Die Middelburg Observer het 'n vraag oor lyfstraf gevra. Die kommentaar is, volgens my mening, een van die redes hoekom ons probleme met geweld probeer oplos. Ons word so grootgemaak.

It is soooo exhausting reading that…

What they dont have insight on is how their own psyche has been so damaged by their childhood experiences that their conciousness WILL defend violence to children as the indoctrination is so strong. Its why so many people are now treated for a variety of “conditions” as they are faced with what they experienced, their childhood interpretation of said experience and in their 40’s (usually) have to re-look the true reasons for their behaviours. Instead they dont… they blame external factors, never really getting to the “self” as its just too damn scary…

I disagree somewhat. Most of us grew up with the occasional ‘lekker pak slae’ and I, for one, can honestly not say I am worse off than I would have been. Of course, we don’t know what we don’t know, but my parents were very restrained, never hit us in anger, and certainly never slapped anyone. It was a rare and almost a formal occasion, and we were in no doubt about which boundaries we had overstepped.

The ‘problem with today’s parents’ (sorry!) is that they preach the ‘no hidings’ thing but don’t replace that punishment with a well thought out system of discipline. They either forget or don’t understand that children need boundaries as much as they need love and respect, and that consistency is key. In my experience, they end up yelling, screaming and occasionally slapping kids - which I regard as highly disrespectful.

I must stress that I was never exposed to random violence as a child. Now that I am older, I confess I have seen adults act in ways considered to be normal by perhaps 70% of their peers but which absolutely make my hair stand on end. Where do you draw the line?

It’s perhaps better to err on the side of caution and prohibit it, but (wishful thinking) it would have been better to teach parents to replace one ‘system’ with another, not just hope for the best.

Yup. As always with these bandwagonish things, they are barking up the wrong tree. When the rest of parenting is done correctly, I don’t think it matters much one way or the other whether parents occasionally grab the paplepel. And when the rest of the parenting is not done correctly, then merely banning the corporal punishment will make no difference.

It’s probably one more irrelevant and almost impossible to enforce law.

Slapping is disrespectful but hitting with a paplepel isnt? Could you elaborate?

How restrained were your folks? I wont go all analytical here but that, too, is a major issue. Emotional Neglect and abuse is on the same side of a coin.

Really, its truly moot, we arent issued with training material and nobody is fit to be a parent. We are all damaged by our experiences as children.

I don’t know how restrained, but my father wouldn’t hesitate to grab us right there in public if we persistently misbehaved. I cannot remember more than two or three incidents though - we tended to behave precisely because we knew there would be immediate consequences if we did not. And other people constantly remarked on what polite kids we were. :slight_smile:

Thing is, through all of that, I never for a single moment doubted that my father would also cheerfully sacrifice his own life for me if it ever came to that. In first grade I was bullied on the school bus; one afternoon he got on the bus himself, grabbed the bully, shook him like a terrier shakes a rat, and told him in no uncertain terms what the results would be if he ever so much as looked at me again in a way that displeased me. The bullying promptly stopped. My father then went to see the school principal to arrange for the obvious solution, namely that kids on the school buses be separated in age groups instead of sitting anywhere.

And thus, on the whole, I have very fond memories of my father, which is why I think the whole corporal punishment thing is kind of irrelevant.

Then he went and died on us when I was twelve. My mother hit the bottle hard, and for the the rest of my teens I effectively had no parents. Predictably I went off the rails. Thank ye gods they still had corporal punishment at school at the time, or I would have ended up in prison. :slight_smile:

Nowadays our solution appears to be to let the kids run wild until prison is the only solution left.

Now you are right that no one is fit to be a parent. There are no proper textbooks. No one is really fit to be a school teacher either. In my days, discipline at school was perhaps too strict. Or at least, some teachers were genuinely sadists and used the strict disciplinary code as instrument for their own gratification. And nowadays, in many schools, this has been replaced with no discipline at all, so not even the kids who want to learn can do so.

After careful consideration I have concluded that I have no answers. Blessedly, I have no kids either, so the whole thing isn’t really my problem.

Sorry Brian, I actually directed the question to Spike.

I agree that immediate reaction is best, its like house training a puppy… although that statement would likely have me hung by a jury of my peers.

The other thing we have lost during the last few generations is the old saying of “it takes a village to raise a child” - back in the day if you screwed up any adult would take the initiative to correct you, nowadays it will likely get you sued and in jail…

Nods to everything above. It could be a self-perpetuating problem of viewing physical punishment as the only solution since (and I’ve seen this myself) the spectrum seems to be kids who get the odd bum-smack and thus behave themselves because the consequences are well defined. Vs kids who run wild with a parent behind them telling them not to do that and thus gets ignored, no consequences follows so kids keeps on doing whatever he wants and parent keeps yelling, etc. etc.

So it’s easy to look at those two scenarios and conclude the “one true way” is to spank. When what we probably want is a good way TO discipline children whilst sparing the rod.

… I also agree that there are levels and ways to do things. I don’t begrudge my parents giving me hidings because usually it was well metered out and definitely only when I went way out of bounds. I think I do have a level of discipline not often found because of it. But flipside we also had a teacher or two who seemed to need excuses to line up the whole class and beat the living crap out of them every single day… Moderation in all things.

Slapping a child - or anyone - upside the head or face is an insult. I’m not talking about tapping a child’s hands to warn him off when he’s about to burn his fingers.

They were restrained, not distant, cold or emotionally unavailable.

True, no matter how idyllic the childhood. As Jim Morrison wrote: ‘a child is like a flower; his head’s just floating in the breeze, man’

Yup, apparently one reason why Gauteng has the highest crime rates despite being the richest province is because it is also where traditional tribal and family structures have disintegrated the most. Children grow up without any kind of moral compass. After what I have seen during my teaching days, I am surprised we don’t have much higher crime rates. But perhaps those are still coming…

Unfortunately there were teachers who used the system for their own dubious purposes. I had several such teachers. One, it later transpired, was a sexual sadist who literally got off on spanking children; he was apparently eventually fired after he got caught molesting boys at the school. But by that time he had been at it for years, both in the school and in the school’s hostel where he was one of the supervisors.

His subject was woodwork (why wasn’t he there when Malema did so well in the subject?), and he constantly found any excuse at all to line the boys up and spank the whole class. That was one reason why I ended up not taking the subject up to matric level. (Another possibility would have been metal work, but alas, that subject ALSO had a sadist in control). At the time we thought he was merely an asshole, but it eventually become clear it was actually more than that. I’m happy to report that some years after I left the school, he was found murdered in his apartment by parties unknown. Probably one of his former victims.

But is the complete banning of corporal punishment necessarily the best option? As my brother once joked, teachers carried a cane pretty much for self-defense. I have also seen the other side of the equation in action. In fact, for part of my teen years I WAS the other side of the equation: in short, teenaged boys are monsters. Absolute, complete, utter monsters. You simply cannot dance around them with satin gloves.

Current disciplinary methods often fail because justice isn’t immediate; there is this long process of a disciplinary hearing etc. Or detention next week. Or something like that. For many boys the future simply doesn’t exist. They are creatures of impulse. Thus they are not concerned about this sort of justice. And what is the result anyway? In the longer run they get expelled and end up without any schooling at all. Or, as happens increasingly in American schools, the teachers crack up and call the cops.

And speaking of the cops. My brother is a lawyer; in his younger days he sometimes did pro deo cases. In one such case, both he and the kid he was defending practically begged the judge on their knees for corporal punishment. The alternative was that the kid would go to prison. We all know what happens to 18 year-old boys in prison.

Sometimes our solutions make the original problem worse rather than better.