Punishment and Respect

Punishment and Respect

 

I’m gonna change my approach a little here, start making these things short and sweet.

 

          So this third one of those will be on this idea here: if you punish, it instills respect. Otherwise why would they respect you? So a couple of thoughts:

 

Punishment is a betrayal, of communication, of love, of respect; to be punished is to have our personhood rejected and denied. Punishments happen when a more powerful person or persons has given up talking to or reasoning with us and simply treats us like an object rather than any semblance of a peer, or even a person. To my mind, this is a worst case scenario in adult relationships. At its best, it’s Mandela’s incarceration, a classic walk underground and into legend (though, let’s not forget, not a good time for him still) resulting from a considered difference of political opinion. Rest assured most of the outcomes of this everyday betrayal, punishment, are not so good. One thing at a time, though. Respect.

 

To my mind, punishment is the end of respect. After one punishment, maybe, after some good apology, but after a regular application of it? Talk of ‘respect’ is empty chatter, mind-boggling hubris. A half-century of post-Skinner parenting crap literature never seems to acknowledge that you can’t have discipline from punishment and respect at the same time. I’ll tell you though: you’ve got a choice, and I repeat, you might not lose trust and respect the very first time – but don’t push it twice.

 

Have we really forgotten how it felt when we were the kids? Really? How many of us only come to respect our parents later in life, after we’ve spent a few decades dishing it out on our own kids? How many of us never do? We weren’t born disrespecting, they earned it – and we understand them after we earn it.

 

 

Jeff

 

Jan. 20, 2016

 

 

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Comments (23)

  1. GoldenPig2012

    Respect: deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their qualities, abilities or achievement. So, when it comes to parenting, we children find “respect” in our parents’ abilities to feed, clothe and protect us. Stay with me…..the quality of “love” shown (that’s TRULY subjective, in my opinion) and the achievement we only perceive, over time of keeping a family together or separating one to protect us, as children.

    That said, I understand that despite doing any or all of things but spanking or grounding or depriving. respect might be lost. But, my mom spanked me, it was obvious she felt bad afterward, she grounded me when I was caught sneaking back into the house after I snuck out of it four hours earlier, she took my privileges to the car after another episode like that, too. But, I respected my mother. I wasn’t afraid of my mother or smarting off to her (teenage girls are sort of famous for that and I was a pro). She worked hard and I knew, all of my life, I never wanted to work as hard as she did to survive.

    Maybe I’m not getting the gist of this post, this would not be the first time, huh? But, so far, we’re not seeing eye-to-eye.

    January 22, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      lots of folks respect their folks – you don’t mean you respect her because of her punishments, and you don’t really mean at the time either.

      Right?

      January 23, 2016
      1. GoldenPig2012

        I read this. Read my words. Read yours. Now, here’s my answer. No, I didn’t respect her BECAUSE of her punishments, I simply accepted them after the initial hour of resentment and fantasies of going blind suddenly and making her “sorry”. And, yes, at the time, even during the spanking, my respect did not diminish. Or, wait, perhaps as a child, love and respect are intermingled and I don’t really KNOW the answer to that one.

        January 23, 2016
        1. Neighsayer

          Oh, bloody . . .I gotta read it AGAIN? Allright, hold on . . .

          January 23, 2016
        2. Neighsayer

          OK, first, when we’re little and taking our spankings, we don’t bloody know anything about all the other things we respect your mom for. And of course we can respect them, even if horrible shit happened because life is complicated and shit happens. But any and all of that respect comes despite any bullying crap they did, certainly not because of it.

          .

          Let’s back up. I don’t think B. F. Skinner proved punishments create respect, just conditioning, compliance or defiance. I know that’s the overall general statement, but let’s narrow it down a tad.

          Is anyone saying that it’s this basic: if you hurt me, I’ll naturally respect you? That is one definition, like how we respect the sea, but if we could arrange an experiment: we ask a subject to sit in a room and surf on his cellphone. We have a researcher walk in and slap the subjects hand, then ask him to rate his level of respect for the researcher. Or we have someone walk in and take the phone and rate the subjects experience of respect for the thief . . . you see where this is going. It ain’t automatic respect. More often the natural reaction would be the opposite, wouldn’t you think?

          January 23, 2016
          1. GoldenPig2012

            No, respect doesn’t come from punishment. We respect………….despite the punishment, if our punishers and we, in general, truly mean no harm and have true love.

            January 23, 2016
            1. Neighsayer

              this is all I’m saying. But you know how it goes, you say ‘no punishment’ and they say ‘But they won’t respect you!’ every damn time . . .

              January 23, 2016
            2. Neighsayer

              This thread is going perfectly to fantasy and plan! I’m loving everything I get to see, I’m deep in the Socratic fantasy . . . living the delusion!

              January 23, 2016
            3. Neighsayer

              SAY. "" . . . everything I get to say . . . "

              January 23, 2016
  2. belladora

    Not through punishment. All of us need boundaries. How will children ever learn them.

    January 23, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      punishment is exactly rolling right over another person’s boundaries. We’re teaching them exactly how to ignore boundaries every time we do it.

      January 23, 2016
    2. Neighsayer

      “Son, never do this, you see? This, this right here, you don’t want to be doing this. Here’ I’ll do it again, just to make sure you know: this, don’t do this, exactly this is what you shouldn’t do, got it?” This, this, this and this. Don’t do it!OK?"

      This, I mean.

      LOL

      January 23, 2016
  3. crimsonglory

    Respect is a healthy fear. Punishment and discipline are sometimes good ways to instill boundaries. Boundaries which are needed. However, if punishment/discipline is abused it breeds something else. We pattern our behavior after others. I think this is the scariest thing of all. I wasn’t punished enough. I’m a rebel. :P Just kidding. My parents punished me at “mostly” the right times. It’s all subjective. I love them, and respect them. I can’t say the same for some of my older siblings though. I guess they screwed up with them. lol
    Speaking as experiment #5, the same mistakes weren’t made as with experiment #1. LOL.

    January 23, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      this is true, I’m a last kid too, parents do change as they go on. I suspect life sucks the most for the first kid. This, though: " if punishment/discipline is abused it breeds something else." That’s the conventional wisdom, a punishment is one or the other – but what if it’s just both, what if the discipline and the ‘something else’ are just two sides of the same thing and the ‘something else’ is always present? That’s how I’m looking at it.

      January 23, 2016
  4. GoldenPig2012

    Neighsayer, no fair laughing, but, despite the fact you might, I’m forging ahead. I’ve read and re-read this post and the accompanying discussion and…………..to some of us, while our children are young, WE parents decide boundaries, beyond the basic “your personal area” and whether or not they like or dislike a food, the rest is OURS, we think. Speaking for me and me only, “boundaries” aren’t….meant to be for PARENTS, we made them, we’re raising them, blah blah blah. But………………..sometimes, I truly dislike listening to you and having to re-think what I assumed were basic facts, like gravity and the earth is round.

    January 24, 2016
  5. Neighsayer

    you respect people who walk all over you, though? It’s a no-respect situation in either direction, innit? Punishment is ‘walking all over you’ too, I think. So if it’s not something I like done to me or anybody does, our first response – to do it to our kids and show them exactly how it’s done – is not brilliant and no wonder it’s been working so well forever.

    January 21, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      not my idea about it, no. My family’s been pretty much a democracy, you should see us driving around trying to settle on a restaurant. See, this is kind of what everybody else is selling, dominance without violence, but not me. I don’t imagine there can be any such thing. I know that would seem to indicate I advise physical control, but you’ve been around long enough to know that’s not me. But what you said, “to earn respect and submission..without punishing” – no, not so much. I think not punishing got me respect, and that’s how to get it, I think – but none of that submission. I also like to think we’ve proved that the submission isn’t necessary, and I think it’s exactly a lot of people’s problem, as though breaking somebody was ever supposed to be good for them! That’s just for us.

      January 23, 2016
      1. Neighsayer

        ah. Well, I think it’s exactly the constant control and punishing that causes kids’ hearing to degrade that way, causes the mistrust. I wouldn’t believe my folks when they told me the sky was blue when I was a teen. It wasn’t because it wasn’t blue, it was because they weren’t who they said they were, they weren’t the ‘mentor/protector/nurturer’ they said they were.

        .

        I’m onto something now, I may have to re-think and re-write everything for this Group Socialization theory, everywhere I said ‘parents’ I’ll have to change it to ‘adults.’ Individual parents don’t matter, perhaps. But part of that is, there are a breed of scientist called ‘socialization researchers’ who have spent decades and billions trying to prove exactly how we are socialized. That means to me that they assume assume a default of ‘born antisocial’ (read Original Sin) and can’t find the evidence to show it. Clearly, by me, we’re born social animals and the search should be for anti-socializing factors. I have to finish Harris’ book first, to see that someone isn’t looking at it that way.

        January 23, 2016
      2. Neighsayer

        OK, I hear you, just saying we cause the opposite of respect for wisdom by creating mistrust, by associating it with pain.

        Well, no-one’s allowed to lose, so it’s tough. Thai is great for the adults, we’re gluten-free idiots, Thai is good for that, but a few of us have reactions to some of it. The girls aren’t adventurous. They love Japanese, but that’s tough for the gluten-free. We’re trying to branch out, find new places, but we’re pretty much in a rut of a few places no-one objects strongly to, Sushi places, burger joints . . . can’t get the kids to eat Indian often enough. Tough combination of likes and restrictions.

        January 23, 2016
    2. Neighsayer

      LOL – " the difference between a buddy and a mentor/protector/nurturer…" Doesn’t sound unreasonable when you put it like that! Which one of those includes the punishing?

      January 23, 2016