Should I Treat my Child Like a Criminal?

@kcoregon (303)
United States
August 3, 2009 11:19am CST
Ok I just want to warn you that you may feel offended by this discussion. I just wanted to put my ideas and opinions out there and hope that I can get some civil responses and have an interesting discussion. My question is: Why do you think that spanking your child is a good thing for the child and their behavior? If spanking or phsycial punishment did good in making sure they don't repeat the behavior then why don't they use this on criminals? Now I know people will say because children are immature and spanking them is a basic approach that makes them understand what they did was wrong. But I wonder how effective is this sort of punishment if the child is going to out again and cause trouble, only now they will probably find a way to better cover themselves up so that they won't get spanked for it. And yet somebody will go out and murder someone and all they get is jail time. Stuck in a cell, they still get to have contact with the outside world through letters, they still get their cigarettes and drugs, they can still make weapons and kill other criminals in the jail with them, they get jobs, they get to live life just in a more confined way. And if they behave themselves they may get the chance to be thrown back out into society again. Does it seem that there is more focus on disciplining our children than to discipline adults? I mean even adults who don't do something worthy of going to prison still make mistakes. Some even know better not to do something but do it anyway. Should we punish ourselves in the same way by allowing someone to physically harm us to teach us a lesson?
11 responses
@mommaj (22773)
• United States
3 Aug 09
Great discussion. First, let me say I have an autistic child so I don't believe in spanking. Secondly, we did use to punish people more physically but along came ACLU and other groups that said in was "inhumane". Spanking an adult would do a lot more for punishment than what we give criminals now. I don't believe spanking children unless they can decipher the correction technique. If one was to spank my son, all he would get out of it is that it is okay to hit. That's not the message I want conveyed. As far as spanking adults for punishment I believe it is still used in other cultures and it is called caning.
1 person likes this
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
3 Aug 09
Yes I understand that other cultures to practice physical punishment for criminals. But here in the US we are soft on our criminals. I think we are harder on our children then we are on these adults of mature body and minds that can better think for themselves and know better. The problem I see with spanking is that it is often saught after as a universal approach to disciplining. Not to mention that by spanking your child you are causing them physical harm. It is in my experience as a mother that I am trying to protect my child from harm not be the cause of it. Also I find it funny that if someone were to smack their dog because it had an accident in the house or it chewed up the couch then people would be very disapproving. But if a child messed up the couch like this then it is appropriate to hit them on their bottoms. You can say that dogs don't really understand what is wrong or right and yet there is a thing called dog obedience training. Which means that yes they can be taught right and wrong. Just like we teach our children. Sorry for rambling on. But yes I agree that the punishment should be related to the bad behavior and the same form of discipline shouldn't be used in every instance or with every child.
@kprofgames (3025)
• United States
4 Aug 09
Sometimes I think the connection is lost between what our system is supposed to do and what it does. I see where you are going here, but seriously if capital punishment were out there more for repeat offenders - don't you think those repeat offenders would take a second look are their own life style? Seriously, if you are under the threat of punishment - and we're not talking cable with 3 square meals a day and a gym at your own disposal, we're talking serious punishment - don't you think they would 'rethink' after their second offense? I for one spanked all my children till about the age of 4 or 5. I tend to reason with them more (children are not stupid) and if they could prove 100% why they thought they were right then it came down to yes they are right. However, the job as a parent is to make the child see the big picture. I would take them out of the box of their own reasoning and help them see how their actions effect others. I will say this and please, lets be adults here, but I think most of the parents who do spank, aren't in tune with their own children. Spank first, ask questions later. I'm the opposite, I'll walk them through it and then ask, do you need to be spanked for that? or sometimes they would come up with an alternative for example, then knew they did wrong so they have to time themselves out or seriously they'd take 10 minutes of chorse. I think outside the box and I want my children to too. So in doing so I MAKE them take responsibility for their actions. Yes I use this with spanking, but I also HEAR them when they speak. I think that is the world of difference.
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@Miloque (130)
• Philippines
3 Aug 09
Ahh... Birching, the most ancient but effective way of disciplinary action. As a father of two highly active children, I personally seldom use this method. Most of the time, I try to do a little diplomacy by way of suggesting other better activities. Yet when one of them is really intentionally doing bad things, then I spank them on either the hand (which has done the wrong deed) or near the buttocks (which must be done lightly and not too hard). Then I explain why I have to do it. Spanking children and not explaining why only increases their anxiety and rebellious outrage. But once explained fully, then chances are they won't repeat the deed again. And speaking of using spanking on inmates... not a bad idea. It can be both psychologically helpful and socially uplifting. Maybe the cops will send an older relative to do it, or a person dressed as a judge. I got a different idea of punishment for criminals. First, I'd be blindfolding them inside a dark room with some lit candles around. Then, they need to sit still on a chair while the song "Anak" by Freddie Aguilar is played repeatedly (or some other "moral songs" used for Catholic retreat sessions). And while it is played, the officer in charge speaks softly to the culprit's ears... "Remember how your parents loved you? How they sacrificed their all just to raise you up? Don't you have any conscience? What do you think they're thinking now?" Something to that line of thought.
@cwong77 (2011)
• Malaysia
3 Aug 09
kcoregon, good discussion here.. I am not in support of spanking child, as we never know will this spanking give a adverse result instead of disciplining the child instead. However, at times, if a parent has used up all the means, and by spanking it give the child some 'memory' that it's wrong, then it's just a way we have to resort to it. As for adult, I agree with you that some of them are just being not scare of the cell or even the caning happen in jail, and keep going the same way even though they know it's not a good way. I have heard a story of an ex-criminal going back to the old path being reason that he just couldn't survive back in the society after being released from the cell. He did it again, and wanted to be caught as then he can be confided and have his life spend in cell than the outside world, reason being he is being 'look down' by the society. And, NO! we should not punich ourselves by allowing someone to physically harm us, and we should have thought about the consequences more before we have any action taken. I have also come across people who regretted their action, basically coz they have not thought about the consequences before taking the action.. sometimes, anger and other negative elements are the one that causes all this too.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Aug 09
I think that if a child is raised with discipline then it will follow them into adulthood and they will not become criminals. I also think that the prison system is to soft. They get cable TV (I do not have cable), they also have a regulated temperature to live in (I turn the heaters on in my house when it gets really cold and the ac when it hits 90). There is also not real work, these people are not productive members of society. Honestly I think that criminals should be treated like children. Spanking has a place in parenting, but there are other methods that are just as effective. Recently my nephew made a big mistake while he was at my house and he was grounded from everything that required electricity. It was very effective and because I do not watch tv much it was also very easy. Also during this time he had to do some spring cleaning. At the end of the day he was not only tired but he had learned a few cleaning skills (and my house remained quiet) I think the same type of idea should be applied to criminals, make life hard, and have them work hard. Not only will they sleep good at night but they will also learn skills If prison life was not so easy then people would not go back.
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
3 Aug 09
I agree that we should make them work hard and they should not have all of the priviledges that they do. But I disagree that children who were disciplined well all grow up to be law abiding citizens. There are many times where the criminal grew up in a loving home but because of external factors outside of the home they have gone down the wrong path or simply because they have a tendency towards doing bad things-as I believe some people do have this and no amount of correctional actions or punishment will change them.
• India
4 Aug 09
well, let me tell you from personal experience that the adage ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ is true to some extent. Children need to be physically punished or spanked to instill a fear in them...fear of being beaten again if they repeat the same mistake. While what you say is also correct that they might find better ways to cover up, that will happen only if the child is disciplined or spanked all the time. But what we hear nowadays about not raising your hand on your child AT ALL is totally wrong…I have tried it with my son with the consequences that he is no longer scared of me…he knows that I am open to all discussions and debates and he can come home and tell me anything that he might have done…he knows he can do it coz the fear of being physically hurt is not there at all. Oh OK…I have taken out his TV time and his internet time but I feel that nothing effects a child more than physical punishment and its accompanying humiliation. So a child has to be hit sometime or the other to instill a sense of discipline, awe and fear of the parent. it is definitely not the same as torturing or flogging a criminal
• United States
4 Aug 09
Its not what you do when they are bad it's what you do when they are good. Yes have punishment's.Then on the other had have rewards. When they do some thing good give them some thing good. Now I am not saying give them a iPOD for every good grade or every time they clean there room.Make there favorite meal. Go see a movie.It does not have to be big but do some thing. Or they will see.... I do some thing dad I get punishment. I do some thing good I get nothing. At that point they will do what they want,and what they want may not be what you want.
@silverglint (2001)
• Philippines
4 Aug 09
I think that spanking is best for little children, as they grow older, punishment for misbehavior changes to being grounded or having benefits withheld from the teenagers. Spanking is for little kids because they are still too young to understand things completely and the only thing they can understand is that if they disobeyed, they will get hurt. For them physical pain is what they are most aware of. People become criminals because they were not guided properly while they are still young. If you are able to curb or stop a bad habit while a person is young then chances are they will not repeat it again when they are already old. The very important thing to be taught is the respect of authority and obedience to rules.
• China
4 Aug 09
in some countries there are spanking punishment for criminals. I think for adults, there are more ethical standard to follow. To give physical punishment to adults about tiny mistakes seems impossible. Compared with children, adults are more audacious and easy to forget, maybe we need more stern punishement :).
@dorannmwin (36695)
• United States
3 Aug 09
Now that I really think about it, when I punish my older child it is in a sort of way that is similar to the way that a criminal is punished. She gets grounded. She has to stay in the house and most of the time in her room for the duration of her punishment. She's not allowed to go outside and play with her friends but she is able to go on with her life in a more sheltered way. Yes, while she is grounded if she behaves really well I will let her off of her restrictions early. I also use some spanking with my children as well, but it is a more effective method for my 2-year-old than my 6-year-old. It's pretty much a reverse of Pavlov's dogs in psychology and thus I think it is more effective with a more simple mind.
@YoungInLove (1254)
• Canada
3 Aug 09
I think if my parents would ave phsyically disciplined me, it would make me resent them, and Id rebel even more becuase I was so mad that they would resort to doing that. My parents arent intimidating so I think id just be even more of a nuisance if that was the case. Now if ym parents were REALLY initimdating, and used physical discipline, maybe id be scared and smarten up.