I have listened to the discussions about abuse over the past weeks on the radio, television, and even in my home. There are varied opinions on the subject whether it is about child abuse or spousal abuse.

As I listened,  I got the impression that people are more apt to condemn child abuse than they are spouse abuse. I also think people of my generation are more likely to think there is nothing wrong with spanking children, something I only agree with in a very limited way.  I had plenty of spankings when I was a child, and they hurt, and left switch marks on me, something my mother said she regretted later in life.

As a father, I can truthfully say, that my wife was more of the disciplinarian in our family than I was as our children grew up. I think that came about because she had the temperament to handle that job without the use of switches or paddles.

I have always believed each child has something that motivates them better than pain, and all you have to do is find that thing to get their attention. For some, it can be the sitting in a corner, or in their room. For another, it could be the withholding of an allowance or something else they want. Never underestimate how mercenary some children might be.

My wife and I have raised three children, and I give her credit for getting them through childhood with no physical or emotional scars. For those who still believe they need to beat their children or spouse because that was how it was done when you were children, I remind them that someday they will have grandchildren, and they will think a lot different if they see those switch marks on them.

My wife has a paddle hung on the wall at our house; it is actually a fly swatter with the bottom covered with a soft padded pillow. It says grandma’s paddle, but she would never even think of using even that one.

I have no respect for a man or a woman who would engage in abuse against a child or their spouse. I believe it is a weakness in the character of the abuser, and is something that needs to be held up for scrutiny anytime it happens.

I also believe everyone should feel compelled to report abuse of any kind to law enforcement before marks on a child or a black eye on a spouse becomes something they can’t survive. This is my opinion, and I invite comments from anyone who agrees or disagrees.