Massachusetts law makers are actually debating the issue of a parent’s right to spank their own child.
This topic really sets me off. There may be readers here that I know personally, that choose not to spank their kids and they are about to find out what I think about it and their kids, but I feel so strongly about it, that I have to overlook that. Let’s take a look at the Bible on the topic:
Prov. 29: 15.
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
Prov. 13: 24
24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
2 Sam. 7: 14
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.
Children need to know they are loved. In no way is spanking meant to show anything but love for a child. It is not in the vein of punishment for spite that I am in support of, it is punishment in the vein of teaching. If a child of yours was to disobey a rule that you have established for their own protection, i.e., “No heelie-skating in the street or in parking lots”, they might be killed or seriously harmed. Such was almost the case about a week ago when a car slammed on its brakes to a stop right in front of my bewildered daughter, who had just broken the rule mentioned here.
If I don’t show her how serious that disobedience was, and what could have happened, then I am not being a good enough parent, and perhaps should be on trial for that.
What punishments do you remember from your own childhood? For me, it is by far the ones that hurt my rear end the most. Sure, there were other punishments such as restrictions, and they were not fun at all, but I honestly do not remember any of those instances as vividly as the spanking of a loving parent with the Jokari paddle. Yes, I even remember the name of the paddle, so effective was this punishment. It is a very dense, layered, heavy, thick, menacing, albeit ergonomic, paddle from a tethered ball game named Jokari. (see pictures)
I rarely made the same mistake (I mean the big ones, here…we’re not perfect, any of us) twice, thanks to this paddle.
Did I hate my parents for it? Not one bit. Did I think for a minute that they hated me for my mistakes? It never crossed my mind for a second. Did I actually enjoy getting spanked? Heck no! I remember that, if I had time, I would run and put on extra pairs of underwear to dampen the blow, but it always hurt, more in my chest than on my rear, because I knew I let my parents down.
But I tell you right here and now, it takes a “drastic” measure such as this to get the point across to adolescents. Spanking wouldn’t work on adults, yet this law they are debating would not allow parents to spank their kids until they are 18 years old. Is it just me or does that seem completely bizarre and backwards? Who spanks an 18 year old son or daughter?
Let’s also take a look at sports groups and the military. They both employ training methods that require physical punishments for bad behavior or lack of performance. The terms “Drop and give me 20”, or “Give me 100 down-up-downs” don’t make worse athletes or soldiers, they make better ones. The punished involved in these scenarios will try much harder to not make the same mistake to avoid the same punishment again.
What about the parents who decide not to spank their children? All I want to know is this, and I want you to dig way down deep and answer this one truthfully: Are you happy with the majority of your child’s behavior? Do you consider your child to be consistently disrespectful and rude or are they consistently courteous and respectful? Don’t get me wrong, spanking a child does not make them instantly perfect, not by a long shot. I still have to remind our kids daily of things they tend to forget about. And when they break one of the major rules (mostly centered around dishonesty), that’s when everything needs to stop and they need to be spanked and talked to.
Yes, I mention that they also need to be talked to, or the spanking is almost for nothing. They must understand why they are being spanked. They also need to know that they are still loved, no matter what. Perhaps the person championing the anti-spanking act is someone who has experienced abuse of this very important role. There is such a thing as spanking too hard and too much, and perhaps they wish to facilitate the enforcing of this rule by not allowing it at all. I am willing to try to see their side on this if it made sense, but so far it is ludicrous and takes away from family unity.
And now the big target I paint on my own back: Those of you that I know that do not spank your children, simply because you think spanking is wrong? Your children are brats. They are rude to me and others and it always gets under my skin when I have to bite my tongue when they offend (I also feel strongly that people should not overstep the boundaries of parenthood by discipling other’s children). Especially in my own house and when it affects my children. Do you know how hard it is to get my child to stop mimicking your rude child? No, I will not hold it against you that you made this decision, but I am finally speaking out, saying something about it. My kids are not better than your kids and neither is the opposite true. That is not the issue. The issue is that your methods aren’t working and it is affecting my family.
I’m all for trying to stop abuse in the home, but we can’t let legislators take away the thing that made us who we are today: the personalized and effective physical punishment of a loving parent. I will not raise my children with my hands literally tied by the government. The government shall not interfere in my family’s personal affairs, whether it be in the home with this proposed law, nor with mandatory “tolerance” classes at school, for things our family is taught to abhor. But that is another blog.