Sunday, November 19, 2006

Question Of The Week, 11/19/06

Good morning. It has been a busy week around here. My Wife has been sick so I've had a little more to do around home. One of my co-workers quit so over time has been available, some times rather you want it or not. The former co-worker is now a prison guard. When I got home from work Saturday night some friends were visiting with my Wife. One of them is a single parent. Her son is 13 years old, he was here with her. She told us she had to leave work early one day last week because her son had missed the buss and was five hours late getting to school. Now, I know why a 13 year old boy is visiting friends with his Mom on Saturday night, he'll be spending a lot of time with his Mom for a while. Having a co-worker quit to become a prison guard and hearing about a friends problems raising her son alone reminded me of a Letter To The Editor in the November 17, 2006 Saint Joseph News-Press.

Your letters Nov. 17, 2006
Spare the rod ...

What is wrong with the thinking pattern of our young people? Where are the parents and why are they not taking a proactive role in assuring responsible behavior of their children? Recently we have read in the News-Press of the terrible vandalism at Mount Mora Cemetery. Before that, it was the three young men in Platte City who climbed to the high school roof, consumed alcohol and proceeded to vandalize and steal school property. Today on the Internet, I read of the vandalism of the statue of George Washington where someone entered the Cathedral just off the campus of Columbia University in New York and beheaded this time-honored statue of our first president.

About 10 years ago there was a great uproar when an 18-year-old American boy, Michael Fry, was caned in Singapore on a conviction of vandalism. Many responded at that time that there was a need for similar action in our country. Michael survived this caning with a reminder of what an old-fashioned whipping felt like. Many a boy had a similar reminder from their dad or the school principal growing up when their behavior became disruptive or destructive and they too survived nursing a sore backside.

There must be an alternative to incarceration. As a volunteer prison chaplain, I see many young men in prison who would have benefitted from corrective discipline at home growing up that may have re-directed them away from prison as a young adult. We wouldn't have the threats in our schools or the tragic deaths if our young people had a little "healthy fear" of discipline from home or school. Too many youngsters roam the streets with too much idle time and get into mischief. I suggest we enforce curfews and hold parents responsible to know their child's whereabouts. Vandalism should be addressed with restitution from the culprit - and not their parents - by means of working off the debt at minimum-wage basis in community service. More moms and dads need to re-instill discipline at home with that fresh-cut switch, paddle or belt to the "seat of wisdom," and allow our schools once again to paddle a disruptive, disrespectful or threatening student as a lesson needed to be learned just as much as math, grammar or science.

I don't advocate child abuse, but (this is a) well established tradition of tested discipline that worked for generations and is obviously lacking today. Let's keep our young people active in wholesome programs to minimize idle mischievous behavior. Let's keep them in school and not in jail. Let's instill restitution when you cause damage, paid by your labor and not your parents' checkbook. Let's love our children through instilled sense of responsibility.

David R. Huff

St. Joseph

So this weeks Question Of The Week is. Are today's children worse behaved because they are sure no one can correct (spank)them? Do you support or are you opposed to corporal punishment? I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


Blogger Praguetwin said...

It is not the spanking that is missing. It is the time (or lack thereof) that parents spend with their children that is at fault.

Studies show that spanking only increases a child's violent behavior.

There is no substitute for quality time spent with one's children, and that is what is lacking in today's society.

Personally, I'd rather take a whack on the butt than be grounded for two weeks. Parents need to dicipline their children more, but corporal punishment is not the answer. Just my opinion.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Well, I used to counsel criminals. They'd pretty much all been beaten by their parents. It seemed to instill in them a contempt for authority, not a respect for authority.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Are today's children worse behaved because they are sure no one can correct (spank)them? Do you support or are you opposed to corporal punishment?

Yes to both. However, I do differentiate between properly-administered discipline and physical abuse.

Grounding never worked for me. I'd get sent to my room, only to spend time doing what I love to do--read. The only other threat which worked was that of depriving me of my access to the piano, but that kind of threat can backfire with many children.

My mother's philosophy about corporal punishment: Never use your hand to spank your child because you use your hands to play with your child. You don't want your child to cower at your physical presence. Also, don't use something which can inflict serious physical damage, such as a brush, a paddle, a belt, etc. Instead, use a "hickory switch." The ones used on me came from forsythia bushes. They stung but didn't even break the skin.

PragueTwin said, There is no substitute for quality time spent with one's children, and that is what is lacking in today's society.

I agree. But I still think that most children require corporal punishment at one time or another. I also think that parents attempt to buy their children's love and that the buying (computer games, clothes, etc.) is the parents' attempting to salve their own consciences for not spending enough time with their children.

So, IMO, coroporal punishment is not the entire answer to discipline issues, but should be resorted to if all else fails.

4:53 AM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

I want to thank you for stopping by to answer this weeks question. It is a tough one. Your answers have made me even more sure of that. I'm sure that there has never been a generation that had perfect children, but we seem to hear about more of them getting into serious trouble than we used to. I'd say yes to the first part of the question. By the way, Mount Mora Cemetery is on the National Registry. It is the final resting place of many Civil War Veterans (from both sides) including General Jeff Thompson, God Bless the Missouri Swamp Fox. When I was a teen I was far from perfect. My bed room was the attic, I wanted it up there, I even had a full bath room up there. Grounding me did no good. I'd wait for my parents to go to bed, go out the back window down to the enclosed back porch roof and jump. It was easy to climb back in. My Father had little to no feeling in his right hand due to a gun shot injury. It was a useful tool when teaching me right from wrong. He always managed to control himself so there was no permanent damage done. Another thing that helped was an eight grade teacher that had been a Marine Corps DI for twenty years before he started teaching, that was back when teachers could still reach out and touch a child. They were two of the best teachers I ever had. Yes, I think corporal punishment works, a spanking not a beating. I have to share a little more from my past here, a true story about an old high school class mate. His parents were divorced, (from what I can remember)he lived with his Mother. She worked long strange hours so he did as he pleased when he pleased. I don't remember ever hearing about him getting grounded, being spanked, slapped or beaten. When he turned 16 years old (In the mid 60's) he got mad because his Mom said she couldn't afford to buy him a car. When she whet to work he called a taxi to go somewhere. While he was in the taxi he pulled a hunting knife on the driver and demanded all of his money. When the driver resisted he stabbed him 113 times. The driver had $110 and some change on him. My old class-mate was sent to prison for life. He told the parole board he would kill again if he was released. They still released him a couple of decades later.In 1988 he killed again. He was executed at 12:04 A.M. on March 28, 2001. You can read a little about him at, . I wonder if a little corporal punishment might have helped him when he was younger?

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Eric Carwardine said...

As an adult who administers corporal punishment to other consenting adults on a professional basis, I've developed a complete aversion to using it on children. I've found that other methods work far better on children.

Regarding punishment of adults, no politician with whom I've discussed the matter has an answer to the question of gender equity. However, it's interesting to note that a poll taken in Singapore after the caning of Michael Faye showed that 40% were in favour of caning as a punishment for women.

The most meritorious proposal I've seen is to provide the convicted person with the option of taking corporal punishment as an alternative to incarceration. See

Eric Carwardine, in Perth, Western Australia

8:11 AM  
Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

The elderly residents of once become a parents and told me that they balance their work and family during their time.

2:50 AM  

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