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Early childhood experiences affect us as adults

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    MSN News: Study Shows Spanking Can Affect Mental Health Later In Life

    This study's findings are not new. I've shared articles on how baby's brains develop from the womb to early adulthood, but it fits with a trend that I have been seeing in our society regarding nurturing parenting versus strict father parenting where spanking a child is common place....the James Dobson philosophy that borders on child abuse.

    I know that much of what we are as adult humans is due to our genes, but mental health problems regardless of our genes can be traced back to obsessive spanking as a child. I wonder how much of our drug and opioid abuse problems in society might be related to the James Dobson philosophy of child rearing that was so popular years ago (and still is for some demographics).

    Huffington Post: James Dobson: Beat Your Dog, Spank Your Kid, Go to Heaven

    Millions of parents followed the Dobson model. Are we now seeing the results of the Dobson model manifest itself in our society's political divisions, drug problems and overall hate?

    Maybe the war on drugs should start when the child is born. Just wondering...

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    MSN News: Study Shows Spanking Can Affect Mental Health Later In Life

    This study's findings are not new. I've shared articles on how baby's brains develop from the womb to early adulthood, but it fits with a trend that I have been seeing in our society regarding nurturing parenting versus strict father parenting where spanking a child is common place....the James Dobson philosophy that borders on child abuse.

    I know that much of what we are as adult humans is due to our genes, but mental health problems regardless of our genes can be traced back to obsessive spanking as a child. I wonder how much of our drug and opioid abuse problems in society might be related to the James Dobson philosophy of child rearing that was so popular years ago (and still is for some demographics).

    Huffington Post: James Dobson: Beat Your Dog, Spank Your Kid, Go to Heaven

    Millions of parents followed the Dobson model. Are we now seeing the results of the Dobson model manifest itself in our society's political divisions, drug problems and overall hate?

    Maybe the war on drugs should start when the child is born. Just wondering...

    Did they "spank" Trump?
  • Independent
    Washington
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    Hitting a child is always bad, at least I can't think of a reason why it might be warrented when there are so many other more effective options. Hell ask any boy if he'd rather have a spanking (not a beating) or loose his xbox\playstation for a week, a good chance he'll choose a spanking nearly every time; short and only slightly painful vs no games for a week.

    However, what I do approve of is "Man-handling" of teenage boys who think they are tough-shit, and bully other kids at school and\or teachers. By man-handing, I mean an adult man in a position of authority confronting such a teenage bully and pushing\shoving\pinning the teenager to get a point across. An example from my high school days was when the football coach stormed into English class, called out a 250lbs football player for telling the english teacher to "Fuck off". The coach walked up to the student, yanked him out of his chair, shoved him out of classroom and down the hall out to football field; made him run 10 laps around the track sucking his thumb, then forced him to sit on the bench during the next game.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    Below is the HBO documentary interview with the mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski who was able ruthless kill\torture people without feeling anything.

    Summarizing what the psychologist told Kuklinski near the end of the interview. Kuklinski was born with had some very unique qualities that made Kuklinski a fearless man able to stare down death. Kuklinski's father tried to beat the "Will" out Kuklinski (Dobson's approach to parenting) when he was a young boy, the beatings did not change Kuklinski for the better, it turned him into man who was able murder people without feeling anything. The psychologist stated if Kuklinski has been raised in a healthy home with wise parents, it would have been just as likely, or more likely, that Kuklinski could have become a fearless firefighter or army soldier using his fearless skills to save lives rather that commit murder.

    I found this to be fascinating interview and insightful in how parenting influence\mold powerful quality into good or bad.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Thought.co: Profile of Richard Kuklinski

    Kuklinski represents the extreme...a real outlier perhaps. So I will be careful in drawing parallels with any politician in today's society.

    Nevertheless, Donald Trump's brother, Freddy Trump, was the weakest of the five Trump siblings, and died of alcoholism at age 42. One can speculate on how the Trump children were raised by demanding parents, but perhaps someone like Freddy can be ostracized without necessarily being physically punished.

    My interest is more in the statistical trends. I would like to see some more research on how the Dobson child rearing methods affected the way those children coped later in life as adults. I know of anecdotal examples, but would be curious, for example, on how Christian evangelicals reared by the Dobson philosophy compare to the average of the general population.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this. There are so many other factors, including genetics, that determine one's fate in life. The only other point I will make is that for the most part we do exert a certain amount of control over our lives, and the sometimes bad choices we make should not used to cast blame on others. In other words, as we so make our bed, so we must lie in it.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    My comment is not political in nature. Its about how each person is born having a combination of qualities that be use for good or bad. How a child is raised is a powerful influence. In Kuklinski's case, how he was raised pointed\pushed him in a very bad direction that turned his qualities into a powerful murder.


    Of course we will never know. I just don't believe any person is born, including Kuklinski, with a destiny that is bad as some like to believe about people who do horrible things. I would be an interesting experiment if we could role back time, have social services remove Kuklinski from his parents and adopted by a well adjusted, loving, and non abusive family. and see how his life turns out different. Does he still become a mafia hitman, or does he become healthy member of society that uses his abilities for good.

    Clearly there are people who are raised in a very positive environment and then as adults do very bad things, so parenting is not everything.

    If a person is born with the tendency towards alcoholism, then as adults they have to figure out how to manage their adult lives so they have a healthy life. They can't blame their parents, or heredity for the choices they make as adults.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    "It was James Dobson’s The Strong-Willed Child, in which the author describes whipping his pet dachshund into submission. A few paragraphs later, the conservative Christian psychologist recommends that you use corporal punishment on your son or daughter. Do it, he says, for the sake of the child’s eternal salvation."

    It difficult for me to express how sick that make me feel to know that either an animal or a child would be treated in such a way by man\parent thinking thinking it is right moral\religious thing. "I am going to beat you until have no 'will' left". That is soo, soo mentally sick. Such a person, including Dobson, should not be allowed children without close supervision. Same mentality that rationalizes young girls need to be taught now to be women by older men.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    It's not only spanking that can hurt children, verbal abuse does too, it's mental cruelty. Think about it.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dockadams Wrote: It's not only spanking that can hurt children, verbal abuse does too, it's mental cruelty. Think about it.

    I guess due to our "non" culture, as well what is on the "media" movies etc. kids nowadays are faced with "info" overload. Often they look at "war" movies or cruel things; especially around Halloween in the good old USA. As a kid we had no TV, X-Box, cell phones etc. I was born at the beginning of WWII; was glad I had food; others starved around me. No toys either; you made them yourself. Yes the environment for kids here is difficult to select an direction in their lives. The present society is unforgiving for any missteps. Therefore we have an drug overdose and opioid crisis.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Dutch Wrote:
    Dockadams Wrote: It's not only spanking that can hurt children, verbal abuse does too, it's mental cruelty. Think about it.

    I guess due to our "non" culture, as well what is on the "media" movies etc. kids nowadays are faced with "info" overload. Often they look at "war" movies or cruel things; especially around Halloween in the good old USA. As a kid we had no TV, X-Box, cell phones etc. I was born at the beginning of WWII; was glad I had food; others starved around me. No toys either; you made them yourself. Yes the environment for kids here is difficult to select an direction in their lives. The present society is unforgiving for any missteps. Therefore we have an drug overdose and opioid crisis.

    And the content of such, violent video games, violence on television, violence on the daily news, parents buying their children plastic guns, this environment definitely sucks. I was born in the 50's, at the age of 10-12, I didn't understand what was on the television news, whites beating down blacks (riots), cops beating blacks, demonstrations to end the Vietnam war, but as I got older, I then understood the meaning of such.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Research studies of identical and fraternal twins have suggested that on average, about half of our political beliefs is a result of genetics and the other half one's environment. I have bolded the "on average" because when one digs into the original papers and examine the data points graphically represented, one will find a large scatter of data. The correlation coefficients of some of these plots are rather low in some cases.

    In other words, the genetic component of one's political beliefs may be as high as 80 percent for some people or as low as 20 percent for others. One's environment can accentuate or suppress the genetic component. Oh and generational breeding of people with similar genetic make-ups can further solidify one's biological attributes.

    However, we should also note that there is no such thing as a conservative or liberal gene or a God gene. Rather it is the intensity or degree of innate emotions and other biological attributes (e.g. fear, empathy, greed, intelligence, etc.) that help define our politics and religious beliefs that are largely influenced in the first place by our parents and siblings from birth.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Research studies of identical and fraternal twins have suggested that on average, about half of our political beliefs is a result of genetics and the other half one's environment. I have bolded the "on average" because when one digs into the original papers and examine the data points graphically represented, one will find a large scatter of data. The correlation coefficients of some of these plots are rather low in some cases.

    In other words, the genetic component of one's political beliefs may be as high as 80 percent for some people or as low as 20 percent for others. One's environment can accentuate or suppress the genetic component. Oh and generational breeding of people with similar genetic make-ups can further solidify one's biological attributes.

    However, we should also note that there is no such thing as a conservative or liberal gene or a God gene. Rather it is the intensity or degree of innate emotions and other biological attributes (e.g. fear, empathy, greed, intelligence, etc.) that help define our politics and religious beliefs that are largely influenced in the first place by our parents and siblings from birth.

    Schmidt; you forget the "island" mentality here, as well the refusal to accept what other civilized countries do related education ,mental healthcare, laws which make sense (not our stupid gun laws etc.) For people with mental problems having the right treatment; which is lacking here. Also the arrogant culture here as well doing everything different than common sense tells you makes this country backwards. So please tell me what is an typical "American" gene. Or a Trump gene? As a matter of fact what is missing here is thousands of years of "culture" like China, Japan and Europe have. Kids here get raised without culture or manners; ( Trump is an excellent example) the only thing what counts is making "money"; football or baseball; having lots of "toys/things" and fat food as promoted by the "grown-ups". Yes there is definitely something wrong with this country.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I have enjoyed the above posts. I was raised in a household wherein racism was common and an assumed thing. As a young adult I distanced myself from their beliefs and advised my disagreement. I raised my children to be accepting and open minded and to judge all others based on how they treat you. I know there are often predispositions but people are free to make their own choices and hopefully we make more positive decisions and choices.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I wasn't spanked as a child because my parents were on the forefront of realizing it was counterproductive (I'm 34) and they instead used different forms of punishment to teach me right from wrong. They would take my favorite things away from me (typically my black and white Game-Boy system) and give me chores around the house to earn it back. I was one hell of an ornery child, but I have zero memories of my parents resorting to corporal punishment.

    My grandpa is a great man (he's still alive at the young age of 90), but he was a firm believer in corporal punishment. He was a firm believer in corporal punishment because his parents were firm believers in corporal punishment. What that corporal punishment got him to do was run away at the age of 16 and join the Navy. Even with his life experiences, he couldn't help but use corporal punishment on my dad and uncles. It was embedded in him.

    One thing I think that's often overlooked is the Women's Rights movement of the 1960's and 70's. It paralleled the Civil Rights movement, which is why it's almost forgotten about in the history books, but that movement had a colossal impact on the man-woman dynamic in "traditional" families. (I say traditional because gay marriage wasn't allowed in our country at that time.) Women like my mom started asserting themselves in how a family should be operated, which then forced countless men to rethink their role in the family structure.

    It's true that many men (and unfortunately women) look at this as a negative development, but the vast majority of Americans now look at women having an equal say in the household as being normal. It may take another generation or two, but hopefully we will see a day in the near future where beating your child is considered as abhorrent as beating a child that isn't your own.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I cannot recall ever being spanked by my parents...scolded yes, buy never physically harmed in any way. However, in grade school and especially junior high, certain teachers carried a paddle around with them. The paddle had air holes and looked pretty formidable. A few unruly kids got a good swat that brought tears to their eyes. It kept the rest of us in line out of fear.

    Still, I would not equate that form of punishment to the father (and sometimes the mother) of some kids who abused their children regularly to enforce obedience. There are degrees of punishment, but some kids I know were regularly beaten, and I wonder if these are the ones who grew up to become troubled teens and later adult drug addicts.

    I am pleased that we have slowly evolved such that harming kids in school is no longer the cultural norm. However, for those kids who were regular victims of that abuse at home by parents or who suffered some other forms of traumatic events, some of these kids developed a form of PTSD as adults.

    Time: Abused Children May Get Unique Form of PTSD

    How that translates into being accepted in today's society I don't know. For some, however, like the 26 year old Kelley who massacred 26 people at the church, I cannot help but believe there was some kind of abuse as a child that brought out that rage.