Good, decent, smart, usually sensitive people never cease to amaze me with how they can change the way they think and act because they are dealing with children. What brings this on you might be asking other than my love for children a sincere desire to see no harm come to them in any way and I would say a conversation I had on Facebook about the pros and cons of spanking children and the right and wrong of it and how shocked I was at the tone it took and the reasoning. In this day and age with all we know about what children respond to and the damage that hitting ones children can do to them emotionally, mentally, so many of those young parents were pro spanking. Teachers, social workers, business owners most claiming to be Christians by faith, Conservatives politically and those people who spank their children by choice.
These people explained to me tirelessly, honestly and most passionately how they believed that not only was it not abuse to physically hit their children, but that it was their right to hit them under God‘s law. I would have thought in this day and age with all of the bullying, the child abuse and the abuses committed against women that people would be moving away from the use of violence, but this cross-section of people proved me wrong on several fronts.
In many posts I have berated the government and I have slammed the government for lacking the political will to take serious action that would halt abuse against women and children assuming that people wanted these changes, but men really do not want to stop hurting women because way down deep inside all men believe that it is their God-given right to rule their women and that she belongs to them like a car, or other possession. I have also discovered that both men and women resent the government sticking its nose into their homes and making laws that prohibit them for corporeally disciplining their children; these parents which accounted for about 98% of those I spoke to quoted the passage in the Bible about sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
I read comment after comment about some of them being spanked and some of them being beaten and them being okay with it and stating that now they are spanking their children, but not a one of them seemed ready to talk about anything but making a child respect them and others; not a one could see that they were teaching their children to gain respect through the use of violence and they would be using that knowledge to get respect of their own at school, in the street and maybe against their aging parents when the ravages of time reversed the tables and the children became in charge of the helpless parent.
I spanked my youngest grandson on his diaper once, not hard, but the hurt in his eyes and his look of being betrayed made me understand that there just had to be another way and I knew that it was not right and that it was not my God-given right to spank or hit children in any way shape or form. That day I made a conscious decision that I would never again raise my hand to a child in anger.
Interestingly enough all of the 98% insisted that they never hit, or spanked their children in anger and said that indeed they knew the spanking hurt their children, but the end kind of justified the means and spanking was a necessary tool if children were to turn out responsible, contributing members of society as adults. When I asked if they were not angry why were they hitting their children, most ignored the question and those that answered used God as their reason.
I realised something else too at that moment and it was that most people are comfortable hitting children to get them to do what they want and with doctors, lawyers, teachers and even social workers and child care workers seeing no harm in it what chance did even a government willing to make serious laws to combat the problem of violence against children and women really have at succeeding. Adults seem to think that they should not be spanked, beaten no matter what their crime, because they are adults and that this alone exempts them from corporal punishment and the law in most countries agrees with them.
I did try to point out that the Bible is clear on things that we have changed throughout time with civil rights, the abolition of slavery (the curse of Ham) women rights, suffrage, (no more obey thy husband), so why not a little change for the children? (spare the rod) I tried to explain that man has been misinterpreting the bible for years and doing so on purpose to suit his needs at the time, but did not get too far. In the end I knew nothing would change, because these 98% represent a much larger group of people that do not want change, in fact they want everything to remain just as it has always been.
What struck me as odd as well was that I got the sense that these people felt obligated to spank their children as if they would be doing them a disservice and somehow be failing as good parents if they did not spank their children. They seemed ready to dismiss the fact that not only bums get hurt with spanking, but little hearts get broken, little minds get twisted and little souls are lost. Oh sure the children will almost all survive the spankings, but, does the memory of the spankings ever go away and if not how do those memories effect who and what that child becomes in its future. I know one thing for sure and that is every one of those parents who were spanked as children and spank their children now never forgot the spankings and now spank, so I figure that those spankings may have had a bigger impact on them than they thought and they are passing on the spanking tradition to their children and so passing on the idea that respect can be gained by intimidation, violence and fear, when everyone knows that fear is not respect it is just fear.
In closing I would like to leave you with this thought; we see bullying at school, taxing and other forms of violence and intimidation and everyone asks the question where are the children learning to be so aggressive and I say they learn intimidation at the hands of spanking parents who teach them when you cannot convince someone to do what you want and you are bigger than them use force. We speak of seniors being abused and intimidated by their family and quite often their children, is this a turning of the tables?Are these seniors getting back the treatment that they dished out to their children long ago? I think that unless it is self-defense nobody has the right to spank, or beat up on another person and there is no reason what so ever to intimidate another person. Violence is violence and hitting is hitting and so if we allow spanking, by whose ruler are we going to use to determine how, or when the situation is to be considered abuse. Instead of measuring what is tolerable violence when dealing with children would it not be better and wiser just to fore go the violence all together and use alternative means of discipline like we do with adults?
- The Cost of Spanking (babyzone.com)
- Delaware Bans Spanking, Prelude to U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (independentsentinel.com)
- Canadian Experts Call for Nationwide Ban on Spanking (investmentwatchblog.com)