In this article, I describe the misconception that it is necessary to hit your children in their upbringing. In fact, I know it can create snowflakes: people who can't stand anything.

How to create 'snowflakes'

Stop the lie that the snowflakes we see in this day and age have become this way because of an overly protected upbringing. By snowflakes I mean the people who whine about being prone to sensory overload, can’t stand applause, have allergies, whine about microaggressions and so on, the average thirty-something knows plenty of them. Here is an example of a whole venue full of them. There is a veritable epidemic of people with these kinds of complaints. Many people think that these “snowflakes” got this way because they weren’t hit sufficiently as a child. They think they became this way because their parents always listened to them, and always did everything for them. And set no boundaries. And that this is the reason there are so many tyrants running around who want everyone to take their delicate feelings into account. Of course, you can create real tyrants if there are no boundaries in your upbringing. But most of those people who have such a weak nervous system and are already overanxious if you look at them too long and who whine about microaggressions, actually perceive you really as aggressive, and it’s not because they weren’t hit sufficiently, but because they were hit too young too many times! Encouraging violence toward them and thinking that it will fix them is only going to reinforce the problem! Because if the power cannot flow freely through the body, and it is made thinner and thinner by constant aggressive reactions from parents, then you get people who can’t stand anything anymore. Apparently, these children’s limits have never, ever been listened to, all their power has been beaten inward, and they have become very forceful to the outside world as a result. They have not been able to develop into strong human beings. It’s a true epidemic, and I find it terrible to see, because I recognize it so much from myself.

Corporal punishment has been criminalized since 2007, here in the Netherlands. South America and Europe are leading the way in this regard. It is very fortunate that it has been made a punishable offence, because it solves exactly nothing, and it only damages. The only thing you teach a child by hitting them, is that they have to listen to violent people, and that is exactly the wrong thing to teach your child. Because violent people are not often right. People with the best arguments are. Violence can however be necessary when someone is already derailed and totally disconnected. And we see an awful lot of examples of that. Look at the bodycam’s of police officers in the U.S. and you see that in many cases you are dealing with a totally unhinged people. The police are much more violent than in the Netherlands, but the people are also more violent. And this is clearly an expression of the very strong polarization in that country. Corporal punishment is still seen in the U.S. as a good way to teach your children to listen, but in my opinion you can only justify it to some extent if you have already made lots of mistakes in the upbringing of your child. Because any parent who interacts in a peaceful way, and builds a bond with their children where both can express their emotions and where lessons are learned from mistakes, knows that aggression is absolutely unnecessary. Those who use corporal punishment as a way to get children to listen, silently know that as a parent they are not worth being listened to. And from whom would they have learned that? This problem passes from generation to generation. Those who start hitting have to keep hitting in order to have any effect. There is often infinite allowing of bad behavior, then the child is derailed, and then the beating occurs, totally unnecessary. Instead of intervening in time, and immediately defending one’s boundaries as a parent before the derailing takes place.

Because my father usually hit me if I didn’t listen (right in my face), I totally stopped listening to my mother, because she never hit me. So I needed the beatings to listen. How tragic is that. And because I was too strong for my mother, and so my mother was too weak towards me, that caused me to listen to her even less, and my father ended up beating me again, even when I was acting out to my mother. So both maintained the system. I could not express my feelings of anger with either of them, which is very serious, because parents should actually teach you to recognize your emotions and redirect them and learn to use them for good. I was never asked why I was so angry, and I completely lost trust in my parents. So that’s a real danger! If that’s what you want as a parent, then you are out of your mind! A child should have trust in his parents, and parents should create a predictable world for the child, in which he is free to explore the world, but within limits. If your children listen to your limits, they will have limits of their own, and that starts with daily naps as babies, where mothers put their babies to bed when they start to get annoying (“He’s tired!”). As a parent, you need to be mindful of those limits, because you yourself have created them in your child, and that is a good thing, because only a personality with boundaries, can have a constructive purpose, and find freedom. Those who give too much freedom create purposelessness in the child. And those who give too little freedom create needless suffering in the child, because the child can no longer reach its goal. Do you want your child to listen to you out of fear? Or rather out of trust? Do you want him to listen to that kid in the schoolyard with the biggest mouth and the loosest hands? Or do you rather want your child to stand up for himself and his peers, and lecture those bullies, and protect the weakest? I do know my choice!

You don’t do everything right as a parent, but if there is a will to learn, you can even learn from your own children. Sometimes they will be angry because you don’t follow the same rules that apply to the child. Then recognize that, and apologize. It is a two-way street with your children, and if you want to turn your children into little robots who always listen to you, but you never listen to them, you are, in my opinion, out of your mind. When children see how you apologize to them, they also learn to do it by their own free will to you, if they do something wrong. Then you also don’t have to force them to learn to say sorry, because that coercion is also very humiliating and creates little robot children who are sensitive to coercion imposed from above.

The enormous support for corporal punishment, for example, among ordinary people in the U.S. or Asia, or Africa, says something about the degree of control people have over their emotions and the degree of trust they have in themselves and others. You only have to look at what some people post, and you are shocked. An American father getting into a fight with his son for making an irresponsible decision. An Asian father hanging his child from a rope and whipping his naked body. The craziest things come along on social media. And much of the people support it. It’s deeply sad! Remember, that’s what you see out in the open and exposed on social media. Know that behind closed doors untold more is taking place! Have people forgotten what it is like to be a child? You can’t do anything yourself yet, have no control over anything, and you have to learn from such creeps to get by in the world? It’s frankly awful!

People will probably now think that I would always be sweet to my children if I had them, but that is absolutely not true. True love has two sides, an encouraging side, and a critical side. And these two sides both have a place in parenting. But those who do not have the ability to express their thoughts in a critical remark, but seek refuge in corporal punishment, should ask themselves whether they have really improved from all those blows as a child. After all, most people think they are perfectly normal and good. We can repeat this Bible text: “And as ye would that m en should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31). But unfortunately many people have become so perverse that they enjoy being punished and being in pain and don’t mind doing that to others in turn! Sometimes that will cause (unnecessary) hardening. But when you hit your children only when they are angry, and you’re doing it structurally, over and over again, and also at a young age, that really will create snowflakes, who will sometimes never be able to overcome it!

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