Article on Spanking and Predisposition to aggression - interesting

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Star*, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Wow, how come I'm not a serial killer then???
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Step....because we're both "closet killers" LOL.

    Star..That is a GREAT question!!!
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    What do you want to bet that the person who wrote this article DOESN'T have any children of their own! Those "theoretical children" are a lot easier to raise than the real ones!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, having two kids, with two completely different personalities, I can kind of see where they're coming from.
    And I understand this part, at least for my son: And, it may be that children who are genetically predisposed to aggression are the ones most likely to be spanked for their behavior, but the current study by Barnes and his colleagues suggests that spanking in response will just increase that type of behavior.

    Our difficult child saw it as a challenge rather than punishment. I was shocked the first cpl times I spanked him and he hit me back. Of course, we learned that it didn't work ... but we also had to learn to restrain him, but that made him just as mad. So I can't say that spanking, per se, increases the behavior. I don't know that the researchers can say for certain that the behavior doesn't just increase on its own, i.e. if you walked out of the room, the kid would rage all by himself.

    Anyhoo ...
  6. somerset

    somerset Member

    Timeouts and effective form of discipline for toddlers? When you have to hold them pinned to the chair the entire time and they never stop fighting to get away? How will a supportive, nurturing relationship teach a 4 year old that running around in a parking lot is dangerous and they must stop right now? I rarely spanked difficult child when she was small, because I didn't believe in it. I didn't want her to grow up like I did, with physical violence that really warped me. Now I think it would have been better if I had spanked her more. Nothing else really got through to her. Maybe I would have more "control" over her.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    There is a huge difference between "spanking" and "beating"! And what these people always seem to ignore is the fact that, except for these last few decades, that was a widely used method of discipline going back generation after generation. If this was as damaging as they say, my whole generation,my parents generation and all the ones before us would have been serial killers! Obviously we're not! And truthfully, todays parents and schools have had their hands tied in so many respects and todays kids many times receive no discipline at all. And this generation of kids are more rude, more disrespectful, more entitled and much more violent than any generation before them. I think their theory is flawed!
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I started writing a book, and that doesn't work, so I'll stop before I start.

    Enough to say that... once you are dealing with kids with extremely complex problems, all the theories in the world go right out the window, and you're left with trying to find what works.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think "normal" children do fine with a spanking, kind of like a shock, when they, say, run in the street or do something socially unacceptable. But I think the article is pretty much right that "differently wired" kids do worse when they are spanked. I mean...anyone here have a difficult child who changed his/her long term behavior because of spanking? If not, why even bother since they are prone to hitting anyway and often THEY do not know the difference between a spanking and a beating, especially if they have sensory issues (the spanking might feel like a beating). JMO. I don't think it's horrible to spank a kid on a padded butt, but I also don't feel it does any good to spank a difficult child either.

    A difficult child may not sit in a time out..i Know Sonic would stand up and throw his chair while wailing. But my "normal" kids did take their timeouts well and learned from them. I think difficult children are a totally different animal.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I honestly think we are seeing some sort of major change in the way human brains are wired. It used to be VERY abnormal to have a child who did not respond to a normal spanking back when I was a kid, and more abnormal when my parents were kids. I am NOT talking about a beating, just a swift smack on the tushie when a behavior went WAY beyond safe. I can remember being angry about it at the time of the spanking but I can't remember being angry about it even hours later. I don't know of ANY of my peers who were furious about a spanking the next day. I now see kids who are still FURIOUS about a spanking days and even weeks later. It would not have occurred to any child I know other than my brother to WANT to hit a parent, much less to do it beyond maybe a hand waving that happened to hit a parent when you were maybe 2yo and not in control of yourself. Purposely hitting a parent was just NOT something you would even consider. Yet I know kids who actually PLAN to hit parents to get what they want. They think it is just fine.

    I don't know WHY we see this, esp as until this point in human evolution we have NOT seen this. Yes, people who were beaten by parents did often strike back. I just don't think that there are enough cases of abuse to justify the violence we are seeing in our children. I also don't think the advances in communication and the openness of society are the reasons we hear about it.

    I do think that the many millions of images of violence that children see contribute, esp interactive images in video games. I also think that the drugs we pump into the human body are part of it. NOT just the illegal drugs, but many drugs may contribute. We just don't have enough information on what our medications really do in our bodies to know the long term effects, esp on the female body. It has only been in the last few years, maybe two decades, that ANY research was done on how medications and medical treatments worked on females. We know, for a FACT, that alcohol acts VERY differently in females than in males, and that females do not have an enzyme that helps break down alcohol. This means that women get drunk faster and stay drunk longer than males of the very same size. Yet this is not included in most educational programs and few people know this until AFTER they get treatment for sub abuse problems. I can't help but wonder how many other medications are very different in the female body. I can't help but wonder what ALL the medications we take are doing to our bodies and to our gene pool. I do think we are seeing some DRASTIC changes in how the human brain is evolving and not all of them are good changes or ones we have ANY clue how to handle.

    I am really scared for future generations. The level of violence in children is increasing at what seems to be a staggering rate, as are the levels of mental illness and substance abuse and addiction to non ingestable things like video games, sex and violence. I don't know how to stop it or help it for the world in general. I do know that MANY people have bashed me for YEARS for taking away video games completely from Wiz when he got to the point of lying, cheating and stealing to get them. Most people thought I should teach him how to self moderate and we tried this. It simply was not something he was CAPABLE of. I knew it in my gut and even when the doctors, teachers, tdocs, other parents, my parents, people here, etc... all told me that to take them away completely was going to hurt him more than what he was doing, I still knew it was what he NEEDED. Now he has thanked me and told me that if I had not taken them away 100% for the times I did remove them, he would NEVER have been able to learn to function without them. He now will take himself off of them when they start to interfere with his life. I do think that more of our kids owuld beneft from this than most people EVER want to admit. For many people the electronic screens are like alcohol or crack or heroin - they cannot moderate themselves. I know my husband goes into serious withdrawal when he cannot get online. He will go spend hours at places I normally cannot drag him to if our internet is down or at the library on their computers if his isn't working. I like mine but going with-o for a couple of days is not a big deal. I read, listen to audiobooks, work on projects, and do unplugged things. He is not able to. It scares me.

    I think this is contributing to the violence and the problems that are being blamed on spanking. I wonder what would happen if those same children who reacted aggressively to spanking were unplugged for a significant amount of time? I wonder if that would have an impact on their reaction to discipline? I also wonder how those children react to other types of discipline? I know that Wiz reacted the same to ANY type of discipline - he hated it and did all he could to undermine it and to egg us into escalating things. He claimed that timeout was abusive, that taking away a toy was abusive, that ANYTHING we did to get him to modify his behavior was abusive. He became physically violent to any/all of these things at one time or another. He was spanked RARELY because husband and I believe that it should only be used for times when the child put himself into real danger, like running out into the street or trying to stick something into an electric outlet.

    I do think there may be a correlation between spanking and increased aggression in differently wired kids, but I do NOT think that ANYONE can tell us that spanking causes the increased aggression. There are simply too many other things that may contribute that will NEVER be studied because they are too complex or some corporation's profits might be impacted if the results of a study showed a correlation.

    I think blaming it on spanking is FAR too simplistic and that we need more resources to help our kids esp the differently wired ones rather than a bunch of media blaming it on spanking alone and parents. We are so busy blaming spanking and parents for the problem that we are NOT working to find ways to help the families, which is what is TRULY needed.

    I am sometimes terrified by this generation of kids. When I started trying to get help because Wiz was violent, most resources treated me like I was a monster who made my child that way by treating him that way. It was super hard to find ANY help for a parent being abused by a child who was not even a preteen back then. Elder abuse was being talked about, and even a few cases of parents abused by a child who was in his late teens, but that was it. Even 6 years later when Wiz was a teen there was little help available. our DV center designed a program just for me because they didn't want to turn me away but they could find NO real help in any of their resources. Now? They have a group that meets that is parents who are abused by their kids - from ages 8 or so on up. They also have some children in their services who are there because they abused their parents. I don't have details but they need 6 or more to make a group, sot hey have at least that many AT ANY TIME. I have this info from my therapist there and from several parents who have been helped by them, and from a school counselor who is the mom of one of J's friends who came to me asking where I found help when she had several parents in that situation with kids in elem school. And she is in just one of our FIVE elem schools!

    We have GOT to put some real resources into this, or the next couple of generations are going to be scary, scarier and truly terrifying.

    just in my opinion, of course.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Exactly. And in my opinion, spanking really gets their attention more than anything else - it's a shock, not PAIN (though pain certainly worked for me, lemme tell ya - and NO, I was NOT afraid of my parents... Or grandpa...), then when you have their attention you do something else.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    MWM, I agree.

    And this is very well put, Insane: Enough to say that... once you are dealing with kids with extremely complex problems, all the theories in the world go right out the window, and you're left with trying to find what works.
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I think SusieStar is exactly right!

    It is beyond strange to me that advertisers spend millions trying to find just the right way to influence you in a 15 to 30 second commercial - and yet we outright dismiss the idea that hours and hours of television, computer and video games has any impact at all on the minds of our children.

    Human beings learn through experience...hence the theory that aggression is "learned behavior". Why must we assume that somebody, somewhere must be spanking the child in order for that child to learn aggressive behaviors? Is that really the only possible aggressive experience a child is getting? Really?

    Gosh - I remember adults complaining about the violence in the Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons! And that was only on Saturday mornings...AND the tv was off before noon!

    Today, there are households where the tv is on all day every day...and the shows are a lot worse than the coyote getting an anvil dropped on his head!
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I shouldn't comment since I didn't read the piece. But, lol. I'm going to toss a thought. The changes in society over the past couple of generations have led to more isolated parenting. Often there is no spouse to tag team and there are no extended relatives around for relief. Almost all Moms work full time which didn't used to be the norm and the early years of development are spent in daycare. None of those factors can be changed, of course, but I believe they have not only made parenting more's a really part time job for many. The stress builds, the kids feel the stress and problems result.

    My Ex and I were young, stupid parents. We spanked far too often because we didn't know what to heck we were doing. When I divorced him I never spanked again. It was all based on ignorance early on..not evilness. Sigh DDD
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    DDD, I think you are very right. First, most parents spank because they are trying to help the child, NOT to beat the child. No evil intent at all. Second, my dad is clearly an aspie. When we went through the list of traits in a book for teachers, he had all but 2 out of a 2 page list. wiz had less than half that many. My dad grew up in a house with 2 parents, with relatives next door and in 3 houses across the street and with over 50 relatives of all ages in less than 2 blocks. He had ALL those people involved in his life, and a ton of cousins to play with, and almost no scheduled activities or parental supervision but a TON of adults watching out for him in the community. In the summer he spent all day at the pool while his mom was at home and he was NEVER unsupervised and not in much trouble. He NEVER required Special Education or even a diagnosis because the family managed to help him with everything and didn't realize it was a problem. He was just quirky.

    I grew up with little contact with these people but still wtih a street full of neighbors who would keep an eye I think it does contribute at least as much to the changes we see as spanking does. We sepnd so much time making sure our kids have this and that activity and class that we forget that they also need to be kids. I always thought it was so sad that few of my kids' friends had more than 1 evening a week with-o a class or practice or activity, or a weekend day free to figure out what to do. I was the "wierdo" who neglected my kids by not putting them in everything and not entertaining them when they were home. The parents ALL want their kids to be like Jess and thank you, we hear it constantly, but they don't want to unschedule their kids because they "must" have language lessons by age 9 and music by age 6 or 7 and since school doesn't offer them until grade 6, well, they won't EVER make it into college with-o those things so they MUST have those things every week. And they have kids with little ability to amuse themselves and very regimented ideas about creativity and what is/isn't creative. I blew the minds of the kids AND PARENTS and teachers of J's classmates wehn I did art projects. how? I told them that there are NO mistakes. You don't make mistakes, you PERSONALIZE. You don't mess up, you customize, you individualize. Those "mistakes" can trigger ideas and take you in whole new directions to create something you would NeVER have thought of otherwise. Like chocolate chip cookies.

    I had to explain how choc chip cookies were created, and usually I had some for the first few lessons to drive my point home. But i had SOOOO many kids and parents stop me and they were gobsmacked that in an art project there wasn't a right or wrong way, just their way. It saddened me, because these are amazing, cool, fun, often very gifted kids.

    And this is part of the complexity of the problem that the scientists are telling us is caused by spanking and supposedly fixed by not spanking. I remember 3 spankings when I was a kid. One for reaching to get a pencil that was on the same table as my dad's gun. he set me up, totally planned it. he wanted me to REMEMBER ALWAYS to not EVER reach for or near a gun. It was NOT hard or vicious, it was a normal spanking, 2 swats on my tushie. It also was an important safety lesson. He was a security guard and that gun was part of his job. It came home and got locked up, but things can happen and he wanted me to be safe for always. Later I got gun safety, but I was 4 and that was what I needed to know. The other time was for teasing the dog. My mom spanked me because we just are NOT mean to animals. It was deserved and I DID know better. I didn't do it again. I knwo there were more, but those were ones I remembered because they TAUGHT ME something important. Just as they were designed to do.

    Spanking is an easy scapegoat solution for a problem so complex we can't really even study it.
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Re spanking and firearms - when husband was active duty, he had to clean his gun almost every night. Knowing what I do now about it, I can see the living room floor - on a cloth - being the best place. Onyxx and Jett both learned that they could sit and watch, but to reach for even a piece would get their hand lightly smacked and a loud, "NO".

    Later - Jett was about 6 and Onyxx 9 - we took them out to the farm with the rifle, to show them what it could do to a tree. Scared the SNOT out of Onyxx - and Jett thought it was cool but refused to touch the rifle. Since then? Both are interested in target shooting, preferably with a BB gun, and that's it. We have a rifle, 2 .22s and a handgun (I think it's a .45 but I am not sure). All with locks. Ammo is in a locked case. But the kids have never shown any interest unless we are going out for target practice.