REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Responsible Parenting and the Use of Force

POSTED BY: ANTHONYT
UPDATED: Monday, December 6, 2010 13:49
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VIEWED: 1628
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Monday, November 29, 2010 7:01 PM

HKCAVALIER


I gotta say I fall into the M'sD camp on "violence." For me, the defining quality of "violence" is "violation." "Violence" without violation is just...enthusiasm.

Violation is not a law of physics. It is a human psycho-social reality. It is not purely subjective, but because modern western humanity is so beyond effed when it comes to defining "emotional reality," the objectivists (small "o" for god's sake!) among us, therefore, see what M'sD and I are talking about as "subjective" (aka: contemptible). In my view, violation, along with it's inverse: respect, are aspects of emotional reality.

Here's a thing (call it an HK premise): emotion is perception. Put another way: emotion is what connects us to the world around us. Without emotion, the world is a dead thing, and our experience of it is equally dead. Wonderful for inventing the internal combustion engine or superconductors, piss poor for negotiating human relationships. When we shut off emotion, we cut off our direct connection with reality, we pretend to be observers only and we are not/cannot be such. What's immensely interesting to me is WHY someone would aspire to such nullity of experience.

And "force" is far and away too Newtonian a concept to be meaningful in human social interactions. Else Gravity and thermodynamics have a LOT to answer for! Damn thee, o, gravity! Why dost thou hate me so?

I don't think I have to force (!) a connotation of "violence" upon every instance of getting my way to keep me from becoming a tyrant. Empathy and compassion are far more effective filters and potent motivators in my life than the fear of committing abuse. I promise you, every abuser who ever lived, began fearing it before giving in.

Children are born dependent. Mother's first act is to force (!) the baby out of the womb. For the first crucial months of the child's life, the child has very little agency and must depend on the parents for all manner of basic bodily functions. The parents must intuit the needs of the child, there is no debate or negotiation. A parent who prematurely imposes "boundaries" on a child may cripple the child's ability to properly differentiate when the time comes. I don't think that means that early childhood is a "more violent" period in a child's life. As Frem says, explaining and apology are the main tools for raising nonviolent children, not endless objectivist negotiations of "violence" and scrupulous avoidance of "force."

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:07 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
As Frem says, explaining and apology are the main tools for raising nonviolent children, not endless objectivist negotiations of "violence" and scrupulous avoidance of "force."

What if the "explaining" and "apology" and "negotiations of violence" and "scrupulous avoidance of force" are ALL motivated by Empathy and Compassion? And Respect?

Some of us like to process empathy and compassion and respect through abstract intellectual analyses on anonymous online discussion boards dedicated to canceled TV series (because we apparently have too much time on our hands), AS WELL AS act them out in real life.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:42 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
I promise you, every abuser who ever lived, began fearing it before giving in.

I think there are some abusers out there who never feared it.

Some abuse because, as you say, they lack empathy and compassion. They don't even think of what they are doing as abuse.

Some abuse, because frankly, they enjoy it. They don't fear it either.

You get the idea.

Also, not everyone who fears abuse turns out to be abusive themselves. Just want to make that clear.

So fearing abuse as a predictor of who might end up abusing would generate some false negatives, and a bunch of false positives (IMO).

ETA: OK, more to the point. Fear of abuse may not be a very effective way to prevent abuse. I agree empathy and compassion (and Frem's respect) are far better. But I don't see that such fear, acted out by identifying abuse and taking precautions, hurts either.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 2:06 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
I see it on a spectrum, and subject to cultural changes in meaning.

On a spectrum, I agree. Cultural meanings? Not so much. I don't much care that it is the cultural norm for many Africans to circumcise girls. It is still violent.

Anthony and I agreed to define violence as "physical force to make someone do something against his/her will." This definition is morally neutral. That is, the definition contains no judgment on whether violence is good, bad, necessary, or oppressive. We are trying to simply identify it. Whether violence is moral and justified at times is another argument.

So, by this definition, obviously, there are different degrees of violence and different types of violence. There is itty bitty violence all the way to extreme violence, soft violence and hard violence, well-intentioned violence and evil-violating violence. Not all violence is abusive, and not all abuse is violent.

Children often do not know what they want. One minute they want cake, and the next they want potato chips. Are you really forcing them to do something against their will if you make them eat ice cream instead? IMO, this murkiness is often what makes them so vulnerable. They are seen as blank slates with no will, therefore easy targets for projections of the adult will.

What I am advocating is that by using a more "objective" definition of violence in child-rearing, we build in these inherent assumptions:

1. Children do have wills that one can use force against.

2. Caregivers need to be aware of all the instances in which they are physically subduing said will.

My personal value system hopes said violence would be used sparingly and less and less frequently as the child gains judgment and independence. (And I hope this because I emotionally FEEL empathy and compassion and respect for them. )

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 3:17 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
Here's a thing (call it an HK premise): emotion is perception. Put another way: emotion is what connects us to the world around us. Without emotion, the world is a dead thing, and our experience of it is equally dead. Wonderful for inventing the internal combustion engine or superconductors, piss poor for negotiating human relationships. When we shut off emotion, we cut off our direct connection with reality, we pretend to be observers only and we are not/cannot be such. What's immensely interesting to me is WHY someone would aspire to such nullity of experience.


Just a note here, regarding that concept, and my own opinion that the more one tries to deny or suppress their own humanity, the more warped and twisted the form in which it will eventually express itself... which it will, with all the inevitability of a tree root versus a sidewalk.

It was that, just that - the attempt to remove emotion, empathy, those critical links by which most of us interact with each other...

That wholly convinced me the Jedi had it coming and *deserved every bit of it*.

That they didn't see it coming was part and parcel of thier own doings in attempting to divorce themselves emotionally from other beings and set themselves as a sort of upperclass - and that went in much the same fashion it always does.

To understand people, you need to understand PEOPLE - not law, not economics, not technology or science, but PEOPLE - and when a culture forgets this, it's not a matter of IF, only a matter of WHEN, regarding the impending disaster.

Again, they had it coming, completely deserved it, and I have no sympathy for them.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 5:02 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


"Again, they had it coming, completely deserved it, and I have no sympathy for them."

Hello,

Well, I do have sympathy for them, myself. Doesn't mean I'm happy with them, though.

--Anthony

Assured by friends that the signal-to-noise ratio has improved on this forum, I have disabled web filtering.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 11:18 AM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:

That wholly convinced me the Jedi had it coming and *deserved every bit of it*.

That they didn't see it coming was part and parcel of thier own doings in attempting to divorce themselves emotionally from other beings and set themselves as a sort of upperclass - and that went in much the same fashion it always does.



And don't get me started on those Vulcans.....

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:18 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

"When will my people learn, that Logic is the beginning of Wisdom, not it's entirety."

-Spock


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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:43 PM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:

Oh, and how ELSE would they learn it if no one teaches it to them ?

Or, perhaps, teaching them Might Makes Right, Force and Fear by giving an order and then beating them when it's not understood or obeyed is SUCH a better way, then ?

They learn almost everything about human conduct, FROM US, Storymark...

And you wonder why so many of them are monsters.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.



I didn't say not to teach. That's the opposite of my point. Yes, they learn from us, but they learn better through experience - and shielding a child from any possible bad experience EVER is a recipe for making a whiney doormat of a person.

But this whole, "If Mommy's always there, we don't have to teach them to make choices, recognize danger, deal with advercity, etc. on their own" is a perfect way to raise a child who cannot function in the world.

We already have a generation of kids who's parents thought it was more important to be a friend than a parent, and those kids are mostly worthless, self-entitled schmucks. This premise sounds like that to the nth degree.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 4:34 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


http://dancarlinhh.libsyn.com/media/dancarlinhh/dchha31_Suffer_the_Chi
ldren.mp3


Hello,

This is a podcast called 'Suffer the Children' from a student of history called Dan Carlin. It looks at history from the context of child abuse. Essentially, it posits that the story of history is also the story of horribly brutalized children who were the products of and the producers of horribly brutal societies.

However, it makes the interesting observation that modern people are the first people to spend a lot of time, effort, and critical thought on the idea of children as people, psychological damage and its consequences, etc. Essentially, modern people (and I assume he means this in terms of the past 100 years) are the first people to critically examine how we treat children and wonder if it could have negative long-term impacts.

As such, we are the first generations of humans who have the chance to create humans who are fundamentally different. New humans who are not damaged and crushed and broken by abuse. Something completely original in the cycle of history, and perhaps the one thing capable of breaking the cycle of history and navigating us in a new direction towards undiscovered country.

The idea that future generations need not be the same old people with new costumes and toys is intriguing.

This is, I believe, the hope upon which Frem operates. It is so grand an idea that merely wrapping one's brain around it requires an almost transcendent level of optimism. Which is why I consider Frem to be one of the most optimistic people I know.

Something he would probably laugh at.

An interesting follow-on piece is this one, which was probably not meant to be specifically connected in the way I feel it is:

http://dancarlinhh.libsyn.com/media/dancarlinhh/dchha33_BLITZ_Old_Scho
ol_Toughness.mp3


Old School Toughness. Or how generations of people like ours who have lived without critical strife seem to be less tough than those who have endured more strife.

Given the value assigned to 'toughness' one wonders if it comes in direct conflict with the idea of treating children gently. Does the value of 'toughness' cause us to hurt our children on purpose in the hopes of not creating a generation of total wusses?

I certainly advocate giving children as much freedom as is safe, so that they enjoy the gamut of human experience, pleasure, and pain. The amount of freedom that is safe varies by age and capability and even the laws of the land.

But do I feel this way not only because I value liberty, but also because I value the sort of 'toughness' that can only be gained from a sometimes difficult world? Can this desire to impart 'toughness' lead to abuse?

Is 'toughness' even a desirable trait? I feel that it is, but I'd have trouble articulating why.

Some ponderances I wanted to share.

--Anthony

Assured by friends that the signal-to-noise ratio has improved on this forum, I have disabled web filtering.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 6:50 PM

FREMDFIRMA



Nope, you are correct - I am a Rosseau-Kropotkinist, what else could I *be* at the core but an idealistic optimist ?

I simply take into account the ugly and unfortunate realities of a situation before I act on it, but if you think about what my INTENTIONS are, which you obviously have, that conclusion is obvious.
What is less obvious is that nearly every violent act I have ever committed has been driven by compassion, of a bizarre sort, rather than malice or hatred.

As to the latter, Andrew Vachss has addressed some of that here.
http://vachss.com/av_dispatches/disp_9408_a.html
Quote:

Unlike other forms of child abuse, emotional abuse is rarely denied by those who practice it. In fact, many actively defend their psychological brutality, asserting that a childhood of emotional abuse helped their children to "toughen up." It is not enough for us to renounce the perverted notion that beating children produces good citizens—we must also renounce the lie that emotional abuse is good for children because it prepares them for a hard life in a tough world. I've met some individuals who were prepared for a hard life that way—I met them while they were doing life.


In respect to Storymarks comment, which I apparently misunderstood...

There is experience, but they also learn by example - and it's hard to set an example when you are not there, when you cannot BE there because you're busy scratching for survival, which is an ever growing problem in our debt-trap, wage-slave society of corporate dominion.

That isn't to say there's not plenty of parents who are horrible examples to their own young, the girl I built the dollhouse for in particular has that problem, and while I had hoped that her youthful rejection of her parents "values" would lead her down a better path with some guidance, that seems not to be the case - but there's always hope... not that I am any shining example of humanity either, and I make sure they know it!

Another failure is in this: how are they supposed to learn from our mistakes if we never admit to any ?
Many parents, my sister in particular, try to sell a bad bill of goods to their own kids by trying to put themselves off as perfect little angels, something I *firmly* disabused her children of when she tried to lie about it in front of me, while calling them out on behavior she herself had been guilty of at around the same age - I may have played the role of father/protector/older brother to her on a regular basis, but I was no saint either and occasionally played the role of co-conspirator/accomplice as well.

By admitting our own mistakes both past and present, a child will not think less of you, but rather more of you, you become HUMAN to them, and instead of trying to live up to an idiotic standard and abandoning in disgust, abandoning YOU in disgust with your lies and hypocrisy, they will understand that everyone faces these trials, and how we handle them is both as important, and as individual, as each of us - they can learn from you what *didn't* work, and from your successes, what did.

I also disagree with the premise that you cannot be both friend and parent - tell me, you've never had a friend willing to dopeslap you and call you an idiot ?
Or call you out on your behavior when it's unacceptable ?
If you have their trust and respect, if you EARNED it, which IMHO is the make-or-break of parenting, then they will trust you even when you must say NO.

And the best way to ruin that is Because I SAID so! - your child is entitled to an explaination because without it they will learn nothing of use, they will only learn that you're a tyrant.
The closest I will ever come to this is "I will explain it later." when the situation does not allow an explaination at the time, and they'll trust in that too - cause I stick by my word, even if they are "just a child", again, lead by example.

Sure, you have to set limits, and children naturally test them, but it's quite possible to be human about it instead of being brutal, and we owe that much to em, I think.


And now the part where few agree with me, nor do I expect many to:
Self-Defense.

See, I am of the opinion that children should learn whole-package self-defense starting just prior to kindergarten, and I mean a different thing than most when I say "self-defense", which most folk who've seen me reference Marc MacYoungs work time and time again will understand - a total package from verbal and physical boundries all the way up to and including (eventually) martial arts and weapons useage, scaled appropriately for their age and understanding - which may well be different from child to child.

However, most folk react with fear and horror to the very CONCEPT, because once you take that road, you cannot engage in most of those nasty, damaging shortcuts, because you will NEVER be able to explain to a childs satisfaction the difference between your abuse/aggression and anyone elses.
And with our typical child-rearing methods, that's a bomb just waiting to drop - why the hell do you think most authoritarian parents kick their child out and slam the door on em the day they become old enough to put up a respectable fight, eh ?

Where you do think most of those children targeted by bullies learned to kowtow to superior force anyway ?
At home, of course.

And so, many, if not most, parents are leery of their child learning to defend themselves for the same reasons governments don't like their citzen-subjects to defend themselves, cause you give em claws, if you continue to be abusive/exploitive to them, eventually they'll use those claws ON YOU - and be perfectly (morally, not legally, since under our law they're less than livestock) justified in doing so.

Some other time I might try and explain the radical differences between the mindset of someone raised that way, and someone raised to cower at a raised hand, and why it's so damned hard to commit crimes against them, but for now I've got rounds in a little while...

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 7:02 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
I see it on a spectrum, and subject to cultural changes in meaning.

On a spectrum, I agree. Cultural meanings? Not so much. I don't much care that it is the cultural norm for many Africans to circumcise girls. It is still violent.

Anthony and I agreed to define violence as "physical force to make someone do something against his/her will." This definition is morally neutral. That is, the definition contains no judgment on whether violence is good, bad, necessary, or oppressive. We are trying to simply identify it. Whether violence is moral and justified at times is another argument.

So, by this definition, obviously, there are different degrees of violence and different types of violence. There is itty bitty violence all the way to extreme violence, soft violence and hard violence, well-intentioned violence and evil-violating violence. Not all violence is abusive, and not all abuse is violent.


YOU are very clear on what you consider to be violence, but I guess the issue is that not everyone, and I would say probably the majority of people will not agree with you (re your point that a child being prevented from running onto traffic is violence).

Your position appears to be (and correct me if I have misunderstood) that any use of force or restraint constitutes violence. I don't agree. I can think of numerous instances where these occur, but that a defintion of violence would be ridiculous.

Eg. Tying up a child's shoelace, thereby preventing them from moving when they want to
Putting your arm out to stop someone from walking into the way of a bus
Removing an infant from the breast when they don't want to be removed (don't get me started on painful nipples)
Stopping a baby from rolling off a change table

I don't consider these to be acts of violence or anywhere near acts of violence, but by your own definition they would be.

For me, violence has to contain the intent to or cause actual harm, whether that be physical psychological, emotional, verbal etc.

I agree with you that abuse can be different to violence, because I believe abuse definitely contains the intent.

The concept of violence is constantly changing, legal definitions do not even agree with one another across jurisdictions, and continue to be amended. Most of us would agree that intentional hitting someone with a bat is a violent act, but it's the fuzzier edges that cause debate and discussion, like the one that we are having on this board.

I do believe that force, violence and abuse are all on spectrum, so I get why there is this difference between our views.

Quote:

Children often do not know what they want. One minute they want cake, and the next they want potato chips. Are you really forcing them to do something against their will if you make them eat ice cream instead? IMO, this murkiness is often what makes them so vulnerable. They are seen as blank slates with no will, therefore easy targets for projections of the adult will.

I couldn't agree more, it is murky and a lot parents confuse their children's needs with their own. Hell, I'd go as far as to say we all do it from time to time, and there is something about the sybiosis of the parent/child relationship that makes it so. I think the murkiness often comes about because at the very beginning children are so dependant on parents. We're born underdeveloped compared to other species, so incredibly helpless. There is a time there where children are completely at the whim of adults and adults are soley responsible for their safety and existence. But the task of childhood (and of parenting) is to successfully separate emotionally and psychologically.

I learned very early on that my son had his own will, and that really there was very little to 'force' including eating anything against his will :) That I could really only hope at best to influence - and sometimes, yes, to use more coercive tactics - to do the right thing. Luckily, he was one of those kids who always stayed close, but I've known of one or two 'absconders' who are off as soon as you turn your attention away from them. I once took my neice to the zoo on a child leash, to stop her from leaping into the bear enclosure.

Quote:

What I am advocating is that by using a more "objective" definition of violence in child-rearing, we build in these inherent assumptions:

1. Children do have wills that one can use force against.

2. Caregivers need to be aware of all the instances in which they are physically subduing said will.


I guess I have a slightly different view of child rearing, which is not dependant upon any view of violence...pretty much as stated as above.

Children are utterly dependant on adults as infants, and are reliant on their care giver to meet their needs and keep them safe.
The role of parenting is to separate successfully and allow children to become independant beings.
As a parent, you need to be aware of your child's needs as separate from your own.
Trying to force kids (or anyone for that matter) is pretty futile, your best to try to influence and teach by example.

My concern with considering minor things as violence, is as stated above...everyone becomes either victims or perpetrators of violence, and that diminishes the experiences of those who have been truly harmed.

Quote:

My personal value system hopes said violence would be used sparingly and less and less frequently as the child gains judgment and independence. (And I hope this because I emotionally FEEL empathy and compassion and respect for them. )


I guess we use different terms, but have the same values.


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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 8:05 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
I once took my neice to the zoo on a child leash, to stop her from leaping into the bear enclosure.


You know, I initially thought those things were pretty awful - but while at Six Flags, while standing in line at concession stand, I noticed a little girl who was on one, and gently exploring the near vicinity while her mother ministered to her infant sibling...

And I noticed that every so often the girl would reach back and put her hand on the leash to make sure it was still there - apparently SHE saw it as a lifeline, allowing her to wander a bit while still feeling safe and protected.

So I withdrew my objections, save in cases of obvious misuse.

Although I *have* repeatedly threatened to get one for my ex - every time she drags me shopping, the instant I take my eyes off her, POOF - she gets distracted by the shiny and goes haring off heaven knows where....

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010 8:53 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by AnthonyT:
Hello,

This is a podcast called 'Suffer the Children' from a student of history called Dan Carlin. It looks at history from the context of child abuse. Essentially, it posits that the story of history is also the story of horribly brutalized children who were the products of and the producers of horribly brutal societies.

However, it makes the interesting observation that modern people are the first people to spend a lot of time, effort, and critical thought on the idea of children as people, psychological damage and its consequences, etc. Essentially, modern people (and I assume he means this in terms of the past 100 years) are the first people to critically examine how we treat children and wonder if it could have negative long-term impacts.

As such, we are the first generations of humans who have the chance to create humans who are fundamentally different. New humans who are not damaged and crushed and broken by abuse. Something completely original in the cycle of history, and perhaps the one thing capable of breaking the cycle of history and navigating us in a new direction towards undiscovered country.

The idea that future generations need not be the same old people with new costumes and toys is intriguing.

This is, I believe, the hope upon which Frem operates. It is so grand an idea that merely wrapping one's brain around it requires an almost transcendent level of optimism. Which is why I consider Frem to be one of the most optimistic people I know.

Any anarchist who does not start here ain't nothing but a nihilist.

I think it's really awesome, Anthony, that your research has lead you to this podcast. Thanks for the link!

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 2:11 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
Your position appears to be (and correct me if I have misunderstood) that any use of force or restraint constitutes violence.

First, thank you so much for wording it the way you did. Maybe it is really silly of me, but it makes me happy to feel like I have the benefit of the doubt, that I have room to correct someone's misunderstanding of my position if there is one.

I would say any use of force or restraint *against one's will.* This phrase is important because where one does not have a clear will, the force itself is just force. Not all force is violent.

Stopping a baby from rolling off a change table is a good example. Did the baby roll accidentally? If so, it is not violent to stop him. Did the baby WANT to roll off the table? If so, stopping him was violent, though obviously, it would be minimal violence that is completely moral and justified.

Quote:

I don't consider these to be acts of violence or anywhere near acts of violence, but by your own definition they would be.
That was my initial argument with Anthony. I wanted to distinguish between using force against the child's "impulse" vs using force against the child's "will." I felt we needed to use a different word to describe "soft violence," where the will one is forcing is not yet fully realized and deliberate. So I really don't disagree with you.

Anthony persuaded me to stick to the stricter definition of violence. The reasons for doing so, for me, are the 2 underlying assumptions I outlined before. It highlights an awareness of the child's will and all infringements thereof.

Obviously, this definition is used for the purposes of an analysis of principles on this board. This is not a "street" definition. I'm not going to stop a mother on the street and say, "Ma'am, did you know that when you stopped Charlie from running into traffic, you were violent against him?"

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 2:16 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
But this whole, "If Mommy's always there, we don't have to teach them to make choices, recognize danger, deal with advercity, etc. on their own" is a perfect way to raise a child who cannot function in the world.

I don't think anyone on this board has advocated NOT teaching how to make choices, recognize danger, and deal with adversity.

Some of us have advocated not using violence against a child's will unless absolutely necessary.

I don't think that is the same thing.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 2:22 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by AnthonyT:
Is 'toughness' even a desirable trait? I feel that it is, but I'd have trouble articulating why.

Absolutely. I feel very strongly about this.

I believe "non-violent parenting" would advocate teaching toughness by example, not by force against the kid's will. If the kids see tough parents, they will want to emulate that toughness.

Then the parents can take the kid out camping and make toughness fun.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 2:29 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
You know, I initially thought those things were pretty awful -

I use them at airports when I am traveling alone with a small kid, a toddler, and a baby. Only way to keep the toddler from wandering off while I push the luggage or stand in line. They look like stuffed animal backpacks now, so it's not so bad.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 2:44 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
And now the part where few agree with me, nor do I expect many to:
Self-Defense.

Good point.

This is like teaching your kids no one can touch them in the crotch. But then tell them to make an exception for "authorities."

The opposition comes from that unwritten law Derrick Jensen talked about, that violence cannot flow upstream (in power).

Frem, you remind me of Matilda, one of Roald Dahl's characters. Her dad told her, "When a person is bad that person has to be taught a lesson."

Matilda's response: "Person?"

The dad meant to say, when *children* are bad. But by accidentally saying *person*, Matilda got the idea that punishment can indeed apply to any person, upstream or downstream.

Teaching my kids to not buy into society's illusion that some people get to tell other people what to do and how to live, teaching them that they fully own their own lives--that is my goal in life.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 6:29 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

I think violence has to be defined independently of intent. Intent is terribly hard to pin down and extremely subjective. That would, in turn, define violence as being in the eye of the beholder.



I can't define violence without intent. Intent is not subjective in my view. Intent may be complex and mixed, and difficult to discern in others (and ourselves), but that doesn't stop it being objective and real.

Quote:

Obviously, this definition is used for the purposes of an analysis of principles on this board. This is not a "street" definition. I'm not going to stop a mother on the street and say, "Ma'am, did you know that when you stopped Charlie from running into traffic, you were violent against him?"


That's interesting because that would be my litmus test. Of whether we're getting to the heart of truth - or blurring words and rendering them toothless and meaningless.

To describe a surgeon removing an appendix or amputating a limb as committing an act of 'violence' is fine (if somewhat poetic), as this does inflict harm by intent - and I don't think using the word is necessarily a moral judgement. But describing restraining a child from injuring themselves as a 'violent act' - feels like we've departed reality.

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 6:46 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
But describing restraining a child from injuring themselves as a 'violent act' - feels like we've departed reality.

What if the child is 17 years old, and you are locking him up to keep him from skydiving?

In your view, you are restraining him to keep him from injuring himself. In his view, you are using force against his will, using violence against him.

Our pedantic definition, while absurd at the extreme end, serves a purpose IN reality. It helps to identify and respect the construct that is the child's will and to not infringe it casually.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 8:20 AM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
I promise you, every abuser who ever lived, began fearing it before giving in.

I think there are some abusers out there who never feared it.

Some abuse because, as you say, they lack empathy and compassion. They don't even think of what they are doing as abuse.

Some abuse, because frankly, they enjoy it. They don't fear it either.

You get the idea.

Also, not everyone who fears abuse turns out to be abusive themselves. Just want to make that clear.

So fearing abuse as a predictor of who might end up abusing would generate some false negatives, and a bunch of false positives (IMO).

ETA: OK, more to the point. Fear of abuse may not be a very effective way to prevent abuse. I agree empathy and compassion (and Frem's respect) are far better. But I don't see that such fear, acted out by identifying abuse and taking precautions, hurts either.

Hey CTS,

This post exemplifies why you drive me a little nuts with these arguments. The pre-ETA part is just your mind derailing any chance of communication or debate. You're thinking way too fast and feeling way too slowly. It's the core of why you worry me and why your arguments about how to treat children give me the willies. Not you, but the arguments.

Every time you post these "not necessarily" arguments, all you EVER do is undermine the other person's argument, find what usually amounts to a mere linguistical ambiguity, without addressing the actual intent of the argument in the first place. You latch onto a turn of phrase as if it is an experimental parameter and think you're saying something compelling about the experiment rather than simply irrelevant to what someone is trying to communicate to you and not a little insulting in the bargain.

It's weird, CTS, I know you to be a decent person, but you argue like an internet gladiator. It doesn't make you sound like a kind or generous person and it undercuts my ability to see your arguments about parenting as anything but arguments: whatever passes your brainpan that you think might improve your chances of winning.

Then you come in with your very reasonable ETA (THANK YOU!) and all that gladiatorial arm wrestling is gone and I can see that you're actually listening. And then you post again.

In your latest post you hustle in this "locking your 17 year old in his room to prevent him from skydiving" as an equivalent to "restraining your toddler from running into the street" with, I presume, a straight face. The only reason anyone would see an equivalency between these utterly disparate situations is in service to your absurd definition of "violence." It's frustrating because I begin to see your arguments as some kind of CTS institutions that have no grander purpose than to perpetuate themselves.

I'm sorry. I hope you won't read this as me "picking on you." I'm just continually frustrated with your tactics. What about this issue of "violation" I brought up? Is that too vague a term to matter? Stopping my child from running out into the street is not a violation of his person, it infringes on none of his dreams and teaches him nothing untoward about issues of governance AND, most importantly, it is momentary and purely instinctual.

My beloved Lady Cavalier has a tendency to thrust her arm in front of me as we're walking across the street if she fears I'm unaware of an oncoming vehicle. She does this because she does not want to see my body crushed and ruined on the pavement and there really isn't time to start up a conversation right then and there. What the heck would her locking me in my room have to do with that?

The violence of locking your 17 year old in his room is real and remote from any kind of bodily restraint of toddlers or even boyfriends. It's premeditated and restricts your 17 year old from far, far more than merely skydiving. Also, your 17 year old is far and away more susceptible to reasoned discussion than your toddler in front of an oncoming vehicle AND you apparently have plenty of time to have the discussion.

I'm sorry, this 17 year old/skydiving thing is way beyond a straw man. It's a non sequitur, straight up. You grab ahold of kpo's

"But describing restraining a child from injuring themselves as a 'violent act' - feels like we've departed reality,"

strip it of its obvious context, impose a perfectly irrelevant context onto it based on a mere linguistic "ambiguity" in the meanings of words like "child" (17 year olds are children!) and "restraining" (locking someone in a cell is restraining!) and for what??? To win an argument on the internet. To justify your absurd reductionist obsession that is of no use to anyone but yourself and possibly Anthony.

It wouldn't be a big deal if you used your violence definition as a starting point and altered it as the conversation evolved, but you don't. Here we are 3 or 4 threads in and you're still championing this absurd absolutist argument about "force."

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 8:39 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:


In respect to Storymarks comment, which I apparently misunderstood...

There is experience, but they also learn by example - and it's hard to set an example when you are not there, when you cannot BE there because you're busy scratching for survival, which is an ever growing problem in our debt-trap, wage-slave society of corporate dominion.

That isn't to say there's not plenty of parents who are horrible examples to their own young, the girl I built the dollhouse for in particular has that problem, and while I had hoped that her youthful rejection of her parents "values" would lead her down a better path with some guidance, that seems not to be the case - but there's always hope... not that I am any shining example of humanity either, and I make sure they know it!

Another failure is in this: how are they supposed to learn from our mistakes if we never admit to any ?
Many parents, my sister in particular, try to sell a bad bill of goods to their own kids by trying to put themselves off as perfect little angels, something I *firmly* disabused her children of when she tried to lie about it in front of me, while calling them out on behavior she herself had been guilty of at around the same age - I may have played the role of father/protector/older brother to her on a regular basis, but I was no saint either and occasionally played the role of co-conspirator/accomplice as well.

By admitting our own mistakes both past and present, a child will not think less of you, but rather more of you, you become HUMAN to them, and instead of trying to live up to an idiotic standard and abandoning in disgust, abandoning YOU in disgust with your lies and hypocrisy, they will understand that everyone faces these trials, and how we handle them is both as important, and as individual, as each of us - they can learn from you what *didn't* work, and from your successes, what did.



I absolutely agree that parents should demonstrate proper behavior, and admit their own wrongs.

You seem to keep putting me into this all-or-nothing category. Just because I don't think a parent should constantly be with the child, protecting them from everything in the world doesn't mean I think the kids should just be tossed out to live by their own means.




Quote:

I also disagree with the premise that you cannot be both friend and parent?


I did not say they could not be both. I said that those who put being a friend OVER being a parent are lousy parents.

You seem more interested in responding to what I actually said.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 8:53 AM

FREMDFIRMA



You know, having just read a summary, imma get that book - and prolly send it to my niece after I read it, no doubt to the ire of many.

Giving her my Stainless Steel Rat collection was NOT well-recieved by anyone, but it's quite useful being the one member of the extended family no one dares to hinder or gainsay - this has been the case since I was fourteen, both cause of how unsuccessful it's ever been, and cause of how damn handy I can be on their side.

As for tryin to teach kids two different standards, one of my acid tests is this...
"If you have to LIE TO YOUR CHILD about it - there is something *wrong* with it!"

A single comment which btw - just provoked a MASSIVE online brawl at another site, concerning airport security, ironically... my own ability to start a riot kinda scares me.

HKCav: You know, it's that very reflex which is also one of my measures of acceptable parenting, if they DON'T have it, I think something is very wrong with the situation.
And I dunno if you watched those awful Harry Potter movies - which Rickman as Snape makes kinda barely palatable, but there's a scene in one of em where his FIRST REFLEX is to bodily fling himself in front of his students, which revealed in that very instant what "side" he was really on.

Storymark: Indeed, I misunderstood your point initially, which I did admit and correct as soon as that became clear - and appreciate your clarification of the point as well.

Funny that we're trying to agree and bumping heads, since I was trying to say that the all-or-nothing philosophy was ridiculous as well, you can't HAVE a hard coded thing with this, cause all children are different, what works for one may not work for another - but if you have the proper empathy, and respect going in both directions, you'll *know* how to handle it, and the child will trust you to, see ?

I think our mental "ships" are going in the same direction, mine just tends to zigzag a little more, is all - and I do tend to overreact slightly, for obvious reasons, to any whiff of something that comes across as Black Pedagogy, even if it wasn't intended to - sorry bout that.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 8:57 AM

FREMDFIRMA



Also: case in point, example of something I think you wanted to touch on, wasn't there a case recently of a kid who wanted to test his public transit navigation skills, and when his parents let him, they caught merry hell for it ?

For mine own, I woulda let him, on the condition of having a GPS-enabled cellphone on his person, and remained close at hand in case he needed assistance.

There's no such thing as perfect safety, and parents who cling too tight cripple their kids, IMHO.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 12:09 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
This post exemplifies why you drive me a little nuts with these arguments.


Hey HK,

I'm sorry I'm driving you nuts.

This argument about the definition of violence for me is very much like a mathematical equation. Some of the variables for defining violence are age of the child and the activity he wills to engage in. If it is not violent for me to use force against a child of X age to do Y activity for reason Z, then I should be able to plug in any age and any activity and still get the "no violence" signal as long as reason Z is the same. My definition strives for consistency that way.

I understand this definition is not meaningful to anyone else in real life. But it IS meaningful to me, for reasons I have explained. It is also meaningful for me because many people rationalize violence as protection, so I don't think protection is sufficient reason to use force against someone's will.

This is the way I think, which is very different from the way you feel. I argue with my head, with definitions and mathematical equations and logic. What is important for me to define is principle. It's fun and meaningful for me.

For you, what is important, is the HEART and purpose of the topic. I understand that pedantic definitions and abstract equations are meaningless for you. They are divorced from emotions and have no connection with reality. The only purpose you see in them, therefore, must be to undermine other people's arguments about value and connection and reality.

I get that.

I hope maybe one day you can "get" me and get that my attempts at reasoning are not to undermine other people's arguments. But if it doesn't happen, well, it's ok. I don't need to be regarded highly on RWED. LOL

You're probably familiar with the MBTI. Here is a little profile excerpt that describes me pretty well for the purposes of RWED. Also, bear in mind that I am a bit Aspie (that is, I have a few Aspie traits), if you couldn't tell that already.

This should explain why I drive you so nuts, HK.

Quote:


...They are the "absent-minded professors", who highly value intelligence and the ability to apply logic to theories to find solutions. They typically are so strongly driven to turn problems into logical explanations, that they live much of their lives within their own heads, and may not place as much importance or value on the external world. ...

...They approach problems and theories with enthusiasm and skepticism, ignoring existing rules and opinions and defining their own approach to the resolution. They seek patterns and logical explanations for anything that interests them. ...They love new ideas, and become very excited over abstractions and theories. They love to discuss these concepts with others. They may seem "dreamy" and distant to others, because they spend a lot of time inside their minds musing over theories...

...INTPs do not like to lead or control people. They're very tolerant and flexible in most situations, unless one of their firmly held beliefs has been violated or challenged, in which case they may take a very rigid stance...

...The INTP has no understanding or value for decisions made on the basis of personal subjectivity or feelings. They strive constantly to achieve logical conclusions to problems, and don't understand the importance or relevance of applying subjective emotional considerations to decisions. For this reason, INTPs are usually not in-tune with how people are feeling, and are not naturally well-equiped to meet the emotional needs of others...

...The INTP is usually very independent, unconventional, and original. They are not likely to place much value on traditional goals such as popularity and security.



http://www.personalitypage.com/INTP.html

ETA: I should mention that I am actually an INTJ in real life, but RWED is the playground where I like to let my inner INTP out.

Always with best regards,

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 1:49 PM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

What if the child is 17 years old, and you are locking him up to keep him from skydiving?

In your view, you are restraining him to keep him from injuring himself. In his view, you are using force against his will, using violence against him.



My actions may be wrong, in this example, and my child would likely feel that way - but why would he/she be convinced that it's an act of violence? The two are not synonymous - indeed haven't we shown that a 'violent' act (by your definition) could be good and moral (e.g. the baby on the changing mat)?

Quote:

Our pedantic definition, while absurd at the extreme end, serves a purpose IN reality. It helps to identify and respect the construct that is the child's will and to not infringe it casually.

Perhaps. It seems to me to be inflamatorising the language artificially. Talking about 'infringing/denying the child's will' is fine, as that's what it is, and it isn't loaded with moral judgement (could be justified, or not) - but using 'violence' is stretching truth and reality quite a way, for emotional effect.

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 2:14 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
My actions may be wrong, in this example, and my child would likely feel that way - but why would he/she be convinced that it's an act of violence?

I'm glad to see you define violence consistently regardless of age. (Consistency makes me happy. )

I think we are just going to disagree on the definition of violence.

Quote:

It seems to me to be inflamatorising the language artificially. ... but using 'violence' is stretching truth and reality quite a way, for emotional effect.
Point well taken. But I would argue the inflammatory effect or negative connotation is deliberate, to artificially highlight the potential dangers of using force against a child's will, because those dangers are so easy to overlook.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 4:29 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

III
______________

I remember how angry I was when my Mother discarded my toys. But I remember even more how furious my Father became at the news of it. "Those were HIS toys," he nearly shouted. A near shout from my father might as well have been a riot, because he almost always kept strict control over his anger. I didn't know why this was until I was a bit older.

My room was never tidy or well organized, and I had too many toys for the space. It's not that I received very many toys as a child, but rather that I rarely discarded one. They just piled up. Toys from years ago filled the closet, forgotten. Most toys only provided entertainment for a single afternoon, or at best a single week. As such, the sense of loss I felt when they were discarded was probably overblown. I hadn't played with the ones she threw away in months, at least. In truth, had I been asked, I probably would have volunteered many of the same ones for the trash bin. Of course, I hadn't been asked.

But... Why did my Dad care? Why was he championing my cause in opposition to my Mother? They were supposed to be a team, right? My Mother despised being undermined by my father, but there were some causes where he refused to support her. He'd ensure himself a week of cold shoulders on a matter of principle.

"Those were HIS toys," he said to her, "you had no RIGHT to throw them away."

Over the years, my father would prove to be a perplexing gift-giver. I received gifts on birthdays and on Christmas. The rest of the time, everything I was 'given' seemed more like a rental. He would regularly buy computer games, for instance. Early on, they were games for the Apple II. Later, the IBM XT compatible. But he'd never say, "Here's a game for you." It was always, "I bought this game. It is mine. But you may use it." This was perplexing because for some of the titles, there was not even the possibility that he'd have any interest in the game himself. Nor would anyone else in the family. They were clearly games that only I had a taste for. Yet they were never presented as gifts, per-se. They were his games, and I borrowed them.

I was a horrible student growing up, and found myself frequently punished. No Television for me. I was sent off to my room. The computer was off-limits, even the one he had officially 'given' to me once it was too outdated for his purposes. This was not because I was prevented from using the computer... But rather because I owned no software of my own. I could program to my heart's content if I wished, but I couldn't play anything that was store-bought. Every game in the house was part of this lending arrangement. It belonged to him. I borrowed it. And when I was bad, I wasn't allowed to use them.

I could have sat down and played with my toys, though. I don't remember them ever being confiscated. Usually I sat on the floor of my room and conjured adventures that occurred entirely within the confines of my mind. Or I read a book. He never, ever took books away from me, even when they weren't mine officially.

With recent discussions about parenting, I've given some thought to my father's odd way of 'lending' me things. His refusal to just give things to me. It wasn't until very recently that I realized what was going on. Without ever explaining it to me, my father was respecting my right to property. The things given to me were mine. They were not to be taken without my permission. So anything he thought he might ever want to withold as a punishment was a thing never gifted. It was loaned.

--Anthony

Assured by friends that the signal-to-noise ratio has improved on this forum, I have disabled web filtering.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 5:50 PM

FREMDFIRMA



Grrr, my "father" had a similar philosophy, only far more malicious - every so often he would simply throw out everything I had, because he was of a mind that children didn't "own" anything.

Once my actions sent him on his merry, the first thing I ever actually "owned" was a weapon - those two factors rather helped define my character in ways the people behind then probably never suspected.

I am immensely territorial, and what I own, I will defend quite rabidly - you might have noticed my response to "Just hand it over, it's not worth your life" isn't quite the same as anyone elses, cause to *me* the idea that anything you have can simply be taken from you the moment some goon chooses to do so is more unacceptable than a high risk of imminent death.

Nor is one likely to find me unarmed, even in my sleep, cause the concepts of being armed, and ownership are so deeply embedded and wrapped around each other thanks to that, with a large side order of armament removing the potential of other people to force me to their will.
http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/why-the-gun-is-civili
zation
/
Quote:

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

To have this concept forcefully shoved into my consciousness at the age of Five/Six was an act of inexcusable abuse, and to have it codified there a year later by NEEDING to use a weapon in my own defense was societies greatest crime against me...

And in direct response, against themselves, for that is what so fully indicted them that they created an implacable enemy upon that day.

We make our own monsters, by what we do, or allow to be done, to our children.


That said, I think in your case, Anthony, some level of that was protective - if your mother threw out YOUR stuff, that was one thing, but if she threw out HIS, yet another, because of that idiotic concept of children as less than people.

And so by making it technically HIS stuff, he ensured it could not be taken from YOU so arbitrarily... and of course, with more than a smidgen of parental authority-issues involved as well.

My mother, well, she had enough to deal with keeping the bills paid and food on the table, other than clothing, which I have always and to this day had in plenty (my "size" seems to be "our youngest grew out of this" and so I wind up with tons of hand-me-downs, and have no objections to wearing them) anything I owned was something I earned the money and paid for myself, and as such, was MY property, and my mother respected that even when it must have ground her nerves more than a little.

And of course, some time when I have more time, there's also the horror of children-as-property, which sets off all manner of hostility when I even think about it - but I got rounds to do.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 9:06 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by AnthonyT:
Without ever explaining it to me, my father was respecting my right to property. The things given to me were mine. They were not to be taken without my permission. So anything he thought he might ever want to withold as a punishment was a thing never gifted. It was loaned.

That's brilliant. Thank you for sharing this.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 9:23 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:


I would say any use of force or restraint *against one's will.* This phrase is important because where one does not have a clear will, the force itself is just force. Not all force is violent.


So really, if someone restrained me from walking in front of a bus accidentally, it wouldn't be a violent act, because I'm not intentionally trying to kill myself, just being a duffer? I'd be grateful for that restraint, because it wouldn't be my will to be flattened by a bus.

As with a toddler, it's not their intention to die horribly, it's just that at that moment they have not the capacity to act in a safe manner. Even though children certainly have will, they don't at certain developmental stages have capacity to make decisions about their own wellbeing. At that stage they are fully or partially dependant on parents to make decisions, which may sometimes include restraint, to protect the child.

In these cases, it's just good parenting to protect a small child. Quite different from restrainingor containing a teenager, who has some capacity. Interestingly enough, that safety switch doesn't fully go on in our brain until we are about 25.


Quote:

Stopping a baby from rolling off a change table is a good example. Did the baby roll accidentally? If so, it is not violent to stop him. Did the baby WANT to roll off the table? If so, stopping him was violent, though obviously, it would be minimal violence that is completely moral and justified.

Once again, a baby may have will, but no sense of its own safety. I find it a kind of offensive to describe this act as violent, even minimally so, when the real issues are the real, damaging violence that people inflict on infants.


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Wednesday, December 1, 2010 10:00 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
So really, if someone restrained me from walking in front of a bus accidentally, it wouldn't be a violent act, because I'm not intentionally trying to kill myself, just being a duffer? I'd be grateful for that restraint, because it wouldn't be my will to be flattened by a bus.

I know this question is rhetorical, but it highlights a good point.

If I concede any subjectivity in the definition of violence at all, it would be from the perspective of the receiver of force (vis a vis his "will"), not the giver of force (vis a vis his "intent"). If violence has to be in the eye of the beholder, I could agree if the beholder were defined as the receiver of force.

If the receiver of force is grateful for the force and feels the force was congruent with his "will" (e.g. will to stay alive), then the force would not be violent.

If Charlie says, "Hey Mom, you know what? The split second when you grabbed my arm, I realized that though I wanted to run into the *road*, I didn't want to *get squished by cars*. So I am thankful for your restraint," then the restraint would not be violent.

I also had said this about legislation. If the citizen agrees with the law, the law is not violent for him.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:36 AM

FREMDFIRMA



Speaking of responsible parenting, I think it's pretty damn horrible that it's come to this.

Teaching Children To Resist Interrogation
http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/Print-Page.htm?EdNo=001&Info=00
94421


The mere fact that one would have to says things about our society I can find no excuse for.

Not to mention...

TSA frisks groom children to cooperate with sex predators, abuse expert says
http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.com/2010/12/exclusive-tsa-frisks-gro
om-children-to.html


In fact, "playing a game" is exactly one of the tricks predators use to groom their victims, and I mentioned before right here that one screener got his ass fired for refusing to feel up someones kid - especially after his co-worker (who was not in any way disciplined) expressed sexual intentions before pulling the child out of line... and when he took issue with it, he was fired and walked to the door, and such a firing has effectively ended his career in security.


I didn't have to be taught these things, as I had a unilateral policy of *not* cooperating with any adult who was not my mother - in fact, this discussion has made me chew over a lot of early history and realize just how socially-feral I really was, despite having a home and one supportive parent, all my interaction with society was marked by a tremendous hostility and suspicion to where I find it remarkable that I cared enough to try to change it - although that really wasn't the original idea so much as dropping sand in the gears of an "enemy", and over time pity became empathy.

Anyhows, the kids I deal with have a pretty simple ruleset to deal with this - a laminated card with the contact info of the adult responsible for them, and clear instructions to offer nothing more than "I don't wanna talk to YOU." - given the treatment most of them have already seen at the hands of other adults before our intervention, this is a bit easier to manage than it otherwise would be.

Likewise, personal boundries are also a big issue, and they're VERY clear on the concept of nobody touching them, at all, in any way, without express permission to do so(1), and operate on a Tell-Yell-Fight policy - they will TELL you to get your hands off, then they will YELL and call for help, and if one persists, they will FIGHT.(2)

Not that this is usually an issue, cause most of ours had a Firefly Glowphone or similar product so assistance was no more than a button press away.
http://www.fireflymobile.com/store/glowphone/
I am a bit leery of GPS-enabled phones, but certainly there's a place for one that can only be GPS located with an access code.
(not that I trust "the authorities" to not misuse it)
One of the projects we're working on is a Beckon Call, which is a round ball the size of a golf ball which is completely inactive till the panic button is pressed, and then functions as a GPS locator and short range voice-activated radio.

(1)- One aspect of do-not-touch I got issue with is the idea of a forced medical exam in a case where an accusation is almost certainly bogus, during the El Dorado fiasco, doing so unto children already traumatized by being seperated from their family and dumped into a foster home that had been told they were crazy culties did far more pyschological damage than anyone is willing to admit - and in and of itself constituted the exact same kind of abuse the FLDS was being accused of, only worse.
Again, you can NOT have a double-standard about this sort of thing, it's NOT "Ok" just because someone in "authority" does it.

(2)- Never, EVER let a potential "Bad Guy" take you anywhere, ever - thing is, why they WANT to do that, is to bring you into THEIR comfort-zone, away from the possibility of escape, witnesses or rescue, and yeah, sure, not meekly bowing down and cooperating will endanger you - but only a fool trusts in the mercy of someone who has already discarded law, society, and humanity in their treatment of you...

So long as you are not in their comfort zone, you have a chance, and when they wanna take you there, FIGHT - fight NOW, cause whatever they wanna do THERE, is almost certainly worse than what they might do to you HERE.

And again, you can NOT have a double-standard with this, which means some "authority figure" is gonna get the same damn response - which is, IMHO, only appropriate since if you have been doing a responsible job of parenting they have neither right nor reason to haul your child off somewhere, yes ?


In short, that double-standard *IS* the lever by which most children are victimized, because while the media likes to play up the "stranger danger" most abuse comes from within the "circle of trust", via some "authority figure" or relative.(3)
So you CAN NOT HAVE IT, and expect your child to help protect themselves, because it will not work.

(3)-And they'll get off easy for it too, especially a relative, something "Family" organizations (usually freak fronts) put a damn lot of money and political support into ensuring, and something Protect.Org has been fighting from day one.
http://www.vachss.com/updates/ca_incest.html

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 10:43 AM

CANTTAKESKY


My kids have this memorized:

"I am not allowed to talk to strangers. I want to talk to my parents or my attorney."

LOL

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 11:43 AM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


You know the stranger danger thing is kind of overplayed in my view.

My son came home from creche and told me 'all strangers are murderers, because Zac told him so'. I had to explain that strangers were just people we didn't know, so we didn't know whether they were bad or good, but that most people were okay in this world.

He once did this amazing shun when a woman I was speaking to asked him some of those "i'm an adult and I don't know what to say to kids' questions, much to my embarressment. When I asked him later why he refused to answer her, he said 'Well I don't know her, she was a stranger!!!'


I've had a parent glare at me because I smiled at their children, who were unknown to me. Kind of confronting that one.

The incidents of strangers harming children are actually incredibly low in this country, most children are harmed or abused by people they know, and often love. Children, sadly, are most often murdered by their parents, or step parents.

Frem, you made reference in one of your posts to the woman who let her kid ride the subway, and got hell for it. It's something I've been following for awhile now, because I love this woman's philosophy on parenting Turns out she has started something of a movement.
http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/about-2/

Anthony, you mention that we are the most conscious generation of parents, and yet in many ways I think we are (as a generation) crappy parents, even those of us that have the best intentions.

Some of my issues with how it seems to get done now
1. Overprotective, cotton woolling of children. Not letting them have any time unsupervised and unstructured by adults. See the free range website for more info.
2. Not separating adult ego needs from kids actual needs. If I had a dollar for every child who was 'gifted' in some way according to their parents, I'd have a lot of bucks. Conversley, children with special needs - why is it every second child appears to fall into the special needs category? It appears to me that 'normal' is intolerable these days...you have to be one or the other.
3. Total childcentric parenting. Nice to be focused on your kids, but to have the whole world revolve around their needs, not so healthy in my view.
4. Time poor, asset rich families. Maybe that one will change with GFC, but it seems that families spend less and less time together/or with their kids due to working such long, bloody hours. And then kids are bought off with that megaexpensive technological gadgets. How frackin much are parents spending on their little greeblies these days??? Astounding amounts.
5. Too much rushing around to activities. For what? Junior probably isn't going to end up a football hero or swimming champion, but parents are spending a fortune, dragging them from one to the other and that's after a full day of school. My son struggles to find friends to play with after school because they are all doing some activity.
6. Parents not having family support or having crappy role models for parents themselves. The biggest indicators of how people manage parenting are almost entirely dependant on these two factors, and sadly both of these are getting worse.

Not feeling very optimistic at present.


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Thursday, December 2, 2010 12:03 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
You know the stranger danger thing is kind of overplayed in my view.

My kids know only to say those lines to nosy strangers, esp in uniform. ;) To regular strangers, they are quite friendly.

I love Free-Range Kids. Great website. Though, I have to say, I actually don't believe in bike helmets and seat belts and air bags. I guess I am the kind of parent that Free Range Parents would give grief to.

My beef about modern parenting? Only one. Parents who judge other parents about how lousy their parenting is.

Seriously though, the Parent Police does annoy me.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 12:42 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Except if they are violently restraining their small child from killing themselves, eh? :)

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 12:51 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Magonsdaughter:
Except if they are violently restraining their small child from killing themselves, eh? :)

Haha. Nah. My hair-splitting definition is for only me and my kind.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 1:35 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


And yet you still find the need to discuss. You see I found a bit of a snark in your earlier post and found it hypocritical. It appears fine for you to discuss your somewhat extreme theories on parenting and force, but when I put out my views, you made your statement about the 'parenting police'. These are my beliefs and concerns about modern day parenting, but are not something I force down the necks of other parents. Like you, its something I'm putting out there for discussion, not as a stick to beat people up with, and perhaps unlike you, I can see that attitudes towards parenting are subjective and changeable.




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Thursday, December 2, 2010 2:10 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


"Anthony, you mention that we are the most conscious generation of parents, and yet in many ways I think we are (as a generation) crappy parents, even those of us that have the best intentions.

Some of my issues with how it seems to get done now..."

Hello,

You are the very article of my citation, conscious of parenting technique and in constant analysis, criticism, and improvement of those techniques. In short, a caring person, who seems to think that parenting really matters. Who thinks it could be better. Who wants to figure out how.

--Anthony

Assured by friends that the signal-to-noise ratio has improved on this forum, I have disabled web filtering.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 2:25 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
You see I found a bit of a snark in your earlier post and found it hypocritical.

Maybe I should have been more overt and say right out that I don't agree with your list of concerns. This list feels judgmental and "police-y" to me. There, no snark. Just plain disagreement.

Quote:

It appears fine for you to discuss your somewhat extreme theories on parenting and force, but when I put out my views, you made your statement about the 'parenting police'.
It was fine for me to discuss my extreme theories. It was fine for you all to disagree with me. It is fine for you to put out your list. And it is fine for me to disagree with you.

It's all fine. Really. That is what discussion is for, voicing our disagreements.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 2:32 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
And yet you still find the need to discuss.

Would you feel better if I stopped discussing?

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 2:36 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
You see I found a bit of a snark in your earlier post and found it hypocritical.

Maybe I should have been more overt and say right out that I don't agree with your list of concerns. This list feels judgmental and "police-y" to me. There, no snark. Just plain disagreement.


Good, let's discuss then, without resorting to referring to me as 'parenting police'. As you said, we disagree we discuss, but we all have views and possibly strong views on parenting.

There was nothing more polic-y, imo, with my views than yours. I'm not advocating that any of that is policed. I'm not suggesting laws to force anyone to parent my way. I'm not even advocating that anyone should change just because , but I do have concerns about how we do it.

Personally, I always prefer 'influence' rather than 'force' to implement change, and that's how I do it. Discuss.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 3:11 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
Discuss.


First, let me say that I believe you and I have a lot of similar values in parenting. I think we just talk about them differently.

Second, sometimes I wish I had social skills. Nuff said.

My main disagreement is this. All your points are negative, on what parents should NOT be doing rather than what they should. That is the part that felt "police-y" to me, not in the sense of using force, but in terms of negative rules (don't park here, don't litter, don't loiter, etc...). That is what felt judgmental to me, that this list is about finding fault with parents who may be doing their utmost best with what they know.

It is my guess, that if you restated all those points in positive terms, in terms of the kind of parenting you find ideal, I would probably agree with you on most of those values.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 4:33 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Hee hee. I feel the same way when people insist that I speak in positives instead of negatives. You might prefer to reframe everything into a solution, but right now I'm for bitching and whinging about what is.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 4:52 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
I feel the same way when people insist that I speak in positives instead of negatives.

Fair enough.

But to be clear, I am not insisting anything. Just explaining where I disagreed and why I felt annoyed. Discussing, as it were.

--Can't Take (my gorram) Sky

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 6:42 PM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
TSA frisks groom children to cooperate with sex predators, abuse expert says
http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.com/2010/12/exclusive-tsa-frisks-gro
om-children-to.html

I was in a sick-hearted rage for a day or so when I read about the two year old getting groped. Having myself been molested at that age by a trusted adult male, the idea that just one such survivor like myself could be subjected to this kind of treatment and be told by god and everybody that it's "the right thing to do" and "okay because it's a man so there couldn't possibly be anything sexual about it!" makes me want to hurt someone and that is a very painful place for me to be. This shit should not be.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:05 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Ha!
Ya make me wanna dopeslap the both of ya - very gently though, since you agree in principle, but are just trying to find the words to fit it in with your natural nitpickery and achieve Man'Chi with it, is all that is.

And yes, I find the concept of free-range-kids quite interesting - but given my own experiences as a damn-near-feral, am also more than a little aware that can be taken too far, for most of my life parental support of any direct kind was outright *unavailable*, and thus am unlikely to call for aid even when I should.

One local inspiration for that sort of thing is Miss Fontana, who's a sweet lady once you get past the claws.

I've culled her relevant columns on STR for you, cause I think you would enjoy them.

http://www.strike-the-root.com/62/fontana/fontana9.html
http://www.strike-the-root.com/62/fontana/fontana13.html
(Order out of Chaos is a Detroit Meme - cause the government of the city has ever been hopelessly corrupt, and when it DOES try to "help"... RUN!)
http://www.strike-the-root.com/71/fontana/fontana4.html

Highly reccommended, this one.
http://www.strike-the-root.com/71/fontana/fontana17.html

http://www.strike-the-root.com/71/fontana/fontana20.html
http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/fontana/fontana3.html

My own mother was kind of loathe to forbid me anything, and while I have explained it to Anthony before, lemme express the basics of why that is - you see, I was unfavorite, unwelcome, from the moment I popped out, in fact dear ole dad was prolly cussing up his sleeve when I wasn't stillborn like I was supposed to be, and his resentment was the only real memory I have of him - he's occasionally tried to bury the hatchet, but he's just so terrible at it, that if anything, I pity him, his own regrets caused him to go hands-off with his daughter via a new wife, who is a radical fundamentalist, and indirectly assisted her eventual drug overdose - there's really no revenge I could ever exact worse than the man has done to himself, and yet he takes a bizarre sort of pride in my continued survival despite all the horror stories he's heard.

Anyhow, back then to draw his notice in *any* way was to draw his ire, I learned to be silent and invisible, and yet if noticed anyway would *then* catch merry hell for being a "sneak", a no-win situation any way you slice it, and while children are full of love and trust, for a fact, NO ONE hates like a child can hate.
(This also caused problems later, since I learned to read before my vocal skills fully developed, and was so reluctant to say anything at all I was suspected to be autistic)

You can imagine his ire was of the violent sort, of course, and my mother was the more visible and handy target, something that came to a head when I was very, very young - I already had a strong fascination with weapons due to inherent nature and the violence, physical and verbal, that I experienced on a regular basis, and on that day something snapped as I put two and two together and made the mental jump of considering the a kitchen knife as more than a food implement, it would also be a WEAPON.

I got him pretty good with it too, and backed into a corner of the kitchen with him all manner of polite and sweet talking, and why don't I just put that down... with one balled fist hidden behind his leg just waiting for that to happen, and I know WHY he wanted me to put it down - this is one of the reasons I am so rabidly behind the concept of self-defense, always always the question what someones INTENTIONS are, that they want me to be defenseless against it, and none of those answers are good.
While I didn't know the words or their history at the time, the concept running through my mind at the time could be summarized as Molōn labe! - You want it, come and TAKE it from me!

He declined to do so, and stormed out, never to return, especially when my mother blocked the door with a bookcase - I found out later that the primary thought in HIS mind at the time was that he would never be safe again and he had to sleep sometime...

Up till then my mother had been leery of showing me affection in fear of drawing his notice and wrath upon me, but she about crushed the breath out of me, and in the period following, I think she realized that just being who I was, how I was - I would never be welcome in the society I would have to live in, so she tried to help me in the only way she knew how, by making me her weapon, her revenge on an unjust society - one that eventually drove her to her own death and left me with one more axe to grind.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LaserGuidedTykebomb
(Of course, in this case not an intentionally villainous version)

Since she couldn't be there for me, I had to be self-reliant, since society would do it's best to crush me, I had to have the iron will I already possessed forged into steel, becoming implaceable, unrelenting - and without creating a complete monster; thus she brought to me the concept of the Knight Errant, who works for the benefit of people without joining their social groups, since I wouldn't be exactly welcome to begin with.

You don't create a will like that and then be stupid enough to stand against it, so I was for all intents and purposes, not forbidden anything - and so long as she didn't disagree too greatly or think I was being a complete dumbass, she would even back me up.
(she thought my refusal of the Pledge a mite ridiculous, but it meant something to ME, so she supported it)

While I think she overdid it more than a little, the concept of "forbid them nothing" seems a pretty good one despite taking more from eastern philosophy than western, and certainly aided the ability to "think sideways" which has ever been helpful to me - and also touches on Anthonys former comment that we need not create warped, distorted, darker copies of ourselves in our children, for despite all this, my values are a lot different than my mothers were, because I was allowed, even encouraged, to find and explore them on my own.

Given that she was around for the ill-fated, abortive, and disastrous attempt by "the authorities" to shove me into a Hellcamp, provoking a war that would last till Feb 2009 - I rather regret she wasn't around to dance on the ashes when their infrastructure via Pathway finally came apart, that was as much her victory as mine, and would have eased her troubled soul tremendously, cause she always in her heart feared that the task she set me to was wholly impossible and would result in my destruction, probably because she never quite understood the direction I was going to take it in.

I am my mothers son; but that I wish to reform our society instead of formenting it's destruction - that is *MY* choice, and always was.

-Frem

PS. The reason I haven't chimed in on the whole definitions thing is simple - for someone with enough empathy to care, it's like Bushi - you don't need to ask, you *KNOW*.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:18 PM

FREMDFIRMA



HKCav, the best summary of how I felt about it, is a quote from Stephan Gagnes Sailor Nothing
http://www.pixelscapes.com/sailornothing/
Quote:

So, I reacted. I think I know why I reacted the way I did, too.

In that moment, when I first saw what the Yamiko had done, I had a single-sentence thought: This shouldn't be happening. No normal person should have to experience this, should have to be caught between these two shadow forces and their ridiculous dance.

This girl, minutes ago, was likely heading home after visiting a friend's house, or was running an errand late at night... regardless, she was alive and well and normal and living out a normal life, before she stepped into a hole in life's road and landed in the clutches of a Yamiko. Every ordinary, plain thing about her life ended right there... and shortly after that, her life itself, during the kind of screaming horror that just should not have EXISTED in this girl's life.

Nobody should have to be exposed to that. But the Yamiko do expose you, and the exposure kills or cripples... the lucky ones forget all about it and return to normality. She didn't get that chance. She should have...

A big thought for what should be a single sentence, but since I've experienced that kind of abnormal life for the last five years, I didn't have to explore it real deeply to recognize it. I just had to think: This shouldn't be happening.


While not as hands-on as Himei's, my reaction is no less as vicious, and there's really no word in English which carries the concept effectively.
YURUSENAI!
Trans: This is unacceptable/unforgiveable; only it's deeper than that and in an absolute-fighting-words kind of sense.

Which is exactly how I feel about the matter, as you can well imagine.

-Frem

PS. You also might enjoy the story, but I'd reccommend a valium first.

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