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Old 06-24-2014, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

What is your opinion of where you should draw the line between disciplining a child and what constitutes child abuse?

Last night we witnessed a child (around 5 years old) being disciplined in public and it was excessive and the child was humiliated.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

Was the child damaged (ie, bruised/bloody/etc)? Was the worst the kid got was humiliation?

I ask because I was never 'spared the rod' (or the belt!) growing up. Of all the whippings I got I earned 98% of them, and I learned the lesson that was taught. I was never "damaged" physically or emotionally by these. That being said, I stopped spanking my son after 4 years old but when I did it was to get his attention ONLY.

I believe that if anyone saw my father and mother spank me or my siblings today, they would call DSS! I'm not saying what you witnessed wasn't abuse because I wasn't there. I just know everyone has a different threshold to meet the standard of abuse.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

if you use the definition of abuse, as used in the workplace and apply it to kids, then simply words can be considered abuse and any form of physical hitting could constitute abuse.

But is it discipline, or abuse? I wouldn't hit or strike my kids with a belt, but I have disciplined them many times. I would consider hitting a child as abuse as I think there are better ways to teach a child a lesson other than striking them. But that's just me.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

What was done that you considered excessive?

Surely not being humiliated. Many kids these days could learn a few lessons from some humility.

If anything, parental discipline has dropped off BIG TIME versus when I was a kid. I can't remember the last time I saw a kid get his ass worn out with a spanking/switch/belt. Now it is all verbal and time-out oriented. I feared the belt or a whipping when I was younger and it made me question behavior I was contemplating acting on. Takeaways/timeouts/grounded always made me view my parents as weak when they tried that...I didn't take it seriously. I imagine many kids think the same way, even if it is subconscious. Humans need to fear punishment and people to correct behaviors I think. It's why jail/prison time is highly ineffective at correcting behaviors.

It's funny because I think physical punishment for dogs is ridiculous and many people pop their dogs, shove their face in poop or damaged items, etc to correct them...and I know it doesn't work and they don't respond to it. But human beings...kids...yeah, they get it.

I have multiple sets of nieces and nephews. Only 1 set has a mom/dad that believes in spankings for punishment. When we get together for events or are in public, his kids are always the best behaved. The others are running around testing their parents and constantly a battle "stop it!" and meaningless demands from the parents for the kids to stop. It only takes an eye from the other dad to let them know what happens if they follow the lead of their cousins who are acting up.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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The others are running around testing their parents and constantly a battle "stop it!" and meaningless demands from the parents for the kids to stop.
I can't stand that

It shows nothing has worked, or nothing is being done in the first place
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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I can't stand that

It shows nothing has worked, or nothing is being done in the first place
That is the part that shows where most parents truly are as far as the consistency of their discipline is concerned. Most parents, myself included at times, parent by volume: no, No, NO! It is such a hassle to discipline the kid after the first "no". But the child realizes that until we have lost our cool we are not serious about what they are doing or not doing. If every actual offense is met by immediate consequences the child is trained over time to think better of their actions before they do them. Isn't this the goal of discipline? If offenses are met with three or four warnings of increasing volume they know they have a chance to get away with stuff.

It is all about the heart of the parent FOR the child. Do I love my child enough to address what they are doing or do I just want to stay on the couch. I have had many a meal get cold sitting on my kitchen table because I was talking with my kid about their rebellion and walking my kid through the disciplinary process. I do not have it licked by any means. But the younger they are when you start and the firmer you are at being consistent does yield fruit of obedience.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

I was never spanked as a child and don't really believe it is necessary. I think me and my sister were probably better behaved than the average kid was to start with, and we are both very intelligent, so maybe it just wasn't necessary for us because we didn't need a lesson beaten into us to "get it."
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

As a father of four I know how easy it is to lose your temper (13, 10, 7, 3). The primary differences between abuse and discipline are:

1. Is the parent in control of themselves when engaging the child for the offence?
2. Is the point of the discipline to restore the relationship with the child after an actual offense or is it just "pay-back" for making me look bad in public, etc.?
3. Discipline itself is humiliating but it does not HAVE to be humiliation. Abuse is always and only humiliation. This is not the same as yelling at a child who is about to run in front of a moving bus or stick a fork in a light socket. Discipline is done privately so as to avoid taking the dignity of the child.

As a Christian I am commanded to discipline myself and my children. That discipline takes many forms but the key to it IMHO is the heart of the parent. Acting out in rage is not restorative. It actually divides the parent/child relationship. I have had to apologize to my kids many times before because I did not have the right frame of mind when engaging them after they had actually done something wrong or when they have offended me personally and not a moral or ethical or behavioral "rule of the house".

As far as drawing a line goes, I would say that they moment you are angry with your child you are unable to spank, admonish, or administer correction. While any actual offense must be addressed, it does not need to be addressed in the middle or Wal-Mart parking lot. Cooling down gives you time to address the offense in an adult manner and determine if the offense is actually that or if it was just your kid being a kid.

That's my two cents.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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Originally Posted by rdwylie View Post
As a father of four I know how easy it is to lose your temper (13, 10, 7, 3). The primary differences between abuse and discipline are:

1. Is the parent in control of themselves when engaging the child for the offence?
2. Is the point of the discipline to restore the relationship with the child after an actual offense or is it just "pay-back" for making me look bad in public, etc.?
3. Discipline itself is humiliating but it does not HAVE to be humiliation. Abuse is always and only humiliation. This is not the same as yelling at a child who is about to run in front of a moving bus or stick a fork in a light socket. Discipline is done privately so as to avoid taking the dignity of the child.

As a Christian I am commanded to discipline myself and my children. That discipline takes many forms but the key to it IMHO is the heart of the parent. Acting out in rage is not restorative. It actually divides the parent/child relationship. I have had to apologize to my kids many times before because I did not have the right frame of mind when engaging them after they had actually done something wrong or when they have offended me personally and not a moral or ethical or behavioral "rule of the house".

As far as drawing a line goes, I would say that they moment you are angry with your child you are unable to spank, admonish, or administer correction. While any actual offense must be addressed, it does not need to be addressed in the middle or Wal-Mart parking lot. Cooling down give you time to address the offense in an adult manner and determine if the offense is actually that or if it was just your kid being a kid.

That's my two cents.

Agreed. Do it out of love, not hate. Sparing the rod spoils the child.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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Originally Posted by rdwylie View Post
As a father of four I know how easy it is to lose your temper (13, 10, 7, 3). The primary differences between abuse and discipline are:

1. Is the parent in control of themselves when engaging the child for the offence?
2. Is the point of the discipline to restore the relationship with the child after an actual offense or is it just "pay-back" for making me look bad in public, etc.?
3. Discipline itself is humiliating but it does not HAVE to be humiliation. Abuse is always and only humiliation. This is not the same as yelling at a child who is about to run in front of a moving bus or stick a fork in a light socket. Discipline is done privately so as to avoid taking the dignity of the child.

As a Christian I am commanded to discipline myself and my children. That discipline takes many forms but the key to it IMHO is the heart of the parent. Acting out in rage is not restorative. It actually divides the parent/child relationship. I have had to apologize to my kids many times before because I did not have the right frame of mind when engaging them after they had actually done something wrong or when they have offended me personally and not a moral or ethical or behavioral "rule of the house".

As far as drawing a line goes, I would say that they moment you are angry with your child you are unable to spank, admonish, or administer correction. While any actual offense must be addressed, it does not need to be addressed in the middle or Wal-Mart parking lot. Cooling down give you time to address the offense in an adult manner and determine if the offense is actually that or if it was just your kid being a kid.

That's my two cents.
Well said. I have two (6 and 3) girls and when I find myself losing my temper I tell myself to stop before I say/do something that will probably not have the desired effect I wish.

Goes for adults and kids alike. We are all more receptive when not all amped up emotionally. So occurrences can be addressed, but in the heat of the moment is not always the best time.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwylie View Post
As a father of four I know how easy it is to lose your temper (13, 10, 7, 3). The primary differences between abuse and discipline are:

1. Is the parent in control of themselves when engaging the child for the offence?
2. Is the point of the discipline to restore the relationship with the child after an actual offense or is it just "pay-back" for making me look bad in public, etc.?
3. Discipline itself is humiliating but it does not HAVE to be humiliation. Abuse is always and only humiliation. This is not the same as yelling at a child who is about to run in front of a moving bus or stick a fork in a light socket. Discipline is done privately so as to avoid taking the dignity of the child.

As a Christian I am commanded to discipline myself and my children. That discipline takes many forms but the key to it IMHO is the heart of the parent. Acting out in rage is not restorative. It actually divides the parent/child relationship. I have had to apologize to my kids many times before because I did not have the right frame of mind when engaging them after they had actually done something wrong or when they have offended me personally and not a moral or ethical or behavioral "rule of the house".

As far as drawing a line goes, I would say that they moment you are angry with your child you are unable to spank, admonish, or administer correction. While any actual offense must be addressed, it does not need to be addressed in the middle or Wal-Mart parking lot. Cooling down give you time to address the offense in an adult manner and determine if the offense is actually that or if it was just your kid being a kid.

That's my two cents.
Well said.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

They gave the kid hard, repeated spanks over about 30 seconds and did not let up while forcibly holding him down, and it was in a restaurant in the eating area.

I thought that was excessive
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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They gave the kid hard, repeated spanks over about 30 seconds and did not let up while forcibly holding him down, and it was in a restaurant in the eating area.

I thought that was excessive

I agree. That sounds like there is very little parenting being done at home.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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They gave the kid hard, repeated spanks over about 30 seconds and did not let up while forcibly holding him down, and it was in a restaurant in the eating area.

I thought that was excessive


Yeah, that is excessive. The kid should have been taken to the bathroom by one of the parents and disciplined there.

My girls were 5, 3 and 1 at the time I got divorced. They did get spanked and on occasion met the belt. I mainly used verbal discipline and got pretty good results from that. I stopped spanking my kids after they got out of 3rd grade. One night I had taken them out to eat and there was an older couple sitting near us. When they were finished eating they came to me and told me that my girls were the best behaved kids they've seen in a while. I got complimented a lot on the behavior of my girls. They said their yes sir/ma'am and no sir/ma'ams. So what I was doing worked - a mix of verbal discipline and spankings.

I do think that the main discipline should be left for when the child gets home so as not to cause an unnecessary scene out in public.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

I honestly can not remember a time when I hollered at my boys ,certainly never cussed them and on top of that they didn't get that many whippings ,but they were whipped hard when they did .. No sulking , no feeling sorry for yourself , but right back to the abundant life
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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I honestly can not remember a time when I hollered at my boys ,certainly never cussed them and on top of that they didn't get that many whippings ,but they were whipped hard when they did .. No sulking , no feeling sorry for yourself , but right back to the abundant life
Abundant eh... Nothing about abundant makes anyone a good person.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

I didn't get spanked too much as a child but there were definitely a few times. Usually after an episode when I was up in my room my Dad would come by and talk to me and let me know why he thought what I was doing was out of place or wrong. I learned well from that.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

If I may be so bold as to interject this into the conversation. I do not intend to bring religion into the discussion for those who do not believe in Christ but are still good parents are many. However, this book has given me more than any other book I have ever read on a Biblical perspective on raising children. The goal is to raise kids who love and live under the authority of God. Discipline is a part of that as it is a part of life itself. For those of you who are believers, pick up a copy and read it with your spouse and if it is not worth the time and effort you put in I will apologize to you personally on a thread named in your honor. I warn you though, be ready to be thumped.

http://www.amazon.com/Shepherding-Ch.../dp/0966378601

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Old 06-24-2014, 11:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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Originally Posted by rdwylie View Post
If I may be so bold as to interject this into the conversation. I do not intend to bring religion into the discussion for those who do not believe in Christ but are still good parents are many. However, this book has given me more than any other book I have ever read on a Biblical perspective on raising children. The goal is to raise kids who love and live under the authority of God. Discipline is a part of that as it is a part of life itself. For those of you who are believers, pick up a copy and read it with your spouse and if it is not worth the time and effort you put in I will apologize to you personally on a thread named in your honor. I warn you though, be ready to be thumped.

http://www.amazon.com/Shepherding-Ch.../dp/0966378601

beat me to it.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

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Originally Posted by johnmcclane View Post
beat me to it.
lol. That really is an EXCEPTIONAL book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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