Strict Parents and Spankings: Why I'm Grateful HN Blog
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Strict Parents and Spankings: Why I'm Grateful

Strict Parents and Spankings: Why I'm Grateful

By:  Joanna Schlaud April 9, 2021

When I was very young, my best friend was the neighbor girl next door to me.

The family I grew up in was very conservative and I grew up in a beautiful bubble. No TV. Only classic literature and saint books. No public school. Frequent dinners with priests and similarly large-sized families. The girls all wore skirts all the time and the boys were all altar boys.

The neighbor girl was your run-of-the-mill 5 year old and an only child. Divorced and remarried parents. Public school. No particular religious affiliation. Her family owned horses and she wore shorts and had a sandbox and owned games like “Pretty Pretty Princess”, so of course her house was way more exciting to be at. She was over in my yard almost as much as I was in hers, except that I was much more mischievous around her.

I was supposed to ask before I went over to her house to play, but knowing pretty often that my mom would say no, I would climb over the fence that separated our yard and play without permission. Eventually my mother would come out of the house and call for me, knowing full well where I was (me being very poorly hidden behind a bush). Meanwhile, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there too, so I would hide behind said bush and say to my friend, “Don’t tell her I’m here”. Mom would call. And call. And call. Until finally my poor worn out mother would give up and go back in the house and I would run off to play in my friend’s sandbox.

When I got home I got spanked, which was to be expected for my poor behavior. The funny part is that I remember the hiding well, but there is no part of me that remembers the spankings AT ALL. My sisters laugh so hard when they tell me the story, not because I got spanked, but because instead of learning my lesson, I just immediately went and did it again. It was unfathomable to them that I would keep climbing the fence knowing I was going to get spanked later.

This is the story of my life. I am not a worrier. I can very much live in the moment. I wasn’t worried about the consequences because I was happy being with my friend. This can be good in that I don’t worry much. I have a pretty good trust in God and a pretty realistic view of my own puny humanity to know He’s got this when it comes to my life.

On the other hand, it makes me a little too trusting. I’m a little too much of the joyful grasshopper and maybe not enough of the industrious ant, if you recall Aesop’s famous fable.

This is where I get into trouble with sin. My biggest errors were not when I made definite choices to sin, but when I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t give it thought until later. I trusted who I was with to make good choices, to be good people, maybe only later realizing that perhaps it was not wise company, and that everyone makes mistakes, and that maybe I should not have followed the choices made by others who didn’t share my faith or morals. This also gets extremely awkward when you have done something once (or twice? 3 times?) and then refuse to participate in sin the next time. They have a harder time understanding that then a flat refusal from someone right away. So many times, I stammered “I just felt really guilty after that, and I don’t feel comfortable doing it again”. Wishing I had had the wisdom and forethought beforehand.

I am grateful for the gift of a good conscience, trained by my parents. How often and how quickly I would have been led down the wide path of fun if not for the prick of a good conscience. And how many times I tried to reason with it before I finally gave in to admitting my peace was missing.

If you are feeling the nudge. If you are already reasoning with something that won’t let you rest easy, listen closely. It’s a precious thing, our consciences; and the only thing to turn it off (until next time) is a good confession and a bit of conviction.

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