Posted by Vanessa McLellan Posted on 1/10/2014 with No comments
I am saddened that corporal / physical punishment has been basically driven underground. I am also disappointed to see that the anti corporal punishment advocates lump everything into one basket. They seem to group everything from a little 'smack on the wrist' and an un restrained abusive attack of punching, kicking etc. by an adult to a child as one and the same and call it both corporal punishment and abuse. To me there are huge differences between these extremes.
As for me, I did receive some pretty severe punishments by todays standards anyway both at home and at school. At home, I would get spanked by hand when younger and also received the cane through my teen years. At school I received the cane. At home it was always on my back side. At junior school it the cane on my hands and at high school it was on my back side. By severe I mean that they would bruise and hurt a lot. Actually amongst the kids getting stripes was seen as part of the deal. If you got the cane and no bruises other kids would say you got off too light. It was not all that often. Probably a couple of times a year at school and maybe as often as 20 times per year at home. Although averages can distort things. Thinking back it seemed like I would go through long periods of not being punished at all and then other periods when I would be punished often like every few days. I should also say always with clothes on I never heard of anyone getting punished nude until I thought I would research this on the net.
I can not recall a time when I got caned when I did not actually deserve it. I do not have any feelings of being 'hardly done by'. In a way, in that agonizing time after I had been caught and awaiting punishment, I would know that I had done wrong. There was no feeling that I was being punished un fairly. I can recall doing something dumb in class or wherever and knowing as I was doing it that it was wrong and being caught and just rolling my eyes and going I just knew it was dumb. Getting the cane would just end the affair. The message was and I believe still is that I had crossed the line. One thing was that whenever I was caned, that was the end of it. Neither at school or at home was there ever any mention of it again.
I contrast getting the cane with detentions. I hated detentions. Sitting in a room writing lines or writing out an essay as to why I had done something or writing a letter of apology or doing extra home work. Why had I done it? Who knows. I'm a kid. Kids do things on the spur of the moment. There is no reason. How can I write down why I did it. I still can't tell you half the reasons I do anything. I would sit there and feel sorry for my self. I would sit there and get depressed. I would feel frustrated that my friends were out there playing and here I was doing nothing.
So to me one of the real advantages of physical punishment is that it is over quick. As a boy, I would do dumb things on the spur of the moment. Today, such behavior would mean an endless drawn out process involving parents and meetings and what not. To me a whack on the backside gave the message that I had crossed the line.
I do use corporal punishmnent on my kids. Similar to me, up to age 11 they have just received smacks on the back side. My eldest, now 13 gets the paddle. The main reason to change from the cane to the paddle is that the paddle does not seem to leave such deep bruising, more of a sore red back side. I have to confess to be really worried that should the authorities see her bruised backside that it would break up our family. And that is a real problem today that I feel parents have been disempowered. That as a society, we do not expect children to be respectful of adults and so most parents have just given up. They have long and heated arguments with their kids but eventually just go on living parallel lives rather than ones where the parents are in control or in authority over the kids. To me it is a real pity that corporal punishment has effectively be a little family secret. In fact one of the differences bewteen when I was a kid and now is that we would talk at school about who had been punished and how and show each other the 'stripes' but today, the kids have to keep this secret because they know as well as anyone else that if they tell that it is likely to be reported up the chain until their families are broken up.
Anyway that's my opinion
Submitted by Aiden (Brisbane Australia)
Labels: child discipline