Parents have to be strict when it comes to instilling good values in their children.
If they are soft, the children will not be disciplined in life.
Spare the Rod literally does not refer to sparing the child from physical beatings. It means not being strict enough.
Children should be given freedom but at the same time they should also be taught to value it.
There was once a little boy who was very intelligent but who was a kleptomaniac. He had the bad habit of stealing things from people. Right from notebooks to pencils, from footwear to food in lunch boxes, he was always stealing things.
His mother thought that her son was extraordinarily skilled and never scolded him or told him that what he was doing was wrong. So the boy thought that his actions were all correct and quietly carried on.
What just started as fun slowly developed into an addiction and soon he graduated into bigger thefts. Soon he became an expert thief and was feared by all in the village.
One day he was caught in the act of stealing and the judges after enquiring into his crimes decided that he should be punished severely so that others would also learn a valuable lesson.
On the appointed day as he was being taken away to be whipped in public, the thief was asked if he wished to meet anyone before being taken away. He wanted to know if he could see his mother. His wish was granted.
When he met his mother the thief shouted at her with utter disrespect much to the shock and astonishment of the onlookers.
When asked for the reason he said, “I know what I did is wrong. But I want all the mothers in this world to take this as a lesson. My mother should have disciplined me as a child when I got into the wrong path. If she had guided me properly, I would not have become a thief. But she did not do her duty well. So here I am as a seasoned criminal in front of you now."
On hearing this, his mother realized her mistake and went and pleaded to the judges
to reduce her son’s punishment since she was partly responsible for his becoming a thief.
The judges listened to her patiently and then told her, "The law of the land is the same for every one. Since your son and you have both realized your mistake we can take this as a special case and change the nature of the punishment.”
On hearing this, the thief's mother hugged him and begged him for forgiveness.