There’s an old saying that goes “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” How old? Well, it’s literally in the Old Testament. More accurately, it’s a shortening of Proverbs 13:24 which says:
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
(New International Version)
It’s a fairly controversial statement now. “Your kid will turn out bad if you don’t hit them with a stick sometimes” is not so much viewed as timeless wisdom as it is, yanno, the encouragement of child abuse.
But even parents who aren’t physically abusive can be so severe that their efforts not to “spoil” inflict more damage than good.
Let’s hear a few perspectives from people who grew up in pretty authoritarian households.
29. Shutting up
And shutting down.
How good of an artist are you though?
27. Decisions, decisions
When you’re taught that you’ll always be in trouble, it becomes impossible to see any choice as good.
26. Find the joy
“Do everything my way or you’ll never be happy” isn’t a recipe for success.
25. The stricture
Lying is indeed bad, I guess.
24. It’s a rush
When your tactics backfire.
A lot of people deal with this.
22. Crime scene
21. Job performance
If you can only measure your worth in numbers, you’re never going to feel worthy.
11. Twenty something
Um. Move out as fast as you possibly can?
It can be hard to get a sense of what freedom is.
9. A nice excuse
“Can’t, mom said no.”
8. It goes on and on
This is what happens when it’s less about nurture and more about power.
7. A matter of perspective
These are the cycles that have to first be recognized in order to be stopped.
6. Too much freedom?
You don’t wanna let them ruin themselves.
5. The lockdown
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How many? How come?
4. Better late than never
Parents, just know, eventually they’ll get access to the thing you forbid.
3. Nothing going on
I can feel the angst radiating off of this one.
The pressure mounts and you just wanna go.
1. It all goes somewhere
Good lord, that’s rough.
What parenting style did you grow up with? How did it work out in retrospect?
Tell us in the comments.