Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - 7 Billion

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings says:

It's Saturday Night again -- and time for more Genealogy Fun!!! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Use the Population Counter on the BBC News website to determine your place in the current world population, and your place in all of history (of course, these are estimates...see the website for how they calculated this).  Enter your birth date into the fields and click on "Go."

2)  Tell us about your results in your own blog post, as a Comment on this blog post, or as a status line in Facebook or a Stream post on Google Plus.  For extra credit, show us the image from the website with your information on it.

Here's mine:

When I was born, I was number 3,392,183,111 (and take with a grain of salt, these are all estimates based on a number of factors).  Since I was born, the population of Earth has more than doubled.  In my lifetime.  That's redundant, but I think it's an impressive thing to say.

77,340,061,230 people came before me.  Seventy-Seven Billion.  That's a lot of people.  How many are in your genealogy database?  Mine currently has about 5,500.  I wonder where they figure the first person was - what made that one the first person?  I'm assuming the people making this are evolutionists, so which proto-human was good enough to call the first Person?  If they're Creationists, is Adam #1?  And have we had time to have 77 billion people since Adam? 

Randy is giving bonus points (where can I redeem those?) for including a screen shot of our numbers. 

As Randy points out, that big NEXT button leads to more stats about people and life expectancy and population growth.  As I live in the same country (USA) as Randy does, I'm not going to bother to repost the figures.  Besides, you can go to that site and do it for YOUR blog post or journal entry, right?

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Elementary School

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 44. Elementary School. Describe your grammar/elementary school (or schools). Were they big or small? Are any of these schools still in existence today? If so, how have they changed since you went there?

I had three elementary schools.  For Kindergarten, I attended Foley Elementary in Foley, Benton County, Minnesota.  My teacher was Sandy Traverse, and she is now well retired.  I had a long bus ride for this school, as the population of that area is largely rural farm families, and I lived miles away in the country on a farm.  The school is still there, though I haven't been in it decades.  The one interesting thing I remember from this school is that every year there is a 500 mile snowmobile race through Minnesota, and the year I was there, the race ran right behind the school, and we got to watch them go past.

 My next school was Central Elementary in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  I attended this school for four years, first through fourth grades.  There were two classes of each grade, each class about 22-25 students.  The school started out as the only school in St. Cloud, then became the High School, then eventually down to an Elementary School.  Due to shifting demographics and budgetary concerns, the school was closed at the end of the 1975-76 school year.  I still have my yearbook, produced only that year as a good-bye for the school.  The building subsequently re-opened as the Area Learning Center, an alternative school for students with difficulty dealing with regular school curricula and operating environments.  That lasted for several years, then the school district sold the building to become the new City Hall when the city outgrew the existing structure.  It remains City Hall to this day, and has been much renovated and remodeled, but the stairway railings are still the same as when I attended school there.

For fifth and sixth grades, I moved to Lincoln Elementary, also in St. Cloud.  This school building is still there, and still an elementary school.  I recently had opportunity to attend an academic event there for my daughter, and it was interesting to see how my perception has changed.  The building seems much smaller than it did when I was a student.  Also, there have been some modifications to the building, additions and changes that were disorienting.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Saturday, October 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Worst Subject

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

Week 43 - Worst School Subject. What was your worst or least favorite subject in school and why?

If I had to pick one, I'd say Art was my worst subject.  I'm not terribly artistic in the classic sense.  I do all right with Photography, but in school, Art was drawing and painting and such.  Oh, and in 8th Grade, Mr. Trisko's Art class was largely jewelry making.  Trisko and his family have a jewelry business in the area, and make very unique rings and such, so naturally he wanted to teach some of that.  It wasn't my strong suit.

As far as my least favorite, that might have to be Math, at least it became my least favorite subject in high school.  That was due to hitting some roadblocks, and to having other things on my mind that were more interesting than Math.  About that time I was noticing curves rather than plotting them.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Monday, October 17, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Teachers

Week #41 – Teachers

Week 41. Teachers. Did you have a favorite teacher when you were growing up? What class(es) did this person teach and why did he/she make an impact on your life?

I don't know that I had one favorite teacher.  I had many teachers I liked, and some I didn't.  I remember all of my teachers until I get up to 7th grade and onward, when we got lots more teachers, some for relatively short amounts of time in junior high.

In Kindergarten, I had Mrs. Sandy Traverse.  I don't really remember much about her but I do remember positive feelings about her. 

In first grade, I had Miss Joyce Manuel.  I had a rough year for first grade, as I moved to a new school in the city, and they taught at a different level than my old school, so I basically went back through my kindergarten year again, same curriculum.  Miss Manuel was nice enough, but we had issues, mostly because I was bored and resistant to reworking all of that stuff when I could be learning new stuff.  Miss Manuel later married and became Mrs. Cheeley, and my brother had her for a later grade.

I had Mrs. Newman for 2nd grade.  Again, not many memories of her specifically, except I remember liking her.  She drove a brown 1972 Mercury Capri.  Why I remember that, I have no idea.  I don't remember her first name.

Miss Doreen Dooher was my third grade teacher, and she was very nice.  She was tall and very thin, and young.  I don't know why she didn't strangle me, as our initial meeting was a before school open-house.  She was hanging stuff on the bulletin board, standing up on a chair, and I peeked into the room and hollered, "BOO!"  Scared her half to death.  Miss Dooher, wherever you are, I'm sorry!

Fourth grade was Mrs. Laurel J. Knettel's class.  She was a great teacher.  She actually went out of her way to find advanced, challenging things for me to learn, especially in my favored area of science.

Fifth grade once again found me in a new school, as they closed the old one after the end of my fourth grade year.  Mr. Warrick was a nice teacher, I enjoyed his classroom.  He had probably the first VCR and video camera I ever saw.  It was a black and white 3/4" deck, and the camera was just a camera, it had to be plugged into the deck to record anything.

Sixth grade was Mr. Sigurd Langerud's class.  He was rather strict, but I don't recall having any major issues with him.

Seventh grade began junior high, and modular scheduling with many teachers over the course of a day.
Ms. Partridge taught English, Mr. Christensen taught Math, Mike Mack taught Social Studies and once got Teacher of the Year (I think for MN, but might have been national).  I specifically remember learning about the Tasaday tribe recently discovered in the Phillipines during that class.  Mike Gabrielson was my Science teacher (Biology).  I don't remember who taught Band or Phy Ed.  Mike Costello taught Industrial Arts, and I would later see him for other classes in High School.

Eighth grade, Mary Parent taught English, and I liked her a lot.  She nurtured my love of reading and introduced me to some books I still re-read today. Mr Carstens taught Math, and I occasionally see him today with computer issues.  Herr Babitzke taught German, and I still remember some of the stuff that came out of his class to this day, in spite of several years more German in high school and about 30 years of intervening time.  Mr. "H" taught Chemistry, and was my homeroom teacher.  I cannot remember his full name.  Mr. Wolfe taught Social Studies, but I had that class with another teacher.  What I remember Mr. Wolfe for, was Gun Safety.  Yep, I took a Gun Safety course as one of my elective activities during 8th grade.  In school.  And there were guns present as illustration and example.  Times change... 

Ninth grade brought senior high, and another school.  Again, I had many teachers throughout the days and years, so I don't remember them all, but I do have memories of some.  Mr. Anhorn taught Grammar.  Mr. Tom Costello taught Photography, which I took more than once as an elective.  Mr. Haug taught Aviation (and Math, but I had others for that.)  Mr. David Nass taught Algebra, and was still teaching there when my oldest started at that school a few years ago, but has since retired.  Mr. Mike Leach taught Health.  Mr. Leroy Pauley taught German, and this was another subject I took more than once.  I took German for three of the four years in high school.  I still remember some of it!  Mr. Pauley was one of my overall favorite teachers. Mr. Jack Tofte was my Phy Ed teacher, a typical ex-Marine looking guy (I don't know if he was ever in the military or not, but he had the high and tight haircut).  Mr. David Hall taught Band.  Science was Earth Science with Mr. Ward.  I did well in that class.

Tenth grade is a bit fuzzier, it isn't as distinctive in my mind for some reason.  I had Geometry, but I'm not remembering the teacher's name right now, though I had his name recently.  I may have to cheat and get out a Yearbook here!  Mr. Tofte was once again my Phy Ed teacher.  I'm sure he was as glad to get rid of me at the end of the year as I was to be finished with Gym.

Eleventh grade saw more German classes with Mr. Pauley.  Math was Algebra-Trig with Mr. Ron Kerr.  Mr. Kerr was a nice guy, I'd actually met him before from a summer school class, back when those were elective and not just class extensions for kids who weren't keeping up during the school year.  Unfortunately, Mr. Kerr wasn't the best of teachers.  I could watch him do a problem on the board and follow it okay, but he could never really help me with problems when I wasn't getting it.  I didn't do well in that class.  Chemistry class was fun, with Mr. Deutz.  He used to tell the worst jokes in class. I also took a Silk Screen Printing class with Mr. Costello as an elective.  That was fun, as I got to print my own t-shirts.

Twelfth grade.  More German classes with Mr. Pauley, this time also counting as Social Studies as they were covering History and Social Studies, but taught in German.  That was fun!  I took the Silk Screen Printing class again, but this time as a Student Assistant to help the teacher and assist other students.  This time, Mr. Irv Swanson was the teacher.  (Side note: Irv's wife was the librarian at my first elementary school.  There are a lot of husband-wife sets in this school district to this day.) For Social Studies I had Mr. Kjera (pronounced Chair-uh.)  This guy is the only teacher I actively dislike from the whole time.  The reason is, he's also the only teacher who ever gave me detention, and I didn't do what he claims I did to deserve it.  Fortunately, I never saw him again. 

College?  I remember a few of my professors from the first go-round.  Bill Langen taught Russian, which is a rather difficult language to learn.  But my German sure came back while trying!  Dr. Linda Ricketts taught Ancient History, and was a fun, dynamic professor.  Unfortunately, she liked to give all essay exams...  But really, I think the exercise was aimed at the regular K-12 experience, so I'll leave off on the rest of my college professors.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Sunday, October 16, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Favorite School Subject

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 42. Favorite School Subject. What was your favorite subject in school and why? Was it also your best subject?

Undoubtedly, Science.  And I can't just limit it to one field, either.  I enjoyed most science classes I took.  The only thing that slowed me down was the advanced math needed for some later classes like Physics.  And I was interested in sciences from a very early age.  My goal in elementary school was to become an astronaut.  I studied astronomy when I was that age, and even some later.

I really enjoyed the applied parts of the courses.  Chemistry was great fun, despite a crucible that exploded molten salt on my hand in 11th grade.  Biology was fun, as I got to handle the critters everyone brought in.  Snakes, frogs, salamanders, etc. 

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestors Geneameme

Thanks to Jill Ball of Geniaus for starting this geneameme. Thanks also to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings for making this a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!  My list is annotated as follows:
  • Things I have already done or found
  • Things I would like to have done or found
  • Things I haven’t done or found
  1. Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents (Well, I can if I have my software open...)
  2. Can name over 50 direct ancestors (Same as above.)
  3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents (I have 6 photos of the individuals, two I have only photos pf their tombstones.)
  4. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
  5. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist
  6. Met all four of my grandparents (One died well before I was born, I met all of the others.)
  7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents (all but one died before I was born, and I did meet that one.)
  8. Named a child after an ancestor (my eldest is named for his mother and father, does that count?  Its his ancestors, not mine, so technically I guess it doesn't count unless he does his own copy of this meme.)
  9. Bear an ancestor's given name/s
  10. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland (My Day line is from Great Britain, among others.)
  11. Have an ancestor from Asia
  12. Have an ancestor from Continental Europe (Many Germans, some from Luxembourg.)
  13. Have an ancestor from Africa
  14. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural laborer (Couldn't even tell you how many are listed as Farmer on census documents...  Lots.)
  15. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings (Define large land holdings.  One or more may qualify.)
  16. Have an ancestor who was a holy man - minister, priest, rabbi (A number of them, of a few denominations, none recent.)
  17. Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18. Have an ancestor who was an author
  19. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones (I have Smith ancestors, as I would bet a good number of American people do.)
  20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22. Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z (Zachary (2), Zak, Zander, Zane, Zion, Zita (2), Zoey and Zula (2) all start with Z.)
  23. Have an ancestor born on 25th December (I have 16 people with known birth dates of Dec. 25th of various years.) 
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day (I have 14 people with reported birthdates of Janueary 1st of various years.)
  25. Have blue blood in your family lines (No royalty here, at least not proven.  There's a very conjectural possibility that my Day line actually descends from Welsh nobility, but I've not seen any proof.)
  26. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth 
  27. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth  (My lines have all been in the United States for quite some time.  Come from early colonial times.)
  28. Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century (Oh yeah.  See #27.)
  29. Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier (1604, Ipswich, Suffolk, England, Robert Day. He's pretty well documented. Others date earlier, but documentation is scarce.)
  30. Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
  31. Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X (I'm sure some did, but I don't have many marriage certificates yet.)
  32. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university (Direct line?  No.  Others have.)
  33. Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offense (Not to my knowledge.)
  34. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime (Doubtless, but none I have solid documentation for. Several anecdotal stories exist.)
  35. Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine (
  36. Have published a family history online or in print (A whole family history? not as a story or even a complete "book" or report. My tree is online in several places.)
  37. Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries (No, but I may have an opportunity forthcoming!  I'm probably too chicken to ask.)
  38. Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family (Would be nice, as my great-grandfather Clyde Day had a nice farm spread back in his day.)
  39. Have a  family bible from the 19th Century
  40. Have a pre-19th century family bible

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Genealogy Database Statistics

Time for another Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings.  Yeah, I'm late again.  One of those weekends...

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  If you have your family tree research in a Genealogy Management Program (GMP), whether a computer software program or an online family tree, figure out how to find how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database (hint:  the Help button is your friend!).

2)  Tell us which GMP you use, and how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database(s) today in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook status or Google+ stream comment.
 Here's mine:

I use MyHeritage Family Tree Builder as my main GMP.  It states that I currently have 5,977 people in 1,712 families in my database.  That said, I did some quick consistency checking, and found I have a numbe rof duplicated entries, mostly from a single family.  I'll have to figure out where I messed up and clean out the duplicates, but this will only remove less than a dozen people.

The Maps tool tells me I have 1,695 places noted in my database, though I'm pretty sure there are a few duplications or variant spellings despite my best efforts to keep that cleaned up.

The Sources view tells me I have only 232 items listed, which tells you where my genealogy shortcomings are worst - citing my data sources.  I know it, and I'm working to improve this area more than I'm working to extend my lines at present, as I know this area is deficient.  Would it surprise you to know I don't own a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained?

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Mitochondrial DNA

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has another challenge for us, one I can participate in:

1) List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!

2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.

3) Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.

4)  If you have done this before, please do your father's matrilineal line, or your grandfather's matrilineal line, or your spouse's matriliuneal line.

5)  Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines? 
Okay, here we go:

A) Daniel Dillman - me.
B) Eva L. Williams (Living) married Dana E. Dillman (Living)
C) Emma Gertrude McMurry (09 Jun 1901 Winn Parish, LA - 03 Apr 1950 Baton Rouge, LA) married Omar Holt Williams (27 Sep 1903 Caldwell Parish, LA - Jul 1985 Livingston parish, LA)
D) Lela Lawrence Louisiana Dark (12 Jun 1872 Winn Parish, LA - 26 Jun 1960 Winn Parish, LA) (How do you not love a name like that?) married Robert E. Lee McMurry (26 Mar 1870 Poplar Bluff, AR - 19 Jul 1944 Alexandria, LA)
E) Lela Lawrence Louisiana Fuller (1847 - 1873) married William Edward Dark (05 May 1848 Meriwether County, GA - 23 Mar 1941 Winn Parish, LA)

This is as far back as I go in a strictly matrilineal fashion.  This is complicated by the fact that I have always lived in Minnesota, and this line is all in Louisiana, 1500 miles away.  I have visited Louisiana several times, but all in my youth before I started this hobby.  It's further complicated that parts of this line were people who moved around a lot, and were not interested in keeping records of this sort.

I have yet to have my DNA tested for genealogical purposes in any way.  This is not from fear or lack of desire, but from a lack of funds available for the purpose.  It's on my to-do list, but other things take priority.  I am a strong proponent of DNA testing for genealogy, as it's really the only true way to find your lineage.  True, family are the people who nurture and love you all of your life, but the genes tell the true story of where you came from.

Okay, since my matrilineal line is fairly short, let's rework the exercise using my father's matrilineal line:

A) Dana E. Dillman - my father, still living.
B) Alta May Day (12 Feb 1910 Sheffield, SD - 03 Jun 1992 Yankton, SD) of whom I've blogged many times, the one responsible for me being involved in this hobby, and indirectly responsible by extension for this blog post, married Estel E. Dillman (21 Dec 1908 Leavenworth, IN - 06 Nov 1982 Yankton, SD)
C) Ida May Thurston (04 Jul 1883 Beadle County, SD - 16 Jun 1937 Huron, SD) married Clyde J. Wyman Day (19 Jul 1880 Cass County, NB - 23 Jul 1973 Huron, SD)
D) Barbara Ann Messing (07 Sep 1842 Hesselhurst, Ortenaukreis, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany - 03 Nov 1909 Cavour, SD) married Alfred Mellin Thurston (06 May 1842 Wellington, ME - 31 Mar 1927 Orient, SD)

This line is even shorter, and I would have to do some serious research in Germany to take it further.  Frankly, it seems like most of my matrilineal lines are shorter, and that's probably because we in the English speaking world tend to have patriarchal families, and the males just get more emphasis in doing up the family histories.  Looking through the trees, I have all of my 4th generation back, but the 5th generation starts getting some blanks in it, and further back only gets more spotty.

Part of the fun is to report on which haplogroup I'm in,  Since I haven't yet tested, I can't complete that part of the assignment.  However, someone to whom I am related on paper has had a DNA test done (a YDNA, or patrilineal test) and there is a Dillman DNA Project that has data for a number of separate Dillman family lines through the Dillman Family Association, and assuming all of the paper genealogy is correct, that related person is in the T haplogroup.  We're related only loosely, our common ancestor being Michael Dillman, my G-G-G-grandfather, of whom I've blogged in the past.

Have you had your DNA tested?  Which sort of test did you have?  How many markers?  Did you learn anything surprising?

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blogging and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I just read an excellent blog post about Search Engine Optimization for real, honest people.  In fact, it was so good, I'm doing something I rarely do, I'm telling you about it.  You can read it for yourself here:

In the article, Matt talks about the difference between SEO and Search Engine Abuse or Manipulation.  That abuse is all too prevalent these days in the blogging world, and consists of a variety of tricks and deceptive practices designed to make search engines think your site is more relevant than it really is, to make your site come up higher on someone's search results than other pages. 

Fortunately, I don't see much of this in the Genealogy Blogging world.  Most of you do SEO the right way, by frequently and consistently writing interesting, truly relevant posts, and doing it well enough that other people read your pages on a regular basis. In fact, most of you do a much better job of this than I do.  This is the natural, organic way that SEO is done.  If you're really writing articles of real interest and relevance, then you deserve the higher search ranking than someone who sets up a private network of dozens of fake blogs to refer to each other to raise their rankings.

Do yourself a favor and read this article, it's good advice.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Trouble

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 40: Trouble. What happened when you got into trouble as a child? What was punishment like in your home?

That's easy.  Punishment was usually physical.  It was never excessive, and I agree in hindsight it was probably necessary to use physical means in most cases.  It has a way of focusing the attention of the child on the error of their ways.

My father has a fairly large hand, or so it seemed to me when I was little.  I seem to remember dad's belt being used more than once, but not terribly often.  I also recall a largish hairbrush being used on occasion.

My mother is all of five-foot-nothing, and usually used an implement of some sort to instill discipline, at least once I got older than about 3-4 years old.  To this day I shudder when I think about Hot Wheels cars plastic tracks.  They leave a vivid double welt on the backside, and sting like the dickens!    We lived in town, and lacked the appropriate trees to be told to go out and cut my own switch with which to be disciplined.

I also learned that soap doesn't taste good.  Like, REALLY not good. 

Punishment wasn't always physical, though.  Sometimes there was loss of a privilege, or being sent to my room (timeout, but before people started calling it that).  I had to pay for a window I broke once, with saved allowance. 

For all of that, I never felt my parents didn't love me, never felt they were being cruel or unfair (at least in hindsight when I'd had a chance to think about it).  I believe there is a place for physical punishment in child rearing, a position I know will alienate some people.  But it sure looks to me that our society started rapidly degenerating about the same time the "experts" said we shouldn't use physical punishment on our kids.  That said, used correctly, it should be a rare occurrence, and should always be followed up with a caring revisit as to why it happened, and what was expected to avoid repeats.  

I've rarely had to use physical punishment with my kids.  They are wonderful, respectful kids for the most part, and really are usually good with a verbal reprimand if needed, or at most temporary loss of a privilege.  But I've always held physical punishment as an option.  Rather, I never explicitly took it off the table.  I don't go around telling my kids I'll beat them if they don't do something, or do something wrong.  I've never hesitated to get up in their faces, and very loud, if needed, and usually that gave them pause to reconsider their behaviors.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman