Parenting Skills 101: Spare the ‘rod’ | Spoil the child?

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Proverbs 13:24 [KJV]

If you disobey school rules you are likely to be sent to detention, suspended or expelled. On the job; if you break company rules (however archaic or subjective) you are likely to be fired. In the society; if you break the law (and you are caught) you are likely to be sent to Prison. In all instances – the common fact is that: there are consequences for bad behaviour.

However, we are children long before we become students, employees and citizens legally able to be held accountable for infractions of the law. Who is responsible or who will take the responsibility for teaching children this invaluable lesson?

Ok, ok – you don’t all have to shout at once: The Parents! The tricky question, however, is: What are the appropriate methods for teaching this lesson?

There is an ongoing healthy debate about flogging in schools; as well as whether corporal punishment is tantamount to physical abuse. Many believe that the practice is archaic and retrogressive and should be banned in all forms and arenas – including the schools and in homes.

The proponents of such a ban contend that flogging is a form of violence and the practice teaches violence to our children, which is perpetrated throughout their lives. It instills fear and can scar the victims for life.

Instinctively, I am inclined to agree, especially in such instances where I have seen parents and guardians pick their ‘switches’ from tree limbs; use pieces of lumber; and electric cords, among other vicious devices, to ‘beat’ their children. There is no question in my mind that such acts are tantamount to physical child abuse! Indeed, in many of those instances that I have witnessed in my lifetime, the acts were spurred on by anger and embarrassment and represented a means of venting for the perpetrators, as they abused their power over their victims. Often, in those instances, there really was no attempt to teach the child about the invaluable lesson that they needed to learn.

Alas, I have three children, and whilst for the most part a simple look of disappointment was sufficient to bring them in line; I do recall one instance with my eldest when I was guilty as charged for such abuse – albeit that my instrument of ‘justice’ was a belt. *Note to self: Remember to apologize!

The proponents  also contend that a time out, the restriction of privileges and a good ‘talk’ are sufficient means of teaching children the invaluable lesson. In addition, rewarding children for good behaviour through gifts and special occasions/treats also foster good upbringing.

Whilst children, perhaps by nature, will always seek to ‘push the envelope’ – I believe that children are children; and whether you believe it or not – they want to be children and they want to know that they have a parent/guardian who is responsible enough to take care of them! And that includes teaching them the invaluable lesson.

I recently read on a social media of an incident where a child – in a tantrum – spat on a waitress in a popular fast food restaurant. The mother’s response was simply: ‘yuh see how him rude?’ I am also too familiar with teenagers and young adults being openly disrespectful to their parents and guardians; and often times the response is: ‘yuh see dat?’

Those, however, are but the tip of the iceberg – and I often ask myself, would I even in my wildest imagination ever dream of doing some of the things I see children doing today? The answer is simply – HELL NO!!! You see, if I ever ‘passed my place’ and did any of those things, I would probably be wearing false teeth from very early in life.

Yes – I had my fair share of floggings and I learnt the lesson from very early that: I am loved BUT there are consequences for bad behaviour!

I must also hasten to point out that I have not been scarred for life and I don’t go to my bed each night hating my mother or thinking that she was a wicked parent. In fact, I tried to be good in school (notice I said ‘tried’); I held down a few good jobs and I have never been sent to jail for breaking the law. I can also say the same of my other three siblings.

Yes, we must curb and eradicate physical child abuse and encourage the ‘new age’ parenting skills; but there comes a time – I believe – when a good slap and a flogging administered in love is the best way to teach a child about the consequences of bad behaviour.

No, I am not here to try and convince the proponents for the banning of corporal punishment to change their minds. I am simply giving my opinion on the issue. And, whilst emotions may flare and they shout of the possible disadvantages, I will whisper: look at me – for one – and also compare the society of yesteryear and what we have been facing for the last ten years or more. From where I sit – the future doesn’t look so bright either!

While we spare the rod, we (seemingly) are spoiling the world. Bend the tree before it gets too old — your child may yet thank you for it! By the way, Thanks Mommy!

Walk good, ’til next time …


About Counselor77

A pretty good listener; occasionally I actually have something worthwhile to say ... it may be on religion, politics, love, public affairs (you name it) ... let's talk - we CAN make a difference.
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2 Responses to Parenting Skills 101: Spare the ‘rod’ | Spoil the child?

  1. Counselor77 says:

    Thank you so much for your contribution James! I really appreciate it. I trust that you and your wife will eventually be able to reach a common ground on this issue. Accept my best regards. Counselor77

  2. James says:

    I was looking for something else around this because it is an ongoing debate with my wife and two step children.

    I was raised getting my butt beat for even small infractions. Granted, my mother used the closest thing she could get when she was mad, but it was enver a rod, or clothes hanger, or power cord. I’ve had my fair share of switches and belts used on me until I was old enough to joke with her that she couldn’t catch me.

    Once, the closest thing was a Birkenstock style sandal and, to this day, I tease her about the abuse.

    Through life, I developed a respect for authority and self discipline to stay away from punishment and I fully believe in corporal punishment as a means of teaching kids how not to act. I know it works. The old adage, “This is gonna hurt me…” is very true when I first spanked my 3yo for peeing his pants while playing.

    I had tried coaching him, but it wasn’t working. Finally, I said, “You need to learn to stop what you’re doing when you feel the need to pee and go do it. The next time you pee in your pants, I’m going to spank you with the belt.” It happened and I followed through. Then I consoled him, told him I loved him and asked, “Now, what did you learn?” His response, “I learned not to pee in my pants!” He never did again. Then he went through a lying phase. Spanking corrected that. Now, seven years later, I say do and he does without question. I thanked him for that and told him how proud I was.

    My new wife does not believe in spanking and has two unruly, non-minding, “attitudinal” kids that she loses her mind yelling at them, literally bellowing. I often tell her to let the belt do the yelling for her and they’ll start minding her, but she refuses saying that they can’t be spanked for every little thing. Totally different mindset.

    My stepson was acting out and I got tired of it, finally threatening the belt. When the time came, I followed through, again consoling, loving on him, and asking what he learned. His response “Dad really means what he says!” My wife went ballistic over it, but all I have to do is touch or show him my belt and he snaps to it. “Yes sir, Dad.”

    I’ve taken a lot of chars, but it was necessary for the comment. Good job on covering both sides. Fists and cords are out of line. I, too, still respect my mother and authority.

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