I was going to dash off a quick reply saying that I was a bad kid, that I got beat regularly (mostly by priests and nuns) and that I never did me any harm. Then it occurred to me. It never did me any good, either. I was a miscreant until USMC Boot Camp. I feel compelled to say that behaviour patterns CAN be altered. I'd like to see discussion on how this is accomplished and how to change public attitudes to behaviour-modifying programs such as USMC Boot Camp.
As near as I understand, developmental science says spanking is counter-productive for eliciting better behavior. That being said, I understand that there may be a benefit to a stressed care-giver who really needs a short term solution (getting all the kids dressed and out the door in time for the car-pool). When it comes to teachers, however, I feel that spanking identifies a teacher who does not have enough support from both/either the education system and/or the child's parents.
My volunteering has put me in a position of taking care of some special needs kids who can be very, very frustrating. Fortunately I always had the support I needed to get another caregiver to help me long before any form of physical aggression became overly compelling. I can only say that I think we really need to engineer our species' reproductive priorities in such a way that we can provide support to all caregivers that would circumvent the need for spankings. Passing legislation that enables spankers really just shifts the priority from providing support to providing an outlet for frustration.
It seems like no one is supposed to discipline children anymore. I wouldn't want to be a school administrator nowadays. The role of parents today seems to be to strenuously enable the misbehavior of their offspring. At the same time, any teacher who hugs a child risks being labeled a pedophile.
It depends on how you define 'discipline.' There were penalties and reprecussions for poor bahviour at my school. The administration was vigilant about enforcement and I think that's why we only had a couple of actual fights while I was at high school.
I like your approach!
I'm editing this to add that I know some people who've combined inconsistant expectations with corporeal punishment and given their children a lot of issues. I worry about those kids.
You know, I'm not for pulling down a kid's pants and throwing them over your knee and slapping their butt so hard that they are in agony and their ass cheeks turn bright pink.
However, a single swat on a clothed bottom can be an attention-getter. If I'm "modeling" single swats on clothed bottoms when the child becomes a parent, so be it. I won't lose any sleep over that.
However, once the child is of an age that you can reason with them and apply other punishments (time outs, grounding, no TV for a period of time, etc.), then it's time to go that route.
Unfortunately we don't live in a society that requires training and a license to be a parent.
When I went to high school, blatant miscreants were paddled. I can remember being paddled three times at least. Not only that, our parants were notified and things were not pleasant over the dinner table.
Parents supported the teachers.
I wanted to defend myself here for spanking one of my daughters a few times. It was never out of anger, and it was never more than two slaps on a naked butt, and never a bruise. It was usually only one slap, only leaving a red mark. I felt bad every time, but assured myself it was good for her in the long run.
Now I don't know. She's a great, wonderful, happy, successful, respectful, confident kid! But I honestly don't know if or how much my "discipline" made a positive or negative difference, in the end. (My other daughter was never as troublesome or disrespectful, and never "needed" discipline.)
As far as how society at large should act, I think it's clear that the cost of child abuse outweighs the benefit of unconditional love; it's surely better for society to err toward too much love. The kinds of abuse that society should surely be addressing are those that are motivated by anger, policies of "zero tolerance" that automatically exclude reasonable judgement, compassion, and positive behavioral modifications.
As a child I was 'SPANKED', one story:
I disobeyed my mother one morning before grade school, she wanted me to change my shirt, I saw no reason to change it, she saw no reason to explain to me why I should change it, in her mind a spanking was called for.
At the time I was smaller and weaker then her, unable to resist her superior strength, she pulled down my pants exposing the nakedness of my lower half. She held me by the arm and reached for the nearest 'tool' with which to administer the 'spanking', a wire coat hanger.
The first strike landed upon my bare bottom, the pain caused a reaction, I tried to move away from the source of the pain. But she was still holding by my arm, the resulting effect of the physics was the turn my body 180 degrees.
The second strike landed on my genitals...a wire coat hanger struck against the head of your penis will cause a great deal of pain. As I screamed in pain, my dear sweet Roman Catholic mother said: "You shouldn't have turned around."
It was just a simple 'spanking' what harm could there be?
I'm 67. When I was a kid, we actually lived in the society Hillary Clinton CLAIMS to favor ("It takes a village to raise a child.") If an adult were to walk in on a minor, say, defacing the mirror, depending upon his age he might have been walked out by the ear to his waiting parents, been pushed around while being yelled at, or received some sort of physical punishment (a hard punch on the arm, perhaps, not spanking).
What does "It takes a village to raise a child" mean if not that we are all parents to all of the children in our society?
I realize that in a diverse society like ours, this isn't really possible so I think that little slogan is simply nonsense.