Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 1/8

19 Mar

In the 1960s, Political Correctness in partnership with the unproven theory of soft, obsessive self-esteem driven parents rewrote the rulebook for parenting in America resulting today in the “average” American parent that talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day.

Out went the soap that was once used to wash the mouths of vulgar children and teens leading to the common use of the “F” word in almost every spoken sentence.

In addition, spanking (corporal punishment) was all but outlawed and identified as child abuse by many.

However, Religious Tolerancesays, “Corporal punishment is strongly recommended in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

Most of the biblical quotations advocating corporal punishment of children appear in the book of Proverbs.

“The phrase “spare the rod and spoil the child” is often incorrectly attributed to the Christian Bible. It does not appear there. It was first written in a poem by Samuel Butler in 1664.”

This video shows both the wrong and right way to spank a child.


Instead, Proverbs 13:24 says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently).”

Proverbs 19:18 says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 23:13 says, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

Proverbs 23:14 says, “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell (Shoel).”

Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brengeth his mother to shame.”

The Old Testament was the oldest parenting guide in the Western world and was used for several thousand years until the 1960s.

To be continued on March 20, 2011, in Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves


Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Education, literacy, Parenting


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5 responses to “Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 1/8

  1. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ

    March 20, 2011 at 15:11

    I am trying to understand this post. Are you advocating corporal punishment and spanking as a solution to parents who don’t spend time with their children? Are you advocating washing children’s mouths with soap if they curse? How are you defining good parenting? It’s not clear what you mean by “recognizing good parenting.”

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      March 20, 2011 at 17:34

      No, I don’t advocate or recommend spanking or washing a child’s mouth with soap. However, parents should not remove those two from the “table” as options. When applied properly, spanking and using soap is not an evil act or child abuse. Spanking and soap were used for centuries as part of child rearing. I’m sure some parents abused the power.

      However, I suggest you read all eight parts of this series to see the whole picture.

      In addition, I also suggest that a parent that uses spanking or soap as a behavior choice while raising children never use it when angry or as a way to exercise power of the child. If the parent gets angry, I suggest a time out for both the child and the parent. Never make a punishment decision when angry.

      What I call extreme methods such as spanking or soap would be a “last” (for want of a better word) resort or for shock value when the child might not learn that something he or she is doing could lead to death or a serious injury.

      When verbal reasoning doesn’t work, what other choices are left. There will be times when the parent must act quickly. A punishment that comes hours after the unacceptable behavior will not have the same impact as a punishment that arrives quickly. Actually, having a thought our and written down plan as a guide might help.

      Also, when spanking a child, force need not be used. There is no need to spank the child as hard as possible using full adult strength. The act in itself, if used sparingly, sends a strong message. The adult doing the spanking should also hate doing it–not enjoy it.

      While learning to become a teacher, my master teacher said to never tell the child that he or she will be spanked if you are unwilling to do it. Never tell a child you will do this or that if you know you cannot do it or it may lead to an escalation where control is lost over the situation.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      March 21, 2011 at 06:05


      I read your post a second time. My first response was rushed since I had to leave for an appointment.

      You asked, “Are you advocating corporal punishment and spanking as a solution to parents who don’t spend time with their children?”


      Parents must find ways to spend quality time with their children especially for the first six years. When I was learning to become a teacher and taking all those classes in child development (and later about how the brain develops and works and the different learning modalities—for a teacher learning how a child learns never ends. We take workshops and classes annually), we were taught that 90% of a child’s character/personality/values, etc. form the first six years. If one or both parents do not spend quality time raising the child and leave that task to strangers, spanking isn’t going to do much to deal with unacceptable behavior because the child will be the product of a stranger and not the parent.

      From the beginning, the parent decides the moral level of teaching and the rules of the family between parent expectations and the child. The child is taught what those are by the parent. The parent may want to write a list of no more than 10 child behavior expectations and read them to the child daily even before the child learns to talk. Eventually the child will understand what the rules mean and since they were read to the child from an early age, the importance of those parent guidelines will be apparent.

      If the parent has a job and the child a babysitter, then the babysitter must read to the child and not use the TV, a video game, or social networking on sites such as Facebook as the electronic pacifier. The parent doesn’t just hand the child over to the babysitter without expectations and instructions that will lead to the son or daughter that hold similar values to the parents.

      If parents do not rise their children to have the values the parent wants to see in the child, then child rearing becomes a lottery without having any idea who that child will be or what his or her values are.

      There is no reason to worry that the child won’t make choices for what they want to do in life or how much education he or she will learn. When the child becomes a teenager, the hormonal and developmental changes will lead the child to make choices but those choices will be influenced by the values and morals the parent taught the child while raising him or her. If the child was raised by day care, babysitters, TV, video games, the Internet, and his or her peers, those values will come from those sources.

      Spanking or washing the mouth out with soap would be a last resort. For example, I was spanked only a few times while growing up. I remember my father spanking me with his belt once in my life when I was three or four and he did it so I wouldn’t accidently kill myself. It was a lesson learned and I never took the risk I had taken that caused the spanking, which I didn’t know was a risk that could end in death or serious injury at that age.

      Then when my mother was told that I was “retarded” (it was the 1950s and the experts didn’t’ know what dyslexia was and how it messed up the learning pathways from the senses to the brain) and would never learn to read, she took matters into her own hands and taught me to read at home using a coat hanger to spank me when I rebelled and complained an cried too much refusing to read the primers she was teaching me from. I learned to read and I’ve never stopped reading and enjoying books.

      Before the coat hanger came out, she tried everything else–bribery, reason, time outs, etc. If my mother had not resorted to spanking, I would be illiterate today as my older brother (he was fourteen when I was born and twenty and in jail when my mother started to teach me to read) was illiterate to the day he died at 64. He and his wife had seven children and only the oldest daughter learned to read the other six were illiterate and most became drug dealers and drug users also spending time in jail.

      Another thing I learned is that the older a child is before the parent acts and behaves like a “parent”, the harder it will be to change unacceptable behaviors. As for soap, I may have had my mouth washed out with it once or twice and I learned to never curse in front of my parents. In fact, I didn’t learn to curse and use foul language until I was in Marine Corps boot camp at 19. Yet, as a teacher, I never used foul or unacceptable language in front of my students and I never spanked or hit a student–they were not my children. Although, I witnessed a principal use the school paddle to spank a child once in the thirty years I taught in the public schools in California.

      The parent “MUST” find ways to spend quality time with his or her child even if it means living frugality and giving up a higher standard of lifestyle with less gadgets and luxuries. One way to do this is to make sure that the family eats one or more home cooked meals a day at home sitting around the same table without the distraction of a TV or music and the talk with each other during the entire meal while the rule is that the child may not get up and run off to turn on the TV or play a video game or social network onFacebook until everyone is done eating no matter how long it takes.

      Then the family has reading time. The TV, video games and the Internet computer are left off while everyone reads for at last one hour. AFter that hour, the parent/s and child/ren sit together in a room without electronic distractions and talk about what each member of the family read.

      Before the child knows how to read, the parent reads to the child from a book (or a device such as an Amazon Kindle) so the child sees the book in the parents hands while the parent is reading to the child.

  2. Natasha

    March 10, 2014 at 02:58

    True. I was a public school teacher for more than forty years and the average American parent doesn’t do a good job. Why is this? Is there something wrong with American culture.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      March 10, 2014 at 07:00

      The answer is complicated.

      1st: Back in the 1970s a popular parenting movement got started and went viral in the 1980s. It was the self-esteem movement where far too many parents were obsessed with their child’s self esteem and put pressure on the schools to make the child feel good by giving the child (not earning) good grades so they would feel successful and that would boost self esteem.

      2nd: Back in the 1970s, the Walton family, the wealthiest family in America, started its campaign for vouchers and school choice. Choice, meaning that parents could decide if their child goes to the local public school where they live or a private school. The Waltons paid millions to fund voucher campaigns across America and lost over and over at the ballot box. When they came to California and lost, they were ready to open 700 private schools in strip malls. The campaign to cripple and possibly destroy the public schools grew and more billionaires joined the club. Today, they are known as the robber barons and wolves of Sesame Street and the list is long. Some have goals to profit off public education by robbing money from tax payers to fund private schools that make profits one way or another. To do this, these robber barons, Bill Gates and Rupert Murdock are two of the pack, have funded long campaign over several decades to blame teachers for just about everything that’s wrong in America so many Americans today think teachers are incompetent and bad. This, of course, has led to many parents now blaming teachers for their children failing in school and not learning. The Billionaire robber barons and wolves never mention that the average parent in America is still obsessed with boosting a false sense of self esteem in their children and allow their kids to spend 10 hours a day, on average, doing things like watching TV, playing video games, listening to music, hanging out with friends etc—not doing homework, reading for knowledge or pleasure or studying.

      The billionaires have now taken over several states and cities through funding the winners in elections. They learned that they can’t win at the ballot box through initiatives so they now own politicians form the President on down who do their bidding to come up with unrealistic laws that make the public schools look bad so they can be labeled failures and be turned over to the profiteering billionaires who only want to grow their wealth and power to new levels.

      These robber barons and wolves of Sesame Street have manufactured a crises in Public Education that doesn’t really exist.

      In fact, if you get past the lies and propaganda and look at the evidence, the public schools are more successful today than they have ever been in the history of the United States and they have steadily been improving annually.

      One book to read would be Diane Ravitch’s “Reign of Error” that offers a lot of this evidence to strip away the lies behind the hoax. She even shows who is getting wealthy off the tax payers who pay for public education and how much money is at stake.


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