Friday, June 24, 2005

Don't Spare The Rod

What is this ridiculous notion that corporal punishment is child abuse? What idiot came up with this idea? Why is this even on my mind? Well, last night I met with my older cousin Pauly who I hadn't seen in nearly seventeen years. My first question? "How's your son?" Wrong question. I learned that he dropped out of college, got arrested, had two kids, is so behind on child support that there is a warrant ou for his arrest, has another child on the way, is living with his parents and has no job. Did I mention that Pauly didn't believe in corporal punishment? He thought my mother was barbaric for spanking me. Yet, here I sit with no criminal record, a good job, an undying love and respect for my mother, a beautiful well-mannered son who is an honor roll student, an athlete, a writer, and who loves his father very much, a new daughter and a girlfriend whom I support so that she can raise my daughter, two cars that are paid for and my own house. What is the true barbarism? Raising a child without instilling in them any notion of consequences and repercussions for misbehavior so that they grow up to be parasites on society or just generally miserable human beings or giving them a swat on the ass when they are young so that they understand the relationship between thier actions and reward and punishment? I look at the child screaming at his mother in the grocery store and throwing a tantrum on the floor because she won't give him the brand of cereal he wants and I see a future carjacker, drug dealer, or mugger. I look at the kid who strikes his mother when he doesn't get what he wants and I see a future abuser of women. I look at the little girl that screams at her father for embarrasing her in the mall and I see someone's future ex-wife. I think the children of today suffer from a severe lack of parenting. Today we are quicker to medicate a bad kid and diagnose them as ADD than to discipline them. We are quicker to put them in front of a television set or a video game than to sit them down and teach them something or take them out and do something with them or (God forbid!) give them chores to do. We are breeding a generation of mean, lazy, selfish kids and it is our fault. Not the educational system or the judicial system or the chemist who hasn't come up with the right drug to cure childhood. It is the lazy stupid parents who won't put a foot in thier kid's asses when they fuck up in school. Who won't wash thier mouths out with soap or make them drink Castor Oil when they talk back or use foul language. Who won't take the junk food out of thier hands and make them eat thier vegetables. Who won't take the TV remote and the video game controller out of thier hands and make them read a damn book! This world is a perfect argument for abortion. Not everyone should be a parent. It should be a privilege reserved for the qualified. It should require a certfication class and an aptitude test. Anyone who says "Wait until your father gets home!" or "You're going to get a time out young man!" should never be allowed to reproduce again. Soap box vacated.


Monica said...

Wow -- I happen to agree with you on this, but I think the line between a swat on the butt and child abuse is a fine one. When I was a kid, nuns had free reign over disciplining kids, and for the most part it worked. However, there was this one nun who used to bash kids' heads into the blackboard, or whack them upside the head with this huge ring she wore. So for every person with good intentions there's a psycho out there who will go too far and ruin everything for everyone else.

I work with Child Psychiatrists, and most of the child cases that come through here are kids who are behavior problems is class and at home. I can't tell you how many times I heard one of the shrinks mutter, "That kid just needs a good slap on the ass." These kids kick and slap and thrown tantrums and scream. Hell, half the time this happens on my train ride home!

Thanks for the thoughts. :)


Wrath said...

Thanks for posting Monica. Obviously, I would never condone child abuse. I actually think that the most abusive parents are the ones who are at first most hesitant to strike thier kids. So, they wait until their kids are completely out of control and they are absolutely enraged before they go to discipline them and that is how child abuse begins. Don't tell your kids something five or six times and then discipline them once you are royally pissed off at not being obeyed. Tell them once and if they don't listen then discipline them right away before you get mad. That has been my approach with my first kid and not only did I find that my stress level never got out of control I also found the number of times that I had to repeat myself drastically reduced and the number of times I therefore needed to raise a hand to my child likewise reduced. At ten years old he may get a swat on the arm or leg once or twice a year.

Liz the Brit said...

Have you ever taken time to research the opposite point of view on this issue?

Well worth a look I do assure you!

Wrath said...

Welcome Liz,

Yes, I have researched the opposing point of view. That is largely why I believe as I do. Those opposed to corporal punishment invariably have children bereft of all discipline whereas the link between corporal punishment and children who grow into abusive adults is completely insubstantiated. In fact statistics would show the exact opposite unless of course you include stats from those kids who were abused and there is a difference. I too recall when corporal punishment was practiced in schools. Care to know what the result was? Attentive children and teachers who did not feel as if their lives were in danger every time they entered a classroom. As a martial arts instructor I have dealt with children of all walks of life and I can always tell the kids whose parents spank and those who don't or do inconsistently or began too late in the child's development. Those are the kids who don't pay attention, who have to be told something a dozen times before they do it, who give up easily and always look to their parents to rescue them from anything too strenuous. Pampering your children seldom makes them love or respect you more and most often the exact opposite is true. They grow up disrespecting their parents and hating them for any digression from their will. Pampering your children does not create healthy happy kids but most often it creates maladjusted monsters who grow up to overcrowd our jail cells. They grow up without respect for anyone and believing the world should bend to their wills. Everytime I meet a parent that does not believe in corporal punishment they are invariably toting along a screaming menace that no adult can stand to be in prolonged proximity of and invariably they ask me how I managed to have such well-mannered well-adjusted kids. "I spank their asses. That's how."

Sandra said...

Wow. I don't even know how I stumbled in here but I'm glad I did. Great site, great ideas, great writing.

I totally agree with your views on corporal punishment. I realize that you aren't talking about drawing blood or breaking bones. Just good old-fashioned ass-whuppings when they're deserved. If more parents still did this, we'd see a lot less out-of-control, smart-ass kids. A tiny drop of fear mixed with a whole lot of love can be a powerful combination, you know?