Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 1 decade ago

what the heck does "spare the rod, spoil the child" mean?

does it mean not to spank a kid and to spoil them? cuz that isn't right either. I mean, who wants a bunch of spoiled brats running around

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  • Sam
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It doesn't mean to spank or to spank the child with a rod. It is way over used and wrongly used. It means to discipline or your child will turn out spoiled, not to spank.

    "Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." - Psalm 23

    The rod and staff are the shepherd's tools for comforting the sheep. It is for caring and protecting, never for beating them to death

    The "rod" is to guide and protect the sheep, not hit them, which is where the saying comes from.

    EDIT : This is to Honest Mommy. I am not trying to run anyone down I am simply stating my opinion and it isn't my problem if you do not agree with it or anyone else, that is what this place is for. I am a respectful kind college educated person so don't act like you know me because you do not. Once again those are my views and opinions, you believing them or agreeing to them is not what I care about, I do think people who spank are stupid, again just my opinion you don't like it well I do not really care, my response was not to you.

    To the other lady who said report me, report me for what? I have done nothing but state my opinion.

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  • 5 years ago

    You really do not know the Greek if you do not think the word "rod" means to spank! Yes, a Shepherd does use a rod and a staff, but the rod was used to discipline the sheep, and also to protect them from wolves, lions and bears. The staff was used to pull the sheep away from danger, since the hook on the end of a "Shepherd's Hook". So, for a better understanding of the verse, it basically means to correct and discipline your child in order to steer them in the right direction (towards God). Sometimes that requires force. Sometimes that requires a gentle nudge. It is up to the parent to decide which is required.

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  • Andrea
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    When I was little I thought it meant, do not use a rod, spoil your children but I think people on here do think it is if you don't use the rod you are spoiling.... I have no idea those old way back when people need to be more clear! :)

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's from the Bible. Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

    It's also whats meant in the 23rd Psalm "your rod and your staff, they comfort me." The Psalmist is saying that being disciplined {guided} will help him to be a good man.

    If more people spent time in church and Sunday School and less time on the computer, they would know such a simple answer. {NOT meant as an insult to the asker...that's how we learn; by asking questions} This is aimed at all the misguided people who had the wrong answer!

    "Honest Mommy" is absolutely right about "Sam". Just report her like we do. Maybe we can get her removed once and for all!

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  • Robin
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    It means that children need guidance (discipline). It doesn't mean they need to be hit with a rod.

    The term "rod" does indeed refer to those used by shepherds, who guided their sheep in the direction they wanted them to go by placing the rod on one side of the sheep & nudging it or pushing it.

    Like sheep, children need guidance (discipline). There are many other passages in the bible advising fathers (parents) to be kind to their children.

    Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

    Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

    Fathers, provoke not your children, that they be not discouraged. Colossians 3:21

    The great theologian John Calvin wrote on Ephesians 6:4 “Parents are exhorted not to irritate their children by unreasonable severity. This would excite hatred, & lead them to throw off the yoke altogether. Accordingly, in writing to the Colossians, he adds, “lest they be discouraged.” Kind & liberal treatment has rather a tendency to cherish reverence for their parents, & to increase the cheerfulness & activity of their obedience, while a harsh & unkind manner rouses them to obstinacy, & destroys the natural affections. But Paul goes on to say, “let them be fondly cherished;” for which unquestionably conveys the idea of gentleness & forbearance.”

    Hope this is helpful.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The quote, “spare the rod, spoil the child” does not come from the Bible . . . it is actually from a Dickens novel.

    The Bible says, “If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don’t love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24 (NLT). The King James Version rendered this verse, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

    The phrase, “chasteneth him betimes”, carries a far more gentle and loving connotation than the Dickens quote.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It means that if you spare the rod you will spoil the child. If you dont discipline your child then it will think it can get away with anything and pretty much it can if you dont offer correction. It does'nt mean not to spank your child. I think a spank is fine as long as it is on the hiney and not your first course of action....

    Source(s): Its not a Victorian thing...It's a BIBLICAL thing...
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  • 1 decade ago

    Spare the rod, spoil the child means. If you spare them punishment you'll spoil the child.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The rod is a switch, or something used to spank the child with. It doesn't mean beat them to a pulp just because you feel like it - it means if you don't discipline, you'll have a spoiled child. It means if you spare the rod (don't use it, the rod not being literally a rod but discipline), you will end up spoiling the child.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You could rephrase it:

    "Don't use the rod and you will spoil your child."

    I personally believe that in this day and age "the rod" should be a metaphor for discipline, and not necessarily refer to corporal punisment.

    Children do need discipline or they will be spoiled. I personally don't believe in spanking, though.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Very old , (hence the whole "rod" usually being a skinny tree branch in the olden days) saying meaning if you don't spank you spoil. In other words without discipline kids learn no boundaries.

    Of course today we don't use physical discipline but we can still look at this saying as being true. You have to set boundaries.

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