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Somebody's Gonna Get A Hurt Real Bad

Just in case you missed it, I killed (metaphorically) on last night's episode of Clearly, You're Retarded.

OK, well, most everybody agreed with Adam.  But, whatever.  Being right isn't a popularity contest.  Plus I had the Canadians, Valerie, My Brother the Doctor, and the kosher Jew on my side.

This was, in and of itself, all the victory I needed.

I just want to clarify.  I am not against you spanking your kids.  You are not a bad parent if you spank your children.  I, personally, do not ascribe to this method of discipline, but that's not a judgment on your parenting skills.

(Let's ignore that I said it was lazy.  That was a poor choice of words.  I meant that it seems conveniently expedient.  Gawd.  I should be writing speeches for The Barry.*)

My contention was that it's a little crappy to judge me for not spanking my child.

Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears are not sad excuses for grown ups because they weren't spanked.  There are a variety of reasons why some adults are spoiled and useless.  To attribute their flawed existence to one single perceived deficiency in their upbringing is a bit simplistic.  Don't you think?

Anyway, I mentioned last night that when I was a kid, the preferred method of discipline in my home was a sound beating.  Now, before you go feeling sorry for me, I'd like you to meet my friend Russell Peters, who I believe Karen mentioned in last night's chat.

(Disclaimer: I'm not really friends with Russell Peters.  He should be so lucky).

I haven't confused spanking and beating.  I understand the difference.  I would never, ever accept beating a child as an acceptable form of discipline.  Ever.

So, I know it seems odd that I would laugh about beatings.  But, Russell's comedy bit explains a lot about the various cultural contexts of discipline.  And, in a roundabout way, why Asian kids never talk back to their parents and have higher GPA's than everyone else.

(Kidding.  Not really.)

There's some NSFW language in here, so consider yourself warned.

Oh, and one last thing, if I didn't respond to you in the chat room it was because I'm incapable of reading and talking at the same time.  Sorry.  I went back and read it.  You guys were great.

Even though Adam has obviously brainwashed you into mindlessly agreeing with him over just about anything.

* The Barry = President Barack Obama.

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Reader Comments (37)

I swatted my kid on her diaper a few times but felt horribly guilty even for that. It was a societal thing, it was a heart thing. I just can't do it.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrys

...excuse me, it WASN'T a societal thing. in other words, it wasn't pressure externally that i felt, but internally.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrys

I listened for a little while and I think I agree with you. I certainly don't think the exclusion of spanking will automatically turn kids into brats like Adam suggests.

But I was reading about baseball while listening so I couldn't call in and get your back. Sorry about that.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB.E. Earl

He's been reduced to "The Barry"? Really? Does he know this?

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkapgar

i would have loved to have been there for the show, but i got stuck entertaining customers at the hockey game. luckily for me, the penguins won!

faiqa, you hit a really good point that people who don't spank should not be considered bad parents for that just as people who do spank (not beat) their children aren't bad parents. well done!

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

I still judge you. Heh.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

Oh, and I just watched that whole bit. That was hysterical.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

For the record, I agreed with you, just not enough to miss Lost to say it online.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSciFi Dad

Um, to clarify, the Kosher Jew did not wholeheartedly agree with you (at least in the chatroom), he just did mostly.
Haha :)
Seriously, I agree with both of you. I almost never spanked my kid, and now I don't do it at all (taking away her various forms of entertainment work much better now), but I still think it was a great tool. Knowing she MIGHT get spanked kept her in line, so it almost never had to be used. And not past the age of 5.
But that kid I babysat - ugh. She needed a throttling!!
Gotta run - my kid needs a smackin'!

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

The fact that you can admit most everybody agreed with Adam is argument enough that a good solid throttling should be allowed for adults at the very least, if not children.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNYCWD

What a great debate! You were a good co-host.

I too agree with both of you. I'm not a parent so I probably don't get a say, but as a teacher I see a great difference in kids behaviour based on how their parents discipline them at home. The kids who know that their parents are the boss and have punishments in place are well behaved at school. It is obvious which kids rule their home because you can see it in their behavior at school. Whether it's spanking or rewards/consequences or whatever having consistent discipline is what's most important. We see so many kids who are constantly threatened with punishment, but after one time not following through they take that inconsistency and run. I love my parents dearly, but as a child there was always just a small amount of fear (taking away things I liked or spankings) in the back of mind that kept me from doing things I shouldn't, most of the time. I don't think that little bit of fear of punishment is bad as long as it's done with respect. Wow, I guess I did have a lot to say even though I'm not a parent.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

@Sybil -- You're right. I thought it was inexcusable that her three-year old was still up at 10pm. Aside from that, though? We were in full agreement. :)

I mentioned this in the chatroom, but I'll say it again now: I simply haven't had to spank my child at this point and time. He's 6. Could this possibly change in the next few years? Unlikely, but certainly possible. There are a few situations (potentially life-threatening) where I would want to scare the daylights out of my kid as a deterrent, but those (thankfully) have not occurred.

Actually, it has once: I was in a parking lot driving over to pick my wife and him up near the curb. He was excited to see the car and jumped out off the sidewalk into the parking lot. My windows happened to be down, and the screech of the tires coupled with my yelling frightened him a lot. The reason being -- I rarely even have to raise my voice to him, and when I do he knows that something's really wrong.

Good show yesterday -- It's great to see the opinions across the board. I don't doubt that spankers can be phenomenal parents as well.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershiny

See - that whole bad parent disclaimer? That's why I refused to do this show with Adam. He and I would have gone after one another and it would have been far too easy for someone to hear that and hear "oh great, now I'm a bad parent for THAT, too."

That being said -

I think I was raised by immigrants and nobody told me!

"If I get rid of one, I'll just get a new one!" LOL

My God this clip is HYSTERICAL.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

"I love my parents dearly, but as a child there was always just a small amount of fear (taking away things I liked or spankings) in the back of mind that kept me from doing things I shouldn’t, most of the time."

I stole that quote from Kimberly's comment. LeSombre and I actually talked about this subject yesterday and while he isn't a spanker and I am, we were able to agree, as others have pointed out, that consistency is key when it comes to discipline. Whether it's washing their mouth out with soap, spanking, grounding, whatever, they have to know that you follow through.

I am of the camp that believes that a certain amount of fear of their parent and the consequences needs to be instilled in a child for them to fully respect them and their rules. Do I think a child needs to be cowering a corner? Hell NO! But they have to be afraid of the consequences.

And, like Sybil said, if they know you will discipline them, they won't do x, y or z.

I don't judge parents who don't spank. I don't judge parents that do spank. I do judge parents whose kids are terrors and have learned that they can walk all over their parents as well as other adults and authority figures. Those kids need a good spanking and so do their parents.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSheila (Charm School Reject)

So I had to watch American Idol rather than listen in, BUT had I listened in, I would have agreed with the NON spanking position.

Here is why: A) I felt asbsolutely mortified and angry and terrified whenever I or my brother was spanked by my father. It was not a beating, it was spanking, but it was usually done in anger. This is not what I want my child experiencing.

B) We are dealing with a 2 year old right now who is imitating the Penguins from Madagascar (the movie) who slap each other and other characters regularly. We are trying to teach him that slapping and hitting other people is not nice, in fact it is wrong. A 2 year old cannot distinguish between his hitting someone else as being bad, but me hitting him on the butt as being okay. To him hitting is hitting. The contradiction is counter productive to the lessons we are trying to impart, so hitting is off the table in terms of discipline. But there IS discipline, and that is the key factor. And that movie is officially out of the rotation of things he can watch for now until he can understand that is not real life. And I qualify all of this by saying that this is what works for us.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMidLifeMama

There's hitting to hit. And there's hitting to handle anger. And then there's hitting as a consequence to one's actions. They all are different no matter if you label it hitting, spanking, beating or whatever.

In general, I want people out of other people's lives. Yesterday's "beating" is today's "spanking" is tomorrow's "he looked at me crosseyed and I'll be in therapy the rest of my life".

I'm glad you pointed out the "I don't judge you for your spanking discipline so don't judge me for my non-spanking discipline." Every child is a little different and every situation is a bit different.

In my experience, I've come to believe in minor physical discipline at an early age combined with certain verbal cues make for sufficently strong verbal-only cues as they get older. When you make sure no wishy-washy threats are ever added in (ie, don't ever say "if you do X, you'll get Y!" and then not carry through), it makes for very well-behaved children, at least in my case.

(I also give a tip of the hat to your ability to keep an emotional topic civil amongst your participants).

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhall

Great show. Faiqa eats me alive in most discussions so it was nice to see someone who could almost stand up to her. By the way everybody...Faiqa and I are moving to New Zealand. :)

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTariq

Tariq, almost? I totally kicked her ass!

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

yes you came close but i can't say that and expect dinner tonight. :)

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTariq

Loved the show, love the You Tube video... don't know that I necessarily agree with you, but hey, everyone...
No, every CHILD is different. Different kids call for different measures and that can totally depend on the circumstances. Maybe you'll have a rough & tough boy who'll give you a run for your non-spanking money :)
I TRIED very hard to avoid spanking my boys and although it does NOT occur very often... maybe once a month, it is in some instances the ONLY thing that gets through.
Hope all is well! XOXO Stef

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStef

@Tariq - I find it amusing that you expect dinner at all. The Faiqa does not strike me as a domestic goddess. A goddess, to be sure, but not domesticated.

As I said at Adam's, for me it completely depends on the child. I've seen some that really need physical discipline to get the message, whereas my son is a pleaser and the mere idea that he'd be "in trouble" is usually enough to keep him in line. In fact, the child admonishes me when I exceed the speed limit.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFinn

The whole "depends on the child" argument is something I forgot about. My seven year old son, I have it down to where, in most cases and look and snap of the finger is enough to pull him back to reality. I can already tell with my fifteen month old that I could literally beat her all day long until she was black and blue and it probably wouldn't make a difference to her. She's very, um, stubborn and high-spirited. I foresee a lot of time spent in her room in the future.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSheila (Charm School Reject)

@Crys: Intellectual arguments aside, the biggest reason I don't spank is that it doesn't feel right. FOR. ME.

@B.E. Earl: I noticed you were there and I appreciated your level of participation. Which consisted simply of the display of your handle in the chat room. It's the little things.

@kapgar: It's a term of endearment!! He's been PROMOTED,

@hello haha narf: I missed you there. :(

@Avitable: You should see the rest of the act if you haven't caught it. There's a bit about gay Indians. It's awesome.

@SciFi Dad: I *knew* you would agree with me. You were there in spirit, right?

@Sybil Law: I think kids get to the point where the girl you babysat for because they're parents aren't consistent. But, I don't know. I feel uncomfortable postulating on how other people should raise their children. It feels wrong. HOWEVER, I had this 5 year old cousin that I took to Disney World (this is waaay before I had kids) and I thought to myself after fifteen minutes of being there, "This kid is in desperate need of a spanking."

@NYCWD: Oh, I'm completely in favor of spanking adults. >:)

@Kimberly: That reminds me that I didn't bring up the issue of consistency when I was discussing my form of discipline. 99% of the time, I do what I say I'm going to do. This includes reward and punishment. Consistency is the cornerstone of effective discipline.

@shiny: Yeah, I forgot to mention that I RARELY yell at my daughter, so when I do, it has a tremendous effect. It *was* inexcusable that she was up at 10. I blame my husband.

@Miss Britt: So you threw me under the bus, huh? Friend of the Year over here, people. On another note, I often wonder if you were raised by immigrants, too. I meant that as a compliment. Even though you insidiously sold me out.

@Sheila (Charm School Reject): Agreed. Follow through is very important. And so is fear. I've managed THUS FAR to be able to instill a small amount of fear without spanking. I don't know what the future holds... but, for now, I've gotten by without having to use it.

@MidLifeMama: I can't believe you ditched me for *American Idol* and not LOST. That's just humiliating. ;)

@whall: Wow, a tip of the hat from you. That means a lot. And, yes, whatever a parent chooses has to be employed with a commitment to follow through on a consistent basis.

@Tariq: "Faiqa eats me alive."

OH POOR YOU. You are such a nice, sweet man. And married to such a harpie? You're such a saint. Let's all get down on our knees and pray that God rewards you for all the tribulation that you've endured being married to that shrew of a woman.


@Avitable: Let's calm down and live in the real world for a second. You gave me a run for my money. I'll give you that much.

@Tariq: Oh, that's sweet, you think dinner is going ot be the issue? No, no, I plan on badgering you about your last comment so badly that you'll be begging for sweet death before dinner even comes up. I love you, honey. But, you're kind of in a lot of trouble.

@Stef: Exactly. And I don't think there's anything wrong with spanking, but the implication was that I'm doing my kid a disservice by not spanking her? I mean, that's just crazy. (And, aww, thanks for listening!)

@Finn: Sigh. The Faiqa does indeed cook, but only because The Tariq pretends to be exceedingly bad at it. Goddesses have a high standard for what they will eat and in true goddess style: if it's not being done right, you gotta do it yourself. Can I get an Amen? Additionally, I did bring up the temperament issue last night, and I think that makes a difference. If my child is responding to my form of discipline, why spank just for the sake of spanking?

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

i totally forgot to listen! damn, and i wanted to...

shame on me...

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSlyde

Wait a minute...I did tell Shiny he made me LOL at one point. I think. ;)

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB.E. Earl

I was only ever spanked a handful of times. After that I realized that if I messed up it'd happen again. Ah psychological conditioning.

I don't really have an opinion on spanking. It worked for my childhood, but then they stopped spanking me when I was 4 I think because I got to move on to better punishments like picking up after my dog. (Gross.) However people (like my cousin) who spank their kids over stupid shit and use it because they don't know how to be decent parents and raise their children properly shouldn't even be allowed to be parents.

But I'm sure that's a whole other argument altogether.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

"If I get rid of one, I'll just make another one."

That had me peeing. Damn funny.

And that phoning Children's Aide thing never works!!! They always call your bluff!

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ...

You were phenomenal on last night's show. I think your sorta schooled him but like you said, he has a strange power over the people. ;)

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHilly

I'm waaay on the other side of Adam's view and I know I possibly offended some people with my opinions on spanking. But they are only my opinions, and no one should care what I think of their parenting anyway, just like I don't care that Adam thinks I'm a bad parent for not spanking. Live and let live.
LOVE Russell Peters....isn't he hilarious? Another fave is Sabrina Jalees - I LOVE her - esp for her bit about her vagina, said in front of her dad in a club. My God that is funny.
(I think the clip is in here:

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Sugarpants

I listened this morning on the treadmill and I completely agree with you. You said exactly what I believe...including that I do not look down upon or judge people who DO spank their kids, just that it is not what is right for my family. I have an 11 year old, two almost 9 year olds and a 5 year old. All are well behaved, all receive notes home from teachers that they are respectful, kind and helpful to others and I believe they are turning out well. I don't think you NEED to spank your children to have them turn out well, but I also do not think if you do spank your kids you are evil. Parenting is a tough job. People need to do what works for them. I also think as a child free adult, Adam might not necessarily know exactly what he stands for and would do. There are many many things I do differently since I had kids that I either never thought I'd do or I thought I would definitely do and don't. It's easy to say definite solid statments when you don't have to back them up with actions because you are child free. Life is all about learning, and as long as we continue to reevaluate our parenting strategies and adjust if needed that is all that matters.

In summary, you said exactly what I believe and I agree 100% with you.

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterradioactive tori

Tori, people keep saying that because I don't have kids, I can't decide what I'd do, and I think that's only applicable in certain situations. I was a kid, I've babysat kids, I've raised and trained a dog. I will spank my children. I'm not going to have a kid and then all of a sudden say "Ohhh, I don't want to hurt them." Spanking should hurt the parent as much as if not more than the child - it's a difficult decision to make, but my opinion is that it's just as necessary as other discipline techniques.

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

Adam-that isn't what I meant at all. I am not saying you won't spank your kids. And I am not saying I disagree with your choice. I was just saying that there are many things I thought I would never do or definitely do and once I had kids I saw it wasn't really the way I felt. I suppose that wasn't necessarily relevent to this discussion though, and I believe you that you know you will spank your kids and feel fine with being your friend and fine with you being a good parent even when you do.

Actually the only part of your point of view I disagree with is that you say it is ALWAYS necessary to spank a child in order for them to turn out well. I disagree with that for MY family. But can I ask you something? What if you have a child that never does anything to warrant spanking? My kids are not perfect but the minute I ask them not to do something, they stop. There has (so far) never been any situation where I needed to do anything other than tell them what I wanted from them. I believe that comes from the huge level of respect my kids have been taught to have for people. Spanking doesn't seem to have a place in my house. Does that make me a bad mom? My kids are awesome, polite, helpful people and have never been spanked. Does that automatically make me a bad parent? Even if my kids are good people? That's the part of your argument I can't get on board with. That it is ALWAYS necessary.

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterradioactive tori

I'll grant you that there will be the occasional kid who will turn out excellent automatically and never need even a swat. I think that some parents think their kid is like that, but the reality is that they're spoiled and get everything handed to them, so they don't need to act like a brat, though (not saying that's your kid, just saying that generally).

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

Well, if you are willing to admit that it isn't ALWAYS necessary, then I agree with you. But then I'm not sure what the argument is. I don't think either Faiqa or I were saying spanking is inherently bad or that we judge people who spank their kids. I will agree with you that spanking sometimes IS necessary for some kids. I also think sometimes it is NOT necessary. I just would like the same nonjudgement from people who do spank their kids as I give them for spanking theirs. Make any sense?

I also think maybe my situation is unique in that my health has been shaky for most of their child lives so I believe they listen a little better than normal kids do because of the fear of me not being with them. Not that it is why they are awesome people, but I believe they are so quick to jump at whatever I say to do because they have a bit more maturity than a lot of kids do in that they know life is temporary and fragile sometimes and that we should love and respect people while they are here and do the best we can to be good people just because it is the right thing to do and not because of any external motivation, either bad or good. If they grow up to be adults that do that, then I will have done my job and will be quite happy.

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterradioactive tori

@Slyde: Download, man, download.

@B.E. Earl: :)

@Sarah: I'm a big supporter of the "Certified Procreator's' License." The idea that everyone can be a parent bothers me. :)

@J: Yep.

@Hilly: Thanks!

@Karen Sugarpants: "no one should care what I think of their parenting anyway"... this is true. I forget that it's nobody's damned business how I disciplin my child. Unless maybe my child sets fire to their house...

@radioactive tori: Exactly.

@Avitable: I don't think people are implying that you're unqualified to have an opinion on child rearing... but the fact is that someone who has actually done something has a more intimate knowledge of that act. If I read a bunch of skiing books, go skiing a couple of times and watch skiing on TV, my knowledge is not comparable to the person who goes skiing every single day. Who *has* to go skiing ever single day of their lives no matter what they feel like or whether they want to or not. Lifelong obligation is a game changer. But, in the end, oc you have a right to an opinion and to have your opinion considered along with others.

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

I know I'm late to join the discussion, but oh well. I wasn't able to listen to the show, but did anyone discuss the difference between spanking and beating? What I'm thinking of is this article:

I absolutely believe spanking correlates with sexual deviancy. I was spanked and it was never the pain that scared me. In fact, being spanked doesn't really hurt that badly at all. It was more the humiliation, the gross feeling I got from it (and yes, it was just a normal run of the mill spanking).

I think beating kids is necessary in some cases, as has been argued quite well above, but oh lord let's stop the spanking. It's probably damaging kids more than you'd think.

March 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKingston

Kingston, I hope you're being sarcastic. Spanking a small child will not lead to sexual deviancy. The article you link to even states that 90% of people spank their kids in some way, so trying to correlate that to sexual deviancy is just as stupid as trying to correlate that to cancer.

And as for your suggestion that parents should beat their kids instead?

That's just moronic.

March 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

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