Nov 18Liked by Aporia

“Can you imagine professional societies opposing the two most effective medications for Covid-19? That is exactly what has happened with respect to actions for treating oppositional behaviour problems in young children.”

Why yes, yes I can.

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Simply put, I think spanking is mostly not harmful. Context is everything though. It is certainly not a zero sum issue.

I was spanked occasionally by my parents from the ages of about 4-9..and I am grateful for it. It’s complex because each family is different.

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This, of course, is part of for the course with the APA and any official statement they make. It’s motivated by politics, not a search for truth, and so they just cherry pick facts to meet their desired narrative.

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Interesting discussion. I have no opinion about the merits and demerits of spanking. But "advice about parental discipline is getting better"? Nothing is getting better about the raising of children in the 'Liberal' West. One huge thing - the decline of the two parent family - is getting worse and worse and this tragedy DWARFS all other issues. Within such two parent families as do still exist, my guess is that things are about the same as they've always been (apart of course from the huge changes wrought by the smart phone).

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Finally, I was always suspicious of this narrative of spanking children always bad

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Regardless of your contrived justification for 'spanking', the reality remains that violence is to be abhorred and modelling it is inevitably detrimental.

No, I cannot support my statement with systematic reviews or meta-analyses but I strongly suspect that such is because appropriate studies are difficult to organise and probably haven't been done.

Another problem I have with this appalling 'advice' to those who care for children is that it gives no account of context or consequences in the short, medium or long term.

The article is a simplistic analysis, (if indeed that is not too generous an assessment), and is irresponsible for it reinforces the specious arguments of those who see 'might is right' and physical violence as appropriate behaviours. It also ignores the reality that those who bully, which is effectively what those who spank are doing, is quite likely to not only become a habitual reponse but an increasingly severe one.

Those who use pretensions of academic credibility do both research and themselves a disservice. Sadly, far too many lay-people will use such falacious information as evidence justifying their assault on children or whatever other conditioned or common prejudice to which they have become victim. As such, an article such as this is totally irresponsible.

'Spanking' or any physical assault of a child by an adult, parent or not, constitutes abuse. It *is* that simple.

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Parents who let their child abuse others or get themselves into dangerous situations because they hate the idea of spanking are failing their child.

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Should school be compulsory? Some children suffer continuously and horribly from bullying yet are forced to attend the place of torment. Some children kill themselves. This seems to me a far more serious problem than physical chastisement at home. The fact that parents are targeted before institutions is typical of our age.

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You people are missing the point

Spanking is authoritarian parenting. Authoritarian parenting is destructive to the child. Call it overcontroling parenting or whatever else you want.

It stems from emotional immaturity of the parents who don't have patience and demand submission and obedience over acceptance. Basically the parents are having toddlers who are controlling because it is about their needs and no one else's.

It is the lazy parent's parenting style. It lacks love and leaves the children emotionally parenting themselves and their parenta. Every parent who practices it deserves the broken hearts that will come from it.

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Here's what I can't figure out.

The same parent who will be aghast at the idea of spanking will have absolutely no qualms about putting their child on ADHD drugs like Ritalin.

A spank on the bottom (a well-padded place) causes momentary pain, and absolutely no long-term physical damage. Whereas a course of a methamphetamine like Ritalin can and does permanently damage the developing brain of a child.

I know what I'd prefer for myself.

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What about animals?

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Just an intuition, but I sense that there may be an unease/disgust reaction involved here. Spanking (or whatever word we use for the intentional administering of a surprise/shock/pain/humiliation reaction) just *seems* weird. And one of the reasons for that is the breakthrough of BDSM into mainstream sex talk, entertainment and practice.

Instinctively I can't separate the concept of actual 'disciplinary' physical intervention and playful 'discipline', in my own mind.

This may sound like a leap, but I have a hunch that many of us 'kinkier' adults appropriated spanking as a fun thing. So involving children now makes most of us balk.

So just maybe there's more to this than our instincts about society going 'soft' on bad behaviour for ideological reasons.

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Please go away. I have done nothing that you've said. I am tired of your spurious allegations and will respect no adult who considers that hitting children is reasonable behaviour. It is not.

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Yes, using a shock collar to train a dog is definitely abuse and there is much evidence that supports this. Links to a small example of what animal organisations and scientific studies report in relation to shock collar use are listed below:

* https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-are-the-animal-welfare-issues-with-electric-shock-collars-on-dogs/

* https://spca.bc.ca/ways-to-help/take-action/animals-in-the-home/the-shocking-truth-about-electronic-collars/5-reasons-not-to-use-a-shock-collar/

* https://positively.com/dog-training/methods-equipment/training-equipment/shock-collars/

* https://www.vetvoice.com.au/articles/shock-horror-electric-shock-collars/

* http://www.kristibenson.com/blog/2019/12/3/a-list-of-things-that-shock-collars-are-not

* https://www.jonesanimalbehavior.com/post/what-does-science-say-about-shock

* https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00508/full

* https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168159106003820

There are many more.

Fundamentally, it is indisputable that positive reinforcement is far more effective and *not* harmful to the dog. Indeed, this is generally true in regard to behaviour change. Punitive measures may change behaviour but, effectively, they do so by bullying and the principle of 'might is right' - they punish behaviour with increasing severity until the victim obeys.

There are major issues with such methods, such as:

* Stress and fear induced in the animal

* Destruction of trust

* Permanent psychological effects

* Risk of permanent physical harm to the animal

* Perpetrator failure to consider alternative training means

* Inappropriate modelling to others

The reality is that: *There is no necessity for punitive & harmful or potentially harmful methods to be used for training an animal.* Indeed, such methods do not 'train', they simply intimidate by causing the animal to associate an unpleasant, (sometimes very harsh), association with a particular behaviour such that the try to avoid it. Aversive methods such as this have many flaws but a major one is that, although they may alter behaviour, they do nothing to promote investigation of underlying causes for the behaviour and so discovery of possible remedies.

I began training dogs in the 1950's. I have trained a great variety of breeds of dogs for general pet owners. I have also trained police and security dogs, including for the armed forces. Whilst once using a check chain, (the ubiquitous references to 'choke' chain are false and show a lack of understanding of correct application of this method), which was effective and in my experience never harmed or hurt any dog under my supervision, I have not used the method for several decades.

I had always used positive reinforcement as my main tool but hadn't considered that the check chain may be a contradiction to my belief that I care for and would never intentionally harm a dog, (or indeed any animal). I had always had strong bonding with animals I trained and never once had a dog I trained indicated any indication of physical or mental damage, indeed I had strong bonding with all dogs in my care. Howver, once I recognised how much inappropriate and harmful use of check chains was being caused by 'pet owners' and other, much of it inadvertently and through a lack of understanding of how to use it properly, I decided it was not appropriate to model such behaviour and so I stopped using it.

Having made that decision, it was relatively simple to discover positive, non-aversive, training methods and, in any case, I was already using them to a great degree in conjuction with check-chain use. In fact, the vast majority of my training did not involve use of the check chain in any way.

I now feel happier that I use no potentially risk prone methods and achieve certainly as good results as previously and probably even better ones.

Put simply - yes we can change behaviour by 'might is right', forceful control but surely no caring, compassionate and intelligent individual would choose to do so at any time, let alone when it is completely unnecessary to do so for there are kind, caring and positively supportive alternatives.

Take care. Stay safe. ☮️

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