To Natalie: I’d like to address a few of the points you made: Discipline, i.e. spanking, can be very effective, depending on the child. ‘Hitting’ and ‘abuse’ is not discipline. I find that most, not all, people against spanking as a form of discipline were often abused under the guise of ‘discipline.’ Some children do not respond to that form of discipline.
Spankings usually involves swatting the child on the buttocks or paddling the hand. It is not to be done in anger (but, most times, it is). Your boyfriend hitting you is abuse. What’s the difference? Usually, when you’re being abused or hit by your boyfriend, it involves a few, if not one of the following: Shoving, pushing, slapping, punching, kicking, etc. Inflicting this type of behavior on a girlfriend, child or another individual can lead to serious trouble with the law (i.e. charges of aggravated assault, child abuse, etc.). It’s cool to go to your friends for some things, but they won’t always know or have the right answer because they’re probably going through the same things you’re experiencing. After all, would you go to a child psychologist who actually was a child? Or go to a dermatologist who had acne? As far as being spanked for fighting, most of the time the child is disciplined for fighting and/or starting/picking fights. Are you equating fighting with a spanking? Tell me, when was the last time you or someone you knew had a fight that involved swatting the buttocks and/or paddling the hand? Most of the fights I’ve seen were ‘battle royales’ or ‘fights to the finish,’ nowhere similar to spankings.
To Mark: I think most honest-hearted parents are doing their best to raise positive children in a society deluged with negative influences. I’m not rallying a ‘spank your child’ campaign, but I do believe there should be discipline that’s effective and applied when needed. And as far as ‘acculturating’ their children, most of the parents haven’t ‘acculturated’ themselves, so can you expect them to do so for their children? I tend to see parents spoiling their children more than disciplining them – bribing them with gifts or candy in an effort to ‘cajole’ them into behaving, which I don’t condone.