Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sparing the Rod

I was recently talking to a friend of mine. She had been keeping her two grand-daughters for a couple of weeks. She was telling me how she showed one of them the fly swat that hung inside one of the kitchen cabinet doors and told her if she misbehaved she'd get spanked with that. She said her grand-daughter looked at her and said, "Nana, that's for bugs!"

I was thinking about when I was a kid and when we misbehaved you would get the switch taken to your naked legs. My parents believed in "sparing the rod and spoiling the child." Their motto was that they couldn't stop you from doing something but they'd sure make you sorry you ever did it in the first place! Mom would say, "I'll take a good 'keen' switch to you!" A 'good keen' switch meant one that the leaves were all off of and it was clean as a whistle and did it ever smart when it made contact with your bare legs! Talk about doing some dancing around and wailing at the top of your lungs!

My Dad never gave me a spanking but I think he did the boys some. I never saw it but my Mom told me he used to get mad at them for something and if the boys would run off and get away from him then he'd get over his mad and not whip them when they came back. My Dad could just look at me and say, "Little girl I better not have to tell you again." That's all it took!! He put the fear in me and I didn't have to be told twice when he spoke.


Blogger Cheyenne said...

I never got spanked or struck with anything either. My brother did a time or two. We never found out why. Maybe we didn't want to know. He grew up to be a fine upstanding citizen, as did the rest of us. So whether you strike a child or not, it is other values that parents instill that are the best medicine.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Sounds like our house Rachel. That's why you turned out so good.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Rachel, I am sorry you got spanked. Of course you weren't bad, you just upset your mom.
I think our house was more like Cheyenne's. But I don't like to talk about it. Just say I didn't get many and when I didn't deserve them. I was too good for my own good.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

I find the look and a few short words works better than all the yelling, threats and beatings in the world. Both my parents had "the look" and we didn't mess with either one of them!

9:11 PM  
Blogger 4evergapeach said...

I faintly remember getting a spanking or two as a young child but obviously nothing that has scarred me for life. I think the fear of one usually did the job. Not sure if you have ever heard it, but Bill Cosby does a piece on spankings, and it is absolutely hilarious!!

7:42 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I think your Dad was a softy in a time when children were physically discipline to be good.

I was never struck, and I never struck my son. We both turned out well. My mother controlled us with guilt. If I did anything wrong she would end up saying, "Oh, Philip I am so disappointed in you." If it had to do with school grades she would add, "I know you can do so much better than this." I never wanted to disappooint my mother.My one attempt at crime was ended when the shop keeper said if he caught me again he would call my mother. How shameful would that experience be!

With my son, I think I did not use the guilt. Since there was always just the two of us I talked to him as if he were a reasonable human being. (I once took a teacher to task who thought she could punish him. I tore a piece off that teacher telling her he was a child who could be reasoned with and I did not give her permission to punish him. She never dared to it again).

With my son, for years I reviewed the day with him when I put him to bed. I was not afraid to admit I had done things wrong and I apoligized. I also told him often that I could change my mind and make concessions because I did not have other children to consider. (There had to be some good reason to be an only child)

I was lucky as well as skillful in raising a sensitive, polite, thoughtful child to be a wonderful husband and father.

9:53 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Today, that use of the "switch" would be considered Child Abuse, you know? And in a way, I guess it was....
I was never spanked and I think it is because I learned very very early on to be "a good little girl"....I think the spanking would have hurt my feelings as much as my backside...! (lol)

And hopefully I still turned out pretty good! LOL!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

My daddy only spanked me once but boy when he looked at me with those big brown eyes and called my name I stopped what I was doing and behaved. LOL My mother would spank and switch us. I hated having to go get my own switch.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

The fly swatter story is cute. LOL

I believe in discipline because the Bible teaches it. My mom did too. OUCH!
However there are many forms of discipline depending on the child and the crime.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Lesa said...

My mom had a yard stick in back window of the car. It was not for measuring! If she ever stopped the car and opened the back door, we knew we had it for sure! Even worse was having to wait until we got home to see what the punishment would be from Mom. All Daddy had to do was say - "Now what did you do?" and the tears would start! He never spanked us - that was Mom's job!
I remember having to go get my own switch off the Weeping Willow tree. I was grown before I realized that was not reason they called it a "Weeping" Willow tree!
No - I was not messed up for life from these whippings. They made me a better person later on life and made me appreciate parents that taught me right form wrong.
Yes - I have spanked my own child and he is just fine at 28 years of age. I think it's all in how you handle the moment without hate or anger!

7:27 AM  

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