How Not to Spank

Here’s something rare: good advice on child-rearing.

The Gentleman Knucklehead

I understand that this is a controversial issue. I understand that my parenting circumstances, like my Knucklehead, are mine and mine alone. As in all parenting issues, take from this what you can. Discard what you can’t. This is how one dad handled discipline.

The short answer to why I never spanked: I just didn’t like the idea of it. It’s not me. My personal reasons, which I’m sure won’t be new to you no matter which side of this hot-button issue you fall on, are as follows:

  • Punishment should teach. And all spanking really teaches a child is that the bigger person gets to make the rules. Nothing about why those rules are there.
  • It doesn’t really match any crime. Maybe if your kid hit someone else, but then we’re back to the biggest person getting the final say.
  • It feels less like justice than it does revenge.
  • If…

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THOSE Kinds of Parents

Everything is fine.

I mean if we just keep doing what we’re doing, everything will be fine. Everything will be fine sometime very soon . . . well it would be, if it weren’t for those people. I mean you and I, we were taught respect, we know how things should be and how life should be lived. We were given the gifts of discipline and morality.

If only everyone was like us. If only all parents were as disciplined and as responsible as ours. They were willing to do the hard stuff. They knew they were our parents and that they weren’t supposed to be our friends. And when not being our friends wasn’t enough, they knew how to make the ultimate sacrifice of Tough Love; they weren’t afraid to let us know that we would be on our own and alone in the world. God Bless ‘em.

Not like some others.

You know the ones. Those namby-pamby bleeding-heart idiots who don’t care how their kids grow up, the ones who don’t care if the kids never learn how to work or wash a dish, as long as the parents don’t ever have to feel that these kids are mad at them, as long as they can still feel that their kids like them. Those types never teach their kids right from wrong, and you know it’s their kids that are doing all those things that destroy society: taking drugs, failing in and dropping out of school, joining gangs and winding up as criminals and putting stress on the justice and medical systems, filling the prisons and the psych wards.

These cozy-sniffers, these traitors to the rest of us, to the responsible parents of the world, let’s not mince words about it, they are the ones that are blowing it for everyone. You know how it works. You take your family out for a meal, after reading the kids the riot act and reminding them how people need to behave in public, and how that especially in restaurants children should be more seen than heard, and then at the table next to you one of these families is acting like savages. The baby is whining or screaming, and the toddler is running around like a dog, like she’s at home or in the park, and the parents are doing nothing. Maybe Mom is cooing at the baby, maybe Dad is following the toddler around the place – not to capture her and sit her down or anything, just keeping her company, so the little so-and-so doesn’t lose sight of the family and get scared – and maybe there’s an older kid, playing on a Gameboy or something, at the dinner table, no less.

Now your kids are starting to twitch and make grumpy noises, after all, if those kids can do all that, why should they have to be perfect little soldiers? Maybe you catch your kids shooting you a resentful look. So maybe that’s the beginning of the end, maybe your kid is becoming a teenager and he’s going to start hating you now, maybe rebellion is already looming – and it’s a few years earlier than you had hoped. Thanks to those idiot parents at the next table, who have kids but clearly aren’t actually adults themselves yet.

Society is breaking down, and it’s obvious who’s to blame. Certainly not us.




Man. My attitude really stinks these days.