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Momma Used a Switch

Updated on April 26, 2015

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?

See results
that hurt
that hurt

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 fumin'
dad was fumin'

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.

Whouu Ohhh!!!
Whouu Ohhh!!!

"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?”

I often look back on these memories of my childhood and occasionally brush back a tear wishing I could return to those loving outstretched arms of my mom and dad…

© 2011 SamSonS


Submit a Comment

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Tennessee

    I agree parenting is tough, and takes determination rather than domination to benefit both parent and child...

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Parenting is one of the toughest and sometimes children can be difficult making parents fail in their roles.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Tennessee

    Amen, and very well said. So thankful you chose to comment on this hub; as you can see I've received a lot of 'flack' from others. I don't think discipline is wrong. Like you say the Bible teaches it. To me, correction was to teach me the difference in right and wrong. Believe me, once I found something was wrong I didn't want to go that way again. I learned respect; today people say it's fear. Call it what you will, it worked. Thanks for your honest opinion...

  • heavenbound5511 profile image


    6 years ago from Under the shadow of the Almighty God!

    Great page, If people would raise & train up there children in the way that is best for them to go- than we wouldn't have all these unruly animal-like children in the public schools.

    Children these day from what I have witnessed are cold,ruthless, and don't care who they hurt. They even speak of murder freely. They show they have learned lying as an art.

    Parents who raise there kids in these lazy, don't care enough to teach you how to honor God and live a long life because of it are to blame. This is the proof of how many generations have turned from God'd ways and love.

    Children need to know when they are wrong, they need to be uncomfortable with doing wrong. They should have consequences to correct there behaviour no matter how much they dislike it. If we don't do this than it is are own fault for letting them walk into destruction.

    Parents can't control there kids because they are not submitted to God and have turned there kids over to satan for him to raise them with movies,tv,music, & witchcraft. SO no wonder they act hateful, full of murder, knowing to much about sex at a young age, suicide, cutting them selves, and have a total disrespect for God.They are miserable and crying out for help guidance, and the love that God wants them to have.

    The bible says if we don't correct our children than it is nothing short of hate!

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks so much jacobkuttyta for responding, you noticed this topic has caused quite a stir...

  • jacobkuttyta profile image

    Siny J 

    7 years ago from Delhi, India

    It remind me of my old days with my mom and dad.


  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks so much agvulpes, for stopping by and making comment. As you can see in the above replies, discipline must have been chucked out the window sometime after you and I learned our lesson...

  • agvulpes profile image


    7 years ago from Australia

    G'day Sam and we must have grown up in the same era !

    I grew up in a large family and my mum and dad used to work a Tag team on us kids :-)

    If mum could not catch us during the day with the 'broom handle' she would promise that our father would mete out our punishment when he got home from work!

    That he did! and with gusto I might add!

    No broken bones though. lol

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks Will, I really appreciate your honesty and for sharing your reminisce. I had noticed on my poll that all eight people that took the poll said they needed correcting when growing up. Isn't it odd that parents never have to teach a child to lie or steal or do something wrong, it's always the other way around. I never met a perfect child that never did anything wrong, I always heard there was just one perfect man and look what the 'good' people did to him! Then there are the 'goody do gooders' that never received so much as a smacked hand, right! I'm thankful that I received the correcting I did, it made me think twice about doing something wrong the 2nd, or 3rd time and I like to think it's what made me the man I am today...

  • WillStarr profile image


    7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    When I was just a little boy, we lived in a small Iowa town, and in those days, most highways went right down main street, and we lived on Main Street, on the outskirts.

    I had a nickle, and that would buy a lot of candy at the Karmel Korn, so knowing better, I crossed the busy highway and walked uptown to the candy store.

    The owner saw that I was alone (I was around 4 or 5) so he called my mother. She showed up and asked the owner where she could cut a switch. He handed her one he had already cut, and she used it on my bare legs all the way home. I never did that again!

    Today, both she and the candy store owner would probably be arrested for child abuse, but the real child abuse would have been getting run over on that highway.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks ethel for your comments, and absolutely not to your first statement! I feel that parents today that fail to correct their children do them more harm. Even the Bible says, "those he loves, he chastens" Lack of disciplines shows unconcern and lack of authority. You have to teach a child not to steal, to share and to listen and respect their elders, it doesn't come naturally...

  • ethel smith profile image

    Ethel Smith 

    7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

    Do you feel in any way Sam that all of this harmed you? I grew up in the 50s Uk so corporal puinishment existed but did not come my way much. Boys at school suffered more i think

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    Thank Rebecca for sharing your remarks. I'm sure everyone disciplines how they see fit, and some these days don't discipline at all it seems. I wouldn't change a thing in my up-bringin'. Trying to write in the first person, that being a little boy, I made everything out to be a lot worse than it was. It didn't take but once or twice to get the point across, and I was asked each time if I knew what I was being corrected for. I'm sure thankful my parents loved me enough and cared how I would turn out in life. You never heard of kids killing their parents or school shootings and the like as in this day and time. Again I say, I received just what I deserved and probably not enough, to be honest. It's the right way to instruct a child, the Bible says so and that settles it!

  • Rebecca E. profile image

    Rebecca E. 

    7 years ago from Canada

    well this is certainly an interesting one sam-- youv'e got quite teh debate going, but really I'm a lot younger than you ( not by much of course!) but still I think I was down to the "look" after a fwe well placed spanks... so I'm like nightbear, done correctly and with teh child knowing that they did wrong, it's okay to dicipline, I mean there are limits, so there you go.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks Pam for your views...

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    At the time you were raised that discipline was pretty customary. I certainly think children need discipline by thinking can be done without the use of a belt or switch. I think children can be spanked without leaving a mark on them and it still very effective when necessary. I believe most people try to use timeouts and other types of punishments and for some children that's all it takes. This is an interesting article and I'm sure you're going to get a lot of opinions on both sides of the fence but obviously you turned out just fine.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks Polly, you sum it all up quite well. Discipline is our responsibility to those that come after us. That shows what we learned...

  • Pollyannalana profile image


    7 years ago from US

    Well I used a ping pong paddle for mine left hanging in sight and that usually was enough. My parents threatened a switch or belt and it is possible but I don't remember it actually getting that far, but what you are saying here goes so much deeper than people really see. No punishment for kids no punishment for sins? God our Father chastises those who are really His for the salvation of their soul and it is most likely physical, how else? Judgement is for the damned in the lake of fire and that is not His children. He says if you see a Christian doing wrong and not chastised then that person is a bastard just claiming to be His. He teaches as He does, and what about the scripture about better the man's life be taken than to lose his soul? Even if you've made great friends here and everywhere being politically correct telling everyone what they want to hear what good will it do you, when you are spending eternity in unending torture and pain in hell?

    Good job, samson, at whatever cost the truth is what we must give, and you have.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thank Dave for adding your interesting views. I agree with you brother. Like I said before in another hub, all my dad had to say was, "You don't want me to have to get up from here..."

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    WOW !!! Thanks Tina, you go girl-- I enjoyed and agree with your comments (maybe you need to write a hub on this, or maybe I will...). Parents seem to not even hear as their children act up and seems to think if they have to put up with their own children's unruliness it's ok for the general public to also. I also agree with the eatery issue, if you can't control your offspring don't expect me to tolerate you inabilities. Don't force your kids obnoxious behavior on others tying to enjoy a meal...

  • Granny's House profile image

    Granny's House 

    7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

    You go Sam! Kids are so out of hand. I too was brought up in that era.@ Dave, you are right!

    I hate even going to the store. I can not STAND listening to these spoiled brats screaming and crying the whole way through the store. The parents may be able to ignore it but why make the rest of us suffer! Leave your brat at home!

    When I go out to eat, I will ask the waitress not to sit me near any kids.

    If I am sitting near kids and they start up, I will ask the waitress to move me to another table.

    My kids knew better. We were welcomed everywhere I took them. I got many compliments on how well my FIVE children behaved.

    Children NEED discipline. Look at the world today! Has the new way produced better behaved children? NO!!

    Back in my day and even my childrens, you did not hear about kids going to school and shooting up their class mates, killing their parents, all this gang crap. I could go on and on.

    It is scarey to think of what the future will be with some of these kids one day running things.

    You do it because I Said So! That is the only explanation they need. When they get a job (if they do) that is what their boss will tell them.

    Are you doing your kids any favors by coddling them? I think not.

    Parents have just given in to this way of discipline because it is easier and if their kid is a brat they have an excuse to their laziness. It takes much more to discipline and correct your child then to just let him go and blame it on something else.

    I was in the Gap around Christmas and there was a woman with a little boy. He must have been 4 or 5. He was in a stroller and was drinking a bottle. He also had a pacifier hanging from his neck. If that did not look stupid. I felt sorry for that little boy. And NO there was nothing wrong with him. Just a lazy mother!

    He was talking away and even got out of the stroller and ran away from her.

    I said to my daughter, hey Kelly, look that kid stole some babies bottle.

    Sorry Sam about writing a hub here. As you can guess you have hit a nerve.


  • Dave Mathews profile image

    Dave Mathews 

    7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

    My mom and dad had a 12 inch long leather strop, the sort of thing the old barbers used to strop their razors. If I or one of my siblings did something that a talking could not correct, the strop was used on our bare backsides. Believe me when I say we never made the same mistake twice.

    Society today applies what is referred to as "Tough Love" or an intervention, usually after a loved one is so far aout of hand that nothing works, but i guarantee that if mom and dad's strop had been applied when these people were children in their informative years, no such thing would be needed as an intervention or tough love.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    *Thanks Susan for your reply. I was trying to write this from the standpoint of a rebellious and disobedient child, from the viewpoint ('Whoa, they caught me again...') and may have appeared a little too melodramatic, sorry--

    *and thank you Tammy for your encouraging response. I got by with 'murder' also, not literally of course, but must honestly confess, I didn't receive enough punishment for all I did wrong...

    *and thank you Minstrel; you are right- our parents were leading or directing us with the foreknowledge of 'right' vs 'wrong' that we as children could not readily see at that young age. More often than not my dad would threaten and eventually just had to clear his throat to let us boys know 'we didn't want to go there...'

  • The Minstrel profile image

    The Minstrel 

    7 years ago from Hawaii


    I just finished teaching a parenting class with my wife and we talked about discipline. It was interesting that the main point of the class was leadership authority. I believe our parents knew their authority and walked in it. Whether it was switches or a firm voice, we listened. Thank you for your hub on discipline. Kids grew up at that time learning respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness.

  • Tammy L profile image

    Tammy L 

    7 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

    Sam, I used to have to select my own switch as well. I quickly learned the smaller the switch the more it stung. My eight year old nephew has a solution to the belt tool. He hides all the belts so they can't be used as weapons. I've gotten whippin's for things I did and didn't do but I also got away with some stuff too so I guess it all balanced out.

    God Bless


  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    *thanks SaMcMutt for your comments...

    *and thank you nightbear please don't make it something that it wasn't. One smack here or there and look at the society we have now because of Dr Spock and parents afraid to correct their own children. Some parents corrected out of love. I'm glad mine did and I'm also thankful that I never witnessed what you have...

  • SaMcNutt profile image


    7 years ago from Englewood, CO

    Now some are debating the issue that circumcision is child abuse but, if that's true than anything that causes pain to a child might be considered so like, cancer treatment. Maybe we shouldn't allow spinal taps to children suffering with Leukemia.


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