[A]s an economy.
“The Cost Is In The Maintenance”
Testimonialism tells us that “There exist no general rules without limits”. So to say we should never spank or always do something else, is an ‘immature’ or perhaps ‘unsophisticated’ ethic.
Lets look at the four properties.
0) the category of violation: violence(physicality), crime(theft), ethics(deceit), manners(impulsivity), morals(externality), (please note the sequence).
1) time preference (long term consequences),
2) knowledge of alternatives,
3) time demands (urgent threat vs raising calmest child),
4) exhaustion and frustration levels of the parent.
I suspect that merely mentioning these properties is enough for you to put it together. It’s not very complicated.
1) whenever possible choose the long term consequences. The long term consequences are that harming( using violence against) your children for any reason produces long term consequences. There are times when children know they are out of line.
I am not a prohibitionist. There must exist some limit. Physicality should be a limit, not a practice. Thats what the research shows and I am convinced by it.
2) it is actually just as effective in most cases to deprive a child of attention and stimulation. This is the preferred method today – in no small part because we have big enough houses.
As I understand it the beneficial line of demarcation is physicality. Cursing at mother (mother must be sacred), or using physicality warrants physicality. Everything else warrants deprivation rather than physicality.
Why? Because punishment gives the child attention, and your anger means he or she ‘wins’ by controlling you. In other words, if your child wants attention and can get it, then he is punishing you for not paying him enough attention.
After physicality, the next standard is lying. I think most of the time lying is impulsive, and if impulsive then deprivation is enough.
After lying s Premeditation. Premeditation is a very bad sign in a child (impulsivity requires only training). Premeditation is not quite as bad as killing animals, but a danger sign.
Harming others or animals through premeditation means you have a candidate serial killer on your hands. This requires professional help.
So if we are trying to train children to have higher time preference (escape impulsivity) then this is a matter for deprivation.
If we are trying to train children out of impulsive physicality – then calm retaliation is probably warranted.
If we are trying to train children out of premeditation – then it is more than a question of spanking, it is one of diagnosis of what is ‘wrong’ that is causing it.
My mother used to make me stand in a corner. I merely spoke to my daughter and that was enough to change her behavior We sent my son to his bedroom. I have spanked my son once, but it did no good. I usually use a tap on the bottom and that is all it takes. But we are a gene pool and there are other gene pools. My father was excessively violent and I fucking hated him for it. Mostly because it was unnecessary. Making my mother unhappy with me was punishment enough.
3) Deprivation requires time. Contrary to popular belief, children sort of just came along through most of our history, are fairly fragile until they are seven or eight, and were exposed (killed) if unwanted, and often killed by nature if insufficiently provided and cared for. (history is full of families the majority of whose children did not survive).
4) Deprivation requires patience, and energy. Frustrated and tired parenting is very difficult. How one punishes is one of the best measures of time preference. But one’s capacity for time preference is determined by exhaustion and frustration. So people with good mental and physical condition, and who have long (low) time preference tend to be better parents than those with poor mental and physical condition, and high(short) time preference.
This is the ‘economy’ of child rearing. A child is not purchased and held as lumber or bricks, but constantly maintained like an orchard. So the cost is in the maintenance, not in the purchase. wink emoticon