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Momma Used a Switch
Discipline was not debatable...
Discipline was not a debatable issue when I was growing up. If it was a plausible consideration, regardless of the circumstance or situation it was administered without restraint, on the spot, no questions asked. The children had no voice in the matter. Now all parents didn’t necessarily adhere to the corporal punishment ideology, unfortunately for me mine did. Don’t get me wrong, we were never beaten, just corrected and it worked, I certainly learned my lesson quickly and it was more efficient than “Don’t do that” a 100 times…
Did you ever need correction while growing up?
I had no say in the matter...
My parents believed in ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ , as directed in the Bible. I was without a defense and most of the time I was admittedly guilty. Like I said before, children had no say in the matter and often times if a word of defense was offered it constituted an additional ‘whack’ or two. ‘Children are to be seen and not heard’ was another favorite saying as well as ‘this is going to hurt me more than it will you’, which just made no sense at all to a high-strung boy of 8 or 9. I guess the one I heard the most was; ‘one day you’ll see that I was right,’ my folks often laid that one on me. Even though I never thought I’d agree with them I must be honest and say, I never got a whippin’ I didn’t rightfully deserve. I do see now that it was all for making me a more responsible adult, if and when I matured. Dad’s belt might leave a few whelps and the switches mom used sometimes broke the skin a little and occasionally produced a trickle of blood, but the lessons learned have made me a better man, and to be completely honest, I appreciate the love shown with their discipline. Seems like the children of today need to experience a little of the ‘love’ that I had.
Dad was always prepared...
I mentioned that Dad would use his belt; I guess because it was handy and I know his dad used a belt or razor strop as he said, ‘to get his attention’. One thing that always puzzled me was that when we were getting ready to go somewhere, dad would take his time finding his belt loops and stringing his belt through them making sure everything was spaced neatly; but if I needed a correcting, he could unclasp and draw that belt out in one swift move and have it over his head ready to make that first strike in less than a second or two at the most. You know, I don’t remember my brothers ever getting a whipping except for one time when mom was going to whip all three of us boys for talking back or laughing or something that boys do that deserves correcting, but when she drew back her switch to hit Jim, my big brother, our dog Nicky growled at her and she had to put the dog in the house before she could whip us boys. We brothers were all laughing so hard that I don’t think it hurt very much anyway.
"I still remember that sting..."
Now I said earlier that mom’s choice of ‘correctional instrument’ was the switch, and we just happened to have a hedge growing down one side of our property. It was my job to keep it all trimmed to suit her, and if I missed a spot or two she would send me back to get it right. I always had great difficulty keeping my mind on what I was supposed to be doing especially with my buddies all watching and wanting to know just how long I was going to be so I could go play ball with them or some other fun activity. Well, when I messed up at home mom used to have me go out to that hedgerow and cut her a switch which she would use to whip me with. If she didn’t like my selection, she would send me back for another one until I handed her one to her liking. Then she would strip all the leaves and small branches off leaving just a few small leaves at the tip. I would have to say she was a master at making those implements of pain and correction. They certainly got my attention and I soon learned that I didn’t want any more of that, and “yes maam, what do you want me to do next?”
© 2011 SamSonS