Does the Christian concept of man as a fallen creature influence our childrearing practices?

There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 57 countries that have banned spanking in schools and homes. Some have banned it only in schools, others both places. France was the most recent country to join this alliance for the right's of children. America still has 13 states that allow spanking in schools and large segments of our population fight for the right as a parent to hit their kids, so we have not joined either group. The first country to ban the hitting of kids was Sweden in 1979. Many of the countries that eventually joined Sweden were also far more secular than the US.  

Yet, we've changed our notions about women's rights. Hitting a woman is now considered assault. Hitting men has been considered assault for a long time. Collectively, we have concluded that it's not necessary to hit our dogs for the purposes of training. Yet, we still openly practice the hitting of kids, starting at a very young age. 

For centuries, the Christian belief has been that we come into this world fallen from grace. Everything about us needs fixing. Does that notion continue to influence the way we view our own offspring. Do we see them, whether we realize it or not, as creatures that need to be subdued and have their spirits contained at best or at worst broken in order to please society which had originally sought to please god?

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It is shame. Shame has a strong connection with religion. 

Parents don't want to be accused of having a little rat bastard. It will reflect badly on the parent so the parent whales the hell out of the kid to be obedient. 

Glen, when I first saw the term 'rugrat' I thought it was one word.

I pronounced it 'roo grat' and didn't know what it meant.


Welcome to Nexus, Teresa. A too-short reply to your opening question is YES!

About your "Hitting a woman is now considered assault."

Among my mom's relatives, hitting a woman was considered assault when I was a child.

That was in the late 1930s. I was at a picnic with some of her relatives and heard one of them say, "If he hits me one time, there won't be a second time."

My mom must have passed that message along to my dad. When my younger brother or I talked back to him, he used a leather belt to silence us. When my older sister talked back to him, noisily and at considerable length, he did not silence her.

Doubt there is much connection between hitting kids and the Christian belief of this, that, and the other.  Parents just lose their shit and don't have proper communication skills because their parents probably did the same shit to them.

I worked  with a guy who used to hit his grandchildren to teach them a lesson.

When I asked him if he was able to teach them through language he fell back to  a  religious verse. "Spare The Rod Spoil the Child."

My attempts to tell him that he should spare the rod and spoil was met with resistance. 

There was some banter about the meaning of the term "Child Rearing"

Does the Christian concept of man as a fallen creature influence our childrearing practices?

One doesn't have to succumb to that or any other religious text, or doctrine  as a basis for raising children or sense of morality and kindness.

Hell, beating children as a means of discipline has long since been formalized by fundamentalist Christianity.  For proof, I refer you to: To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.  This husband-and-wife team have essentially distilled the teachings of the bible regarding the correction of children's behavior ... and the number of children who have been injured or died as a direct result of this misbegotten tome are truly frightening.

I see the primary problem as not so much religious belief, but education and communication.

With better education, people learn to communicate better and that appears to reduce violence between adults and children.

When I was little, children were meant to be only seen and not heard, so there was a barrier in communication instituted by culture between parents and children.

When children spoke out, they often received punishment.

With a better educated community, parents communicate better with their children, which reduces and resolves conflicts, which drastically reduces violence between them.

I'm sorry to admit that I spanked our kids.  But it was beginning over 50 years ago; now I would hope is a different time.

Our four children had a total of seven children of their own.  The first daughter had only cats.  The second, a son, spanked his daughters early and often.  He also was a new-earth creationist born-again Christian.  Fits, huh? The third had two families; a son at 18 and a son and daughter in her 30s.  I can't say definitively, but I doubt that she spanked even the first.  If she or her then-husband did, it was probably rare.  

Our final child is still raising his two.  He, I'm pretty sure, never spanked and yelled very rarely if at all.  Oh.  He's our only non-theist.  And his two kids are great.

Spanked or not, all our adult grandkids love and respect their parents.  

I'd say that here in fairly blue state New Mexico spanking is largely restricted to the southeast portion of the state, Little Dixie.  The same section that sends our only Republican to Congress.

Your premise that more religion equals more violent child-rearing is probably supported.

It isn't Shame.

The termonology if, which is rarely admitted  is "I'm not proud of it."

Ask Roy More and his supportors what thay think.

Complacency may not be in the vocabulary.




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