Saturday, February 19, 2011

How DO You Go About Raising a Child These Days?

So there I was this morning---in the bed at 4:00 and wide awake.  As I debated whether to get up or try to go back to sleep, this old song came into my head:

         School Days
              Will Cobb and Gus Edwards, 1907

School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days;
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic,
Taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick.
You were my queen in calico;
I was your bashful barefoot beau;
You wrote on my slate
"I love you so!"
When we were a couple of kids.

As I pondered the words to this delightful old song, I started realizing just how much things have changed in our recent history.  The term "hickory stick" in the song refers to the preferred method of disciplining at the time.  Eventually, the hickory stick gave way to paddling; and, over the past 40 years or so, it has become illegal in most school systems to employ any type of corporal punishment in schools---or even at home.

And, that got me to thinking about how impossible it would be these days to raise a child.  Not that I think corporal punishment is a wonderful thing---I don't.  But what does a parent do when the child purposefully and deliberately disobeys and becomes defiant?

We have all read stories about parents who whacked their little Johnny on the seat of the pants to get their attention, and were hauled off to the hoosegow.  We have all heard about Child Protective Services seeking to remove a child from the home of loving parents because the parents believe spanking has a place in the overall disciplining of their child.

If a child flips the parents a figurative (or literal) finger, what can be done?  If little Joanna decides she is not going to school ever again, can the parents make her go?  How?

My dad used to use his belt to get my attention.  I didn't like it, but it did get my attention when nothing else would.  Now, looking back, it seems like I was raised the right way. 

The bible is a pretty darn good book.  Proverbs 13:24 and 23:13-14 both encourage corporal punishment by use of "the rod".  Hmmm.

Many people these days consider it to be child abuse if any kind of corporal punishment is employed.  Many others consider it child abuse if any kind of discipline is used on a child.  The bible seems to indicate that it is child abuse if punishment and discipline are NOT used.



  1. Just another reason I'm grateful we didn't have kids... So much pressure! :)

  2. Whew! I am so glad my child raising days are over! I wish I had a perfect answer. My daughter was good most of the time, the worst thing she was guilty of was bringing all kinds of stray creatures home. (No you may not bring that snake inside the house and I will unlock the door and let you enter after I am sure you don't bring the snake with you) !

  3. I don't have children, but this 'time out' methods used today seems totally useless.

  4. Yes, it is difficult. We had CPS called on us over 25 years ago...because a neighbor MISUNDERSTOOD a situation. My husband and I took our two little girls with us to visit his parents for the weekend. A neighbor THOUGHT we left the girls at home. We, of course, didn't. But one day I got a visit from the police who didn't bother to tell me anything. They had a "tip" and needed to verify that my kids were "okay". They went through the whole house. (Yes, this was in America) My cabinets, refrigerator, etc. I had to remove all my kids clothing so they could check for possible "bruises"! It was horrible. I was so shocked and perplexed, one officer finally had mercy on me and at least told me WHY they came in the first place. Of course, nothing was wrong and they subsequently didn't find anything. But we continued to be on a "bad list" for 10 years. "Standard procedure". We had no money for a lawyer, and don't know that that would have made a difference anyway. It was so mortifying.

    I refused to let that intimidate me. Not so much because I was "strong", I suspect. More because of my quick willingness to "forget" and put things behind me. I think that is just because I had a very emotionally traumatic childhood myself and tended to "repress" anything unpleasant for my entire life.

    I loved my girls freely and showed it a lot. It was seldom that they needed "corporal" punishment. But when they did - I would give them a "pop" on the behind, immediately. I did this when they were toddler age and still wearing diapers. Just the "sound" of the spanking on their diapered bottoms was enough to do the trick. By the time they were out of diapers, and could understand words well, I could implement other forms of discipline.

    I know the fact that they were very loved and felt it, was huge. I wrote a paper when I was a senior in High School. It was to be on the best form of discipline.

    I found an article RE: "Who's Who" in America. That particular article was specifically talking about discipline. What is the form of discipline that results in the most well-behaved and well-rounded kids? They were very surprised by what they found.

    They looked at all the "Who's Who" kids for "X amount of years". They discovered ONE thread that all the kids had in common with each other.

    It wasn't discipline...discipline is important, but different people choose to implement it in different ways.

    The ONE thread that was in common between all those intelligent, well adjusted, happy kids found in the "Who's who" article was...


    Hmm...God is love. Gee, I wonder if there is a connection?

    God Bless You~

  5. Although mine are all adults I think they have a harder time raising their children than I did.
    We didn't believe in smacking a child but to sit them down and discuss what they did was wrong and why, Also there is more child abuse coming to the fore .........sometimes within the family home, I don't know the answer to your question but I'm pleased mine are adults.

    Enjoy your Sunday.

  6. would jesus hit a child? i'd surely doubt that!=)

    though i'm not a parent, i'm going to give my opinion.=) i have many years experience with children of all ages. i understand some "misbehaviors" are natural. why, they see it all around them, of course they are going to pick up some naughty behaviors! a nice "talking to" is much more beneficial than a spanking. they need to understand WHY we don't do that - sometimes we assume children know much more than they do.

    continual acting out is more than just wanting to be defiant or naughty - it's usually a sign of a deeper issue. showing a distrauqht child that violence is an acceptable reaction to frustration is not the best idea.

    though i'd like for parents to deal peacefully with their children, i am against public officials getting involved. seems they usually make things worse. i have firsthand experience with how they deal with families in inner-cities. very little compassion, very much corruption. don't get me started...

    have a wonderful night!=)

  7. Strange, the problem with my blog. I want to know what's going on there.

    But thanks for the note.

    Have a beautiful Sunday and all the best

    Bless you

  8. I think this is one question that each parent must answer on their own. I didn't use spanking as a means of disciplining my children, but it was because my children listened to reason and obeyed the few rules we had. I know my husband and I were lucky, but if I may add a couple of things. Consistency is important and it is important to remember who the parent is when things get dicey. It's also important to realize that what works with one child won't work for all. That keeps the creative juices flowing :-). I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  9. There is a big difference in punishing your child and "beating" or "abusing" your child. I think the Bible's way is the only way to raise children as long as all punishment is dealt with in love and not anger. Great thought provoking post. God bless, Lloyd

  10. Hi Clint -

    My vote is for the content of the pages of the Holy Bible. It is never wrong.