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Corporal punishment : GOF’s 21st century review

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The experience of life has left me with the belief that the occasional impeccably timed smack on a kid's arse after reasonable attempts at negotiation have failed, can be a useful and effective deterrent against its subsequent delinquency.

Last year when I expressed this view I was taken to task by some of my Vox neighbors.  This year I have felt obliged to examine whether or not I was perpetuating antiquated barbaric behaviour, and to check whether any other cracks might have developed in my 20th century fortress of child raising certainty.

The immediate dilemma was where to find another child on which to experiment.  Globet, for reasons unknown, vamoosed many years ago to live at the opposite extremity of this large continent.
And anyway if I attempted to lay a disciplinary hand on her 27 year old backside today the most favourable outcome from the menu of potential repercussions would probably be that her gymnasium toned body would simply pound my patriarchal puniness into pulp.

Society also apparently frowns upon old men randomly selecting children to smack in supermarkets, even though the temptation on occasions is almost overwhelming.
Long term readers will remember that GOF additionally has some "prior history" of questionable behaviour in shopping centres which resulted in him being banned from two of them.

My review options were becoming seriously restricted.

I thought that maybe doing a few experiments on animals might be more acceptable, but Animal Welfare caught me at it and told me it wasn't.
At least no conviction was recorded, and I am learning a lot during my community service at the local animal shelter.

The only remaining opportunity for me was to do my testing on some inanimate object, and just in the nick of time I was presented with a suitable contender.

Our 20 year old television set suddenly had the temerity to display floating rainbow colours instead of any transmitted program.

Whack!!! on the side panel.
Picture restored.   (instantly, but temporarily)
Whack!!!!!    Wallop!!!!!!
Picture back.
I am well on the way to proving my point of view here.

However after two weeks of corrective discipline administered with increasing frequency and intensity, and just as I was about to scout around for a suitable weapon with which to administer a damn good flogging, I decided last Sunday in a moment of frustrated exhaustion to sit down in front of the television and speak quietly to it.

(I have cleaned this up a little for the benefit of your innocent eyes)

"I am dissatisfied with your recent performance.
 Next Thursday I am going to take you to the dump recycle centre,
 then I am going to buy a new digital TV"

We have had a perfect television picture for the last 2 days.

My belief system is now in tatters.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

27 responses »

  1. It is just playing with your mind – wait until you really want to watch something and it will cause you troubles yet again!

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  2. pound my patriarchal puniness into pulp.I like it. You're not just a pretty face, are you, GOF. I'll have to get you to have a little chat to my old two stroke lawnmower. I have a "little chat" every time I try to start it, but nothing works. I suppose it does get me out of cutting the grass. I haven't seen the dog for days. I did hear him bark, though, so I guess he's in the back yard there somewhere…

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  3. First off, I didn't know what temerity meant and had to look it up. Good on you; obviously, I needed that one in my lexicon!I'm not allowed to strike anything since when I bother to, whatever it is doesn't get back up…at least for a while.It sounds like your Method of Child Rearing worked pretty well. What's that? "Don't knock it til you've tried it?"

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  4. The entire liberal State of Massachusetts could use a slap on the arse. One woman in a cafe holding a hot coffee was nearly knocked down the stairs by a running 6 year old while both parents were literally staring at the ceiling.
    I think it's a symptom more than a disease. When discipline disappears altogehter, desire for violence is normal! LOL

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  5. It is just playing with your mind I think it's time to come clean with all the psychic powers you possess FD.Everything was fine until you came forth with this suggestion now the bloody thing has gone into convulsions again. Now my bank balance is going to be in tatters. Sheesh.

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  6. I'll have to get you to have a little chat to my old two stroke lawnmower.I would be happy to do it for you Snowy except FD seems intent on sabotaging my good works.I haven't seen the dog for days.If his bark was muffled, have you looked under the lawn mower?

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  7. I'm not allowed to strike anything since when I bother to, whatever it is doesn't get back up…at least for a while. You and Globet are two of a kind. I will make sure that I never offend either of you.

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  8. knocked down the stairs by a running 6 year oldSee if you can abduct him and send him to me for a couple of months for realignment. Don't waste money on airmail…..pack him up surface mail.As for Massachusetts…..you have a bigger problem there.Sounds like woman's work. Good luck Emmi.

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  9. Somehow I knew you'd make my dreams come true. Just one more request, do you have to send him back? Massachusetts would settle for an Austrailian child in exhange. We'd swap parents too so the kids won't be lonely. I'm sure there's an obscure island of rabid wolverines where the whole family will fit in.

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  10. Australia was colonised by convicts from England. One more should be no trouble Emmi. I'll sort him out then set him free somewhere out in the middle of the Simpson desert.I'm not sure you need an Australian child or it's parents in return.You probably would not notice any difference in behaviour to those you already have over there, except that they would speak with a funny accent.

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  11. Ahhh GOF, you should never try these experiments with electrical/electronic devices. For they have a brain, and their AI is better than we give it credit for.
    Allow me to provide you with an example:
    In my many years of service to the computer industry I have learned one very important mantra which to live by. Computers and all things electronic are like a wild animal. Do NOT let them smell fear, lest they will devour you. I had a persistant caller when I was on helpdesk and we eventually bested the animal which was taking over her office. How, you may ask? During one of our lengthy conversations I weedled out of her that she hated this thing on her desk and she was afraid to turn it on some days. Afraid?? It's a computer!! Don't be scared of it. It knows it's won then. Same for your television. Well, before FD meddled with it psychic style. You took it to task, gave it clear instructions that it wouldn't rule your viewing life and that should it think otherwise it would swiftly find it's cathode based ass recycled into milk bottles or something. Not being brave enough to cross FD – especially after hearing how she deals with Mr FD! – I wouldn't like to blame her categorically for the television's failure to adhere to your instructions but I think you and I both know what's going on.
    Still, time for you to invest in a new digital monstrosity, though make sure you lay down the ground rules. If it craps on your mat, rub it's nose in it so it learns quickly who's the boss. Should ensure many years of viewing pleasure.

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  12. Ah you know you really wanted one of those damn fangled new ones. Of course the power bill will escalate enormously, or do you use hamster power to create energy? Think of all those lovely digital channels waiting for you. Can you get them way up there? We lived in Proserpine for a few months back in the 70s and all we could get was a local channel and ABC. We became Dr Who fanatics and I arrived home pregnant with Daughter1.The psychic powers do run in the family – my grandmother was the local water diviner as well!

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  13. Geeze you guys gang up on a lady – just as well I am superior to you all!

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  14. If you are concerned about what I can do to TV sets wait until you see what I can do to the average male brain! [Excluding the one I am married to]

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  15. Pah, it's trying to trick you. Never trust the electronic device, they're sneaky beasts and everyone knows they respond well to swearing and low level violence. As in fact do children. It's a shame you're not allowed to belt other people's kids because I know a few who would really benefit from it…

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  16. Globet and Mrs. GOF sound like great ladies!

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  17. Ha – you can't trust TV sets! When the manservant was away ours ceased to work – and I tried everything including banging and sweet talking. When he got back the first thing he did was turn it on and it worked perfectly! (I'm sure he thought I had forgotten how to flick the switch). We sent our non-working DVD player away to be repaired and somewhere along its journey it fixed itself so that the company thought we were nuts when they got it!
    Not long ago I complained to Metro about one of their station masters. They replied saying that she would be "re-educated" – I had images of them taking her out the back and whipping her back into shape!

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  18. you should never try these experiments with electrical/electronic devices.Thank you Pete for your thorough dissertation on the psychological management of electronic devices. The TV worked properly not because I spoke quietly to it, but because it saw, in the back of my mind, the six foot long piece of polythene irrigation pipe that I was going to flog it with if the negotiation failed.When I buy the new TV I am also going to get some fresh batteries for my electric cattle prodder which I will always hold with me on the couch……just as a reminder to any potentially delinquent piece of electrical equipment that from now on I mean business.It might also be useful for for any other member of my family (including pets) who step out of line, and, just between you and me Pete, anyone who attempts to intervene with psychic suggestions.Be careful how you use FD's advice about "stroking your machines".I once tried that on an old Land Rover that broke down in the main street…there I was a'strokin'and a'lovin it and a'urgin it to go again and damned if I didn't get arrested.

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  19. Ah you know you really wanted one of those damn fangled new onesSheesh. How did you know that. Damn clairvoyancy.I've even done the research….essential on solar….they only use 60 watts…same as the old one…and yes we apparently will be able to watch the whole 20 channels of crap instead of just 5.We became Dr Who fanatics and I arrived home pregnant with Daughter1.Did we blame Mr FD or Dr Who for that? Ahhhhh…I seem to remember that one of the Dr Who assistants used to play havok with my hormones. It's too early in the morning to continue this line of thought.

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  20. they respond well to swearing and low level violence.Thank you Vicola. It has been a long time coming, but you are the only one to support my essential child raising commandment.And if you want to start the ball rolling belting other people's kids I won't be far behind you.

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  21. On several occasions during past years I have had computers that would not power up.I would take them down to Cairns to the technician, and on each occasion they worked perfectly, but as soon as I brought them home they still would not work.Apparently because we live in constant mist and drizzle the moisture was affecting the power unit, but during the drive to the coast it dried out enough to work again. "re-educated"Like you, every time I hear on the radio that some errant public servant is being "counselled" I have visions of them being taken out the back for a damn good thrashing. Perhaps that is the way it should be done.

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  22. This is an amusing take on a topic that has been of great importance to me for nearly all my life. I wrote a term paper on corporal punishment with a bibliography filled with resources, none of which included myself about my own experiences.Since then, I became a parent of a wonderful son, now 18.I had my moments of weakness when all else seemed to fail. So, I swatted my son's butt. It happened on three separate occasions. I remember every one. I actually regret doing it. I realized, the real problem was with the limited knowledge I had to effectively deal with each of those three situations. I was the weak one in each case, but not entirely. I was determined to learn a better approach.I wanted to instill a strong sense of logic with a healthy conscience in my son. It eventually paid off. My son has a beautiful heart. He has an extremely high IQ. He's been quite a challenge and he still is. I'm so relieved and delighted that he did not follow the hard path that my siblings I know all too well. But then, he had a lot of encouragement to develop his logic and conscience. Ours was limited by one parent that thought a good beating and lots of other negative and punitive reinforcements would do the trick.

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  23. Hurrah! I'll start with Halfwit Emily across the road (so named because she is called Emily and is a halfwit). The next time she deliberately rams her bicycle into my parked car, once again scratching the paintwork, I will deliberately clip her round the ear. I think I could start a trend. Those brats in restaurants that screech, run round and smear food into the table, they're next…

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  24. Thank you LilTreva for visiting and sharing your experience.I suspect every child responds differently to advice and guidance.I was not smacked often as a child, and neither I hope did I go overboard with disciplining our daughter.My original story concerned the one occasion in Grade 3 at school when I repeatedly misbehaved in the classroom one day despite receiving several warnings from the teacher to desist. I was finally blessed with a leather strap on the hand. I deserved it. I learned the lesson. For the remainder of my school days I listened to teachers and behaved respectfully as my parents taught me to do. I am sure many children respond adequately to discussion and reason.On that one occasion, I was not one of them.

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  25. LOL ….I can see you are eventually going to clean up the entire UK.I've made a start on Australia…..there is not one kid living within 5 kilometres of me.Now isn't that strange. I wonder why that might be.

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  26. You're welcome, GOF.You suspect accurately that every child responds differently. I've known some kids that were so stubborn and disruptive when they knew they could get away with it, despite all the tactics that usually work on other kids. Several of the ones I knew years ago have become very familiar with the process of arrest, incarceration, court appearances, and sentences. With them, nothing worked. They refused to learn. They did not care about consequences. A couple of them talk as if their fondest memories were made while they were behind bars.Go figure! :/

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  27. A couple of them talk as if their fondest memories were made while they were behind bars. That is also beyond my understanding….I guess it is like a club in there with the company of the likeminded.

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