My view of using physical punishment has evolved over the years. I once thought it was the answer to change a child’s bad behavior. I wasn’t usually physical with my children but there were times when I thought it was appropriate to spank. That ended when they were about 7 or 8 years old. It may be that we spank as a parent for something we’ve been taught, such as ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’. The rod doesn’t have to be anything other than stopping the child from the wrongful activity. Correction doesn’t require raising our voice to monumental levels either. You are responsible for your children and you get them for a very few short years. When I reflect on how I raised my children and how my mother raised me, this is what I’ve learned.
My mother loved me as a child. She demonstrated respect for others thereby teaching me to do the same. She found her voice and her love were much more effective than any physical punishment. The last time she hit me was with her shoe on my butt. I was deserving of some form of punishment because of what I did. The result of using the shoe was to break off the heal. It didn’t hurt me and I was about to laugh at what happened until I saw the effect it had on my mom. We were poor and repairing this shoe wasn’t within budget. She sat down on the floor and cried. When I saw that, I sat down next to and leaned against her, vowing to never cause her to have a reason to cry from me anymore.
I was in many fist fights as a kid. Someone was always trying it on with me and all it did over the years was make me hard and angry. I entered the Marines just after completing high school and they believed in physical punishment as well as a lot of yelling. You may wonder how that connects with raising children.
I’ve come to realize something which I could or should have many years ago. When you get physical and or yell, you make someone defiant. They get angry and perhaps hurt as well. It only teaches them to act out in aggressive ways when they get older. Children aren’t little Marines and teaching them to respect authority isn’t something gained through striking them or yelling because you think it appropriate.
My mother was smarter than I was, she knew her expectations and her love were superior to her hands or even her shoes. She learned that early on. I may have been an unruly teenager but I’ve been a responsible caring adult. I suggest don’t spare the love, you won’t be spoiling the child.
I ran across an interesting link tweeted by Tim Ferris.It has to do with people who have communicated with their care givers on the things they look back and wish they had chosen different in their life. As they say hindsight is 20/20. In reading this, does it make you pause and think about the choices you’re making now? Perhaps I’m wrong but most people don’t spend a lot of time on introspection and course correction. I could be wrong…
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Sometimes you read a poll on what people regret and you think there’s a lot of continuing the shallowness of life reflected in this summary. Again, I could be wrong. Take a look and see what you think.
1 – Not going after the hot girl
2 – Not spending enough time with dad
3 – Ignoring your health
4 – Being a workaholic
5 – Not sleeping with all willing parties
6 – Getting married too soon
7 – Not splurging on a bad-ass car
8 – Not getting in a fight
9 – Not staying in touch with friends
10 – Not playing a team sport
Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in habits which are self-defeating. Whatever your choices are now, are you making ones that later on you might regret? Perhaps this is a sign of maturity when we realize we control our own happiness and direction.
Add your comments, tell me what you think. Keep it to the point, please.
I want to wish all who I know or come in contact with and especially my family a bountiful and peaceful – Thanksgiving.
I know this day comes to some with less than joyful circumstances. I wish I could change all that for everyone. I do want to express my thankfulness and appreciation for the abundant life I enjoy.
I’m thankful for my family, mostly at times apart but especially grateful for the times we’re together. Those of you who know, one of our dear family members, my mother, has recently left this day and other ones like it behind. All of us are appreciative of knowing her and feeling her love.
I give thanks for a peaceful life. It hasn’t always been so. I’m grateful for having all that I need. I accept that needs are often different from wants. May your needs be met.
Find ways to assist others and be thankful you’re here when they need it most.
Enjoy this day with family and friends. If you shop during this weekend, be mindful of those who must work.Treat them with dignity and respecteven if you find them less than that way toward you. It’s not an easy time for them to work and to be away from those they cherish.