We have all heard the phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child”. The phrase originates from the bible verse Proverbs 13:24, meaning discipline your children to assist in making sure they are good people and know right from wrong. Many people interpret the scripture literally the rod being an actual tool used to discipline physically.While there are other people that believe it is an analogy and the rod meaning guidance through discipline that is not physical. In the same way when sheep lose sight of their flock the sheep herder uses a rod to steer the sheep in the right direction or as protection from things that may harm them. How you interpret this verse may determine how you correct your children. Parenting does not come with a book of instructions so as parents we do what we feel is right in the moment and pray it’s the right thing. Recently Lauryn Hill’s daughter went on live saying how traumatizing and scary it was in her childhood due to being beat as a child. She stated she believed there were times her mother was frustrated as a result of her relationship with her father, and it assisted in determining if they were going to get beat when failing as a child.
I grew up in a household where whoppings, spankings, switches, BEATINGS, were all fair game. A beating was a consequence for what was seen as extreme bad behavioror or extreme disrespect. That created a fear for my mother which as parents is ideal to a certain degree. My mother had a red leather wide belt named “Big Red” and if she told you to go get “Big Red” you knew what was next. My sisters and I hated “Big Red” like she was an actual person. Everyone that received whoppings knows during the whopping is talking chastising and hitting in the syllables for each word. “DIDN’T (hit) I (hit) TELL (hit) You (hit) “ect. I didn’t get a lot of beatings growing up because I was afraid LOL. I went places and respected others, I was a pleasure to have in class (that’s what all my comments on the report card said regardless of the grade LOL). I listened as a child because baby I didn’t want to see “Big Red”. The tactic worked but I saw my mother as mean and strict. My mother would remind us the number to child social services was on the fridge and call if you wanted to because she a’int scared. She really was gangsta lol. As I got older in my teenage years, I was still afraid. But as a teenager I was definitely a tester. When I would test limits, my friends would say “Ericka you’re crazy”. I can’t recall an outstanding story of one my beatings because it was rare. But in my teenage years I got slapped clear into next week at least two times when I came home past curfew and countless punishments. I swear I could feel that sting from a slap for days! One day my sisters and I found “Big Red” in a chest as adults and we cut her up! We cursed her! We should’ve lit that bitch on fire! LOL We were happy to see her go!
Beatings Are For Slaves Masters
When I became a mother, I made a conscious choice not to whoop or beat my child in the same manner I was raised. In elementary school I received a lot of calls from my son’s teachers for not listening and misbehaving it was a struggle!! He has definitely been popped but there was no “Big Red” laying around waiting to light him up. My mother and I had discussion about this. I asked her ‘Do you think its weird Black people were beat as slaves and now Black people beat their kids because they love them? White people don’t go around with leather straps beating their children to submission.” Her response “Okay Ericka. If that teacher calls again, I’m gone whop his ass!” Guess what the next time he acted a fool Big Lu (what we called her) greeted him with a beating. I believe beatings work in its purpose I do believe it helped guide me even if it was thru fear. I have been around all different types of families and some of my favorite people in the world were NOT beat. I thought to myself as a mother it’s not necessarily necessary to beat your children for them to be good people. I personally believe Black people have generational trauma associated with beatings, whippings and violence. Being beat has been normal for Black people for hundreds of years and it went from others beating us to us beating ourselves. Even though we didn’t like it that’s what we know year after year since the 1600s. I believe this behavior and thinking has been passed generation after generation. It’s like a girl that lives in a home watching her mom get abused by a man saying that will never be her. But then marries a man that mirrors that behavior because subconsciously that’s what is familiar to her.
If Not Beatings, Then What
Y’all know the kids that go to school and their ultimate goal is to be perfect while being the teacher’s pet? Well that definitely was NOT my child LOL. If I was my mother, he would know all about the life of a belt. Maybe that would have eliminated him from challenging teachers maybe it wouldn’t I am not sure. If you’re like me and don’t beat your children, you think of other ways to chastise your children. It started with the corner which my mom said was for White people LOL. As he got older it was no video games, no tv, just books. He has read so many books in middle school we have a little library. Yesterday he was reminding me how he loved The BFG by Rohl Dahl when he was little. I would go to google and google books about stories he could relate to and stories he wanted to read. I would then go to Barnes and Noble every month with a list. His stocking stuffers were books! He read “The Hate You Give” long before the movie came out in one day, 444 pages. While he was telling me how much he loved Thw BFG, he thanked me for having him read The Hate You Give. He still has not seen the movie I told him we’ll have to watch it. I would make him drink milk no juice or water because he hates milk. Now that we are in the teen years there have moments where I question would it be better for him to live with his dad daily? He is a man and I know for a fact he doesn’t and would NEVER try him. People will say to me ‘its too late you should’ve been beating him.’ It feels almost as if I am being punished and judged for not beating him as a child. In others mind theoretically he would be giving me no problems now. I believe any teen, or most teens will give parents some type of challenge because they are at the crossroads of not being a little kid but also not being an adult. At this age I will take away the cell phone, playstation, no friends (that’s the real killer). I also stop doing all the extras I do for him like bringing him a donut when I go to Dunkin Donuts, make him use his own money for certain things and I will not cook for him. When he is on punishment no, he’s not eating steak for dinner he’s eating chicken nuggets, I am no longer a free uber driver a lot of his wants he will no longer get. I advise him this is what life would be like if he wasn’t so smothered with love. It’s can be difficult for kids to be appreciative when they have never had life struggles or real adversity. In every situation there is the in-depth conversations -mostly myself talking LOL sharing the knowledge life has given me. Whenever he makes a mistake, I am going to continue to correct him consistently. With all of that I still advise him of my upbringing. That translates to- Don’t test my gangsta because Ericka from Earle Street is living inside me everyday trying to make an appearance so please don’t do it!
When I was in high school, I remember boys whose Mothers in my opinion were coddling them. I went to a predominantly White school for reference in case that makes a difference. I don’t know if I didn’t understand it or if was hating because I had a job, and dishes waiting for me in the sink. As a senior in high school I wasn’t paying to live but I pretty much was responsible for myself in every other way. Please don’t ask me how or why I remember this but clearly it stuck with me, but a classmate said when he got out the shower his mom always had a warm towel for him. As a teenage independent Black girl that sounded ludicrousand and so privileged to me. I didn’t hide my feelings about it either. I came in late one day and he had a broken arm and was trying to clean the table. (The class was food service.) Everyone was like “Ericka you made him feel so bad like a spoiled brat he’s in here with one arm!” The funniest thing is I understand his mom now! There are so many parts of me as a mother that gets pure joy from nurturing and giving my son all the extras. But the reality is the world doesn’t serve my son warm towels, so it is my responsibility to make sure he gets the right amount of discipline as well love. It’s a balancing act. Black mothers aren’t allowed to indulge their sons because if they grow up to be less then perfect its all our fault. I see this opinion daily online from Black women. My son is definitely getting nurtured love and affection, even through his less then perfect. He knows how to cook basic things, wash clothes, dishes, mow the lawn, paint walls ( he spends plenty of time with his dad too) etc. He knows how to deal with punishments (he has improved!) and is understanding the concept of getting things he has earned. He is also thoughtful, forgiving, and a joy finder! There’s no handbook but I am just leading with love and prayers. So, no I have never beat my son like a slave master and yes might has had a warm towel waiting for him after the shower a time or two!
Let me know how do you or did you discipline your children I would love to know and read your thoughts. As usual thank you for so much for stopping by!
Wishing you no pain unless its champagne!