“Spare the rod and spoil the child.”? A father tells his story of how he now has second thoughts about using harsh physical punishment on his sons.
Decades ago, long before the United Nations came to be and adapted the universal convention on the “Rights of the Child”, parental authority was absolute and unquestioned in every home.
As sole provider of the “needs and wants” of his own family, the father traditionally had the “final say” on almost everything concerning his family. And all members of the family (inclusive of the mother) would respect and abide by the father’s word – as honored commander-in-chief.
How times have changed…
Nowadays, in many households around the world, it is observed firstly that some mothers and fathers have become co-breadwinners; secondly that some mothers have swapped roles with fathers and now go out to work while daddy-yo stays home to tend to household chores; and lastly (and definitely most sadly), that some children also are forced to work – or even compelled to become child-combatants in conflict areas.
With the changed roles, some fathers have sadly become the abusers, instead of protectors, of their children. And in war-torn countries, child-combatants have learned to hate (so early in their lives) – rather than to love. To these child-combatants, parental authority has little meaning – if at all.
Given the above, the universal convention on the “Rights of the Child” is a useful reminder for all who value our future generations.
I am a father of three adult sons – and a grand-father of two lovely girls. As head-of-family, I consider myself blessed with a devoted wife (of over 41 years) and with loving children and grand-children. As a Senior Citizen, I now write about my lessons-in-life; about my responsibility at parenting – and grand-parenting; and about my dream of helping make a “Better Asia”.
As the eldest in a sibling brood-of-seven of a struggling migrant Filipino Family, both my parents, instilled in me these early lessons-of-life. Namely; love of family, respect for elders, and unquestioned parental authority.
And like most other Asian children, my parents would spank me each time I misbehaved. I cannot forget Father’s countless beltings and Mother’s hard slaps. They were painful. And at times, I would feel bitter towards them.