Gut Rumbles

May 23, 2005

well put

It seems I've kicked off a stark either/or debate on corporal punishment with my last few posts. Some people seem to believe that ANY kind of corporal punishment is bad for a child and doing something such as administering a good ass-whuppin' when they screw up will damage their delicate psyches forever.

Others seem the think this way which is more in tune with MY philosophy. I also grew up in a time where I was taught to say "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir" and "please" and "thank you." I didn't learn my manners from "time-outs" or long discussions, either. I had those lessons pounded into my ass and they stuck with me.

Spanking a child is NOT child abuse. When Quinton was a baby, just learning to crawl around and get in trouble, he was fascinated with my stereo. When I was playing music on it, a lot of colored lights flashed on the amp, and he wanted to play with them. (I had a lot of Dr. Spock type parents tell me to move the stereo so that it wouldn't be so tempting to him. I called bullshit on that idea. I figured that if I could teach a dog not to shit in the house, I could teach my son to keep his hands off the stereo.)

I watched him crawl up to it, reach out his hand, and I would say, "NO, Quinton!" If he kept reaching, I slapped the back of his hand. "I said NO, Quinton." If he tried to defy me, he got another slap on the hand--- a little harder this time. "NO, NO!" I said. He finally got his mind right.

He would crawl up to the stereo, watch the flashing lights, put both hands behind his back and say, "No, no. No, no." He never offered to touch it after that and I never had to move it either. He always liked looking at the lights, but he never tried to stick his little hand in there again.

If THAT is "child abuse," then I'm guilty as hell. But a lot of people met my son for the first time at my mama's funeral, and every one of them said, "He is a well-behaved little gentleman." And he IS, because he had the right nerves stimulated during his formative years.

You're doing NO kid any favors if you don't set boundaries. Let 'em grow like wild grass and that's exactly what they'll become.


A-man, that exchange, to teach boundaries, was effective. Good on you. What is more telling about your post is the love you feel for your son, your pride in being a good father.

Posted by: Bonita on May 23, 2005 11:14 AM

Spare the rod, spoil the child. Nuff said

Posted by: gravdigr on May 23, 2005 11:18 AM

Hard to find an adult these days, most just want to stay kids and not be responsable for a damn thing. I am sure some bitch on a budget will jump on her broom stick and harp about child abuse. We fucked up when we gave them the vote.

Posted by: James Old Guy on May 23, 2005 11:20 AM

Yeah, what Bonita said....

And I know (for all his bravado) Rob wouldnt thrash his kid....

Posted by: Ruth on May 23, 2005 11:22 AM

Most of the adults I know need a good spanking, if not a long sentence.

Posted by: Brett on May 23, 2005 11:29 AM

My parents love me. Knew that about my Dad until the day he died. Still know it from Mom. Neither one liked swatting me, but both did when they thought the situation required it. I can vividly remember those occasions, which was exactly the point. Their intention was to engage my attention more fully, with a stinging sensation as a side-effect. It worked. I precisely remember what behavior I was incented to not do ever again.
I swatted my kids from about 3 to about 8. Neither one of them needed it again after 8, because there is no doubt in their minds that they would prefer that I get their attention via their ears rather than via their backsides.
Both are really good kids. Both understand right and wrong. Both are capable of restraint and good judgement when needed, even though at now 13 and 10, they are both funny and energetic.
Care enough about your kids to do something that you consider unpleasant at the time, as a downpayment on a better future.

Posted by: Jack in TX on May 23, 2005 01:39 PM

My daughter was about 12 when she was watching a talk show that I won't mention the name of but it starts with an O. O was on a tirade about how humiliating it must be to a child to be spanked. My daughter pondered that for a moment and then said in a stern voice to the TV, "If my behavior is humiliating to my mother then the fact that she humiliates me with a spanking is pretty fair."

When she realized that I had heard her she asked me to pretend like I hadn't heard what she had said.

So far so good. She's still a model young adult. I am knocking on wood here. The minute you start to gloat is the minute that you get a gut full of humility.

:::knocks on wood:::

Posted by: Susie T on May 23, 2005 03:30 PM

EXACTLY. If you don't set limits for your children, they will spend their lives defying society's limits -- whether it's common courtesy or laws.

Posted by: Sarah on May 23, 2005 05:48 PM

Rob - I grew up in the same kind of family. Born and raised in Wichita with both parents of Southern upbringing, (Dad-Texas and Mother-Missouri), and was brought up to say "yes sir" and "no Ma'am" at an early age, to stand when a lady entered a room, and to open doors, light cigarettes, etc. (This got me into an interesting discussion with Gloria Steinem years later, but that's another post). I raised my kids the same way and the best compliment I ever got was at a restaurant when they were about 5 and 2 and people at other tables said they had never seen such well-behaved children. They need, (and thrive in), a world of boundaries and parents who forego their duties are doing their children a major disservice. All the best, Terry

Posted by: Terry Reynolds on May 23, 2005 05:59 PM

Congratulations on your dividend, Susie. I bet that's a moment you never forget.

A-MEN, Rob. I don't suppose you asked the "experts" what to do when the crawler got big and mobile enough to reach the stereo after you'd moved it.

I can just picture their homes with everything hanging from the ceiling and the kids running wild.

Posted by: StinKerr on May 24, 2005 02:55 AM

Amen! 'nuf said.

Posted by: dawn on May 24, 2005 07:34 PM

It's nice to hear that there ARE some people who aren't raising brats. I didn't raise my kids with the same philosophy but I did spank 'em sometimes.

I did have a child where spanking made no difference. At that point I had to restructure discipline with the goal that I just had to make damn sure that the child was unhappy enough with the results that they might consider not repeating the misbehavior.

My teenager understands my position on this and is the best behaved child around: she knows I'll be very inventive about making her life miserable.

Posted by: Susan on May 25, 2005 12:36 AM
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