We have been discussing corporal punishment and some see it as the cure for allowing a generation to grow up as namby-pambys!
First, what is a namby-pamby? Here is some explanation derived from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/namby-pamby:
Word History: We are being very literary when we call someone a namby-pamby, a word derived from the name of Ambrose Philips, a little-known 18th-century poet whose verse incurred the sharp ridicule of his contemporaries Alexander Pope and Henry Carey. Their ridicule, inspired by political differences and literary rivalry, had little to do with the quality of Philips's poetry. In poking fun at some children's verse written by Philips, Carey used the nickname Namby Pamby: "So the Nurses get by Heart Namby Pamby's Little Rhimes." Pope then used the name in the 1733 edition of his satirical epic The Dunciad. The first part of Carey's coinage came from Amby, or Ambrose. Pamby repeated the sound and form but added the initial of Philips's name. Such a process of repetition is called reduplication. After being popularized by Pope, namby-pamby went on to be used generally for people or things that are insipid, sentimental, or weak.
It is a real danger that we face, to be honest. And, ironically, the danger is in overprotecting our children from danger! Because of the way that danger sells news, it represents the world as dangerous everywhere! It permeates our culture to the extent that children are never allowed to walk to school with other kids for fear that they will be abducted. This, even though statistics show that this problem has not really increased over the years, but the reporting of it has! Understanding this is important to realizing the source of the ailment.
When Lafawnda was a young pup of about 4, she went to a preschool class held by Miss Marty. Miss Marty believed it was her job to teach children to not be afraid of the world and she was very good at what she taught!
For example, she took them out one day into a hilly area and took them hiking to the top of the hill! It was a high, steep hill for a 4-year old, but she told them they had to make their way to the bottom. If need be, they could slide on their butts, but if they really wanted to have fun, they would roll every chance they got!
The first time down, the kids were scared. They didn’t want to hurt themselves, so they slid on their butts fairly carefully. Until Miss Marty showed them that she could roll like crazy down that hill and live to tell about it! Soon, everyone took the plunge and rolled all over the universe.
She had them climb trees, jump off of things. When they got hurt, they were not coddled – nor were they belittled – but instead were encouraged to get up, dust off, and go at it again. Part of Lafawnda blossomed!
A couple of weekends ago, our granddaughter was playing soccer when she was whacked pretty good with a kicked ball. When her mother started to run out onto the field, I told her in no uncertain terms to stop! This was a very valuable experience for a youngster, to learn to shrug off a little pain and jump back into the game – which she did. In fact, she played harder than she ever had after that!
And that is the point. Kids avoid becoming namby-pambys more from confronting the world in an adventurous way than from tolerance of corporal punishment. Not that a swat on the butt is never called for, because some occasions call for it. But, that is not the path to boldness for a child in my eyes. No, the path to boldness is found in adventure and exploration and being taught to tolerate the price of scrapes and bruises that sometimes comes with it. They quickly learn that the reward far outweighs the risk. When I was a kid, all of us kept BandAid in business!
Now, I invite you to watch a video from a TED lecture on this topic. The guy is a lousy lecturer, which is actually one of the things I like about him. But, he goes for it in ways that will probably have you laughing. In part, you will be laughing at how outrageous he is, but you will get the idea!
If you can’t see this, try: