Parking lot justice

Until recently, I had pretty much concluded that traditional parenting methods had gone the way of the dinosaur, as today’s parents seem increasingly prone to abdicate their responsibilities to the purveyors of psycho-babble and big government.

The Sunday before last, however, I learned that my pessimism may have been premature.

The incident that changed my mind occurred in our church’s parking lot, where at least one 11-year-old suddenly learned that misdeeds can still occasionally trigger a parent’s return to common sense – as I watched a mother drag her wayward son out to our the parking lot for some bare bottom justice.

Of course it didn’t start out that way. Apparently, the youngster had been chasing around the halls with several other kids (contrary to at least one prior parental warning) and, in an effort to outrun the other boys, had slammed shut a glass-panelled door that separates the annexe from the main building.

Unfortunately, the 11-year-old not only slammed the door closed too hard, shattering the panel, but choose the worst possible moment to so – just as a little girl was coming out of an adjacent room. While she wasn’t hurt badly, she did sustain several cuts from the flying glass and naturally was more frightened than anything else. And as one would expect, she stirred up quite a fuss.

Unfortunately for the boy, he also choose the wrong place to have this accident – just down the hall from the classroom where the girl’s parents – and his own mother – had been attending an adult Bible class.

From what other people later told me, the incident quickly evolved into a minor mob scene, with the outcome being an unpleasant exchange between the parents, followed by the kid being hustled out to the parking lot by his angry mom. That’s the part I actually witnessed.

I was standing outside putting some trays in my own trunk when the boy was dragged out – crying and protesting – to his mother’s van.

Initially, it appeared that all she had intended to do was scold the youngster and force him to sit in the van in an impromptu ‘time out’. Unfortunately, this was apparently not one today’s smarter kids, because instead of just accepting the non-punishment and scolding quietly, the kid started arguing with his mom and being defiant.

Standing just two cars over, I had a clear view as the boy’s mother suddenly decided she had had enough. Sliding the van’s side cargo-style door open, she started to pull the boy inside, only to apparently realise that her intent – to pull the kid’s pants down and give him a real spanking in the relative privacy of the van – wouldn’t work due to the vehicle’s low ceiling.

When the mother realised this (all this time, bawling her son out), she must have just gotten frustrated – because a moment later, she had dragged the youngster back outside, seated herself in the van’s still-open doorway, took off the boy’s own belt, yanked down the youngster’s pants and hauled him over her knee.

Angrily rejecting the kid’s excuses and plea, the mother then folded the belt and – still scolding her son out as the strap rapidly punctuated her remarks – gave that 11-year-old a thoroughly sound, old-fashioned and obviously effective spanking.

In fact, by the time the miscreant’s mother had completed the spanking nearly two minutes later, the boy was virtually dancing on his mom’s lap, his feet involuntarily kicking up and down, his rear end a sizzling hot and strap-painted pink and his cries and tears obviously now authentic and very, very sincere.

As they drove off, I also remember thinking that while spanking had apparently not been one of the normal parenting tools previously employed by that mother, her son might soon discover that that too was about to change.

Contributor: Barbara

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