Spare the Rod? Child Please!

      

What a REAL whooping looks like

      Blacks get a LOT of backlash for whooping their kids, or as we say in the community, “beat” our bebe’s lol.  When I step outside of the box and think about it, is history NOT repeating itself?  I mean, we are the descendents of slaves who were LITERALLY beaten into oblivion.  Is that why it is so easy for us to participate in the practice and view it as the norm, while other cultures (Whites) may view it as inhumane and abusive (ref: the treatment of slaves)? 

            When I was growing up, I RARELY received whoopings, mainly because of my passive-aggressive nature (I’m non-confrontational).  My mother is very passive and her form of discipline began with talks.  “Ashley!  Why did you hit your brother?” or “What do you say when I call you?  You say, ‘Yes,’ not, ‘What.’”  I remember as a child, rolling my eyes like, “Ugh, okaaaay Mom, fine!” before running off and soon

"My mommy's not gonna be whooping me!"

 after becoming a repeat offender.  Her family didn’t support her form of discipline and believed her to be soft and mimicking White forms of discipline.  I’ll never forget the day her mother/my late grandmother

 demanded I go outside and pick my own switch.  My mother stood helplessly nearby and silently watched.

            My father on the other hand was SCARY!  He was a police officer and was rarely home it seemed.  I was terrified of him.  The little interaction we had was usually if I was doing something wrong.  It always began with my mother’s threats. “Ashley, if you don’t stop I’m going to get your father.” Yikes!  Or, if my father was around and actually witnessed my behavior, all he had to say was one word to get me in check.  “Ashley.” I’d immediately stop right in my tracks, terrified that his face would erupt and his belt would come off.  I didn’t need that in my life!

            My younger brother, Ty, on the other hand seemed to ALWAYS be going through it.  After my parent’s divorce he experienced some behavioral issues and literally got whoopings EVERY SINGLE DAY for awhile.  Dad would take his belt off and tear Ty up!  During this period, I remember getting whooped once, for spilling red Kool-Aid on the white carpet (lol man!), but Ty would get torn up for EVERYTHING!  It seemed like Ty never learned! 

            I was speaking with my S.O. about this very topic a few days ago and he was mentioning how as a young child he’d be torn up as well.  He thought of his whoopings more like beatings and believes they’re the reason he was no longer a “bad” child after a young age.  My older cousin Shelby also received whoopings as a child, up through elementary-Shelby had a VERY opinionated mouth and did not care who she was talking to.  Ultimately, whoopings didn’t work for her-she’s as opinionated today as she was at three-years old in day care (go visit her blog at http://www.shelbystonesteel.com).

            Speaking of the effectiveness of whoopings, what do they implicate when it comes to matters of physical abuse?  By that I mean, what’s to be said of a father who teaches his daughters that any man who raises a hand to you is wrong and should be punished, yet when this daughter accidentally spills red Kool-Aid on the white carpet, the first thing the father reaches for is his belt to whoop her so that it elicits pain/fear and hopefully/eventually respect? 

            Are these not VERY mixed messages that are being taught to Black children?  We teach our children that fighting/hitting is wrong, yet in many households it’s the first line of disciplinary defense.  Furthermore, we claim that we’re trying to protect our children and keep them safe, yet we seem to be the very ones introducing them to harms way.  I think about this often enough-what will become of my children (contingent upon me getting married and deciding to have them)?  Despite all of the obvious red flags that alert me to the issues, I personally am an advocate of spanking.  I am however a bit torn when it comes to matters of a father putting his hands on his daughter.  While I myself have suffered no damage from the minimal spanking my father gave me (from memory, I can only recall three whoopings from him my entire life), I’m sure the same cannot be said of other women out there.  And what happens if I marry a man who’s against whoopings, period?  I do believe boys need whoopings and I’d be hurting my hands/wrists/arms trying to give them.  Thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “Spare the Rod? Child Please!

  1. Good article. I believe that whoopings are necessary with both male and females. And I do think that the mother should be the only one who physically disciplines the daughter but what about the situations where there is no mother figure around??? In this case I believe its ok for a father to handle it but minimal force shall be used.

  2. Great post! Ok, so my sister was not my dads daughter, but he was with my mother since she was four, so he basically was a father figure. When It came to her, my dad never put his hands on her. Even though he knew he always had the right, he still always said “I’m not putting my hands on her, I’ll leave that up to your mother.” I think it was mainly because she was a girl. And when it came to us, of course we got the smack down…LOL! I do feel like men should be whooped…LOL! We are so hard headed as kids. Females should get whooped too, but not by their father. If I have a daughter, and she gets out of line, I am going to just point to my wife, and say “YOU BETTER COME GET HER!” And then my wife should tear her but up. LOL! I absolutely agree though. A father should never whoop his daughter.

  3. Man fellas…the whole “fathers whooping daughters” thing I was completely unaware of until Shelby brought it to my attn once. It sounded so crazy to me because I had never considered it even once-obviously me and my father dont have those type of issues going on in our relationship. If I ever get married/have kids, I don’t know that I’d be opposed to my husband hitting her-he’d be there to tell her she’s beautiful/amazing as well and I’d hope her mind would be stable enough that she’d understand the vastly different mentalities that go behind your daddy whooping you for discipline and a random nigglet beating on you because he’s a coward/has issues. Well you know what, let’s PRAY that there is NEVER a random nigglet that puts his hands on her, how about that!

  4. I was all pro whoopings before but my cousin doesn’t get whoopings and she’s the most well behaved kid in history. I’m not anti but I’ll use it as a last resort and see where it gets me. Then I’ll just start whoopin a$$

  5. My sis got butt whoopins forever. Never changed anything. I had my share of “getting popped” for talking too much (the same thing that was also my strength). The greatest lessons i learned were from the words my grandparents said to me that caused me to reflect on myself. I have seen spanking often pacify parents and offer an outlet of release for THEM. Rarely have i seen it in my lifetime and experience change anything but make parents feel a little good about their parenting. Great blog and convo starter tho. Keep it up!

  6. I feel you Mike and Tone. I think getting a whooping for the “red Kool-Aid” incident falls right into line with what you were saying Tone (parents whooping to feel better/release anger). At first he just screamed, “Go to your room!” As soon as I took off running, I felt this MASSIVE force yank my arm back and then I knew, my daddy was reneging on our punishment deal! SMH lol

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