Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

“He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24) and “Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

My parents didn’t beat, slap or physically discipline any of us and I have never hit any of mine. I’ve yet to see it really work in the long term.
So, what about you? Were you beat/slapped as a child? Do you, or would you, slap your own child? If so, why?

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13 thoughts on “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

  1. I got the odd slap on the face from my mother. Never hard enough to hurt, just enough to surprise me.

    Can’t say I’m against that sort of thing. Kids hurt each other a lot more playing.

  2. Well, my parents spanked me when I was little, and while I can’t account for all the other factors in my life, I think it contributed to me becoming the virtuous person I am today.

    The think to remember is to never punish out of anger, but to remain calm and understand the nature of the punishment.

    The advantage of physical discipline over non-physical, especially while the child is very young, is that they don’t understand the entirety of the punishment and their actions, but they do understand pain. And its through conditioning that the foundations of a child’s ethical structure is constructed.

    Obviously as the child reaches a certain age and mental capacity to understand, physical punishment should be replaced with non-physical ones.

    1. Why would I use violence to discipline when I’m not angry? Conditioning to physical pain delivered by a parent is a good thing?

      My parents raised 5 kids w/out physical discipline and I raised 3 boys w/out using physical discipline and all of us turned out just fine. None of us ever went to prison, abused drugs or any of the other things that scare the hell out of parents, for their kids.

      Have you any idea of what trauma/violence does to a child’s brain? It damages it. The very fact that a very young child can’t “understand the entirety of the punishment and their actions” is reason not to traumatize them.

  3. Just to clarify I am strongly against parents beating their children: I think that’s sick. But the odd little gentle slap seems pretty harmless to me.

  4. My parents never beat me, they might have spanked me once but I cannot remember. What I do remember that none of the discipline was physical, just emotional and/or psychological. I was more afraid of disappointing my parents than I was afraid of being spanked.

      1. Thirded. My dad never hit any of us and he only yelled at me exactly once in my life. But with just one look from him, we knew that we need to shape up or be in trouble.
        But I think there were some other factors to that, too. He never made any unreasonable or arbitrary rules. He always made it clear that the rules he did set were for our own good. If there were problems at school or something, he always stood up for me. In other words, he earned out respect instead of trying to beat it into us.

        1. Exactly. Dad always stood up for me at school, someone needed to. I sometimes wonder if I’m all there…there. I was painfully shy. I couldn’t talk in front of people I didn’t know, let alone read or participate in group activities. Teachers were always calling home to complain about my lack of participation and “attitude”. Then dad would have to go in and let them know I wasn’t retarded and did, in fact, know how to read and speak.
          Neither parent yelled at us, they taught us what as expected of us and understood that we weren’t always going to live up to it.
          I didn’t find there was much need for discipline (of any kind) when your kids know what is expected of them and live in a world they understand. Home is our safe place, where you can always show up and find people that care. Most discipline problems aren’t because kids aren’t spanked enough; it’s due to the kids not knowing what’s going on and who they can trust.

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