3 responses to “Tuesdays with Triangle! Today’s Topic: Spanking

  1. Have you seen Michael Pearl instructional Child Spanking video. It’s pretty twisted. He even recommends using 1/4 inch PVC for beating kids. The video is here but be prepared to cringe….. http://doodiepants.com/2012/07/08/michael-pearl-epic-beard-productive-child-beating/

  2. Discipline, and the way we do it, seems to go directly to the theory or ideas we as parents, teachers, authorities have about behavior and how it is produced. One pretty powerful idea, is to never judge people by one behavioral event. In other words, just because someone steals once, does not a thief make. Of course, a pattern of behavior in theft and the label sticks. We also tend to appraise other people’s behavior and make a connection with their inner traits and character. While it is true that behavior emanates from people’s inner dispositions, Its also true that inner dispositions can be shaped by behavior.

    Self-perception theory has demonstrated this empirically, turning conventional wisdom on its head. So sure, people return a lost wallet because they are honest, recycle their trash because they care about the environment, and drink inexplicable Starbucks drinks at $6 a pop because they are particular. But self-perception theory demonstrates that If we return a lost wallet, there is an upward tick on our honesty meter. After we drag the recycling bin to the curb, we infer that we really care about the environment. And after purchasing the latte, we assume that we are coffee connoisseurs. Hundreds of experiments have confirmed the theory and shown when this self-inference process is most likely to operate is when people believe they freely chose to behave the way they did, and when they weren’t sure at the outset how they felt. This may be why positive reinforcement is so powerful in kids!

    As someone who grew up under the “spare the rod, spoil the child” mantra i’m painfully aware that sure, kids can do the right things because they don’t like pain, but this is not trans-formative. Like water boarding, spanking can produce effects but not the kind that necessarily makes for good citizens!

    On the positive side, Im a fan of the when-then method (when your homework is done, then you can watch T.V, play etc..) and avoiding the I’m so proud of you but rather “you must be very proud of yourself, you worked so hard on that etc..” which tend to reinforce a positive inner narrative. As a father of daughters ages 10, 15 and 17 I’m not always as good at putting this into as much practice as I’d like! But when I do, guess what, I think of myself as a good father, reinforcing the theory!!

    Great blog and nice to meet you yesterday,


    • Thanks Christian! Great comments and sound advice. FYI to everyone else, Christian just started his internship for his Master’s degree at TFS in our Individual and Family Counseling Division! We are fortunate to have you on our team!

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