Is punishment of children required?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Lukeinaz
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Lukeinaz » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:04 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:20 pm
Seishin wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:30 pm
if they've been naughty. They sit in time out, even when out and about. More importantly, they get treats for good behaviour and no treats for bad behaviour.
what is "naughty". i mean in terms of buddhism, do you mean self-centered?
Not in terms of Buddhism, whatever that means. In terms of acting appropriately with another human being.
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Seishin
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Seishin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:35 am

Precisely Lukeinaz.
Lukeinaz wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:04 pm
tomschwarz wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:20 pm
Seishin wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:30 pm
if they've been naughty. They sit in time out, even when out and about. More importantly, they get treats for good behaviour and no treats for bad behaviour.
what is "naughty". i mean in terms of buddhism, do you mean self-centered?
Not in terms of Buddhism, whatever that means. In terms of acting appropriately with another human being.

Lukeinaz
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Lukeinaz » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:03 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:41 pm
Lukeinaz wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:32 am
... lumping together punishment, anger, and beatings....
So what happens in your scenario when you say "ect..."?
the teeth are brushed with love, playfulness, and i encourage a sense of feeling your teeth, "how do they feel?", "good?", "clean?" then when it is time for "the world will show them", and they say my teeth hurt, you can say with love, and compassion, "lets go brush teeth". and you will be all good.

punishment is: the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offence.

here is the thing, your mind. buddhism. how does it really work for you, personally? do you have some stable happiness which his holiness the dalai lama is always talking about, as something that you have a right to? all beings have a right to? do you have some samatha, a.k.a. calm mind when you practice seated meditation? great! then what is punishment in your mind? i mean, without words, how does it sit in your consciousness/heart level awareness? i see it as:
fear
anxiety
done something wrong -- will get caught
etc...

can that help people to stay alive? sure. but can that help people to develop stable happiness? not always, so how do you improve that? is buddhism the final answer? if not, what is the gap? is there anything the dharma left out, about needing to take on the "god" role of karma itself, so that the teacher judges, and swings the pendulum of fate for the student? bam on the head!?!

if punishment and other behavioral manipulation is so interesting/positive, why do all the darma teachers i have heard not mention it? his holiness the dalai lama often (always?) mentions "maximum affection from the mother" and the recipe for success in life (in terms of early human development)....
Not sure what you are getting at. I will say that your understanding of parenting is very limited. "Maximum affection from the mother" can also include a good beating, sometime done with a mala without the slightest bit of anger.
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

madhusudan
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by madhusudan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:57 am

Wow, what an interesting thread.

For me, as a parent, discipline and punishment if boundaries are crossed, is essential. It's in the nature of children to test how far they can cross the line and what will happen if they push too far. Children need a strong authority figure, and they want to know their place in the world. It makes them feel safe and loved.

I don't judge how other people raise their children as long as the outcome is a healthy and responsible person. If it works, it's good. Certainly nowadays, though, I think we can see the result of overly permissive parenting. Nobody is advocating a return to the 19th century, but clear rules and consequences, in my view, are a form of love. I saw the idea mentioned of just letting children reap the consequences of their behavior, but that's what adult rules are trying to protect children from. We know better.

As for brushing teeth, it's something we do together. I guess for our family it's just part of the day. There is an occasional struggle, to which I remind them that they're their teeth, and if a cavity develops it's not me who will feel the pain. That usually motivates them enough.

Wicked Yeshe
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Wicked Yeshe » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 pm

No. Never. Kobo Daishi wrote in his hiragana precepts that it is the end of good when children get hurt.

I wish i would have gotten more patience as a child. That would have made me a better person and therefore a better buddhist. With deep respect to my parents for doing their best.

:bow:

"The end of good is violence against woman’s seed (children)."

- Kobo Daishi

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PSM
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by PSM » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:56 pm

Seems 'punishment' is being conflated too readily with violence, which is very strange and probably quite telling.
madhusudan wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:57 am
For me, as a parent, discipline and punishment if boundaries are crossed, is essential. It's in the nature of children to test how far they can cross the line and what will happen if they push too far. Children need a strong authority figure, and they want to know their place in the world. It makes them feel safe and loved.
Definitely. And it need to be consistent. This is so important for the child and their life as an adult - failing to bring a child up properly will have serious negative effects for themselves and others. We are seeing some very, very serious issues with this in the UK as Mantrik has pointed out.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Wicked Yeshe » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:12 pm

Violence can be very subtle and stem from a passive aggressive constitution. The way we move, talk, do things and so on can have an alienating quality to them that is violent. All that is ego and not enlightened. I would never be a parent myself but looking back it seems that more skill could have been applied in raising both me and my half sister. It is forbidden to unjustly resent ones parents but really, could we all not be a little gentler and kinder when someone misbehaves? That brings respect which naturally matures into good moral as an individual grows up.

My father always wanted me to eat all the food on the plate and would get angry if i didn't. My mom never forced me to overeat but told me to listen to my own body. Even though dad wanted me to grow strong and big my mom got more respect and love spontaneously from me. Just saying.

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PSM
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by PSM » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:41 pm

Wicked Yeshe wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:12 pm
Violence can be very subtle and stem from a passive aggressive constitution.
I'd not call that violent, but it can negatively influence up a child's psychology (or anyone else's).

It is also why the best way to raise children is to be assertive with them and raise them to also be assertive. That way everyone's needs, boundaries, expectations, rights and responsibilities etc. are all completely open. David Richo has written some brilliant books about this - I think he also has a connection with the Shambala community.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:29 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:53 am
In the UK we now have a generation of feral kids whio don't give a flying firkin about respect and receive parenting from people who believe that it is everyone else's job to raise their kids.

They arrive at school with a mobile phone but can't use a toilet, have little idea about listening but know the law relating to teachers and discipline very very well. They will be out causing mayhem all hours of the day and night and have no concern about police (not that we have many left).

It stems from the parental generation which screams about entitlement but never whispers about responsibility.

It's so bad that schools cannot now recruit enough teaching staff even in 'good' areas for the thankless task of receiving daily abuse and, increasingly, violence from both kids and parents. One school I know would have, in a typical week, organised fights with or without weapons, drug dealers needing to be tackled on the premises, battles between locals and travellers, and a litany of petty theft, drug abuse and violence. Mostly, the parents openly declared it was all the school's problem, even in the evening and at weekends. This is in a poor rural English town.

What people forget is that in any population of small children there are the doctors of the future....and also the rapists, thieves and murderers. It seems we've forgotten that the values they develop as children continue into adulthood.

And yes, some children need the shock of a corrective smack, or the indignity of being restrained and confined in 'isolation' in a room with nothing but, gasp, work to do.

If they start to run into the road, a quick slap and a few tears will make a far stronger impression than a gentle lecture about road safety. In the 1950' and 1960's any adult felt safe about grabbing and correcting a badly behaved child. Parents who knew their kid had been caught and corrected by another adult, would correct them again at home, and be ashamed of the kid's behaviour.

Nowadays, they will claim assault and/or discrimination and encourage the vicious little sprog to think they are a victim, and train them how to exploit the culture of victimhood and entitlement. You don't negotiate with toddlers. I've seen cases where the parents are getting bullied, slapped, kicked etc. because the kid is in charge.

Most of all, we need to get the parents of the younger kids sorted. And yes, that includes jail time when their kids run protection rackets, drug rings, knife people, carry guns etc. - and yes, kids do.

I think I read recently that London's murder rate now exceeds New York's - almost all down to teenage gang stabbings.
That last line touched on some of my thoughts as I was reading your description - sounds like NY about a generation ago.

In NYC, there has been a move toward a robust, multi-discipline, multi-faceted approach to education in poor areas, which integrates schools, social safety net programs and community building. The idea is that children can't be successful in school if their entire environment is not supportive. We have to address the home and community as well. Social workers are actively employed to visit the homes and make sure that the home environment is safe and supportive, bringing help for parents if needed. There are a few different programs - the most famous is the Harlem Children's Zone / Promise Academy. This all goes along with a broader philosophy of looking to nurture and develop people rather than the traditional approach of neglect and heavy handed policing to "control" low income populations.

There was a period under Mayor Guiliani that the police were very aggressive employing the Broken Windows approach, ie. aggressively policing minor crimes on the theory that the proliferation of minor offenses contributes to an overall sense of lawlessness which in turn lets people feel empowered to commit more serious crimes. It was a very controversial program, but seems to have had success. It was necessary at the time, I think.

The program evolved under Mayor Blumberg toward a data driven model (Comstat - Community Statistics) where police resources are directed based on measured trends. What they found was that local crime waves were often attributable to a few individuals. By apprehending them quickly, crime waves did not evolve into crime ridden neighborhoods. Under the current Mayor DeBlasio, they've done away with most of the aggressive Broken Windows policies and shifted over heavily to the Comstat model and an emphasis on community policing where the police are engaged with the community on a regular basis so that the police are not just some invading force, but regular features of the local community.

New York City as a result is a much softer place than it used to be even 30 years ago.

Contrast the success in the New York area with other major US cities that are still operating on the old models (Chicago, for instance, which remains one of the most segregated cities).
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
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Seishin
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Seishin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:40 pm

One of my neighbours do not believe in discipline and boundaries. They let their children climb (and often break) other people's cars. They've thrown mud balls at peoples walls and windows. They've gone through the trash and thrown it around the road. They've even stolen my daughters toys a few times. So I have to ask, to those who also do not believe in discipline and boundaries, what are your thoughts about this?

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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Seishin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:48 pm

I'm also amazed at the amount of people who feel discipline = violence, hitting and anger. It is possible to discipline a child without resorting to these.

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Queequeg
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:55 pm

We don't do corporal punishment, but certainly punish if reasoning or verbal reprimands don't work. Punishment can range from time-outs, to no-desserts, to loss of toys. What we've found is that misbehavior often is a symptom of being stir crazy or tiredness. We try to get in front of it with walks and play time at the park and keeping to a schedule.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Wicked Yeshe
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Wicked Yeshe » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:56 pm

Discipline and assertiveness are important but without loving kindness it is just like being in the military. We're not here to fight but to find out what our lives are. Therefore we must be careful, very careful. That is all.

Personal experience tells me punishment leads to resentment. Better to reason than to yell.

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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:56 pm

Seishin wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:40 pm
those who also do not believe in discipline and boundaries
I often wonder if its actually just a form of neglect.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Lukeinaz
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Lukeinaz » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:59 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:56 pm
Seishin wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:40 pm
those who also do not believe in discipline and boundaries
I often wonder if its actually just a form of neglect.
Yes, it absolutely is.
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

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PSM
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by PSM » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Wicked Yeshe wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:56 pm
Discipline and assertiveness are important but without loving kindness it is just like being in the military. We're not here to fight but to find out what our lives are. Therefore we must be careful, very careful. That is all.

Personal experience tells me punishment leads to resentment. Better to reason than to yell.
Very young kids cannot reason. Their brains haven't developed enough.
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Seishin
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Seishin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:56 pm
Seishin wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:40 pm
those who also do not believe in discipline and boundaries
I often wonder if its actually just a form of neglect.
Some cases, maybe. But I think others have been so hurt by their parents that they can't separate discipline, boundaries and consequences from violence, anger, hatred etc. But I honestly believe that letting children do whatever they feel like (like my neighbours) doesn't do them any favours. What's going to happen as they get older, get a job and are told to run up on time, but they don't feel like it? Or will they turn to crime, because they are so used to taking other kids toys growing up without any consequences?

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Mantrik
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Mantrik » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:16 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:29 pm

In NYC, there has been a move toward a robust, multi-discipline, multi-faceted approach to education in poor areas, which integrates schools, social safety net programs and community building.
That sentence is the key, for sure.

WE need integration of public and private community support, and consistency in establishing and maintaining acceptable behaviour.

People want to make the problem of child indiscipline into a race issue, or a poverty issue. Yet we have had both for decades, without the child violence we now experience, especially the black gang battles. To an extent that has been an import from the US. Rap music brought the gangsta image - and the dress, slang etc. was infectious - then suddenly the gangs began to carve up areas, and carve up each other. Their parents (often single) stand no chance of stopping them as they progress to drive-by shootings and drug running. Outside of that kids of all races have absorbed that knife culture to the extent that I'm actually surprised to hear of a punch-up rather than a knifing. Kids have carried knives in the UK for decades, played 'splits' with them, thrown them and generally mucked about and learned how not to cut themselves (by cutting themselves) - just part of growing up.

There was probably never a time when large communties had consistent values, but it certainly felt like it when I was a kid. Wherever you misbehaved, your school got to find out and your parents got to find out and you were in trouble with everybody! I could have had a criminal record aged 9, after racking up criminal damage, 7 offences on a motorbike, etc etc. but the local copper gave me a good hiding, sent me home where I got another one and then shaming at school etc. Yes, it was 'punishment' but mainly it was showing me community disapproval. Very few kids went on to become violent criminals carrying weapons because most either never needed much discipline or decided to conform after the odd brush with 'punishment'.

My parents would have said that the rot set in when National Service (military service) was abolished. Sometimes I think they had a point, because community discipline of that sort did have a lasting effect.
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Wicked Yeshe
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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Wicked Yeshe » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:22 pm

PSM wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:12 pm
Wicked Yeshe wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:56 pm
Discipline and assertiveness are important but without loving kindness it is just like being in the military. We're not here to fight but to find out what our lives are. Therefore we must be careful, very careful. That is all.

Personal experience tells me punishment leads to resentment. Better to reason than to yell.
Very young kids cannot reason. Their brains haven't developed enough.
They can on a deeper level. If you play classical music to a child and read great works of litterature to them, they will understand and get a rapport with that material for later life even if it is fragmentary and thin. Better than some cartoon or MTV crap. I guess we are delving into the territory of magic a little, but think about how awesome it would be to grow up with buddhist sorcery as the main tool of being raised. Wonderful.

Though, i don't know since i'm not a parent.

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Re: Is punishment of children required?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:46 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:16 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:29 pm

In NYC, there has been a move toward a robust, multi-discipline, multi-faceted approach to education in poor areas, which integrates schools, social safety net programs and community building.
That sentence is the key, for sure.
As I described, it was/is a generation in the making - largely as a reaction to the out of control culture of the 70s and 80s. What we now know as conventional wisdom is that in many communities over run with crime, most of the people are decent and hard working, but the bad ones are allowed to run rampant and define the community culture. When the police came and forced the crime to retreat into the shadows, ordinary people felt empowered to come out of their houses, and then a gentler culture started to prevail. At the same time, lawyers and judges were working to figure out ways to keep young people out of the criminal system which ends up turning youthful indiscretions into a career in crime, teachers and school administrators were trying to figure out how to nurture their students, and social workers were working to get families enrolled in programs to support them, hospitals developing an approach to healthcare designed to help the poor and undereducated to make better health decisions from diet to regular check ups. With lower crime, the middle class returned to the city, commerce emerged to take the place of the factory jobs that left two generations before (instead we now have problems of gentrification).

In a vacuum, people might think this approach is paternalistic, especially because it started as theories worked out in research universities and liberal think tanks, implemented by people in high positions of power. In practice, what we see is a community of people healing itself. Teachers, social workers, police, etc. now often live in the neighborhoods that they work in.

Overall, I think in the US, particularly in the more progressive parts of the country, there has been a shift in philosophy to what might be called the holistic approach to fighting poverty. To me, it just seems like common sense - the way it should be.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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