I had various pictures to use but I just couldn’t help but use this. Once upon a time, I wanted to make this MYTH OR FACT a weekly article on the blog. But then, sometimes these things leave my head and I can’t force it. So I guess we would have it in bits and trickles.

A popular saying whilst growing up was the “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. It was a mantra for so many teachers, ranging from my primary school to my secondary schools both junior and senior. it was a saying that was usually dished right before someone was punished.

In this ‘Internet age’, many parents are usually caught up between two difficult options. They don’t know when to mete out punishments to their kids for messing up; they equally don’t know if and when to apologize to a kid for punishing them. Not like I am down playing any writer; but the emergence of writers writing on parenting has actually been on a mad rise like wild fire. Some on the internet, others on the shelves. If you search in almost every region, you’d get to find out about two or more books on parenting and of course you would also find curious parents rushing to find out ‘the secrets of parenting’. (smiles) that sounded like a book title right? I don’t know about that (and I apologize to anyone whom that is the title of his or her book).

But do you really think there is a manual in parenting? Do you feel there’s a particular way to groom a child? Most ‘civilized’ African parents who feel they have to be western, actually do not employ the use of the rod and later regret their decision. Most parents too, who felt their own parents were too hard on them, also decide never to be so to their own children. Then there are parents who feel the rod should never be spared. But, in these too; most times the child’s feelings, emotions, or even esteem is hurt, other times the child grows to become too arrogant. Most people also feel that ‘sparing of the rod’ has increased the amount of social vices; but what would we know?

I have seen kids whose parents never spared the rod yet ended badly. I’ve seen kids whose parents also spared the rod and they equally ended badly. One cannot help but ask, what then is the solution. I have a nephew of about four years old; when he lied to me the very first time I was really hurt and shocked. I didn’t beat him, I actually called him and let him know I would never beat him if he told me the truth and then later he lied again, I was really bemused. Over the years, I’ve come to know that parenting is more than just giving birth to a child or more. It entails not just providing financial support; it also entails emotional support, understanding when to use the rod, when to appeal to the child’s conscience, when to also dish out other punishments aside flogging as it sometimes harden the child up like a criminal.

If the rod should be spared or saved remains a huge question to so many parents; well…… even me too. Any suggestions you drop could be valuable to a parent, you never can know; use the comment section.


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