Growing up a child in Kansas, the corporal punishment system was something I got to know when I was a four year old boy in 1959. I did not have to watch Law and Order to know the amazing detective work and prosecution the Law could deliver to a criminal.
My dad had a belt named Law and Order. My mother could go toe-to-toe with any New York DA and CSI to come up with a compelling case on why I would not only be getting my ass whipped by her moments later, but also my dad when he got home from work.
There was usually a pre-spanking from my mom, when she would set the tone if I did something wrong. She’d whip me a bit and dare me to talk back. She would then say, “Oh, just wait until your father gets home.”
I would sit in my room, scared you know what-less, waiting for the sound of that Chevy to pull in the drive way, them to talk and to hear my door open. I knew that padding the pants was no help. I don’t think President Eisenhower would have even allowed SRS to exist in those days. Even if it did, I know I would have got my little scheming butt whipped for calling them too.
Instead of thinking I was above the law, as a child I learned to respect the law. It is something that was instilled in me by my parents and growing up in the society at that time.
The first time I did something wrong, I was a kid. Our neighborhood just received sidewalks and naturally, I took my bike out to ride it. Mom just happened to come out when I was basically doing BMX styled back-and-forths between the street’s opposing curbs. I was not looking out for oncoming traffic, mom came out to tell me to do so and I told her to ‘Oh, cork it. I’ll be fine.’ I am not sure at what point in my mind I thought I could talk to my mom like my childhood friend Chip, but I do remember being taken into the house and getting my first taste of law.
That day I learned an important lesson: mom will whip my tail if I do not look both ways before crossing the street. Dang, must be important. And never tell your mother to ‘Cork it’. To this day, I remember to look both ways before crossing a street and when I am hearing something important, to listen and respect what is being said.
My actual punishments during childhood were few and far in between, because both my parents were no strangers to bringing discipline. Doing chores, getting school work done, not talking back and generally being a ‘good thinker’ were all expectations. Even as a kid, I knew that choices such as doing drugs at school, drugging a girl and knocking her up and then laughing about it as a town covered it up, or walking around with pants that were 20 sizes too large were considered criminal in my parent’s eyes.
The Steubenville rape case is a prime example of things that would not have happened in my locale. If myself or any of the guys on the football team even joked about something like this, our parents would have had us all lined up in electric chairs, would have reached into heaven or hell to drag us back from the dead, all so they could spank our butts until we cried and begged to die again. And that is why our generation had less things like this.
So why is it that as we read this, there are radically misfit parents who believe in letting their kids call them ‘B*tch’, allowing their kids to run around all night and sleep wherever and with whoever they want, to dress like non-English speaking hobos who cannot find a decent fitting pair of pants and be general wastes of space? Where went the parental homes where talking back to you mom would get you slapped and family dinner was not something that just happened on Leave It To Beaver or Cosby Show reruns?
Too many parents of today are irresponsible, and too many social liberals are nosy and idiotic. Let’s look at this in a basic context: it is okay to have lofty ideals. It is fine to think that war is not needed and a maniacal man, let us say named Adolf Hitler, just needs to borrow some of your country for a bit and maybe move a few people to new housing while he reorganizes everything.
Then there is a point in time where you have to realize your lofty theories about progress and ‘sophisticated thinking’ is not how things work. Sometimes, a kid may need a timeout or a cool toy taken away. And then at times, you have to send in the ships, arm the soldiers and bring hell with a D-Day invasion the wrong will never forget.
Sometimes, you just need to whip your kid’s butt and they will get the lesson.
But the problem is that many of today’s youth do not know about discipline. They were raised in a society where the stinging wrath of mom and dad have been neutered by nanny-laws and child services. Sure, there is great difference between a reasonable swatting and what qualifies as physical abuse. For every time I did actually receive a spanking, and I speak as a counselor, not once was I abused: I simply got a swatting that I had coming.
And we see the decline in parenting ability in kids who did not learn discipline: laziness and unwilling to properly feed and watch their kids. American school children are doing worse in schools. In emergency rooms, inept mothers will constantly bring their kids in for a ‘quick fix’ instead of taking time to pull out Mentholatum, chicken soup and pure parental love to fix ‘the flu’. How is that childhood obesity via processed food issue working out these days?
Spanking is demonized by modern media. Some people in Valdorsta want to tell you when it is okay to spank your child. Others want us to believe that kids who are spanked have lower IQs! These stories are only the tip of a very large iceberg that threaten to deeply rip the hull of the parent-child relationship crucial to maintaining a functioning society.
Spanking is not and should not be a primary means of discipline: actually paying attention to your kids, talking, giving love and a good home is what parenting is all about. But should a kid run into the street to get a ball, a swift hand to the backside should not be a stranger. Quick lesson: swat, do not do that. Result, kid does not get swatted by a car if it happens again.
Good parents watch their kids closely, but kids are kids. They will somehow always find their ways into some sort of trouble: dangling over stair railings, ingesting a random something, cussing at you because a friend at school did it. A quick swat and show of authority is not a bad thing, but talking and letting them understand love you have for them even in those times is paramount.
That is what good parenting is all about.
Should America Constitutionalize spanking?
At time of report in early 2013, most polls show Americans split nearly 50-50 on the issue. There are concerns for pro-spanking: some parents do not know difference between reasonably disciplining their kids and being vindictive, abusive miscreants. There are parents who are not going to resort and commit to maintaining a home where discipline and structure is built through love, consistency in actions and strong support. These parents may just lash out at kids who only misbehave because, frankly, they have horrible parents in the first place. There are kids who have behavioral issues and will constantly challenge authority: these kids need a different type of support system and cannot be raised like Johnny Common Smith.
But it is the onus of responsibility for a good parenting home to know how and when to raise their kids. Some of our greatest generations were raised in an America where tough discipline was no stranger: just look at the generation I alluded to earlier, the Greatest Generation who fought during World War II and are basically the modern backbone of our present nation. You can still see these people out, the men opening doors for women. Always dressed nicely and always giving a strong sense of stability, respect and comfort. These are the elder grandparents of our world who are sadly, coming to their end.
What legacy will we have on the future? How will we raise our kids and leave the world’s ‘elders’ in future times. It may seem trivial, but when I say ‘It depends on our societal expectations of the home’, it means the world. It is how children are raised that will determine the future of our country, and as of now, we are going south in social development.
This modern society of PhD parenting, instead of common-sense parenting, is the culprit.