- Aug 9, 2003
You asked a questionLet me introduce myself. My name is Edward Thompson, Sr. & I am a happily married husband & father of 4 sons. I've been married for 25 years & just celebrated our anniversary. With 2 sons in college & 2 left @ home, my wife & I always compliment each other on doing a great job bringing up our boys. However, boys will be boys & a situation has occurred that I need to bring to your attention as to the way I handled it. Shall I start from the beginning?
First, I ask that you not judge me until you have heard the whole story & then afterwards, I will accept any & all criticism, whether it be constructive or not. . . But being a strong black man & dedicated father, I feel that I may not receive much backlash. Anyways, here's the deal!
Around the end of September, our 16-year old son brought home his report card & had failed one of his required courses. Our rules are that if you fail any class for that reporting period, you will be grounded until the next report card arrives & better grades appear. With this already known, our son knew what time of the day it was & we explained to him what the consequences were (just in case he forgot). . . But on Friday, October 30 2015--it seems that he forgot our "explanation" & decided to attend the high school Halloween dance. Obviously, we weren't aware of it because he pulled the old "cover yourself" routine on us (parents) since we are too old & out of touch as to what teenagers are capable of. . . I sent the wife to the store for some popcorn & called out to our son to ask what movie he wanted to watch (since he was still on punishment). After two or more tries, I went to his room & discovered something: HE WASN'T THERE! Of course, he had the bed fixed like someone was in it (oldest trick in the book!). . . But he forgot that mom & dad were once teenagers themselves. At that point, I had to walk outside & calm down because not only was our son grounded but had now disobeyed us as a whole! Now, I came up with a plan for him that I assure you he will never forget.
I TOOK HIM WAY BACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL STYLE OF DISCIPLINE!!!!!!
When he arrived (or sneaked) back into our house after midnight, he went showered & was going to get to bed (this scenario almost sounds like the script from the first "House Party" movie) & right now, my wife & I can laugh @ it. . . However, our son didn't! As he went into his room & opened his closet, there I was. I wished I could have polaroid that moment. All I told our boy was to go outside & cut me 2 switches (a 2nd switch just in case the 1st one break).
YES, YOU HEARD RIGHT!
He really didn't know what to do. So, I showed him what to cut & explained to him how to prepare those bad boys & he followed instructions. All our son asked me was "pops, will those things hurt?" I responded by saying "it depends." But each switch was long but thin so I knew it wouldn't cause much damage on him @ that age. . . However, what I didn't tell him is what he was about to endure with a switch whipping. Yes, all of you who were brought up in the 1960s & 70s know how a switch whipping feel--especially if you were raised in the South (like myself). Nonetheless, I told him don't worry about putting a shirt on because he won't need it. I ordered him to lock his hands on top of his head & went to work!!!
BOTTOM LINE--I GAVE OUR SON AN OLD FASHIONED WHOOPIN!!!
After the first few lashes, he begun pleading for me to cease & that he wouldn't never disobey us again, but that didn't stop me. I whipped my son until a good cry was acknowledged & then I stopped. Almost a week later, my wife & I can't ask for a better son. He's been very attentive of his younger brother & been offering to help around the house without his mother or I even asking. His mother even told me that his grades had improved because she had not received any text messages from his teachers this reporting period (report card come out next week as well). If he did good, his punishment will be lifted & he will be allowed to go back to doing what his friends are probably doing. Now, as for the switch whipping, that was not punishment. . . That was pure discipline & it's over with. He even told me & his mom that "he never wants to feel the sting of the switch again because he didn't know something so thin could be so painful!"
Like myself, many of you know that there's nothing like a serious, old fashioned switch whipping & unlike other heavier implements, a switch is lightweight, thin & doesn't cause any damage (broken limbs, puncture wounds, etc.) but the pain of that sting is purely unimaginable! However, guess what? Many of us lived through it & so can our children of today.
Now, I ask you, my community, do you feel that I was right in disciplining our 16-year old son in such a manner OR should I have grounded him (more) OR gave him time out, etc. I await your response.
My answer as well
Always cool down first
Then decide if grounding your son can get your son's serious attention
And don't even admit to actually having done anything others might misuse to challenge your parental rights etc