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whatever happened to spare the rod, spoil the child?

26 answers

answers (26)

I think quite a bit of research debunked this parenting practice in favor of other disciplining techniques.
The phrase "Spare the rod and spoil the child" is not from the Bible but from Samuel Butler's "Hudibras", a 17th Century satirical poem. The poem, like his novel, The Way of All Flesh, was written to expose and denounce violence against children. Ironically, this phrase is now used to justify corporal punishment and other punitive actions against children.The best way to teach our children anything is through modeling. The practice of modeling empathy and respect when you interact with your children is the most effective way to teach them those values. Punishment, whether it's spanking or timeouts interrupt the connection between children and their parents. Violence, threats of violence, or withdrawing love (timeouts) create and perpetuate a culture of fear and anxiety in the family. Disciplining your child may get you what you want in the short term, but what will it get you (or your child) in the long term? 
in response to frances68:since when is a time-out considered withdrawing love from your child? spanking your child gets their attention immediately and lets them know that there are consequenses for their actions. you say that there should not be punishment involved with parenting. so i guess when someone commits murder, we should just let them walk away free instead of locking them up in jail? i assume that you don't believe in the death penalty. in some states, when you murder someone, your punishment is the death penalty. our government was aware of 9/11 even before it happened. they did nothing! after the event, our country became obsessed with capturing the bastards. children need to be aware that all their actions have consequenses, whether they are good or bad. simple as that. how do expect to teach them right from wrong?
back in the day, there was no such thing as Columbine. why? because parents put the fear of God in their children. you want to know why this country has turned so violent? it's due to the fact that spanking has been eliminated from most households. however, now research suggests that spanking leads to violent behavior. i'm sure you all remember hurricane katrina. my husband lived 2 blocks from the beach, and has told me countless stories about the aftermath.  neither the police, nor the military were around to help after dark. martial law was instated. everyone was left to fend for theirselves under martial law. you were told by the cops that if your house was broken into and ransacked, all you had to do was kill the intruder, and drag the body out to the curb. talk about taking out the trash.
First of all, this country has always been violent and was born out of violence. Secondly, no, I do not believe in the death penalty. I think it's a little frightening (and revealing) that the conversation so quickly moved from punishing one's child to murder and the death penalty. And yes, you are right - extensive research has shown that children who experience corporal punishment, spanking and hitting, are more likely to be violent and aggressive in their later years. Time outs are considered a way of withholding or withdrawing love because when you forcibly separate yourself from your child and tell him or her that you are not available until they "behave" you are creating a big disconnection in the bond that you have with your child. A two year old can't tell the difference between 5 minutes and an hour. This separation creates a huge amount of anxiety and emotional pain. " [physically and emotionally painful punishments] are based on getting kids to focus on the consequences of their actions to themselves, which is very different from raising children to think about how their actions will affect other people." Alfie Kohn, Unconditional Parenting. I absolutely believe that in being gentle with my child, he will learn kindness; in treating my child with respect, he will learn to be considerate to others; in allowing him to feel his feelings, he will learn empathy and compassion. It's definitely not always easy and I often fail. I am able to get support through Echo Parenting and Education and it has transformed my life. Check it out:
listen to this and then tell me that spanking is okay: -- do not play when children are present.
This article gives a very clear outline as to why spanking is not okay. Please read:
I am an advocate of time-outs and even spanking if necessary. I don't think you can generalize the type of punishment that works for your child (or any crime). Structure is essential for the development of a healthy (and well-adjusted) child and can be defined in a number of different ways; but most certainly is not taking away the love for our child. It is because I love my children that I teach them how to succeed in a society built on rules and that failure to follow rules has consequences.
I think that there is a big misconception in our culture that if you don't punish your children then you are a permissive parent that does not provide limits and rules in your family. I am a strong advocate for an entirely different way of thinking -- a parenting philosophy that is rooted in empathy and respect for the child and is supported by scientific research. When I say time outs are a form of withholding love, I am not saying that the parent does not love their child. A timeout disrupts the emotional connection between a parent and child. The parent knows that they will be separated from the child for five minutes. The child, especially a toddler and preschooler, has a very different conception of time and the threat of abandonment or long term separation is very real to them. The time between 2 and 6 years old is when they experience huge brain growth, especially in their middle brain or the emotional center. That is why we must give them as much emotional support as we can while still holding the limit. We need to show them helpful strategies to manage their anger instead of punishing them. Physical punishment and timeouts work in the short term but they are ineffective in the long term in regards to emotional and psychological health. You can find a lot of helpful information and support here:
So, my question is what do you do when your child hits another child?  What do you do when your child misbehaves?  You believe in rules and structure, but are there any consequences for breaking the rules? 


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