Beating Kids WORKS – But Most Parents Don’t Do It RIGHT

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

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

32 Comments

  1. BADDEST

    11/11/2011 at 8:15 AM

    I agree with some forms of physical discipline for children.
    As a parent, the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate discipline is the intention behind the delivery of said discipline…..are you trying to correct the behavior or are you just reacting impulsively.
    Raising your hand to your child when you are enraged and out of control yourself is WRONG….there isnt any question of that in my mind.
    But a good smack on the bum to get their attention and correct them when theyre acting up is fine by me.
    And dont be fooled, kids know the difference as well……they will learn from authorative and controlled discipline…..they will develop various complexes with disicpline that in the end is just an outlet for their parents frustrations…

    • Law and order

      11/11/2011 at 9:53 AM

      Co- sign 100%

    • Jason Howe

      11/11/2011 at 12:16 PM

      Agreed.

  2. MistaHarsh

    11/11/2011 at 8:27 AM

    there's no universal guide to parenting. You have to gauge your child's response to the way you discipline them. Some will ramp up the negative behaviour to get more beatings because to them thats a way of seeking attention that they are missing.

    Its very important as a parent that whatever method you use, you do it in a calm calculated and controlled fashion and you MAKE DAMN WELL SURE that no matter what your child did or what mortal kombat punishment you give them that they understand the REASON for the punishment, the APPROPRIATE ACTION TO TAKE IN THE FUTURE, and most of all, make sure they know that they are LOVED.

    • imakesense

      11/11/2011 at 9:05 AM

      Can you be my baby's father Harsh:)?

      • MistaHarsh

        11/11/2011 at 10:23 AM

        we can definitely practice ;)

        • imakesense

          11/11/2011 at 12:26 PM

          No I don't just want to have sex with you I want you to be the father of my child.

          • MistaHarsh

            11/11/2011 at 4:17 PM

            A TIYC exclusive!!!

          • imakesense

            11/11/2011 at 6:08 PM

            Lol how smh

    • BADDEST

      11/11/2011 at 9:06 AM

      i like the addition of the the childs UNDERSTANDING the reason behind the punishment…SO necessary…..and so often left out of the equation
      but do you agree that there are some parents who explain waaaaayyyyy to much to their kids…..i see that and all im thinking is…. show them the consequence of their actions already…stop talking…lol

      • MistaHarsh

        11/11/2011 at 10:22 AM

        I hear you but for a young child I don't think you can explain enough. As they get older however, actions do speak louder than words. For Teenagers though its better to speak less and lead by example.

        It also matters if its a boy or girl. There's so much variables and that's what makes parenting so hot damn difficult!

  3. Paul Brown

    11/11/2011 at 9:58 AM

    Pretty much. Doing it out of love versus doing it out of anger and frustration are worlds apart, but they need it at some point, even if it's just once. Beat their behinds now before life does it to them and love will not be in the picture when it does it. But also spend time with them before they're doing time as well.

  4. KemaVA

    11/11/2011 at 10:00 AM

    I dont beat my kids… but if you ever saw me in public with them you would think they are behaving because they are in fear of a spanking. My children are well behaved and its not because I spank them its because they RESPECT me. When you see kids acting out in public its not because their parent does not beat them… its a lack of respect.

    Train a child in the way they should go….

    • MistaHarsh

      11/11/2011 at 10:27 AM

      respect is a concept little kids might not understand. But little kids do understand trust, love and approachability(vibes) in their environment.

      I guess your kids are at an age where they understand respect?

      • KemaVA

        11/11/2011 at 10:37 AM

        Respect:
        1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
        2. To avoid violation of or interference with:

        Younger kids may not understand the concept but they sure will abide by it if thats the way they are brought up. You ever see a 3/4 year old look at their parent awaiting permission before touching / doing something. Thats respect!

        You dont start teaching it when they are old enough to understand.

        • MistaHarsh

          11/11/2011 at 4:25 PM

          sigh….did you really have to give me a definition of respect?
          regarding your example, I personally think that's fear. But that's my take on it. To each their own.

  5. Law and order

    11/11/2011 at 10:02 AM

    At some point, hopefully by first grade, your child is not only behaving because they are scared, but because they want to be proper. Maybe I feel this way cause im raising a good little girl who loves kittens and jesus, and some wild pack of boys (I have four brothers I know it hard) But I just don't want fear to be the only thing keeping my child in line, I feel like that's a fail in itself.

    • MistaHarsh

      11/11/2011 at 10:31 AM

      agreed. Fear doesn't last forever unless…..the parent is old school west indian or african. Cause I still fear my Dad in some ways…. straight goods

      • KemaVA

        11/11/2011 at 10:47 AM

        lol! My (28yr) bro fears my (Jamaican) dad…

      • imakesense

        11/11/2011 at 1:56 PM

        African parents omg. I will fear my parents until the day I die even if they are dead :/.

  6. Jason Howe

    11/11/2011 at 12:14 PM

    Speaking for myself, and after raising my ONE child… I feel “beating” a child is a waste of time and more a display of the persons lack of parenting skill. Yes, I spanked my daughter and as she got older they turned to beatings… the beatings are what I have issue with. I remember spanking her to ensure her safety, not as a form of punishment. You know,  slapping her fingers for playing around the electrical outlets, or spanking her for running to close to the road, etc etc… but when the child reaches an age where it is a physical labour to spank, you probably fucked up somewhere along the way. I find that most times parents are “beating” their children out of embarrassment or frustration… and I was one of them. Let me just throw an age at you…  8, every time I had to “beat” my daughter after that age was a result of me not having enough parenting tools to properly deal with the issue, or I felt embarrassed that she had done something that I felt would negatively reflect on my parenting skill. So, I’m on the fence with “beating” a child… if it’s for correction, yes… but if done out of anger and frustration it is pointless. If I have to pick on or the other I guess I am in the non-spanking group, if I HAD TO CHOOSE.

    • MistaHarsh

      11/11/2011 at 4:38 PM

      I hear you completely. Also it is different beating a girl as opposed to a boy. I only have one child – a boy and I've tried spanking(briefly) and talking and showing direction(consequences of wrong actions) I find he's intelligent enough to understand what I say so I lean more to talking. He didn't respond well to spanking. He took it as a form of communicating and did it to other kids. I put an end to that quickly.

      • Jason Howe

        11/11/2011 at 6:34 PM

        Very good point, I stopped spanking daughter because right or wrong I did not want her to think that what men did to women…

        Another point, my mother, grandmother, aunts, or whoever else with hands could whup me and it did nothing…. but if my mom cried or showed disappointment and not anger I would change the behavior immediately.

  7. NurseJilly

    11/11/2011 at 1:16 PM

    What Constitutes “Beating” & “Abuse” Is Absolutely SUBJECTIVE

    So true. I don't have any children yet so I'm not sure whats going to work for me. I can say there is a major difference between a parent beating you because they love you and want you to behave and one beating you because they are angry. I was spanked with a wooden spoon, slipper from early childhood by my mother and had a healthy fear of her. When she married my stepfather and moved our family to Canada I quickly learned what an unhealthy fear feels like. I remember hearing his car pull in the driveway and being so nervous that I would vomit even if I hadn't done anything wrong. That kind of fear is something no child should feel. So, long story short… I agree with controlled spanking to correct behaviour but when it goes beyond that then its abusive.

    • Jason Howe

      11/11/2011 at 6:36 PM

      Sorry to hear about the step dad issues…

  8. Drgray91

    11/11/2011 at 3:49 PM

    "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."

    This is some foolishness if I've never heard any.

    If your premise for beating, spanking, time-outting, your kids is so that they are scared straight—Houston we have a mufuccin problem!

    Observation A. That poor boy with his hood certified father and parenting techniques: That child could barely answer those questions. Which to me tells me he barely had any idea what he was being punished for!

    *sighs and rubs temple* If you want your child to become some variation of a critical thinking self productive member of society they need/deserve to be treated as such. Disciple should involve a more holistic approach of seeing if the child understood their actions and why they were wrong AND then correcting/ guiding them to the correct action. See what I'm getting at? Being scared into doing or not doing things is not conducive in the least bit for raising a child that can think and understand things on their own. Hell if I knew that there was the chance that I'd face military style work-outs and a beating for everything I decided to do, I assure you I wouldn't be doing much more than what I knew was safe! Hampered development, stifled creativity FUCK IT I'm just trying to stay alive…

    *shakes head slowly* But what do I know, my parents sent me to Montessori school *ye shrug* (:

    • MistaHarsh

      11/11/2011 at 4:45 PM

      agreed. beatings w/o guidance breeds anger and hostility. How are those Montessori schools? I keep hearing good things about

      • Drgray91

        11/13/2011 at 6:23 PM

        Montessori schools are a beautiful thing!

        They really put emphasis on the child being thought-capable people, they guide the children into learning rather than force them, not only that but the children are allowed to explore areas that fits their natural skill set. Essentially where public schools place emphasis on children fulfilling their structural roles, Montessori school put that emphasis on children fulfilling their individual roles.

        When it comes to my children though, I'm going with Reggio Emilia schooling.

        (:

  9. Lady Ngo

    11/11/2011 at 9:12 PM

    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.

    Yeah no, not true at all. A person (man woman or child) shouldn't act a certain way because they are scared of the punishment. They should behave correctly because that's the right thing to do. If the only lesson a child learns is that xyz behavior is met with a belt to the butt if they get caught, the only thing they are gonna do is make sure they don't get caught from now on. Its may change the overt behavior, slightly, but its not going to change the mentality. And that's what discipline is about, teaching your child that xyz is an unacceptable behavior and then WHY its unacceptable.

  10. Niki

    11/12/2011 at 8:07 AM

    Lets keep in mind here that we are speaking here about CHIlDREN. 4-12 year olds that are trying to figure out concepts of right and wrong through REASON and the use of their own rational faculties ( which are in their developing stages because they are children). and parents are there to help the trial and error process through guidance. There are many opportunities for a child to do right and wrong and many opportunities for a parent to guide their behavior through correction. Even something as simple as cleaning up after yourself or completing homework on time is a chance for a child to do the right thing AND a parent to constantly remind their child it's importance and benefits. My point is to brush your teeth before bed because you are SCARED straight of yo mamma who is about to come tuck you in and will find pieces of chicken between your teeth is NOT good parenting. But to go to the local convenient store and shudder at the thought of stealing a candy bar cuz you know your ass is getting a beat down makes a lot of sense.

  11. Evie

    11/12/2011 at 7:14 PM

    I feel like I'm going to take the Cosby approach to discipline my kids, and use my world knowledge. You fuck up, we gonna have a meeting and your ass is going on trial in my house, with punishment. I want to be so creative with my discipline that in the back of their heads my kids think I'm fucking crazy and know not to test me.
    I also plan on using travel as a way to set them straight. The things I've seen and the places I've been to. Drop their ass in the middle of India, or Thailand around some ladyboys and see how that favors for their psychosis. I'm a cerebral person, so I'd rather have them scared like that, then physically.

    • Evie

      11/12/2011 at 7:19 PM

      In conjunction, I agree HIGHLY with the previous comment that punishment needs to be put into context. They need to know the WHY, and EXPLANATION of why what they did was wrong…in my house, that'll be during the cross-examination. Because, at the end of the day, I want to hear their logic. But they will also hear mine.

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