Response to a friend:
Eh… I don’t do much with legal stuff but I will say in the foster parent world no spanking is allowed. You could look into what constitutes a removal of custody to put a child into foster care. You could look at what a parent has to do to get their child back from foster care (not much just attend a few classes and show up to court). I think spanking and any other punitive punishments aren’t good, but that a parent might be justified in using spanking in extreme cases so far as the law is concerned.
Parents aren’t perfect and it takes a lot of abuse to get a child removed. My hope is that spanking and other punitive punishments will be less tolerated in the future as a society. All this being said I still have a few reservations on the subject. I suggest Glen Leatham, Karyn Purvis as a few who teach positive parenting methods without any punitive, even when working with difficult kids i.e. foster . One guideline a friend of mine Joel Skousen uses, is that if a parent leaves a mark on a child, that is abuse . Is bruise, bleeding, fractured bones, etc. In a court of law right now it’s still considered ok to spank. There’s also emotional abuse. Brainwashing. Shaming. I’ve never heard of a case where the kid is removed for that though. But there are certainly cases where a child is neglected rather than being beaten. You can also look at nutrition to detect abuse. A parent should never threaten a child by saying no dinner until you finish your chores, etc. There are lots of evil things a parent can do and still not have a child removed, such as exposing them to R rates films, etc. Naturally it should be illegal to involve minors in drug use, sex, stealing etc.
I’ll send you a link to 2 essays I compiled from the teachings of the prophets. One is about how parents shouldn’t be too wimpy and need to discipline their kids. The other is about how parents should not take it too far and spank or use other forms of aggression in parenting. Sort of the two sides of the coin: how to be strict without abuse, and how to be soft without enabling. http://richardsonstudies.com/parenting/#_Toc12135901 and http://richardsonstudies.com/parenting/#_Toc12135902.
I think there is some flexibility in parenting, if we removed kids for every spank or parental temper outburst, no one would have kids. Parents need a bit of wiggle room to figure out how to be a parent, and every member in a family needs to learn how to forgive each other. Kids should not be taught that parents are flawless. Parents need to be comfortable saying sorry to their kids. They should teach kids to not only say I’m sorry, but how to say I forgive you. I hope you’ll share your completed essay with me.
A study of positive parenting will give you a context to base a framework claim that it is both possible and plausible to raise a child effectively, and indeed the optimal way to raise a child, by using techniques to connect emotionally with a child and give instructive corrections rather than using punitive punishments. I just finished reading what’s a parent to do by Glen Latham. Also I’m reading the connected child by Karyn Purvis. I also like the book titled 25 mistakes LDS parents make and how to avoid it.
At the end of the day there are different standards in a telestial world like the one we now live in, and the celestial one we work towards. Here are some prophets who show that those who aren’t worthy of their children will be revoked of those children, and the opportunity to ever have more children, in the life to come. The standards we have for laws now are far lower than the Lord’s standards. Many children who aren’t removed from their parents in this will be in the one to come… http://richardsonstudies.com/parenting/#_Toc12135895. As foster parents we are shocked by how low the bar is set for parents to get their kids back when the parents have long criminal records and a long history of abuse, yet they manage to show up to visits, court hearings, and parenting classes. Obviously people can change for the better but I don’t think our current system does a good job of perceiving that. We have taken care of kids who we know for a fact are, when put back in bio parents home, are being exposed to more debauched behaviors.
The key issue is that as a society we think it’s ok for adults to be scandalous, and that rubs off on the children. The movies we watch. The language we use. The way we dress. The disrespect we show for one another. The lack of religion in today’s generation of parents. The government subsidizing idleness. The list goes on. We live in a wicked society that tolerates wickedness. I also think it should be child abuse to teach children that sex before marriage is ok (I also believe it would be just to have a law making adultery illegal). But we are rather moving in the opposite direction, where parents who teach children conservative values are the ones being accused of child abuse. Nowadays we have, as seen in the novel 1984, children policing their parents.