification. Now, you said this:

    “What I meant to convey is that we know that any spanking has the very real potential for psychological harm. You cannot predict which spanking will cause harm based on the intentions of the parents or the force of the spanking.”

    two things:
    A)

    psychological harm. this term can mean anything from a mild sense of rejection to something that produces multiple personalities. What kind of psychological harm are you talking about and to what degree. Keeping in mind that the entire disciplinary model is that mild affliction now (in whatever form) prevents serious harm later. So, for spanking to be bad, then the potential harm it inflicts must be a sizable percentage of the harm it is trying to avoid, or significantly greater than some other equally effective method.

    B) You cannot predict which spanking will cause harm based on the intentions of the parents or the force of the spanking.

    That is something I would take major exception to. Indeed, my entire support for spanking under certain circumstances is based on the belief that if practiced correctly, spanking does no significant (keyword) harm and does the child good by correcting bad or dangerous behavior.

    Do you have anything that can back that up that actually attempts to differentiate between the intentions of the parents and the force of the spanking? That is, not just some generic statement that ‘spanking causes X’, but that actually shows that even spanking practiced according to the best of methods by truly loving parents can indeed be the cause of some significant psychological harm?

    Zeta

  68. Karlton – thanks for that re not knowing if it causes harm in the long term. I know a lot of folk who were spanked and are harmed – as just like me, they cannot feel comfortable with their parents. Some fear all authority, and others who were ‘forced to submit’ learn to submit allright, and learn too that THEY must be bad and therefore must deserve their spankings – and …. strangely enough a lot of them go on to be in abusive relationships and not run for the hills, as they believe it is THEIR fault.

    As you say, why anyone would inflict this on children, with all the info out there on damage psychologically and emotionally I have NO idea.

    QUOTE: People have been raised with spanking as part of their discipline for centuries AND HAVE BECOME . Unquote….

    People that have been hit as children become” GOOD, NORMAL, PEOPLE, WITH GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR PARENTS: not because of being hit … but IN SPITE of being hit. I only have to wonder, just how much BETTER they could have been if they hadn’t been hit. If you are NOT saying that there are better ways than spanking – why DO IT AT ALL EVER ??? And what are you going to do, when that child still doesn’t obey you? Hit harder, longer or …. what ??? As I don’t hit I have a million other things I can use to discipline my child, that does NOT involve hitting and angering them.

    If anyone is ‘angry’ here – you are, as you haven’t answered any of MY questions whereas I have. I have given you examples and reasons.

    Jesus also told us to ‘turn the other cheek’ and to ‘love others’ and to ‘ treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated’ …. I don’t want to be hit. He never ever told us to hit our children. Quite the opposite – and there are MILLIONS of gentle minded Christians out there who agree with me.

    I never said to lock spanking parents up. I said I would make it illegal as it is here. And then, as in Sweden, I would have the parents who spank go to parenting schools where they can learn real skills in dealing with their children kindly and fairly.

    Hitting is abuse. The amount and force is only a matter of level. If you are hit once, and your finger is broken everyone will STILL say that was abuse. If you are hit more and perhaps your ribs, and a leg and arm are broken that it still abuse – just a whole lot more severe form of abuse. As an abused wife in the past, I can tell you, that being told that ‘oh you only had a few broken bones and didn’t die’ doesn’t really cut it!

    I don’t believe you CAN spank ‘correctly’. Or with love. I cannot imagine a single thing that a child does in it’s life than can ever warrant being hit. Not when even a criminal cannot be hit for it’s crime. What on EARTH do children do in your world that deserve to be hit?

  69. Sorry Karlton, I forgot to add Zeta’s name in there at the correct point … and there is no edit on this site !

  70. Teal,

    but to play devil’s advocate a bit..a pat on the back for a job well done, and beating someone to death is only a matter of degree.

  71. Teal, since you have accused me of ignoring your questions and examples, I will address your post point by point:

    TEAL:
    “Karlton – thanks for that re not knowing if it causes harm in the long term. I know a lot of folk who were spanked and are harmed – as just like me, they cannot feel comfortable with their parents.”

    And yet you claim that your parents did nothing abnormal in terms of how they handled spanking. And that is very, very odd. I do not know anyone (well, except for you now) that was spanked as a child but had loving parents that handled that spanking in a way that would be traditionally considered ‘correct’ that would say spanking had this result.

    TEAL

    “Some fear all authority, and others who were ‘forced to submit’ learn to submit allright, and learn too that THEY must be bad and therefore must deserve their spankings – and …. strangely enough a lot of them go on to be in abusive relationships and not run for the hills, as they believe it is THEIR fault.”

    Everything you describe here I would expect from abusive parents. But not from what I or others experienced as ‘normal’ use of spanking. Again, everyone I know that shows the symptoms you describe here also had parents that abused them in every sense of the word. That is, that their parents behavior would be classified as abuse by both of us.

    TEAL:

    “As you say, why anyone would inflict this on children, with all the info out there on damage psychologically and emotionally I have NO idea.”

    The reality is, the ‘this’ your are talking about and the ‘this’ I am talking about MUST be two different things. The NORMAL outcome of what I am describing is NOT psychological and emotional trauma. And that is just a fact.

    TEAL:

    QUOTE (zeta): People have been raised with spanking as part of their discipline for centuries AND HAVE BECOME . Unquote (zeta)….

    “People that have been hit as children become” GOOD, NORMAL, PEOPLE, WITH GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR PARENTS: not because of being hit … but IN SPITE of being hit.”

    This is what you believe to be true, I’ll grant you. But you can’t substantiate that. If spanking was as bad as you claim, it would simply be impossible for the majority of people to overcome its effects. And we are not talking about a simple majority. We are talking about the vast majority.

    TEAL:

    “I only have to wonder, just how much BETTER they could have been if they hadn’t been hit. If you are NOT saying that there are better ways than spanking – why DO IT AT ALL EVER ??? And what are you going to do, when that child still doesn’t obey you? Hit harder, longer or …. what ??? As I don’t hit I have a million other things I can use to discipline my child, that does NOT involve hitting and angering them.”

    Well Teal, you are not being reasonable here. My goodness, think of all the folks that would not die of diseases in the past if they had access to modern medicine. What you have access to in terms of alternatives for the discipline of children did not exist 50 years ago. All those nice research papers that both define spanking as bad (which, really, one needs to have some reason to abandon a proven method of child rearing) and those research papers that explore all the cool ways to discipline effectively without spanking, they didn’t exist either. So even if you are correct about whether we should use spanking today, you are horribly naive to think that if it had been abandoned 50 or 100 years ago, folks would have turned out ‘better’. In actual fact, they likely would have turned out worse.

    Why do I say that. Because the alternative would have been no discipline or less effective discipline. And that would be worse.

    TEAL:

    “If anyone is ‘angry’ here – you are, as you haven’t answered any of MY questions whereas I have. I have given you examples and reasons.”

    I’ll admit I’ve skipped to what I thought were the critical points of your posts. From my perspective, a lot of what I have skipped is irrational ranting. But as you see, I’ve decided to just take you point by point to avoid any further confusion.

    TEAL:

    “Jesus also told us to ‘turn the other cheek’ and to ‘love others’ and to ‘ treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated’ …. I don’t want to be hit. He never ever told us to hit our children. Quite the opposite – and there are MILLIONS of gentle minded Christians out there who agree with me.”

    Teal, I see this as naivete. You can’t ‘turn the other cheek’ with a child, no matter what form of discipline you use. You have to direct and be in charge, and sometimes you have to be unpleasant. If you serve a child based on a naive misapplication of the above, you will produce a really monstrous narcissistic little brat.

    And you have indeed chosen to be hit, you chose to be hit to lean martial arts. Well, kids don’t know enough to know what’s good for them for the most part. So they don’t get to chose how we discipline them. And we pick from the best we know of if we love them. 100 years ago, that would mean you would spank them, and likely more severely than any of us would think is ok now. Today we have more options, and you are right. I don’t spank even as much or as severely at this point as my own parents did. I’ve got more options, I know more about it than they did etc. I can chose a better path because I know more, but that doesn’t mean they were wrong to do what they did, or that it produced something bad in me.

    TEAL:

    “I never said to lock spanking parents up. I said I would make it illegal as it is here. And then, as in Sweden, I would have the parents who spank go to parenting schools where they can learn real skills in dealing with their children kindly and fairly.”

    Well good, I’m glad you wouldn’t lock them up. You certainly were talking like you would, but your are right, you never actually said you would.

    TEAL:

    “Hitting is abuse.”

    This is absurd and is trivial to show false. You got hit in martial arts. Was that abuse? The answer is kind of obvious, isn’t it. Let’s say you are about to eat a poison apple and I slap it away. Is that abuse? Nope. Are you going to fuss because I didn’t sit around and figure out a nice way to get the apple away from you in the .4 seconds left before you bit it? Shoot, sometimes hitting is just plain fun – ever had a towel popping ‘fight’ with your friends. Those can leave some nasty whelps. But is it abuse?

    There are a host of factors which must be considered. The purpose of the hit is primary. The physical damage associated with the hit is important as well, but must be evaluated in light of the other factors.

    So trivially, all hitting is NOT abuse. Now, we need to move on to trying to understand if a few whacks on the behind of a young child to teach them not to do things that will hurt them, given moderately and only after being warned that would be the outcome, and only when the parent is in control of their emotions, is abuse. I say no, you say yes.

    TEAL:

    ” The amount and force is only a matter of level. If you are hit once, and your finger is broken everyone will STILL say that was abuse. If you are hit more and perhaps your ribs, and a leg and arm are broken that it still abuse – just a whole lot more severe form of abuse. As an abused wife in the past, I can tell you, that being told that ‘oh you only had a few broken bones and didn’t die’ doesn’t really cut it!”

    Are you serious Teal? OF COURSE HITTING THAT BREAKS BONES IS ABUSE (except maybe in a martial arts class) Good Grief – is THAT what spanking means to you? I’m not talking about breaking bones. I’m not talking about leaving any kind of lasting mark or damage. I’m talking about something that likely hurts the parents hand about the same amount as the kids butt, and leaves at most, a little reddening of the skin!

    TEAL:

    “I don’t believe you CAN spank ‘correctly’. Or with love.”

    I believe one can Teal. You may not be able to be. But you are not the whole world. I know that the few times I’ve spanked my youngest kids it was for one of two purposes: (1) to make sure they listened to me when they are in danger (2) to make sure they learn to obey me when I tell them what to do.

    Both of those are the goals of any loving parent. And I would say anyone who does not have both of those as goals for their young children do not truly love them.

    As an aside. The need for generally unquestioned obedience in a young child is a temporary thing. A good parent expects this of their young children, but not their older children. When they are young they need to obey the parent (a good parent is not going to tell a young child to do something that is wrong) – for their own safety. As they grow, we want them to become more and more independent, so they can function on their own.

    In general I expect that if I use a certain tone, my young child will do what I way without question. But otherwise they know they can ask why and get a reasoned answer. And even if I use that tone, they can ask why later and I will tell them why.

    TEAL:

    ” I cannot imagine a single thing that a child does in it’s life than can ever warrant being hit.”

    Really?

    TEAL:

    “Not when even a criminal cannot be hit for it’s crime. What on EARTH do children do in your world that deserve to be hit?

    Criminals can be hit to subdue them. And they can be put to death. though generally, the hitting a criminal does that would have to be giving back to him is abuse by anyone’s definition. You are describing eye for an eye in terms of punishment. We do not use that with criminals or children.

    But really, you are simply falling back on your trivially false “All hitting is abuse” mantra. All hitting is not abuse. So you can’t use that to show spanking is abuse just because spanking involves hitting. You must show that spanking itself, which essentially uses a few mild hits on the buttocks of an appropriately aged child for the purpose of discipline, is abuse.

    Zeta

  72. Just because you have not come across anyone else damaged by being spanked does NOT mean there aren’t any. I know of a fair few.

    I don’t care HOW ‘correct’ that spanking seems to you .. or seemed to my parents – to me it never DID feel correct as I knew better than to hit someone. I told my mother many times not to hit my sister as she had done nothing that warranted it and was still a baby. [ My sister is 7 years younger than me, and as a toddler she didn't need to be hit - any more than she did when she was older - fortunately, my mother had stopped hitting her by the time my sister was around 8 or so, as my sister, being bigger and far more physical than me, my mother would have come off worse...]

    You cannot tell me, or anyone else, what emotional damage happens when you hit a child. I happen to know what happened to me, my sister and a few others ….

    Yes, I am perfectly reasonable about wondering how much ‘more fine’ these children and you would have been without being hit. I would presume for a start that you wouldn’t have a feeling that hitting children is right! Why would no spanking mean no discipline ?? Really? There were, and are, myriads of things once can use to teach a child with!

    Oh so I am naive? I feel that turning the other cheek with a child, means picking your battles. I believe that I can be ‘direct, and in charge and even unpleasant’ without hitting. In fact I have been. [Rather less unpleasant though as I didn't find it necessary ] My children are not narcissistic brats, or adults. Neither are my two young grandchildren. Neither are all the children I know around me here …or perhaps that is what YOU expect children to be??

    Children may not know ‘what is good for them’, however, a lot of us ‘ex kids’ knew even as children that hitting was wrong, and I for one had far more self respect than to allow an adult or anyone to hit me. As children don’t know all of what is good for them, that is where the parent comes in – and teaches, by demonstration and explanation. If you can choose a better path than spanking then do it!

    Yes I was hit in martial arts – I chose it… as an adult. It wasn’t dealt to me for misdemeanours! No, no complaints from me for saving my life with that poisoned apple! But no .. hitting is never fun. I never did hit people with towels, or anything else. Using martial arts is fun – but not if someone was hurt. When some people doing martial arts, got too ‘enthusiastic’ and were hurting others, they were asked to conform, or to leave. Now… back to that small child. What things is it going to do that will hurt them that they need to be spanked for and not have the situation discussed and explained?? Seriously, I am interested. After all, despite having children that were probably just as hard as the next ones, I managed to not hit them and to have them understand dangers, and to obey when necessary.

    Being smart about my comment about the level of abuse being one bone or a dozen broken – isn’t intelligent. If it hurts your hand to spank, that child’s bottom will be hurting one hell of a lot more because their nervous system is far more acute at that age. Reddening of the skin … IS damage.

    And no… still can’t think of a single thing I would hit someone of any age for .. except in self defence.

    Criminals … cannot be hit to subdue them … UNLESS a guard needs to for self defence reasons having been attacked. They aren’t punished or ‘disciplined’ by the guards. [And in the UK and Europe they aren't put to death either but that is another story.] Prison isn’t punishment – it’s supposed to be teaching the criminals right from wrong and giving them new ways of living.

    All hitting .. that is aimed at a child …IS abuse period. There is NO need to hit, and NO right to hit. If ‘all’ you are doing is patting that child on the diaper to ‘gain attention’ then, as the saying goes – “Use your words!!!” If you can swat them you can redirect them.

    And as I asked and will ask again, what exactly are you going to do with your child, when it still doesn’t obey you? Hit harder, longer or .. what ??

    [Thank you so much for taking me through this point by point, so kind of you after calling my post 'irrational ranting'. ]

  73. Teal,

    This will be my last response on this. You took the time to reply, so I will move through your post to hopefully ties things off in as pleasant a fashion as is possible. However, I honestly feel you simply are not at a place where you can discuss this rationally, and it really would not be good for either of us to continue.

    “Just because you have not come across anyone else damaged by being spanked does NOT mean there aren’t any. I know of a fair few. “

    This illustrates why we simply can’t have a rational discussion. You refuse to deal in degrees or shades of gray. I never said I have not come across someone damaged by spanking. I said I have never come across someone damaged by spanking as I understand its proper administration. I have never implied all spanking is ok. Never. Not one time. When you translate what I have said in this fashion, you poison the well of rational and calm discourse.

    I don’t care HOW ‘correct’ that spanking seems to you .. or seemed to my parents – to me it never DID feel correct as I knew better than to hit someone. I told my mother many times not to hit my sister as she had done nothing that warranted it and was still a baby. [ My sister is 7 years younger than me, and as a toddler she didn't need to be hit - any more than she did when she was older - fortunately, my mother had stopped hitting her by the time my sister was around 8 or so, as my sister, being bigger and far more physical than me, my mother would have come off worse...]”

    What you describe here is a classic misuse of spanking. Part of the reason you are so angry with spanking is that what you experienced was abusive – though possibly would not have been illegal.

    “You cannot tell me, or anyone else, what emotional damage happens when you hit a child. I happen to know what happened to me, my sister and a few others ….”

    What I see here is that you simply can’t move beyond the emotional conviction all hitting is bad. I showed you how and why all hitting is not bad. You’ve completely ignored that part of my post. Spanking is a particular application of hitting. When you say ‘hit’, you imply attack, with intent do hurt and deal out revenge. The verb ‘to hit’ in this context carries with it the connotation of attack. Spanking is not an attack, nor is it an attempt to hurt. It is an attempt to correct. It uses a hit on the buttocks to implement correction in a small child.

    “Yes, I am perfectly reasonable about wondering how much ‘more fine’ these children and you would have been without being hit. I would presume for a start that you wouldn’t have a feeling that hitting children is right! Why would no spanking mean no discipline ?? Really? There were, and are, myriads of things once can use to teach a child with!”

    Today there is. We have lots of books that can help a parent find tried and true methods that work as well as spanking. This simply was not true 100 years ago. And you ignore other realities. They didn’t have time to research it or sit around trying to find a better method. Nor did they have any incentive to do so. We have alternative methods for many reasons, not the least of which is years of research into the issue which simply did not exist then.

    Oh so I am naive? I feel that turning the other cheek with a child, means picking your battles. I believe that I can be ‘direct, and in charge and even unpleasant’ without hitting. In fact I have been. [Rather less unpleasant though as I didn't find it necessary ] My children are not narcissistic brats, or adults. Neither are my two young grandchildren. Neither are all the children I know around me here …or perhaps that is what YOU expect children to be??

    If you take personally comments not meant in any way to be personal, there is again no possibility of rational discussion. And you also again misread and completely botched my point – which is that an UNDISCIPLINED child will be turn our a narcissistic brat. Why do you keep taking each point I make and twist it into some other statement?

    Sigh.

    Teal, basically for me to continue, I must first take each point you’ve made and direct it back to my original statement, show where you have either completely misunderstood me or somehow twisted its content into its worst possible connotation. I just don’t have time for it, and the point is that your next response will just take each of my new points and do the same to them.

    Basically Teal – I just don’t see any point in continuing this any further. I do feel that your situation was abusive based on how you describe it, and it does not represent what I refer to as the correct use of spanking as discipline. I am sure that adding to that finding yourself also in an abusive husband/wife relationship further amplified your response – and honestly I do not blame you.

    So as much as possible I’d like to end this as peacefully. We disagree on this. Hopefully at some later point we can find something on which we agree.

    I wish you the best.

    Zeta

  74. You don’t like MY answers… and I don’t like or accept yours. You never explain how spanking TEACHES anything. I know that one cannot learn in an atmosphere of fear and spanking certainly instills fear. And why was spanking my toddler sister at 3 abuse in your book as you seem to think that that is ok ??

    If you call someone naive, I believe that IS personal. If you tell my my thoughts and beliefs are twisted that is personal.

    I agree … let’s not because frankly … it is a waste of my precious time, talking to someone who is so obviously happy with spanking children. Especially as you fail time after time to describe what YOU call a ‘correct use of spanking discipline’. Admittedly there are so many spanking types out there – from hand through slippers, paddles, switches, canes, wooden spoons, glue sticks, plumbing and belts. I am sure you use none of these. But again, I have no idea of what you mean by a correct spanking discipline or of the ages you think spanking is appropriate nor a real case why.

    One day .. it WILL end. Just like any other mean, vile, useless and potentially damaging acts.

  75. Zeta,

    If I can chime in again … I think when one looks for “damage” caused by a “properly administered spanking”, as you say…the problem we have is that we look for people to be “damaged” in the sense that they have obvious social interaction problems, trust issues or other psychological problems….in other words..we look for aberrant behavior from the ‘norm’.

    What we fail to consider is whether these children, who have been spanked and still appear to be “normal” would have thrived or become exceptional in some way had they not endured corporal punishment. We look for behavior that falls below the norm as evidence of damage, but we never consider that without the damage people might actually exceed and have been even better than they ended up.

    Just a thought.

  76. I highly doubt spanking teaches anything. It is a form of punishment.

    The Bible instructs parents to discipline children and the concept of discipline is relational (think of the schmai yisrael)

    Spanked children generally turn out normal because (presumably) the vast majority of the childhood did not involve being spanked but rather they were consistantly nurtured by parents who made mistakes here and there(which includes every one of us.)

    The entire spanking issue is a red herring the legalists that Deb and Dee are gracious enough to expose for the wolves they are. They paint a frightening picture of what a child will become if you don’t use their parenting methodology (Pearl, Ezzo, all these charlotains (sp)

    They generally paint a picture of the child as sinful almost to the level of being full of the devil and they will surely burn in hell if you don’t use their methods.

    What about the redemptive power of Jesus and only Jesus?

    But, no, they’re willing to sacrifice essential doctrine to control people.

    They want a rigid heirarchy with themselves at the top, then men, then a huge majority of people under their legalistic boot.

    Break the child’s will?? Hell, no, you’re not going to get me to break my child’s will. I want mine to be the little kid honest and innocent to tell these empty suits they, like the Emperor, have no clothes.

    But in the end, our children are *normal* and the cross is sufficient to cover their sins (just like the rest of us) and if enough people raise enough children to think for themselves instead of blindly obeying their dear leaders, the whitewashed graves will be given all the power they deserve.

    And Zeta and all those who differ from my viewpoint: your kids are likely just fine because you love them and are nurturing them, that is, in the end, what matters.

  77. Thank you TulipGirl.

    How do the Pearls get away with this? How are there not laws in place that forbid books etc that are blatant child abuse manuals, freedom of speech or not? Surely, if I wrote a book about how to sexually abuse a child, THAT wouldn’t be allowed on the shelves would it ??

    And how, anyone advices parents to use these books, and parents follow them without common sense being in place I shall never ever know.

  78. Tulip Girl,

    Thanks for keeping us informed! I remember reading that the matter had been delayed until April 8th.