Hudlin Entertainment Forum

How Ya Livin' => Kids & Family => Topic started by: Reginald Hudlin on August 07, 2011, 09:25:52 pm

Title: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on August 07, 2011, 09:25:52 pm
NEW YORK TIMES:

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August 5, 2011
Preconceptions
By TOURÉ

A few years ago, when I knew I was heading toward becoming a parent, I began to think about what sort of parent I wanted to be. And I began to weigh whether or not I should spank. I grew up in the ’70s and was spanked — quite a bit. I think the vast majority of black children of my generation were spanked, and nearly all the black kids in my parents’ generation were. Spanking seemed like a black cultural imperative: black people tell one another, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

But nowadays spanking has many opponents. I wondered if spanking was being sullied by the be-your-child’s-friend crowd even though it remained a valuable tool for raising kids. Was spanking a major shaper of black kids, a significant reason they turned out the way they did? My Lebanese girlfriend, who I knew would be my wife, would not bring blackness into the home. That was my job. Would I be somehow shortchanging some essential aspect of the black parent-child experience by not spanking? I think my parents did right by spanking me, but did I have to do it, too?

One summer Saturday night, a friend took me to a house party on Martha’s Vineyard. I spent an hour talking to the hostess, a short brunette with blue eyes. Her three young kids were respectful and well mannered. She was a big proponent of spanking. I’d never met a white woman so enthusiastically pro-spanking. She said there was no way to keep kids in line without the threat of spanking. That made sense. My parents sure believed that.

At the same party, I also met a black man with three great, well-behaved little kids who told me he never spanked because the home should not be a place of violence. He, too, made a lot of sense. I had never met a black man who was so articulately and proudly anti-spanking. He gave me the freedom to visualize a different path as a black parent. This, while the white woman had almost convinced me that spanking was essential, just as having an army is necessary to be a strong nation, even if it’s rarely deployed. Those two conversations only complicated my internal debate, and for some reason I felt compelled to say so.

When it was time to leave, I found the hostess in the middle of her crowded living room. Soul music from the ’70s boomed as people danced around us. I hugged her and said: “What an interesting night. I met a black man who doesn’t believe in spanking and a white woman who does.”

She furrowed her brow and shot back, “Who’s white?”

I blurted out, “You’re not white?”

“What in the world made you think I was white?”

During our hourlong conversation, I felt she was by far the downest white woman I’d ever met. She set off my blackness radar in a way no white person ever had. I thought she understood blackness better than any white person I’d ever encountered. But she looked so convincingly Caucasian. Surely I was not the first person in her 40-plus years on Earth to come to that conclusion. So I was shocked that she was shocked and indignant that she was indignant.

I said, “I can’t believe this has never happened to you before.”

She said, “I can’t believe you thought I was white.”

Me: “I can’t believe this has never happened to you before!”

Her: “I can’t believe you thought I was white!”

By now the whole room was watching us bark at each other. The music had screeched off. No one was dancing.

Her blond, blue-eyed sister ran up in a frenzy. “Did ya think I was white too?”

I met her earlier. She hadn’t set off my blackdar at all. I said, “Yeah!”

At that point, given the large audience, and our deep investment in our positions, and our shared pigheadedness, no one was willing to give an inch. So we stood there in an angry stalemate until my friend squeezed through the crowd and dragged me off.

Two postscripts: 1) I now have two kids. I do not spank them. I think the “home should not be a place of violence” argument won me over. Maybe the quick rage of the pro-spanking hostess pushed me over the edge.

2) I hear the host has told this story to her black friends — about a guy who thought she was white and how shocking that was to her. Those black people walked away and said, “I didn’t know she was black.”

Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Catch22 on August 08, 2011, 12:23:27 pm
By your description, I thought she was white, too.  I was also raised in a spanking (whupping, if you will) household and I believed, wholeheartedly in spanking...until I had my girls.  Since I've become a parent, my wife and I have had the discussion about how to discipline our kids, and we both believe the argument against violence in the household.  Both of the girls are extremely well behaved and don't give us any problems anywhere, public or private.  When they see kids acting up, they give them the "are you crazy looks" better than we do.  We've adopted timeout and taking away books and toys as a punishment and it seems to work out well for us.  And since, I haven't been here in a while...here are the girls' most recent pic...who could spank them??? LOL

(http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l232/catch22_m/IMG_0865.jpg)
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Battle on August 08, 2011, 12:39:08 pm
(http://media.ign.com/boardfaces/21.gif)(http://media.ign.com/boardfaces/21.gif)(http://media.ign.com/boardfaces/21.gif)(http://media.ign.com/boardfaces/21.gif)(http://media.ign.com/boardfaces/21.gif)
AWWWW...!!!
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Catch22 on August 08, 2011, 01:05:15 pm
Thanks Battle...them there's my babies!
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on August 08, 2011, 02:22:30 pm
Thanks Battle...them there's my babies!
Wow, C22, they're beautiful. I'm happy for you brother. It's astonishing how much you can love them.

My baby girl is 13 now and stands 5'8". She's truly a young lady. Her grace and engagement with the world take my breath away. My wife and I have always been able to reason with her since she could talk so spanking wasn't much of an issue with her.

My son is 10 and is a force of nature in his own way. He seems to believe that limits are for testing and no is the beginning of the negotiation. So then discipline with him has required a full arsenal. Spanking is on the table but in practice rarely needed. He's probably had maybe a half dozen spankings (meaning a single slap on the bottom) in his lifetime and none in the last 3-4 years that I can remember.

We strive to be clear with them about expectations and pretty ruthless in revoking privileges for repeat violations. We try to discipline without anger; just be matter of fact about it. We find that helps a lot.

To sum up, I'm not against spanking but I think that it should be very rarely necessary.
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Catch22 on August 08, 2011, 02:44:35 pm
Quote
We try to discipline without anger; just be matter of fact about it. We find that helps a lot.


I find this to be true, too.  Getting too angry when meting out a punishment makes it infinitely more difficult, IMO.  I don't like to see that kind of fear in the eyes of my children.  I've done it before and felt LOUSY afterward.  My patience level has grown by leaps and bounds and now I find myself talking to them more than anything else.  They get a clear picture of what's right and what's wrong and they seem to be responding to it well.

P.S.

Thanks for the kind words, Curtis!
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on August 08, 2011, 10:32:10 pm
Dude, your girls are stunning.  Congratulations!
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on August 09, 2011, 07:59:38 am
The other interesting thing going on in TOURÉ's piece is the tension between perception and self-conception of race. Are you what you appear to be (i.e., what others think you are) or what you identify yourself as? Race, after all, is a social construct that forces a binary categorization on a continuum. What if the society you live in doesn't perceive your identity as you define it?

A related question: what about so-called wiggas who identify with black folks culturally? Do you get to pick your tribe if they'll have you?

In the story, I would guess that the not-white woman's indignation at being misidentified (from her perspective) was not a result of that never happening but from it happening all the time.
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Catch22 on August 09, 2011, 08:39:32 am
Dude, your girls are stunning.  Congratulations!

Thanks, Mr. H!  I pray every night for their well being and my sanity! LOL
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on August 09, 2011, 08:54:42 am
Dude, your girls are stunning.  Congratulations!

Thanks, Mr. H!  I pray every night for their well being and my sanity! LOL
You have got to feel like a winner looking in on them as they sleep at night.  That's how I feel about mine.

Just looking a the picture again this morning made me happy, and I don't even know them!
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on August 09, 2011, 08:58:45 am

In the story, I would guess that the not-white woman's indignation at being misidentified (from her perspective) was not a result of that never happening but from it happening all the time.
That is my theory too.  I have never asked her (btw folks, I am the "friend" in the story) because it was tough enough dealing with her ongoing anger about the whole incident.  She's a wonderful person and the whole situation was awkward.

BTW Toure left out one very powerful thing the black father said...his take was if you have to resort to spanking, you've failed to properly get in your kids' heads to control them. 
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Catch22 on August 09, 2011, 09:13:26 am
Dude, your girls are stunning.  Congratulations!

Thanks, Mr. H!  I pray every night for their well being and my sanity! LOL
You have got to feel like a winner looking in on them as they sleep at night.  That's how I feel about mine.

Just looking a the picture again this morning made me happy, and I don't even know them!


Well, they're available for movie and TV work! *hint* *hint*  ;D





Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 09, 2011, 10:24:28 am
Dude, your girls are stunning.  Congratulations!

Thanks, Mr. H!  I pray every night for their well being and my sanity! LOL
You have got to feel like a winner looking in on them as they sleep at night.  That's how I feel about mine.

Just looking a the picture again this morning made me happy, and I don't even know them!


Well, they're available for movie and TV work! *hint* *hint*  ;D




hAHAHAHHHA
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Battle on August 09, 2011, 10:32:42 am
Just looking a the picture again this morning made me happy, and I don't even know them!



Yeah...

They're soo cute! :D




Quote
Well, they're available for movie and TV work! *hint* *hint*  ---Catch22


Y'know, I was just thinking of that...
A surefire way to draw audience comfort is to put babies in your shows.

Almost never fails.
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Battle on August 09, 2011, 10:52:47 am
NEW YORK TIMES:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 5, 2011
Preconceptions
By TOURÉ

At the same party, I also met a black man with three great, well-behaved little kids who told me he never spanked because the home should not be a place of violence. He, too, made a lot of sense. I had never met a black man who was so articulately and proudly anti-spanking. He gave me the freedom to visualize a different path as a black parent. This, while the white woman had almost convinced me that spanking was essential, just as having an army is necessary to be a strong nation, even if it’s rarely deployed. Those two conversations only complicated my internal debate, and for some reason I felt compelled to say so.




Anyone remember on one of Richard Pryor's classic comedy albums where he jokes about as a child how his mother used to beat his ass with a switch (a small tree branch stripped of the leaves)...?   ...and as an adult, he still gets nervous when he sees those same trees his mother made him go break off a branch to punish himself with...? ;D
So, yeah, I'm sure that kind of psychology would be the same way inside a house where you rest. 
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Cheirel on August 11, 2011, 01:50:05 pm
Catch~ Your girls are just as cute as they can be. just wait until the teen years ;D

It's so funny I had all these bright ideas about how I was going to raise my child before she got here. what people don't tell you is they have personality from second one. My daughter is now a teen and is stuborn as she is sweet, a procastinator but smart and her love runs deep as her mean streak. I could beat but I would just get tired I still give her time outs her timeout chair from when she was 2! She's about about 6 inches taller than me so it makes for quite a site.

But every day is new one. But they all end with praying for happiness, health and safety.(and my sanity)
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Battle on August 14, 2011, 08:34:53 am
Here we go!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPMwN1_vEjM&feature=related
Title: Re: spanking preconceptions
Post by: Catch22 on August 15, 2011, 10:22:41 am
Thanks, Cheirel!  Believe me, I cringe at the thought of them being teenagers.  I don't think I'll handle it well, but I'm hoping to hammer them so hard with life lessons now so it'll be second nature later on.