Spare the Child


Hey!  Don't you know?

Grownups aren't supposed
to hurt little kids.

Child speaking

Kids will listen to their parents,
if parents listen to their kids.  

Kids will do amazing things just to please the adults in their lives--if adults show they are pleased.   Little kids by nature want to be loved and protected by their parents, so they tend to do what they think their parents want.  So parents have to be sure they are encouraging kids in the right direction and in the right way.

For some reason, most adults don't remember being a child.  As a result, many parents are able to believe that the way to get a kid to "behave properly" is through pain,  humiliation, or guilt.  However, it is a "medically proven fact" that kids being spanked or hurt in other ways don't feel protected.  This condition lowers their inclination to do what that adults want.  

A kid may "behave" while under threat of force, but when the threat isn't around the kid is likely to try doing exactly what was forbidden, just to get even.  

Now that isn't exactly what you want, is it?

The Story Behind This Web Site

By the Father of the Kid
"Spare the rod, spoil the child" was the parents' main maxim in the Chicago community where I grew up.  Spankings were frequent, not well-matched to the perceived infraction, and most often given without much thought.  This was true both at home and in parochial school.  Not learning from the past, I was prepared to apply to the same techniques to my children.  

First time my son tested me beyond my limits, he was 4 years old.  I swatted his behind  with a stick--also the first time I had spanked him.  He was more than surprised, he was shocked and indignant.  For multiple reasons, as it turned out.

"Hey!" he said, drawing himself up to his full height (under 4 ft.).  "Don't you know?" he asked, as if addressing one who really should, "Grownups aren't supposed to hurt little kids."  (Yes, he spoke in italics.)

Well, of course I knew that.  Put that way, all I could do was agree.  But I had my snappy comeback:  "Well, little kids aren't supposed to annoy their parents on purpose!"  (which is what I thought he was doing, though it was probably just testing his boundaries).

As I recall, he saw the fairness in that statement.  In any case, we struck a deal that's held ever since:  no spanking AND no deliberate annoyance.  Never again would we think spanking appropriate.

He's graduated from college now--someone to be proud of and a joy to be with.



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Spare the Child
Box 411, Oakton, VA 22124

Updated:  July 2008