Grayling defending smacking

(1000 Posts)
seventiesgirl Sun 03-Feb-13 11:38:45

Never did him any harm apparently. The tory party are such a bunch of tossers. Whatever next?

larrygrylls Thu 07-Feb-13 16:39:24

Raisin,

I know...hence unintentionally. I knew what you meant. Did someone extract the part of your brain responsible for a sense of the ridiculous?

thunksheadontable Thu 07-Feb-13 16:47:28

God Math you would argue anything while reading nothing,eh? The sad thing is the thread was getting interesting in your absence yesterday with people actually discussing rather than just pontificating from on high and writing pseudoscientific critiques of other people's parenting based on words on a forum.

A lot of what you write doesn't even make sense.

AliGrylls Thu 07-Feb-13 17:40:53

mathanxiety - of course he was interested in the prospect of chocolate. He dreams of chocolate.

I do have a genuine point to make. Without meeting our children you have no idea about how much they know or understand about the world. It is not for you to comment on what their comprehension is without meeting them.

RaisinBoys Thu 07-Feb-13 18:09:46

yes larrygrylls presumably the same person who extracted the part of your brain responsible for empathy.

Can't see where levity fits in a discussion on hitting children.

mathanxiety Thu 07-Feb-13 18:12:33

LG 'No one got hurt' -- except the child who got smacked perhaps?

This logic, used so often on these threads, is plain wrong. Every parent who uses any form of punishment teaches the child that the punishment is a response to the child's action and not vice versa, and they totally understand it. Would you expect your teenager when he is big enough to put YOU on the naughty step (to think about what you did)? No, because you would expect him to observe a power structure with you at the top. And if you talk about him learning reason blah blah blah, what if he honestly believed you had been naughty and deserved it? Fair enough then? And if not, why not? And I will not teach my child not to hit, I will teach him not to hit first or start a fight. If someone hurts him or anyone smaller, I would be very proud of him if he defended himself or that person.

This is why I never used a naughty step either.
Again, I disagree with your perception of family relationships as a power structure and that is not the way I have run my family.

If he decided to hit you while you were smacking his younger brother would you be proud? You should be.
How about delivering a kick to your shins while you smacked him or right afterwards?

AG -- If it is not for me to comment on your children's level of comprehension then a discussion of the effects of smacking as a general topic is not permissible either. Nor is any regulation of parents' actions by government permissible by your logic as all children are different and no one can possibly say anything for certain about how they are affected by being smacked (or what their level of understanding of various concepts may be) Same goes for having a curriculum in school -- a ridiculous concept as those setting the curriculum d o not know your individual child's intellectual capacity? It really is possible to say that in general a child can or can't be expected to understand X concept at a certain age.

If your husband posts descriptions of his interactions with the children on a public forum then imo interpretations of how the children may be understanding or not understanding him are fair. Larry himself has made sweeping statements about what children understand, statements that he intends to apply to all children, for instance -- Every parent who uses any form of punishment teaches the child that the punishment is a response to the child's action and not vice versa, and they totally understand it .

Larry -- did you say just there that you smack on the back of the hand? The back of the hand was the preferred spot for the nuns, because it hurts the most.

And your 'test' was not 'a version' of the marshmallow test. It was an exercise in ego tripping as evidenced by the infliction of pain which is unethical in tests of that sort on children for reasons that should be obvious but apparently are not. What sort of individual sees himself as performing psychological tests on his own children that involve inflicting pain?

? And your point is - what exactly, Thunkshead?

larrygrylls Thu 07-Feb-13 18:29:05

Math,

"not the way I have run my family".

So, no implied power structure there?!

mathanxiety Thu 07-Feb-13 18:46:53

Running in the sense of training everyone to 'run' themselves, live with their decisions, and achieve a balance between individual and group needs, a process that didn't involve the concept of 'power structure' you have mentioned and illustrated a few times. Running in the sense of making executive decisions on safety and diet and clothing and where they went to school and what sort of activities and toys and books for them I spent my money on until they were gradually able to make those decisions themselves. Running in the sense of teaching them to negotiate and compromise and manage their own environment.

noddyholder Thu 07-Feb-13 18:54:06

Does anyone really believe that 'test' nonsense? pmsl

merrymouse Thu 07-Feb-13 19:04:11

I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding of polka's gerbil comments (or was it hamsters?) she was just giving an example of the kind of empty threat you make when you are at the end of your tether.

What parent doesn't become over familiar with the end of their tether?

exoticfruits Thu 07-Feb-13 19:17:39

Well, actually they don't. Most smacking is done pre school. There is one study which shows that children who were smacked aged 2-6 outperformed their peers later on:

The reason that I love MN is that you always find these gems-'hit your pre school child if you want them to succeed academically'!

PolkadotCircus Thu 07-Feb-13 19:27:48

Thanks Merry.It was gerbils- and they're still with us!

ICBINEG Thu 07-Feb-13 19:46:17

Loving the idea of Larry-junior-one attacking his dad in an attempt to save his younger sibling from pain and bullying. I'll bring my pom-poms and cheer him on!

ICBINEG Thu 07-Feb-13 19:48:37

Also agree that if one of your children is in danger of being blinded in the bath then there is only one person to blame and it sure as hell isn't the poor kids brother.

Larry, maybe you could hit yourself hard enough to hurt and see if you learn anything meaningful from the experience?

thunksheadontable Thu 07-Feb-13 21:43:38

Are we still on about the bath incident? hmm

Merry, exactly... but I would wager there are a few MN parents who would have you believe they were never anything but Mary Poppinesque.

KateShmate Thu 07-Feb-13 21:59:20

Have read the whole post, yet I genuinely still don't understand how anyone can justify hitting a child.

exoticfruits Thu 07-Feb-13 22:07:03

They can only justify it because they are bigger and stronger and can get away with it.
Children do as you do and not as you say. How can you possibly tell them that they are not allowed to hit others- e.g. their younger sibling- if you do it?

SteIIaBeIIa Fri 08-Feb-13 00:17:48

larrygrylls, well said and how true re parents sending their Dchildren off to some daycare/babysitting facility every day for 8+ hours. That is far more extreme and lasting than a sharp slap on the back of the hands for misbehaving.

mathanxiety Fri 08-Feb-13 02:18:08

A sharp slap on the back of the hands is really very painful. Much more painful than a slap on the palm or buttocks. It stings horribly and the hand hurts for a good while afterwards, especially if you knock it against something accidentally.

larrygrylls Fri 08-Feb-13 09:04:38

Math,

"Running in the sense of making executive decisions on safety and diet and clothing and where they went to school and what sort of activities and toys and books for them I spent my money on until they were gradually able to make those decisions themselves. Running in the sense of teaching them to negotiate and compromise and manage their own environment."

You shoot yourself in the foot every time. Your choice of vocabulary such as "run" and "make executive decisions" bespeak of a power structure. They are words which are normally used by executives in corporations and senior people in government, those at the head of clear power structures. I also assume that when they were young you made "executive decisions" about bedtimes, mealtimes, not running across busy roads etc and enforced those somehow. So, in effect, your parenting is the same unashamed use of a power structure as mine, you just prefer to term it something else.

All good parents try to allow their children as much autonomy as possible within an overall power structure. We all want our children to grow into intelligent and thinking adults. However, to teach children to question adult authority is a bit crazy, especially when they are young (aside from very specific warnings about going with strangers etc). How do you want your children to approach school, going to friends' houses. Do you want them to argue with the teacher when the teacher asks them to sit down at their desk or to refuse to come to lunch when a friends' parent tells them it is lunchtime. Teaching a child to think for themselves but nonetheless respect authority is a real challenge for parents. Teaching them merely to think for themselves and that their thoughts and opinions are always very important merely creates entitled boring adults.

"A sharp slap on the back of the hands is really very painful. Much more painful than a slap on the palm or buttocks. It stings horribly and the hand hurts for a good while afterwards, especially if you knock it against something accidentally."

This is the problem of discussing smacking with people who have been physically abused. They don't get it. What you are describing above is abuse, not a smack. When I smack my son on the back of the hand, there is no mark at all and it stings for a few seconds and is then forgotten. You are talking about tissue damage. They are really not the same thing.

Icbineg and whoever made the suggestion,

"Loving the idea of Larry-junior-one attacking his dad in an attempt to save his younger sibling from pain and bullying. I'll bring my pom-poms and cheer him on! "

You couldn't make it up! You believe I am a bully to my children (I'm really not) so what would you love to see happen....I get a big fat smack! Were I a bully, I would totally agree with you, actually. It does rather go against your anti-violence agenda, though. It is funny the visceral appeal to us all of bullies meeting violent retribution.

ICBINEG Fri 08-Feb-13 09:15:52

larry in the case of the amount of damage a toddler could do to you I can wave my anti-violence stance. Especially as there is hope that the realisation of just how hypocritical your one rule for me another for everyone else stance is and hence his actions may reduce the global level of violence in the larry household over all.

You were the one that said you would expect your older kid to defend a younger child from bullying....I am simply hoping he realises that an adult hitting a child is a deeply unpleasant form of bullying sooner rather than later.

larrygrylls Fri 08-Feb-13 09:35:27

Icbineg,

I think that your mental picture was rather of moving on a few years and my then grown up son giving me a good kicking while you waved on with your pompoms. Now you are somewhat backtracking.

The problem with these threads is the hyperbolae invoked. It is a smacking thread so I am defending an incidence of smacking. Hence, people like you assume my entire relationship with my children is defined by this. The last smack in this household was the now famed "dinosaur" incident. Since then at least a month has passed with no smacks whatsoever. Smacking is .001% of my relationship with my children at most. I have been fortunate enough to not have been in employment (as a relative old and financially secure father) since my children have been born so I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of quality time with them, reading, taking them out on some fantastic experiences, introducing them to different foods etc etc. I do actually know my children. My smacking "experiment" which has caused such howls of outrage was actually designed to see if I WAS wrong in giving smacks. My son was given an easy alternative to a smack (no chocolate) and he chose a smack. That is not an experiment involving violence (except on a voluntary basis), it is an experiment designed to tell me where my son rated a smack on the scale of punishments and clearly, the way I smack, he did not rate it that high.

And, as I said, with the exception of a couple of people, no one has addressed the hypocrisy of supporting controlled crying and young children in 10-12 hours per day nursery settings but detesting smacking as a form of discipline. The former have been shown to be damaging, the latter not. But, let's forget any scientific evidence, hey?!

ICBINEG Fri 08-Feb-13 09:41:30

larry btw I interfered with a number of attempts of my own father the hit my younger siblings, so it isn't unlikely that this will happen. You might want to consider whether you are intending to smack the older one for getting in the way... a potentially difficult decision....

In fact my father was rather like you sound from your posts. He only smacked in cases of real danger and it was a rare occurrence (few times a year shared over 3 of us) that anyone got smacked. But it made us scared of him and there is still very clear resentment and hurt in the relationships within our family.

My father now has 2 grandchildren and it has been very difficult to talk about smacking because of this (which had to happen because he looked after one of them once a week for a while). Both myself and my sister are vehemently against smacking and it was difficult to explain that although we know he was doing what he thought was best at the time, it actually had all of these long term implications and that in our opinion (and in the opinion of wider society) there are far better ways of teaching good behaviour than punishing the bad.

To his everlasting credit my father (obviously after he agreed immediately to approach bad behaviour as we requested) has actually taken on board what has been said and come to the conclusion that while his approach to parenting was absolutely the norm for 30 years ago, a better model has replaced it. He, and we think of it in a similar way to the babies must sleep on their back thing. It was tummy 30 years ago so that is what he did with us. But it is back sleeping now and we can all acknowledge that it was wrong to sleep babies on their tummy but that no one need feel massively guilty for abiding by the norm of the times.

I have no idea why I have bothered to write all that and expose my deep felt feelings surrounding this subject. No doubt it will be dismissed as 'oh well it isn't like that and my kids aren't afraid of me'...well maybe you are right...on the other hand my father didn't know how afraid we were of him until about 2 years ago.

Just bear in mind that one day your own children may be patiently explaining to you how they don't want their own children to feel the fear and hurt that they did and that a much better model of parenting now exists.......the fact that my own father was such a great father, role model, well everything really only made that conversation harder...not less necessary.

ICBINEG Fri 08-Feb-13 09:43:08

x-posted.

Xenia Fri 08-Feb-13 10:18:51

Smacking is certainly on the way out.

So I had been asking how you do a lawful smack under English law. It has to leave no mark. We seem to be hearing that the smackers do it on the back of the hand. May be they could video the process with sound and show us the hand afterwards to check there are no marks. May be electric shocks would not leave marks either and give the same sharp pain but wihout risk of breaking the law through leaving a mark? Any reason the smackers would be against those? A kind of cattle prod device? How would that pain if it could be made to the same level of pain as the sharp slap on the hand that hurts be any worse than the smack (leaving aside the legal issue that you cannot use an implement under English law to chastise a child)

larrygrylls Fri 08-Feb-13 10:22:38

Xenia,

You claimed in an earlier post that you had been misrepresented. However, leaving out breast feeding (and I bet you had a night nurse to take them away in between feeds anyway...) which is hardly a discipline issue, how much time did you spend per week with your children when they were between two and six? And how much time just you and them?

I think it is a fair question to ask on a thread about discipline, because if you ain't walked the walk, I don't think you should be talking the talk.

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