Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?
February 17, 2011 in Parenting
For most of us who grew up in the 70′s the world of parenting was much different than today.¬† Another set of rules existed, growing up we had the freedom that the kids of today miss out on, it’s sad.¬† There was very little screen time(a good thing)¬†and most parents sent us kids outside to run wild.¬† The instructions we were given¬†were to not go further than a block, or into someones home without permission,¬†which kept parents knowing where we were and it was simple enough for moms to stand on their front step and holler for us to come home.¬† No pre-arranged “play-dates” were made, if you wanted to play with a friend, you would simply ring their doorbell, this was¬†calling on someone.¬† Today’s technology has created fear and laziness among youth and parents alike, it has its uses, without it where would we be, I know.
I love the imagery of the Justice card from The Housewives Tarot deck.¬† No groundings were issued back then,¬†when it came time for discipline most of us were hit, either by a hand, hairbrush, spoon, whatever was handy.¬† It wasn’t called child abuse but spanking.¬† You got off easy if it was a fast one from your mom and knew that you were in real deep trouble if you were told,”Just wait ’til your father comes home!”¬†¬†It wasn’t uncommon to see a mother¬†swiftly give a smack in public either.¬† No one gawked in disgust at the mom, instead we all assumed that the child had deserved it.¬†¬†In grade three a girl started a petition circulating among the students asking us to sign it if we wanted some one else to teach us gym.¬† None of us liked this teacher, he was more like a drill sergeant but we wouldn’t sign it because we were in fear of the repercussion’s.¬† That teacher found out and slapped that girl so hard across the face that the mark remained for the rest of the day.¬† Yes, he took it too far(as a teacher)¬†and wasn’t fired but transferred quietly to a boys school the following year.¬† I only knew one family that didn’t believe in spanking, I spent much of my time with their daughters until about grade 6.¬† After school¬†we would go over to their house where the mom would¬†give us Oreo cookies and other delicious treats while we watched Transformers on TV which none of the other moms would ever let us do, I thought these¬†girls really had the life.¬† ¬†One of them ended up having a quiet abortion at the young age of eleven.¬† I lost track of them after that(and slimmed down in the process)¬†and have no idea how the rest of their adolescence was spent.
That brings me to today.¬† We have supposedly “better” parenting techniques and discipline usually brings a time out, or a grounding off electronics.¬† Most parents would never fathom the thought of spanking, myself included, deeming it to be abusive.¬† Many children don’t seem to have the same level of respect regarding their behavior.¬† When was the last time that you witnessed a child in a grocery store having a temper tantrum so massive and loud that the entire store was privy to it?¬† I’m willing to bet that it wasn’t that long ago. ¬†How about the¬†cheeky manner in which many children use when speaking to their elders?¬† Or the child who is aggressively insolent towards¬†their parent¬†and follows it up by hitting or kicking them?¬† Is our style of parenting today really better?¬† I’m starting to wonder.