Spanking, and child abuse.
Posted: 10 January 2009 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.michaelcoren.com/ sample columns


I recently read an article by Michael Coren, a right thinking Christian pundit and columnist based in Toronto. His article, “On Spanking” re-ignightes the ages-old-debate, is corporal punishment of a child acceptable?  I think it’s safe to say no one reading this has not been, at one time or another, disciplined by his/her parent(s) as a child. However, some of these people may have felt the sting of parental abuse. It’s a thorny issue, and to extend the metaphor, one most difficult to grasp.

Gavin was slapped. Ok, maybe the kid deserved a crack on the ass. I got few from my father when I was Gavin’s age, however, my father never left a mark. The mark on Gavin’s little tush, prompted a teacher to contact Children’s Aid, Durham. A this is a moot decision on behalf of the teacher. (In Ontario, a teachers failure to report suspected child abuse can result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.)
The 22-year-old-social-worker—her age somehow relevant here—speaks to Gavin’s mother, Perry, to seek some clarity on the incident. When Perry tells the 22-year-old social-worker she must speak to husband first, as he is the head of the household the 22-year-old-social-worker, “was incredulous, even annoyed. Why on earth did she (Perry)have to speak to her husband?”
An alarm went off in the social workers head, she could see a pattern. And in this line of work it’s, again, best to err on the side of caution. 

A month later Joe Cleary was arrested at work, as Coren states, “in front of his work mates and his employers like some rapist or murderer.” Typically in Canada, suspected rapists and murders are arrested. As Joe Cleary, suspected child abuser, was arrested. 

Cleary’s woes and family issues are a sad tale, I truly sympathize with their plight.  I am of course forced to recognize the higher authority here, and, sadly Mr. Coren it’s not the Holly Ghost.
Gavin is the higher authority, his well being, his innocence, his safety is paramount and the responsibility of all of us.
In 1992, child protection authorities put about 40,000 Canadian children into foster care or other settings away from their home. In many of these cases, abuse was a factor.*
In Ontario in 1993, Children’s Aid Society investigated over 13,000 cases of child physical abuse. This is compared to 3,546 ten years earlier. Children 3 years old or younger are most often investigated for neglect. Children 12 to 15 years old are most often investigated for physical abuse.* Let’s fast-forward to 2009 and ask ourselves, can we even tolerated the possibility of a child being neglected?

Coren’s article serves as a reminder that this is an imperfect solution to a serious problem.  When a child’s innocence is stripped away, we are all damaged.  And when in doubt I think it’s best to err, on the side of caution.

Cited sources - *http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/question__6.html

[ Edited: 10 January 2009 03:22 PM by Stephen McDonald ]
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Posted: 10 January 2009 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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We all have a valid interest in the proper upbringing of every child. That child could turn into the guy who mugs me, the drunk driver who runs me down, the welfare cheat—or the scientist who finds a cure for cancer. We the people are the ones who have to live with the results of the child’s upbringing. We therefore have a right to impose our basic values onto the parents to insure that the child is reared properly.

Moreover, we can reverse the thinking and approach in terms of the child’s interests. Every child should have at birth the opportunity to become absolutely anything: President, scientist, lawyer, teacher, truck driver—anything whatsoever. I claim that any parental action that narrows the range of a child’s opportunities is a transgression against that child.

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Posted: 10 January 2009 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Chris Crawford - 10 January 2009 04:29 PM

Every child should have at birth the opportunity to become absolutely anything

As far as I know there has only been one such a child. I still don’t think she can become “absolutely anything” but she probably won’t become a breast cancer patient. Good for her. Perhaps, in a few decades, we’ll even be able to screen kids before they are born for the president or a scientist gene. Spanking has a very little to do with any of this. You can find out all about it in any of Judith Rich Harris’s books.

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Posted: 26 March 2009 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I strongly believe that spanking is not a proper way to discipline a child. One thing you are sending the wrong message to him:

It is alright to hurt a love one
It is alright to hurt a person who can’t depend himself
It is alright to show love by means of this harsh way.

You don’t want your child to be suffering all of this emotional trauma later in his life.

http://riledup.com

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Posted: 26 March 2009 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I find a certain sad humor in the non-spanking camp. ‘Spanking’ can be useful as a deterent to dangerous behavior when the child cannot understand why they can’t run into the highway when playing outside, etc. Some children should never be spanked, but it doesn’t hurt the vast majority. Note that spanking is a few swats on the behind to cause some discomfort and mild pain, not whipping the child with an extension cord.

I stopped swatting my son at about age 6, and used detention and isolation in his room as punishment for the next few years. I can’t do that now as it’s considered ‘torture’...

Beating a child is never justifiable, and shaking an infant is a crime. There is ample evidence that abused children grow up to be abusers themselves.

If you can raise a child to be a decent and productive adult without spanking, then I do admire you.

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Posted: 26 March 2009 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Foster is worse than a spanking by far ... half of foster children become homeless when they turn 18.

According to liftingtheveil.org, 28% of children in state care were abused in Baltimore. 21% of abuse or neglect cases involved foster homes In Louisiana. 57% of those in Missouri placed in foster care settings in 1981 were at a high risk of abuse or neglect. 25% of children in Kansas City foster care were the subject of abuse or inappropriate punishment. In Arizona, over 500 of an estimated 4,000 foster children, a figure representing at least 12.5 percent of the state’s foster care population, have been sexually abused while in state care.

Wiki: Foster Care

Your throwing kids out of the frying pan and into the fire. A former friend of mine went through foster care he is now regularly abuses cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, and anything else he can get his hands on. He got a full ride to college costing $32,000 a year he dropped out within a year due to poor grades. For all I know he is living on the streets right now.

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Posted: 11 April 2009 01:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Omnibus, I was of the no-spank camp. 35 years latter and two adult children later, I am still a firm believer. So are my sons.
Spanking (as far as I can tell) teaches a child that I can hurt you because I am bigger than you. (I think) it is a poor form of discipline. In the 21st century, we should be doing better. No spanking is not the same as no disciple. My sons were disciplined and I was a fairly strict parent, but the discipline did not include spanking or emotional abuse, it involved teaching them to think.

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Posted: 11 April 2009 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I am in absolute agreement with Asanta. Spanking is wrong for a lot of reasons, but one of the most compelling is it is absolutely unecessary. My great-grandfather was the first in our family to establish the rule that no one ever hits a child, and I’m currently raising the 4th generation of well-behaved, well-socialized children without any need for physical punishment. Most parents (as distinguished from pathological abusers) would never hit their kids if they didn’t believe it necessary for teaching them. I think we could eliminate the majority of this behavior if we could demonstrate that it really isn’t necessary. Of course, here we’re trying to do the same thing with god, showing that it isn’t necessary for proper moral behavior, but the belief persists.

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Posted: 11 April 2009 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I kept having the ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ thrown at me and initially even my husband did not agree with me, but he quickly came over to my side when he saw it worked. My in-laws also did not agree with my philosophy that my children did not have to listen to adults unquestioningly simply because they were adult. If someone told them to do something they did not want to do, or that they did not think was right, they were told to tell the adults that they would check with their parents first. This infuriated some of my in-laws, but turned out to be a wise decision on my part as it helped to keep them from being put into situations I would not have approved of and helped them to learn to think.

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