August 9, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #1190041mosheroseMember
I cant understand why some people in this thread are arguing aganst the Shulchan Aruch. We dont do that. The Shulachn Aruch is halacha period.August 10, 2010 2:05 am at 2:05 am #1190042000646Participant
There is no one way that it absoloutly correct and one way that is absoloutly wrong in these inyanim. What is abusive or ineffective in one time or culture or community may not be so in another. It is like this in other areas as well, such as dating how to dress and marriage (if you describe how some chasidishe or marriages work to a goy many would consider it abusive i.e. what!? Your husband has a right to tell you that you cant learn to drive?! and yeshivish marriages- What!? your husband has a right to tell what you shouldnt wear?! and even most regular not so yeshivish marriages-What?! your husband tells you cant uncover your hair!?)
What works for chinuch in place is not necesseraly correct in anotherAugust 11, 2010 1:55 am at 1:55 am #1190043
I believe that saying potching teaches a kid to hit is total baloney. It is like saying fining somebody teaches them to steal money, or putting them in jail teaches them to kidnap.
I always argue with my wife about the merits of potching. She is opposed, and has a library of the new age books, many of them frum ones, about raising children with love, etc.
So when my kids get out of control, she comes running and asks me to do something. I tease her, why don’t you take out your library of books and look up what to do and how to handle this?
The bottom line (pardon the pun) is that these books are truly wonderful. The only minor problem is that they don’t work. The old fashioned way of teaching kids that you better behave right now or else, is the tried and true method.
In addition, there is nothing that annoys people more than a parent who doesn’t seem to discipline their kids when they are running wild and bothering others. If one is a guest in a home, and his kids get out of control, if the host doesn’t see the parent immediately taking control, the chance of being invited back is very slim. Even if the kid throws a tantrum, as long as the parents are firm with him, the host usually understands. However, when parents seem to be ignoring or wimping out or spoiling their child, it probably is the number one most annoying thing to others who happen to be around.August 11, 2010 2:55 am at 2:55 am #1190044
PY, hitting a toddler teaches them to hit. Don’t believe me? I have a few friends that tried and it backfired majorly on them. If you are talking about an older child, maybe. But by then, if they can truly understand cause and effect, why would you spank?
Not spanking doesn’t mean not disciplining.
I turned out great and I wasn’t spanked.
My husband turned out great and he wasn’t spanked.
We’ll stick with discipline without violence.August 11, 2010 2:59 am at 2:59 am #1190045missmeMember
Sjs, so you know better than Tanach and Shulchan Aruch?
WOW!August 11, 2010 3:07 am at 3:07 am #1190046
Missme, the SA also says to use a switch. Do you advocate using a swithc to spank your kids? So far no one has said they do.August 11, 2010 3:13 am at 3:13 am #1190047missmeMember
Sjs, what religion do you practice? The one I do, uses SA as its code of law.August 11, 2010 5:44 am at 5:44 am #1190048bombmaniacParticipant
SJS the SA is saying what you CAN use, not what you MUST use.August 11, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am #1190049
According to what maxwell posted, its ” the adult should hit the child with a small strap (Yorah Daya 245:10).” (emphasis mine)
Is that a poor translation? I don’t have the text in front of me.
Missme, perhaps my superior child rearing has my children behaving so well that I don’t need to spank them. BTW I love the attacks on my religious basis. Makes your argument so much clearer.August 11, 2010 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #1190050gavra_at_workParticipant
I believe the latest comment by missme is over the line.
If it would have been made to her, or max well, or so right then it would have been deleted.August 11, 2010 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #1190051notsooldguyMember
I agree with gavra.August 11, 2010 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #1190052
I would even go further and say that sometimes one sees a poorly behaved or chutzpadig child, and one can see immediately that there is no organic cause, but a simple lack of parental discipline. I think a lot of kids are being pumped up with medicines for all kinds of behavioral issues when often simple old-fashioned stern discipline is all that is needed.
I am not a heartless person, nor do I deny that clearly some kids do have a clear organic problem which requires special help. But Hashem created the midah of anger for a reason, and that is to raise our kids. One obviously balances it with much love, laughter, jokes and family trips, etc. A child needs a balance of positive and negative reinforcement, and a happy home life.August 11, 2010 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #1190053
“PY, hitting a toddler teaches them to hit.”
SJS, didn’t you write in a different post that you had trouble with your older son hitting the baby? Where did he learn that? Truth is, toddlers hit. They push, and pull hair (something that my son just started doing, and believe me, I don’t pull his hair!), and pinch other kids when they’re frustrated, angry, or not getting their way. That’s just what kids do.
I am not an advocate of potching, but I do agree that sometimes it really is necessary. My kids are all different, therefore they need different means of discipline. My son, who is about a year younger than yours, knows not to go in the street without holding my hand, but he has gotten a potch or two (not hard at all, just enough that he cries because he’s insulted, not because it hurts) because you simply can’t reason with a two-year-old who REALLY wants to cross the street. I give him a light potch on his (well-padded) bottom and then we go straight inside. That’s it. Thirty seconds later he’s happily playing. And I’ve never seen him hit another child.
It does bother me when I see kids being smacked for not-so-grievous behavior, but I believe that sometimes, like when there is a real danger, it is necessary. I do it calmly, no yelling, and then we don’t talk about it afterwards. And it seems to work just fine.
Maybe your son is unusually well-behaved that you’ve never had to resort to a small potch. If so, lucky you! But you never know what your other kids will be like.
I was potched once in my life. My husband was potched twice. We both remember these occurrences quite clearly. Are we resentful? No. Were all of our siblings potched? Nope. It all depends on the kid and the situation.
Giving a light smack, with no anger, is not violence in my book.August 11, 2010 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #1190054WolfishMusingsParticipant
Sjs, what religion do you practice? The one I do, uses SA as its code of law.
I noticed that you failed to answer SJS’s question. Do you use a switch to discipline your kids? Do you advocate that everyone do so?
The WolfAugust 11, 2010 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #1190055
LAer, you are correct – I left out a vital word. Hitting a toddler teaches them that its ACCEPTABLE. Yes my son has hit the baby. Its absolutely a natural response when you don’t have verbal skills. We train ourselves to CONTROL certain responses and I am working to give my son the verbal skills and control through reasoning. He is much better. He does go to daycare and learns negative influences from other children. Right now, we are working on seeing others misbehave and not copying their behavior (specifically at the park and sliding head first down the slide).
Let me give a quick example of how toddlers learn. My son knows we don’t throw toys. This morning, I saw a toy and tossed it into the appropriate basket. I was far enough away from it, that it was a “throw.” One of the next things my son did was take a toy and toss it also. That is how toddlers learn – they imitate. He wasn’t being bad by any stretch of imagination, he was learning from me. Its why as a parent you need to be extra careful in what you say and do. Kids model behavior much faster than they listen to what you say.
A child needs a balance of positive and negative reinforcement, and a happy home life.
PY, I agree with that. But to me, that doesn’t include spanking.
That’s ok Wolf, I don’t expect an answer.August 11, 2010 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1190056
“My son knows we don’t throw toys. This morning, I saw a toy and tossed it into the appropriate basket. I was far enough away from it, that it was a “throw.” One of the next things my son did was take a toy and toss it also.”
This made me smile. I babysit for my just turned two year old granddaughter every day, B”H, and when I do something like that, which I have taught her is not proper to do (and it happens to be specifically tossing something when I told her not to throw things), she says to me, “Bubby, you not a MITZVAH girl to throw toys!” They ARE little sponges and tape recorders, too.August 11, 2010 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #1190057
SJS, thanks for clarifying. However, I still don’t agree.
Toddlers think that a lot of things are acceptable because you do them. But they need to learn, as they get older, that there are many things that adults can do even though they cannot. Would you stop touching the stove because it’s unacceptable for your child? Would you not go into the street alone because it’s unacceptable for your child? I don’t think so. My son, who I believe is younger than yours, understands that there are things that Mommy is allowed to do but he is not. He will point to a sharp knife, for instance, and say “no-no” plus his name, then ask “Mommy?” Then I tell him that yes, it’s a no-no for him, but for Mommy it’s okay. And he accepts that. Why should potching be any different?
My nieces and nephews sometimes take to “disciplining” each other. My sister tells them, in no uncertain terms, that Mommy is the one that gives the punishments and that it is not their job to do so. Why is it that much harder for a child to understand that Mommy or Daddy can give a (small) potch when necessary, but that they can’t?August 11, 2010 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #1190058
Those actions are skillset actions – they need to acquire the right skillset before they can cut with a knife. Or touch the stove. And I should never go into the street wihtout looking, just as he shouldn’t. He understands (at least in his 2 year old mind) that as he gets older he will get more responsibility. With more responsibility, comes more freedom. I understand why you equate hitting in the same category, but I disagree that its something they should ever learn is acceptable.
Also, kids do get to be in positions of power where they are responsible for the discipline of other kids (think babysitting). Spanking will be a tool in their arsenal.
However, that is not the primary reason I am against spanking. I am against it because it doesn’t TEACH your child why the action was wrong or how to rectify it.
Can you name a situation where spanking is necessary and there are no ways around it? So far, no one has been able to.August 11, 2010 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #1190059
No one has been able to name a situation because there is no one-size-fits-all situation in which it is necessary. It all depends on your kid, his/her age, the action that requires discipline, how s/he has responded (or not responded) to other solutions, and your own capabilities of doing it right. Potching, like everything else, falls under “chanoch lanaar al pi darko” and you need to figure out what’s good for your kid and what’s not.August 11, 2010 8:57 pm at 8:57 pm #1190060
Example of situation that requires a potch. Your kid is jumping on the brand new sofa of your Shabbos lunch host. You tell him to stop, but he ignores. You carry him off, but he runs right back on l’hachis.August 11, 2010 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #1190061
PY, that doesn’t need a spank, it needs a good time out. And a talk about respecting others property.
Usually spanking is used as a “quick fix” but I want my kids to understand that just like they wouldn’t want someone ruining their property, they shouldn’t ruin other peoples property.
That’s why I generally call spanking “lazy parenting” – its trying to take a shortcut without making your child understand.August 11, 2010 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #1190063
potching does not preclude talkingAugust 11, 2010 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #1190064
SJS, suppose your child refuses to obey the time-out. You tell him to go into the corner for 5 minutes. He runs out right away. Also, how do you implement a time-out in somebody else’s house?August 11, 2010 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1190065
BTW, I read somewhere that 90% of the most successful CEO’s said their parents potched.August 11, 2010 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #1190066
“Can you name a situation where spanking is necessary and there are no ways around it? So far, no one has been able to. “
SJS, yes we have. A small child runs into the street. That is a potch moment in my book. You cannot reason with a child 18 months old, or with an older toddler who doesn’t comprehend the concept of safety. My granddaughter DOES understand, and she has never been potched, B”H. She is not a perfect little angel ALL the time, but she can be reasoned with, and she knows that NOT SAFE means something that will cause a big booboo on her. We have taught her concepts that she understands well, but it helps that she is kinehora a mature child. Many bright children are still not so mature, and they do not necessarily obey. In a dangerous situation, potch first saying NO in a firm voice and ask questions later. They will remember that potch, believe me. And it will not scar their little psyches, I promis you. We are talking about a potch on the rear or hand, not a beating. Timeout only work with children who will obey the timeout rule. And yes, my little angel has had a few timeouts, but much fewer lately.
I admire your resolve to try to impart these rules with love and without resorting to corporal means. But sometimes it is the only thing that works, and a parent does not totally close off that unpleasant option if it can help. And you DO know when it is necessary.August 11, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1190067WolfishMusingsParticipant
BTW, I read somewhere that 90% of the most successful CEO’s said their parents potched.
Considering that the vast majority of successful CEOs are over 50, that may be an artifact of the times rather than an indicator of success in life.
IOW, you’re probably looked at a skewed sample.
The WolfAugust 12, 2010 1:36 am at 1:36 am #1190068
PY, I don’t do traditional time outs. We go sit in the corner and talk about what happened and then talk about a solution. If he doesn’t want to sit in the corner he can sit on my lap. This works anywhere.
I also try to find the root cause. Is he bored? Tired? Hungry? Usually when we go out for shabbos meals, one of us plays with the kids after they’ve reached their time of “good” behavior. Kids can’t last that long.
Oomis, I know you gave a time where you use it, but its not necessarily needed. I question whether an 18 month old who doesn’t have the impulse control nor the proper understanding should be given the opportunity to run into the street. Its setting your child up for failure. I believe in age-appropriate expectations.August 12, 2010 4:24 am at 4:24 am #1190069
“I question whether an 18 month old who doesn’t have the impulse control nor the proper understanding should be given the opportunity to run into the street”
Of course they shouldn’t. That’s why when it happens, it’s called an accident. But even very small children (once they understand the relationship between an action and a consequence of that action, even if they cannot speak)will understand danger, when it is associated with a negative action, like a potch. I can see that your parenting style works for you, and I wish for you that you never are faced with a need to potch for any reason. I still believe there are times that it is necessary.
There was a story told (and I am a lousy storyteller, so be forewarned, I am about to mess it up), about a woman whose young son was being a royal brat, screaming at the top of his lungs running amok in a store, knocking things down, etc. The mom kept trying to “reason” with her little tateleh, but everything she said was falling on deaf ears. “It’s not nice to speak in a loud voice, shepseleh.” “Please climb down from the counter, yingeleh.”
“My special little tzaddik shouldn’t throw things like that…” etc. etc. as he continued to wreak havoc.
Finally some other mother who was really tired of watching all this, pulled him down from where he was getting ready to throw canned fruits and said in a very firm voice, “Young man if you don’t stop what you are doing this instant, you will be getting a really big potch!” Thus ended the siege. Sometimes the threat is enough.
I understand where you are coming from, and you are certainly a generation younger than I, but believe me sometimes the old methods worked better in the long run. Kids were way more respectful of their elders in my youth. That being said, no one should ever hit a child at the height of ANGER, because then the potch is a release for that emotion and not a learning tool.August 12, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am #1190070
I wish for you that you never are faced with a need to potch for any reason
BTW one reason these strangers can control kids seemingly better is kids are often afraid of strangers. Not necessarily the potch. I would probably deck a person who threatened my child. [And that women wasn’t disciplining, she was just talking]August 12, 2010 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm #1190071
“I would probably deck a person who threatened my child. [And that women wasn’t disciplining, she was just talking] “
And promptly get arrested for assault 🙁
But yes, I agree. Still the point of that story was that the mommy was coddling and cajoling her clearly out of control child, when STERN talk and fear of reprisal was all that was needed. Look, I agree with you that potching is not something to be done – as a rule – but sometimes it IS necessary, and as I said, I hope you never find a situation where it is warranted.August 12, 2010 2:29 pm at 2:29 pm #1190072smartcookieMember
Sjs I had a good laugh. You said you would sit with your child and talk about ruining other’s property.
Most children won’t sit so calmly and listen. Many children will run away. They are not scared and don’t have too much respect.
What would you do then?
Your son seems to be a very calm and obeying child. But MANY kids aren’t born like that. Many kids are born with a lot more energy, stubbornness and a nature for mischeif.August 12, 2010 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #1190073
OOmis, I heard something similar which maybe is what you were referring to. A lady was in a toy store store with her child. He ran onto the plastic horse which rides for 25c. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get him off. She talked, she begged, she pleaded, she pulled, but couldn’t budge him.
She turned around, and lo and behold, the world reknowned great child education authority and noted pediatrician, Dr. Edward Goldenstein was right there in the store. She runs over and tells him her problem and begs him for help. He says, I am glad to help, but it will be fifty dollars. She says any amount is worth it. He goes over and very quietly whispers something in the childs ear. He immediately gets off the horse. She asks the doctor, that was amazing, what did you tell him? He says, I’ll need my fee first. She gladly pays him and asks him what did you say? He says, very simple, I told him if you don’t get off the horse right this minute, I’ll give you such a potch that you won’t be able to sit down for a week.August 12, 2010 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1190074
I didn’t say he is always calm and listening. We find a quiet corner and I sit with him. Or I’ll hold him in my lap. I talk until he is calm enough and ready to talk. If he is hysterical, I will often put him in an Ergo carrier and walk around with him until he calms down.
I do stern talking to my son and appropriate consequences. Consequences doesn’t mean a spank though.August 12, 2010 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #1190075squeakParticipant
And promptly get arrested for assault 🙁
You mean battery. Assault is the crime of threatening violence. Battery is the crime of inflicting actual violence.August 12, 2010 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #1190076
Um… you put your 2.5-year-old in a baby carrier? How does that work for you? Either he’s really tiny or you’re really strong…
But you see, it sounds like your son is inherently more calm than many little boys. When my son is upset, holding him in place just gets him more upset, and I wouldn’t even think of confining him to a tight space (especially not a tight space on my own body, where he could wreak considerable havoc on me!) because that would just backfire. His time-outs are more of the screaming, flailing variety. And no, I would not potch him for run-of-the-mill offenses, but I do agree with smartcookie – most kids would not sit and listen nicely, especially younger-than-2 kids, because their attention spans are not made for that. Like oomis said, if there is a real danger present, sitting and talking to your kid will not help. A shout or a potch is much more likely to get his attention and will usually be more effective in the long run. Of course, this needs to be followed up by a talk about why running into the street, for example, is dangerous and why Mommy yelled at or potched you.August 12, 2010 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #1190077
i dont agree with oomis but if you believe any kind of physical rebuke is violence and it will adversely harm the childs psyche forever, then there will be found no type of potching or situation in which it is warranted.August 12, 2010 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #1190078
There is another point to think about. SJS’s approach which seeks to make all the rules understood to the child, is very noble. However, the implication is that if the child does not understand the rules, or does not agree with the rules, then he is free to conduct himself otherwise. In other words, the child and Mommy are on the same level of authority. This is precisely what may spoil a child.
In addition, there are many situations where Mommy simply cannot explain things at that moment. What is needed is immediate compliance. For example, Mommy is on a telephone interview about an important job, and the child wants to take all the cookies out of the jar. Mommy says no, and the child won’t listen or is threatening a tantrum. Is Mommy going to tell the prospective boss to hold on, and then proceed give a long lecture to the child on why too many calories is not good for health, and each cookie has about 25 calories, so it is not advisable to eat so many now?
The point of a potch is that when Mommy or Abba says NO, it means NO, right now, no negotiations, no discussion, no disobediance. Later on, you can spend as long as you want discussing nutrition with your child.
A potch or two early on hopefully will guaranteee that from then on, the child will understand the word no, and potches will not be necessary. A child must learn immediate obediance to authority.August 12, 2010 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #1190079
pashuteh i think you are quite correct.August 12, 2010 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #1190080
Is Mommy going to tell the prospective boss to hold on, and then proceed give a long lecture to the child on why too many calories is not good for health, and each cookie has about 25 calories, so it is not advisable to eat so many now?
If I didn’t have time to discipline my kid the way I believed was best, I would just let him eat the cookies. You’ve decided that the job is more important than your kid’s emotional health. Why can’t it just be more important than his physical health (which will really not suffer very much from one cookie gorge. I have eaten 4 large custard donuts for breakfast and 4 slices of pizza for supper on the same day. Yesterday I ran 11 miles. Also which cookie has only 25 calories?)August 12, 2010 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #1190081
I can’t believe I posted on the potching thread.August 12, 2010 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #1190082gavra_at_workParticipant
I have eaten 4 large custard donuts for breakfast and 4 slices of pizza for supper on the same day. Yesterday I ran 11 miles.
Sure you’re not Fetteh Shmeel?August 12, 2010 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #1190083
Who said my son doesn’t listen to authority?
When I can’t deal with him at the moment I say “Mommy needs to do XYZ and you need to ABC.” He goes and does what I say. I rarely use this and he recognizes that he absolutely needs to listen. If he pauses, I point to where I want him to go and he does.
In the case of the cookies, I would ask the person to hold, tell my son no cookie right now and move them out of reach. He is welcome to carry on with a tantrum (without destroying things) and I will move to a different room. [Or I might move him out of the kitchen because our kitchen is hazardous and he can’t be in there alone, but that’s a seperate issue]
In general, if I was about to do something that would require my son to leave me alone for a while, I would make sure he was taken care of before starting. A lot of time, parents set their kids up for failure (not necessarily on purpose).
I doubt my son is an abberation – he is a normal, healthy child. He understands the limits we set for him. He tests them sure, but he realizes when we mean absolute business.August 12, 2010 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #1190084bptParticipant
Oomis – your story reminded me of a similar one. Many years ago, my son (at the time, around 5 or 6 y/o) was getting the business from another (bigger, tougher) kid in the country. Fights, shoves, riding off with his bike and leaving it wherever, ect)
All pleas to the mother were promtly dealt with “talking” to her son (this was a no potch household, natch).
So, with little alternative, I crouched down so we were eyeball to eyeballand told this little angel,(in my best deadpan,icy cold voice) “if you don’t stop hassling my son, I’m going to drag you into the forrest, tie you to a tree, and let the bears eat you”
Being all of 6 or 7, he beleived me, so he stopped. Why? Becuae he saw that while he could run slipshod all over his parents (beacuse no rarely meant no) he could not be so sure with me (as he saw that my kids were kept in line), so best not to take chances with the bears.
I aslo once heard remarked that a potch is like first aid at the scene of an accident. Reasoning / explaining why something is wrong is like a consulation with a doctor. In an emergency, you admininster first aid. A kid wreaking havoc in a store or terrorizing a classmate is a code red 5 alarm blaze and calls for quick, decisive action.August 12, 2010 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #1190085blinkyParticipant
sjs-im reading these posts and i don’t understand what you are trying to say. Your method obviously works for your child-good for you, not all kids are like that. Some kids need a more stronger discipline and thats also fine (obviously done the correct way). As long as there is discipline it does not really matter which way it is.August 12, 2010 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #1190086
popa for your edification and anyone else who may be inspired by your prowess, vigorous exercise will not cancel out very poor eating habits. kind of like aveiros and Mitzvohs.
remember jim fixx the one person who really began the jogging craze in america, who died at the age of 52 of a heart attack after his morning run one day.
you should live to be 120, at least.August 12, 2010 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #1190087
Pashuteh, your version actually IS the original story I heard, before the variations, I just did not remember that version at the moment. Your points are very well-taken.August 12, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm #1190088
A kid wreaking havoc in a store or terrorizing a classmate is a code red 5 alarm blaze and calls for quick, decisive action.
I would pick up the kid and carry him out of the store.August 12, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #1190089
Mod 80: I didn’t mean to suggest one can exercise and then eat whatever he wants. I was demonstrating that eating unhealthily on an irregular basis is not particularly harmful. For example, eating a whole box of cookies while mommy is on the phone with a potential employer.August 13, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am #1190091lakwoodrMember
“Going out into the world without a good understanding of it defeats the whole purpose. It is like one sows without having plowed; the wind and birds will carry the seeds away, because they aren’t closed off and protected. So is he who merely reads Mussar like him who plants without a fence; pigs will eat and trample on everything. Some plant on stone. This is comparable to a heart of stone which cannot be penetrated unless it is struck until it breaks open. That’s why I wrote you to hit our children if they don’t obey you. “Train a lad in the way he ought to go” (Mishlei 22:6). This is an important principle of education.”
Now it may be claimed that times have changed and that the Torah has different interpretations for different times but that is an EXTREMELY slippery slope. And there are definitely contemporary, mainstream Gedolim who are of the opinion that it is valid today as it has always been. R’ Chaim Kanievsky for one. I personally heard him respond to a question posed to him – about educators in America who warn against ever hitting a child – with the one word response “Meshugaim”.August 13, 2010 12:26 am at 12:26 am #1190092
occasional basis, not too harmful
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