With all the latest going on concerning abuse, I thought I’d take a moment and share this.
I grew up in the deep south of Natchez, MS. Whippings were a way of life for every family. I’ve been whipped by my uncle, grandmother, and mother. I’ve been whipped with switches, leather, hot wheel tracks, and a few other things. I can honestly say that I deserved what I got.
I was also abused and brutally whipped with an extension cord by a sadistic stepfather. I grew up knowing the difference between the two. I’ve only had to whip my son twice in his life. Once was for shooting my cousin’s prized rodeo horse 17 times with a pellet gun. The second time was for forging his report card to turn his F’s into C’s. You should’ve seen the look on his face when I pulled out the original report card. I used a belt both times. He hollered and screamed like I was killing him. Well, I hollered and screamed right back like I meant to kill him. Most of it was theatrical and psychological. I was playing the crazy daddy role.
I honestly felt bad the whole time, but I knew that I had to do it. He was becoming rebellious and his graduation from high school was at stake. I felt responsible for his actions because he was only emulating me and my thuggish lifestyle. I just had to make it clear to him that he wasn’t going to travel the same road I did, and failure was not an option. I threatened to kill him if he didn’t graduate. Well, the threat worked. He graduated from high school and has held a job since.
He’s currently a long time employee at UPS. I know for a fact that he would’ve made the wrong decision if the threat of discipline wasn’t looming over him. I also had to become responsible for my own actions and get out of the game. I had to lead by example as a father.
My son and I now share the greatest relationship. He’ll be the first one to tell you that those whippings were well deserved and he’s a better man because of it. There’s a difference between whipping to abuse and and whipping to discipline. Sparing the rod has spoiled these kids out here. Just take a moment and look around you. If you raise your children like you were raised, maybe we wouldn’t be seeing the blatant disrespect and total disregard for life that we see everywhere we look today.
Yes, there is a fine line between abuse and discipline. You just have to use some parental common sense when applying it. I personally still stand by the words that if you spare the rod you will spoil the child.