Jessica Mondillo’s Blog



Massachusetts No Spanking Law

November 29, 2007 

Massachusetts legislation is trying to pass a law that stop parents from being allowed to spank their children.

I think this is absolutely appalling.  I’m 18 and I’ll admit I was spanked as a child and I don’t think it did any harm to me.  Actually, overall I’d say I turned out to be a perfectly normal human being who is capable of surviving in the world.

In the pasts parents used to be able to whip their children and no one ever gave this a second thought, and now we are second guessing spanking?

All children are different.  Some follow the rules and should be rewarded.  Others don’t and they have to be punished.  Although you can use time out, it is both much harder to enforce and it is not nearly as immediate.  Children need to be able to associate misbehavior with punishment, because then they won’t misbehave.  It worked with me.  After age 5 or 6, I very rarely was spanked because I knew the rules and I knew if I was told not to do something and I did it there were consequences.

Now if you said this was a no spanking rule for foster or adopted children from an abusive household.  I could understand that, it may create additional trama to what a child has been through.

What about the manipulative child?  We all know that parents who are spanking their children obviously have a child who broke some type of rule.  Children who are not disciplined can manipulate their parents.  I’ve seen that even within my own extended family.  So what about the children who will go report a parent just to get back at them for not allowing them to watch TV.  Then it’s a battle of who says what because spankings don’t normally leave physical evidence.

Spanking shouldn’t be covered by a blanket rule.  If parents don’t believe in spanking, that is their right to not spank their child.  If parents want to spank their child for misbehavior that is their choice.  The government shouldn’t be interfering with the personal lives and discipline styles of a family.

An Update (November 30, 2007):

This is from an article on parentdish.com:

With corporal punishment defined as “the willful infliction of physical pain or injurious or humiliating treatment,”  legislator Jay Kaufman says, “We need to have a serious public conversation, not about spanking – that’s not what this is about – but where people cross the line and abuse their children.”

First of all this is scary for a LOT of reasons.  Why are we going to converse about the law after it is passed?  The government is much less likely to get rid of it once it is passed.  Thats why Massachusetts has some laws that are so outdated (back from the original blue book from the 1600s-1700s) that they get people out of violent crimes because by law they have that right.

Kaufman says this isn’t about spanking.  Yes it is.  Spanking it the willing inflicting of physical pain.  A small amount but still physical pain.  Now lets finish interpreting these words.  “Or humiliating” is a VERY scary phrase.  What is humiliating and who determines it is humiliating?  While humiliating, according to Webster.com, means: extremely destructive to ones self-respect or dignity.  You can say that a time out is destructive to ones self esteem because a child has to sit in a corner and not move while everyone else has fun and the child is stuck all by their-self.  I mean after all that may make other children look down upon the punished child because they did something WRONG.

On that note I’d have to say we can’t put anybody in jail because it might hurt their self esteem and dignity because they are being punished for committing a crime.  If you see something wrong with that sentence, you may want to consider seeing that something is equally as wrong with this bill.

And “about where people cross the line and abuse children” is what you want to talk about.  Fine let’s talk.  In 1999 Massachusetts highest court ruled that spanking was okay as long as it didn’t cause serious bodily harm.  This makes sense because spankings shouldn’t cause serious bodily harm, at most it might bruise but even that, in my opinion, is VERY extreme.  I believe we already have laws in place to protect both children, spouses, and even significant others from being abused by another person whether it be a parent, a caregiver, or a significant other.

Don’t be fooled this law isn’t about stopping child abuse.  It’s about taking away parent’s rights.  It’s about taking away the freedom to chose.  Read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”  Then put it in political terms.  If you give away one right now, they’ll take another, and another.  Pretty soon we won’t have any rights.

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Comments

  1. * TRM says:

    Would you agree that this is another step in an attempt by socialist to erode our rights and control more and more of our lives?

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 12 months ago
  2. * Jessica Mondillo says:

    I’m not sure I would say socialists exactly, since there are other very similar government types, but I would agree that this is an attempt to erode our rights and control our lives.

    In the Declaration of Independence it talked about the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This goes directly against that. Liberty would include freedom to chose, so the no spanking law is not liberty. Life, this is our personal life and we are using our liberty to discipline children so that they will learn to be moral, respectable citizens in society and will be able to tell the difference between good and bad. Parents who are spanking children are not spanking children because it makes them happy but in the hope that their children will learn what is right and wrong and will have good judgement in the future so that they will be able to be happy and pursue a decent life instead of ending up in jail for breaking a law because they never learned what discipline was in the first place.

    I know not every parents believes in spanking and that is fine with me but their rights to disagree with it and speak out against it should not infringe other people’s right to spank their children and be for it. The same thing rings true in many other political issues. Unless you can truly prove that something is wrong with it what gives the person the right to take away another, non-incarcerated, citizen’s freedoms.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 11 months ago
  3. * Ally says:

    It works with some people but it doesn’t make it right. Everyone has rights to their own body. There is a reason why there is laws and it is to protect humans rights. Theres nothing wrong with that. Children dont need to be spanked to get their attention. There is other methods to teach children from wrong and right. Just because your the parent and you gave birth your child is not a piece of property. They have rights too you dont own them like you own a car. How do you think volience starts? Their not born that way its the way they were raised, not that all children will become violent but it happens because of things like that. Spanking and hitting or anything like that is not YOUR RIGHT. its your childs body NOT YOURS. some children become sad depressed,violent,resentful,bad,angry, it teaches hate it teaches to groow up to think ooo spanking is harmless because my parents did it to me. every person who was spanked thinks its ok and its not. it mentally affects you. weather you see it or not. maybe it didn’t mentally affect you thats a good thing be proud. but for the other children that its affecting. its time to stop it because that one hit can all lead into very bad situations. You want your children to trust you not hate you. yeah your suppose to be their parent before being their friend. but children shouldn’t be afraid of their parent. When they get older they might not trust you and wont go to you when they have a problem. you dont want that. you want your children to be able to trust you and come to you when something is wrong. you dont want children to hide things do you? their going to hide it because thre going to think oh well if i tell my mom or dad their going to hit me for it cuz im bad. believe in what you want but theres other methods and stop thinking you guys have the right to spank just because you gave birth. they have rights too just remember that.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 7 months ago
    • * Lee says:

      Ally I am a 37-year-old man and I disagree with the notion of “How do you think violence starts? Spanking a child has nothing to do with whether or not they are spanked. It all boils down to teaching. There are plenty of people that have been spanked in the past that HAVE committed crimes and those that have NOT been spanked that have also committed crimes. I am pretty sure we can eliminate THAT connection.

      Furthermore, the mistake most parents make when choosing to be a spanking parent is they do it out of anger, with no time to explain why this is what the child is receiving as opposed to: the time out’s that haven’t been working, the taking away of their favorite toy/game/activity … you name it and IT’S lack of effectiveness. I mean the child does something wrong and the parent is lunging at the child and whacking away at the butt of the child, no questions asked. That’s NOT the way to do it!

      True, there are other ways of dealing with a child’s misbehavior such as those mentioned in the above paragraph. And I believe those should be attempted first! However, if you have parents with no spine that’s no good either. They’ll say: “If you don’t stop arguing right now, we’re going to turn this car around right and go back home and miss this planned trip!” So, the children inevitably argue more and do you think the car has turned around? Nope! Way to stick to your guns mom and dad. They really “get” the discipline concept when you really come through like that with what you say 😉 *sarcasm included*

      In all seriousness, what else do you have left when they are still misbehaving after you have exhausted all other possibilities as a parent? If you make them stand in the corner (or sit in a chair) and they just keep getting up cause they have no “real” incentive to stay there for the allotted time you told them and they keep misbehaving because you never insist they stay in the corner/chair short of you hovering over them, then what? When they’ve figured out a way to live without their games/toys/activities for a week or 2 and they still misbehave, then what?

      Admittedly, spanking should be a last resort. But total elimination? No way! It’s counter-productive to take away that option from a parent and turn around and hold a parent responsible for a child’s behavior. REALLY?!?! It’s not about a parents’ RIGHT to spank a child it’s taking away the OPTION to do so. Not all kids respond well to spankings and a good set of parents will figure out how their own child responds to each type of punishment.

      Parents do need to be more proactive with their kids (or stop having them) and be more creative with punishment. Some kids need to be yelled at just once to be motivated to change so-called “bad” behavior and other kids need gentle pressure, relentlessly applied. It works the same in management … A top manager will figure out how all his/her employees respond to reprimands and a poor one will treat everyone the same (talk sternly, threaten, yell at.)

      There’s so much more to it than just spanking or not spanking a child. I have said my 2 cents.

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago
  4. * Rebeca says:

    Ally, I don’t think you have any children. Now a days the kids have all the rights and they know it. Things are getting worse. When my daughter was a baby-she hit me and I told her no no. All kids hit. I have been around enough of them. I got spank and never once was in a fight or in jail. I thank my parents all the time for discipling me, because if they let me do what I wanted then I would of been a criminal. You don’t spank your child because you like it. Nobody wants to discipline your child, but you have to. You do it because you love your child. Research can’t tell me a thing. Kids growing up from the 60’s 70’s and some of the 80’s tells me these kids were raised right. None of the problems like they are now. These kids these days have no fear. They are disrespectful. Don’t tell them nothing cause they might do some bodily harm to you.

    I am from Boston, Ma. Sitting on the orange line these middle school kids got on the train. They were swearing and talking real loud. They were talking about violence and sex. In middle school talking like that. This tells me that these kids were not disciplined. i just shook my head and I was sad. Look at our youth. The kids have all the power here in the states. Parents are scared to discipline. Scents the state has all the answers and they think they can raise these kids into productive citizens who will make something of their lives-then come get them all. I will go to the end of the earth to make sure my child is raised in the right way. Nothing wrong with spanking sometimes. You have no right to judge anyone.

    Everyday in Boston on the news there is a report that some kid shot another and all kinds of other things going on. You got kids doing their own thing because they know they can.

    My daughter is loved. So tell me what works for these kids and I will use it. Please.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  5. * Jessica Mondillo says:

    I was spanked as a child. I am not afraid of my parents. And you are right as an adult it is your body. As a minor you do not have the rights of an adult. You do not have the right to leave the state with a non guardian. It is considered kipnapping to cross state lines even if the 16 year old agrees to it. Prior to being 18, no minor is allowed to get a piercing on their body or to get a tatoo without PARENTAL PERMISSION. Schools are not suppose to allow a child to leave school property without parental permission. A parent’s job is to protect their children. Yes, there are cases were adults don’t just spank their children and do become abusive. Of course most parents use it as a discipline tool in MODERATION. Yes there are other methods of discipline. But in many cases they are not strong enough because parents do not like having to discipline their children. When parents put their children in time out and then cut the punishment in half, it undermines their authority.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago


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