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Red Ink and Wooden Spoons

The other day a lady I clean for had Dr. Phil on; and while I didn't hear all of it, the parts I did hear were quite ridiculous. A father said his young child needed a good whipping and Dr. Phil said, "A parent is meant to be a child's safe place. How do you think they feel if one moment you act loving and the next moment you beat them?" 

Obviously, Dr. Phil doesn't understand discipline at all. 

Here are some questions I'd like to ask him:

"We are supposed to be able to trust our government to protect us. But we know that also means they fine, imprison, and sometimes even execute us. Does that mean our government fails when they punish us?" 
(It's beside the point that our government is often corrupt, and thus we do sometimes fear them. But we don't fear them because of them punishing us, but because their motives aren't backed by justice anymore.)

"I trust my best friends to tell me the truth. That involves bad things. Does this mean I hate my friends when they tell me something I don't want to hear?"

"When I ask beta readers to read my stories I expect them to tell me all the things that don't work in my story (hoping of course, that they tell me more good than bad). Yes, it's not a fun process. But is all that red ink bad for me or my writing?" 

Discipline is hard, whether it's self-inflicted or from others. But, those of us that enjoy learning and growing, will acknowledge the necessity of it. Even when it involves extreme pain.

I've noticed a fear among a lot of mothers to discipline their children. "I want my kid to like me, not hate me."

Now, it's only natural that you want to be loved, not hated. But that should not be your prerogative right now. You are not a failure for being hated. Your job is to raise a child that can survive in the world. Yes, you must raise your child, but you must also teach him. 

Your child might act like they hate you for a time ... but that doesn't mean you are doing wrong. The main point shouldn't be "Will I be hated" but "Why am I being hated?"

Yes, we should evaluate ourselves if we are hated. Being hated isn't a sign of righteousness. But neither is it a sign of failure. 

Even God is hated. He disciplines those who He loves (Hebrews 12:6). But some will harden their hearts against His discipline as a result. Does that mean God is evil for punishing us? No, it means that we can either choose to learn and grow, or we can choose to feel "victimized". 

People fear being hated way too much. But we are told in Luke 6:22, "Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake."

Just make sure you're being hated for the correct reason ;) 

As a child, I hated my mother's wooden spoon, but that doesn't affect how I see my mom now. In fact, I believe being punished as a child helped me develop my own personal healthy balance of self-discipline to be able to follow my dreams and hold down a job all at once. 

As a writer, I dread seeing my words bleed red when others critique them. But that doesn't mean I hide from beta readers ... I seek to grow and learn. 

Pain isn't something we love, but that doesn't mean discipline is wrong. And in some sort of way, despite all of Dr. Phil's supposed psychological/ philosophical training, he doesn't understand that being given complete reins where we should receive consequences doesn't result in a happier person, but a lesser, spoiled, incompetent brat. 

Just look at the world around us, full of wallowing idiots. Success is no longer about bettering yourself but finding "happiness". 

How previous generations would laugh at us if they could see us. 

"Just give that kid a good beating and then assign him some chores," they'd say about the majority of thirty-year-olds. 

"There's no difference between a spanking and a beating," one person once told me. 

It's because of beliefs like this that adults embrace procrastination as some huge joke. Even with consequences, many adults can't seem to see that their actions have repercussions. And why is depression at its highest, people wonder? 

Don't drain our red ink and burn our wooden spoons, Dr. Phil. 

We need them, just as much as we need to be loved and to love. Don't be afraid to love with justice and truth. Don't be afraid to be hated, if what you are doing is right by God and others. 

What are your thoughts on this matter? Have you ever seen Dr. Phil? 


  1. Very interesting! Personally, I’m not sure that physically beating is the best way for discipline, but I do agree that we need to discipline our kids, and even discipline ourselves! I’ve never seen Dr. Phil, but it is a little surprising that he would advise that......

    1. I've never seen Dr Phil either, but I've actually heard more good than not about it ... so I won't hold this against him ;) I guess it depends on what and how you physically discipline. As Ivie says below, disciplining with anger is never okay. But the Bible also talks about spankings in a positive way (Proverbs 13:24). Also, I don't believe in spanking over every disobedience. I think they are a type of punishment reserved for when necessary, and won't actually ever be a "true" beating as in badly hurting the child and abusing them.

  2. Ok, so I agree with a lot of what you said... and yes there is "but" to this and I might not get a lot of approval for this one, but (<--there it is xD) I am not a supporter of spankings. I don't like Dr. Phil for many reasons, and I don't completely side with what he is saying, but I think maybe the father was a bit too aggressive in this. Maybe I'm ignorant since I don't have a child of my own, but I just believe spanking is out of anger and there are other methods of discipline. But yeah, that's just my two cents, I don't know if it's worth much, I but I enjoyed reading your opinion on things. :)

    1. Always love your thoughts even when there is a "but" involved ;D
      And don't worry about approval here. We don't have to agree all the time for me to still approve of you hahaha.
      I agree that spanking out of anger is WRONG. Successful spankings isn't a common occurrence ... I believe that most of them should happen when the child is under three and definitely not past twelve, and not before six months old. I also believe that most spankings only have to be a light tap. It gets the attention desired and solidifies no, when no other consequences make sense to the child. And when not done in anger the child understands that the spanking is not abuse or hate, but a direct consequence of their actions. I believe that spankings are Biblically sound, and were a huge part of most civilized cultures until recent modern times. And I believe there's a direct correlation to how the youth act today and back in the times when they were spanked young and taught that "actions have consequences that are awful painful, so choose wisely".
      I believe that kids can still turn out just fine without a good spanking, but I believe that's very rare.
      Also, if spankings are done in anger and not in love, it's just as bad as not having spanking at all, and probably even worse at times as it results in a hurt and bitter adult.

  3. Dr. Phil annoys me to no end, but I think he might have had a bit of a point: don't punish your children in anger. Although, I am for sure for spanking, the whole "be your child's friend" is a sweet concept, but I think people forget that they're also their child's parent. As they say, punishment without relationship leads to rebellion, but relationship without punishment leads to a disorder.

    1. Actually, I should have clarified, Dr. Phil said nothing about anger. He spoke only of the evils of spankings. The father on the show didn't even sound angry, but seemed very decent and calm, and not like "I love spanking my kids" but "I know it's good for them, even if it's an unpleasant act."
      But YES to everything you just said. Especially the line where you say, "the whole "be your child's friend" is a sweet concept, but I think people forget that they're also their child's parent"

  4. Great post, Keturah! I've never seen Dr Phil (I personally don't think I could even stand watching with what I've heard of his methods and "advice." But anyways, I agree that discipline is an invaluable part of a child's life. If done PROPERLY, the children only learn to love and respect their parents even more than before, and also learn just how much their parents love them. I agree with Gray Marie: Discipline should NEVER be done in anger. As a mama myself, it certainly is difficult to discipline my baby boy when necessary, but in the long run, he will be a better behaved, respectful, and admired young man. That's my goal. :]

    Also, if you think about it, if a child has grown up in a properly-discipline home (none of the "grace-parenting" or borderline abuse, but a proper balance of discipline---spanking is totally acceptable, as is wooden spoons), then each of those goals will automatically fall into place. They will grow up loved, loving others, respecting others, and will be admired and respected in turn.

    1. Again, I so agree that anger should not be involved ;D LOVE everything you say ... and you're so right, a properly disciplined child becomes a respectable adult and fits well into society :)

  5. You make a really good point. I was disciplined as a kid, and as long as anger isn't involved I agree with it. Red ink also did wonders for my writing.

    1. Thanks! The crazy thing is, I've seen many parents who won't spank their kids to only grow frustrated and extremely angry, thus yelling at their kids. Turns into a huge angry mess that could have been solved peacefully with a single spankings YEARS ago.
      Yes, red ink is a best friend, isn't it? LOL.

  6. Discipline should be done out of love. Because Yahweh God loves us he disciplines us. Though as my Mother would say "you don't have children yet you don't understand how to discipline them."
    Interesting post!

    1. That's a very good correlation ;) And Aunt Julia is correct, except I don't think that's always true. I mean not every person has children, yet we can still learn how to discipline with love. Besides helping a ton with my own siblings, I've done a ton of babysitting and nannying and have had to learn to discipline though I've never actually been a mother. Of course I can't spank kids that aren't mine, so I've been forced to learn how to discipline in other ways.

  7. This was a really interesting blog post. I agree self-discipline is important. As a writer I have to have discipline to get anything done you know? But I can't say I agree with disciplining children in that matter. In my life I've seen lots of different forms of discipline used and personally in those circumstances it never helped the situation. I've never seen spankings or confiscating things as beneficial to the child. It never ends well and often makes the child rebel and resent the parent even more. I mean everyone's entitled to their opinions and each parent has their own parenting style but that's just how I feel from my personal experiences. :)

    1. Yeah, I have to have self-discipline to get ANYTHING done in life, especially getting up most mornings ;D haha. I've seen a lot of discipline done wrongly, too, sadly ;/ The thing is two different parents can be using the exact same methods of disciplining and yet one can be wrong and the other right. Discipline is rarely pleasant, no matter how it's done, but it is necessary in raising a happy, successful child. A child only rebels and resents a parent in one of two cases: 1. When the parent isn't being just and fair (godly) in their own actions and attitude. 2. When the child is refusing to take correction and grow, but holding onto their own sinful nature instead of allowing their parents' advice to take root inside of them. Often it's a mixture of both. But even so, the child is responsible for their own actions once they are grown up, and if they unjustly hate their parents (which some will) that is not because of some sin of the parents, but because the child has decided to reject what is right.
      But yes, everyone may have their own opinion. I think the main issue is that many individuals who don't understand how parents words will try to intervene in others' business, and that isn't right. Each parent should be allowed to discipline their child as they see fit, as long as it isn't true abuse.

    2. I agree... its often a mixture of those two reasons. It's sad but it happens, especially when a kid is raised in an ungodly home with ungodly parents. That's a huge factor! Is whether your parents have Christian values or not. And once your an older teenager then yes I do believe the kid is old enough to know right and wrong. They can choose for themselves whether to go down the right path or the wrong one.

    3. You're right, it is all very sad when done wrongly.

  8. HAAAAA I love this so much. It's great fun to see you tear heresies like this to pieces, Keturah! (And the wooden spoon is a well-established and well-respected institution in my family home as well, haha.) Are you at all familiar with Dr. Ray Garundi? (I'm probably misspelling his name but he's a psychologist who does a lot of writing on discipline, and this reminded me of his stuff. I think you'd like him, he's funny.)

    1. Oh, I love when people love my shredding rants!! Haha!
      I'm not familiar with that guy ... I'm definitely looking him up, because you got me on the word "funny" ;D

  9. "Just look at the world around us, full of wallowing idiots." I found this way too funny. You said it, sister. xD

    I'm so glad to see someone talk about this, because I believe kids these days (wow, writing that made me feel REALLY old) DEFINITELY need more discipline. The majority of kids (at least that I see) tend to be bratty, hateful, and disrespectful. Okay, I'll be nice and not say that every parent should be spanking their kids, but for heaven's sake, discipline the little monsters somehow!

    Here's the thing: me and my siblings received spankings (many times, even) as children, and 1) I think we turned out pretty good, and 2) we're not emotionally scarred.

    Of course, I say all this knowing that physical discipline might not be appropriate for every family, child, or situation. And of COURSE if it's overdone or done in anger it's not okay. But generally... yeah, I think more people should probably spank their kids. xD

    I feel like people nowadays are just so easily offended and intent on living life the way they want to that they think any kind of discipline or correction infringes on their rights. >.>

    1. I'm so glad you found that funny ... my complete intentions ;)

      And your whole comment is exactly on key! Especially that last paragraph ... crazy how people feel infringed upon, when once it was the way things were done, and things were good because of it ;D


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