Spare the Rod, Spoil the Nation

"Primary is the need to say what you mean in the fewest words possible and mean what you say. That is how one gets a child to respect and obey legitimate authority." John Rosemond, Living With Children

I feel so vindicated! At last, after almost thirty years, I've found someone that thinks the way I do on the subject of child rearing, and has the authority to back it up. John Rosemond, is a child psychologist that believes in "intuitive parenting." He's authored fourteen parenting and family issues books, and his weekly column, Living With Children, is published in more than two hundred newspapers.

Of course, being the square peg that I am, means that my hero is himself considered something of a renegade within the field of psychology, a science he admittedly has little use for, or faith in.

So what does Mr. Rosemond advocate? A Christian, Mr. Rosemond professes what he refers to as, the "simple, clear, common sense of God's plan for child rearing." According to Rosemond, the fundamentals of child rearing, were known intuitively, by parents who raised children before, "The Big Wet Blanket of Psychobabble, was thrown over parenting common sense some forty years ago."

"Where children are concerned, new ideas are not true, and true ideas are not new." Rosemond

I've been following Mr. Rosemond's column weekly, in our local paper, for the past two years, and his philosophy and instruction to exasperated parents seeking advice, has not disappointed me yet. Basic to his thinking, is the belief that parents of the 1960's, abandoned the fundamental understandings that guided the raising of children. These fundamental understandings, passed from generation to generation, were rejected in favor of contemporary, secular parenting models with disastrous results.

I don't mean to sound like a cultural cynic, but based upon my experience as a mother, school administrator, and citizen of the world, I heartily agree with Mr. Rosemond's assessment. In light of the current state of national cultural, economic and environmental affairs, I think its fair to say, that it would appear as though our society may have zigged, when it should have zagged. Something has gone horribly wrong, and as responsible human beings, we need to stop looking elsewhere for blame, and start focusing on the core - the American family.

As I navigated the road to adulthood with our girls, I saw warning signs along the way, indicating that our friends and some family members were taking a different route with their children. Early on, there was the couple that imposed their infant daughter on previously adults-only gatherings, expecting the assembled to be sensitive to the fact that a child was present, which meant the volume on the stereo needed to be lowered, and salty language and behavior restrained.

There was the neighbor girl that sat in her turreted bedroom window, while her mother explained to the rest of us over coffee, that her daughter was an unusually beautiful and gifted child, that deserved to be spoiled, the visiting children that complained miserably, and publicly, about the food put before them because it didn't look or taste exactly like what Mommy served at home (needless to say, they weren't expected to eat what they didn't like), and the thoroughly non-athletic children whose parents insisted they get equal time on the playing field/court.

When our eldest was eight and the youngest three, we went on car-trip with a couple who's two-year-old refused to sit quietly unless his mother sat beside him in the back seat. When the going got tough and Mommy exhausted her bag of tricks, we were all enlisted to sing along with the Raffi, the global troubadour. The kid cried louder.

It makes sense to assume, that these over-indulged children, became demanding, self-indulgent adults. Those children that matured, in spite of their parents, to become responsible adults, have no parenting role model to look toward while rearing their own offspring. These poor parents are working blind.

I attribute my two daughters' failed marriages, to bad parenting. The man-children they married, had absolutely no idea how to put someone other than themselves first, and when the going got tough, they left (or threw a tantrum). Its no wonder, they both ran home to Mommy the first chance they got (and still reside there).

We are now on our second generation of adults, raised without proper parenting. No wonder we're in the trouble we're in. Those parenting our country out of Washington D.C. have absolutely no idea how to raise one child, let alone a nation.


  1. I love John Rosemond's philosophy. We've watched his talk a few times and it's so encouraging! I didn't realize his articles were in a local paper though. I try my darndest to recall what "Grandma" might do in situations.... I love how he says we need to talk matter of factly to our kids. I've tried it and it does work. Like the day I told Gabriel - "You know, you're 5 now, you should be able to sweep a floor. I'm going to show you how to do that so that you can help out". done. we need to empower our kids with the fact that they are able to help and contribute in our homes... which leads to helpful and contributing citizens in society.

    I could go on...