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Spare the Rod?

God, the Rod and Your Child’s Bod
The Art of Loving Correction for Christian Parents
Tomczak
1982

Life is bad and children are out of control, but with a handy stick, you can beat the crap out of them. Really.

Evidently the corrupt world (probably the fault of divorcees, selfish mothers, feminists and gays) is causing your children to become undiciplined monsters. But you can get a stick and beat your kids into good behavior. It’s okay because you do it with love.

I will be in the back weeping for humanity,

Mary

More parenting advice:

Children: The Challenge

Smack those kids into shape

When children invite abuse

Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy?

 

31 Responses to Spare the Rod?

  • I might have preferred a few whacks to shunning, my mother’s preferred disciplinary strategy. Whacks are more quickly forgotten.

    • I’m not so sure. My parents both had the unbelievable talent of being able to talk for hours and hours on end. I frequently told them that I’d have preferred a beating because a) the bruises would have healed before they ended up shutting the fuck up(*), and b) I’d have had the first inkling as to what they were angry about (as I have a well designed and tested ability to tune people out while acting like I’m listening — something I knew they’d surmised until I confirmed it for them).

      (*) My exact words. Even at 12 I had a remarkably foul mouth.

  • I believe that God, the Rod, and Your Child’s Bod is headlining Coachella this year.

  • I don’t know much about this book but I do know there is a difference between abuse and discipline. Abuse is when you hit them anywhere on their body, out of control, with any object or a closed fist, for any reason. Discipline is when it’s only a set number of spankings, on the butt, with an open hand, and only when nothing else has worked. I’m sure all of us can agree there are children out there who need to be spanked and who’s parents don’t even try to use time outs, just let them run around and act like brats.

    • Hitting childen just teaches them to lie to avoid abuse. Hitting children does not “work”. And, no, I do not agree that some children need to be abused.

      Children who are hit are more likely to be more aggressive, more likely to suffer from mental illness, have worse school outcomes…

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201309/research-spanking-it-s-bad-all-kids

    • No we do not all agree!

    • Having had a very long career in retail, I have seen my share of “brats”- kids who were behaving inappropriately while their parents utterly refused to address the behavior.

      But, I’ve also seen parents respond to that behavior with a public “spanking”. It was never a calm, well-reasoned reaction that the kids expected as a consequence for acting up- always more like “Mommy is going crazy and hitting me because I’m being bad.”

      Isn’t discipline supposed to be a learning experience for the child? That is, shouldn’t it help them learn (from their mistakes) how to get along in life, rather than just showing them that they’re “bad” or “wrong”?

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a spanking with any educational value.

    • My god I hope you don’t have any children. Same for being a children’s librarian.

    • Try tazing them.

  • I’m sure kids feel very loved when their parents cause them physical and emotional pain by beating them with a stick for sucking their thumb.

  • what they did to their son’s bangs is just going too far

  • Another one of these? How much DYFS fodder can we stand?

  • “Only one household in three has a father, a mother and their natural children”: We were getting fed that line here in Minnesota when the legalize-same-sex-marriage issue was before, first the voters (on a constitutional amendment), then the legislature.
    1. Assuming by “natural” they mean “biological”, does that mean adopted children (and/or the parents who lovingly gave them a forever home, and yes I lay the sentiment on thick with a trowel) are second-class citizens?
    2. Also, haven’t I seen “natural child” used (like in 17th, 18th-century sources) as a euphemism for “born out of wedlock”? Regardless of the marital status of the parents or how the child entered the household, is there such a thing as an “unnatural child”?

    • I checked that a little further: in family law in both the UK and the state of Louisiana, a “natural child” is one whose parents never married but whose father acknowledged paternity, and hence has inheritance rights. A b*st*rd (terrible word I know, but again we’re talking about the cruel world of legalese, not colloquial usage) is one whose father wouldn’t come clean

    • These “non-natural” families are hardly new, are they? I was reading the other day about a boy who grew up in first century Nazareth with a single mother and a man who wasn’t his biological father. He seemed to turn out OK (though to be fair, he did end up in a lot of trouble with the law).

      Anyhow, to return to the subject of this book, I do hope that when Mr Tomczak’s children grew big enough and strong enough, they piously and respectfully beat the living cr*p out of him. For Jesus.

  • Look at that kid’s eyes. He looks happy, but he’s bracing for some “loving correction” he knows is coming as soon as the photoshoot’s over.

  • We’ve seen these “Christian discipline” books before. The one I remember best is this:
    http://awfullibrarybooks.net/train-up-your-child/

  • Publication of this book would be illegal in some countries where it is against the law to hit children. Bringing a child up to believe that violence can ever solve any problems only ensures that sadism and violence are handed on to the next generation. Bringing God into it makes things even nastier. In (Scandinavian) countries where corporal punishment of children has been criminalised murder rates have decreased dramatically. Anyone who ever hits a child is at best a bully, at worst a pervert, since children, by their very definition, are always smaller than adults. Most of the Bible was written in the Bronze Age when society was somewhat different from that of the 21st Century…etc, etc, etc.

  • With a haircut like that, surely that boy has suffered enough?

  • This raises a pertinent question:
    The question of whether corporal punishment (not abuse, but simply spanking when nothing else works or when the kid may be in danger) is properly an option for a parent to have available or a wretched abomination at all times is one that arouses as much division and polarization as the abortion debate.
    If someone in 2016 came up/out with a book on “The Pros and Cons of Spanking” or “Spanking: A Viable Option” without the religious overtones, would a library be willing to offer it? And if you said “no,” consider whether a library should also offer books discussing the pros and cons of abortion, which a great many people also view as “a wretched abomination at all times”? Would the same librarian who supports the absolutism of all corporal punishment being wrong also support the absolution of “abortion is murder”?

    • I would say no. Being anti-spanking and pro-choice are both about the same thing: bodily autonomy. And libraries do have books about spanking; we don’t have to like it.

  • Interesting ( or not) there is an awful library book that’s meant to look like it should be weeded – in more ways than one. Take a look One of them fits this one’s “punishment”, but in the 70s. http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/visiting-scarfolk/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=digg

  • I remember that my mum had a stick that she used to whack our butts when we had been naughty, but then one day it broke when she was using it on my elder brother. We all fell about laughing, and she never had a stick ever again or used her hand. I think she suddenly realized that this was not the kind of person or mother that she wanted to be.

  • I must admit that, when I first read the title, my inner 12-year-old was thinking something far worse than spanking.

  • So, sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar merits a beating? That is some messed up parenting right there.

  • Ok, so a 13 year old kills an 8 year old while recreating a scene from the Deerhunter and it’s the TV’s fault? Nobody wants to explore how the kid got ahold of a gun so easily?

  • “I! thought! I! told! you! to! neh! ver! do! that! a! gain!” was the standard refrain my mother delivered, one syllable per whack with a wooden spoon. Once grown, my brother and I each individually made our way to jail. New research has shown that spanking is as permanently damaging as neglect or abuse. Even dog trainers disavow hitting. Spanking is the lazy parent’s solution to a disobedient child, as if obedience is the most important thing a child should learn. I suspect Hitler so easily whipped the German people into a vicious frenzy because they had all been beaten as children, cruelty being the traditional modus operandi of parents who believed “a child’s spirit must be broken”.