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Development Dads - Corporal Frontier - Toddler

Updated on March 8, 2015

Corporal Frontier

The Sparing Rod

My father spanked me a few times when I was young but never my three sisters. I was spanked once in kindergarten and once more in fifth grade. I cannot recollect any girl ever being spanked by a teacher or principal in any grade but there sure were a lot of boys that felt the paddle.

My mother never spanked me but made me aware of my occasional uncivil actions by taking the blame herself, that she had failed in some way as a parent. That hurt, her hurt, had more of an effect than the rod. Maybe I did not want her to fail.

Those fathers in the episode who had problems figuring out how to reprimand their boys never did resort to corporal punishment. I got to meet their sons at different stages and found them to be good and polite kids without external signs of anger, resentment, or fear from their fathers.

Maybe those fathers realized that they were wiser than a three year old and there were better ways to discipline and teach civility to their children.

Maybe those boys who were paddled by parents and teachers when I was a kid did not have wise supervision.

Maybe I was fortunate to have one who was wise.

Maybe it took a generation for me and other parents to learn, to develop this wisdom.

How long will it take for all parents to have the wisdom to not raise their hand but their mind to their children?

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© 2015 Randall Frey


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