Violence can damage kids

AS Christian Malcolm Stafford is in favour of punishing children by hitting them with a rod (South Wales Argus , January 17) I wonder if he could kindly state exactly at which point such corporal punishment becomes abuse? Given that such physical violence can, to cite just one example, affect the development of the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex and can lead to a variety of personality disorders and impulsive anti-social behaviours.

Perhaps Malcolm Stafford prefers to use the Bible (a book written by a bunch of superstitious goat herders) as a guide to caring for children but I will stick to 21st century, well-researched scientific advice.

Malcolm Stafford is also remarkably ignorant of the fact that Jesus actually endorsed the entirety of Old Testament Law i.e Matthew 5:18-19. As a guide to modern day morality the Bible is woeful to say the least.

Terry Banfield Cardigan Crescent Cwmbran

Comments (6)

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4:31pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Mervyn James says...

Lack of discipline and rules is far worse than an sore backside. The no smacking advocates, suggest you tell a child to behave just by telling them to sit on the naughty chair, what fantasy do these people live in ? If a child has no deterrent, he/she will assume they can do what they like.. what am I saying ? they already DO think that. Spare the rod spoil the child is in the bible too.

I was brought up with a clip around the ear, and the cane in school, at what point is it abuse ? when in excess, but it appears whenever anyone thinks it is that's the problem, we cannot just do NOTHING and expect a child will self learn.
Lack of discipline and rules is far worse than an sore backside. The no smacking advocates, suggest you tell a child to behave just by telling them to sit on the naughty chair, what fantasy do these people live in ? If a child has no deterrent, he/she will assume they can do what they like.. what am I saying ? they already DO think that. Spare the rod spoil the child is in the bible too. I was brought up with a clip around the ear, and the cane in school, at what point is it abuse ? when in excess, but it appears whenever anyone thinks it is that's the problem, we cannot just do NOTHING and expect a child will self learn. Mervyn James

2:12am Fri 25 Jan 13

P C Neilson says...

It's not necessary now. With all the research into cognitive behaviours and new understanding of how we work, there is simply no excuse for 'whupings' to even be on the list for behavioral adjustment of children.

Only an ignorant or lazy parent would choose hitting a child when there are other methods available. A little bit of effort in learning and behavioral modification on the adults behalf is all that is needed. Certainly before resorting to hitting a child that is no doubt experimenting with boundaries and building social skills. It's abuse 'now' because we know better. It's the adults responsibility to know about these things. Doing nothing is equally careless.

Another example of how science and civilisation makes morality better. There is everything to gain by learning about ourselves on an intimate level.
It's not necessary now. With all the research into cognitive behaviours and new understanding of how we work, there is simply no excuse for 'whupings' to even be on the list for behavioral adjustment of children. Only an ignorant or lazy parent would choose hitting a child when there are other methods available. A little bit of effort in learning and behavioral modification on the adults behalf is all that is needed. Certainly before resorting to hitting a child that is no doubt experimenting with boundaries and building social skills. It's abuse 'now' because we know better. It's the adults responsibility to know about these things. Doing nothing is equally careless. Another example of how science and civilisation makes morality better. There is everything to gain by learning about ourselves on an intimate level. P C Neilson

9:37am Fri 25 Jan 13

Mervyn James says...

This is psycho-babble, kids are far too clever to fall for that. I think part of the problem is a parent not doing anything, either via their own behaviour example, or because this rambling spare the rod sector is holding legal action over their heads, what you sow WE reap that's the problem. Children are not to be negotiated with they don't have the maturity, and will exploit any grey area and how ! Kids are more clever than we are, and will run rings around people like you.
This is psycho-babble, kids are far too clever to fall for that. I think part of the problem is a parent not doing anything, either via their own behaviour example, or because this rambling spare the rod sector is holding legal action over their heads, what you sow WE reap that's the problem. Children are not to be negotiated with they don't have the maturity, and will exploit any grey area and how ! Kids are more clever than we are, and will run rings around people like you. Mervyn James

1:54pm Fri 25 Jan 13

P C Neilson says...

Mervyn James wrote:
This is psycho-babble, kids are far too clever to fall for that. I think part of the problem is a parent not doing anything, either via their own behaviour example, or because this rambling spare the rod sector is holding legal action over their heads, what you sow WE reap that's the problem. Children are not to be negotiated with they don't have the maturity, and will exploit any grey area and how ! Kids are more clever than we are, and will run rings around people like you.
And people like you will rightly be punished by our legal system. See how that works Merv? No, I don't really think that of you, nor would I be so presumptious. You are guilty of the old 'straw man fallacy' here. Those kids must be pure evil masterminds.

Kids are not "more clever than we are" at least I hope that isn't true in most cases. How could they be, when they lack the maturity. I detect from your prose that you are from 'the old school' and have maybe misunderstood what I was getting at. (I'm not particularly young either).

The only way I could accept your ideas on discipline as the right way, would be if it were proven that, bad behaviour (within our cultural norms) was genetic or wilful destructiveness). This has largely been demonstrated to be untrue,

I don't know what you mean by 'psycho babble' but if you think that I mean it to be something like counselling or negotiating, then maybe I didn't express myself very well.

Children are like little scientists, contantly experimenting and exploring. An understanding of how people build a 'world model' in their minds and how we attach 'meanings' to everything we see and hear is well documented these days. Everyone that you meet has their own 'schema' and emotional style. Because of the way you were raised, and the surroundings that it occurred in, you are destined to respond to situations in a way that is a symptom of your internal model of what the world is like.

Your likes, dislikes, the type of woman that you are attracted to, and yes, how quickly you are likely to respond aggressively.

Nuero-science is making great waves in this field, and Sam Harris' book 'Free Will' is a life changing read. Armed with this knowledge I could never honestly say that hitting a child is a good form of learning.

Give it a chance before you file it away with the likes of Freud et al. Studying human behaviour is worthwhile, it helps to understand 'all' relationships (even those we should probably leave alone).

The onus is on the mature adult to shape the child into a high functioning and reasonable adult. We shouldn't just endure them. If they turn out disfunctional it isn't hard to run their history in reverse, even before they were born, to get to the bottom of it. At what point does it become neglect of care is the real question. A lot of it is luck I'm afraid.
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: This is psycho-babble, kids are far too clever to fall for that. I think part of the problem is a parent not doing anything, either via their own behaviour example, or because this rambling spare the rod sector is holding legal action over their heads, what you sow WE reap that's the problem. Children are not to be negotiated with they don't have the maturity, and will exploit any grey area and how ! Kids are more clever than we are, and will run rings around people like you.[/p][/quote]And people like you will rightly be punished by our legal system. See how that works Merv? No, I don't really think that of you, nor would I be so presumptious. You are guilty of the old 'straw man fallacy' here. Those kids must be pure evil masterminds. Kids are not "more clever than we are" at least I hope that isn't true in most cases. How could they be, when they lack the maturity. I detect from your prose that you are from 'the old school' and have maybe misunderstood what I was getting at. (I'm not particularly young either). The only way I could accept your ideas on discipline as the right way, would be if it were proven that, bad behaviour (within our cultural norms) was genetic or wilful destructiveness). This has largely been demonstrated to be untrue, I don't know what you mean by 'psycho babble' but if you think that I mean it to be something like counselling or negotiating, then maybe I didn't express myself very well. Children are like little scientists, contantly experimenting and exploring. An understanding of how people build a 'world model' in their minds and how we attach 'meanings' to everything we see and hear is well documented these days. Everyone that you meet has their own 'schema' and emotional style. Because of the way you were raised, and the surroundings that it occurred in, you are destined to respond to situations in a way that is a symptom of your internal model of what the world is like. Your likes, dislikes, the type of woman that you are attracted to, and yes, how quickly you are likely to respond aggressively. Nuero-science is making great waves in this field, and Sam Harris' book 'Free Will' is a life changing read. Armed with this knowledge I could never honestly say that hitting a child is a good form of learning. Give it a chance before you file it away with the likes of Freud et al. Studying human behaviour is worthwhile, it helps to understand 'all' relationships (even those we should probably leave alone). The onus is on the mature adult to shape the child into a high functioning and reasonable adult. We shouldn't just endure them. If they turn out disfunctional it isn't hard to run their history in reverse, even before they were born, to get to the bottom of it. At what point does it become neglect of care is the real question. A lot of it is luck I'm afraid. P C Neilson

8:02pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Mervyn James says...

Kids are not born with any inherent sense of doing the right thing the right way. That is why parents have to teach them and then schools and society 'norms' hone them (Or not!). Of course the onus is primarily ON parents. Some of these kids live in multi-uncle families with brothers and sisters all with differing fathers/mothers/gran
dparents, the nuclear family is dead. There IS no viable 'parent/family' to work with in many cases. So who do you advocate sets the rules ? Psychiatrists, social workers ? who ? PC idiots with nothing better to do than create work for courts ?

A smacked behind or back of the leg is not violence, unless it is applied for no reason, or, is excessive. Define excessive, we need an allowance made, I suggest common sense.
Kids are not born with any inherent sense of doing the right thing the right way. That is why parents have to teach them and then schools and society 'norms' hone them (Or not!). Of course the onus is primarily ON parents. Some of these kids live in multi-uncle families with brothers and sisters all with differing fathers/mothers/gran dparents, the nuclear family is dead. There IS no viable 'parent/family' to work with in many cases. So who do you advocate sets the rules ? Psychiatrists, social workers ? who ? PC idiots with nothing better to do than create work for courts ? A smacked behind or back of the leg is not violence, unless it is applied for no reason, or, is excessive. Define excessive, we need an allowance made, I suggest common sense. Mervyn James

2:39pm Sat 26 Jan 13

P C Neilson says...

It's not the discipline that's wrong, it's the violence. I'm always wary of unnecessary legislation and how the government seldom executes the correct strategy. I don't want a nanny state either so we must help ourselves.

If attitudes on parenting haven't caught up with the law in poorer families, then it is a problem with education on this subject. I think we used to have parenting classes in Britain, but this is the kind of 'band aid' near sighted solution that a politician would come up with. No, I think we need to target the children themselves.

I have long thought that sociology and psychology should be compulsory in all schools, because I think it is good for every human being to intimately understand what it means to be a human, how our personalities are shaped and how our actions affect others. You can't be responsible for repeat bad behaviour until you understand why it's bad. Reason and empathy are great personality traits to nurture.

It might take a few generations to see a cultural change, but at least it would be a change for the better, and for the 'right' reasons and not because the law will punish us.

It's practical and hitting the root of the problem.
It's not the discipline that's wrong, it's the violence. I'm always wary of unnecessary legislation and how the government seldom executes the correct strategy. I don't want a nanny state either so we must help ourselves. If attitudes on parenting haven't caught up with the law in poorer families, then it is a problem with education on this subject. I think we used to have parenting classes in Britain, but this is the kind of 'band aid' near sighted solution that a politician would come up with. No, I think we need to target the children themselves. I have long thought that sociology and psychology should be compulsory in all schools, because I think it is good for every human being to intimately understand what it means to be a human, how our personalities are shaped and how our actions affect others. You can't be responsible for repeat bad behaviour until you understand why it's bad. Reason and empathy are great personality traits to nurture. It might take a few generations to see a cultural change, but at least it would be a change for the better, and for the 'right' reasons and not because the law will punish us. It's practical and hitting the root of the problem. P C Neilson

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