• Let's not give all the credit for better behavior in the past to spankings at school. Lots of time has gone by since that recess in 6th grade when I had to stay in to finish my math and got to watch our teacher give some licks.

    Look at the way things have changed. Back then if we asked for a coke, we got a 6 or 8 oz drink, sometimes we split it. That usually happened at a baseball game or at the beach. Today kids get supersized sodas when Mom stops at the store. It is not about sodas being good or bad, it is about the way we think today.

    Kids see, eat, drink, hear, and do things that were unheard of back then. Just take tv for an example. Kids see and hear more than they did back then. Look at prime time tv. Since kids do and say what they are exposed to, this is why we see more violence and hear more unacceptable language. This goes to school.

    As a young person, I watched Leave it to Beaver. My children watched Bart Simpson. I watched Donald Duck, my children watched Howard the Duck. Relaxing of the standards, exposing more. Movies that had the word damn were considered nasty back then, today we expect ... and see... much more sex and violence. If we see it at home or at the movies we will see it at school.

    The way we dress today .... As a child, I remember my aunt taking me to the zoo. She was embarrassed when she noticed her stocking had a run. Been to the zoo lately? See any heels and skirts? What about a wedding? Cleavage, flipflops, jeans... Yep! Is that bad? No, but the frame of mind is not the same. We are not as disciplined anymore.

    Back then, parents spanked more, probably. So if schools spanked, that was the same line of thinking. Today more parents use and would like to see schools use what they consider better forms of punishment.

    March 20, 2011 at 6:31 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 20, 2011 at 1:59 p.m.

  • Can anyone explain that with the decrease in spanking there seems to be an increase in behavioral problems with kids?

    March 20, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.

  • Who can guarantee that "licks" don't go too far? Adults who do this to children should be in prison. I have to warn that the images are disturbing (bruised butts), so look at the link at your own risk.

    March 20, 2011 at 12:39 p.m.

  • I also find this interesting: "Spanking does work in the short run. However, the research which shows that spanking works also shows that non-violent methods of discipline work just as well."

    Larzelere defined "mild" corporal punishment or non abusive spanking as "swats with an open hand on the rear." No paddles. No stripes. Also, the swats were used as a last resort and with other methods.


    Corporal punishment is linked to more negatives than positives. I'm sure most of us feel comfortable with *mild* corporal punishment, but that is not the type of corporal punishment used in schools.

    March 20, 2011 at 12:04 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 20, 2011 at 10:55 a.m.

  • Rebecca, I read your post which was right after mine: "The fact is that corporal punishment is linked to child and adult aggression and behavior disorders."

    Thanks for showing the earlier points which broaden the picture. I think we do agree on much here.

    March 20, 2011 at 6:20 a.m.

  • Maryann, a few comments back, Mike shared a link and noted that there was a correlation between violent crimes and *severe* punishment. I said, "...I bet those inmates didn't have parents who could balance corporal punishment with gentleness and positive attention. For those parents who use corporal punishment without understanding or control, violence is the lesson that is taught." Though my comment was poorly worded, it looks like we agree. Was that the purpose of your comment? To show how we were in agreement?

    Here is more that we would agree on:

    March 19, 2011 at 11:22 p.m.

  • Hello Rebecca,

    Even in studies that take a negative stance on corporal punishment, they admit that there is no evidence that mild to moderate corporal punishment increases the risk of abuse:

    "The act of corporal punishment itself is different across parents -- parents vary in how frequently they use it, how forcefully they administer it, how emotionally aroused they are when they do it, and whether they combine it with other techniques. Each of these qualities of corporal punishment can determine which child-mediated processes are activated, and, in turn, which outcomes may be realized," Gershoff concludes."

    Also, ""The evidence presented in the meta-analysis does not justify a blanket injunction against mild to moderate disciplinary spanking," conclude Baumrind and her team. Baumrind et al. also conclude that "a high association between corporal punishment and physical abuse is not evidence that mild or moderate corporal punishment increases the risk of abuse."

    As I related earlier, I've witnessed children whose parents don't spank hitting one another. They also bite and kick one another in public. If their parents don't beat them, then how did they learn this?

    It ain't just the kids who get spanked that want to strike out.

    I've also witness disrespectful children who are disruptive in classroom settings brag in class to their peers that their parents don't let them get licks. That goes over real well with all who see it and know they need SOME kind of moderation and they are not getting that. Even if it's not corporal punishment.

    There are many causes of aggression and behavior disorders that go beyond corporal punishment, as this study evidences.

    Please do what works for you.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:31 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 19, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.

  • The fact is that corporal punishment is linked to child and adult aggression and behavior disorders. Can we think critically when it comes to this issue, or are we conditioned, even brainwashed, to think spanking is how we grow law abiding adults? "It's the way it has always been." THEN QUESTION IT!

    March 19, 2011 at 8:13 p.m.

  • One other quick point, I know of other principals who did give swats, and they were less respected than the man I spoke of. Surely, having a paddle doesn't make one a respected disciplinarian automatically.

    But, I think schools should be allowed the option of corporal punishment, and if parents disagree, then they too have options. Sounds like I'm pro-choice on swats.

    March 19, 2011 at 4:32 p.m.

  • VBB, I agree with your 11:05 post wholeheartedly. Parental involvement goes a long way.

    So does common sense.

    I remember in the late 80s when I taught in Maine as a first year teacher, and I had a really disrespectful boy in my class who was back-talking and being disruptive. I tried reasoning. Didn't work. So I pulled him and his desk out side in the hall so he could do his work there.

    Lo and behold the counselor came in and told me, "We don't do that here!" Okay.... we did it in Port Lavaca, Texas, and it didn't hurt the kids' psyches, I thought. But, I did as I was told.

    He kept on. I gave him detention. I was going to keep him after class and get to know him better.... befriend the little bugger with tutoring he needed, as well as CANDY. (Can't do that much any more either!)

    The principal informs me that the kid can't DO detention because he lives too far away and his grandma says no. The principal makes no effort to back me up in reigning in this young man.

    About two weeks later, the boy gets into an argument with another kid in my class. I can't break them up, so the same counselor has to come into my class and physicallly restrain the kid.

    It was amazing!

    I was thinking- use a little common sense. Let me as a teacher treat the little things, and it wouldn't have come to you having to physically restrain the youngster.

    As for corporal punishment, they got rid of that option in Maine long before 1986.

    When I came back to Texas to teach, our principal used the paddle sparingly, but I have to say he was respected. I took care of discipline myself in the class until I had to send them out. The kids didn't want to go to the office.

    March 19, 2011 at 4:23 p.m.

  • Paddling never came up when my daughter was in school & I never heard of anyone she knew getting paddled, even the bad kids. I think if I had been given the option, I would have opted out, but my child wouldn't have been made aware of that decision as I could use that threat as leverage to ensure her proper behavior. Though I spanked my child at my discretion, I don't think I would allow others to do the same at their discretion.

    My mom was a teacher at a school in Victoria that had the option, I don't think there were many that opted for corporal punishment. I do remember mom telling me about one mother who requested to be immediately notified of her childs behavior & she went to the school right then & there & handled him herself in front of God & everybody. Then there were the others that justified their kids misbehavior & placed the blame on everyone but their kid.....those kids were the constant trouble makers, no consequences for their actions because nobody is/was teaching them right from wrong.

    March 19, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.

  • Hello Mike,

    I think perhaps you mean that 20 or so states still have corporal punishment in the U.S. I've read articles that say 20, some 21, or 22.

    According to this March 6, 2011 article hundreds of Texas school districts still have corporal punishment, and only 40 have banned it: "
    "Only 40 of 1,033 school districts in the state of Texas have banned it, so we have a long way to go," said Allen, a retired principal with the Houston school district, which no longer paddles students. "

    March 19, 2011 at 2:20 p.m.

  • Rebecca
    That just enhances your credibility on both sides of the issue; school and parental..:-)

    March 19, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.

  • Sorry Mike. The confusion between home and school was my fault because I home school. ;) ;) ;)

    March 19, 2011 at 12:23 p.m.

  • VBB
    I guess my point got lost between parental corporal punishment and the schools.

    I would never judge a parent on how they discipline their children; what ever works for them.

    The consistency I'm referring to is between today's generation(I'm assuming most parents today don't spank) at home to be consistent with what we use in the schools.....Again, only 20 schools use corporal punishment(with an opt out clause) so we are almost at the point of abolishing corporal punishment in the schools.

    I admit I've been out of the loop for zillions of years, so I am not an authority, just an interested observer, since it was brought to my attention the other day.

    I'm pretty much in the " tell me more I'm listening" phase.

    March 19, 2011 at 11:29 a.m.

  • Mike, maybe more people should live by that motto. When I was young, the kids weren't as unruly as they are today, the big difference I see between now & then is spanking & parental involvement. I spanked my child but not for every offense...different puishments for different "offenses" BUT I was always consistent..if she got in trouble for it once she got in trouble for it every time. Most of my friends with kids weren't as consistent & their kids argued with them to wear them down & usually always won. I always told mine, no means no...keep asking and everytime you ask me something, even if I would've say yes, I will say no. She never argued with me, she wasn't always happy when I said no but she got over it. Lying & back talking warranted spankings in my house, 2 things I can't stand. My 3 yr old granddaughter told me to shush my face, not in a joking manner& she got a tap on the leg, she howled, not because of the tap but because of the look that came with the tap. The look scares them far more than the other punishment & the look is now stopping the 3 yr old in her tracks the minute she starts up with her shenanigans. One thing is for certain...when a toddler has their mind set on something, logic & reason tend to go out the window & attempting to logic with them is a waste of time....get their attention & THEN logic with them.

    March 19, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.

  • Rebecca

    U.S. President Bill Clinton called the punishment extreme and mistaken, continuing to pressure the Singaporean government to grant Fay clemency from caning. Two dozen U.S. senators signed a letter to the Singaporean government also appealing for clemency.

    The official position of the United States government was that while it recognized Singapore's right to try and punish Fay with due process of law, it deemed the punishment of caning to be excessive for a teenager committing a non-violent crime. In which Singapoer responded "the United States should pay more attention to its domestic problems, such as American law and order, rather than telling other countries what to do."

    So caning is excessive for us and abroad but we still allow 20 schools to continue corporal punishment with an opt out clause. I don't have any facts but I bet more people opt out than those that agree. I don't think too many parents go by " spare the rod. spoil the child" anymore...

    March 19, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.

  • @ Rebecca

    IMO, children are in the learning/developing stage of their lives. They need to learn early that bad behavior has undesirable consequences. They need to learn early in their lives that other grown-ups will not tolerate bad behavior.
    If they get in trouble later in life, are those other people going to just sit them down and give them a stern talking to, or put them in time-out, or take away their toys? We both know the answer to that.
    Kids can never feel that they are in control of the situation, or that a punishment is easy to take. They need to fear getting in trouble.

    March 19, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.

  • Just curious. This is for those of you who believe corporal punishment stops bad behavior: why do we only use it on children? What about adults? What about a teacher who gets out of line. Seriously. In Singapore they use corporal punishment on criminals - they cane people. I thought that was interesting, the fact that some believe that it is an effective punishment, but only for children - a smaller and not fully developed (mentally or physically) human. A man can't (legally) strike his wife...

    March 19, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 19, 2011 at 5:53 a.m.

  • Mike, that is an interesting study, degree of physical punishment.

    Interesting inferences: First of all, exteme use of physical punishment may not work if one's goal is to raise non violent children. Also, at least this group of violent criminals grew up with people who resorted to physical punishment to solve their problems with their children. On the other side, physical punishment is not necessarily detrimental if administered wisely and moderately.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:34 p.m.

  • I would never lie to you guys knowingly. I may be misinformed but I would hope that you would point it out in a kind way.

    I bet those inmates didn't have parents who could balance corporal punishment with gentleness and positive attention. For those parents who use corporal punishment without understanding or control, violence is the lesson that is taught.

    March 18, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 18, 2011 at 4:49 p.m.

  • Educational achievement is affected both directly and indirectly. Studies of prisoners, delinquents, school drop-outs, college freshmen and successful professionals are compared in the following composite report.

    Degree of physical punishment

    Violent inmates @ San Quentin 100%
    Juvenile delinquents...........64%

    If nothing else, this proves that Rebecca is not a blatant liar and it is my opinion that she deserves an apology ,but I bet she doesn't get one.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:55 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:43 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:12 p.m.

  • @ Rossy

    Those were pats of love. It really did hurt me more than it did them.

    To prove my point, just the other night, my son and I were watching a soap opera (or I was and he didn't have a choice at the time), and one of the moms sat down and tried to reason with her son about not hitting other kids. My son told me that he didn't know why parents though they had to use psychology to raise kids because it didn't work. He actually told me what I did was the right thing to do.
    Now, I do understand that some parents go too far and actually hurt their kids and leave marks. I didn't. We had a small paddle carved out of a 1X4. The handle was about 1 1/2" wide, and it grew in width as it went up the paddle. The top of the paddle was about 2 1/2". I didn't even have to swing my arm, just break the wrist over and that thing stung like fire. It didn't leave a mark, other than a slight red mark about what you get when you slap your own leg. And, it was always used on the flesh of the buttocks. Never anywhere else.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:36 p.m.

  • I'll go fill up their water containers now.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.

  • It's very important to ensure your offspring are well hydrated when beating the crap out of them, Rebecca!

    March 18, 2011 at 12:49 p.m.

  • Kyle, very creative! When the kids misbehave, they could be punished by paddling the parents! There was also a suggestion in the video that kids drink all day. Talk about switching roles!

    March 18, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.

  • This video is very misleading:

    March 18, 2011 at 12:41 p.m.

  • dd, if that were true, prisons would be full of adults who were not spanked as children, however most inmates report having parents who used corporal punishment.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:38 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:36 p.m.

  • I believe in corporal punishment. Kids get off too easy these days and it shows in their behavior.
    My parents used peach switches and let me tell you, I only got a few of those swats because I was scared of them.
    With my kids, I used a paddle that did not leave a mark. I didn't have to swing hard because the sting of the paddle was enough. I could actually stare hard at my kids when they were doing something wrong, and hold up one finger, and then another, and so on. They knew that for every finger I held up, it was going to be one swat with that paddle. I usually didn't have to go past one finger, and most of the time, just the look in my eyes made them start acting right. It saved a lot of embarrassment in public places.
    Today, I've gotten compliments on how well my kids act. They are very thoughful and respectful to other people and I have no doubt that the spankings they got as children, helped.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.

  • I always relish a moment to quote one of my favorite poems:

    "They f**k you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were f**ked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another's throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don't have any kids yourself."

    - This be Thy Verse, Philip Larkin

    March 18, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.

  • It's all about balance.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.

  • It's not a discipline problem when children behave like children.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.

  • Thanks for your input mamaj, and I liked what you said about mutual respect. I know I grew up with " negative reinforcement" and that's the way I taught my children; lucky for me and them they didn't listen to that part.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.

  • Mike...It wasn't just a Cosby joke. We had a willow tree and my mother used to send my brother or me -- whichever one was guilty at the time -- out to bring back a willow switch for her to use. Man! Those things hurt. To this day, I can't look at a willow tree without remembering. Yeah, the anticipation of the whipping was almost as bad as the real thing -- almost. Then there was the tongue lashing. Please! Yell OR whip; not both.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.

  • i as a mother of six do agree with mild corpal punishment. we are very strict with our kids and we dont always spank for punishment. we take things away, extra chores, etc... when i am at the grocery store all my children walk in a line with their hands behind their back. i hate to see children running their parents. and then the parents complain because they are embarrased by the way their children behave. my son goes to hs and even he says how horrible the studenst are and that he has a hard time actually hearing the teachers because of so much discord in the classroom. he even said that some of the teachers get physical with the students i.e. grabbing their shirts, tugging at the students, threatening studens. i would love to hear a teacher speak that way to my child and then we would really see corpal punishment against the teacher from myself., my point is, return the corporal punishment and adjust it to the situation, make the kid scrub the bathroom floor after school, hold these kids responsible and dont just throw them in iss for 10 days becuase their second button isnt done. we have very little behavior problems with our children and we are always complimented on how respectful our children are and how well behaved they are because of a spanking? maybe or maybe its that we are not lazy parents that throw nintendo ds to our kids, we actually get out and play ball and frisbie and make fires and show our children what RESPECT AND LOYALTY TO FAMILY is. that is so lost now.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:49 a.m.

  • Lol..That would certainly make me want to back off.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.

  • Yes. I probably don't even know what they mean, but they sound good and they serve to get some name-calling in before anyone decides to argue. It saves me time.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.

  • Rebecca
    Are narcissistic to proselytize your new buzz words?..:-)

    March 18, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.

  • If you leave "stripes" on a child, that is abuse. No spanking should leave marks! That's a beating! (That's my opinion and I'm forty now, so the old gray mass is established in it's beliefs. It would be futile and narcissistic to proselytize if you don't agree with me.)

    March 18, 2011 at 10:59 a.m.

  • Thanks kash

    March 18, 2011 at 10:22 a.m.

  • Found the article "The entire student body of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans attended a rally March 4 to support the return of paddling as a method of discipline at their school."

    March 18, 2011 at 10:21 a.m.

  • Some interesting answers and Kyle provided a visual, but I'm surprised no one took issue with the 200,000 children who were taken to the hospital due to corporal punishment. Perhaps they think like I do; that those cases were probably concentrated in large metropolitan urban schools. I'm equally surprised that no one took issue with Texas being just one of 20 schools that still have corporal punishment.

    Rebecca: a good place to start; one teacher, one student.

    maryann: a great answer, I agree consistency, follow through and a realization that one size does not always fit all.

    Sage1: Marc Ecko said in most cases the school did not have to report incidents of corporal punishment, but it was a 50 state study and he did not elaborate. I agree with the excellent points you made. The opt out may be the best recourse.

    Victorianbybirth: There are sometimes we just cannot add to a point well made..:-)

    ddherring: my daughter is a teacher, so I do know that discipline is a problem, but I would hope to have better options... especially in Victoria. When you get down to policemen shooting students; you might as well shut down the school.

    kash: That is unique; students protesting to keep" corporal punishment."

    Rossv: I'm at a loss for words.

    jbj: thanks for sharing your examples of the different methods that were used to come to a satisfactory result.

    waywardwind: Shop teachers making paddles must be a Texas tradition. I remember cutting the board that was going to be a paddle and then sanding the finished product. That was corporal punishment in itself. It reminds me of the old joke Bill Cosby used to say about his grandmother sending him out to cut the switch that she was going to use on him. He was crying in anticipation of the pain that was to follow.

    March 18, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 18, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.

  • I do remember getting what we called "licks" back in school. Seemed to work, too. PE coaches got their exercise that way. The wood shop teacher made the paddles for the teachers. One thing...if I got licks in school, I didn't go home and complain to Dad because I knew Dad wasn't gonna go looking for lawyer to sue the school; Dad was gonna give me an encore. I've never spent any time in jail, though. Something musta worked.

    March 18, 2011 at 7:40 a.m.

  • When I first started teaching, if I took a student to the office, the principal popped him with a board, handed him a tissue and said, "That was a little tap. Don't come back or I will give you a paddling." He didn't usually go back. The paddle worked.

    More recent years led to different methods. My last principal believed that if a child is sent to the office, give him a pencil and he will behave. So the child came back to class with a smile and a new pencil. The pencil method does not work.

    Most of my experience is with middle school. Detention is delayed punishment and not real effective, they meet their friends there.

    What works? The last school my son went to had a discipline method that worked well. If a student misbehaved, he or she spent most of their lunch time with the principal in his office. It was usually a very small group. They were released to the lunch line just in time to finish lunch and no spare time on the playground. Unfinished work was done after school. That day. Paddling was a last resort, and I think parents could opt out. Communication between school and parent was big. I got an email if my child did not turn in work or misbehaved.

    I think communication with parents is the key.

    March 18, 2011 at 7:24 a.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:38 a.m.

  • Wonder why kids behaved better in school when there was a risk of corporal punishment? Could it be because there was consequences to bad behavior? Now all we hear is excuses for them and the teacher doesn't like them year after year. Where I went to school, the teacher could take you in the hall for a paddling--not only did you not want to be paddled but you did not want the embrassment of being paddled. We had none of the disruptions in class you hear of now. And our self esteem is still intact.
    I recently heard of a school where the students protested against removing corporal punishment. They felt it maintained the learning environment.

    March 18, 2011 at 1:09 a.m.

  • And, by god, it shouldn't be limited to children!

    Am I right, gentlemen?

    March 17, 2011 at 10:59 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    March 17, 2011 at 10:54 p.m.

  • I personally do not agree with corporal punishment, however I am in complete agreement with maryann's core message that consistency in discipline is key.

    March 17, 2011 at 10:47 p.m.

  • Maryann is right as rain in her summation....nothing more to say.

    March 17, 2011 at 10:41 p.m.

  • Mike: I'm going to check out Mark Ecko's website in a minute, so I wrote all of the below without looking at it.

    Firstly, do not take away corporal punishment. I don't use any form of spanking at home and I don't want my child spanked at school either - that is why schools have an OPT-OUT for parents. If you don't like it, then opt-out.

    Secondly, most people (in fact everyone I've ever spoken to and every comment I've ever read) agree that schools are overly restricted in how they can respond to students' misbehavior, which most poeople would say is a contributing factor in the schools' losing battle in maintaining order.

    Thirdly, of course there is bruising after a paddling. As my pre-emptive response to future comments: the Courts have determined that marks after a school paddling, such as brusing, do not constitute child abuse or cruel and unusual punishment. They say it is an expected consequence of a paddling.

    Fourthly, teachers, as a general rule, do not issue the corporal punishment. It is usually adminstered by administration. In most cases, they are not allowed to. I just hate to see "teacher do this..." "teachers do that..." when most of the time, teachers have very little to nothing to do with it. In the rare instances when it is issued by a teacher at least one other adult must be present. Furthermore, corporal punishment is never used as a first resort. In most cases, there must be a paper trail of previously and unsuccessfully used consequences.

    Fifthly, I am not sure to whom you were refering when you wrote that schools do not have to report the use of corporal punishment. If you were refering to reporting it to parents, that is flat-out incorrect.

    March 17, 2011 at 9:58 p.m.

  • Great topic, Mike.

    I think that effective parenting skills go beyond giving swats or not giving swats.

    I know a family that refuses to use corporal punishment, and their children are pariahs of their friends and teachers for their rudeness and chaotic behavior, including hitting others. They've been booted out of public places because of the kids' behavior. (I should say what the parents have allowed them to get away with.)

    On the other hand, I know of a different family that applies the paddle and their kids behave little better. They swat like crazy, but ignore the children for much of the rest of time in public. I've seen them too asked to take control of their children in public.

    I'm sure effective parenting is broad in scope, but consistency in punishment is key. If you say that you're going to take something away or make them do extra work, you have to follow through. If you don't, your admonishments are useless and the kids know it.

    March 17, 2011 at 8:59 p.m.

  • I don't even use corporal punishment in my home school.

    March 17, 2011 at 7:24 p.m.