Corporal Punishment - Parenting? or Child Abuse? Opinions Please

Today American children have more protection against physical abuse than ever before. Parents are not allowed to beat their children or leave serious injuries during punishment. And teachers are no longer allowed to use paddles, swiches, or ruler to discipline children.

However.. I fall into a camp of people demanding that the current laws are NOT enough. There is a form of abuse that can do even more long-lasting damage than physical.... psychological abuse. PS... I will not judge you if you disagree with my statements... but lets NOT turn this forum into a flame war. Please be professional everyone.

Psychological abuse includes emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and physical abuse that serves to humiliate rather than leave real physical damage.


Emotional abuse includes manipulation, guilt trips, implying or telling the child that they are evil or bad [not just that what they did was bad, but that they are a bad-natured child], telling a child they should be more like "so-and-so's" kids, humiliating a child to gain control, threatening a child with severe physical or emotional abuse that you don't plan to carry out to scare them and "keep them in line." An example of this was experienced by a friend of mine. "If you don't get your room cleaned up, you will sleep in the basement with the spiders." This was a direct malicious attack because the parent KNEW that my friend was aracniphobic and the basement was unfinished and not lacking in spiders.


Verbal abuse includes calling your child swear words or words meant to demean and lower self esteem:

girls - bitch, whore, slut, witch, hag, porker [male or female], fatass [male or female], etc.

Boys - sissy, candyass, son of a bitch [insulting to the mother as well], fag/ faggot, dick, etc.


Physical EMOTIONAL abuse includes:

Slapping, Spanking, Paddling, Using a Belt on Buttocks, slaping buttocks, hitting with newspaper, throwing objects at child, etc.


I have not had a child myself but I have wittnessed the struggles my parents went through to raise children, so I know that raising children is hard... but I think that that does NOT justify behavior like the outlined above. I personally want these behaviors to be outlawed... starting with corporal punishment [physical emotional abuse].


What do you guys think?

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Parenting _is_ child abuse. I remember my childhood pretty vividly and I have concluded that it was not possible to make me appear even relatively normal without scarring me in many ways (and I still don't conform in many ways - involuntarily). Abuse and force is necessary in getting the child used to the cruel world xe's going to confront later on, and to get hir learn the rules (because most social rules cannot be explained logically). That said, I am against any form of cruelty to children. That is why I promote a childfree life - it's better to not be born than to be tortured into growing up.
I don't think, though, that the law is a sufficient or even necessary solution. Prohibitionism doesn't work in many areas, and I suspect it will only create more problems in this area as well. Instead of anti-abuse and/or even anti-procreation legislation, we should educate people about the issue, legalize sterilization (I don't know about the US but here in Hungary it's legal only if you already had 3 kids minimum), and encourage people to use it (monetary incentive perhaps?). Admittedly, some people will be adamant in resistance and have children anyway, which solves the problem of continuing the species, but at least these parents will be committed enough to take a parenting course before actually having a child. Information, dedication and compassion (qualities of the best counselors, child experts and special needs teachers) are the only things can minimize the damage done to the child while still enabling hir to become an adult and part of the society.
Sterilization is legal in the US... but few people choose it. I've considered it myself.
Skycomet, my daughter was all set against getting pregnant and considered this as well. She wanted to adopt instead. Something changed over the last couple of years (what I haven't a clue) and now I have a 14 month old grand-daughter from pregnancy. Now she is going thru the parenting issues herself. My wife and I can only provide insight on what worked with her and her brother. She also remembers a lot of what worked and what didn't work and will apply those lessons as well. Parenting is quite a journey.
Michael ... I have a more logical reason for considering sterilzation and adoption. I am an active carrier [I am diagnosed] with two psychiatric disorders that I would not wish to give to any child. Both disorders are inheritable. One is of unknown percent inheritablility, as the genetic link was just discovered, and one has an inheritability from a diagnosed parent of about 80%.
The first one I mentioned is autism, the second is bipolar.
Both have significantly complicated my life and at times made it nearly unbearable. I DO have a wish to have children. But I will satisfy that with adoption, because I cannot in good conscience pass on such suffering to children by making the selfish [for me - because of my disorders] decision to have children of my own blood.

I know next to nothing about bipolar, but I have autism too, and mostly it's been a positive thing in my life, rather than a 'disorder'. Moreover, since I'm of the opinion that all disabled people should be exterminated, I would not consider it a disability because the extermination of all autistic people would mean a MAJOR decrease in IQ and creativity in the human species.

Dyscalculia is another thing. It's basically my reason for not wanting kids.

Hi Lilla,

I tried to send you a private message but the pop-up box said I had to add you as a friend first. Please accept my request if you don't mind. My son is autistic and I would be extremely grateful for any insight that you could give me. Thanks! Steph :)

Accepted. I'm still figuring out this system, lol. Ask me anything, but keep in mind that autistics are not all alike. :)

My son has an asd as well  :)
They did nothing to me, but I don't like to see my parents (or myself) suffer. It is that simple.

You havn't spent much time in institutions where perfect strangers take care of handicaped people of all sorts, all ages, because "their loving family" no longer want to take care of them. I don't think any of us here are talking about fully socially functional disabled people. We're talking about disabled people who can not fend for themselves. In British Columbia there have been cuts to some of these institutions and 1000s of non-functioning people were left to wander the streets, homeless, because they can not fend for themselves.


So that cry of "I'll protect all the little disabled children" is akin to people who buy chicks/puppies/kittens as xmas gifts, and these animals, when their cute little baby charm wears off, end up at the pound, unloved, and dead.


So let's stick to bringing up children who have a chance at an autonomous life.

They would not. And it wouldn't hurt the child either, if done the right way.

And TAA is right.

By the way why did you send me a friend request if you disagree with my point?


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