Do Citizens in Poor Countries Beat Their Kids?

Um, you might want to be a little more careful about implying things like “working mothers are more likely to smack their kids”

Honestly,as a stay-at-home mom I sometimes think it must be easier for working parents to stay calm with their kids because they don’t have to be around them all the time.

Spanking causes low self-esteem? Really?

I’d think more low self-esteem problems come from being told “you can’t do anything right” or “you bad child! why are you so bad?” than from getting a spanking when you’ve done something that you had been warned would bring a spanking.

IOW, I agree with ivan here. Doesn’t mean I’m all for spanking, but I fail to see why someone who yells at the kid “you’re such a little bastard!” is better than someone who calmly gives him a swat to the bum.

I haven’t been debating spanking itself - this has been about harsh spankings and beatings, not swats.

Yes, and I think that the self-esteem problems come from being abused, which starts way before being hit.

Actually I have a problem with parents hitting children in a controlled, deliberate manner.

And there is a campaign to end it in the UK:

Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP said: “We must act now to end the legal approval of hitting children. It is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure that the physical integrity and human dignity of every person is respected. The current law allowing so-called ‘reasonable punishment’ of children is unjust, unsafe and unclear, and must be abolished once and for all.”

Sir William Utting, spokesperson for the Alliance, said: “This is one of those principled reforms on which politicians must make a stand whatever the pollsters might say. It is about being serious about equality and about the human rights of the child. The law must send the clear message that hitting children is as unacceptable as hitting anyone else.”

I got smacked and “spanked” (beaten) as a kid and it didn’t do much for my self-esteem. I’m better, thanks for asking but still have very strong feelings on this subject.

Anybody who was “spanked” and thinks it was OK is not remembering clearly the feelings of powerlessness, shock, and despair. If you’re one of those people, I invite you to take some time and really, viscerally remember what it was like to be beaten by a parent: you won’t care to use euphemisms about it anymore, if you truly remember. Some people spend their whole lives and never fully recover from this socially “acceptable” practice.

No matter how you candy-coat it, you’re still hitting another human being. And, you’re definitely not picking on someone your own size either.

Child mistreatment is often a structural issue, it certainly is related to some of the same things that lead to poverty. But wet streets don’t cause rain and child mistreatment doesn’t cause poverty.

That things don’t get better and are unlikely to get better (and for the same reasons that that kid hasn’t been fed by now, by the way – it certainly is not a shortage of food that is the primary problem) is more like a cause for child mistreatment than the other way around. Powerlessness and hopelessness do not make, on the whole, for balanced, reasoned parenting choices.

But using emotional punishments, power plays, and the like is OK? The fact is, regardless of how you administer it, punishment of a child by an adult is gonig to be an unequal relationship. And that’s actually a good life lesson.

Adults don’t “spank” other adults (usually :smiley: ) to resolve conflicts. The flipside of that, that we never seem to hear about, is that adults don’t ground other adults either. Adults don’t keep other adults “back after class”. Adults don’t withhold Playstation. And children don’t punish one another by filing lawsuits.

Children need different forms of punishment to adults. Personally, I believe in corporal punishment (within certain tight limits), but even if you don’t, the argument about “life lessons” has never seemed to hold much water for me.

With what I´ve seen here, yes.

You can’t reason with an out of control 3 year old. A good swat to the backside is a reasonable and just method of parenting. Lashing out at kids with sticks, on the other hand, is not.

At 9 and 10 my kids are way too old to be hit. That’s because I can now reason with them, withhold other privileges, ground them, etc. But they are well behaved, great little human beings because the ground rules were set early on, and the punishment fit the crime.

I do not believe it’s the job of politicians to tell me how to raise my kids. We have laws preventing child abuse, but the occasional smack on the bum for misbehaving is not abuse; it’s all about ensuring kids know who is in control.

Actually, adults do the equivilent of grounding other adults (jail), keeping adults “back after class” (literally holding a subordinate after a meeting or refusing to grant a raise/promotion/etc), withholding Playstation (sex, something else that one person has the other wants like the aforementioned raise/promotion). Children can’t file a lawsuit, but children can “petition” a parent, a teacher, or a principal to act on their behalf in a conflict and resolve the issue.

There are probably a lot of countries that aren’t as concerned with safety and welfare as the US is today.

You’ve got to remember how much more “kinder and gentler” the US has become both in language and actions over the last 25 years or so. When I was in 6th grade, about 1980, we could get paddled by the school principal. It wasn’t done in a mean way, just as a physical deterrent. Now parents would probably call the police if their child was paddled at school.

I’ve worked a lot of retail, and there’s well-behaved and badly behaved kids in every race. I’ve seen quiet and polite black kids, and nasty foul-mouthed black kids. Friendly and sweet white kids, and back-talking, destructive white kids. The only constant I have noticed is that well-behaved kids rarely act like they’re in fear of their parents; instead, the parent comes across as serene and in complete control.

As for overseas, I never saw any Turkish kids spanked or slapped. Turks tend to be very affectionate towards kids. I remember getting on a bus, and a lady with a little boy (maybe three-years-old) got on after me. The kid stumbled, and a man reached out and caught him by the hand and held him up. He also talked in a friendly tone towards the boy and the boy answered back.

Agreed. I won’t even spank my dog.

You know, this is the best anti-spanking argument I’ve ever heard. I’ve always been a bit ambivalent about spanking. (Not having kids, I never really had to clarify my thoughts on the matter.) But I would cringe if I saw someone spank a dog. It just isn’t necessary! Well if it isn’t necessary for a dog, why the hell would you need to spank a kid?

Do you walk children around with leads or dress dogs up in clothes? Why would you think the treatment of dogs and children had any bearing on each other?

One’s an animal, the other’s expected to become a functioning member of society and the family; one has a tendency for climbing trees, playing near main roads and other dangerous areas, fighting with other children etc. and whose death would be a tragedy the family would never recover from, the other’s a dog, who, if it died, it would suck, but would soon be gotten over.

Some kids do as they’re told and respond to other forms of discipline, others don’t (being honest, I didn’t, I’d push as far as I could get away with).

Dude, you have issues. Don’t try to project your issues on to the rest of us. I’m not misremembering what it felt like to get slapped—I just got over it.

Nice try equating beating with slapping, though :rolleyes:

Well, some–…I mean not us–…I mean–Hey, what’s with the personal questions?

I know it’s not a logically compelling argument, so maybe “best” wasn’t the best word. I found it personally compelling. Dogs can’t be reasoned with, they sometimes do things that are dangerous to themselves or others, they sometimes need to be forcefully stopped from doing something, but there isn’t a real need to punish physically. Humans learn and can be trained through the same mechanisms as dogs, plus they can be reasoned with (some of them, anyway). I doubt very much that spanking causes serious problems in children when it’s done reasonably, but realizing that any creature can be trained with other forms of reenforcement makes me seriously doubt that it is ever necessary for children. Of course I would never judge someone else’s decision to spank, as long as it is done carefully. I think the hysteria about it is unwarranted by the research and I know that for any rule about what works, some child will be the exception. But Cisco’s line put it in a new perspective for me.

I truly remember, but not as you depict it. Powerlessness, yes; shock, rarely, despair never.

I was spanked probably once or twice a year from about ages 5 through 10. It was generally one hardish slap on the butt. I essentially always felt I deserved it, in the sense that I knew I’d done something that was wrong and bad enough to earn this punishment. I respected my parents for having principles and sticking to them.

I don’t see anyone candy-coating this - that’s exactly what spanking is.

Spanking has nothing to do with a fight, and it’s certainly not between equals.

My parents had a special belt to beat me with. I don’t consider it abuse and for the most part i believe it worked incredibly well in making me a very well behaved kid and responsible adult. There was no shock, i knew when i’d done something wrong that deserved a good spanking, it usually involved beating my brother. There was no despair or powerlessness either. The only feeling i remember having is the “fuck i should really stop doing that” feeling. My brother was a little shit though, sometimes it was worth the beating.

Damn edit timer. I am from a poor country (peru).