the hot topic in l.a. these days is the efficacy of spanking your children when they misbehave. there are experts on both sides of the debate and it seems to me that more parents are not in favor of spanking than those who are, but that is a completely unscientific sampling of letters to the editor of the l.a.times.
“go to your room” was always my favorite punishment and eventually my mother caught on that “going to my room” made me happier than she, at the time, wanted me to be. once in my room, there were no adults, there were my maps, my books, my art supplies, my model cars, and many other diversions, too numerous to list in this short essay; so being sent to my room, even though there may have been a moment of sulking on my bed, was quite possibly the best of all punishments.
i was spanked by mother at least twice–it’s possible there was a third time, but my memory is sketchy on that particular incident since what i had done was (cold-cocking the neighbor girl for refusing to stand up for the pledge of allegiance–they were jehovah’s witnesses and i was in the full flush of my naturalization) considered both bad — socially — and good — patriotically — by my mother.
the other two times i had misbehaved badly and its possible i deserved to be spanked; i believe after those incidents i never repeated those mistakes again. see, spanking worked.
children soon learn what buttons to push to manipulate their parents, and it does seem to me that today’s parents are much too lenient, too intent on being their child’s friend and not so much their parent…that they miss opportunities to exert their authority (it was called ‘character building’ when i was growing up), but i don’t have children and it would be wrong of me to even offer my opinion (in the privacy of my own blog, as it were.)
so: do you spank or don’t you? you tell me.