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raising our children ...?

just got back from visiting my oldest and dearest girlfriend in alberta. she is a divorced, single mother of three kids: 15, 12 and 9 years old. her kids' father has little involvement in their upbringing. it was interesting for lupin and me to see how someone else raises their kids. very interesting indeed. it made me wonder ...

  • should children growing up learn proper manner?
  • should we really still be spanking our children to force their compliance?
  • when does a spanking stop and a beating begin?
  • and what of the way it makes a child feel?
  • does not this, in and of itself, make it wrong?

i remember being spanked
at 2 years old
with a wooden ruler
because i peed my pants.
my dad was angry.
and so i got spanked.
i never forgot
the way it made me feel --
ego crushed.

  • is that how we want to be remembered by our kids?
  • and what of setting limits?
  • is it not compassionate and necessary to teach them how to function in society?
  • should a 9 year old boy still be sleeping with his mother?
  • or screaming from the bed the second he awakes 'mom i'm hungry!'
  • really? should he?

i'm not the mum of the century,
but my boy can function in society --
you know,
has manners,
and self-sufficient independence.
he would never dream
of showing off to visitors
how well he can fart or belch ...
that IS rude, isn't it?

it's so easy to collect children - you know, a they are sort of status symbol - but how sad that few of us realize how very difficuly it is to raise them properly. it is so much easier to give in and let them have their way. how sad for those kids. how sad for the parents, too. that they have so little regard for their task as parents.

i would just like to add that the value of fathers is SOOOOOO under-rated. a child needs its father. especially a boy. to all you fathers out there ... know that you absolutely do make a difference in the lives of your children. you are NOT just the banker or the sperm donor. those babies ... ? they look up to you for so much more.

photo is of our son, taken in 2003.

Hello Velvet Person.

Here, for what it is worth, are my answers.

Ideally no.
When is non consensual.
Rarely positive.

Through consistent explanation and noin violent sanction.
Ideally no.
Definitely no.



It sounds to me like you are a teriffic parent. I think discipline is all about teaching. It should have nothing to do with anger.

Hope you have a nice weekend.

Hi Velvet

As you know - or not? - I do not have children of my own but care a lot about what is happening to the litle ones and not so little ones around me.

You have a very valid point when you say it's eays to make them but not easy to raise them. My partner, being a teacher of teenagers with heart and soul, often has wondered if there should be something like a mandatory course for people who want to have children. Showing them what responisbility they take on, what it means for their realtiosnhip, their finances, their way of life in general. She thinks - and I second that - that many parents make babies just becuase they can, because they think it will save a failing a relationship.

And then thery have "them" and ... well, look around in any supermarket ... they love their children but they do not know how to show them their boundaries. So, if the little ones scream for ice cream the parenmts say NO twice. And the third time around they give in. Problem solved? Not really, the little ones are smart. And they will always remember:"If I am a brat just long enough, they will give in and I get what I want."

Spanking? No way, not good. Showing them manners by saying NO and sticking with it: YES, PLEASE.

ardlair ... nice to see you. and your answers are always worth somethin'!

gary ... *blushing* ... many thx ... i have tried. but parenting is a team effort - best accomplished with two individuals, not just one. (if possible, of course we know its not always).

ben ... a parenting course. YES. lupin and i have often said the very same thing amongst ourselves. lol ... lupin has even quipped about a 'rent-a-kid' service. woah - would that ever discourage would-be parents!

we also agree with you that many parents have children 'because they can' and they have not a clue of the level of dedication/devotion in every facet of life these little ones require. and ... parenting does not stop at 18 years. it is forever.

and ... NO NO NO ... when will all those women out there realize that a child is NOT a way to save a failing relationship. rather, its a sure-fire way to send it into flames.

i think its a matter of discipline for parents ... saying no and sticking to it. power struggles and violence never solved a thing.

and yes. SHOWING. that means modelling behaviour. if you think big brother is watching you. well ... dear parents ... 'little brother' is watching you even more closely than that.

our children are watching us even when we least expect it or have no clue. what we do is far more of a lesson to them than anything we could say.

that's my 2 cents'worth on this parenting thing (btw my son is 20 and quite "swiss", like his dad.)

My mother and her partners took 'spanking' to the extreme. It was abuse. And if you look at those who do still spank, it happens in anger, not in a controlled way that would teach a lesson. It's basically a way for a frustrated parent to get their frustrations out at the kid's expense.

I always swore when I had kids I'd find ways to teach without spanking, and I managed. It isn't easy, but I won't take my anger or frustrations out on them that way. There is always a way that doesn't include violence. And my kids have great manners and know right from wrong.

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its all about ME

  • i'm roxanne, and this is velvet, the voice inside my head. and this -- this is her blog.
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    velvet rants, rages, throws the occasional hissy fit, launches the odd venomous tirade, and intellectually contemplates all the stuff of life, love, and soul

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    scribbles & scratches



      afghan hound

      yes to madness





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    velvet poetry

      bell jar dreams

      you held me in your arms,
      my trembling alabaster fruit
      and savagely,
      you trampled me, underfoot
      as master of my shattered freedom
      you - the twisted and beautiful lord
      who sealed me in a windowless bell jar
      with anguish and solitude,
      as my only companions

      captor! my demented master!
      my withered soul screams for you
      it howls for the soothing barbs,
      hidden, in your voice
      and your frail, orgasmic vulnerability
      my withered soul screams your name,
      raging delicately,
      for the gaping hollows of my existence,
      which melted into yours:
      dessicated dreams,
      vanquished innocence

      this sick hunger in my heart for you -
      will it ever ebb?

      copyright ROXI G 2006

      your grace grotesquely crumbles

      your grace crumbled
      into grotesque flakes
      as your fingertips slashed
      my tender silken face
      with rage and vengence,
      that drench my frail child-spirit

      steeped in self-loathing,
      you infected me -
      my gauzy soul
      on your poisoned barbs
      of hatred and lusty greed

      once, i loved you -
      worshipped you, adored you
      and darkness
      eviscerated my heart
      as i watched this adoration stream past
      your inert, stoney heart

      my trembling eyes splinter
      into a thousand tears
      when i look upon your face -
      my reflection - in the looking glass
      you, who deserted my child-trust -
      remain, achingly, ever present

      this dark riverbed of adoration
      that flowed in my viscera for you
      has dried up; my heart --
      which once glistened sublimely inside yours,
      now lies in eternal anguish:
      dessicated, petrified, searingly denuded

      your grace crumbles
      into grotesque flakes
      of grief, rage and greed,
      soaked in the brine of remorse
      you beg, like i did, for a morsel of mercy
      but -- i will STARVE you of forgiveness

      copyright ROXI G 2006


        "there's no way around grief and loss: you can dodge it all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out on the other side. the world you find there will never be the same as the world you left." (johnny cash)

        "i wore black because i liked it. i still do, and wearing it still means something to me. its still my symbol of rebellion - against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of god, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas." (johnny cash)

      poetry masters

        if only you would touch my heart
        if only you were to put your mouth
        to my heart
        if only you were to put your tongue
        like a red arrow
        there where my dusty heart is beating,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, weeping,
        it would make a dark noise,
        like the drowsy sound of train wheels
        like the indecision of waters,
        like autumn in full leaf
        like blood,
        with a noise of damp flames
        burning the sky,
        with a sound like dreams
        or branches or the rain,
        or foghorns in some dismal port,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, likea white ghost,
        in the spume of the wave,
        in the middle of the wind
        like a ghost unleashed,
        at the seashore, weeping.

        ... Pablo Neruda, from 'Bararole'

        By a route obscure and lonely,
        Haunted by ill angels only,
        Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
        On a black thrones reigns upright,
        i have reached these lands but newly
        From an ultimate dim Thule -
        From a wild wierd clime that lieth, sublime,
        Out of SPACE - out of TIME.

        ... Edgar Allan Poe, from 'Dream-Land'

      anais nin

        "and the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

        “i do not like to be just one anais, whole, contained. as soon as someone defines me. i do as june does; i seek escape from the confinements of definition.”

        “i speak of relief, perhaps when i write; but it is also an engraving of pain, a tatooing of myself.”

        “we are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”

        “life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. this is a kind of death.”