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Spare the rod, support the child

By Maya Porter | Staff Reporter
On March 8, 2018

As a child, I exhibited bad behavior verbally and physically, but my parents never punished me for it any form. Our household consisted of five kids in total combined through marriage and four residing in the home. My stepdad's initial form of punishment with his children was the traditional beating and spanking followed by the usual bible scripture spewed at kids by their parents, Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes”, this same scripture has been translated through generations as “spare the rod, spoil the child”.

Science-based Medicine article Corporal Punishment in the Home: Parenting Tool or Parenting Fail states that spanking and beating reflects the poor coping skills of the caregiver rather than the behavior of the child. Kids were more likely to be beat at more extreme levels for petty mistakes due to a caregiver's mental and emotional instability at the time.

Although this seems like the wisest way to teach a child a lesson and ensure they never behave badly again, it doesn’t actually work that way. Physically striking a child does not explain to them the wrong in their actions, instead, it implements the idea of fear for your parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

Much like myself, some people have never experienced punishment of any kind. Freshman Malik Mitchell said he never received any discipline due to his fairly good behavior.

“Usually we just talked out my problems. It had a positive impact on me but some people are affected by abuse from their parents.”

My mother never allowed my step dad or anyone else to punish her kids. Instead, my mother talked with us about the future consequences of our actions in a calm manner and questioned our motives for what we’d done.

Others have been raised under this same ideology. First-year veterinary technology scholar Justin Gilbert said his mother made him write what he did wrong about 3000 times.

“I wasn't allowed to leave my room until I finished, which took about two to three days. It helped me learn right from wrong and helped my calligraphy skills at an early age."  

This technique and others like it that don’t involve physical violence, is one that should be passed down through generations in place of beatings if we want our future generations to understand their wrongdoings and grow from their mistakes in a healthy way.


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