Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Corporal Punishment

What do you all think about corporal punishment? In case you don't understand about it, that's a catch-all term for using any kind of intimidation to discipline your kids. In some ways I think it's wrong, but it depends on the level of punishment and how much you use. Giving a child a slap on the butt every now and then can not harm that child. But I've seen parents really lay into a child, including my own. When my ma used to start spanking us, she didn't want to stop until her arm got tired. And often, she spanked us for the silliest reasons! I remember one time, while my father was visiting his family in Mexico, ma went crazy! She made us some fried chicken, and the outside of the chicken was hard and rubbery while the inside was red and still bleeding. I think the chicken was also still cackling too! I swore it screamed when I bit down on it! LOL! Anyway, ma started a regime that night that any time either I or my sis didn't eat everything off our plates, she was going to start spanking us with a wooden spoon. She couldn't have picked a worse meal to start that rule, because her fried chicken that night really sucked! We had to eat that crap, and she sat out in the family room and waited until we were done. She would check on us every now and then, and if she happened to be looking into the dining room and one of us was not eating at the time she looked in on us, that one would get spanked with a wooden spoon. It was tough. I got to a point where, while ma wasn't looking, I got so disgusted with that chicken, I just up and threw it away. Well, while I was standing over the garbage can in the kitchen, the family room door opened and ma asked me what I was throwing away. I took a disgusted sigh and told her I was just throwing away the bones. Of course I lied! I was tired of being spanked with that darn wooden spoon!!! But ma did not believe me, and she looked in the garbage can and saw the half-eaten chicken pieces in there, and spanked me yet again! I can't recall how many times either Anna or I got spanked during that dinner alone. Too many to count. Ma spanked us if she didn't see us chewing our food when she looked into the dining room. She spanked me for throwing away the pieces of chicken I thought were too disgusting to eat. I'd swear she slapped Anna for chewing with her mouth open! I know I puked a little in the back of my throat after taking one bite of that chicken. It was that disgusting! Ma was not a very good cook. She doesn't believe in adding seasonings to anything, and back then she used to use the microwave to defrost meat.

It wasn't until pa came back from his vacation visiting his family that I finally found out what ma's problem was. She was angry that pa went on that vacation without her, and ma often feared that pa would cheat on her with another woman. He never did though, but ma always feared that. I don't know what ma thought she was accomplishing by taking out her anger on me and Anna. Maybe it's like the story of Medea? Maybe ma was trying to kill us? Or drive us critically insane! She almost came to that point herself. The beatings got so bad at home, Anna and I once tried to run away from home! I remember asking some of our neighbors if they would take us in. And I didn't want to return home until pa came back. But no one would take us in, and ma came around and got us and took us back home again. I had no choice! Ma wouldn't let us run away again, so I had to just wait for pa there at home, where ma was still going loony. That was way back in 1982, that's the year in my life that I hate the most! Fuck 1982!! I call that the year my ma went crazy. I wish I could just snuff out that year. Go directly from 1981 to 1983. 1983 was a much better year! hehe! But this blog is not about what year is better, I'm talking about corporal punishment.

My ma's a different person now. She and my pa are divorced and ma remarried to a man she absolutely adores! But as far as I know, she's never spanked his kids, and she raised them. Their ma wouldn't raise them at all. In fact, they spent most of their growing up years being raised by their father and my mother. Their mother unfortunately was too lazy to raise them.

Anyway, shit happens. I carry no grudges against ma for that. But at the same time, I am glad those days are gone. The reason I am thinking about this subject today is because I saw an article about this in the sidebar. It talks about how corporal punishment ruins children. It lowers their self-esteem, it lowers their IQ (if that's true, then I could have been a genius with an IQ of more than 180! Instead of the 149 I'm stuck at now!) It is also said to make children more aggressive and more likely to do drugs, commit crimes, or even commit suicide. I know spanking is less popular today, and in fact I believe something like 39(?) countries have banned any kind of corporal punishment. But when I was a kid, teen suicides were very rare. We had bullies, but we also did not have any laws against bullying either like we do now. There were some cruel kids, but it seems to be a lot worse now. Now, I see kids totally disrespecting adults, and my parents would have killed me if I did that when I was younger. But then I don't know. Maybe adults back then were more deserving of respect. I don't believe in spanking kids for doing every little thing that kids do, like we were. But I also don't believe in reasoning with children as if they were adults. I mean seriously! These are kids! They are not yet on adult levels! There's something about trying to reason with a child, like one would with an adult, that seems tumultuously wrong to me. Kids don't know any better. You try treating a child like an adult, they're going to think they are adults. It's my guess that this is why today's kids are so bad. Because kids today are being treated at the same level as adults, they must think they are superior to adults. Rebellion is more likely to set in earlier. When I was younger, it didn't set in until my teenage years. But in today's kids, it's likely to set in sooner and last a lot longer.

Of course I know some kids never get spanked and turn out fine, I've seen it happen. But then their parents probably spent a lot of time with those kids. Even let the kids open up to them a lot, even when the kids were in bad spirits. When we were kids, we were never allowed to have an opinion about anything. It was always either my parent's way or the highway. Literally! I used to tell my troubles to whomever would listen. That was my only outlet back then. I became afraid of telling my parents how I felt because it always meant we would get punishment of some sort. Usually my friends in school got the brunt of my parental-inflicted anger. By the time I was done with school, the people I had as my friends were the kinds that were the most loyal of all. All the "fair-weather" friends usually got weeded out before the next semester. LOL! I've also seen some kids that came from abusive homes and did not turn out like the kids in this study did. I guess it depends on the child. My ma and I are like friends now. She still does not like me to tell her about her faults though, but we are a lot more like friends now than like mother-daughter. I always look forward to her visits. Although she rarely comes here because she still lives in WA.

Of course I still believe there are limits to what a parent should do to get a child to mind them. I mean, how would you like to be raised by this man:

This dude is for real! He really did make this video for all his daughter's friends to see. Here's the link to the video on his daughter's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/tommyjordaniii/posts/299559803434210
This video has already gone viral on YouTube. This is more than corporal punishment! This is corporal punishment at it's most extreme! I can't even begin to imagine what having parents like this is like. His poor daughter must be like Hell! Watching this video, now I know why today's kids are worse than they've ever been before.
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