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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

I was sharing with the girls today about an experience I had in the waiting room of a doctors office the other day and I thought I might as well blog about it.

While waiting on Sis Tina and Sis Lydia to finish with an appointment, I took my Shepherding A Child's Heart book along for some nice "quiet" reading time. Of course, it didn't dawn on me that I would be in the waiting room at a children's specialty care office and that all parents don't raise their children according to the scriptures... but I was able to get some reading done.

Then "Family of 4" entered the scene. Right from the start, I knew it was going to be a family worth watching (if for no other reason but pointers on what not to do)... It was the mom and dad and two sons (one about 8 years old and one about 5).

5 yr. old: (crying dramaticlly) I WANT MY OTHER TOYS, I WANT MY OTHER TOYS....

Mom and Dad: (ignoring the situation totally)

5 yr. old: (still crying hystericlly) I WANT MY OTHER TOYS, I WANT MY OTHER TOYS... MOM, DO YOU SEE ME? I'M STILL CRYING...

Mom and Dad: (still ignoring the situation totally)

Mom to older son: Go tell the lady to turn the movie on for you... (as the son steps out of the waiting room...) I mean, ask her, ask her to turn it on, don't tell her...

Mom to still crying son: (after witnessing another woman ask her child- do you want to go get ice cream when we're done here?): Tony, do you want to go get ice cream afterwards?

Tony(the cryer): NO, I JUST WANT MY OTHER TOYS

Mom: Well, I guess daddy will eat your ice cream then

Tony (still crying): I DON'T CARE, I JUST WANT MY OTHER TOYS

Mom to Dad: What toys is he talking about?

Dad: I don't know, there weren't anyother toys in the car


Dad to Tony: (taking Tony by the hand and leading him to the exit) Well show me

5 minutes pass and Dad and Tony return, Tony caring a plastic bag and remarking happily: Dad was right, there weren't any other toys, but there was some candy!

To which he proceeds to open the candy and eat.

So, here is my call to my parent readers (and whomever else would like to respond)...

How is it less stressful to deal with a child that acts this way than it would be to pick the child up, take him in the restroom, have an "attitude adjustment" with the rod of correction and be done with the situation? This literally went on for a good 30 minutes... and I was particularly intrigued by the little boys comment to his mom "MOM, DO YOU SEE ME? I'M STILL CRYING" Would it not have taken 10 minutes (at the most) to spank him and that would include the time it took to go into the bathroom or outside?

I just don't understand how anyone could see this as acceptable behavior... regardless of whether you are a church goer or not... Can you imagine this child as an adult? (see cartoon below):


His Mercy Endureth Forever said...

Sometimes you just sit and wonder what goes through this kind of persons' head when they are in this situation.

Kathy U said...

Maybe, Tony's parents were a little busy buying candy and toys to show Tony a little love thru discipline.:D
sis kathy

Anonymous said...

I think Tony is a perfect example of "Mind over Matter" If he does not mind, it does not matter. Boy, over the years we have seen some Wall-O-Pa-Loosers. Mom and I have made the statement on more than one occasion,"give me that kid for one week". But the fact is that the Parent is the one that should get the rod of correction....OR Maybe they are getting the rod of correction from God by the "Mom, I'm still crying". WOW...It makes my Blood Boil. The Unrully child is not the thing that makes my blood boil as much as the parent that ignors the situation.

Kelly's Dad

misslissa78 said...

This is where my grandmother ( who sometimes has a problem telling you what she really thinks) would say " You are bigger than them,make them mind!" I know that nobody really likes to punish their kids , but nody likes a brat either. It is MUCH easier to make them mind from the start.

Anonymous said...

It is times like these that I wish children came with instuction manuals. Then I could keep extra copies in my purse and truck (I would gladly bear the printing expense) and I would kindly give these parents a new copy -- because they have obviously lost their original -- I would even do ear the right page for them as well. Maybe, I should make up my own ... hmmmmmmm

Boiling's oldest daighter

Kelly Spezzano said...

Oh, "oldest daughter/sister" so nice of you to comment. If you don't mind having that manual ready before Joshua is born, just in case he turns out more like me than Jim! ;)

Anonymous said...

I'd better get started on that manual, although, I think you will be fine! I agree with Kerry, its the unexpected things that you have to watch out for. For instance, when your child throws up in his mouth and you and your sister have to run him to the bathroom holding his mouth to keep him from spewing all over the restaurant! That CAN NOT be found in any manual!
Oldest Sister!

strem said...

You're right. That one phrase is key. It seemed like the boy wanted some attention... whether it be to get what he wanted, to receive some comfort from him mom, or to be paddled. Seems like he was calling out for anything except being ignored. When the manual is made, please make me a copy. Not that I need it. YET. I just pray I'll have a need for it someday. :)

Kelly Spezzano said...

Strem, I will def save a copy for you! I am sure you will have use for it one of these days!

Amanda said...

I just receieved and started reading one of four books I ordered from Focus on the Family...Dare to Discipline and in the first chapter Dr.Dobson talks about the kind of parenting you encountered and he doesn't agree with it either!
(Idon't either by the way!)

Lisa said...

The parenting you descibe is exactly what my doctor recommended for tantrums. The current wisdom is that you ignore a tantrum because the child just wants attention. I read a comment from a stay-at-home mom who said that there was no way her child could want more attention! Josiah gets about 90% of my attention all day long!
Needless to say, I have other ways of dealing with tantrums! :-)

Lori said...

Not only did they spare the rod, they bribed the child. A sin of omission and a sin of commission. Way to go "Family of 4" LOL.

My DH and I, before we had children, had a complete stranger ask us to watch her 18-month-old daughter in a restaurant while she took her older one out to the car for misbehaving...

I'm glad to hear you are reading Tedd Tripp's book. Many years ago, I watched the tapes of him presenting the information from that book, and I thought they were excellent. Just recently, I was thinking that perhaps I should buy the book sometime in the near future and refresh my memory.

Amy Ellen said...

Hi just started reading your blog and thought I would comment. I watch this go on so often, but what is most shocking is to see it from parents who I know knew better at one point. They are family members. They had 3 older children who were all moved out and then they adopted a baby while living in Brazil.

After they moved back, they came to visit us at the hospital while one of our sons was recovering from open heart surgery. This child, now 3 I think, proceeded to cry and throw fits constantly. He was rewarded by getting sugar water to drink, and then not tasty enough let me give you syrup in your water.

As the child aged it became worse and worse, we moved near them for a couple of years, and the 11 year child ran over babies while roller skating, would sit and hit my handicaped son on the head with things, yes I stopped him, would cry to get his way, would holler out in church I love you Daddy, his dad is the Pastor and was preaching at the time, harrassed my daughter by calling her lovey dovey names, would follow her into the womens bathroom, and I watched him wrestle with a 2 year old little girl and he pulled her pants off and did not stop to realize that this was wrong.

Did we tell the parents hey you got a problem, yup, did they, the pastor and his wife deal with it, NO, they told the child in front of my daughter who cried after dealing with him, that people in the USA are too sensitive and it is not his fault he is LATIN, so he is just that way.

The excuses people come up with I once mentioned to other family members there, ummm so when this child is later arrested as a peeping tom, cause he did that too, or for sexualy harrassing some girl are the parents just gonna explain well hey he is LATIN and all of the USA is too sensitive????? What the heck......

This is where sparing the rod leaves your child with no self control and headed toward a major problem later. We do not need to spank our kids hardly ever, they understood early on that punishment would soon follow if they acted up in public, not to mention they would not go so many places if they could not behave well. Which has led to numerous people approching us in restraunts and other places to mention how well behaved our children are and stories of how they can't take their kids, grandkids, etc. anywhere.

When I was a kid I would never have thought of talking back to adults or acting up in school, now you hear of all these kids who do this stuff, and I used to be shocked and now, I just think you know a few swats early on would sure have saved these kids and everyone around them a bunch of grief.

Congrats on the baby I am sure your excited. We have 6 and was thrilled and excited each and every time!!!

Kelly Spezzano said...

Amy, thanks for the comment and for reading. I think you're right about it being suprising when it comes from parent who you know should know better. It sounds like there was a lot more than behavioral problems in your instance, though.

What gets me are the parents who wait until their children are in there pre-teens or early teens and think that now is the time to ask for help disciplining their children... like you said, it has to be addressed early on.

We are very excited and pray that the Lord will show us the way to raise our child (or children if we are blessed with more).