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Hey everybody,

So my daughter turned 14 last week and my son is 12, and oh have I been seeing where the problems may lie!

I've been reading Rand for the past two years, and really like (especially depicted on this forum) the idea of property rights being the solution for almost all issues. The gulf oil spill was a sticking point.

The problem I'm running into, as are most people with rebellious teenage kids, is, "should I apply the principles of Objectivism in dealing with this?"

I've said before to my daughter, "You'll behave a certain way if you want to live under this roof" (maybe paraphrased slightly)

My daughter responded, "I didn't ask to be born here, so who are you to dictate what rule I should or shouldn't be bound by [sic]."

That really hit me one night and I got to thinking...one of Rand's core principles, if I'm not mistaken, has been the whole issue of how can anyone be bound to a constitution which they did not sign...?...

I'm really not sure where to go here, I mean sure, I own everything, the housing, the household income, etc, but my only concern is should there be any other consideration?

Rand spoke much of abolishing all government agencies except national defense.

Don't you think I should be able to expel my daughter for her misdeeds and violations, and let the government mind its own business?

If she wants a roof over her head in 30 degree wind, and clothing, food, in addition to keep her belonging, my view, as interpreted from Rand, is that she should either shape up or ship out.

The government, as it is, would not allow such a thing, so as a fully realized individual, I'm wondering if government should be stripped of such capacity.

To give birth to children only to torture and mistreat them: wrong, of course.

To raise kids for over a decade only be told that resources will be demanded of you on your childrens terms, and there's no room for discussion...?

I think that's a bit extreme.

What do you all think? Do think the property rights cited in the school of Objectivism speak to this sort of isssue? I can't imagine these weren't problems in the 1930-1950's. Just wondering.

Thanks everybody, Talk to you soon,

- Rob

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First and foremost, using Objectivism to raise your children is nothing but stellar. Not only for the positive benefits, but for the consequences and repercussions.

One part that sticks out most in your thread is the abolishing of all government agencies, with exception to national defense. What few seem to take from that is that can ONLY happen if every citizen understands that the use of force is unacceptable. So long as men wish to live on terms other then being men, the judicial, the DoC, as well as the Police and other such services are required.

As for dealing with unruly children, we have a board of rules and consequences in plain view. There is no misunderstanding, no misinterpretation. There is also no leniency.

As two quick examples:

Lying - 5 belt lashes (Only had to do twice, he's 8).

Being disrespectful - Arms up in corner for as many minutes as you are years old. (Happens semi-frequently)

These are only a handful of examples. Also, when he uses logic and reason (not automatic, but something I teach him), I may be swayed on a decision:

Me: "Go do your homework"

Him: "My friends are all playing baseball until 6pm. Then they too are going to go and do their homework. May I join them and do my homework then?"

Me: "As long as your back at 6:15."

Him: "Yes sir"

By starting him off early to use logic and reason, instead of tears and whining, our conflicts are very few. I hope this doesn't change.

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Rob,

Your post is a bit abstract, without too many details. So, pardon me if some if this is obvious...

The best approach is to explain why your rules make sense. Kids will often not agree with your reasons. As a parent -- you should make an honest and earnest effort to understand their counter points and their perspective. It is sometimes tough for an adult to admit they're wrong, but it is important to show your kids that you're willing to do so. Alternatively, when there reasons and objections are not convincing, it is important to show that you at least hear and understand where they are coming from. After all that, as the parent, you basically have the last word. Assuming that your rules are reasonable and in your daughter's interests, you are well within your rights in asking her to follow them. Parenthetically, you really want to avoid laying down rules that you know are going to be completely ignored when you're not there to enforce them. You have a near-adult on your hands, and your best bet at having that other person do what you want is to convince them that it makes sense. To use a religious metaphor, you have to shape their conscience to tell them what they ought to do, because when it matters most that is all they'll have to keep them on track.

Lakeside: lashes? seriously? And this is your way of "starting him off early to use logic and reason"? It is a short-term pragmatic approach that tries to substitute external motivation where one ought to be building internal thought, values and motivation.

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Property rights are important things, true, but kids by their nature cannot go about living treated exactly like you would an adult in all cases. It's true, the kids didn't sign some contract to live with their parents so you can't look at it exactly like they did do such, but they can't sign contracts of any sort even while alive as long as they are kids anyway, which stems from another relevant fact of their nature. You do rightly get to do some things with them you can't with adults, or even with other people's kids, but it is also kind of being a jerk in my opinion and not good parenting to lord over some kids which you have control over and who cannot make their own living due to no fault of their own that this is your property, so screw what objections they may have, na-na-na-na-na.

"Don't you think I should be able to expel my daughter for her misdeeds and violations, and let the government mind its own business?" Whoa, hold on, you're her legal guardian for a reason. You did make some choices here that lead to your position as her parent and she now, as a consequence of what you did, depends on you to see to it that you take care of her needs which she cannot take care of for herself. You kicking her out because you just got frustrated with her is you going back on your commitment which another human's life now rests on you holding to your word on. As a bare minimum morally, because you committed to this guardianship of her to the exclusions of others being designated to do the job, it is up to you to at least see to it that she be safely transferred to another willing and able guardian before you would quit the job. If you did not take care of at least that basic minimum, it would be your choices from start to finish that would ultimately be responsible for putting her life in serious jeopardy, maybe even getting her killed, because you consented to taking care of her needs when she couldn't and being exclusively responsible for this, but then chose to put her in a position where she had nobody else to take care of her needs for her either.

Now, as long as one is keeping the kid and not resigning to pass on custody of them, there are a number of blogs and such by people supportive of Objectivism who are also parents who write about their parenting. A number of them I've seen and found interesting deal with a system called Positive Discipline which they use and write about how using it went and why the guidelines in the system make sense to use with raising kids. Maybe you would like to go check them out for more ideas about how Objectivists have deal with questions of disciplining children and squaring it with their philosophic beliefs. Here are a couple examples of those blogs: http://rationaljenn.blogspot.com/ , http://reepicheepscoracle.blogspot.com/

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Lakeside: lashes? seriously? And this is your way of "starting him off early to use logic and reason"? It is a short-term pragmatic approach that tries to substitute external motivation where one ought to be building internal thought, values and motivation.

I was raised with two offenses that required the belt. Lying and theft. I earned all 7 spanking/lashings that I received. He's earned the two. I know that Dr. Spock and many liberals think that by sparing the rod you spare the child, but that is not so. There are consequences in life, and he's learning that early on. Also, with strict, objective consequences, very few ever have to be severe. And lastly, with an objective, self-interest oriented mindset, he'll hit the world with few competitors in whatever he endeavors to do. He certainly won't have to compete with drunkards, the unmotivated, nor men who wear pink panties, get up on stripper poles, and "express" themselves.

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Only two actions warrant a spanking, and he knows what those two are. And "lashes," that may be the wrong word. Belt, on behind. It's how I was raised and I turned out well above average. Also, another crucial thing. He never see's his mom and I argue, or disagree, ever. I didn't realize that this wasn't "normal" for most people. In my upbringing, I never, once, at all, saw my parents disagree. An argument? Never. That's how I raise him.

Edited by Lakeside
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I've said before to my daughter, "You'll behave a certain way if you want to live under this roof" (maybe paraphrased slightly)

My daughter responded, "I didn't ask to be born here, so who are you to dictate what rule I should or shouldn't be bound by [sic]."

Some of this is a repeat of what others here already said but I will say it again anyway.

It is important for your kids to understand how you as a parent arrived at the limits and guidelines you set of them. It is important for them to grasp that these are not just "your rules" but that your thinking is reality-based.

It is important for them to make the connection between these rules and their self interest.

It may help your situation to go over these rules with your kids (preferably not in a moment of conflict) and re-examine them together and agree on a set of conditions, through negotiation, which, as a set, are acceptable to all. Where you think you reasonably still can (because your kid's point of view is not so unreasonable) "given in a little"; where you think you should not - explain why; if one of the important limits still sounds unacceptable to them - ask what form of it would be acceptable - have a discussion about it. Write it all down together. You don't have to do this all in one sitting. This can be a process and you may suggest to have a "meeting of the minds" every now and then to update the "constitution". That is what I would try and see what happens. For both children and adults alike, the more we feel like something was a result of our choice - the more we are likely to comply.

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Only two actions warrant a spanking, and he knows what those two are. And "lashes," that may be the wrong word. Belt, on behind. It's how I was raised and I turned out well above average.

You did not answer the question why you chose lashes for lying rather than, for example, loosing your trust (of course the value of which he would first need to understand). Possible consequences of loosing your trust are much more severe. Given the choice, I would have taken lashes any day if by doing so that could "wipe my slate clean" with you as a parent. A smart and strong kid can use lashes the way Christians use confession. Furthermore, if the motivation for not lying is primarily external - there is no barrier to lying when one knows they won't be found out. You want your child to be motivated by the benefits of honesty rather than external consequences of lying.

He never see's his mom and I argue, or disagree, ever. I didn't realize that this wasn't "normal" for most people. In my upbringing, I never, once, at all, saw my parents disagree. An argument? Never. That's how I raise him.

I think you should re-examine your position on this. Never arguing or disagreeing is not the reality of relationships. You child can tremendously benefit from learning from you how to rationally handle and resolve disagreements (if you don't apply this standard when you argue with his mom then I agree he should not be exposed to that). By having this rule you are taking away from your kid a very important learning opportunity.

It is useful to keep asking yourself - what is that I am trying to accomplish by X - and whether or not doing (or not doing) X actually accomplishes it.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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He certainly won't have to compete with drunkards, the unmotivated, nor men who wear pink panties, get up on stripper poles, and "express" themselves.

- Ahh, the unavoidable consequences of a non-violent upbringing..

Im not certain it will have a severe negative effect on a child to be beaten (evolutionary speaking it would seem unlikely, as it has probably been the standard throughout history) - but I dont see why you would prefere this alternative.

I have no children, but could never imagine myself beating up any child in any fashion, particularly not one of my own (!)

Why not simply restrict the child from participating in activities he enjoys for a certain amount of time, force him to do extra chores around the house, etc?

Or excluding a positive, say once a week you take your kid to the movies or something else he finds enjoyable (depending on age, this would certainly not work on a fourteen year old), and the times he misbehaves you make it clear that you are not going to be doing it this weekend, for the following reasons..

That a child should not see his parents argue seems obvious, but there is no relation beetween that and beating up the child.

I've never seen my parents argue once over the years I lived at home, or even the times I see them now.

It had given me the impression that they never argue, which is probably not the case - but nevertheless a decent impression to leave your child with.

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... It's how I was raised and I turned out well above average....
Your relationship with your kid is obviously far broader than anything you say in a single post. So, I was reacting only to the aspects you chose to stress, and the rationale you mentioned for that: i.e. teaching him rationality.

Every now and then, people come on the forum and ask why they ought not to lie in some situations where they can get away with it. Such people are probably not routine liars who are callous about their lying, because those types don't bother asking about it on forums. The point is that the consequences of lying often come a few steps away from the lying and are therefore not obvious. If one wishes to teach a kid reason, then one has to teach him that lying is bad for a reason. Also, it cannot be done in the abstract, but has to be done with concretes. A concrete like "you don't get allowance" or "you get a spanking" is a consequence, but it does not reflect the real-world consequences of lying. So, if that is all a kid gets, one lose the chance to explain the real reasons one ought not lie. One might reinforce "do not lie", but it remains as a dogmatic rule. If it is not tied back to "why", it is not well-suited to a human thinking mind.

For instance, I might remind my son of little Frankie who fibs about all sorts of things. Frankie thinks he's fooling us all, but we're laughing at him behind his back. He's trying to get people to think better of him, and everyone thinks he's pathetic. Then, there are some examples of adults who lied to me and consequences that followed from that: instances where those adults would have received so much more value in life by telling the truth. Finally, there is some example of when I lied and how I felt and what the consequences were. An eight year old will be able to understand this at some level, even if a single iteration won't be enough. However, much more importantly, he will get a meta-message: ethics can be rational and can be designed to ensure long-term value to me. One cannot give a kid such an abstract message directly, but this is what they need to conclude in some wordless way.

Those are the types of things that will reinforce the value of reason and rationality. After that, if you still want to belt or spank, that's something incidental that will not have a long-term consequence either way if done in moderation.

Of course, more important than all these is what your son sees you do in your relationships. If he sees you lie, even to get some type of tiny value, all the lecturing and spanking is going to be dismissed as dishonest. From the fact that you hold lying to be one of the "top sins", I assume you're up-front and honest in your life. Use this to your advantage: tell your son of an instance where you could easily have lied, and why you did not, and more importantly what value you gained by your honesty. Help him internalize the motivation: heroes do not lie, heroes will tell the truth even if they're belted for doing so.

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You are making one major mistake: namely, comparing your house to a government. Your house is not a democracy or a republic. It is, simply, a dictatorship with you at the helm. You set the rules. I suspect you haven't been all that diligent in doing that or else your daughter wouldn't be so sassy. Next time little miss sass acts up, ground her or deprive her of something (her usual Saturday afternoon at the mall or something). I think once your kids get the message, they'll shape up.

BTW, what do you mean "ship out." Of course you can't. You are responsible for them. Which is why YOU get to set the terms.

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I am 19, so I don't know anything about parenting other than how my parents raised me, and at this point I am not really sure what they did right and what they did wrong. However I have read a lot about the issue, and might be able to offer something.

The following is based on the assumption that you want to adhere to Justice.

So you have a conflict with your daughter. She is fourteen, so I don't think she is capable of living independently of you. In a modern society it takes a lot longer for someone to get educated to the point of where they will be able to trade equally with a society that offers so much.

The theory goes that since you chose to raise her, she is your responsibility. This means you have choesn to provide for her shelter, education, food, water and other things to prepare her for modern living. Honestly beyond this you don't owe her anything at all.

So what is it that you can rightfully control over her? Anything beyond that. Cars, gifts, allowance, the ability to have friends over. You can take a lot away from her without actually defaulting on your chosen obligation as a parent.

However before taking stuff away from her, I would ask myself what exactly it is I want her to do, and why it is reasonable that I ask her to do so. So there are two categories of things I can think of request/demands.

1) Living - You want her to behave a certain way because you want to live a certain lifestyle. So you want to be clean, this means she can't leave food around all over the place and attract bugs.

I would basically put it to her like this "If you want to have friends over, you are going to clean, for the sake of your social life". Basically you need to wed your interests together.

2) Education - These requests are about being a good parent. "Do your homework", " Don't eat to much sugar" - you understand.

I have no clue how to deal with this problem. My parents sort of dropped the ball on this one, I had to learn all my good habits on my own, I don't feel like that was a good thing.

There is one negative I can think of, don't be a hypocrit. I think one of my major problems was that my parents basically had all the same bad habits I do/did. I really do think that kids can absorb the bad habits and ideas from parents in their daily living.

The above was based on a mixture of Peikoff's ideas and my personal experience.

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Sophia - that was how I was raised. I see no reason to change it when it works as intended. You seem to be responding in the manner that you think I use him like a little punching bag. That, simply, is not accurate. As far as going over the rules and consequences with him, they are on the wall, carved in wood. Also, you write as if this is a common occurrence. It's been needed twice in his life.

Also, for your second part. It's not that we don't ever disagree, it's that when one comes up, we talk about it later. Granted, our disagreements typically revolve around where to vacation (camping or beach, Europe or Bahamas, and the like). As far as day-to-day living, I am beyond fortunate in that I chose well.

Mrs Lien - You have no children, you should have stopped there. Perhaps next you could teach us Korean. It may sound rude, but I know better than to weigh in on situations and conditions with which I am unfamiliar. As far as doing things together and having fun, we have plenty of that. Between where we go and the activities we do here, there's no lack of options, only a lack of time. He hits the world in roughly 3,000 days. He rarely misbehaves, not out of fear, but because it's not the way for him to accomplish what he's trying to do.

Software Nerd - First off, "want" to spank is not the case, at all. And you (all) seem to miss the scope of it. Between "violent" homes and wanting to spank and all that, you obviously know very little about abusive homes (neither do I).

And no, physical punishment is not life's answer to lying, but it is the answer to it in my home. It's very rare for a conflict to occur here, rare enough that the last "conflict" at all was 22 Jan of this year.

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Software Nerd - First off, "want" to spank is not the case, at all.
I'm sorry you decided to focus on that single word. In my post, I was trying not to say that spanking was abusive.

My point was that it is a relatively ineffective strategy if your objective is long-term, child-driven, reasoned compliance.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Sophia - that was how I was raised. I see no reason to change it when it works as intended. You seem to be responding in the manner that you think I use him like a little punching bag. That, simply, is not accurate. As far as going over the rules and consequences with him, they are on the wall, carved in wood. Also, you write as if this is a common occurrence. It's been needed twice in his life.

. . .

And no, physical punishment is not life's answer to lying, but it is the answer to it in my home. It's very rare for a conflict to occur here, rare enough that the last "conflict" at all was 22 Jan of this year.

If you have not done so before, please consider the possibility of a child turning out alright *in spite of* rather than *because of* certain elements of their upbringing. Perhaps one's child may come out alright afterward in spite of a less than ideal situation, maybe even go on to do well, but if one could simply change the situation in a way which may allow for an even *better* outcome, I'd expect one would be interested in checking to make sure that they are not failing to do so, that how they are doing things really is the cause of good outcomes, not just an unrelated correlation at best.

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Sophia - that was how I was raised. I see no reason to change it when it works as intended. You seem to be responding in the manner that you think I use him like a little punching bag. That, simply, is not accurate. As far as going over the rules and consequences with him, they are on the wall, carved in wood. Also, you write as if this is a common occurrence. It's been needed twice in his life.

Depends what you mean by "work". In any case, just because some system works alright doesn't mean it's the best system. I'm curious though, how do you know your kid isn't behaving out of fear? I mean, I know you stated there have been VERY few occurrences, but that doesn't automatically translate into lack of fear of course.

And no, physical punishment is not life's answer to lying, but it is the answer to it in my home. It's very rare for a conflict to occur here, rare enough that the last "conflict" at all was 22 Jan of this year.

To clarify, the only thing I'm objecting to is physical punishment, not forcing a kid to do something. If a kid refuses to put on a seat belt, well, force your kid to do so. In situations like that it is unreasonable to take the time and give a long explanation of why seat belt wearing is important. Maybe if a kid cries it will be annoying, but provided you don't give into whining and tears as you put it earlier, the kid is bound to learn that crying is NOT how any person gets what they want. In any case, what good does it do to tell a kid to hold their arms up for X minutes? At best it's unnecessary, because actual consequences would include loss of trust.

Edited by Eiuol
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Eiuol - Why object to physical punishment? What evidence do you have to support that doctrine? All the present evidence, within statistics as well as interacting with those who were raised that way show that it produces people that I will not allow my son to be. As far as the corner with the arms up, that's something else. You have time-out and whatever other strategies you may employ in the rearing of your children. I have mine. Besides, my 8 year old reads at a Junior level, is trying to get the concept of geometry, is well mannered and well spoken. The results speak for themselves.

Blue - Why would I consider an environment for him that's less than desirable? He has a desirable environment and, as much as a child can grasp it, he understands that. Also, yes, one can change the situation in which a child is raised. Be a productive and active parent (I know it over simplifies, but you understand). I didn't always have what I would consider a "proper" environment to raise him, I went and earned it; i.e. went out and made it happen.

SN - it's not that I focused solely on that, but what, other than your opinion, can you present to me that would convince me that I am wrong (in spite of the results at present). You seem to "know" that it's relatively ineffective. How?

But, as to the original query, raising children with Objective values is one of the greatest things you can do with them. I have no source of evidence other than my own results (both in myself and him).

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Eiuol - Why object to physical punishment? What evidence do you have to support that doctrine? All the present evidence, within statistics as well as interacting with those who were raised that way show that it produces people that I will not allow my son to be. As far as the corner with the arms up, that's something else. You have time-out and whatever other strategies you may employ in the rearing of your children. I have mine. Besides, my 8 year old reads at a Junior level, is trying to get the concept of geometry, is well mannered and well spoken. The results speak for themselves.

I've turned into an intelligent individual without any moral issues or laziness or what have you. I received zero physical punishment. That's my evidence. I did, however, receive punishment in the form of loss of privileges. This is the same for my siblings, so I don't think I'm some sort of anomaly. I also know I question any and all authority figures, and maybe that's the result of being raised as I was, but that's actually a good outlook; don't do something just because someone says to. I would also note that yes, those facts about your 8 year old are good, it's still yet to be seen how he ends up when he's 25. Is he trying to grasp geometry because someone told him to (teachers for instance) or because he enjoys it? Does he do homework because you say so, or is he starting to grasp that homework should be done because education is good? Will he be going through college because he's supposed to? The concrete results are decent and all here, but the most important question is why is this method the *best* and most desirable method? What is your end goal in raising your kid? Basically, I think you need to better explain what you mean by "working as intended".

Edited by Eiuol
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Blue - Why would I consider an environment for him that's less than desirable? He has a desirable environment and, as much as a child can grasp it, he understands that. Also, yes, one can change the situation in which a child is raised. Be a productive and active parent (I know it over simplifies, but you understand). I didn't always have what I would consider a "proper" environment to raise him, I went and earned it; i.e. went out and made it happen.

. . .

But, as to the original query, raising children with Objective values is one of the greatest things you can do with them. I have no source of evidence other than my own results (both in myself and him).

Just to be clear in case my wording didn't get across correctly what I meant the first time, I was not suggesting that you should consider creating a less than desirable environment for your kid. If you meant that I should know you wouldn't be doing what you were doing if you thought it was less than desirable, that's kind of beside the point because what I was trying to bring up was to ask if maybe you simply haven't considered some things before to realize that perhaps their may be something lacking in your approach. Furthermore, I do not believe everything about the way you are raising this kid must be bad or even that the sum total is not generally good. I'm asking about a pretty specific aspect here which has been used in a limited enough amount and way that, if you can assume for the sake of a hypothetical for a moment, the bad effects of which could be overall drowned out by other positives in what you have been doing so that you may not realize what damage has been done or what further potential for good has been missed out on. So in sum total, I'm saying just because you turned out well and your kid has been pretty good, doesn't mean the physical punishment usage and threat of usage is helping bring about any positive outcomes, or at least not the best possible outcomes compared to other options, in either of you.

Now, why should you consider methods of raising children that exclude the use and threat of use of physical punishment in general, even if very limited and light physical punishment only? First off, aside from bringing up correlation with your own upbringing and that you turned out well, a correlation which does not establish a causation among other things, you also bring up a correlation to having seen children raised by parents who refused to use physical punishments and threats of such and some negative results in how those kids turned out in your observation and experience. This too only is a correlation though and not an established causation. Why should you question the connection being a causal one here? From what I've seen at least and I suspect you may have noticed this too, by far and large, the same families who refuse to use physical punishments have more than just that one element in common. These families often have a more lax attitude toward parenting and what the role and purpose of a parent is in a child's life. Think of the kinds of parents who may want too much to be like the child's friend rather than any sort of authority figure in general to them. The kinds of parents are low on setting guidelines and making any kind of refusals to their children at all often. They may have a very short-range and kind of hedonistic approach to the child perhaps, just aiming to give the child whatever they happen to want at the moment with few questions asked and let the child do whatever the child wants whenever with little hesitance. In general, they give in, they fail to guide, they let the kid run wild with little to no directions on where to go or why to go there. This, however, is not the kind of approach anybody here is advocating anybody takes with raising children. What is advocated is not being "soft" and constantly caving in and letting kids get away with whatever. What IS advocated is firm guidance and clear limits and consequences, just with physical punishments being dealt out by the parents not being one of those consequences. There is a very different reasoning for this one same position held between these two separate parties where the differences are more important than the similarities. It's kind of like how both Objectivists and communists may advocate for atheism, but they have very different reasons and very little else in common and very different results in spite of how they have atheism in common.

So what is the different reasoning behind why a number of people here do not advocate the usage or threat of consequences for wrongdoing taking the form of parents inflicting any kind of physical pains? Quite frankly, "the consequences of lying include getting hit by a parent" just does not make sense. It is a very arbitrary form of punishment not stemming from anything about how reality works. The two main goals here are teaching and protecting kids basically, right? Hitting the child contributes to neither of those things. It doesn't tell them anything about the inevitable logical results of being a liar, only the potentially avoidable consequences you are copying based on tradition and association. This doesn't let them know why it benefits them not to lie, just why it benefits them not to get caught lying by you, much like just because a bully may have been in a kid's life at one point and threatened to hit them if they didn't give them their lunch money, it doesn't mean it is in one's best interests to give lunch money to anybody who asks for it as a general policy in the future, even when those people do not threaten to attack them if the child refuses to give the money up.

So, supposing you assume that the hitting and threats of such to your child are not about the teaching itself, but about protecting them in some (slightly counter intuitive) way? How about that, you may inquire. Suppose you took the view point perhaps of treating this as supplemental to the actual teaching material, seeing it as protective by trying to use the physical pain as a way to drive in that you really mean it, they better remember to stick to this one. Driving home the point and getting them to remember it you may think is helping protect them, so if it it accomplishes this you may believe it is a good parenting move. Again I would ask why you would use this as your form of driving in your message. There are other ways to make strongly clear to a child why they really are doing themselves no favors by generally being dishonest. One way is to *demonstrate* those consequences in action. Do things to show it, point out examples of the consequences. As has been brought up before, liars are not trustworthy. Show the kid that you now find their actions and claims cannot be trusted because they've shown they're willing to lie to you to try to deceive you. Don't let them do various things because you can't trust claims they make about what they say they'll do, if they will stick to safety measures like they say they will, if they can be trusted not to break some fragile object when they say they will be careful, if they really mean it when they say they intend to take care of that goldfish if you get it for them, et cetera. Think of it this way: there are two teachers teaching science classes. Which one do you think would help drive home an understanding and acceptance of the message in the text book better - the one that does demonstrations to illustrate examples of the truths from the lessons, or the one that just smacks students with a ruler if they forget or get things wrong or don't seem to believe it for lack of clarity? Maybe threatening to inflict physical pain could get a kid to fall in line more quickly than having a long conversation with them about reasons and following through on these kinds of demonstration punishments, but parenting is about the long term interests and as with school learning, quicker is definitely not always better. Trying to cram and quickly memorize text for a test may be quicker, but it is not good in the long term as it misses actually comprehending in favor of memorizing and it is quickly forgotten, never really making it into storage in the long term memory. Parenting is for the long term, you don't want to just get lazy and opt for the quicker method that will get them to do something beneficial for now for reasons they don't know in lieu of the one that actually will get them to stick to it long term because they know why it benefits them even when you aren't around.

If you understand and agree with my reasoning thus far about the efficacy of punishments taking of form of demonstrating why the logical consequences of certain actions are bad for a child, good. Perhaps you may ask why you can't still use punishments and threats of such involving inflicting of physical pain anyway, in addition to those demonstrations which are already being used to drive home the point. I would ask why you would still want to do so though. Why might you think it really needs that even further form of trying to make them remember? Why might you not believe that the approach of giving reasons and demonstrated logical consequences is sufficient? Might the kid still mess up with this method and try to find a way to get around lying not being generally in their best interests anyway and you may find yourself then having to repeat the process with them again with repetition as an additional reinforcement? Quite possibly, even likely, but the same can be said for a method that also employs inflicting physical pain upon discovery of bad deeds. If you have any other arguments for why you may think you could still get some more kind of benefit from keeping inflicting physical pain in there as a regular (even if rarely and lightly used) part of your disciplinary repertoire, the ball is in your court now to please say what that benefit is.

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Mrs Lien - You have no children, you should have stopped there. Perhaps next you could teach us Korean.

- First off im a dude. This is usually the case for Objectivists in general, so I find your presumption somewhat strange :P. If your thinking of my first name in relatin to the female dog lassie I do get it though, however Lasse is the male equivilant - such as christian/christine, Julian/Julie - etc. Nobodys previously refered to me as a female, so I found that somewhat funny.

And not having children does not limit ones understanding that beating them is wrong.

I dont keep any slaves either, that does not disqualify me from moral judgement toward others treatment of them.

As far as doing things together and having fun, we have plenty of that. Between where we go and the activities we do here, there's no lack of options, only a lack of time.

- So why not punish him by limiting these options rather then violence? You have still not made any rational arguments for why beating him is the superior option.

He hits the world in roughly 3,000 days. He rarely misbehaves, not out of fear, but because it's not the way for him to accomplish what he's trying to do.

- First of all im not certain its ideal for a child never to misbehave at all to begin with, and to think that this is going to continue throughout his teens seems somewhat naive.

I certainly disobeyed my parents when I was a teenager, and presumably most people did.

Are you going to continue using violence at this point?

If your sixteen year old son goes out drinking, are you going to beat him up then?

What if he gets someone pregnant at seventeen? What would a proporsionate response be at that point?

I just can not see any valid arguments for why this strategy is optimal for raising an independent functional adult. Nor do I see how it prevents your kid from being somewhat of a gay male stripper as you implicated in your prior post.

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Violence, even mild violence is not an objective method for dealing with children. What youre teaching them is that some activities are intrinsically wrong, and must be punished. Its no different than "teaching" a child that he cant eat pork because the "sacred tablets" say not to. Objectivity is the volitional adherence to logic, not refraining from activities for fear of painfull repercussions.

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Objective methods, however, only work with children who can and will listen to reason.

Our neighbor has a child (3) who has emotional development issues. The mother can reason, plead, beg, cajole, etc. with the child, but the child will still insist on doing it her way. This ultimately led to the child sneaking out of the house with the 2 year old, both naked, running up to a very busy street - twice. Child *showed* police how she got out of the house - mom was not slacking off - child is deliberate.

Police were called, children were removed from the house, and now social workers are observing that this child will sit on a chair in time out for HOURS rather than pick up a block she previously was witnessed to throw on the floor.

I'm not suggesting that the situation is anywhere near that extreme here - but I've said before that sometimes corporal punishment must be considered, and been given anecdotal arguments demonstrating why it isn't necessary. Not being a parent myself, I had no such counter anecdotes (as if anecdotes were valid for generalizations as opposed for illustrations).

Now I do - thanks to my neighbor's developmentally challenged children. (There's actually 2 (out of a brood of ... 8, I think) - the 3 yr old just happens to be the worst of the bunch.)

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Objective methods, however, only work with children who can and will listen to reason.

Let me get this straight. If a child is not reasonable, I'll smack them hoping that they will reason, I don't like pain therefore I wont do that again. Nonsensical

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