Hundredth Monkey Time

Word is getting around about corporal punishment. The science is coming in.

That’s a good thing, I’m not complaining. Check out these Time articles, brought to my attention by Morgan – on WordPress, she’s here:

http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/61364609/

and here are the articles:

http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/28/would-you-record-yourself-spanking-your-kids/

and

http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/02/physical-punishment-increases-your-kids-risk-of-mental-illness/

There is starting to be a lot of this stuff, and it’s good stuff. The first article states that something like 80% of families in a study that recorded their family households were recorded using corporal punishment methods – perhaps a surprise for those who haven’t raised kids yet, that so many resort to it – and these were families that knew they were being recorded. This seems new to me, mainstream press that states that corporal punishment is not going away.

The second article pretty much lists all the extra risks that corporally punished kids are in for throughout their life, as compared to less “spanked” people.

Again, all good info, I’m not complaining.

OK, I’m complaining.

This looks good, I think we may be on the brink of the Hundredth Monkey effect here, in terms of corporal punishment, it may be that professionals at least, and maybe even parents are getting the idea that it’s not good for us after all.

But all this talk about “corporal punishment” is misguided. It assumes there is some other kind, which there isn’t. How can any punishment be enforced, if not physically? We may wish to impose a non-corporal form of discipline, but it is in the enforcement that it becomes physical; it is in the imposition of it wherein the physical part lies. Be honest:

Why would our kids accept our punishments if we weren’t willing to back it up? Why would a person be “grounded” if they had no idea that there is anything to enforce it? Again, be honest: what is a punishment if we don’t make it happen? It all rests upon physical means ultimately.

So, if we’re heading into Hundredth Monkey territory, if this idea is going to take hold, let’s be honest about it, lets grab this opportunity and make sure a true idea, a real-life idea is the one that takes hold, and that idea is this:

It is punishment that is the cause of these poor outcomes. There is no harmless variety, all punishment is ultimately corporal; we are corporal beings, after all. What sorts of punishments would not be? Mental, psychological, emotional? Do those who decry only corporal types of punishment advocate for the mental variety? Are we to promote psychological punishment, emotional punishment?

This is an all-or-nothing sort of thing.

The question is not “HOW should I hurt my kid,” it is “SHOULD I hurt my kid,” and the answer is, of course, “no.”

The question is punishment or not. Make no mistake, do not be fooled my imitations, the science is coming in, but it needs to take one more step. People are being hurt by punishment, and the problem is THAT they are being hurt, not HOW they are being hurt.

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