Saturday, October 14, 2006

Spank Me!

"Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks!"

I was abused as a child. If that is, you believe common psycho/socio wisdom babble today. Memories of my 'scarred' childhood reveal that I physically received punishment for the following. . .

-|- Dropping rocks, leaves and stick into the outdoor AC unit's fan. - lesson learned: Air Conditioning in the south was more valuable than my hide. Something too about my actions being dangerous.

-|- Forging my parent's signature in 4th grade on a letter to my parents from the teacher. - lesson learned: I didn't practice that signature nearly enough and Dad's signature should have been attempted as my mom's flowing script (a'la the signers of the Declaration of Independence) was foolish to duplicate.

-|- For refusing to come home when my mother 'whistled' the signal. Well, that and when she picked me up by the belt loop of my britches to carry me home, I laughed as she tried to spank me crosswise with her other hand. Once the belt loop broke, she used my earlobe to lift my body out of the pinestraw blanketed dirt so that she could administer some discipline. I then realized just how much trouble I'd created for myself.

-|- For running away from my mother in a parking lot. Learned that cars have the right of way, despite what I may have heard.

Spanking is soooo taboo nowadays. I think its a tool that we've unfortunately relegated to the stereotypical abuse heap. And even if it is in your repertoire, you're not likely to admit it for the fear of someone sending child services to your home.

Kids are not little adults. They are emotionally driven, self-centered "me-monsters" that rarely see the consequence of their actions. As such, they are often immune to reason, especially when it originates from their parents. *At times*, the only thing they fear is pain.

Pain teaches us to not do things that hurt. Sometimes kids need to fear the punishment so that they don't do bad things with unimagined consequences.

Hypothetically for instance, the time my daughter was playing with an electrical socket. I could not convey to her the dangerous concept of electricity. And yes, shouting 'NO' stopped her in her tracks, but I needed to convey to her that she should never, ever consider playing or touching an outlet again. How? Fear that I'll spank her again for doing it. That'll do until she's older and I'm able to get her to conceive the danger of playing with electricity.

Like ANY good tool (a.k.a. guns, dynamite, pencils, poison/medicine, cars, etc.) that is misused or carelessly applied, bad things happen. You must make sure that the punishment fits the crime, that the punishment is appropriately connected with a bad behavior or event, and realize that one day spanking needs to be supplanted by discussion, critical decision making and education.

In fact I think there's too little spanking nowadays. I see plenty of kids running around fearless of consequences, even in church, without any concern for others. Some parents even need a good whuppin' too.

We turned out alright after all. Not to mention we didn't shoot up any schools. Granted, that's not likely the ONLY reason for this sad societilogical/psychological change in our population of children. But I see way too many coddled brats nowadays, second generation products of the Baby Boomer Generation, who first allowed their kids reach self-centered excess. We've replaced spankings with a self-esteem/entitlement philosophy. It really makes me wonder.