Discipline and children

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Phyto
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Discipline and children

Postby Phyto » 10 Jun 2007, 11:42

I'm really shocked by those of you who think that smacking as discipline is all right, especially on a board such as this.  I'm not really prepared to debate it because I don't think that hitting a child as a routine thought of it being okay is all right and I don't need convincing otherwise.  To me hitting is a reaction and not a solution - it's a question of not knowing alternatives rather than debating the wrongs and rights.  I'm a parent and have a background in child psychology and worked with children in mainstream and SEN settings.  I would have lost my job had I ever smacked a child in my care (nor would I want to have done so).  I'm not saying that I don't get frustrated at times as a parent (I do) but smacking is not an option for my family (I admit to yelling at times but am working hard on that because I see yelling as harmful too - again it's a reaction rather than a solution).

Restraint is a little different - sometimes there is a necessity, but under strict guidelines, to hold a child to stop them either harming themselves or another person.   If we need to defend ourselves or someone else because a child is pulverising us or them then obviously we can't just stand there and let that happen either but we need to learn ways that minimise harm for all parties.

If a 2-year old is misbehaving on a flight haven't you thought about the possibility that he or she could be a) tired b) over stimulated c) hungry?  All those things would be expressed in unruly behaviour.  It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to look after a child in this situation so to suggest that a hit would deal with it is cruel in my book - yes maybe the hitting would stop the child there and then but why resort to that?  You can get a donkey to walk further by beating it with a stick but I'm sure the animal rights lots amongst you would agree that that would not be a good thing to do.  What about some compassion for the child?  If you're feeling hungry and tired then you can expect a smack?  In a young child their behaviour is communicating that they are not feeling 'balanced'.  Often a child who is moving and being loud really needs to because those needs are not being met in other ways - there is an inherent wisdom to do things to communicate needs.  It is us adults with our dulled senses who don't pick up on this properly and regard these things as an act of aggression to be met with another act of aggression.  Also, perhaps the parent had a terrible day rushing around without being able to rest and were just at their wits end?  

I'm aware that there are parents who don't know their way around their children but that's because they don't come with manuals (both).  I think most people try their best and I guess some people think that "smacking never did" them any harm but there are alternatives which are kinder, more compassionate and work just as well, if not better.  

If anyone is interested then the books of Alfie Kohn are a good starting point and give food for thought.  By deepening our understanding of a child we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and vice versa - to me that is something that druidic training is about.

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Postby Wraithian » 10 Jun 2007, 17:05

I've taken parenting classes.  Parenting class after parenting class after parenting class...  Did I need them?  No, not really.  Was I court ordered to take them?  Absolutely not.  Why go through all the trouble?  Because I *wanted* to.  I wanted to become the best dad I could be, especially since I don't have my kid 24/7.  So, yeah, I've read the studies by child psychologists, I've read the books on crisis management when it comes to your kids, etc.  The funny thing to me is...  These so called experts can't seem to come to a concensus on whether or not a smack on the tail is truly "wrong."  Some say it's "Oh, it's *so* damaging to a child's emotional well being," some say the opposite.  You know... everything that I have read, though, points at *yelling* at a child as truly damaging.  A smack on the butt might entail a quick sting, then it's over.  Yelling, well, that stays with a kid longer.  

So... why did I bother posting this?  Bottom line:  Get your own shite in a group before you come questioning *my* parenting skills.

I'm done here.
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Postby leaf » 10 Jun 2007, 17:43

I am glad to see Wraithian speak up.  I am against any form of abuse, but I have found that a smack is far less damaging to yelling and screaming.  I don't mean a yelled "NO" when the kid is in danger or about to do something dreadful, but rather yelling.
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Postby Crow » 10 Jun 2007, 18:35

I spanked all of mine, and I'll spank my grandchidren, too, if I should ever be so blessed (I'm NOT in any hurry), if, in my judgment, such action should be warranted.

Wraithian, I commend you for the work you are putting in on parenting. I'm sure you are a very good dad!

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Postby Ghostrider » 10 Jun 2007, 19:07

We chose NOT to spank. Although the kids sometimes drive you bonkers and honesty requires me to admit that both of em got 1 spank each....

We TRY to use other measures, but kids will always try to see how far they can get, and sometimes, they go TOO far... WAY too far... So I can understand the occasional smack.

There's a difference between a smack and actual abuse i.m.o. And as long as that line is not crossed, I say it can be in order. I applaud Wraith for taking all the effort to be all he can be and try to do whatever possible to be able to see the difference.  :applause:

On a more pleasant note... I was SHOCKED to see a MOD use the word SHITE..  :grin:
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Postby Seeker » 10 Jun 2007, 19:24

I would like it to be known that I am TAKING OFF my moderator hat of this sub-forum to express my own personal opinion and not that of OBOD or the other volunteers who work this entire message board. I also wish to make it known that I am also aware that I am subject to being moderated for my personal comments.

Phyto said:
I'm really shocked by those of you who think that smacking as discipline is all right, especially on a board such as this.  I'm not really prepared to debate it because I don't think that hitting a child as a routine thought of it being okay is all right and I don't need convincing otherwise.
Where to begin? First, normally I respect the diverse opinions of all individuals who speak on these forums whether I agee with them or not. But, that is only when respect is offered back. So in this case, let me dispense with the niceties and just move forward...

Phyto - I find your self-righteous, holier-than-thou comments annoying as hell. How dare you cast judgement on others you know nothing about as well as hold yourself up as an expert in an area where this topic has been debated among many people ad nauseaum in the past and will probably continue to be debated long into the future.

If you wish to offer an opinion...say so without providing a general condemnation of many others who disagree with your approach. As for being shocked that people on this board might think other than you on this topic, I suggest you get your head out of the sand and realize that druids are real people too. In fact, the druids of the past probably acted like real human beings - remember, they fulfilled many roles and were not just the peace-loving, non-violent, tree-hugging cartoons characters you may think they were. They passed judgements, enacted laws w/punishments, advised their tribal chiefs in time of war, led their tribes in spiritual ceremonies, etc.

Sounds like they were very aware that life is a matter of balance - the light and the dark. And I am not referring to good and evil here. If you come to this, or any other druid discussion board I know of that studies druidry seriously, you are probably going to get "shocked" more often.

Life is life...it is not easy. As for not wanting to be convinced otherwise regarding corporal punishment or the good or bad of spanking children, I don't think many of us care whether you change your mind or not. Your judgemental attitude puts you right up there with any other kind of fundamentalist group I know of and would be a waste of time and energy.

I am normally not one who allows myself to get emotional over the opinionated posts on this discussion board; realizing that people have cultural and idealogically different backgrounds and should be allowed to express thoughtful opinions.

I found your post lacking in thought and containing a little too much looking down at people/better-than-you attitude that I feel has no place in the study of druidry.
...we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and vice versa - to me that is something that druidic training is about.
I suggest you think hard about this last statement you made and see if it applies to more than children.
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Postby leaf » 10 Jun 2007, 20:11

:wow:



:toot:

                                      :applause: :applause: :applause:  
:clap:  :fwrks:  :fwrks:  :fwrks:  :clap:

Thank you, thank you, thank you...that is SO very
much what I wanted to say but didn't think could
be said on the board.  Thank you very much, indeed
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Postby Anam Cara » 10 Jun 2007, 20:57

I am speechless! Thankyou Emrys, I think you just said it all....................

I smack my children as a last resort as they sometimes do take it way too far. And I'd much prefer a quick sting of a smack than someone yelling at me all the time, I think yelling is more damaging too.
Luckliy for me, my kids go to their room to cool off and so do I!So smacking does'nt get a look in that often, but it's "there" if it is needed.
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Postby Phyto » 11 Jun 2007, 13:18

Obviously my views on parenting and children are different from the moderators' ones so I will be sure to avoid this forum in future (if I wasn't a long-term OBOD member and hadn't come across other OBODies who were more pleasant then this would be enough to be put me off for life).  

Perhaps there could be 2 parenting forums - one for those who have their heads buried in the sand like me...

Does anyone know of any druid boards which feature Gentle/Attachment parenting styles and which also works around the work we do in terms of inner development please?

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Postby leaf » 11 Jun 2007, 13:34

All right, I'm loosing it here:

Sanctimonious Righteousness IS NOT part of the Druid Way, and is NOT part of OBOD.

If you don't agree with people, you don't have to be RUDE about it.  Both your posts on this thread have been INCREDIBLY RUDE, Phyto.  And if the Mods wish to sanction or censor me for this, then I am happy to receive that, as I know I am standing up for my beliefs.

Find a way to present your ideas without putting everyone else down.  If anything, your original post would be the one more likely to cause visitors to leave.  The fact that another member gave a harsh, but fair criticism of your post should not cause you the obvious anger it has.  Further, it should be obvious from the other posts that your words were hurtful.  From the way inwhich you present yourself in the opening, one would think you would have been quick to appologise, but instead, you basically tell us to F-off.  You basically say we aren't even worth being spoken with.
Frankly, I am truly shocked and offended.  You started with an attack.  You got it back.  Deal with it and grow up.  If you'd like to discuss the pros and cons then fine.  If you don't see any pros, then why did you even bother opening this thread?  The clear premise was that anyone who ever hits a child is wrong, and further implies that such people should not raise children.  Indeed, your post makes me wonder if perhaps your local DCF shouldn't be contacted.

My appologies to the Community if I have overstepped in this response and I will accept the consequences that may ensue.

(Further, trying to uphold my own beliefs, I have previewed this several times and, after careful consideration I still choose to post the above as is.)
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Postby Busker » 11 Jun 2007, 14:14

Right,that's it.
I'm going to go and eat worms.

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Postby Seeker » 11 Jun 2007, 14:20

Phyto said:
Obviously my views on parenting and children are different from the moderators' ones so I will be sure to avoid this forum in future
Please make note of the fact that I responded as a member of this Board and not in my role as moderator.

Also please make note of the fact that I never once expressed my personal views on parenting but only on the tone of your message.
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Postby Crow » 11 Jun 2007, 15:17

Also, please note that while I am a moderator, I am NOT a moderator in this forum. Jingle, Joey Bernard and Emrys hold that distinction. And yes, Phyto, your post(s) have sounded self-righteous to me also. As I've said, my wife and I have raised three children to happy, healthy, productive adulthood. All three received coroporal punishment when it was warranted. My sister and I also received corporal punishment when we were children, and neither of us hold the view that we had bad parents.

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Postby Willowhawk » 11 Jun 2007, 15:36

I consider myself an attachment parent. I exclusively breastfeed until my babies add solids, based on their own cues, and we keep nursing until they self-wean. I've worn all my babies. My children sleep with me from birth until they decide to move into their own beds. I use gentle discipline such as redirecting, time-ins, etc.

And I just spanked my 7-year-old daughter.

I'm not happy about it. I don't enjoy it. I actively discourage my kids from hitting, and yes, I do feel like something of a hyprocrite when I go so far as to spank. But sometimes... when I've exhausted all my options... IMO, a smack on the back of the thigh (not the bottom) is warranted.

Phyto, I'm not offended by your post b/c I've been active in a community of crunchy AP'ers and birth activists for a long time, and I've seen them write similar posts. I used to be one of the "determined to never spank" crowd myself... and it's likely a failing on my part that has resulted in my having to resort to smacking on occasion to deal with my decidedly difficult-- er, challenging daughter. But the bottom line-- no pun intended-- is that my children, like most, will push the envelope as far as it will stretch-- and with my Rain, at least, the only thing I've seen get results is that quick smack.

Do I like it? No. Am I constantly trying to talk to her, remonstrate gently, find other ways to reach her? You bet. This morning it didn't work, and she's in her room, thinking about her actions and their consequences. I hope she'll be ready to apologise soon and we'll get on with our day.

We are not abusive parents. My husband, Oak, came from an abusive home-- he was regularly beaten by his mother-- by hand, with sticks, belts (the buckle end), electrical cords-- whatever was handy. He was punished so hard over wetting his bed that he continued to do it until he was 16. By contrast, when my daughter has accidents, she is never punished-- she's requested to strip her bed and bring the soiled bedding to the laundry, then to put new sheets on the bed. I'm not into shaming or traumatising my children. I hope, when they're grown, they'll see the difference-- and I will too. Currently, Oak has no appreciable relationship with his mother-- he can't forgive the things she put him through. I pray my kids will love and respect me when they're adults.

I guess that's the difference to me. Oak's mother beat her children to make them respect her. They didn't, and don't. I spank my kids occasionally, and it really does hurt me more than them-- I worry about the long-term effects. I hope to find a better way, and I'm actively seeking one. But until I find it... I'll still spank when I feel it's warranted. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person... I don't think it does...  :???:

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Postby Lizzy » 11 Jun 2007, 16:37

Hello Phyto and everyone,

Basically I do agree with what you're saying, hitting is wrong, just like stealing is wrong, calling names is wrong and murdering people tends to be... yep, you got it, wrong.

Some people pointed out a smack on the behind is different from beating up your child, it is of course, totally different.

My parents were against slapping/hitting in general, but I did get them. I think I can count them on one hand though and I know darn well I deserved them all four or five times. I never feared my parents for it or failed to confide in them, I learned that there really was a line I could cross, even after my mother explained that I should stop whatever it was I was doing, I just didn't listen, kids can be very..uhm... conveniently deaf sometimes.  :wink:

As a social worker and as a human being I understand what you're saying, it is a reaction and not a solution and if explaining or showing a child why it is wrong works, this is always better of course, but I think the main issue here is, will a child suffer everlasting damage from an occasional slap or a smack? Personally, I think not, I have yet to see it, but as long as there is no evidence of child abuse in the literal sense of the word, I think every parent has a right do decide what kind of 'education' they choose.

I've read your post very carefully, to try and understand what it was exactly that provoked people to show their true emotions. Obviously, it is not a very 'personal' subject to me, as I did not get flustered when I first read your post, but I think it is the tone of your first paragraph mainly, which rubbed the wrong way, it is a bit condemning and you say you're not even willing to discuss it.

I think you are willing to discuss it, otherwise you would not have posted it, you obviously wanted to share your views and see if people would agree or disagree and why.

Anyway, just wanted to express my opinion. I'm sorry this topic has gone so astray, as it really is an interesting debate, perhaps with some explanantions from both sides, we could continue this conversation and compare it to druidry and raising children?  :shake:

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Postby Busker » 11 Jun 2007, 17:37

Like Crow I have three grown up offspring.
Like Crow I used corporal punishment where needed.
The preceeding conversation would go something like "o.k.,if you will not be reasoned with,I'll smack you. Is that what you want?"
I have little time for know-it-all-psycho-babbling-do-gooders.
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Postby Phyto » 11 Jun 2007, 18:06

My unwillingness to debate hitting is because I just don't agree with hitting a child as a solution to discipline period, so no I don't want to debate it - it makes me feel sick so I can't handle debating it - I just can't justify it (I can understand people having temporary "aargh" moments which cause it as a reaction but I don't see the justification of it as a solution).  

I understand the level of differences between knocking a child about and a 'smack' in the longterm but for me hitting a child is still hitting. It's that moment of 'the hit' that I am thinking of and I never said anything about anyone having their children removed (I've reread my posts and have not said that at all).  I'd much rather work on my inner self (call that psychobabble - fine, I'm happy with that) because most of the times when my own parenting skills go awry is when I'm not being objective and get subjective with my child and fall into a 'trap' as it were.  

I've not said for a minute that I am perfect - hence my thing about us not all coming with manuals whether parents or children.  And yes, my occasional yelling instead of using a quiet voice when dealing with my own daughter is thoroughly unpleasant and nasty too.    

If some of you want to read it as something else then that's fine - I haven't told anyone to f off (not certain how that got included?) but I still stick to my thing that I disagree strongly with hitting and the reason for my starting of the thread was to have a child discipline thread that didn't involve hitting or debating the pros and cons of it but rather to work on alternatives which moved away from that approach  (and involved self work - much as in finding the space in your grove).

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Postby Donata » 11 Jun 2007, 18:08

In this thread I see different interpretations of a spanking from a beating to a slap.

For me, as a child, a spanking meant a thorough prolonged application of a razor strap on my bare buttocks that continued until I broke down and cried, and happened at least once a week. Administered by a very angry mother. (I was very stubborn so my spankings were long and really hurt). I was told they were for my own good and were an expression of how much my mother loved me. They only taught me that she had more power, and that 'might makes right'. They also fueled my rebel streak, and excessive caution not to say the 'wrong' thing. I don't think that kind of 'spanking' is ever justified. I think they teach by fear, without any understanding gained. They can either break the child or make them more of a rebel. As I see it, neither is an ideal result, and neither lets a child feel good about themselves. I carried a sense of worthlessness into adulthood as a result of my punishment.

Some of you seem to be calling a smack a spanking. Not in my book! I never gave the kind of spanking I received. I did, rarely, use the quick one slap method to stop hysterics or an otherwise out of control child. This IMO works best on the toddler before  you can reason with them. I'm ashamed to say I did yell. Otherwise I sent them to their rooms to calm down.

What is the result with your child? I think that's the important issue more than the method. Is your child confident, sure of themselves, and do they know you approve of them and love them? Do they live in fear? Do they find a way or a motive to change the behavior? Is it really unacceptable behavior or is it just interfering with you at that time?

No judgment intended BTW! I totally sympathize with any parent who loses it. I raised 5 children who were very close in age, and it was work! worth it, but work, and very frustrating at times. I think it's much harder to raise well adjusted children today than when I was doing it. Kudos to all you parents!

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Postby Lizzy » 11 Jun 2007, 18:15

Can I ask you a question? Did your parents hit you? And I don't mean beat you up, but did your father or mother sometimes give you a spank or kick in the butt when you crossed the line?

Just curious to know whether you were 'okay' with that or not or if you never experienced that. Hope you're not offended by my question, I'm just interested to understand if this is your personal opinion or if you achieved this opinion by past experiences.

Almost everyone chooses to do something different than their parents when they will have children and some things they value to pass on, it is part of growing up and establising your own opinion and set of rules and how to deal with that I think.

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Postby Donata » 11 Jun 2007, 18:25

Hi Lizzy,

I'm not sure if you are asking me or everyone who posted?

I wasn't OK with it. I had lasting emotional scars that were worse than the physical punishment. I felt I was a worthless person and carried guilt into adulthood. I believed that I must be horrible for my own mother to treat me this way. As a parent I resolved not to continue the stereotype that an abused child will become an abusive parent.      

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