Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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avoiding pain
Thursday June 12, 2008

Dear Professor Miller:

I am writing to you to ask for the answer concerning corporal punishments. Having read some of your articles I felt compelled to write again. Once more thank you for your work.

Since I read your book I started to become more interested in children and the punishment they have to go through. Therefore I saw many documentaries –most of them from the U.S.A- in which both children , parents and adults discuss whether paddling should be allowed or not. In one of them a high school boys choose corporal punishments instead of detention. They claimed it was instantaneous.

But I wonder that if corporal punishments were so humiliating for children, why they would rather being physically assaulted than any other punishments? Is it because they are used to it?

With best regards, E.P.

AM: Yes, you are RIGHT. They are used to it and are as well used to repress the pain so that they can avoid FEELING the pain. They don't know yet that the body will demand the price for this repression when they become older.

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