Today in the Basic Care and Handling of Baby's Faces


hooray for the first i anonymous to actually DO something about the awful thing they witnessed as well as write a letter about it.
Smacking a kid in the face is useless, a Taser is much more effective tool for discipline.

Seriously I could never hit my kids in anger. I have likely over squeezed an arm or two in frustration and yelled much more than I would have liked but I just don't find physical violence all that effective.
This could be written about certain in-laws of mine... Needless to say, I agree with Anonymous and thanks for watching out for the kid, she needs it.
I love how this letter simultaneously condemns and condones hitting kids - not OK for the face, but perfectly acceptable for the bottom. Don't hit your kid like *that,* you monster! Hit him like *this!*
@4 My thoughts exactly
Do what Mudede does, blame whitey.
Too bad no one knows the name of this cafe. I'd go out of my way to support that local business owner!
License plate number. CPS.

To "teach him a lesson", of course.
"Do you want me to get my belt? Slap that child again and I will have to use it!"
To catch a sunfish in Ohio, a license is required.
To own a poodle in Hollywood, a license is required.
To dye someone's hair in New York, a license is required.
To create a child anywhere in the world and then beat the shit out of them, a license is not required.


Thursday at Kent Events Center!
I would never slap a baby in the face, always punch it in the gut..easier to hide the bruises.
my daughter just told me yesterday that a girl in her fourth-grade class gets spanked. i don't condone hitting/spanking at any age, but at least i can see why people defend it when the kids are so young that words don't get through. if your words aren't working to the point that you are still spanking a FOURTH GRADER, you are seriously off the path, parenting-wise.

tell me, sloggers, what is my role here, or do i even have one? of course i think it's abuse but i also have only a child's secondhand words to go on. additionally, i certainly wouldn't want my parenting techniques second-guessed by some busybody outsider.

What about putting them in a burlap sack and throwing them in Lake Washington? Is that allowed? Cause that's what I wanted to do to my three month old last night.
Way to go, DJ!
@4 - He's not condoning smacking a kid's ass to hurt them, or even as punishment the way I read it, but as a way to get their attention. A quick smack, not a series of smacks.

That said, I personally do not agree with any corporal punishment, or attention grabbing for that matter. I luck out in that my little girl knows when it's time to listen.
Aw, shit, Rotten, you can't even do that with puppies or kittens any more. I know, what's the world coming to?
@4/5: I don't see anything inconsistent here. Even though I personally have never spanked my child (and I doubt I ever will), I acknowledge that a controlled spanking for an older child is a whole different ballgame than smacking a toddler in the face, which virtually all rational people find abhorrent.
In parenting classes, I invite students to come up to the doll in the front of class and spank the baby without hitting it.

So far, no one has figured out how.
Spanking by itself is not abuse according to CPS, so unless you have some other reason to be concerned about this kid, this isn't your business. Assuming one isn't endangering the kids, raising one's family the way one sees fit is a fundamental civil right, and you should respect that civil right. You should also respect the child's bond to his/her family.

of course you are right seandr - i know it's not my business. it's just one of those things that you feel like a jerk for letting slide. i have no other reason to be concerned about the welfare of this kid. i'm just in a "wtf is wrong with these parents??!" state of mind. it isn't the first time and i'm sure it won't be the last.
And by the way, I have definitely read too many Lindy West posts, because I read that headline as "Today in the Basic Care and Handling of Baby's Feces."
@22 - I am SO glad I'm not the only one who read it that way. I got to the end and wondered where the feces came in to play.
@1 @7 YES!
If smacking is so effective an aid to comprehension, why don't we allow its use on adults? And if it's not an aid to comprehension, why do we allow its use at all?
25 nailed it
@25, we do allow it for adults. Only cops can do it, though.
Probably followers of Michael & Debi Pearl's "To Train Up A Child" regimen of constant whippings and beatings. Yes, really:

"On p.61 they recommend whipping a 12 month old girl for crying. On p.59 they recommend whipping a 3 year old until he is “totally broken.” On p.46 the Pearls say that if a child does obey before being whipped, whip them anyway. "

Millions of copies sold. Good morning, America!…
Nothing wrong with a single, open-handed whoop on the butt to get a kid's attention. If you ever had 4 yr old boys, you'd understand.
holy shit, fnarf!!! i just followed your link.

at least i'm not freaking out about my daughter's classmate any more.
@29 you need to practice conveying certain death via bulging eyes and raised voice....its much more effective than anything physical I assure you
My mother used to regularly backhand me across the face. It didn't stop me being bad, it just made me sneaky.

I'm not a total anti-swat zealot, but anything on the head is out of bounds.
"You can smack a kid's bottom to shock them..."

Really? It's okay to hit in one place, but not another?? about, "It's NEVER okay to hit a child."
Or, what about, "It's NEVER okay to hit a human being (in anger)."
Or, how's this? "It's NEVER okay to lash out in anger at another living creature."
@19: Probably because "spanking" and "hitting" are synonymous. It's like asking someone to breathe without inhaling. It's a nonsensical request.

It might be more effective to ask your students to try to discipline the child without striking it. They'll have to do some real thinking then, rather than suspect you're just being a smart-ass.

@25: I'm guessing you don't remember much of what you were doing when you were two to four years old. That's because your brain hadn't developed enough, and your intelligence hadn't arisen enough, for you to have a rational comprehension of the world around you - or, more particularly, that actions have consequences.

Sometimes you can't reason with a very young child. That's because young children are not reasonable. You can't lecture a three-year-old about the dangers of crossing the street, for example. You can only administer a swat if the parental dictate ("Never cross the street unless I'm there") is ignored. Better a hand on the backside than a child on a car's bumper.

That said, there are always reasonable limits, and it is up to the adult to know what those limits are and to not cross them. The adult is supposed to be the functioning, intelligent one in the parent-child relationship. The creature described in the "I, Anonymous" piece clearly is not.
"additionally, i certainly wouldn't want my parenting techniques second-guessed by some busybody outsider."

13, this is the absolute truth. It is almost impossible to say anything to another parent. It is a very weird thing to have a child and believe that most people are on the same page about parenting and then find out, not so much.

I would ask your daughter if her friend seems upset or says it hurts. Then, tell the teacher. The teacher has training on what to look for and what to do if she suspects abuse.

As for Anonymous, good for you for speaking up for that child. You did the right thing even if the father doesn't agree.
@ 30,

I wouldn't be to concerned with an older child getting their rump paddled. I don't think it's appropriate for a younger child. A younger child is still learning boundaries. Time outs and taking away toys and privileges work at that age. An older child should be able to understand basic rules and why they're there and how to follow them. When an older kid breaks the rules they know what they're doing, a toddler, not necessarily.

I, and all my friends were spanked, we never considered ourselves abused, we never hated our parents, and we (if we have them) will in all likelihood spank our kids when we have them. What we considered real torture was the long, dull endless lecture. Those were soul-killing.
5280 @ 27, I see how 'smacking' is used by cops to enforce compliance. I don't see how it aids comprehension, beyond maybe teaching the perp to avoid doing the same thing around a cop in future.
@34 --- uh .. wow, man. What are you on about? Yes, I ask them to spank them doll without hitting it to illustrate that spanking IS hitting and that discipline happens other ways.

Please don't ever sign up for my class because I would really hate having you in there.

1    /spæŋk/ Show Spelled[spangk] Show IPA
–verb (used with object)
to strike (a person, usually a child) with the open hand, a slipper, etc., esp. on the buttocks, as in punishment.

Looks like I can spank someone without hitting them.

1. to deal a blow or stroke to (a person or thing), as with the fist, a weapon, or a hammer; hit.

How do you propose to strike someone with an object, such as your open hand or slipper, without hitting them?
@40, you're new here, so you probably haven't figured it out yet, but you've got to close your fucking tags. Slog won't do it for you. (But I did . . . this time.)
you should not hit a baby no matter the place you hit. The action started ok and drifted into stupidity (sorry). You don't hit a child. Imagine yourself saying ot a man who just slapped his wife : "don't hit your wife on the face, hit her on the bottom where it's fleshiest (and where it won't leave a visible trace". Don't hit a child and don't add anything to this sentence. You had the decency to interfere, but I hope next time, you won't give tips on to how better hit a child.
How many people here even have kids?

That's what I thought.......STFU until you do.

"That's because young children are not reasonable."

Like most SLoggers.

@34 Spoken like someone who's had kids, thanks.

My daughter is almost 7. She's never been hit by her parents, she's never run out into traffic, she's always been quite well behaved. Not perfect of course, but noticeably better than any kid of my acquaintance who's parents use violence. A large majority of her classmates were raised with the same parenting techniques. So how about you STFU about your lazy, violent parenting, OK?
i've never laid a hand on either of my children, and yes i was spanked as a child. not brutally, not routinely, but when we just got to be too much for mom. did i repeat? no.

yucca i hope you are wrong when you say you and all your spanked friends will spank when you become parents. my kids are ten and eleven now. and guess what? they behave themselves because they've been taught rules and manners and understand what good choices are. they do the right thing because it's the right thing, not because they are afraid of what will happen to them if they don't.

i hold by my original statement - if your kid makes it to fourth grade before you have figured out a way to get your point across without striking them, you're failing as a fucking parent. period.
5280 @41: Thanks, I thought I did, but i must have left a space.

BTW, how do I edit a post, or quote from another post?