catapult magazine

catapult magazine




Aug 17 2006
10:17 pm

not so sure about the spanking. my parents spanked me and my sibs and it was generally ineffective. i always interpreted it as more indicative of their anger then the wrongness of the particular action i was punished for, i.e. they were irrationally lashing out at me b/c they didn’t know how to control my behaviour, which to begin with was not hellchildish just willful. i am not a serial killer, i doubt very much that i would have become one if they had not spanked me. i feel that the use of violence to teach tends to instill in children that violence is an acceptable response to situations where they feel threatened or uncomfortable, therefore generally unbeneficial.

i have nephews and nieces that are getting to the age where they need disipline and my sibs prefer (i think will never spank) to instruct with words, positive reinforcement, and the removal of priviledges. that is, you should do this but not this and you did x so you have to sit in the corner for x minutes, which for a 3 year old is tough. any experience or perspective you parents have, i’d be interested in hearing.

and norbert, the spraying children with water is a bit bizzare. i know that it widely practiced in disciplining animals, particularly cats who dislike the shock of a spritz of water in the face. the point being to have the animal associate the negative consequence, water in the face, with the particular action and than doesn’t do the unwanted behaviour again.

there is an interesting article at the nytimes on using animal training methods in human relationships, it is also a podcast you can download, but here is the link.