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Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2014
Every kid needs a spanking or twoPosted Friday, November 30, 2007, at 2:38 PM
This week I learned that spanking, as a means of correcting your child, may seem a bit old-fashioned and soon illegal in at least one state.
Massachusetts could become the first state to make it illegal for parents to spank their children. On Thursday at the Massachusetts Statehouse, the hearing for a bill to ban the practice was standing room only.
A nurse named Kathleen Wolf actually wrote the bill. She and others see corporal punishment as child abuse.
Are you kidding me?
I hail from a generation where parents didn't hesitate to "spare the rod" or cart you off to the "woodshed" when it was deemed necessary.
There's some biblical backing for that point of view.
The Bible tells us: "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24).
I don't see too much talk about "times outs" and other means of correction included in that statement.
Let me say also that while spanking is not illegal in this state, bruising or otherwise injuring a child is. There is a difference.
I also believe that spanking should never be administered when a parent is out of control. Parents sometimes need a time out too.
Growing up I got spanked, and looking back nearly every time I deserved it.
In my house, my Mom was the prosecutor, jury and judge when it came to handing out discipline for her young and sometimes mischievous boy who she was raising as a widowed mother after my Dad passed away when I was just 5 years old.
She tried the practice of grounding or taking away certain privileges, but when things got serious and needed immediate correction, spanking was the most effective means of discipline in my house.
Was I abused?
No, not at all.
It didn't take me long to realize that when I broke the rules of our house, disobeyed or was disrespectful that I fully expected to get a whipping. As a general rule, I was required to go out to the backyard and retrieve a small limb -- not too large and not too small -- from a sweet maple tree and bring it to my mother.
She would talk briefly about the insurrection for which I was being punished or corrected and then I would get a few whacks either on the legs or the bottom.
I remember she always prefaced the whipping by saying something like "this is going to hurt me worse than you" and you know, I never understood that until years later when I was a parent and had to paddle my own children.
I remember one particular padding incident that had a long lasting impression when I was a kid who was maybe 12 years old.
A friend and I got a hold of a couple of cigarettes and we climbed up into a peach tree in his backyard to experiment with "being cool" and decided to smoke them. Well, about halfway into our smoking adventure my friend's mother walked through the backyard and smelled smoke. She looked up into the tree where smoke from our cigarettes was billowing and immediately yelled at us and told us to quickly get down.
As our feet hit the ground, she grabbed both of us sternly by the arms and walked us into her kitchen and commenced to paddle our backsides with a leather belt. After she whacked each of us about a half dozen times, she told me I needed to go home.
I lived about a block away and when I got to my front steps, my mother was standing on the front porch and she wasn't smiling.
It seems my friend's mother had quickly called her on the telephone and informed her that she had caught my buddy and I smoking.
I was busted for sure.
My mother grabbed me. Told me to go get a "switch" from the maple tree and then she fired up my backside that was already aching from the earlier belt whipping.
I can say after that I had a different view of being cool when it came to smoking cigarettes after that.
Was I abused that day?
No I wasn't.
I was taught a lesson in terms I could understand.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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