“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chastenth him betimes”. Proverbs 13:24. This is the bible extract thought to be the origin of the modern day “spare the rod and spoil the child”.
To me the original is a great deal more subtle than its latter definition. So many parents these days couldn’t care less or simply have better things to do than bother to discipline their offspring. We see the results of this selfish complacency all around us.
Spoiled brats who have had everything lavished on them simply to keep them as quiet and ‘unseen’ as possible. These are the types who, in their early ‘tattooed’ teens, fall out of expensive clubs in the early hours – pour scorn on those less fortunate and make a mockery of the ‘Brit Awards’.
At the other end of the scale the un-chastised victims of these self-serving parents can be seen roaming the streets terrorising neighborhoods and looting shops. All of these youngsters have one thing in common; they are basically unloved, by uncaring parents, who simply can’t be bothered.
Children need discipline. They cry out for guidance and boundaries in the bewildering, frightening, almost unfathomable circumstances most of them have manifested in. To not give them what they crave is tantamount to child abuse in its worse possible form. If you truly love your children, then it is your absolute duty as a parent to instill discipline.
If this means a slap on the bum or the back of the legs then, providing it is a last resort (and recognized by the child as such), then I am all for it. What you are actually showing them is that you happen to care. I don’t mean, I hasten to add, severe beatings delivered in anger with the sole purpose of causing pain. This type of violence only leads to more aggression and even less respect. I’m talking about the odd proverbial clip around the ear of the type delivered by the bobby on the beat, when he packed an erring youngster off back home (good ol’ days or what!).
I have had six children, all of whom got a clip when I felt it was deserved. None of them have chastised me for it in later years. The eldest four have all turned out to be confident and respectable adults and I have no reason, God willing, to expect any less from my two 13-year-olds. The fact that they are truly loved is the most important requirement of a child. Give ‘em a clip, then, when the time is right, give ‘em a big hug and a kiss. There are multitudes of ways to show you care and oddly a little light physical chastisement can often turn out to be one of the more persuasive.
‘He that loveth him chastenth him betimes’. Of course it makes sense.
Keep the faith
Love Leapy email@example.com