Tuesday, March 4, 2008

God Bless the Parents Who Drugged Us

A friend sent me this story that I just had to pass on:

"The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question.

'Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?'

I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profanity.

I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flowerbeds and cocklebur's out of dad's fields.

I was drug to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place."

She didn't say who the author was, but they sure hit this right on.



Anonymous said...

I loved that story. I am Mom to an almost three year old who I am determined will have more respect for adults than most children I see now. One of the ways we are trying to do this is by making it a rule that he is not allowed to call adults by their first names. You would not believe the amount of resistance we get on this! It's hard to instill respect of elders when even the adults seem embarrassed to be considered an elder. We have seriously struggled with how to revise our rule so that he is able to respect people's wishes but still not address adults in the same way he would his peers.

Anonymous said...

While I agree for the most part with your posting I can't help but wonder at being "drug to the woodpile." Spanking a child does not teach them anything but to be humiliated at the hands of someone who is supposed to care for them and sends the message that it is okay to hit. Physical punishment is always negative and has not been proven to be any more effective than any other method of discipline.

Rich Janssen said...

Thank you for coming up with an idea that really does help. Our family is an autism family living in rural Western Montana. The entire communitty knows Jake, our son, who is now 13 and was diagnosed over 9 1/2 years ago. So much has changed since we began living with Autism on May 28, 1998.

These shirts have helped Jake, esspecially with his peers that are his age group and have grown up with him since kindergarten, the teachers at his school esspecially love the "I'm Autistic and I think you weird too.

Way to go, May I suggest a shirt for Dad's as well to go with the Mom's shirt, and please keep up the good work.

Rich Janssen
Ronan, MT

Amanda said...

I love this! I'm thankful I was drugged, too! As for anonymous who said spanking is humiliation at the hands of someone who is supposed to care for them.... My children get spanked out of love. I love them enough to correct them. It doesn't have to be humiliating, but humbling. I'm thankful I was corrected in this way. I think you could find plenty of research that shows pain to be deterrent from repeating a behavior. However, I agree that it isn't enough. Children still need to be taught the correct behavior and then reinforce that behavior. However, if my children pull away from me in a parking lot and attempt to run in front of a car, I would not be extending my love to them if I didn't spank them to make it unmistakably clear that they should never do it again.

Anonymous said...

No one has ever been spanked out of love--spanking is always done in anger. Pain may be a temporary deterrent but do you really want to be sending the message that "do what I say or I'll hit you?" Having been at the receiving end of spanking with more than just a hand I find it poor logic that a child needs to be hit for a parent to correct them. Spanking says far more about parents than children.

Amanda said...

Since the idea behind this blog was about parenting with limits, I don't want to exhaust this forum with an endless debate about spanking a child. While it is every parent's choice, I choose to mimic the Biblical perspective in that disobedience has consequences, not out of anger, but out of loving correction. Anonymous, your language is extreme. To say that no one has never spanked out of love is a statement you cannot defend. I spank both of my children and neither of them have problems with hitting other children. In fact, it is the kids I know that do hit other children that do not get spanked. I am sorry that your experiences with spanking have not been in the context of loving correction. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case for many families. However, that is not a basis on which to form your conclusion about your own parenting strategies and then apply that to everyone else. Spanking is not how I handle misbehavior in general. Only in cases of repeated disobedience and when the situation is dangerous to my children otherwise. I'd much rather them get spanked than to be dangerously hurt by the natural consequences of disobedience, or to dangerously hurt someone else. Yes, the deterrent is temporary which is why I stressed in my last comment about teaching appropriate behavior. I hope that you can be open-minded enough to realize there is a difference between occasional physical means of discipline and abuse.

*Jess* said...

Copied and pasted from Dr. Sears' website:

Don't use the Bible as an excuse to spank. There is confusion in the ranks of people of Judeo-Christian heritage who, seeking help from the Bible in their effort to raise godly children, believe that God commands them to spank. They take "spare the rod and spoil the child" seriously and fear that if they don't spank, they will commit the sin of losing control of their child. In our counseling experience, we find that these people are devoted parents who love God and love their children, but they misunderstand the concept of the rod.

Maralee said...

If you are loving your children to the best of your ability every day then be confident in your parenting abilities and do not feel the need to defend them (or attack anyone else's) in a forum such as this. Parenting is hard and does not look the same for every person. Make sure your biggest concern is that your children feel the depth of your love everyday and don't worry so much about strangers opinions. Please also remember that no one will make the right decision every time, and even in our mistakes we can still be wonderful parents.

Amanda said...

"Spare the rod, spoil the child" is actually not why I spank. Keep reading...
My point is simply this: To make generalized assumptions like "Spanking is always out of anger" is dangerous territory. I choose to applaud this post and felt a need to defend the spirit of it. I'm forever amazed at the assumptions people make of us "Judeo-Christian people." My attempt to shed light on my perspective has been futile.

Dadof6Autistickids said...

Well I'm glad to see some 'spark' from this post. It's just that this story 'hit' (forgive the pun) me just the right way as to what is wrong in todays world.

I was terribly abused physically up to the age of 16, however I do spank occasionally. But, because of my experiences I vowed to be a much better father then the example my step-father was for me.

In our world today it is sooooooo 'PC'. And where is the compassion for your neighbor? People would rather call Child Protective Services on a family then knock on their door to see if they can help out.

Some assume they know what is going on and jump to conclusions and have it ALL figured out. But, do they ASK to find out if their assumptions are correct? Not very often. It's easier to smug and right in their own minds.

Now having our own blog is nice, because we get to make up the rules. If I don't like what is commented I'll trash it. I've made 'anonymous' comments available to bring in more discussion. However, if you have a strong opinion and want to post more then twice (i.e. taking over the comment section)... come out of the shadows. Otherwise, you will be trashed.

Like I said it's my party.

Maralee said...

Thank-you for a reasonable comment. As parents we would all do better for our children if we stopped bickering and tearing each other down and showed a little understanding. Spankers VS Non-spankers, Working moms VS At home moms, Public school VS Private school VS Home school, ect. ect. ect. It's gotten out of hand. Obviously there are very bad parents out there and they deserve harsh consequences, but just because someone does something different than you does not mean they do it wrong. No one thing works for everyone all the the time, and also remember NONE of us is perfect, and EVERYONE needs help and compassion from time to time. I think we could all stand to be a little less focused on proving our point and a little more focused on trying to understand someone else's. I know I certainly could. Sorry I guess that is my soapbox for THIS evening. :)

*Jess* said...

I believe that parents that spank their children, love their children just as much as non-spankers, they just do not know any other way to discipline. For most things, I take a "to each his own" attitude about it. However, with spanking, I can't. To me, its a form of child abuse. Yes, that's right. I compared spanking as a form of discipline to physically abusing a child. Most parents that advocate spanking see a thin line between them. I do not. Hitting is not acceptable to me in any form, whether it be from a spouse to his partner, or from a parent to a child. I find that it is much more nurturing and teachable to use "natural consequences" with discipline. And I've got medical science and research to back me up. The only "professionals" in this current decade that advocate spanking are religious figures, usually not pediatricians themselves.

Too often I've found that parents spank because their parents spanked and that's all they know to do. I'm here to remind parents that there are other options.

I am proud to say that I've never spanked my 3 year old autistic son to get his attention, to calm him down, or to make him aware of consequences. Instead, I look at the root of his behavior and nip it in the bud at the source.

I am ashamed to admit that I spanked my daughter (now 6) when she was two for running into the road. Mommy instinct told me I had done the wrong thing, out of fear for her safety. Spanking did not keep her from running out in the road again. But watchful parenting kept her from repeating the same mistake twice until she was old enough to understand why its not safe.

I challenge anyone who is reading these comments on this blog to take a "No spanking" challenge. Instead, come up with some age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate, and situational appropriate non-physical consequences for your children for one week. Yeah, you'll have to think outside the box a bit and do more creative parenting than you'll ever had to do. It will lay the framework for a successful nurturing and caring relationship with your children.

To learn more about Attachment Parenting, go to http://www.attachmentparenting.org

The Beaver Bunch said...

I am a Christian and I spank my kids. I am not spanking b/c I've specifically read in the Bible "Spank your kids, or you're a sinner." I spank my children so that they will understand obedience. Understand too, that I rarely need to spank my oldest (who is 3.5 yrs) because she has already been properly trained. If you train a child to be obedient by attaching consequences to their inappropriate behaviors, and in turn, reinforce positive behaviors, this can be achieved. It also depends on the personality of the kid. My youngest daughter, 22 mos, rarely needs a physical reminder. However, her twin brother needs to be reminded regularly what appropriate behavior looks and feels like.

I love my children immensely. I think each person who has posted under this blog feels the same way.

I know, from personal experience as a elementary and middle school teacher, alternative methods for discipline. In my experience, not only with my students but with friends who are non-spankers, I find that adults are spending all of their time enforcing discipline, when a simple swat would solve the problem. I also know that if you are constantly disciplining your child and never spend time "training" them, you are not doing your kids justice.

Think about it as if you were entering a new job. If you were never told the rules, the code of standards, and merely punished when you stepped out of line, you will never succeed. However, if the guidelines are clearly drawn and you understand them and you HAVE BEEN TAUGHT OBEDIENCE, you will do everything in your power to stay within those limitations. The result is a happy, adjusted, RESPECTFUL, motivated employee. Why is this concept different for our children?

I desperately want children who love, fear and OBEY to the Lord. If they cannot learn to be obedient to the parent, how can they obey God?

**sorry for the lengthy comment**

Amanda said...

Dear *jess*,
More assumptions.....
Thanks for your reference to attachment parenting, a topic near and dear to my heart. Also, I've done a good deal of research on the topic. I don't, however, believe a parenting style to encourage attachment is automatically exclusive of spanking. Here are some questions that I have:
Why do you assume I spank my children every week?
Why do you think spanking must be my only means of discipline?
Why do you assume I just don't know any better???
Why do you assume I'm not a child development professional??????

I have not attempted to pursuade anyone here to spank their children. I agree that we are in a regression of civilization and feel strongly that our efforts to correct our society begin at home. I have learned over the years to love God, not because of His ability to punish me (which He can) but because He has taught me that He knows what is best for me. I trust Him. I want the same for my children.
I am not a perfect parent. Who is? I appreciate the viewpoint of others but would prefer a discussion, not a trial. You don't know me, so be careful with the assumptions.

I have enjoyed this debate, though I feel a little lonely in it. Hmmmmm.... Demise of society.... Hmmmm....
How about a challenge for you:
Read/study the Bible for yourself. Don't listen to what liberal hacks tell you about us stupid Christians. Start with Deuteronomy Ch. 6 and the book of Proverbs. A chapter a day of Proverbs will get you through the book in a month.

Maralee said...

How has this become such a religion centered debate? I personally know plenty of non-christians who spank and plenty of christians who don't.

Dadof6Autistickids said...

Well, I feel the need to comment again... I believe, and PLEASE prove me wrong if you can, that the large part of the problems with the world today is the lack of discipline.

Re-read the story I posted. I do not advocate a complete return to the old days where a willow tree and the wood shed were primary sources of correction. Something in between abuse and time outs and hugs only.

A growing lack of respect for parents and the law over the past 3-4 decades have got us where we are today. Kids killing kids, drugs made at home, songs that makes millionaires out of people that glorify shootings, rape, cop killers and bitches and hoes.

IT'S TERRIBLE! If they had gotten a finger flick on the mouth when they back talked their Momma or a smack on the butt when they were caught lying, cheating or taking something that was not theirs... we wouldn't have half the problems we face today.

I love my children, I talk to them, hug them, send them to their rooms and yes... sometimes they get a pop on the behind.

Re-read the story... again and you judge for yourself if YOU are part of the problem or the solution.

Ryan said...

Dragging kids around is a horrible alternative to communicating and understanding. It is feeble parenting that looks solely at the actions of a child rather than the reasons for the child's actions. Worse, such parents often convince themselves that they know what the child is thinking. I know someone who was spanked when he was three years old because he refused to hug grandma. His parents said he was being cranky but what they didn't know because they didn't have a relationship where the child felt comfortable and safe confiding in them, is that the child had a nightmare about grandma and was scared of her.

Heavenly Father is the perfect example of how a parent should act. And He is always interested in listening.

Anonymous said...

I love that article. It's sadly true that people in todays society have the kind of drug problems that they do. Thankfully, the only drug problem I have is the kind described in the story. And I am glad my parents 'drugged me'.

So now that I've read through everyones comments, seriously thought about what each one says, and thought about how I can say what I want to say without offending anyone (hopefully), I can post my own comment.

These comments, posted by parents, are all a big argument that really leads nowhere. If you are trying to teach your children to grow up to be respectable adults, trying to teach them what is right, why then, do you act like this. What is this argument supposed to prove. Other than the fact that some of you think that your parenting ideas are the only way to go, I see no other point in this.

I am sixteen years old, and I was disciplined by spankings as a young child. This in no way humiliated me or taught me that hitting is okay. It was for my parents, the most effective way of punishing me and my siblings. And for whoever said that you can not be spanked out of love, that is a lie. I was. My parents constantly reminded us that he wanted us to learn what was right. They never went to the point of abusing us, it was just a simple reminder that what we had done was wrong.

I am a Christian, so is my brother, so is my sister, so are my parents. And there is nothing wrong with the way my siblings and I were raised. All parents will make mistakes, they're human. But I do not believe that spanking your child out of love is a mistake. Someday I hope to get married and have a family and at that time, with my hiusband, we will decide how to discipline our children. It will depend on what works in our family. Spanking worked in my family, in my parents family, in my grandparents family, etc.

Like 'thebeaverbunch' said...I love, fear, and obey God. One of God's rules is 'Honor your mother and father.' If you can not honor and obey your parents then how can you honor and obey God. God is ultimately your father, whether you believe it or not. He is everyones father. And he punishes his children. He gave parents the job to take care of and discipline their children. And because He has given my parents this role, they have taken it on and done what I believe to be a good job. I have been 'drug' everywhere mentioned in the story. And I am thankful for it. Maybe you'll think that since I am only sixteen I don't know what I'm talking about, but I do. I know that in the end, it won't matter how I was disciplined.

I was spanked as a young child, and I still love my parents. Nothing will ever change that. And because I love my parents, I obey them. Yes there are times when we don't get along, disagreements arise, and harsh words are spoken. But it always turns out in the end. Because we are a family, and we love each other.

Fred said...

I also am a 16 year old kid who grew up in a family where my parents spanked me. Why did they spank me? To teach me right from wrong, and to show me that they loved me. Anytime I did something wrong or inappropriate, they let me know by telling me not to do it again, or by warning me of a spanking if I were to repeat the act. Naturally, being a little curious kid, I would eventually end up repeating what I was forbidden to do, and as a result of that I would get a spanking.

Yes, the spanking hurt, and yes, at first I felt as though my parents had betrayed me - but then my dad would sit me down and tell me this: "I didn't spank you because I don't love you. I gave you a spanking because I love you very much, and I want you to know the difference between right and wrong. I want you to see that I don't enjoy giving you or your brothers or your sister spankings - in fact, I don't even have to give your older brother and sister spankings anymore because they know what's right and wrong now. I'm doing this because I love you - when you learn the right thing, this will never happen again."

And you know what? Even though I felt betrayed at first, as soon as I listened to him I felt better. Why? Because I knew he was telling the truth. Because I loved my dad. Because every time he told me that he hated spanking me, he looked like he would cry. And because he had had that conversation with me before when I got a spanking for disobeying my mum and being disrespectful to her. I knew that if I would just NOT do the wrong thing, I would not get spanked, because that was how it always worked out.

I don't think I'm a bad kid overall - like kirsty, I was raised in a Christian home, and all four of us kids are Christians. We all love our parents dearly, and frankly, I don't care that I was spanked as a child. It was the only way to teach me right from wrong, and it was the only way to let me know to respect my parents.

Some people would say that spanking a child does nothing except to give them a fear of their parent - no, spanking a child gives them a fear of doing something wrong. The child associates that small sting of pain with the bad thing they did before they were punished, and in the future they refrain from doing the wrong thing. As a result of this, they are brought up doing the right thing. The only time a child would be afraid of their parents would be if there was something more than spanking going on, like actual child abuse where the child is being hit, not spanked, for no reason other than the adult is mad.

Remember, spanking is done out of love to teach a child right from wrong - abuse is done out of hate, and the child will fear the parent if that happens.

And keep in mind - not all children can be tamed with just the word "no" - it's not a magic word and will not work wonders on every child - but a spanking will stop the child from doing wrong and will help to teach them the right thing. It worked for me and all my friends.

Maralee said...

I loved the last two posts. I have refrained from posting much on this topic recently as I have seen this discussion turn into something completely unsettling. Instead of being a helpful and respectful debate it has turned into a mudslinging contest where everyone seems to be more concerned with making the other person feel bad about their parenting than with helping anyone. This attitude is in my opinion very unhealthy and certainly not a very good one to pass on to your kids. The last two posts came from people who were spanked and feel they were better for it. Neither said however that parents who don't spank are wrong. They simply said it is what worked for their families. Judging from their articulate respectful posts it worked pretty well. They both seem to be compassionate individuals who are comfortable with where they came from but don't feel the need to force it down anyone else's throat. I'm sure their parents are very proud.

Amanda said...

Fred and Kirsty,
I have enjoyed your comments. That is great insight for 16 years of age. I did not have that kind of outlook on my parents parenting styles until later in life. It sounds like you guys are blessed with wonderful parents and they are blessed with wonderful children.

When have I tried to shove anything down anyone's throat? I hope I made it clear that I don't encourage parents to spank as a general rule. I've simply been trying to state why I chose it for my children. I should be able to defend myself without being labeled by strangers. God bless the parents whose children learn without spanking! I didn't require many, but my brother was a different story. :)

Maralee said...

I'm sorry you are offended. I did find your posts on here to be quite defensive. It seemed to me you care a little too much about what everyone else thinks. But maybe I am mistaken. Your kids I am sure love you immensely and that is what counts. You don't need to expend so much energy trying to convince me or anyone else of that. Again though this is just my personal impression and I don't mean to offend.

Amanda said...

If my comments have been offensive to anyone, I apologize. The terrible thing about this medium is that you can't hear my tone of voice. I love to debate! My hopes were to defend this original post. I found the second comment here to be narrow minded. I don't like it when parents who spank get labeled as abusers. There is a difference and that's all I was trying to say.

The Beaver Bunch said...

Fred & Kirsty,

I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to read your comments. Just like Kirsty said, all parents make mistakes. Crap, I make mistakes every day! However, seeing mature, articulate, and morally responsible youth makes me feel like I can have hope. I can hope that my own children will turn out okay, even with my mistakes. I can hope that they will look past the discipline (no matter what type, physical or not) and see the love. It truly is hard for me to discipline my children, but I do so b/c I LOVE THEM. I want so many things for them, but mostly I want them to grow up to be all those things I said in my 1st post (ppl who love, fear, and OBEY God). Thanks for leaving your insight and for showing everyone who reads these comments another perspective. Blessings to you and your families!

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