food for thought (and related to my spanking post, below)

"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me."

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery— one can raise children into violence."

--Astrid Lindgren, Swedish author


Anonymous said...

give me a freakin break. assuming that this story is even true and not an urban legend.
when we first started sending our son to his room he thought we were banishing him permanently from our company. I suppose by your same logic we should ban this form of punishment? further no matter how clear I was until he reached a certain age if I told him I was taking a particular toy in punishment he would jump to the assumptions that a) I was taking ALL his toys and b)I was carting everything off to the goodwill. again because such a response would be extreme and its all the same to him whether we take all or one toy and/or if its overnight or forever, then I guess taking a toy for a day must be cruel and inhumane as well if we apply the same line of thinking as in your little vignette above?
this little story does nothing except illustrate that small children do not have the powers of differentiation that older folks have. thats all. its very very very faulty logic.

Anonymous said...

Are you guilty of animal cruelty if you spank your monkey?

missy said...

Katie, I have a 9 year-old dtr and while there have been times that I have spanked her, I don't anymore. But I also have not had big behavioral problems out of her that would warrant a spanking. That was a very powerful story you posted. Whether you agree or disagree, it has to make you think.

Sorry for the grammer, not enough coffee!!!

Happy Turkey Day! Gobble Gobble!!!

Anonymous said...

you folks need to realize there is NO dialoguing or reasoning with an anti spanker or attachment parenter or rabid breastfeeder or whatever. their mind is made up and its not made up by logical rational thinking. this is why these folks scare me is they want everyone to do as they do and there there is no difference to them between crying it out, spanking, cribs and people who lock thier children in little cages in the basement and beat them. no critical thinking whatsoever. and any heart rending little story designed to manipulate your emotions is trotted out.
to be honest I dont like the usual approach one hears by people who are really into spanking because they think its the answer for everything. again very black and white. personally I think its far more effective if its a very rare event. I do know people whose kids when given a choice between a spanking and another type of punishment would much rather have the spank because its over so quickly. whereas no TV or video games or cancelling a play date etc etc is far more painful for them.
part of why I enjoy picking on Katie is all her own discrepancies. she uses the veery slim chance of health problems as a reason to shove BF on everyone yet she herself does a lot of parenting things which demonstrate very poor risk management. in fact it appears she is writing a book on it. is this contradictory or what?

Anonymous said...

The story is not an urban legend. It is the text of Astrid Lindgren's acceptance speech when she won the German Book Trade Peace Prize in 1978.

Anonymous said...

Oops, and I meant to say, it probably should be copied in its entirety onto this blog without the permission of the copyright holder. KAG, I think you are a great parent, but you need to stop appropriating other's work in its entirety and reprinting on your blog without permissions.

katie allison granju said...

I'm pretty sure this small amount of text falls under Fair Use law. I'll check.



Laura Linger said...

I was raised by a spanker who also just so happened to be an untreated manic depressive, alcoholic, and pill addict. I have had crippling psychological problems my entire life as a result of my upbringing...stuff that haunts me to this day, at the age of 36. Let me tell you that there is a very small jump between spanking your children and beating them. My mother went from spanking to spanking with belts to spanking with wooden spoons to spanking with rubbed thong-shoes ("they won't leave any marks!" she yelled) to beating with fists to beating with any other object she could get her evil hands on.

It makes you feel unsafe in your own skin. In fact, I just blogged about this very topic over at my own blog...feeling unsafe and uncertain, even now, even today. I have my mother to thank for that.

Astrid Lindgren...Pippi Longstocking?

Laura Linger said...

Oh, and one more thing. Do you think that it is a coincidence that I am childfree? I know in my heart that my upbringing has everything to do with my decision to not have children of my own. I would never run the risk of putting my kids through something like that. Since I myself am a manic depressive, I know that it would be in the realm of possibility.

Anonymous said...

actually Laura...do you REALLY think that if your mother were forbidden by law to spank her kids that you would have had a good childhood? first of all, someone who is untreated mentally ill is probably not paying attention to the laws. although I suppose an aside is that if spanking were illegal your mother might have drawn the attention of child protective services. which may or may not have been helpful. so many times when kids are taken from their homes its out of the frying pan into the fire.
second of all, pay attention to the person up the string here who said the worst damage is inflicted verbally and emotionally.
no matter what is legal or not a sick person is going to do stuff to their kids. there is absolutely NO similiarity between what occured to you and appropriate discipline by loving parents.
your mother was sick and whatever she did with you all would have been twisted around. you can abuse a child without ever laying a hand on them.
banning spanking is not going to do a thing about truly abusive parents. truly abusive parents think they are above the law anyway.

Laura Linger said...

"there is absolutely NO similiarity between what occured to you and appropriate discipline by loving parents."

As someone who has had her entire life scarred by abuse from the hands of a parent, allow me to tell you that "loving parents" DO NOT HIT THEIR CHILDREN. PERIOD.

Anonymous said...

in your opinion. Loving parents do not do what your mother did. however there is a WORLD of difference between appropriate discipline and what you endured.
Abusive parents have been known to lock their kids in their rooms for days at a time. does that mean that sending a kid to his room for 15 minutes or so to think it over is abusive? thats the same logic you are using.

Laura Linger said...

"however there is a WORLD of difference between appropriate discipline and what you endured."


In both instances, the sole purpose of the action is to teach the child that physical pain is the best "discipline" that he or she deserves.

In both instances, the mindgame that the parent plays with the child is that I Am Bigger, Stronger And Will Cause You Pain When You Cross Me. You know, the parent upon whom the child is supposed to be able to rely...for anything.

In both instances, the parents involved take the cowardly, lazy way out. Why attempt to work with your child for solutions when you can simply brutalize him or her into submission?

In both instances, the child walks away looking at the parent in a totally new light, and that light is not very flattering to the parent.

I'd like to talk to your children in 20 years and hear what they have to say about the abuse that they endured in your home. LOVING PARENTS DO NOT HIT THEIR CHILDREN IN ANGER. EVER. PERIOD.