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I put this up as a response in another topic, but I thought it deserved a post of its own. Corporal punishment of children, what are your views? This is my experience.
When I was a boy in school they had corporal punishment where they used a cane. I lived in a small country town when I was eleven and got caned by a teacher. That night I secretly dressed, ran across town to where I knew the teacher lived and I put a brick through his window. Every time I was subject to corporal punishment as a child I got revenge, someway, somehow. I even said to my father one day, when I was about 7, someday I'll be big enough to hit you back. I paid the price for that comment, but that day came and I still remember that day, 55 years later, with satisfaction, horror and grief for the young man I became. This is my greatest argument against corporal punishment: children don't forget, they will get you back and even if they don't, you have irrevocably changed that child's identity and their idea of fairness and managing conflict. It took me 20 years more before I was able to let go of the violence I was trained into and before that day came, I deeply regret that I hurt a lot of people. I have since raised a child of my own. Not once did I hit or yell at her, but it did require some creativity to develop effective discipline.

Cyklone 7 May 12

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@Cyklone , surely you exaggerate.

Was the young man you became really so awful that you remember him with horror and grief?

Or does guilt for how you got even with your father compel you say that?

My father was occasionally violent. He paid dearly to send five kids to Catholic schools and before he died he knew all of us had thrown his religion away. IMO, revenge can be very sweet.

He hung himself when I was 16. No guilt for getting him back, horror or maybe ptsd from seeing him crawling, mewling up the passageway bleeding everywhere after I smashed him over the head with an iron bar while he was raping my mother, when I was around 14. And that was only one of many, many incidents. The police would wait around the corner until the screaming stopped before coming to tell him he was a bad boy. Grief for what could have been. (silly, right?) Horror at myself, perhaps slightly exaggerated but the older I get the more I deeply regret the hurt I went on to cause to others until I learned better.

@Cyklone Adequately explained. Thank you. That your youthful years were so awful saddens me.

@yvilletom Thank you, past history for me now, the truly sad thing is that my story is so common and keeps happening.


Before deciding on whether or not it's appropriate within families, perhaps we should begin with institutionalized corporal punishment? There remain a significant number of states where corporal punishment is permitted in the schools.


Take a look at the map. It should come as no surprise that many of the same states that were the last to integrate the schools, fought against interracial marriage until overridden by the Supreme Court and opposed gay marriage, continue to permit corporal punishment. When will these people ever learn?

Perhaps it's institutionalised because it's accepted as okay within families or is hidden within families. The chicken or the egg. It needs to be addressed at all levels of society.

@Cyklone I don't disagree that all levels need to be addressed, but the low hanging fruit is the public schools. Banning corporal punishment at the hands of teachers and principals in the public schools would seem less of challenge than banning such in private or parochial schools and churches. To ban corporal punishment in the home will be the last and most difficult hurdle.

@p-nullifidian true...


Corporal punishment sends the wrong message. If punishment is to be meted out, violence should never be involved.

We see how often police misuse their guns with terrible consequences. Too many members of the general population would abuse the chance to wield corporal punishment.



My father was a fundamentalist Christian in Alabama that beat me severely, now he's dead, next!
(He died from colon cancer in 2001, sadly I didn't kill him.)
I hope it hurt him more than every other pain in his life.
I never hit my two daughters, they grew up fine.

My father was an atheist. He did us the favour of killing himself when I was 16, which probably saved me from a murder charge. I went to his funeral to make sure it was him in the coffin and that he was dead.


Parents have a right to spank a child. They also are subject to criminal liability for child abuse. I think beyond spanking a small child for their own safety, parents would be advised to not hit their kids. Corporal punishment in school? I was subjected to it, but I think that needs to be left up to parents, who shouldn't do it either.

My father spanked me, but my mother never did. I paid him back. If I'm like that then others are too. There are better methods than spanking. Spanking just sends the message that it's ok to hit people you love. Current research shows that spanking dramatically increases anxiety in children and that increased anxiety inhibits learning. In effect you are knocking the lesson out of them

@Cyklone Paid him back? How did you do that?

@barjoe When I was old enough, in my teens, I paid him back in kind with my fists, the first time I would have been 13 and he was drunk and assaulting another. A couple of times when I was a child, 8ish, I tried to poison him. Once I stole acid from school chem lab to use against him, but it didn't work. Thankfully for my wellbeing I was unsuccessful. Violence is transactional and just creates more violence, regardless of age. Violence may have its uses, but never as a "teaching aid". The only time I've ever found it justified was in defence against violence.

@Cyklone My old man was like 6'5" 260lb, so even the year he passed away, he was not someone most people would wanna fuck with. He never put his hands on us, he was a gentle giant. My 5' tall mother used to beat us pretty good when we were little, specifically me. I would never raise my hands to my parents. Mom use to smack me as an adult lol. She was a sweet lady, don't get me wrong. I loved her so much.

I was her caregiver the last few years of her life, she had dementia. I was basically the only person she hit until her Alzheimer's got the best of her. She "beat up" a couple caregivers and the agency wouldn't send people to her place anymore. She felt they were invading her space.

You're right about violence breading more violence, my aunt once told me their mom used to beat the crap out of all of them. Raising kids to think that violence is normal behavior.

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