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.

10. Shutting up

And shutting down.

Source: Whisper

9. Imagination

How good of an artist are you though?

Source: Whisper

8. Decisions, decisions

When you’re taught that you’ll always be in trouble, it becomes impossible to see any choice as good.

Source: Whisper

7. Find the joy

“Do everything my way or you’ll never be happy” isn’t a recipe for success.

Source: Whisper

6. The stricture

Lying is indeed bad, I guess.

Source: Whisper

5. It’s a rush

When your tactics backfire.

Source: Whisper

4. Anxious

A lot of people deal with this.

Source: Whisper

3. Crime scene


Source: Whisper

2. Job performance

If you can only measure your worth in numbers, you’re never going to feel worthy.

Source: Whisper

1. Twenty something

Um. Move out as fast as you possibly can?

Source: Whisper

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.