this subject came into my head. A strange one, to say the least. Maybe it's a sign and I shall talk as if I were a professional but this is taken purely from personal experience.
No longer are we allowed to "punish" the children, every child knows the rules of child welfare and some use it to their advantage.
I was not raised in that time. When I was a child, there were three things that could happen. You could get a spanking, a talkin' to, or whuppin'. Some people may call this a whipping but believe me, it was a whuppin'.
A spanking is the use of hands to leave red finger prints upon the bare legs. Stings a little but not really the worst that could be had. This was for minor infractions, such as not asking to be excused from the dinner table, not listening in the store, or forgetting your manners.
A talkin' to was very scary. There were two kinds of them. One was a serious talk about how your misbehavior could cause the world to come to an end as you know it. The second was a much stronger, louder one that left you shaking and crying and wondering if a whuppin' was coming next.
I can think of a few things I did to get a whuppin' but the worst whuppins in our house were brought about by dishonesty. I was told there was nothing worse than a liar. Sometimes there is a reason to steal, but NEVER is there a reason the lie.
The instrument for a whuppin' can be anything handy. A belt, an extension cord, a brush, a keen switch, a wooden spoon, a shoe...ah, the list goes on. The worse instrument for this was "pick your own". I have had many trips to the garden to pick out a switch. This is very difficult and makes you think hard. Crying all the time, trying to find something that would not hurt. I have tried the tiny switches or limbs from the peach tree...they can make you bleed if used properly and they make you dance. I have retrieved sticks thinking they would not sting as much as a switch but I only did that once. If the stick broke, you had to choose another one. You did not bleed but you had bruises.
Funny that I do not remember the reasons but I do remember the whuppins.
One time Mom was looking for me. I was sitting on the front porch in tears, wondering what I had done now. Beverly was playing the piano and knew I was in for a whuppin'. My legs were shaking, tears were rolling and I waited in dread for Mom to discover me on the porch. Beverly pretended to faint and fell off the piano bench. It distracted Mom long enough to forget about me so I didn't get one that time.
Mom always kept a round extension cord by the china cabinet, handy for use. It was black and at least six feet long, the heavy duty kind. You considered yourself lucky if she grabbed the plugs because the middle wasn't too bad but the plugs really hurt when that end was used.
I guess I have said all that to say this. It did not hurt me, it made me think, it molded me into a responsible adult. It made me know there were consequences to my actions. It made me excel at every thing I have tried to do, because I felt Mom was there ready to give me a whuppin' if the result did not please her.
It also made me not spank my children, it has made me spoil my grandchildren, it has made me unsatisfied with any end product no matter how good it is and has made me feel that I am never quite good enough.
It has made me strong, flexible, creative, and it has given me a never give up attitude. Thanks, Mom, for the mixed blessing.