I’m sure you’ve been a victim of slaps, strokes, whips and whatever your parents must have deemed fit to be a good form of discipline as a child. To the parents, I’m sure you might have also fallen victim of doing this to your kids, after all, the same thing was done to you, so, why can’t you do same to your kids.

The concept of discipline is a universal one, however, there are different approaches to achieving this single aim. In our part of the world, we are very hard on the use of the rod as a mode of discipline, little wonder we have many of our comedians making allusion to this method we have chosen to adopt.

Well, while the concept of “spare the rod and spoil the child” is a biblical one, have we really bothered to understand what that ‘rod’ stands for? Have we just chosen to take it literally to mean cane, or we want to see it figuratively to mean discipline? While many have adopted the first approach, seeing it as cane, I’ll love to deviate from the norm, particularly in my clime, and go for the second one which is seeing the ‘rod’ as a symbol for discipline.

While many believe in the use of cane as a necessity to raising well cultured children, there are others who do without the cane, yet they have similar result with the cane users. This is not to disprove the use of the ‘rod’ as a means of correction, but to open our eyes to other forms of discipline that the ‘rod’ may symbolise.

While many believe in the use of cane as a necessity to raising well cultured children, there are others who do without the cane, yet they have similar result with the cane users. Click To Tweet

1) The rod of love: The reason we still have many recalcitrant children despite the use of a cane is that many of them are flogged out of annoyance and with reckless abandon, which makes the child hardened and stubborn. No matter how hard they are flogged, they are still recidivist. Love is what makes you discipline your child when they choose to err. This could be done with or without the use of a cane, and the message is still passed acrossed. You could give a punishment that is suitable to the offence committed, and also let the child know why they are being punished.

2) The rod of words: There is an extent to which you can use cane on a child. Personally, cane stopped having effect on me at a time, but till date, words haven’t lost its impact. Once I do a wrong, and I’m spoken to, particularly in a rough or shouty manner, I withdraw into my shell. Well, a word rightly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Using the right words at the right time in the right proportion will go a longer way than cane might go. In all, let the words be gracious. No curse words all in the name of instilling discipline. Remember, words shape the life of a man.

3) The rod of denial: Here, there are certain things your kids love and always want to have. It may be toys, games, outings, and what have you. You can use the denial of these privileges to teach them a lesson for a wrong they may do. However, never deny them of their basic needs like food. One thing I learnt from my mum is that no matter the offence we commit, she doesn’t deny us food as a means of punishment.

4) The rod of the Bible: The Bible is one of the most efficient rods, used together with prayers to discipline a child. Imagine a child who has committed an offence is given a scripture that deals with that wrong to read. You as a parent also reads that scripture to the understanding of the child, pointing out the offence committed and what the Bible says about it, as well as God’s unhappiness to those who commit such offence. The sombering effect it will have on that child will be more than how far cane will go. After this, you can tell the child to apologise to God for committing the offense, then you can give the child a mild punishment. This can only be effective if you are training that child in the way of the Lord.


There are many more rods that can be used. Above all, I have no say in how you choose to discipline your child, but know this, the admonition is “spare the rod and spoil the child, not use the rod to break the child.”

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