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Tuesday
Dec252007

Spare the rod, Spoil the child?

For a long, long while, I have wanted to speak my mind regarding this subject but being the 'I prefer not to step on other people's toes' kind of person, I hesitated. Then, if I don't, it'll always bother me. Not that it will not bother me even if I did..................babbling, babbling, incoherence........ Let me begin again.................

"SPARE THE ROD, SPOIL THE CHILD" We've heard this so many times but these days it's not politically correct to do so. in fact, in certain parts of the world, one can get thrown into jail for doing so.

When I was younger (don't ask me how long ago because it's so long that I won't tell) I was spanked on the grand total of ONE time. I remember it clearly since it was just that one time. I was 7 or 8 years old. I had a bout of illness, so I sort of got comfortable with staying at home. I told mum I didn't want to go to school. She dragged me into the back store room and spanked the 'comfortableness' out of me. I never tried that line again.

My father never spanked any of us. When he was young he had more than his share of it from his parents that he swore never to lay a hand on us. So it was mum who was the disciplinarian in the house. And she spanked when she saw fit to do so.

Is it so wrong to spank? Or is it wrong NOT TO spank? Ya, ya I know about the psychology thingy. How it'll hinder the child's development. My brother was spanked quite a fair bit but I don't see him taking the gun and robbing the bank. Have these kids who takes guns to schools and kill ever been spanked? Or did they turn out that way because they were spanked too much?

Don't get me wrong. I am not for domestic violence. I stopped spanking once my kids turned 12. Why 12? I am not sure. I figured there has to be some cut-off point somewhere. Maybe spanking should not be the focus for this posting. Maybe should be "HOW TO BRING UP A CHILD"

I have a friend who's son, when he was 3 used to run wild. She'll come over to my house for coffee with her son. He will be running wild, touching this, playing with that. She'll be sitting with me, chatting and then will say, "Darling, don't touch aunty's crystal" But he does not listen at all, and continued to 'touch aunty's crystal. And aunty (ME!) will be sort of nervous in case 'darling' drops the crystal which incidentally is a wedding gift. Point is, my way would be, "don't touch" followed by taking it away to a safer place. Darling's mum believes in not curbing the child's exploratory instinct. However, many years later, 'darling' turned out well.  He was not one of those who took guns to school and killed people.

When David and Alison were younger, I had 2 wooden spoons. I made them write their own names on it and hung them in the kitchen. I gave up canes because they kept getting misplaced. Later I found where they were 'misplaced'. They were slipped under my bed. The mattress is heavy so I hardly move it except for a major spring clean. David needed less spanking than his sister mainly because he needed less persuasion. The very mention of the cane/wooden spoon will stop his mischief but Ali will push and see how far she can go till I react. 2 children from the same parents with 2 very different personalities. Point being, every child is different, therefore different strategies are needed to nurture them. I am glad to say that they are not one of those who took guns to school and killed people.

We were in a restaurant a few weeks ago. This family came in with a 3 or 4 year old child. He was screaming. He wanted something but he was screaming so much, I could not understand what it was. They sat down at a table, Screamer continued. Screamer's mum tried to pacify him by giving him this and that. He threw them across the table. The rest of the family (presumably grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, father etc) tried to pacify him too but they were generally quite nonchalant which made me think this must happen frequently. What should Screamer's mum have done? Spank him? I am not sure of that. Even I do not spank my children in public. Point is, Screamer's family have 'allowed' this to happen. Rod was spared? Hence child was spoiled? I don't know. Will he turn out to be one of those who will take guns to school and kill?

A few days ago, in KLCC, I witnessed a similar situation. This time Screamer II is about 10 years old. He was throwing a mega-tantrum. Again I saw mum pacifying him. Screamer I was about 3 or 4 years old. At that age, one can perhaps understand that the child is going through some transition between toddler to young child and have not quite grasped it yet. But if not taken care of he could well turn into Screamer II which was SO unpleasant. I can quite confidently say that Screamer II WILL turn out to be one of those who will take guns to school and kill and I am so glad we are not a gun-totting nation.

We all have different ways of bringing up children. Who am I to shove my ways down somebody else's throats. I have always reminded my own children that I never went to school for parents. I never took any courses on it. For every experience that they go through, I am also going through it the 1st time, so they gotta help me along too. 

With all the goings-on in the world, is it because there's lack of discipline? With no discipline, the whole world is spinning out of control? Who is supposed to administer the discipline? Parents? But how can they do it if they can be sued by their own children for doing so? Teachers? Last I heard, kids have such lack of respect for their teachers that they are threatening them with bodily harm. Government? So we employ more police to handle our kids? 

I shudder to think of a day will come when kids like Screamer I and II will be all grown up and take over.  

Reader Comments (2)

Erm... why is there a recurring theme of 'take guns to school and kill people'? Hhehhehe.... ^_^

Growing up with 'spare the rod, spoil the child', as much as I know it is very unPC, but I think I believe that it is true. >__<

Hope you had a blessed Christmas!
December 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne
masking tape for screamer and screamer 2. yeah baby! :p
January 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterpL

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