What does "Spare the rod, spoil the child" mean to you?

I always thought it meant "don't hit your child, indulge him". Give him what he wants. Now I think it means "if you don't hit your child you will spoil him. He needs to be disciplined. What do you think?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think your second interpretation is closer to what is meant by it.

    But hitting/punishing are not the same as discipline! So I think the author of this adage is way off.

    Check out the site below for a much more thorough description of discipline vs. punishment, if you're interested.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Bible says: "He who spares the rod hates his son: but he that loves him corrects him at times" (Proverbs 13:24)

    This was written thousands of years ago, long before Christ, in more brutal times as one poster mentioned.

    But the wisdom still applies, if a child is spoiled, it spoils the child's chances for happiness and good relationships as an adult. The world will never indulge you like Mommy and Daddy.

    Being spoiled twists the spirit. Loving discipline is teaching your child to succeed and be happy--in this life and next.

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  • Tara
    Lv 4
    4 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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  • i was always taught it as, if u spare the rod then u will spoil the child. Basically give em a bloody good smack on the backside once in a while. It never did me any harm AND i used to get smacked with a leather belt, not a hand. Yez dont hear me yelling child abuse. in my humble opinion thats all some of the little brats these days need.

    Source(s): my own personal experience
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You are right in thinking that it means if you don't hit your child they will become spoiled. I think that you take the meaning more metaphorically for todays parenting. Although personally, when I was being bad as a child I preferred getting beats rather than whatever twisted psychological torture my parents could muster. It made more sense.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If you don't love your child enough to provide limits, and consequences to disobedience, (the rod.... today we'd call it a spanking, liberals would call it discipline), you'll end up with a spoiled brat.

    You have to remember context, this was written in a far more brutal time. In today's language it'd translate roughly to:

    "If you're afraid of damaging your child's self esteem by providing limits, or punishing, you'll end up with an individual that doesn't love or respect you, or themselves" (a spoiled brat)

    Make sense?

    Luck

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  • Marina
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It has always meant, if you don't discipline your kid, he will get spoiled. And back in the day, discipline meant beatings.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It means that children should be disciplined or they will be spoiled and hateful. It's true. Kids need discipline and rules.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    As a child,i was SEVERELY beaten,

    for really minor stuff !.

    Ok ok it does not seem right,BUT !

    i am a normal guy,i have no leanings

    toward abuse,i am a good man !.

    I must say,beat them,they will learn !.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the term is used for people/parents/guardians/teachers who dont have patience, understanding and thinking skills. in other words....this is a misguided attempt at blaming a child for becoming spoiled and the only way to fix it is by physical punishment.

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