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Domestic CP - July 2003
Daily NonPareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 23 July 2003
Ain't nothin' wrong with spanking
By Greg Jerrett
I admit it: I'm more old-fashioned than I care to be in some areas and on one subject in particular I'm a coot. That subject is almost taboo these days. If you are sensitive, turn away now because no one wants to force you to absorb the following opinion. Ready?
I have a lingering attachment to corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is a fancy, Latin way of saying "hitting people for their own good." We need to bring spanking back into vogue because nothing will teach those kids the meaning of the word "respect" like a baboon-red butt.
Oh please, don't get me confused with one of these freaks who chains his kids inside a closet for years and makes them pee in a mayonnaise jar. I decry child abuse as much as the next person who goes on a crying jab while watching "ER," but when did corporal punishment become synonymous with abuse?
It is wrong to dismiss simple spanking as abuse. In fact, we all know that the opposite is true: Spare the rod, spoil the child and these days, a kid gone bad can be a literal menace to society walking, biking or driving around with no concern for the consequences of their actions let alone empathy or simple politeness. Frankly, I'm damn tired of the attitudes I see in kids from 8 to 18 these days, and it's the fault of their weak-ass parents who insist on being their kids buddies.
Here is the thing about kids: Children are not morally responsible individuals capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. You cannot have an intelligent discussion with a 5-year-old about the personal and societal consequences of their actions and have it stick without putting some spank down. To a kid, not being spanked is as good as getting off Scot free and you know it.
And spanking is for their own good, too. You cannot explain to someone who has no real understanding of pain let alone a realistic concept of their own mortality why they should not run out into traffic. They want to know why. "Why" doesn't enter into it, but if they must know (smack, smack) that's why. And getting run over hurts MUCH worse so do what I said because I said so and maybe one day you'll get it. It's nature's way, believe me.
By the time most kids get to their teens these days, they're borderline sociopaths capable of anything from harassment to sniper shootings. Don't blame video games, the media or even that nasty Eminem. Blame the policies and laws that made it impossible for a parent to grab their kids by the arm in a public place and tell them if they don't stop screaming, they're gonna get paddled.
A quick survey of the malls and grocery stores of Council Bluffs should be enough to convince most intelligent, moral and right-thinking individuals that not enough children are being hit in just the right way to convince them that proper standards of behavior must be observed.
At exactly what point did it become acceptable for kids to walk around like a bunch of little animals, anyway? Par example: I'm on North 25th waiting to cross Avenue A the other day for about five minutes because three 10-year-old punks are deliberately taking their time meandering through the street in front of me. Not actually crossing the street, mind you, more like sitting on the bikes and coasting around just to see if they can irritate anyone while fixing me, ME, a borderline sociopath in my own right, with a steely "what are you gonna do about it" glare.
And if I had run them over, I would have been the one to go to jail. What kind of world is this? Back in the day, kids didn't mess with adults. We weren't smarter or better, we just had a healthy respect for consequences.
So many people today of all ages are such ill-mannered thugs looking for an excuse to throw down it is no surprise our kids are like something straight out of "Lord of the Flies" (put that one on your summer reading list).
I used to dismiss my feelings as old age, but a quick survey has convinced me that we have created a generation of mean-spirited monsters. And the cause for all of this incivility? People just don't hit their kids enough.
Call me old-fashioned, but what happened to the kinder, gentler America I knew and loved when parents could spank their kids for pushing at the public pool or smack them in the mouth for cussing? Does anyone honestly think we are living in a better country for not hitting?
Respect for self and others, courtesy, humanity and healthy fear for consequences. These are the foundations upon which a civil society is based. They do not spontaneously develop. They must be taught through moral lessons and discipline and sometimes it takes more than love and kind words to achieve these ends. Sometimes, it takes a spanking.
- Greg Jerrett is a Nonpareil staff writer. His column runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
© Daily Nonpareil 2003
Boca Raton News, Florida, 30 July 2003
Boca man devises stinging stick to discipline children
Robyor claims his B-stik doesn't injure kids, but professionals say 'children should not be hit'
By Brian Bandell
Concerned about the increase of child abuse incidents across the nation, a Boca Raton resident has decided to do something about it.
However, the use of his creation - a child discipline device he claims delivers a stinging, but not injurious blow - is raising questions among professionals who deal with child abuse problems.
Steven Robyor is now selling his B-stik on the Web site of his home-based business, 1024 Inc., with the recommendation that it be used for child discipline.
Officials from at least two statewide agencies that deal with child abuse question the appropriateness of the B-stik as a disciplinary tool.
Robyor's Web site, www.b-stik.com, says it is "designed specifically to avoid harm or injury which can often occur as a result of physical discipline with the belt, strap, switch, hand or anything that may harm or injure a child when physically correcting their misconduct."
He describes the B-stik as a lightweight pliant baton about 14 inches long and 2.5 inches thick. It's flexible and bends upon contact. Robyor recommends striking no more than five blows with it and to avoid hitting children under 2 years of age or striking the face or genitals.
Robyor feels that disciplining children with the B-stik is legal because it doesn't cause injury. He said he's hit himself more than 100 times with it on several occasions and it left nothing but a red mark.
Robyor said he's never hit a child with it but he's had other adults test it out.
Whether the B-stik is legal or not depends on how it is used, said Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Marilyn Munoz. Under Florida law, child abuse is any action that causes injury mentally or physically. In physical abuse cases, DCF investigators look for bruises or welts.
Corporal punishment on children doesn't constitute abuse when it doesn't result in injury.
However, the DCF's Parent Help Line discourages spanking and other forms of physical discipline, Munoz said.
"No child needs a spanking. Spanking can be dangerous. You never know when a child can be harmed if a parent loses control," Munoz said. "Children don't need to be hit in order to be taught how to behave."
Munoz also questioned whether use of the B-stik would be considered mental abuse, although that definition is harder to prove than is physical abuse.
Some professionals who work with family services think hitting children, even if it doesn't cause an injury, is a bad idea.
"The B-stik is a form of physical punishment which does not help parents to raise healthy and responsible children," said a joint statement from Julia Hebert and Peg Shappell, supervisors with Family Builders, which works with troubled families referred to the agency by the DCF.
Hebert and Shappell said supporting children's goals and reinforcing good behavior is how they teach families to raise children. They called the B-stik "an aversive approach, which does not teach children to cooperate or be responsible. A parent may gain a child's compliance by using this method but the compliance will be based on fear, which can be both psychologically and physically damaging."
Robyor said that he doesn't encourage parents to physically strike their children but he recognizes that many will, saying that it has been going on "since the first day of life." He wants it done safely. Robyor believes that the B-stik gives children the desired message that what they did was wrong.
"A parent has the right to raise their children the way they see necessary and they're allowed to discipline children as long as it's within the law," said Robyor, who was disciplined with corporal punishment in Catholic school. "There are a lot of people who don't spank their children. So what benefit is a child getting in their upbringing if they're not taught to obey authority? What are they going to do, sit in their rooms or not watch TV? There's no ramification involved."
Hebert and Shappell said that children learn from what parents say and do. They said punishment teaches children to resent and fear their parents and damages the parent-child relationship.
B-stik strikes aren't designed just for children, Robyor added. He said his invention can also be used as a "pet training tool." Robyor said that animals shouldn't be hit by hand because they may eventually fear any touching. If the pet learns to fear the B-stik, just the presence of it should make them obey, Robyor said.
The B-stik can also be used on adults for massage therapy. Robyor, who did massage therapy for 10 years, recommends using the B-stik for a percussion-orientated massage. Tapotement usually is done by repeated hand chops but Robyor said using his B-stik instead reduces the discomfort.
"I use it on myself for my back," Robyor said. "The skin has a glow to it afterwards. It makes the skin feel great."
Copyright 2003 - Boca Raton News
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