It All Starts when We Punish our Kids, #3

It all starts when we punish our kids.

What “all starts?” Well . . .

  1. Misogyny.

First of all, violence breeds violence and the received violence in childhood punishments is the main root of violence generally (see part #2).

Second, male violence upon women has a terrible secondary effect on the world, and that is modeling gender violence for any children who have to live with it and see it. Anyone who sympathizes with the feminist movement must admit that if this modeling matters, then the modeling of adult violence on children must also matter (perhaps this also fits better in part #2).

Third, another aspect of misogyny we must admit is that it is transmitted by everyone in society; that is to say, it is a disease that affects us all, and one that we all transmit, despite that only half of us suffer directly with the symptoms. Much of all our early education, much of misogyny included, is very likely given to us by our mothers, our primary caregivers.

Much less a part of the usual conversations on the topic of violence, it may be that more of childhood punishing is performed by the primary caregiver, and in much of the world, throughout much of history and still true today here in North America, the primary caregivers are women. Is it too much of a stretch to consider that much of misogynistic violence may be the expression of infantile and childhood rage against the gender who punished us?

Here’s the rest of the series:

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/08/25/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-4/

 

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/07/19/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-2/

 

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/07/19/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-1/

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It All Starts when We Punish our Kids, #2

It all starts when we punish our kids.

What “all starts?” Well . . .

  1. Violence.

This hasn’t changed, despite what we like to think: punishment is violence. All punishment is ultimately physical. Even if in a particular instance a child can be punished without force, if a child is convinced to “take his medicine” in the form of a “timeout” or a grounding, or the loss of a privilege, this punishment is still backed up and made possible only by force and/or violence; the child has learned from past experience that he must accept his non-corporal punishment or see things escalate. Most likely, the child has learned this very young indeed, as a baby and/or toddler, when he is pre-verbal and there really are no non-corporal options.

 

Every instance of punishing models the use of negative stimulus as a way for the parents to get what they want – the very definition of violence and coercion. Plus, actions really do speak louder than words, and so this is what is modelled, despite how often the intended lesson is to discourage that very thing, violence. “Bullying” is the unauthorised version of this very behaviour: making someone’s life worse because they do something you don’t like. Nearly all forms of violence follow this model and the differences are mostly only in the degree of the violence. The difference between “discipline” and abuse is often only a matter of the degree: the principle is the same. Most folks don’t think you shouldn’t hurt a child. Mostly we only think we shouldn’t hurt a child “too much.”

Here’s the rest of the series:

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/08/25/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-4/

 

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/07/20/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-3/

 

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/07/19/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-1/

It All Starts when We Punish our Kids, #1

It all starts when we punish our kids.

What “all starts?” Well . . .

1. Religion.

Our children, human children are born helpless, can’t even lift their heads, can’t so much as roll over, so our babies’ first experience of us is of all-powerful, all-providing beings. If we add punishing to that, the child’s experience is of an all-powerful, all-providing being that is also vengeful and punitive, one that must have things all their own way.

Sound familiar? After some months and years of this world, the only world the child has ever known, if we introduce the Judeo Christian (and Islamic) God, then this will fit the child’s worldview. That God will make sense to a child who lives in that world –

– So in this sense, punishment lays the groundwork for religion. This is why the religious, and the fundamentalist religious are so tightly bound to their belief: they have always known the basic narrative of the Punishing God to be true.

Here’s the rest of the series:

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/08/25/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-4/

 

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/07/20/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-3/

 

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2014/07/19/it-all-starts-when-we-punish-our-kids-2/