A lot of parents claim "it doesn't hurt, they're only crying because they're in trouble," which I think is BS. Two-year-olds don't cry just because they're in trouble. You can yell at them all you want and they won't even bat an eye, but the instant you start hitting them, of course they're going to cry.
Personally I've always thought of spanking as a form of sexual assault, since touching one's butt without consent is sexual harrassment. But again, parents justify hitting their kids there of all places "because it's naturally well padded and therefore it hurts a lot less." Yeah, right.
I think the only time pain is an acceptable punishment is if the kid purposely inflicted pain on someone else to begin with. Let the punishment fit the crime. If the kid calls someone bad names, call that kid bad names so he knows how it feels. If the kid stole or broke something on purpose, steal or break one of his things. Spankings only teach kids to fear punishment, not to care about the true consequences of their actions. If I had kids, I would want them to be good because they care about others, not because they simply don't want to be punished if they're bad.
The last time I was actually hit was when I was five years old and I was swinging the mirror on the wall. Afterwards, my parents said that they'd only hurt me in discipline if I was doing something dangerous. But I agree with you that physical pain is what makes little kids cry rather than them being in trouble. They're not self-aware enough. But now, whenever I do something morally wrong, the guilt is enough. However, the idea that a kid should be treated the way they treated someone else is something I'm not sure about. It's basically the same way I feel about capital punishment. If society deems murder wrong, why is it OK for them to murder someone, even if they are a killer themselves? The punishment does need to stop the kid from whatever they did, but in a way so they know why they shouldn't have done it. But I wouldn't give an eye for an eye, even in a minor case. But in NZ, there was a law against hitting a kid for a short time. I definitely think that it does hurt, and although I shouldn't really dictate beliefs, I really want all parents to learn that the way they discipline kids can be cruel. OK, I'm rambling. If I carry on, I'm going to start ranting about all forms of discipline that I find unfair on kids, so I'll sign off now.
I think a big part of it depends on their age and what they did, as well as the intent behind it. Like, was it mere disobedience, recklessness, or done with malicious intent? If I see a 10-year-old kicking an animal, you'd better believe I'm gonna kick his ass - literally! I feel very, very strongly about animal abuse. Animals can't speak up or defend themselves the way humans (even kids) can. A much younger kid, I would just yell at and ground for a few days, because they don't quite understand the suffering of others at a young age.
I think one of the worst "acceptable" punishments is making a kid stand out in public holding a sign that says what they did wrong. It is NOT the public's business what he did, and the parents are no better than school bullies, because that's what bullies do: they purposely humiliate you in front of others. That's the ONE thing parents shouldn't do. If a kid can't even count on their parents to be their protectors from bullying, then what's to stop them from committing suicide like so many other victims of bullies in recent years? If it were me, I think I'd be more apt to kill myself after being treated that way by a parent rather than just some guy at school. But that's me.
No, I see what you mean. I can't imagine a kid being forced to tell the world that they did something wrong. What I hate most, though, is when a kid does something accidental, and authority figures refuse to believe that it wasn't deliberate. I was holding something in the wrong way once when I was about ten in a class, and I got told off for it. I apologized and said I would try to hold it correctly. That should have been the end of it, but the teacher basically called me a liar and claimed to know my thoughts. If her thoughts were true, I was deliberately doing things wrong, and felt no remorse for it, which I wasn't. That's even worse than having an out-of-porportion punishment.
Too bad that as kids we usually don't think of a good enough comeback until it's far too late. Like asking her why the hell you would deliberately do it wrong and thereby make yourself look stupid and disobedient? I bet she wouldn't have had an answer to that.
I had something very similar happen when I was in third grade. A classmate asked me to hand them scissors, and as I was busy with something else I just picked them up and handed them to the kid without paying any attention. That kid went and told the teacher (who was a HUGE bitch) that I was "threatening" him with the scissors, just because I handed them to him with the pointed end toward him. And of course I got in trouble for that.
Another time, in that same class, I was reading a book and noticed half a page missing. It looked like the bottom half had been torn out, but the odd thing was that the text on what would have been the bottom half was actually printed on the following page, so I didn't even have to turn the torn page to read it, if you see what I mean. It was obviously a manufacturing error. I showed it to the bitch teacher, and she actually had the nerve to take out a pink slip and start writing me up for damaging the book. When I saw what she was doing, I clarified that I did not and could not have torn the page out, and pointed out the text printed on the following page. Once she realized I was right, she stopped writing me up, but to this day I just can't believe that she thought for even one second that I was to blame for the book. Not just because the error was so obvious, but because what kid in their right mind would willingly go tell their teacher they did a bad thing?
But then she was always so quick to punish me over the dumbest things. Like the time our class got to go to the music room and play with all the instruments (and that includes drums, trombones, saxophones, guitars, you name it). I was in trouble for I don't even remember what, but the teacher wouldn't let me play with any of the instruments. I had to just sit there and watch while the rest of my classmates had a blast. Over 20 years later and I have NEVER had the chance to play with instruments since. That day in 3rd grade was my only chance, and that bitch took it away from me and forced me to watch others have fun instead.
Which reminds me of something I've heard some child psychologists say: Unless your child does something really, really, REALLY bad, you should never punish them by taking away something extra special, such as barring them from attending a rare event like a concert of their favorite singer, because how many chances will they have in their lifetime to see them in concert? Never assume it will be more than once, because you never know if that singer will ever tour nearby again, or even die. That's why the kid has to have done something truly horrible to deserve that, otherwise the punishment far outweighs the crime.
It's OK, I do that too. And I enjoy reading these messages anyway. I was once punished harshly for arguing with some boys. They started it, but the teacher only punished me. And it was such a tiny thing, that I think the time outweighed the crime. Then it was assembly five minutes later, and I was left on my own, and I didn't know whether I was supposed to go back or stay. How can I do time if I don't know what it is? But the worst time (apart from the time when the teacher claimed to know my thoughts) was when I squirted a tiny bit of water at this kid when I was about six (it barely even touched him). He immediately turned it on me, squirted it all over my face, and then exaggerated my water attack to a teacher. When I told my truthful side of the story (and you'd think my watered face would convince her), she says "I'm going to believe him today". Understandable, since he ran off and told her, but you'd think that she could see that I was a lot more soaked then him. Also, what really annoys me is when authority figures don't ask the kid "why". If they don't know why, then how are they going to stop the offender from doing it again? There. Sorry about ranting again, but...well, you know what I'm like by now.
Seems like the only time they ask why is when the person committed a crime that is beyond forgiveness, such as murder. Like the guy who killed all those children at Sandy Hook Elementary, or the teenage boy who recently murdered his mother and sister after being "inspired" by Rob Zombie's "Halloween" movie. Why does their reason matter when they will never be forgiven for their crime, whether by the victim's family or by society in general? Nobody ever cares how tragic your life is, because "it's no excuse" to kill whoever you just killed. Know what I mean?