“Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

Cliff has more to say…. Before you get the pitch forks out,  take a minute to read what he is saying. You might not agree with him but he does have some great points.

“Spare the rod and spoil the child.” Words that were written in a poem by Samuel Butler in 1664 that should have been a sign post for parents through time.

Spanking is seen as child abuse. A light smack on the hand of a child reaching for something that could hurt them is seen as outward aggression of the parent or care giver. Fear is an enemy of a child’s psyche.

Fact: there have been more problems with aggressive children in the past twenty years than there ever was before.

Fact: there have been over 170 mass shootings since the year 2000 and 114 school shootings. There were only 35 school shootings recorded in the previous century.

What changed? What happened to allow our kids to become these immoral unfeeling monsters that think nothing of murdering and maiming their fellows?

We can blame video games, rock music, rap music and the thug life style that has become so popular. Blame single parent households, overworked or under-performing teachers or even blame the poverty that so many kids come from. I can’t.

I see that we celebrate every little achievement that every child accrues whether it is truly merited or not. “Tommy hit the ball.” But he should have been out at first but the coaches didn’t think “outs” were fair so they let him stay on first. Schools have little graduation ceremonies for kids who are leaving one grade for the next? What? It used to irritate the hell out of me to go to those things for my own kids and I know I burst a few bubbles when I brought up barely passing grades and problems that needed to be addressed for the next school year. My kids eventually got the point.

I was proud of my oldest when he graduated from tech school and got his diploma to be a medical assistant, but I was even more proud when he landed his first job as such. When Alex (youngest) graduated from high school I made a big deal of it, party and all. When he graduated from basic training we went down to spend time with him then as well. When our daughter stopped going to school we were exactly the opposite and those were hard times for everyone.

All three of my kids lived with an element of fear in their lives from me or the consequences that they brought about. They did not live with the same level of fear I grew up with but it was there. They feared me and what I could do to make their lives miserable. Guess what? They are not going on shooting rampages. None of them have burned down a house or beaten anyone to a pulp. They are normal struggling twenty somethings that are trying to live.

I grew up in a Catholic family with all the pressures and guilt that can come with. I went to Catholic school where the nuns had yardsticks and knew how to use them and then I went to public school and saw the other side. More than a few of the people I was in public school with are dead or in jail….. Why? It wasn’t religion. It was fear. Fear of reprisals and lack of consequences.

A good upbringing, a responsible upbringing introduces a child to fear and pain and failure. If a child does not know these things from an early age how can they handle real world situations later in life?

Please note that I do not condone violence towards children. I have never taken a belt or board or any other object to beat my kids. I have on occasion smacked their hands, buts and even their cheeks to correct them. I have grabbed them and physically forced them to sit by themselves in a corner but I have never beaten a child.

If these are crimes I am guilty.

Look at today’s kids objectively and you see a total lack of respect and control, generally. When a child mouths off at an adult, parent or not, we act surprised and shocked. Why? If all you do is take away their TV for a bit they will just go and do something else. Correct them. Soap tastes like hell but it does no physical damage.

I was at a local food market when Hailey was only about a year and a half old. One of her favorite things to do is push the cart through the aisles, it still is. She threw a screaming fit when we had to stop and pay for the groceries. I mean a screaming at the top of her lungs; throw herself on the floor fit. I have seen how other parents and grandparents handle this, they attempt to reason with the child or bribe them with candy or a trip somewhere special. Most of the times it doesn’t work and they carry on like the rest of the patrons aren’t wishing that they would hurry up and just take the kid outside so we don’t have to hear the little brat scream any more.

I bent over, picked her up and firmly smacked her thickly diapered ass once. She immediately calmed down and sniffled once or twice and took her overdue nap on my shoulder. People. Were. Mortified.

The looks I received that day should have killed me or crippled me. Today if my lovely little granddaughter gives me grief or even hints at a tantrum I calmly ask her if she wants her but smacked and she says no and stops being a brat. We go on about our business and she accepts that she will not get her way this time. Of course if grandma is around she may still get her way but that is another demon for another time.

Cliff

– is a father of three and grandfather of one. Conservative libertarian and all around nice guy, most of the time. :-)

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