I have long believed that punishing children does not lead to cooperative family environments and recently got a little more confirmation of this than I would've liked, quite frankly. There is a family that we have contact with about once a year. We've had very different parenting styles from the get go but now that the kids are all between 8 and 10 years old the difference are showing up more than ever. As toddlers the parents always excused the kids' behavior based on age, but now that they are all in the middle years those same excuses don't really fly. No one is a toddler anymore. The main thing that stood out for me was the other girls lack of compassion. Whenever they hurt someone else their first response was, "Are you going to tell on me?" They were relatively unconcerned with the person that they hurt. There were no signs of visible remorse or regret- only fear that they would be getting in trouble. And equally disturbing was their seeming pleasure with trying to get the others 'into trouble.' "Into trouble" in their house means: spankings, time-outs and getting TV and video games taken away from them. We do not have "getting in trouble" in our house, nor TV or video games for that matter. We simply talk about things, or hug each other and resolve the situation at hand. If one of my girls hurts the other they usually both come to me to ask what it needs- ice, arnica, a band-aid?