Why Hitting Children Is Insane

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Why Hitting Children Is Insane

Post  Andrew Gubb on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:11 am

My response to a thread on Facebook.


Well, my opinion is that it's humiliating and degrading for anyone. "Do unto others" ya know; would you enjoy it if your boss spanked you when you got to work late one day?

Also, I believe that the reward-punishment mindset is flawed. When we have shared responsibility - we treat each other like equals and look out for each other's needs - we don't need fear of punishment. Research unschooling for more on that.

You may say that children don't understand shared responsibility, well I think that just means you should help demonstrate it to them. If you know it yourself of course (which many adults don't). If children do something dangerous to themselves protect them, but hitting them is crazy. You don't teach them that external things are dangerous by hitting them. You teach them that their caretakers are dangerous.

As for not doing it in anger, let's take the hypothesis that hitting children with the flat of your hand is similar to punching them. This hypothesis seems to be valid because punching is a similar action; it just hurts more. But the fact that it hurts more should not take away the similarity for the purpose of this example.

If you punch a child when you are not angry, is this better than punching them when you are angry?

Does this make any sense at all?

If you hit a child you violate their personal boundaries and show them that they have no control over themselves. You humiliate them and make them live in fear. It doesn't matter the degree of violence; even harsh words can damage a child. The fact that they are a child does not make them fundamentally different for the sake of their personal boundaries. They are still human beings and have equal rights to you.

In fact the only fundamental difference between children and adults that I can see is that they can't defend themselves and have no political power to stand up for their rights. Interesting...

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Andrew Gubb

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