Archive for Child Abuse
More Than Five Children Die As A Result of Child Abuse Every Day In the U.S
Every day in the United States, more than five children die as a result of child abuse. Child abuse includes verbal, emotional, physical and sexual as well as neglect.
Child Abuse occurs in every socioeconomic status, across all ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions, including clergy within these religions, educators, and by people of every education level. While April is designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, it is lip service at best and misleading at worst. The rest of the year everyone pretends that only children in the ghetto or uneducated parents abuse their children.
If a disease killed or maimed as many children as abuse does; the AMA would declare a pandemic; Pharmaceutical companies would be awarded billions of dollars to develop a vaccine or pill to numb the pain or body parts are cut out—and it is a well-known fact—vaccines, pills and cutting out body parts cures nothing.
Sadly, child abuse, is not a platform that you will find popular with politicians or a topic of conversation at social gatherings. However, having guns in the hands of every citizen that frequently ultimately kill innocent people, including children is a hot topic.
More children die each year at the hands of their parents than from irresponsible gun use. I am not advocating that gun management is unnecessary; I am illuminating the crisis of child abuse in contrast to the hot topic of gun management.
The after effects of child abuse are devastating, far-reaching and the dots of cause and effect of the devastation is seldom considered when the after effect symptoms are expressed in so-called physical and mental diseases.
Child abuse After effects include poor academic performance, difficulty maintaining healthy relationships, Anxiety, Panic, Depression, Bi-polar, Post Traumatic Stress, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Migraine Headaches, and Arthritis are just a few of the after effects child abuse survivors cope with. See the extensive list of effects here…
Healing is possible. It is important to work with a practitioner, who can address these complicated after effects through a process of Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Transformation (EPST) a highly effective protocol to Transform the root cause of all issues and symptoms. EPST is direct, focused and combines creating health while transforming the past. It is precise, powerful, virtually effortless and an accurate method to change the landscape of your inner and outer mind, body and spirit. EPST allows you to access your past, present and future – as well as your subconscious to clear negative energy on all levels (beliefs, thoughts & feelings) – Mind, Body and Spirit. ###
About the Author:
Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Metaphysician – Certified Hypnosis and Regression Practitioner, Author and Speaker. Dr. Dorothy facilitates clearing blocks, fears and limiting beliefs as well as restoring your Mind, Body and Spirit back to vibrant health. You can live the life you desire. She facilitates Past Life Regression, Life Between Lives and Future Life Progression. She is featured in the documentary The Business of DisEase. She was a World Regression Congress faculty member in the Netherlands, India, Braziland Turkey. http://www.drdorothy.net http://facebook.com/DrDorothyNed http://teamasea.com/drdorothy http://empowernetwork.com/drdorothy
Adult Survivor Of Sexual Abuse – Aftereffects Checklist
Have you ever wondered or do you know if you are an Adult Survivor Of Sexual Abuse? If you have wondered; this check list will assist you to clarify your thoughts, feelings and behavior or habits. If you checked one or more of these behaviors or symptoms, there is a high probability you are an Adult Survivor Of Sexual Abuse.
If you know you are an Adult Survivor Of Sexual Abuse, this Aftereffect Checklist will confirm that you are not making things up. What you experienced then created the beliefs, thoughts and feelings you experience now and you are not crazy. If only one item in these statements is true—simply underline that portion and check it.
____1. Fear of being alone in the dark, or sleeping alone; night mares, night terrors (especially of pursuit, threat, entrapment).
____2. Swallowing and gagging sensitivity; repugnance to water on one’s face when bathing/shower or swimming (sense of suffocation).
____3. Alienation from the body—not at home in own body; failure to heed body signals or take care of one’s body; poor body image; manipulating body size (extreme weight loss, obesity, baggy clothes, pinning clothes shut, because buttons or zippers could fail) to avoid sexual attention.
____4. Gastrointestinal problems; gynecological disorders (including spontaneous vaginal infections); headaches; arthritis or joint pain.
____5. Wearing a lot of clothing, even in summer; baggy clothes, failure to remove clothing even when appropriate to do so (while swimming, bathing/shower, sleeping); extreme requirements for privacy when using bathroom. Difficulty using public lavatory.
____6. Eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse (or total abstinence): other addictions, compulsive behaviors; OCD.
____7. Self-destructiveness; skin carving, self-abuse, piercing, tattoo.
____9. Need to be invisible, perfect, or ‘perfectly bad.’
____10. Suicidal thoughts, attempts, death obsession (including ‘passive suicide’)
____11. Depression–a.k.a diagnoses Bi-polar (sometimes paralyzing); seemingly baseless crying
____12. Anger issues: inability to recognize, own, or express anger, fear of actual or imagined rage; constant anger, intense hostility toward entire gender or ethnic group of the perpetrator.
____13. Splitting (depersonalization): going into shock, shutdown in crisis; a stressful situation means a crisis; psychic numbing; physical pain or numbness associated with a particular memory, emotions (i.e. anger), or situation (i.e. sexual activity).
____14. Rigid control of one’s thought process humorlessness or extreme solemnity.
____15. Childhood hiding, hanging on, cowering in corners (security-seeking behaviors); adult nervousness over being watched or surprised; feeling watched; startle response.
____16. Trust issues: inability to trust (trust is not safe); total trust; trusting indiscriminately.
____17. High risk taking (‘daring fates’) inability to take risks.
____18. Boundary issues; control, power, territoriality issues; fear of losing control; obsessive/compulsive behaviors (attempt to control things that don’t matter, need to control something).
____19. Guilt, shame; low self-esteem, humiliation; feeling worthless; high appreciation of small favors by others.
____20. Pattern of being a victim (victimizing oneself after being victimized by others), especially sexually; no sense of own power or right to set limits or say no; pattern of relationships with much older persons (onset in adolescence).
____21. Feeling demand to ‘produce and be loved;’ instinctively knowing and doing what the other person needs or wants; relationships mean big trade offs (love was taken, not given).
____22. Abandonment issues.
____23. Blocking out some period of early years (especially 1-12), or a specific person or place.
____24. Sense of carrying an awful secret; urge to tell, fear of its being revealed; certainty that no one will listen; being generally secretive; feeling ‘marked’ (scarlet letter’).
____25. Feeling crazy; feeling different; feeling oneself to be unreal and everyone else to be real, or vice versa; creating fantasy worlds, relationships, or identities (especially for women; imagining or wishing self to be male, someone else; i.e. not a victim)
____26. Denial: no awareness at all; psychogenic amnesia (commonly called repressed memory); pretending; minimizing (‘It wasn’t that bad.’); having dreams or memories (‘Maybe it is my imagination’); strong, deep, ‘inappropriate’ negative reactions to a person, place or event; ‘sensory flashes’ (a light, a place, a physical sensation) without a sense of its meaning; remembering the surroundings, but not the event.
____27. Sexual issues; sex feels ‘dirty;’ aversion to being touched, especially gynecological exam; strong aversion to (or need for) particular sex acts; feeling betrayed by one’s body; trouble integrating sexuality and emotionality; confusion or overlapping of affection, sex, dominance, aggression and violence; having to pursue power in sexual arena, which is actually sexual acting out (self abuse and manipulation, especially among women; abuse of others, especially among men); compulsively ‘seductive’ or compulsively asexual; a need to be sexual aggressor or cannot be sexual; impersonal, ‘promiscuous’ sex with strangers concurrent with inability to have sex in intimate relationship (conflict between sex, caring and intimacy); prostitute, stripper, ‘sex symbol,’ (Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Anna Nicole Smith—famous sex symbols and sexual abuse survivors) porn actress; sexual acting out to meet anger or revenge needs; ‘sexaholism;’ avoidance; shutting down; crying after orgasm; all pursuit feels like violation; sexualizing of meaningful relationships; erotic response to abuse or anger, sexual fantasies of dominance or rape.
____28. Pattern of ambivalence or intensely conflictive relationships (intimacy is an issue; also focus shifted from sexual abuse or incest issues).
____29. Avoidance of mirrors (connected with invisibility, shame/self-esteem issues, distrust of perceived body image).
____30. Desire to change one’s name (to disassociate from the perpetrator or to take control through self-labeling).
____31. Limited tolerance for happiness; active withdrawal from happiness, reluctance to trust happiness (Happiness is short lived. ‘Ice is thin—can’t be trusted).
____32. Aversion to making noise (including during sex, crying, laughing, or other body functions); verbal hyper-vigilance (careful monitoring of one’s words); quiet-voice, especially when needing to be heard. Can’t trust one’s needs would be heard.
____33. Stealing (adults); stealing and starting fires (children).
____34. Multiple personality (a.k.a. Dissociative Disorder)
____35. Chronic illness, but not limited to: Arthritis, Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Migraine headaches, MS, OCD, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Rectal Cancer, Testicular Cancer, TMJ, Tumor, Vaginal Cancer.
If you have ever wondered if or you know you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse, the articles listed will provide a thorough understanding of your experience and information on how to complete your recovery. Contrary to popular belief and many TV talk show proclamations, recovery is possible. The recovery process holds the promise that all aftereffects will be transformed into peace of mind, happiness, wholeness and thriving versus a perpetual survivor.
Recovery Is Possible:
Contrary to popular belief and many TV talk show proclamations, recovery is possible. The recovery process holds the promise that all aftereffects will be transformed into peace of mind, happiness, wholeness and thriving versus a perpetual survivor.
Transforming the deep, profound and pervasive wounds of an Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse requires Mind, Body, Spirit multifaceted recovery. Talk therapy and pills are inadequate to address these deep, profound and pervasive wounds. Dorothy M Neddermeyer, PhD developed and facilitates a highly effective protocol to meet the demands for sexual abuse recovery. Her protocol addresses all levels of Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Transformation (EPST) effectively transforms the root cause of all issues and symptoms. EPST is direct, focused and combines creating health while transforming the past. It is precise, empowering, virtually effortless and an accurate method to change the landscape of your inner and outer mind, body and spirit. EPST allows you to access your past, present and future – as well as your subconscious, and clear negative energy on all levels – Mind, Body and Spirit.
- Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Emotional Aftereffects
- Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Physical Aftereffects
- Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Mental Aftereffects
- Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Behavioral Aftereffect
- Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Spiritual Aftereffect
- Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Sexual Aftereffects
- Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Relating Aftereffects
From Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)
I am in receipt of a letter from a mother whose children are currently enrolled in the 3rd and 5th grades in an Arkansas public school. She describes how they, while under the control of the school, are subject to cruel treatment and witness cruelty toward others. She says that they are under constant stress while at school. She reports that they sometimes experience nightmares after a particularly bad school day. She wrote mainly of children being corporally punished or threatened with it, and of their being required to negotiate complicated penalties if they need to use the restroom at times the teacher deems inappropriate.
Corporal punishment typically involves being battered on the buttocks with a wooden board. The risks are obvious. No standards govern the practice, and there is no way to determine if some invisible line has been crossed until after the act. No teachers’ college in Arkansas instructs undergraduates in the correct method for hitting people. For your information, I have enclosed a page of photos showing injuries to students that have resulted from school corporal punishment. It can be viewed online at www.nospank.net/injuredkids.pdf.
As for denial of rest room use, my correspondent informed me that if a child can’t wait for the designated time, he or she is then punished by forfeiting recess. When the mother asked the school principal to give her a copy of that policy, he told her that there is nothing in writing, and that teachers make their own rules regarding the matter. For your information, I have enclosed a page listing the health risks involving forced retention of body waste. It can be viewed online at www.nospank.net/frbw.pdf.
Clearly, the above-described practices cannot engender in students positive feelings toward school. The opposite result is far more likely. Additionally, they constitute a potentially serious legal liability for any school that engages in them. An adult subjected to such treatment would go straight to the police and then call a lawyer. And because corporal punishment targets the pelvic area, perpetrators could face felony sexual battery charges.
Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir.
PTAVE, P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, California 94507
Should Spanking Be Banned?
However, Canada’s top medical journal is hoping to change that.
In a forcefully written editorial titled Positive Parenting, Not Physical Punishment , John Fletcher – editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) – calls physical punisment “a constant excuse for parents to cling to an ineffective method of child discipline when better approaches are available.”
The editorial is essentially an appeal to revoke Canada’s 120 year old “spanking law” and encourage the promotion of parenting programs that preach alternative methods of discipline. An estimated fifty percent of Canadian parents spank their children. In the US, more than 70 percent of mothers admit to having hit their kids at least once, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics’ opposition to spanking.
But beyond North America’s borders, worldwide, more than 30 countries have outlawed corporal punishment in the home including Austria, New Zealand, and South Sudan.
Fletcher argues that banning the practice is the only humane solution.
“Surely any bias needs to be toward protecting children, who are the most vulnerable, Fletcher writes. “To have a specific code excusing parents is to suggest that assault by a parent is a normal and accepted part of bringing up children. It is not.”
Do you agree with Fletcher? Would you support a US ban on spanking or would that be taking this too far? Let us know in the comments.
Undated booking photos, (not shown here) taken by the national police in The Netherlands and provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, show Robert Mikelsons, who was sentenced in Amsterdam on May 21, 2012, to 18 years in prison for abusing dozens of babies and toddlers. A child pornography investigation, which began when a Massachusettsman sent a photo of a young Dutch boy to an undercover federal agent in Boston, led to the arrests of 43 men in seven countries, including Mikelsons, and helped uncover a child pornography network.
DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press
BOSTON— The men came from different walks of life on two continents: a children’s puppeteer inFlorida, a hotel manager inMassachusetts, an emergency medical technician in Kansas, a day care worker in theNetherlands. In all, 43 men have been arrested over the past two years in a horrific, far-flung child porn network that unraveled like a sweater with a single loose thread.
In this case, the thread was a stuffed toy bunny.
The bunny, seen in a photo of a half-naked, distraught 18-month-old boy, was used to painstakingly trace a molester toAmsterdam. From there, investigators made one arrest after another of men accused of sexually abusing children, exchanging explicit photos of the attacks and even chatting online about abducting, cooking and eating youngsters.
Authorities have identified more than 140 young victims so far and say there is no end in sight as they pore through hundreds of thousands of images found on the suspects’ computers. They are also working to determine whether the men who talked about murder and cannibalism actually committed such acts or were just sharing twisted fantasies.
The still-widening investigation has been code-named Holitna, after a river in Alaskawith many tributaries.
“They are the worst of the worst,” said Bruce Foucart, agent in charge of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit inBoston. “This isn’t just a child that’s nude and someone’s taking pictures of him; this is a child that’s being raped by an adult, which is horrific.”
Agents forwarded the photo to Interpol, the international police organization, and to several other countries.
An investigator for the Dutch police recognized the stuffed bunny as Miffy, a familiar character in a series of Dutch children’s books. She also traced the boy’s orange sweater to a small Amsterdam store that had sold only 20 others like it.
The boy’s photo was broadcast on a national TV program similar to “America’s Most Wanted.” Within minutes, friends and relatives called the child’s mother.
Robert Mikelsons, a 27-year-old day care worker who baby-sat the boy, was arrested. On his computer were thousands and thousands of images of children being molested and raped, including the boy holding the stuffed bunny.
Photos and online chats found on computers owned by Diduca and Mikelsons led to more than three dozen other suspects in seven countries, including Canada, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Mexico. The oldest victim in the Netherlands was 4, the youngest just 19 days old.
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, whose office prosecuted Diduca, said the demand for photos of sexual assaults of young children, including babies and toddlers, has increased sharply in recent years.
“This demand leads to the abuse of children, yet there is this misconception that somehow, viewing child pornography is a victimless crime,” said. “It clearly is not.”
Diduca pleaded guilty to child porn and sexual exploitation charges and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. His lawyer, Richard Sweeney, said Diduca was sexually abused as a child by a Boy Scout leader. “He gets it, he knows he needs to be punished, he knows what he did is wrong,” Sweeney said.
Mikelsons also received an 18-year sentence, followed by indefinite psychiatric commitment, after confessing to sexually abusing more than 80 children.
The horror did not let up after the Mikelsons case.
In May, authorities arrested Michael Arnett of Roeland Park, Kan., after finding pornographic photos he allegedly produced. Agents discovered the pictures when they searched the computer of a Wisconsin man who had been chatting online with Mikelsons.
What they found on Arnett’s computer was unlike anything some of the investigators had ever come across: long, graphic, online chats about his desire to abduct, kill and eat children. They said he had also made photos of a naked 2-year-old boy in a roasting pan inside his oven. The child and two other boys Arnett allegedly abused and photographed were later identified and found alive.
In July, authorities arrested four men they say had online discussions with Arnett about kidnapping and eating children. Those arrested included Ronald Brown, a children’s puppeteer from Largo,Fla. (A YouTube video shows Brown during an appearance on a Christian TV kids show in the 1980s. In the video, he tells a child puppet that he did the right thing by refusing to look at “dirty pictures” some other youngsters tried to show him.)
In excerpts of an online chat between Arnett and Brown from 2011, the two men appear to be discussing their desire to cook a child for Easter.
“he would make a fine Easter feast,” Arnett says.
“yes, his thighs and butt cheeks would be fantastic for Easter,” Brown responds.
A lawyer for Arnett would not comment on the allegations. Brown’s lawyer did not return calls.
Prosecutors said Brown acknowledged his online conversations but said that it was all a fantasy and that he would never hurt anyone.
“Obviously the discussions regarding their claims of cannibalism are disturbing and a concern to our agency,” said ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein. He said agents are following all leads “to make sure these individuals didn’t follow through on any of their claims.”
To find the young victims, investigators carefully studied thousands of photos, read hours of Internet chats and worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They also employed some forensic wizardry.
After finding a video on Diduca’s computer of a bound, 2-year-old boy being raped, investigators enhanced the images of furniture and carpet and determined the attack took place in a motel room in Bakersfield,Calif.
Then they pinpointed the date by way of a TV that was playing in the background in the video, figuring out exactly when a particular episode of “Family Matters” aired along with a certain Pepperidge Farms commercial.
A man from Black Forest, Colo., was arrested and is awaiting trial.
Similarly, in the Arnett case, investigators discovered that a water bottle in one of the photographs carried the name of a swim and scuba center in Overland Park, Kan. With the help of teachers at an elementary school, they identified three children shown in the photographs, including the toddler posed in the roasting pan.
The mother of one of the boys said she initially did not believe the allegations against Arnett, a family friend for about 15 years. She said her son, now 7, and several nephews often spent weekends at Arnett’s home four or five years ago.
“Well, when we first got the phone call, we thought there’s no way. You guys got the wrong guy,” she said. The Associated Press does not identify victims of sexual abuse or their families.
But then investigators showed her photos Arnett had allegedly taken of her son with a shirt and no pants.
“Regret? For sending my son with a sick-minded guy, that’s the only regret I have. I had no idea,” she said. “It’s depressing.”
For the agents working on the case, the leads never seem to end.
Last week, they arrested another Massachusetts man after finding child pornography and photos of what appeared to be dead children on his computer. He allegedly had online chats with Arnett and Brown.
More arrests are expected.
“The agents that work for me are extremely driven on this type of investigation,” said Bart Cahill, assistant agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations inBoston. “They really believe that they are taking out horrific violators and saving kids.”
Associated Press writers Maria Sudekum inKansas City,Mo., and Matt Sedensky inWest Palm Beach,Fla., contributed to this report.
No doubt like me; you are sickened by the Penn State child-sexual assault; as you were no doubt sickened by previous mass incidents of child sexual assaults by Priests, Clergy, Rabbis. The non-reporting and cover-up syndrome at Penn State is no different than clergy covering up for sex offenders within the religious fabric of society.
While the media, professionals and collegiate officials debate how to handle thePenn State tragedy, including the systemic cover-up by university leaders, others; like myself want the public to know how such abuse impacts children’s lives.
You no doubt heard commentators make innate and blatantly calloused comments: ‘What’s done is done,’ ‘There’s no one left to go after,’ ‘Why punish the students and the athletes by placing sanctions on Penn State?’
“It’s time to heal those who bear the aftermath, and it is time for society to pull their heads out of the sand about sexual child abuse and sex offenders,” says child advocate Dorothy M Neddermeyer, PhD whose book “If I’d Only Known…Sexual Abuse In Or Out Of The Family: A Guide To Prevention (http://drdorothy.info/?page_id=9 ) details the stark aftermath of sexual child abuse and how to prevent it in or out of the home. “If these commentators, professionals or collegiate officials were the victims, or their children were, I know they would demand restitution and changes going forward so that a tragedy of this nature would be prevented,” Dr Neddermeyer stated.
Hearing the supporters of the university’s football program nullify the damage is reminiscent of a society that is in denial about the full scope and magnitude of sexual child abuse aftermath. PennState’s board could do the noble gesture and make it easy for themselves by self-imposing the ‘death penalty’ option – temporarily shutting down the embattled football program.
“As horrific as sexual child abuse is, left untreated by a protocol specifically focused on sexual child abuse recovery, the volume of lifelong negative consequences is worse than the initial assault,” Dr Neddermeyer said. “Children often hear the voice of their abuser in their minds—telling them they’re bad, they’re ugly, they’re worthless, that no one would believe them, or no one would care or they wanted and/or liked the sexual assault—long after the abuse occurred and/or was reported. The emotional torture continues until the recovery process is in an advanced stage.”
Without a recovery process specifically focused on sexual child abuse the lasting scars, include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty managing emotions. One of the strongest signs of well-being is the ability to manage adversity, to keep emotions balanced. “For sexual abuse survivors, a lasting legacy is the opposite of well-being.” Sexual abuse survivors usually have difficulty expressing feelings, which are then bottled up, often leading to sporadic periods of depression, anger and anxiety. Many survivors use excess alcohol and/or drugs to numb the pain.
- Feeling a core sense of worthlessness, dirty or damaged. The physical side of sexual abuse is one aspect, what haunts survivors is the voice of the abuser, constantly reinforcing a lack of personal value. As time passes the survivors mature into adults, who are unable to invent in themselves. With a deep sense of being damaged, they often feel incapable or unworthy of career success and higher-paying positions.
- Difficulty trusting relationships or people on any level is omnipresent. 80% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members, 19% is perpetrated by people the child knows and trusts– family friends, church leaders, teachers, sports coach, scout leaders, et al. Children who can not feel secure within the family, the most fundamental relationships, develop deep and pervasive trust issues. Relationships are often doomed because the survivor trashes good relationships, fearing their partner will ultimately control, hurt or abandon them as was the case with the trusted perpetrator. More often than not, survivors are drawn to an abusive person because they do not know what a healthy relationship feels like or entails.
“When I hear the ‘Yeah, but,’ argument from people who are in denial and defend and thereby allow sexual child abuse to continue, whether it is the tragedy of Penn State, the Catholic Church, Judaism, Protestant or Mormon Church, my convictions that society needs to do more to raise awareness about sexual child abuse rises another octave. Society needs to raise awareness on how sex offenders are created; how sexual abuse offenses can be prevented; and enforcing the law, which requires professionals and persons in authority to report the abuse when the person first suspects there is reason to believe an adult is on the verge or already has sexually abused a child.
No more denial. No more cover-ups. No more excuses or reasons for any child being sexually abused by someone who has authority or responsibility for the child’s well-being.
Why Does Everyone Pretend There’s A ‘Spanking Debate’?
By Lisa Belkin, Huffington Post, July 9, 2012
|Spanking was a subject of debate on every parenting website on the continent during the past week, and I don’t understand why.Yes, I know why it was a topic of conversation — the prestigious journal Pediatrics released a study early in the week showing a possible link between childhood spanking and mental health struggles later in that child’s life, and that was news worth talking about.
What I don’t understand is why it was a debate. By definition, that would require two sides. I see only one.
At what point does something become simple fact? The Pediatrics article was just the latest in a decades-long march of studies showing spanking — defined as hitting with an open hand in order to correct or punish — to be ineffective at best and psychologically harmful at worst.
In April, an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal analyzed two decades of data and concluded that spanking has no upside, and its downsides include increased risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse and aggressive behavior later in life.
A few years earlier, another Pediatrics study, this one by researchers at Tulane University, concluded that children who are spanked as often as twice a month at age 3 are twice as likely to become aggressive, destructive and mean when they are 5.
And it has been a decade since Columbia University psychologists went through more than 80 studies over 62 years and found that there was a “strong correlation” between parents who used “corporal punishment” and children who demonstrated 11 measurable childhood behaviors. Ten of the behaviors were negative, including such things as increased aggression and increased antisocial behavior. Only one could be considered positive — spanking did result in “immediate compliance.”
So would pointing a gun in their general direction. But that does not make it the right thing to do. And, as other research points out, if that temporary compliance comes at the price of long-term depression or defiance, then what has really been gained?
In spite of this mountain of data, though, polls and studies find that up to 90 percent of parents spank their children. And each time we parenting reporters write about the latest studies, our comment threads fill with practitioners, whose remarks range from outrage (“I was hit and I turned out okay god damn it”) to despair (“I don’t want to hit, but it is the only way I can get them to listen”). (You can get the idea here…)
I am continually amazed at what it takes to redirect parenting opinion. It is dizzying how quickly one study or article can — sometimes — change our ways. We started placing infants on their backs rather than their stomachs when there were hints of correlation, but not proof of causation, with crib death. Pregnant women stopped having sushi, soft cheese, caffeine and even a sip of alcohol on the remote but striking possibility that a small amount could have consequences. BPA bottles disappeared in certain circles overnight when there was an unofficial link to cancer.
But other times, we just don’t want to know. In that way the spanking conversation is like the vaccine “debate.” In spite of no credible evidence of a link with autism, and many studies that tried and failed to find such a link, there are some minds that just won’t change.
Your parents hit you, and you are okay? They probably smoked around you, too, and they didn’t make you wear a seatbelt, either, but we know better now. Also, might I respectfully ask how you know that you’re okay? Perhaps if your parents hadn’t hit their kids, you wouldn’t feel a need to hit your own?
It is the only thing that works when your children won’t listen? Swedish children are not running amok in the streets, and spanking has been illegal there since 1979. Sweden was the first of 32 countries — including Costa Rica, Israel, Kenya and most of Europe — to approve such a law.
Some questions really don’t have two sides. “Is it okay to do something to your child that would land you in jail if you did it to a stranger on the street?” is one of those. You can phrase it other ways too — like “Is it okay to hurt a child because it serves your immediate goal when science shows it can lead to long-term harm?” But there is still just one answer.
And yet, we keep seeing it presented as a disagreement.
“To Spank or Not to Spank” was the headline on both the CNN’s report yesterday and the “Good Morning America” segment on Thursday about the latest Pediatrics study. The “Today” piece added the tagline: “Mommy Wars: Raging Parenting Debate,” and a Babble blogger was found to represent each side.
But there aren’t two sides. There is a preponderance of fact, and there are people who find it inconvenient to accept those facts.
Where, exactly is the debate?
Six Memorable Quotes
From Haim G. Ginott (1922–1973)
- Between Partent and Child
- Between Parent and Teenager
- Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers
- Group Psychotherapy with Children
Posted July 5, 2012
1.“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
2. “When a child hits a child, we call it aggression.
When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.
When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.
When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline.”
3.“Misbehavior and punishment are not opposites that cancel each other – on the contrary they breed and reinforce each other.”
4.“What do we say to a guest who forgets her umbrella? Do we run after her and say “What is the matter with you? Every time you come to visit you forget something. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Why can’t you be like your sister? When she comes to visit, she knows how to behave. You’re forty-four years old! Will you never learn? I’m not a slave to pick up after you! I bet you’d forget your head if it weren’t attached to your shoulders.”
That’s not what we say to a guest. We say ‘Here’s your umbrella, Alice,’ without adding ‘scatterbrain.’
“Parents need to learn to respond to their children as they do to guests.”
5.“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.”
6. “While parents possess the original key to their offspring’s experience, teachers have a spare key. They, too, can open or close the minds and hearts of children.”
Finland: Corporal punishment fades into history
Yle Uutiset, May 16, 2012
New generations of parents in Finland are less likely to physically punish their children. Today ten percent of parents say corporal punishment is acceptable, down from 50 percent in the 1980s.A survey conducted by the Finnish Central Union for Child Welfare suggests Finns’ attitudes toward corporal punishment have changed. Today the physical chastisement of children is generally considered unacceptable.
Heikki Sariola, a senior advisor at the organisation, said the results were surprising.
”This signals a major shift in Finnish culture,” he explained, adding that many of today’s parents were themselves raised without fear of physical violence at home.
Finnish law has prohibited the corporal punishment of children since 1984.But many parents still legitimise milder forms physical punishment, including hair-pulling, slapping, whipping and knuckle-rapping. Nearly 40 percent of parents admitted to pulling kids’ hair and 20 percent have slapped hands.
“It’s problematic that parents don’t think this qualifies as violence, or then they may just be defending their own actions,” Sariola surmises.
Few respondents directly condoned the physical punishment of children. The union said it appears as if the no-hitting philosophy has seeped into the national psyche. Today 97 percent of those surveyed were aware of the law, up from 94 percent in 2004.
The union polled around 1,000 Finns between 15–79 for the survey.
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