Spare the Rod or Spank the Child?

Facebook page Tough Cookie Parenting posted this gem;

My initial response was to cheerfully offer to go down to  a few of the local crack houses or drug sales street corners and allow some of the junkies to tell their experiences with getting disciplined as a child because I’ve noticed there seems to be a lack of on-line representation from that group on this subject (probably because of the whole; “I’ve got no money to buy a computer or internet because I’m spending it on drugs” thing).

But then I realized I could say something a bit more direct on the topic based on my own personal experience.

My brothers and I got this sort of treatment when we were kids.

The end result is it made us more wild than we already were as we saw the entire world from a context of ;

“how not to get caught so we don’t suffer horrible consequences” and because of our resentment over what we perceived as being wrongly treated we ramped up our delinquent behavior.  Looking back I now realize the humiliation of such punishment was a blow to our fragile, developing manliness so we increased our aggressive behavior to prove to others (and ourselves) that we were still a bunch of tough guys and not just a bunch of milquetoast mamma’s boys.

So while you could say we turned out okay (some may dispute that) we definitely got into our fair share of trouble and being physically punished and humiliated for it did nothing to set us right.

No. We saw it as a gross treatment/ humiliation/ injustice and thus reacted accordingly.

In fact, our parents decided that such physical punishment was a bad idea, ceased to do it and tried different tactics based on the then newly developed theories in child psychology (as well as some old fashioned techniques involving the effects of a hard day’s labor on the developing spirit).

I’m not saying those tactics necessarily worked.  We would often have a good laugh over them and what we felt was their stupidity.  They certainly led to a great deal of grousing.  However it is notable that our developing delinquent behavior ceased to swiftly grow.  We never stopped but we did plateau and managed to avoid ending up in a psych ward or a prison cell (or dead)  like some others who weren’t as lucky as us.

Keep in mind I’m not saying that those of us who ended up dead or locked up ended up that way because of childhood corporal punishment.  But did it play a part in the path they went down in life?

Probably.

But in our case, beatings definitely did not have the rose-colored glasses effect that “tough cookie parenting” and its supporters claim it always has and I suspect our reaction is more the norm than the reactions these defenders of child-corporal punishment think are the norm.

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