If ever I had even a fleeting thought of cursing at, or (god forbid) hitting my elders/parents, the realization of the consequences immediately dissuaded my acting on those impulses. The knowledge of the resulting reactions and punishments which would be meted out by my parents, grand parents, relatives or adults were indelibly ingrained in me from past lessons (always learned the hard way). Nearly every kid I knew growing up in the ‘70s had parents and punishments similar to my own. Respect was demanded from my parents and I knew there were lines never to be crossed with them.
You would think that my father being the authority figure and thusly the one we kids should have feared most when punishment was occasionally doled out, but you would be wrong. Yes, he was a man you didn't want to trifle with and he was capable of wielding a belt with the best of them, but my mother was the one to be feared in our home when she was angry. Because we were four tall, strapping boys she would pick up anything nearby to use as an instrument for punishment. Even worse, there were those occasions when nothing handy was sufficient in her eyes and she would tell us to go fetch something "better" to be used by her on us. I do not believe there is anything quite so demoralizing than that long walk back to deliver the chosen instrument for punishment to our mother. I remember having a clawed spade thrown at me, a cutting board used on my behind and once she bloodied my nose with a perfectly executed right cross.
I now freely admit that nearly every spanking I ever received from my parents was justified in nearly all 99.9% of the cases. I also admit I was a kid that would have exacerbated the patience of even the saints. Looking back now I can say in all honesty that I received far fewer spankings than I probably deserved. As a parent and now a grandparent, I can appreciate my parents child-rearing skills. We children were never punished for accidents and my parents always provided time for us to mount a verbal defense before rendering punishments or their judgements of any incident of misbehavior on their children's part.
Today spankings have been replaced in large part by the "time out" method for dealing with children's bad behavior. The methods of punishment used by our parents in the past, in today's world would most certainly land those very same parents in jail facing domestic assault and battery charges on a child by law enforcement. Today's kids are more than likely going to be visiting a psychiatrist or therapist and receive ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) medications if they exhibit bad behavior or poor grades. These modern day parents seem to want to remedy whatever is wrong with their child by the quick fix method of having them swallow some pill. Today's parents in many instances seem to prefer medications to simply forcing a child to buckle down on their studies or forcing their children to correct their bad behavior.
Page 2 of 2 - I say there is no accountability for kids growing up in today's world. A child's bad behavior is now (too often) being attributed to a psychological problem, poor grades and a lack of effort on the part of the child is (too often) being dismissed by many parents as some sort of "chemical imbalance." Time outs are now the only option for parents because swatting a child on the back side has been made a criminal offense. I say that children need parenting and I for one do not believe parenting through medications and time outs is the answer to today's children's problems in a vast majority of cases. I loved my parents while at the very same time I knew there would be immediate and sometimes severe consequences for my actions. Our parents made us accountable for our bad behavior and our laziness in school. I think we are in desperate need of some of that old school parenting which was provided us by our loving parents back in the not so bad old days!