Proverbs 29:15 – The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left [to himself] bringeth his mother to shame.
Today is Dr. Benjamin Spock’s birthday. This popular author of the 1960s became famous with his best selling book on childrearing. His ideas were mind blowing to most older parents. He suggested letting a child cry it out before picking them up and holding them. He advocated more permissiveness and not hard discipline such as spankings and scolding. Up until that time, a spanking was not considered child abuse.
The 1960s were a time of permissiveness in many ways – with the acceptance of bad behavior as the norm. There were protests every week over race, wars, feminism, sex and other issues. That was 55 years ago and it seems times haven’t really changed much.
We still have racial issues. Women have come a long way in the world of business, but are they satisfied? Families have grown further apart. Divorce has become normal. The family unit has grown into blended or single parent families with dads that come and go like thieves in the night. Wars continue, but they seem to be for different reasons. We try to make friends of the world, but have forgotten our families in our efforts to satisfy ourselves or make ourselves look good to others.
My father had a tongue that cut deeper than any razor strop and endured many spankings growing up. I didn’t need psycho analyzing for it. My parents had problems with their marriage, but they stuck it out – they didn’t quit.
When a mother tries to defend her child or get him away from an unsafe situation and out of the clutches of a group of thugs, she will be accused of abusing her child. I say she’s doing her job as a parent.
Happy birthday, Dr. Spock. Your words changed the way people parent, but was it for the better?