Me and DWW were sitting here tonight watching “Supernanny” – that show where Jo, the British nanny, comes to the rescue of some poor family who can’t seem to raise their own children. It’s incredible, really…before she arrives, the kids are unruly, wild, degenerate, often violent, and when she leaves, they are usually docile, well-mannered kids who say “ma’am” and “sir” and clean their rooms, all without corporal punishment. It’s an inspiring show for any parents who have troublesome kids who won’t listen.
It’s also a bunch of bullshit.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Supernanny’s technique doesn’t work. It obviously does, and I’m sure Jo makes pretty good coin going around making little kids sit in the Chill-Out Chair or the Naughty Corner/Step/Spot. I got no beef with her. Make that money, honey. If they’re dumb enough to pay you to do that, be smart enough to cash those checks on the same day. No, my problem lies with the substandard, insufficient parenting that leads these namby-pamby, no balls having baby makers to call a damn television show to show them how to be good ‘rents.
Listen; I know that parenting isn’t always innate. The ability to reproduce does not also automatically come with the ability to guide, teach, inform, and mold a child into a respectable adult member of society. However, some things are just common fucking sense, and I’m at a loss to explain why these pseudoparents allow their young kids to:
- Hit, kick, and otherwise physically attack their parents
- Call their parents names
- Curse at their parents (I saw this from a 5 year old AND a 2 and a half year old on the show tonight, calling them “silly bitches”)
- Throw tantrums the size of Iowa without any real intervention
- Destroy their rooms or the house in general
- Take off OUT of the house, running top speed down the street in a fit of anger
And the parental reaction to these uncontrolled outbursts? Crying. The majority of the time, the only real reaction from the parents was to simply throw their hands in the air and weep and moan and cry over how they just don’t know what to do with their precious li’l Damian. The other Damian. Not me. I’m good. Then they have to go through the rigmarole of posting house rules, going over time outs, putting them in the chair, all in the hopes that the demon seed will suddenly see the light – eventually. There’s a trend among all the parents they show, a thread of commonality that prevails in every family:
They’re all white.
Now, I’m not saying that other races are better parents. Hell, I’m smart enough to realize that they’re showing only a very small subsection of all parents in the world, and that’s not enough to draw conclusions. But…I’m drawing a conclusion, and that conclusion is that I’ve never seen a black, Latino, Asian, or any other ethnic family on the show. This fact leads me to conclude that these other ethnic groups have a secret or technique that seems to work, on average, better.
They beat ass. Frequently.
Not gleefully. Not with pleasure (OK, sometimes with pleasure. Why lie?). Not abusively. But enough for the kid to know that, if they keep on fucking up, Armageddon is coming, and it’ll be in the form of a hand on an ass.
My mother would beat my ass on the regular. Sometimes, I think she did it just to let me know that she could. She would beat me with whatever was handy. Sometimes it was a flyswatter. Sometimes it was a belt. Sometimes it was a switch from outside (that she made ME go and pick out. And God help me if I came back with some tiny-ass little weeping willow branch. She’d go out and cut down an oak). A couple times it was a broom, and once, just once, it was a trophy she won. Let me be perfectly clear: this was NOT child abuse. My mother loved me, and I loved her. Still do. I earned those ass-whuppings, fair and square, and I didn’t complain about them. Not that I enjoyed getting beat with a house shoe, but this was how it was. Back in the day, a child wouldn’t DREAM of calling Child Protective Services on a parent, for fear of running up the phone bill. My mom was a school teacher for years, and back when I was in school, corporal punishment was still allowed. She owned a fiberglass paddle with holes drilled into it (for reduced wind resistance) she called Whistler, due to the sound it made on its way from her backswing to your ass. God help you if you heard that sound, ’cause it meant you’d have trouble sitting down for 2 days. And you know what? She didn’t have a lot of trouble out of her students. That’s what beating ass can do for you. We have two kids, and when they step out of line, their little asses get lit up like 4th of July in China. (Shut up. There IS a 4th of July in China; it’s just not a holiday, that’s all.)
The fine art of whupping ass has been for the most part lost in the PC-friendly environment of time out, over-emphasis on self-esteem, and a sweeping attitude of kids’ rights. An ass-whupping serves as the nuclear option: you don’t ever want to use it, but it’s there, you know it’s there, and your kid knows it’s there. Once the kid KNOWS you’ll whup ass, it changes his whole attitude about doing dumb shit. And, in truth, it actually reduces the likelihood that you actually have to whup some ass. It’s a delicate balance, but it works, most of the time. Supernanny shouldn’t even be employed.
Or she should come into the house with a paddle with holes drilled in it. You know, to cut down on wind resistance. Bet those brats would listen then, for sure.