Now that I have 8 godchildren who are all getting older very quickly and ingratiating themselves into the “real world” I am starting to notice that not only are they truly beginning to develop fully-functioning personalities, but they are also becoming very socialized. This means, some of them are growing up into rule-following, law-abiding citizens and others are becoming functioning DOUCHEBAGS [but I still LOVE them]. Why this dichotomy is so interesting is the fact that I am steadily witnessing first-hand the impact that beating kids has had on them as compared to the kids who only got time-outs – and beating kids DOES work, but the problem with it is that most parents don’t do it right.
I laugh whenever I hear experts talk about corporal punishment-style child rearing as being ineffective based on STATS because this is a topic that statistics really CAN’T do justice to. There is two distinct reasons for this:
A) Because What Constitutes “Beating” & “Abuse” Is Absolutely SUBJECTIVE
Take the video below; There’s a lot of people who would give that father props for instilling discipline into the child’s life and showing him first hand that poor decisions reap negative actions. But on the other hand, there’s many people who feel his actions were INCREDIBLY abusive and they need Child Servies in that house ASAP:
But as much as we all can attempt to argue about whether or not THAT’S abuse, the reality is both sides are both right. Let’s be clear on one thing, the entire point of disciplining a child is to correct future behaviour, so that when they are presented with the opportunity to do something “bad” even though they are alone (and you may never even find out what they did) they are so SCARED of being punished that they choose the correct course of actions. Now to achieve this effect in a child, there is no ONE method that is guaranteed to work all the time, because the fact is different kids require different things. For some kids, the fear of getting a beating can be just as intense as the fear of getting a time-out.
To subscribe to one form of punishment as inherently predominant over all others is frankly STUPID [which I’m NOT doing for those who like to SKIM without actually READING]. So it’s IMPOSSIBLE to collect data on beating and how it relates to child rearing because the stats will be far too SUBJECTIVE. In my opinion, a lash with the belt is beating – body slamming your kid on the concrete drive way is ABUSE, so I wouldn’t include the body slam into beating statistics, although there are some who would.
And point B) Children Don’t Get WORSE Because They Were Beaten – Some Of Them Were Simply Not Savable.
It sucks to say this, but there are some frowsy kids that simply DON’T respond favourably to discipline and whether it was beating or time-outs, they simply would not act right, so to put the blame on one method over the other is just stupid.
But here’s my overall point: Regardless of how many BS studies are done, the reality is that NOBODY can prove that beating kids is a wholly BARBARIC ritual of child-rearing that should be eliminated completely because it DOES work – just not on every kid and not by the hand of every adult.
This Is Your Conscience