Kids and discipline

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By Ken Begley

Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize their teachers.

Socrates, died 399 BC

I’m philosophically opposed to engaging in debate with the younger generation when it comes to standards of morals and behavior.

Does that make sense?


It means I don’t take a load of crap off kids when they start acting up. That’s especially so if it’s directed toward me. The only thing I give liberally to my kids, and those in my charge, is punishment of various degrees.

Sometimes light punishment works.

If two kids are fighting among each other, then I’ll generally sit them down at a table and force them to look at each other in the eyes. Generally they’ll start to crack up laughing no matter how mad they’ve been. In fact, they’ll get mad at themselves for their uncontrollable laughter.

I once sat down two of my daughters for just such a session. Both started to laugh. I asked the younger sister what was so funny. She said, “I just got to thinking that I’ve seen better looking faces on glue bottles and cracked up!”

OK, so it doesn’t always work.

You should raise the level of punishment as the situation demands and don’t back down. This is particularly so when your kid is a good talker.

One of my kids tried to use their silver tongue to win a reprieve.

“You can’t punish me,” she said.

“Why not,” I replied.

“That’s society’s job, to punish me because it takes a village to raise a child.”

“Who says?”

“Hillary Clinton.”

“Well, society and Hillary have failed you young lady,” I said as I rolled up my sleeve, “But rest assured, I won’t.”

Whap, whap, whap!!!

Sometimes my kids think I’ve already made up my mind before they attempt to argue their appeal. That could not be further from the truth. I believe in a fair trial and a good hanging.

My firm belief is that punishment should be swiftly administered after the transgression has been committed. This is so it’s reinforced as to why I’m doing it.

An example is when we were returning from vacation one year from Gatlinburg. One daughter loves to annoy everyone else to death. She continued to do this despite repeated warnings over several days.

So, being a good dad, I pulled in for gas along the interstate and took the offending child out of the car. A lady from New York was filling her car up at the same time. She looked at my daughter and me in curiosity for a moment.

I said, “Pardon me ma’am, while I discipline my child,” and proceeded to give her a spanking at the pump.

The woman asked, “Can you do that here?”

I said, “Yes ma’am. This is Kentucky.”

I looked up a second later and she was standing in line with her wide-eyed little boy.

Here’s another method you might try.

One of my daughters started to have trouble with her grades in school. We had a heart-to-heart talk about the problem.

“I’ve read of a way to improve your test scores by 15 percent,” I told her.

“You mean a tutor,” she replied.

“No, it’s this.”

I walked over to the corner of her bedroom. I unplugged her television, picked it up, put it in the car and took it to a Goodwill Store.

It brought a nice tax deduction and her scores went up 20 percent with all that spare time she now had.

I may not always be loved but I will be remembered.