I am partial to spanking. Please don’t hit me for saying that, but it’s true. I mean, you know as well as I do that most people are forgetful, especially when it comes to things they don’t want to remember, especially kids. So, why not use the method most likely to get them to remember: the physical reminder? I learned from an early age to equate getting hit with having done something bad.
My childhood was memorable for many reasons, not the least of which were the spankings I received quickly and often. Both of my parents grew up in the school of “spare the rod and spoil the child.” In fact, I heard that exact phrase more times than I would care to admit. Of course, even when they weren’t beating me and I was well-behaved (admittedly not that often), I don’t think anyone would have classified my existence as spoiled. So, to me that didn’t fly, but it didn’t stop them from spanking me when I was bad.
There was a special science to spanking me, too. First, I would do something bad, like stick my tongue out at the mailman, or knock the living room lamp over, or get into the Kool-Aid and break the glass cabinet (oops!), or even lie about wetting my bed. Next, my mom would raise her voice, telling me I was going to “get it” when my dad got home. So, I would prepare for the wrath of my minister father, who during the day worked at the Salvation Army shelter, dealing with all kinds of horrible situations. I would feel guilty for giving him one more thing to deal with, not for whatever it was I had done to get in trouble in the first place. Then, he would get home, he and my mother would have “a talk,” after which I would get my spanking.
Pedro’s Paddle was my nemesis, a solid piece of wood that masqueraded as a lovely souvenir from South of the Border by day, but it was also the tanner of my backside by night. I would have nightmares of Pedro’s Paddle on nights after a spanking, it was that visceral of a reaction I had to that piece of wood. Indeed, one night during a particularly harsh spanking, Pedro’s Paddle split in two. For about five blissful seconds I thought that meant it was the end of the spankings. I was halfway through singing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah when my mom announced we were taking an “impromptu” return trip to South of the Border. Uh oh.
By the time we returned from the trip, I had learned what I think they wanted me to get all along, that I should probably just stop making trouble and tow the line. Yes, it took me a while, and one broken paddle (not to mention two broken yardsticks, but that’s neither here nor there), but the physical punishments did their assigned job, transforming me into a model citizen. Well, at least they taught me that I should be a lot more crafty so I didn’t get caught. That was the point, right?
7 thoughts on “Spare the Rod”
I believe spanking helped me become a better citizen also. But we won’t get into those times where I was falsely accused. Those spankings did nothing for me.
Exactly! I was just seething the whole time, thinking it should have been her instead of me. I’m still somewhat bitter about that, but I’m learning to let it go.
I try, Daryl. I try.
Wow, it amazes me the number of parent who think that inflicting pain and fear on children is a good way to instill values and self-control. These are supposed to be individuals that your value, not property that you can hurt to get your own way or achieve a goal quickly despite any residual negative outcome. Hitting children as “discipline” shows a distinct lack of creativity, empathy and good judgment and flies in the face of the recommendation of virtually every legitimate professional medical or psychological group who look at research and behavior to form judgments. I am always amused at those who justify hitting children by saying they were hit as children and look how good they turned out. Really? So good that you perpetuate a cycle of violence against children continuing and justifying the mistakes your own parents made. You’re like the cigarette smokers who justify their smoking by saying that because grandpa smoked all his life and never got cancer then the science on the link between smoking and cancer can’t be right. Spanking parents are not necessarily bad people just people who are content to rely on old methods even bad old methods and to try to justify them. We don’t hit wives, prisoner, soldiers or animals in a civilized society with impunity but we still hit kids…and try to pretend that it’s a good thing. If you are not part of the solution, you ARE the problem.
Oh yeah, and the graphic is particularly despicable. That you see some humor in that is appalling.
I do not see humor in the graphic at all. In fact, that was the point of it, that it isn’t funny.