Who REALLY Teaches People to Hit Children?
When the subject of spanking comes up on unschooling lists or discussion boards, and it does every few months, there are inevitably some parents who just don't believe that anyone REALLY recommends spanking. And even if they know a few people, or one church, maybe, they don't believe it's a general belief and teaching. Here is some evidence for this widespread teaching that children should be hit. (and at the end, some anti-spanking sites particular to this aspect of the problem)
Cameron went to a friend's 8th grade commencement yesterday (here in the Christian South). The *old* headmistress spoke to the crowd. Cameron said that she said the "S" word no less than 7-8 times (he said it could have been much more--he was so stunned!). She kept telling the parents that DISCPLINE was so important. That they shouldn't be afraid to spank. That spanking was good. That to spank was to show their children that they love them. That the world needs more spanking. This went on and on. I was appalled that someone could get away with this in public--in a public address!
His girlfriend (who went to this school last year) said that there were STILL school paddlings when she was there last year. I haven't asked Devon whether it's still going on, but judging by the speech yesterday, it must be!
Articles/pages like yours, Sandra, are desperately needed.
> > > People don't spank because they're conservative Christian;
> > Many DO. They'll even show you how to DO it properly!
They showed us at our Church. It was awful. We had a ten week parenting study last fall. They told us how to spank with the kitchen spatula. I was just sitting there thinking, I can't believe I'm hearing this. It's a Fundamentalist Church and we are ready to escape from all that.(I really like the links sent through previously about the people who escaped fundamentalism) Thank goodness I found this list and some other good ones. We've been changing just about everything over the last few months, all for the better :-).
[and the same mom wrote this:]
One thing I haven't seen mentioned. The Church leaders may also advise you not to tell people that you use the rod as correction. I know that is what they said in our parenting study. I think the exact wording was you have to be careful who you tell (about using the rod for correction) since people who aren't Christians, or more specifically aren't fundamentalists, may not understand and may report you. Pretty sad really but they did stress that point. So people may not even be honest with you if you ask them if they spank. We are in New England so Fundamentalism isn't as prevalent as in the bible belt but it's still there and almost all of the people I personally know, who follow that religion do spank. Plus when you are in that sort of Church it is easier than you might think to fall prey to their teachings, you don't always realize it is happening until you are away from the situation.
I've discovered by getting out of that world that there is a huge population of Christians who don't identify with the fundamentalist born again movement. I think they hardly know it exists. Mainline denominations that are non-evangelical often don't have an awareness that there are plenty of vocal Christians who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and who take the commandments therein literally (not open to interpretation).
Perhaps the term conservative is alarming [to someone who] feels she is a conservative person or is conservative politically or in most of her Christian beliefs and therefore feels lumped into this label.
But Christian fundamentalists (often evangelicals) use the terms conservative and fundamentalist interchangeably and there is a distinct movement that teaches these things. I was in it! (And the parents who spank often are not angry people! I know so many who aren't. They use it as a tool to train their children. I don't happen to agree with it but I don't think assuming they are all pathologically angry is accurate either. They sincerely believe that they are being obedient to God and are raising godly kids.)
It is a movement that incorporates a lot more than spanking. Here are some of the authors people read who hold this view:
[Someone had written:] People don't spank because they're conservative Christian; they spank because they haven't learned to manage their anger and frustration in a healthy manner.
That's a nice way of saying that it's an individual choice and each person is responsible for themselves, but it ignores reality.
There are churches, not just a few but many, where parents who don't spank their children will be subjected to extreme pressure from the leadership and members.
There are books, not just a few but many, that instruct in the how and why and when of spanking to save your child's soul.
There are talks at homeschooling conferences on Biblical discipline that include admonishment that not spanking is disobeying the word of God. There are chapters in homeschooling books that explain the same.
These books and speakers and churches are overwhelmingly conservative Christian.
When people spank because their pastors and friends and paid speakers and books all tell them it's their duty to their children and their God, that to not spank their children is to withhold love from them, it's disingenious for others to say that it's not because they're conservative Christian.
We're talking about groups like this: http://shop.nogreaterjoy.org/product_info.php/cPath/1_14/products_id/69 The book To Train Up a Child is for sale there. You can read the first chapter right on that site. It is very troubling. This is the stuff that some Christian parents are taking seriously. It is, in my opinion, the kind of stuff that gives Christians a very bad name. It is not supposed to be what Christianity is about. :(
They actually suggest setting a child up, so that you can "train" him (with a switch) not to touch things that he shouldn't. That way your children will obey you in public, and people will marvel at your well behaved children:
and to make a wiggly toddler sit still on your lap:
Australian writer, apparently secular, promoting spanking to prevent monsters in Australia: http://www.ourcivilisation.com/public/chap5b.htm
List of Christian Sites posted by Tia Leshke, to assist one mom needing backup:
May I print this out and show to my sister in law? She and my nephew are in town visiting and I have discovered (by her proud admittance) that she is using a belt on my 8yo nephew.