Tag Archives: parenting

Two-fer Tuesday: Suffer the Children by Miz Pink

pinkshirt-latina-girlFirstly my thanks to everyone who wished me well when Deke announced the arrival of Mini Pink Model 3 into the world. I probly shoulda responded over there but that post seems too old now so my thanks to you here instead. We’re all healthy and well and mostly happy (if you have kids you know why I’m qualifying that). And I hope to be sharing great tales from this the third and final round of child raising by yours truly.

I will also say that I might be more than a leetle grumpy right now and if that soaks through on to this post please bear with me. I’m feelin postpartum. No not postpartum depression (though I’ve been down that nasty piece of road before) but postpartum LIFE. Lack of sleep lack of timely showers lack of enough caffeine lack of ability to take certain medicines because I’m breastfeeding lack of personal time lack of my routines lack of….well you get it I think.

So, suffer the children, huh?  Hey Deke the little girl ain’t suffering right now but she’s putting Sir Pink and I thru the wringer.

But this is my topic for the first twofer Tuesday back on the job. And I actually have something to say that fits the topic I guess being that I’m a third time momma now.

Actually, TWO things…..

First, if you see me raising my voice to my child in public or just quietly scolding my child or even giving my child a swat on the behind do not, under any circumstances, get in my business. Sure, if I’m wailing on my kid with a full fledged butt whooping and you feel you must call some authorities or tell me to stop because the child is in actual danger, that I can understand. But you won’t find me doing that. And you certainly don’t have any business telling me how to speak to my child either. You don’t! I know lots of moms out there on the discussion boards who think it’s their business to tell other parents how to parent but it isn’t. It just isn;t. Short of actual abuse…real abuse…it ain’t your kid so it ain’t your business.

Second, if my kid is “acting up” in whatever qualifies in your world as acting up and I choose not to discipline, scold, correct or redirect my child, don’t even think of tell me I should. Don’t. Again, just like with the annoying interloper on the otehr end of the spectrum, it ain’t your child and it ain’t your business. Unless my child is physically hitting you or directly and materially intereferring with your ability to do something or somehow about to cause harm to him/herself of someone else, stay the heck out of it. I get to decide when my child has crossed the line. Not you. Deal with your own child. And if you don’t have one, get your own.

Now that I have that off my chest, time to feed Mini Pink Model 3.

Beat down by Miz Pink

My father is a law-and-order type. Literally. His job. Figuratively too. In other word, the home was ruled with an iron fist. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was abused. I didn’t get hit all the time for sport. My father didn’t get out his frustrations on me. But when I stepped outside the rules, even a little, you can best believe I got the beat down.

Sure, it was always the butt or the back of the thighs (Okay, except the one time I came home high and way after curfew….that got me a slap across the face. Calling my father a bitch once got me more of the same), but these weren’t light slaps and smacks. Objects were used. Sitting down afterward was a chore. Or walking right.

I’m not saying this to call my father out as some kind of demon. I love him. He could express love in his own odd way and in “normal” ways too sometimes. He was faithful to my mom. He provided. He made me laugh. He was and is my daddy. And I didn’t turn out messed up in the head. I know alot of folks want to make out like corporal punishment is always abuse and screws kids up but that wasn’t my experience. It was punishment. Harsh yes but not abuse.

REally though I think we need to be careful how and when we punish our kids. I think we need to go for something other than a spanking or telling the kid to go out and pick out his own switch. But among the Christian set, let’s be honest…more than a few will turn to a certain passage quicker than a flash if you call them on corporal punishment..the “old spare the rod” thing.

Proverbs chapter 2313 Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. 14 You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Hell. And then Proverbs 13:24 too..He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes.

Listen, mothers. Fathers. Steparents. Grandparents. Babysitters.

Heck, everyone. Listen up.

Those passages aren’t rooting you on to hit the little children or the big teenagers or any kids. Now I’m not telling you this out of some hippy dippy point of view. I’m not some granola crunching let my kid do whatever the hell they want anywhere anytime mom. I used spanking semi-regularly with my son. When he did something really serious. So, maybe a dozen spankings when he was a child. Total. Over maybe 4 or 5 years.  I had something called the pinch I used more often on his thigh to get his attention and prevent the need for something more serious.

With my daughter, I eased up a bit more. I tried to remember that too often her moods were the result of my moods. Her behavior was the result of watching my actions. I had to take some responsibility for when she didn’t “behave.” I also tried to find more creative ways to get her to do right and ways to punish her that were more fair and more appopriate. Doesn’t mean I didn’t spank her by the way. But I spanked her less than number-one son.

Now, I have a third child on the way. With this one, I hope to never raise my hand. But I also don’t rule it out.

The reason we are not supposed to “spare” the rod is because children need discipline. We have to bring them into line and teach them right because they live in a world of rules and because we want them to treat other people right. No matter what the hippiest-dippiest thinkers out there say (and I’ve read some of the more extreme non-punishment, never even use the word “no” kind of folks) kids don’t just naturally grow up and learn manners and good behavior and respect for rules. People just naturally want what they want and will take what they can and following the rules just isn’t fun. So parents must teach, and then correct gently if needed…and take things away if needed…and whup that ass if really needed.

The “rod” isn’t always a stick or even a hand and you aren’t really going to save a kid from going to hell just by beating them up alot. Shepherds used rods to get those sheep moving but I don’t think they were smacking the hell out of them. What good is a bunch of matted and bloody wool? Rods can be used to point the way, to gently nudge and to make a really loud noise to get someone’s attention. They dont always have to be for hitting.

In fact, that should be our last resort. You can be a good parent while using corporal punishment on a regular basis. But you can also slip into using it all the time and for petty offenses, and then you’re not such a good parent anymore in my book. You can also be a good parent by never using punishment if you get lucky with the personality of your child…or you can raise a snarky kid who does whatever he/she wants and talks back to adults, and then you’re a bad parent without ever having raised a hand.

Don’t spare the rod. But don’t swing it all the time. Do yourself and your kids a favor and learn moderation. Listen to them and talk to them more and hit them less. You’ll all be better for it. We all will.

(BTW, I really recommend people give some thought to the thoughts of Pam Leo and pick up a copy of her book Connection Parenting.)