Talk:Child discipline

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comment with no heading[edit]

The article states: Non-violent child discipline has grown in popularity, but continues to be controversial for practical, moral, religious and legal reasons.. I am trying but failing how non-violent child discpline can be controversial for moral, religous and legal reasons. Please explain. Those reasons removed. Przepla 20:36, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Easy enough:

  • practical -- there may be other children that need care; time-intensive discipline for one child results in neglect of the other children
  • moral -- so-called "non-violent" child discipline may only substitute emotional (psychological) abuse
  • religous -- the Bible says you must spank
  • legal -- parents may be held responsible for failure to control a child

AlbertCahalan 04:50, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Good points. MARussellPESE 22:12, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Christain bias[edit]

This article appears very skewed towards christianity. It consists almost entirely of bible quotes. I will remove some of them, if any one thinks they can do a better job of clearing it up, feel free to change it back. I am just going to try and clean it up a little bit. Dolive21 18:07, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, but the Christian perspective is robust and deserves attention. We should try to tighten it up and expand around it. MARussellPESE 22:12, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I didn't notice a bias, although I definitely see room for additional information on Religious Perspective. Believe it or not, I am really glad this article looks like it does. Take it from a nanny, these articles are important. --Spesek 18:07, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
My suggestion is just to create a universal section titled 'cultural and religious perspectives' and put all these quotes and info on how different cultures and religions view child discipline. I know there's a big difference between eastern and western pespectives for instance. If someone does put that up could they please fish the info in the judeo-christian section out of the history 'bin' and put it back in? Then people can add to it with cultural or other perspectives.
Keep in mind that how parents approach disciplining their children can be heavily influenced by these factors AND that one of the differences between models of discipline in public/private (religious) schools is often the use of physical discipline. Therefore this topic certainly has great practical relevance to the article. --I (talk) 17:09, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. The article is not skewed; in fact, it does not go nearly far enough. Arguably, American Christianity (primarily fundamentalist, evangelical, pentecostal) is the most vocal proponent of physical discipline of children as a primary component in childhood discipline. It is widely accepted as biblical truth that must be accepted and obeyed, even though most would use physical discipline sparingly. However, that viewpoint has also resulted in extreme teachings and methodologies, such as those of Michael and Debi Pearl(To Train Up a Child) that have been associated with the deaths of two children. Presenting the biblical content is critical to understanding why parts of Christianity view certain passages as divine mandates (commands by God) that must be obeyed, not just wisdom to be considered. New views of those passages are emerging that question whether they should be interpreted as directed to children. If anything, this very brief section on "Biblical Views" is skewed by its own paucity of content, not by any idea of bias because of Bible quotes. I don't know what qualifies one to write for Wikipedia, but I would like to see this section broadened and deepened to reflect more accurate comments on Christianity and childhood discipline. Clayofco (talk) 22:19, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

New sections[edit]

Added new sections just now to give some structure. Not attached to their names or organization, but hopefully will facilitate future work. MARussellPESE 22:12, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Proposed merger with Child discipline page[edit]

There is clearly much overlap in subject matter between the two pages. It looks to me like a case of content forking or POV forking. I think a single more complete, more balanced article could be made by merging the two, instead of having two pages with different points of view on the same subject matter. Also both pages need a lot of work; it seems more efficient to combine them so the people who have time to devote to this can work together more effectively and build a good-quality page. The Child discipline page is rather incomplete, for example representing only one religion. --Coppertwig 02:37, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Machiavelli's "The Nanny"[edit]

I don't think it is fair (or accurate) to claim that "The Prince" is a primer on child-raising. For example, you can't execute one child as a warning to the rest and you can't hire mercenaries.

Also, Isn't there a single non-religious quote advocating corporal punishment of children. It doesn't take a theologian to say "Children can't be reasoned with" or "a parent should be like a benevolent dictator, able to discipline and nurture." Mike Reason

Aside from conservative Christian James Dobson, probably not in the English speaking world these days. Ikzing (talk) 06:35, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Merger Proposal[edit]

I've suggested that this bring over text from "Non-violent child discipline". Even through it's non-violent it's still discipline! Help POV I think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

The above comment was from me, I forgot sign it in a rush. I've also noted a previous merger proposal ... but with it's? ... perhaps the same one from Coppertwig, 11 Nov 2006 Edgepedia (talk) 06:36, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Non-punitive discipline ought to come here as well I think. Edgepedia (talk) 09:27, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Working on it here Edgepedia (talk) 09:51, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Merger done, and pages redirected here Also I manually fixed the double redirects Pages were Non-punitive discipline and Non-violent child discipline Edgepedia (talk) 15:57, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Neutral my heinie[edit]

"Modeling is worthy of the efforts of every parent..." -- Worthy based on whose opinion? This is exactly wikipedia's problem. Neutrality is king when people disagree with you, but when people like what you're saying, you can be as biased as you want. --Buddy13 (talk) 21:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I've added a POV template on that section. I haven't time at the moment. Do children copy their parents? do we have any references for that? Edgepedia (talk) 21:42, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I think that the "worthy" clause is the only indication of biased POV in the section. Removing the clause would restore a neutral point of view. I'm going to be bold here. A Pattern O (talk) 21:17, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
All right, that clause has now been removed. Someone else can review the section, determine if NPOV is satisfied, and remove the tag. A Pattern O (talk) 21:19, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Citation tags[edit]

The article is littered with {{citation needed}} tags. Obviously an editor has concerns with a lack of factual data - or possibly questioning the info because of a certain POV? -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 00:58, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I put them there. Sorry if I overdid it, but it seems to me that only the "corporal punishment" section of this article is balanced, with sources cited in support. All the rest of the article reads like a child-rearing manual, and moreover one written from a particular point of view. Just a whole series of tendentious assertions unsupported by any evidence at all. Alarics (talk) 06:46, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Just a note on one citation. Dare to Discipline, by Dr. James Dobson, was originally published in 1971 by Tyndale House. Clayofco (talk) 22:39, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Possible framework changes[edit]

The current layout highlights discipline methods. I think it would be more useful to tackle the article from a historical or cultural perspective. It may be worthwhile to discuss the changes toward the treatment of children over time, in Biblical times ("Spare the rod..."), major philoshophical changes in attitudes, Asian, Middle eastern, Western discipline ideals, etc. Many of the method sections that are on there now could be summarised into a 'Current western methods' section. In addition, I'm sure Developmental psychology has been influential in changing discipline perspectives. Ikzing (talk) 20:30, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Fine. Would you like to do it? Alarics (talk) 20:57, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I've added a little history and restructured the page. Not sure if this is the best way, but I think it works based on its current content. The biggest problem I see now is the Corporal Punishment section which needs more history and purpose and should be less POV. I'm also wondering if it wouldn't be better to have a section for school discipline rather than limiting it to corp punishment in the schools, to be able to get in things like the infamous dunce caps. Ikzing (talk) 18:13, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Now I look at the text again, I'm wondering why we are duplicating so much material here about corporal punishment which is all covered in a series of articles about that specific subject. -- Alarics (talk) 07:27, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Positive parenting[edit]

Positive parenting redirects here, but there is no useful text about that topic. Does anybody know what should be said? Rixs (talk) 13:25, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I should guess it was meant to refer to the section headed "Praise and rewards for good behavior". -- Alarics (talk) 16:09, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I think it's the title of a Parenting style, rather than simply a notion about being up-beat. I don't know what it actually means, but it shouldn't be a redirect page if it's just a simple phrase. Rixs (talk) 17:16, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Positive parenting used to redirect to Non-violent child discipline until I merged that page into this one. It not a parenting style as defined in that article... and a bit more complex than praise and rewards. However there are several books on the subject [1], but my guess each of these will have a slightly different defination. There are also a number of websites, but these may not be WP:RS Edgepedia (talk) 20:42, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
This looks like a WP:RS [2] Edgepedia (talk) 20:52, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
You're right, positive parenting is a significant topic these days. However 'Positive parenting' is just a phrase with no concrete definition. I reworked the page and added some more information about it. I still think there should be more of a discussion on the plethora of parenting books and advice, including Supernanny which is a bit of a phenomenon. Also I suggest a brief new section for School discipline, and not just corporal punishment: Paddling, Dunce cap, rulering (is that a proper term?), standing in the corner, detention, suspension, expulsion. Sudbury approach should probably be included in there. Ikzing (talk) 06:22, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
There is already a separate article called School punishment. I think the present article has been confined up to now to family/parental discipline, i.e. in the home. It might be better not to widen its scope to include school. In practice these are two quite different subjects in many ways. Better perhaps to improve the School punishment article and avoid unnecessary duplication. -- Alarics (talk) 10:31, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I hadn't seen that page, thanks. Agreed that they are somewhat different topics, and I don't want to duplicate any content. But the title Child discipline is all inclusive so there should at least be some sort of mention here. Schools are already mentioned in the corporal punishment section and the Sudbury section, so might be better to consolidate/summarize those with a Main article link pointing over there. Ikzing (talk) 11:00, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I've made a number of other additions and changes, and have merged the concept of Positive Parenting into Non-punitive discipline. I'm starting to feel better about the usefulness of this page, though it still needs plenty of cleaning up. I was also hoping to move most of the school information to the other page, but it is named School punishment rather than School discipline so can't really include non-punitive discipline there. What disappoints me is that you can find a thorough biography of every Simpsons character on this site, but something as important as parenting is so neglected. -- Ikzing (talk) 04:02, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

The Rod.[edit]

-- (talk) 18:37, 20 December 2009 (UTC)What exactly is ""The Rod"? I have heard from many different sources that it is either:

  • A tool shepherds used to guide sheep
  • A cane that people whack people with

I am confused.

It can be either of those things, depending on the context. -- Alarics (talk) 19:20, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Our American use of the term "rod" comes straight from the Bible. Of course, many other cultures, religious or not, have employed the rod, but our American use of the term refers primarily to references from the book of Proverbs in the Bible, the collected sayings of King Solomon of Israel, and others, ca. tenth century BC. The most common Hebrew term for rod is the shebet. It can refer to the scepter yielded by a monarch (a sign of authority), or to a branch-like rod used by masters on slaves. A master would beat a slave on the back with a rod to assert dominance, and to force the slave to submit to his authority. In the case of Psalm 23, the shepherd (the Lord) carries both a rod (to protect the sheep from dangers such as lions) and a staff (to guide and direct the sheep). Based on context, the shebet in undoubtedly a large and probably heavy stick that can inflict pain, and even kill people. There is a strong biblical argument, though, that the rod is never associated with young children, but only with young men, adults, and nations. Clayofco (talk) 22:36, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
This is not just a biblical question. It is also not just an American question. "Birch rod" was the official phrase used in British legislation when birching was a legal form of judicial corporal punishment (even though the birch was not a single rod but a bundle of twigs). -- Alarics (talk) 06:56, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Regarding biblical usage, it should be pointed out that the scriptures were written for a people familiar with sheep herding, who would have understood that no sober shepherd beats a sheep. Rather, shepherd's tools in the bible are generally instruments of guidance and comfort: He leadeth me by still waters ... His rod and His staff, they comfort me. ... I've read that a shepherd watching flocks at night might throw a rod at a wolf that threatened his sheep, but clubbing a sheep with a shepherd's rod is an idea that seems at odds with the whole concept of animal husbandry. The staff, by contrast, is generally portrayed as hooked at the end, the better to gently rescue the prodigal sheep that has strayed from the straight and narrow path and fallen down the steep side of a cliff, and carefully guide it back into the safety of the flock.
Biblical authority is not the only source of ideas about child discipline. I'm aware of no research into outcomes that would indicate that beating children with a rod would result in the children growing up kinder or gentler toward others, including their own children. I am familiar with research that says the child's initial fear from being beaten does not last, but instead that progressively more severe beatings become necessary as the child becomes increasingly hardened. At any rate, the "rod" quotes are at best historic footnotes from another time and culture, before scientific study of parenting methods and outcomes was available. A better use of the bulk of our article's is a footnoted discussion of reviews of the available studies regarding what measures help raise compassionate adults who are good citizens firmly grounded in following moral and ethical guidelines.

Internal discipline and popularly-based authority[edit]

The new section "Internal discipline and popularly-based authority" by User: is good. Can you add some references to individual claims? Would you like to log in as a named user, to identify further changes --- Rixs (talk) 17:26, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


Sadly the defination of bribe is wrong. Bribe is a money or favor granted for an illegal or unethical action. There fore-unless they are offering money to do somethign unethic- these rewards are not bribes by defination. They may be payment but bribe is the wrong word here and shows a bias in this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

POV Non-punative discipline section[edit]

I just flagged the Non-punative discipline section as POV. The section seems very biased to me, with no substative opposing views or criticisms, which I know exist. The final two paragraphs seem especially condescending to opponents. I will edit the section to be more neutral once I dig out my old phil. of ed. articles. UnclaimedUsername (talk) 05:32, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I quite agree. It looks very POV to me. -- Alarics (talk) 12:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Article needs sections added to end of chronology covering recent developments such as attachment parenting and Positive Discipline[edit]

In the large chronology section, after the section titled "The return of the rod" a new section is needed to set out recent insights from attachment parenting as they bear on the baby training and baby beating methods of the 1900s.

Shouldn't recent developments in positive parenting discipline be mentioned? These are neither permissive nor authoritarian, but authoritative. E.g., positive parenting, the positive psychology approaches of Seligman et al. (The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience) and the Parent Effectiveness Training approach. These and similar modern approaches (e.g. The Nurtured Heart Approach) have long since moved past the false dichotomy of total permissiveness of children to run wild versus harsh punitive punishments and the false exclusion of the fertile middle ground that exists between these unacceptable extremes.

Modern theories generally include respectfully hearing the child's concerns and seeking win-win resolution of conflicts where possible, without abdicating the responsibility to provide the child with responsible roles within the family, positive consequences for positive behavior, and negative consequences for negative behavior. In fact they generally involve child in fashioning specific consequences tailored to an infraction, subject to the parent's ultimate guidance (children often start with a harsher punishment than the parent had in mind). These approaches result in much greater buy-in by the child leading to a firmer formation of the child's moral compass.

This whole article needs rework by an expert with recent expertise in the matter. It is an important article that is here given a decidedly amateur slant.

US map shown should be revised to show Delaware in green because of 2012 change in Delaware child law[edit]

US map shown should be revised to show Delaware in green because of 2012 change in Delaware child law.

Even as corporal punishment became increasingly controversial in North America, Britain, Australia and much of the rest of the English-speaking world, limited appropriate corporal punishment of children by their parents remained lawful in all 50 states of the United States. It was not until 2012 that Delaware became the first state to adopt the emerging nonviolent European model and pass a statute defining “physical injury” to a child to include "any impairment of physical condition or pain."[15]
"Amending Chapter 5, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by redesignating Section 1100 of Chapter 5, Title 11 as Section 1100A of Chapter 5, Title 11 and further by redesignating current Section 1103 of Chapter 5, Title 11 as Section 1100, of Chapter 5, Title 11, and by further amending the current language of that section ...

This act amends Chapter 5 §1100 to provide as follows:

Definitions relating to children:
When used in this subchapter:
(j) “Physical injury” to a child shall mean any impairment of physical condition or pain.

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