Teens, and how experience colors reactions to spanking

In May, 2004, [email protected] responded to this from another unschooling parent:

" They never realized that there was anything wrong with it when it was done to them, so they continue the behavior because that's what they think is normal. "

Right. "And *I* turned out just fine" seems to be the mantra.


DD14 [14 year old daughter] just told me about a conversation along these lines.

She performed in a recital/musical theatre revue on Saturday. It involved all ages, but her own peer group within the "company" is six or seven girls and a couple of boys, age 13-16 or so. (A couple are homeschooled, none is unschooled except DD, but a few others do have thoughtful, mindful parents.) They'd been together in the theatre almost around the clock, what with dress rehearsal and an earlier show that day, and they were cooling their heels in the wings in costume, before the first number of the second show.

As DD tells it, someone mentioned what a brat one of the youngest dancers was, what a pain, why didn't her parents make her behave better, be quieter and less of a prima donna. DD helps work with the younger ones and knows them pretty well, so she said oh, no, really they're all great kids.

Several of the others turned on her and said not this one, this one needs lots more discipline, her parents spank her but apparently not hard enough or often enough (shocking the few who it seems, like DD, had never been spanked or slapped or even given a "time-out.".)

One of these girls suggested maybe all the spanking and swatting could be part of the problem rather than the answer, to a chorus of angry denial from those who grew up being hit by their parents. They started telling stories to show being spanked was necessary to being raised right, saying "DUH - that's why they call it *discipline*!" and that it had made them moral and well-behaved -- if ganging up to make mean remarks about some smaller child in your circle can be considered moral or well-behaved

What was really interesting though, and the reason I bring it up now, is that DD said she realized at that point there was nothing to say. At least there was nothing anyone who'd never been hit or punished could say. Her few gently parented peers there just seemed to sense that anything they said would sound like a put-down of someone else's parents. And that it wouldn't help anybody, anyway.

Here is the Power of Story I see in this. By the teen years, being spanked and smacked becomes something its victims must either internalize and defend, or break from their family's teachings to reject (two really poor life choices for a young teen, imo). But NOT being smacked and spanked seems by the teen years to foster a natural, internal kind of moral, well-behaved sensitivity (one that even the girls themselves weren't conscious of).

These lovely, thoughtful, beautifully mannered, compassionate and happy girls were just sad and felt sorry about what others had been taught to believe, and so today I'm thinking of this as one of the first world windows through which DD and her similarly parented peers are seeing for themselves the logical results of how humans treat each other -- and DD and I both are despairing of how to ever share this with those who've had other sensibilities beaten into (or out of) them.


Request to use this, and the great response:
Please ask your daughter if it's okay if I add this to the spanking stories page.

It's a really, really good story. If she's nervous about it, I'd understand and won't press. If she wants to add or tell it in her own words or whatever that would be great. I'll put as much or as little (or nothing) as she wants.


"She says okay, Sandra. I am smiling because she seems a little baffled at why folks would be that interested, but she says fine with her. :) JJ "

Tell her it will keep some future kids from being spanked at all, and I very much appreciate her letting me use it.

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