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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Who, then, would you like to respond, if all of us who haven't raised children are not allowed?


013,

That is taking a statement out of context.

I continue to be surprised by the responses.

For a group of former debaters there are times where I wonder if you have forgotten all that you learned.

I did not say you could not respond. I challenged anyone and everyone to provide some evidence that they have a better way than the one they are complaining against.

I am very early in my current introduction to debate class for this year. One of the things I covered last night is that "complaining is not debating". So far on this thread I have heard a lot of complaining, but I have not heard anyone say specifically what they are going to do be better than their parents.

In basic debate terms we are stuck on the Harms. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad.

Time to move on.

What is your plan?

When you debated you did not know about the UN, criminal justice, Russia, India, illegal immigration, etc.

That is all trivia when compared to child raising, especially when it comes to your own child. I doubt that God is going to hold you personally accountable for what happens in Russia or for what is going on with illegal immigration. But, I am sure he will hold you accountable for how you raise your child.

It won't be long before many of you are parents. If you hate what your parents did so much I would suggest you need to be better prepared for what you are going to to.

What is your plan?

Parenting is not a new thing. In fact, some wise guy said there is nothing new under the sun. You will not invent an all new, never been done before parenting that works perfectly. So whether you choose to or not, you will be following some path or pattern that has been done before.

If you care about your children, and you hate what your parents did, maybe it is time to at least start looking around and learning what the options are.

Children do not wait. They will start to challenge you parenting abilities almost immediately.

You have stated your harms.

What is your plan?

We are having a debate here, and a very important one. Go find some credible evidence that there are better ways.

Nick suggests the answers are found in "modern psychology and scientific nderstandings of child development". I will wait to address those subjects until someone puts forth some specifics.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Life is not a debate round - every discussion of harms and problems does not have to be accompanied by workability and plan texts. Simply bringing awareness through rhetoric to an unknown, or under-appreciated, problem is the only real world impact of debate discussions. In the real world, a judge doesn't enact the plan or policy proposed. The only "real thing" in the debate is the discussion and rhetoric itself.

To turn your debate analogy around on you... In advanced styles of debate, especially the ones I participated in college, they don't always hold to a traditional "harm-plan-advantage" style of 1A advocacy. Look up critical theory, kritiks, and rhetorical deconstruction. In fact, I've won plenty of rounds where I collapsed down to a rhetorical kritik. Your reliance on the solvency model of debate is simply pedestrian.

My plan? Use birth control until I'm ready to have children and educate myself about how to raise them without ignorantly beating them.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:45 pm 
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One thing I will not do in this thread is get into an extended debate on debate theory.

But, I will say that I think there is a reasonable basis to note that the standard "harm-plan-advantage" approach is a reasonable, real-world method for analyzing issues and making reasonable decisions. I do not get into debate theory beyond that because I have found that it is not a productive use of time for basic high school debates. I am more than well aware that many on this forum would disagree with that limitation, but it is not something I care to debate.

I am not citing basic debate theory to amuse myself or anyone else with debate issues. I am citing it because it can form a framework for sound decision making if you choose to allow it to do so. I am not arguing before the "judge". I am arguing before the readers of this thread. This is not a game. This is real life.

Call me pedestrian if you like (I probably am). Call me boring (I certainly am). Call me whatever you want (If you really think such to be the case, you may well be pretty close to the mark).

I continue to find the "awareness" goal difficult to accept as the real goal. The language being used is too strident for "awareness". You don't want people just to be aware. You want people to change their behavior. At that point I think you ought to be prepared to advocate something positive. "Stop..." is not positive. If you "stop..." "this", those that are doing "this" must change and do something else. What is it going to be? You are telling parents to stop parenting in a particular way. What should they do? "Stop" is not good enough.

"to raise them without ignorantly beating them."
All parents who spank are "ignorant"?
All parents who spank in any way at all are "beating"?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:59 pm 
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Ok, then stop bringing up debate theory and your experience as a debate coach as part of your argumentative formulation and foundation. I too have taught lots of debaters, even high schoolers from different continents speaking different languages. This isn't a spitting contest about who knows the most about debate, so there's no need for your passive condescension pointed towards me, 013, and Mindbender about our "debate skills," or what have you. All three of us could run circles around you on debate theory, so why don't we keep this debate in terms of real life and stay away from applying debate terminology to it?

Mr. Engel wrote:
"to raise them without ignorantly beating them."
All parents who spank are "ignorant"?
All parents who spank in any way at all are "beating"?


I'm not against discipline, or teaching your children how to discipline themselves with extrinsic rewards, I am against corporal punishment. This is not a radical theory, it's a fairly well-accepted fact of modern psychology and child development. I feel like spanking your children will just be another ancient tradition that society inevitably sheds to evolve as a species towards a greater appreciation of human rights, decency, and the sanctity of individuality.

I use words like beating and ignorant because it re-frames the debate, at least shows you how I conceptualize these actions and terms. I'm using charged rhetoric because that's all I have at my disposal. In my paradigm, spanking is just a word used to legitimize child abuse - violence towards children. I realize this is not a popular opinion here, or in conservative circles, but you can see the products of "spanking" first-hand in many testimonies from alumni. I do think parents who spank are ignorant of better, less violent methods of parenting.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:34 pm 
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"I use words like beating and ignorant because it re-frames the debate,"
And so it is a debate.
I have been intentionally using debate terminology to highlight what I considered to be avoidance of certain issues. I have then tried to make my case that just complaining about a problem is simply attacking with out being able to show something better. Whether anyone accepts that argument or not is ultimately up to them.

Why have I done this?
Because I believe that when the "alternatives" are put under the microscope there will be plenty of room for criticism of those as well. It will then not be an all one way street where all the criticism goes to those who think spanking (not beating) has a place.

I think Nick's position has been pretty obvious before this but I also felt like it was important to get it clearly stated.
"I use words like beating and ignorant because it re-frames the debate, at least shows you how I conceptualize these actions and terms. I'm using charged rhetoric because that's all I have at my disposal. In my paradigm, spanking is just a word used to legitimize child abuse - violence towards children. "
Nick is now clearly on record as stating that all spanking is "violence towards children".
Nick does recognize that this is probably not the general opinion on this forum. In fact, I have received a couple of PMs confirming that this is not the opinion of at least those sending me the notes.

As far as I am concerned all the pieces are on the table. It would be nice if others who support Nick would add their voices here as well. Nick has said he does not have time to cite specific psycology and modern child raising experts. Maybe some others can do so, and show specific findings on how those approaches are working out.

I really need to move on to other things for a season. I will be curious to see where this thread is in a week or two.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:51 pm 
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Mr. Engel wrote:
Nick does recognize that this is probably not the general opinion on this forum. In fact, I have received a couple of PMs confirming that this is not the opinion of at least those sending me the notes.

As far as I am concerned all the pieces are on the table. It would be nice if others who support Nick would add their voices here as well. Nick has said he does not have time to cite specific psycology and modern child raising experts. Maybe some others can do so, and show specific findings on how those approaches are working out.


Sure. I support Nick's position, and my parents have raised three children without resorting to violence. I know that it is much, much more difficult, but I believe non-violence is better and a more effective parenting style. My mother also began a (very successful) preschool and taught there for MANY years using the same non-violent, respectful methods. I know she has several parenting books that influenced her choices, and I will post those as soon as I can since you've asked for them. (I'm also really busy with school, unfortunately.)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:27 pm 
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Because someone asked how we forum-goers intend to parent, some random, rather vague thoughts of mine on parenting as I plan on conducting it - keep in mind that I'm 17, so this is hardly definitive.

1. Spanking as a last resort. This is what the Puritans believed, and it's been the policy of my parents. I hope to never have to spank my children, but I rather suspect that it will on VERY rare occasions be necessary. I think I'm the better for having been spanked by my parents - If anything I think too much leniency was given as I've grown up.

2. Discipline must be consistent. A child needs an orderly world, and they need to know that violating rules will bring some sort of consequences. This must not contradict the next point however.

3. Grace must reign. From first to last my parenting must focus on conveying in my actions and in my words the grace of God. Discipline may not always mean punishment if a truly repentant attitude is reached, and the child is broken over his or her sin. I feel like it's when transgressions have taken place and you're in a highly charged atmosphere that it's most important to communicate the gospel clearly.

Random thoughts -

A. TV. My children will not watch any television until they're at least 10 or 12. And even then it'll be strictly limited. Video games likewise will very much not form the core of their free time.

B. Sundays. My parents had a cute tradition when we were little. To get us to associate happy feelings with Sunday, they made Sunday a special day where we would "go to church and drink chocolate milk". :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:55 pm 
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John III wrote:
A. TV. My children will not watch any television until they're at least 10 or 12. And even then it'll be strictly limited. Video games likewise will very much not form the core of their free time.

I just want to say that this is a pretty good idea... my family didn't own a video game system until I was at least 14, and the only one we own is the Wii (which isn't as extreme as some systems). I cannot begin to tell how much time I have saved and how much better off I believe I am because of this.

EDIT:
I do want to mention, though, that a computer is an exception to the video game stuff--a computer is a tool, not a toy. At age 12, I knew more about programming and Excel than most of my current college classmates do now... and starting early has really given me an edge in the technology race. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:26 am 
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Yes, there is a lot of terrible media, but isn't banning "the talky box" a little old fashioned? Can I ask what your reasons are? I have found one of the biggest things I had to "catch up on" after leaving fundamentalist homeschooling was pop culture, that largely originates on television. Despite how mundane, inane, and even asinine television may seem, large segments of the population communicate through cultural references. I know, it's not good communication, but it's a reality. Having an extensive knowledge of television and movies gives you an instant, easy conversation topic. Television shows, even when they are full of sex and violence, can often give you a view through someone else's eyes - or to see a sub-culture in a new light.

I feel like banning video games is a bit like banning card games. Can someone explain the difference?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:55 am 
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If you'll excuse my stepping in--

Turning off the TV is a way to keep kids thinking about other things. From what I can tell, TV is a good way to "tune out" one's brain. I am fully aware that that's not its only effect, and that visual media can spark constructive discussion. However, I think a book is more constructive in that
a) it builds skills which are useful in everyday life [for example, I aced the reading/grammar section of the SAT not because I spent so much time studying, but because I read voraciously when I was younger. This built a foundation of good grammar that has served me well... although my forum posts may not always reflect that. ;)]
b) It does not strain one's eyes as much... this from experience.
c) TV's negative health effects. (2) Admittedly not the best sources on the planet, but these articles outline some of the basic issues I see.
d) My children in particular will probably inherit a behavior my mother and I share-- that once we begin watching something, it climbs in our heads and doesn't leave (eg I went through a phase where I thought of almost nothing but Doctor Who). For my kids' sake, I'd like to teach them to limit their consumption of visual media, particularly because so much of it has the objectionable content you mentioned.

I think that moderation is the rule here. I'd rather have television be a special treat, as taking the kids out to a good movie every other month (5+ kids wouldn't facilitate lots of theater going, and yes I'm one of those people who want lots of kids) or watching a show once a week, and have my kids be less literate in pop culture than have television be something they are 'extensively' acquainted with. I'd even prefer banning the television to having it be an every-day habit.
I understand what you mean about relating to other people, and that's part of the reason I'm grateful Sherlock and Doctor Who are fairly popular shows-- I have no desire to watch How I Met Your Mother or Breaking Bad. ;) But I think the reasons for strictly limiting visual media outweigh the reasons for understanding pop culture-- after all, there are other topics of conversation or areas of life to relate to the planet on.

W/rt video games:
Card games don't contain violent and/or sexual themes. (Unless you count "I, de, clare, war" or ten teenagers lunging to grab spoons as violent.) Again, I personally think moderation is the rule here (I enjoy a good game of Halo; I've always loved playing any version of Mario-- don't judge :P), but I'd rather ban them for a time than have my kids obsess over them. I've seen firsthand some of the negative effects of being addicted to a gaming set, and I'd rather my kids avoided that.

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Last edited by adnarim on Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:13 am 
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adnarim wrote:
From what I can tell, TV is a good way to "tune out" one's brain.

This is because you haven't seen Breaking Bad. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:11 am 
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With respect to video games vs. card games, two of the main differences are that video games are 1) less likely to require multiple players, and 2) much more immersive, and thus much easier to get addicted to. Vegetating on the couch by yourself all day playing CoD is common; solitaire, not so much.

Of course, to what degree this justifies restricting video games is another issue.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:29 am 
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Sk8erboy wrote:
I am against corporal punishment. This is not a radical theory, it's a fairly well-accepted fact of modern psychology and child development.
Define 'modern psychology.' What is now known that until recently was unknown? If spanking results in a child changing behavior in a way that is desirable to the parent, how do you draw a conclusion from 'modern psychology' that the child should not be spanked despite the potential result?
kingwill wrote:
adnarim wrote:
From what I can tell, TV is a good way to "tune out" one's brain.
This is because you haven't seen Breaking Bad. ;)
I was thinking exactly the same. :P There are also intellectually challenging and even artistically beautiful video games.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:31 am 
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kingwill wrote:
adnarim wrote:
From what I can tell, TV is a good way to "tune out" one's brain.

This is because you haven't seen Breaking Bad. ;)

:D Duly noted.
(If this wasn't clear already, I'm definitely not saying that visual media never sparks thought. I'm just saying that a "tune out" is often the effect.)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:14 am 
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The tune out you speak of is more a product of an active imagination than television. The "taking over of your mind" is really just your mind mulling over the themes, ideas, and perspectives communicated through visual and audible media. Great media and stories will take flight in your imagination - what's wrong with that!? That's one of the great things about being a kid! Of course, you shouldn't allow your kid unbridled access to media, television, and video games, but are y'all really saying "no television and video games before a certain age?" There are so many great educational video games for kids, essentially "tricking" them into learning in a fun an engaging way.

I feel like there's a lot of space between "allowing your kids to watch whatever they want on cable tv" and "we don't have a television." PBS, documentaries, especially those about nature can expose children to natural wonders and stir curiosity at a young age. Visual media and video games stirred some of my first passions, in history, politics, macro-problem solving (thanks Age of Empires!), and science. The key as a parent is to be discerning, to find what media will benefit your children and at what age certain topics are appropriate. Saying "television is always bad for young children" is like saying screens are intrinsically bad for society. Moderation is key - especially if looking at screens is damaging your health. And linking me to a Cracked.com article about television is not a good source. :-P

On the issue of video game addiction. Please point me to some established science on video games being "addicting." I think that is definitely the wrong term to use here. Plenty of people are addicted to gambling. Just like there are "levels" of intensity when it comes to gambling $1,000 and playing a game of poker for a candy bar, there are also levels of engaging and enveloping video games. It seems arcane to shut a child off entirely from screens and television in this highly modern age. Perhaps I've misunderstood.

It's also important to read the sources and truly understand what the studies you are citing are saying. In this case, the article you pointed me to says that kids who watch a light amount of tv (not NO tv) are brighter than "heavy TV" watchers.

Quote:
For this we’re going to reach back to a 1980 study, which makes it no less relevant today, published in the Journal of Broadcasting. This study included 625 students in the sixth through ninth grades attending a suburban-rural public school, where researchers compared high I.Q. students who were heavy TV watchers with equally bright students who watched little TV. They found significantly higher scores on a reading comprehension test among the low TV viewers. (5)


Many people with ADD/ADHD can actually be very productive with a television on in the background. I have literally written an entire book and done all the research while watching through endless seasons of television and random movies on Netflix. Sure, watching certain television can stifle creativity, but it's often in how you consume the media and what sort of media you choose to consume.

See this NYT article on how TV can have some good effects. I love this description of the allure of reality television:

Quote:
Reality programming borrowed another key ingredient from games: the intellectual labor of probing the system's rules for weak spots and opportunities. As each show discloses its conventions, and each participant reveals his or her personality traits and background, the intrigue in watching comes from figuring out how the participants should best navigate the environment that has been created for them. The pleasure in these shows comes not from watching other people being humiliated on national television; it comes from depositing other people in a complex, high-pressure environment where no established strategies exist and watching them find their bearings. That's why the water-cooler conversation about these shows invariably tracks in on the strategy displayed on the previous night's episode: why did Kwame pick Omarosa in that final round? What devious strategy is Richard Hatch concocting now?

When we watch these shows, the part of our brain that monitors the emotional lives of the people around us -- the part that tracks subtle shifts in intonation and gesture and facial expression -- scrutinizes the action on the screen, looking for clues. We trust certain characters implicitly and vote others off the island in a heartbeat. Traditional narrative shows also trigger emotional connections to the characters, but those connections don't have the same participatory effect, because traditional narratives aren't explicitly about strategy. The phrase ''Monday-morning quarterbacking'' describes the engaged feeling that spectators have in relation to games as opposed to stories. We absorb stories, but we second-guess games. Reality programming has brought that second-guessing to prime time, only the game in question revolves around social dexterity rather than the physical kind.


Halogen wrote:
Define 'modern psychology.' What is now known that until recently was unknown? If spanking results in a child changing behavior in a way that is desirable to the parent, how do you draw a conclusion from 'modern psychology' that the child should not be spanked despite the potential result?


Here are some recent publications about spanking and its impact on child development.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mor ... d-all-kids
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/241298.php

Science offers the possibility to empirically prove things. I feel like your question is essentially "how can you trust science?" Are you challenging my assumptions at a basic level or more specifically about my claim?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:21 am 
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And here is one of my favorite stories from this year. This is about a project where they dropped a bunch of tablet computers into an African village with no instructions and saw what the (mostly illiterate) people could do with them. The results were astonishing and speak to the potential educational power of hands-on learning like tablet computers offer.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/50 ... hemselves/

Quote:
After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.”

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:48 am 
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Sk8erboy wrote:
Science offers the possibility to empirically prove things. I feel like your question is essentially "how can you trust science?" Are you challenging my assumptions at a basic level or more specifically about my claim?
I invited you to explain why you believe what you believe (that spanking harms children) beyond stating that your belief has recently become more commonly believed.

In your own words.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:45 pm 
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013,

That is taking a statement out of context.

I continue to be surprised by the responses.

For a group of former debaters there are times where I wonder if you have forgotten all that you learned.

I did not say you could not respond. I challenged anyone and everyone to provide some evidence that they have a better way than the one they are complaining against.

I think a better way would be to not have the primary strategy be one of fear between child and parent. That puts up boundaries between the two parties, limiting the parent's ability to connect and have a relationship with the child later on. I did 2 minutes of research and found that the data seems to support this idea rather conclusively: (http://www.ericdigests.org/1992-3/parents.htm). The recommendations I found in this really quick literature review support what I have suspected from my own experience as being a child: the most effective parenting style is one which does not create fear, but instead a relationship of respect between parent and child where the parent sets firm boundaries, and the child knows why those boundaries exist. The child also knows that the parent cares and loves for them. Systemic fear and authoritarian discipline are not required.

But, the reason I said what I said is because I get really tired of being looked down upon by homeschooling parents because I am not a parent yet (or not yet married, or more recently "not married long enough"). I have been told multiple times that I am essentially not allowed to speak. It's a ridiculous position and probably the lowest one can possibly go in a discussion. The impression I get from reading your responses is that you tend toward that sentiment--the statement I originally quoted certainly seemed to cap that sentiment off. It's a pet peeve of mine.

That is not to say I think that the "anti-Pearl" responses on this thread have all been great--frankly everyone's being a bit ostentatious--but your comment sparked enough emotion in me for me to respond.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:50 pm 
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I would like to chime in - if I had kids and they were below 12 or so, I'd highly limit their TV use. Personally I hate watching most TV and would pick a book over a show I'm a bit interested in. However, I have noticed that I miss a large amount of cultural references made by my peers from private or public school. Is wasting hours watching something mostly noneducational worth the chuckles you can get in a conversation?

Reading is by far the better choice, IMO. The downside is that it can be much more difficult to find people in "real life" to discuss books with. I brought up the Dune books with a few guys at karate and they gave me blank stares - "Wasn't there a movie about that? Sandworms? It was a pretty bad movie." (Finding someone who has read the Dresden Files is even harder...)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:09 am
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Location: La Grande, OR
It's not just about "chuckles in a conversation," it's about human connection through shared experience.

Halogen wrote:
I invited you to explain why you believe what you believe (that spanking harms children) beyond stating that your belief has recently become more commonly believed.

In your own words.


In my opinion, spanking introduces children to the idea that violence is an acceptable way to enforce submission to authority. I do not think that violence and physical pain are necessary to teach and discipline children. Instead, I would essentially use "mind games" that involve using extrinsic rewards to encourage and discourage certain behaviors. I do not believe that children are born with an innate sinfulness and rebelliousness that must be "spanked away." I believe that children naturally want to develop their own identities and beliefs. Spanking, in the name of taming rebellion and sin, is often more about enforcing certain adherence to the parent's interpretation of fundamentalist ideology. I believe that children are much smarter and more capable of reason than most adults give them credit for. I believe that spanking is a lazy parenting technique used by people who are generally not educated in other methods. And, like the collective activity of becoming intoxicated on alcohol, we have ritualized and rationalized the consequences of spanking as a rite of passage.

I think that about spells it out. You will see better explanations of these ideas in the links I provided.

_________________
-Nick

You think you're radical
But you're not so radical
In fact, you're fanatical
Fanatical


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