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Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Do Unto Others, Karma, What Comes around..." Children and Discipline

     I don't have a problem with the idea of Corporal Punishment. In fact, I LIKE it..... as long as it's administered only to adults who hit children. Before anyone gets adamant about their right to discipline their children through inflicting pain to the body, remember it was not too long ago here in the United States that it was common "love" for women to be "disciplined" in this way. Here's a common advertisement from the 1950's, before women's rights took hold.
     Ridiculous to most of us now, yet this is exactly how I grew up. I had to be in charge of all household duties from the age of nine, and if dinner or breakfast wasn't perfect, it got thrown at me, and I was beaten. This was  "Normal" for the subculture of a home I lived in, and not too far divorced from the times. So you don't hit your kids "that" hard. How hard would you like to be hit if it were called for? Can you hear this? The question was not, "Would you like to be hit?" or "Would you prefer not to be hit?" It's, "How hard?" Does this sound ridiculous or even humorous? Let's keep going.
     Most of us have heard of the concept of "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you." Most of us would agree with it, I think.
     Most of us adults would probably agree that if someone was upset with us, we'd have the right not to be hit in any way, further that if anyone even tried there should be laws in place to protect us, and maybe even get the aggressor off the streets where they couldn't do that again.
     We don't always extend these ideas to children. I'm shocked at the number of people who proudly talk of hitting kids, spanking, slapping or whatever you want to call it. It is a different area of the body, so maybe if we were out in public and someone was upset with you, it would be ok if they hit you, as long as it was "out of love" and on the right part of your body.
     Let me understand if I can. It's ok if the person is smaller, weaker and of a certain age to spank/hit/slap (on the right body part/s) if you don't like what they are doing and if it's "out of love," right? And only if it's a child, or maybe it's still women or perhaps people of a different color?
    I can't seem to think that way. What I can do is think ahead.
   Most people don't think ahead, rather they go retro with spanking with statements like, "My mom/dad tore my backside up, and I turned out just fine!" (They are entitled to that opinion, ofcourse. I'm sure by how they talk, it was a lovely experience. I just can't seem to identify.) They use their past experience as a way to justify hitting/spanking/slapping (the right body part, ofcourse) children today. I can understand using one's experience.
   I can see the logic, somewhat, but what if we apply, "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you?" That's right. Let's go *future* with this! Whatever you do to your kid today, expect them to do to you eventually. You may have a point. I'm getting on your side. This may work. I'm willing to have an open mind. Let's look at it.
  You're presently bigger and stronger, and if you don't like what children do, you *discipline* them with some form of a hit on a specific body part/s. It has an effect of changing behaviors sometimes and hey, It didn't mess you up as a kid, right? It's your responsibility to teach your kids, and that's what you're doing...More power to you!
    You are teaching them exactly how to treat you.
     Let's go far into the future. It's been a good life. You're old, not as strong as you used to be. You may even be weak and you may have shrunk some. You did a good job. You're kids are now big and strong.
     Now about spanking.
      What's going to happen when you grown child doesn't like what you do?
      Appaulling? Yes. Criminal? Yes. Heartless? Yes. (Unless they do it "out of love?" After all, you did it to them, "and they turned out just fine.") Besides, there is a big difference between a child and an elderly person. One is smaller and weaker, and ....wait. Nevermind.
       Maybe it's not all that bad.  I do try to see both sides of every situation. You'd never really want to hurt a kid. You're not that kind of person, afterall.  Maybe you're not five times bigger and stronger than your child. Maybe you're just twice as big and twice as strong. In that case, when you're say 94, we'd only appoint someone two times your size and strength to have a go at your backside...."because they love you."
      "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you."
        Have a good laugh if you will, and enjoy your Karma. We always get back what we give.
        There's good news though. If you want patience, understanding and compassion when you're old and small, you have the opportunity to start stocking that account now. Give patience, understanding, and compassion the next time your kid messes up, and you'll teach them to give you the same. If your kids are grown, it's still not too late. Begin now showing them understanding, compassion and acceptance, and this will return to you.
   So the next time you hear someone say, "It didn't hurt me," ask yourself, "WILL it hurt me?"...and if you can, remember the disciplines of positive reinforcement, the times someone liked what you did and said so, remember the smiles, and a pat on the back that just maybe, had something to do with the good person you are today.
To my children: I'll let you go daily, and wait open arms for your return. I'll celebrate every achievement of yours, and I'll remind you that I'm proud of you if you feel you fail. I'll smile at the sticky hands, hair spray and grass stains, or play pat-a-cake with you for as long as you want. I'll listen to your stories, without judgement, and encourage your dreams, because one day I'll be small again, and you'll treat me as I've treated you, with love that doesn't hit people.
  Again, many defend their right to hit children (again, spank, slap, backhand, switch, etc.), and many still defend their right to hit women and people of other colors. As for today, neither I nor my children or grandchildren are property. No one is being hit, and to the dismay of avid hitters, no one has been imprisoned for lack of beatings. (Again, your word for hitting of choice may replace "beating," "hitting" etc.)
Below is a link to the "Children's Bill of Rights."
   How do you want to teach them to treat you when you are old?
tina jones

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