A Mother’s Perspective : Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child

A rather disconcerting video has been making waves for all the wrong reasons in South Africa. A rude, provocative scholar insisted on using her mobile whilst lessons were in progress. As a result, the teacher’s request that the pupil leave the class was denied. Words were exchanged and the teacher, at wits end, slapped the scholar. Sadly, this has opened up a can of worms, one of it racism. The video went viral, the student plays at being the victim and unsurprisingly, this has not augured well for the teacher.

Had that been my child, she would have been slapped across the other cheek. On that note, I will maintain that all are respectfully and righteously entitled to their own opinions and manner of raising their children.

billy graham

“Spare the rod and spoil the child”, a phrase coined by 17th Century Poet, Samuel Butler, most probably inspired from the Bible verse in Proverbs 13:24, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”.

What is to be? Spare the rod and spoil the child? That is what the law has decreed and the consequences have become weighty. I know of parents who dread the school holidays and are desperate for school to commence. Why? Tough looking after children (probably because the foundation has been somewhat shaky). Put those children under the tutelage of over-worked and under-paid teachers who are battling to manage too many children in one class and there are bound to be issues. In South Africa, one classroom can house up to 52 students. How is a teacher expected to cope that many when parents are unable to cope with a couple of their own children?

This business of emotional blackmailing of hard-working parents whose poor attempt of keeping the peace is waving a wad of cash at them and out of their parents hair, is unacceptable. Children are intelligent, are able to read us well and deserve credit. In saying NO sometimes to our children, we are instilling in them values and allowing them to inculcate respect for themselves, parents and humanity.

Favour and defend your child now? Someday, a lawyer will be needed to defend your child. No point in worrying about leaving a better planet for the children; we need to leave better children for the planet.

PS :
Mother of two here, old school raised and thankfully not a teacher… It takes a very special somebody to take on a profession like that.


Image Credits : Pinterest

53 thoughts on “A Mother’s Perspective : Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child

  1. I believe that somewhere between the “rod” and “spoiled” is a happy medium and can be accomplished with all parties willing… unfortunately society has a big impact on the daily lives of a family, especially with today’s technology…
    Having browsed the memories of my children and grandchildren growing up, this phrase comes to mind 🙂 ; “You are evidence of your mother’s strength… especially if you are a rebellious knucklehead and regardless, she has always maintained her sanity.” ― Criss Jami,

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I quite agree with you! I have stood in front of a class, where I felt like bursting into tears because of the disrespect of some pupils. When my children came home with complaints , my first reaction was always to ask what they did to provoke the teacher. Teachers are under tremendous stress and to make this a racist thing, is utterly unfair. It was a disobedient child who taunted a teacher to crack up completely!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am a teacher and a mother. Your post really resonated with me. If more parents said No to their children, and more parents dealt with their own children instead of wanting them to be in school all the time, the world would be a better place. Very thought provoking post, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Kavitha. This is a many-layered issue, isn’t it? A vastly under-rated and under paid profession. The management often blackmails teachers into accepting less and not standing up for their rights by labelling teaching as a Vocation.
        I’ve taught classes with a strength of 75. Loads of work. But I was fortunate, and enjoyed my job. Schools run by the government are another story. All kinds of unsavoury incidents keep happening.

        But it’s a very complicated cycle. Uninterested students, listless teachers, quarrelsome parents – there are some of these everywhere. And now with social media and over sensitive sentiments, just living is like walking in a field of landmines. 😥

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, I call it an onion issue, this one though, a teary issue, given the consequences. 75 is a lot of children but kids of previous were much more manageable. Now I fear for the education system and the faculty. Government schools are just the worst!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “No point in worrying about leaving a better planet for the children; we need to leave better children for the planet.” AMEN! Well said!
    I taught middle school for 8 years, in the early 2000’s. The kids in my class were taught respect for me, for school property, and for one another. I assigned them seats at the long tables, boy-girl-boy-girl, and they did not sit down until everyone was present. When I said, “Ladies and gentlemen, you may be seated,” the boys held out the chairs for the girls, the girls smiled, said “Thank you,” and sat down. Then the boys were seated. The other teachers thought I was crazy, but the parents thanked me, and the kids actually LOVED it. The girls loved being treated like ladies, and the boys were flabbergasted that the way to get a girl to smile at them was to show respect. (Who would’ve thunk it? 😉 )
    PS They also stood whenever another adult entered the room. One day a young, beautiful teacher walked in, and when they stood, she was confused. When I told her they were showing respect for her, her pretty face lit up – as did the faces of the boys who had a crush on her. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Verrry interesting. Hearing about what happened left me deeply uncomfortable, no other words for it. I had to read “one classroom can house up to 52 students” three times. 52 students!! I assume there are more than just a single teacher in the room? Are there assistants? I can see both sides of what you’ve discussed but I do think that it should never has escalated the way it seems to. Physical aggression is never good.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes you are so right! Children are so spilt nowadays & have no respect for anybody! I used to work in a school & some children really made my job difficult… It’s a shame because I only see things getting worse as the generations go on…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t know. I know that the rude, rebel student was wrong, but I don’t think slapping the kid is right. I will be angry at the teacher who hurt my child. It’s the parent’s job to discipline their kids. If the child is problematic the teacher should have gone to the parents and demand them to do something with their kid.
    On the flipside I’m against spoiling a child. Spoiling them is the beginning of ruining their future. But one thing I learn if adult want respect, we should also respect the kids. It’s a give and take. What happen most of the time is that an adult stranger expect kids to respect them when they show no respects to the kid at all.
    I would love to see the video. Do you have a link to it?


  8. There’s a lot to be questioned about the why’s and when’s of that video – for instance, why does the clip start where it starts and why was the pupil filming it ready for it to happen? The fact that other children at the school immediately protested in support of the teacher speaks volumes about what we don’t see in the video. Our nations eagerness to be “outraged” by it again before ALL the facts are known is worrisome too. Be that as it may, I actually told my son how if I had tried something like that in a classroom 30-odd years ago getting a slap through the face would’ve been considered a lucky escape!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, it is a tough one. Our kids went to school when they could still get a whack across the backside should they deserve it. The principal always called to confirm that it was permitted. This only happened a few times but we gave permission. When our oldest was in the sixth grade, I was going to discipline him for something with one whack. He said he was going to call the authorities. I said do it. I am going to give you the whack and then you can call them…I’ll dial. He didn’t call but it is tough to live in fear of your children because you are not allowed to discipline them. There are, of course, other ways of disciplining them that are also effective. Finding what works is the key. As they got older, we used things they loved to discipline them. If they had to go without it for a day, etc. That seemed to have a positive effect on them. Threatening to not let them drive the car was the most effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sometimes parents go out of the way to defend their kids. Most of the time when kid is on the wrong. Teachers are often faulted and disciplining is frowned upon. While I am not a votary of “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child”, but occasional punishment does not harm. One has to strike a balance and a teacher or any other person in similar situation should have protection from aggressive parents suing or even beating up teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beating up teachers, voting for the PRINCIPAL to be dismissed from school, possession of drugs all necessitate the presence of police officers and sometimes their dogs to suss out the culprits that sell and distribute drugs. Discipline is necessary, I agree Abhi.
      My kids have just finished their secondary education, both of them.
      I thank God daily that I am over that period in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. i know you have chosen much talked subject bout children discipline. Boys are abit more difficult to manage than girls. The best option is to maintain a balance of DO and Donot DO. Beating with rod is matter of past, Nowadays children are sensitive and cannot beput torest by a stick, lovethem but constantly teach them to obey elders teachers. Mother father are great teachers, Both must follow different tricks to keep their children in happy delivering mood. Iwill writeon this topic in detail.you have raised good questions and explained very well.
    Doread my posts blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. There is a distinct line between discipline and protein. Lack of discipline, I think, is close to an ultimate cruelty. On the other hand, it is just as important to teach good behavior and to validate it every time possible. Firmly and unambiguously discourage the bad. Encourage the good. Gosh, I don’t think it’s that complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

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