When Connor was little, he was SO strong-willed. Actually that hasn’t changed a lot. As a three year-old, we tried everything on our strong-willed child, including Dobson’s book, “The Strong Willed Child.” The book only worked when I spanked him with it :)

Lea and I would often tell him to do something, and he’d just ignore us and continue on with what he was doing. Once when I told him it was time to get ready for bed, he just sat there continuing what he was doing. So I leaned over again and said, “Connor, it’s time for bed.” No response. Finally, I said, “Connor, do you want me to spank you?” He immediately jumped to his feet and scurried off the bed. Lea and I were amazed. Something had worked. I immediately wrote down the phrase, “Do you want me to spank you?” thinking I had just come across the perfect phrase for raising children. I could even see a best selling book in the works called, “Do you want me to spank you?” I began to use that new powerful phrase anytime Connor wouldn’t cooperate. It was by far was the best thing I had come up with. I was in parent heaven.

Sundays had always been a challenge. Getting Connor to sit through an hour worship service was a HUGE challenge. The preaching was my favorite part of the worship, not because I liked doing it, but because I got a break from wrestling Connor. Usually I’d have one less layer of skin by the time I began to preach, just from being wrestled by Connor. One particular Sunday, we had a visiting preacher. Lea had told me in advance, “Since you’re not preaching, it’s your turn to wrestle Connor.” I thought I was up for the task. The preaching started, and in only a few minutes I was already wishing we would not have invited this man to speak. And then he did the unthinkable, the preacher went into overtime. And then he went into double overtime. Forty-five minutes into the sermon, I was ready to choke Connor and the preacher too. I’d had all I could stand and so had Connor. I had no doubt that Connor felt the same. He was mad, tired and wanted to leave. I’d already answered the question, “How much longer?” seventy-two times. When I finally reached my boiling point and couldn’t take anymore, I remembered, “The phrase, use the phrase.” So I leaned over to Connor, looked him in the eyes and with the meanest face I could make I said, “Connor, do you want me to take you outside and spank you?” I was a little confused when a look of relief and not fear came over his face and he said, “Oh yes, Daddy, please take me outside and spank me!” I couldn’t help but start laughing. He wanted to know what was so funny. We went outside and spent the rest of church time throwing rocks out in the street from the steps of the building.

I realized that day two things: Connor was willing to take a spanking to get out of church but also, “Do you want a spanking?” was really a stupid thing to ask a kid.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
22 Comments Post a Comment
  1. merry says:

    Too funny!

  2. NB says:

    Been there, done that.

    With my oldest son, I had a whole library of books concerning the strong-willed child! And boy, doesn’t every friend and family member know just what you are doing wrong and have all kinds of advice to give you?!

    I finally figured out that being pro-active worked much better. And I had to plan, plan, plan, activities because if I didn’t, he was sure to plan something less desirable on his own.

    My oldest son is becoming a young man now and people often compliment him on being so responsible and hard-working. We still have our challenges at times, but it does get better!

    Besides, now I can take away the car keys. :)

  3. That Girl says:

    My brother decided to offer my nephew a choice on night. “Do you want a spanking or time out?” My nephew replied tearfully, “Can I have both?”

  4. DJG says:

    there have been times when I would have preferred a spanking to sitting through church…..

    I guess I am confessing….

  5. Gallagher says:

    HA HA HA HA HA HA! I love it.

    I asked my kids that once then said, “Don’t answer that!” I already knew there answer!

    Great story!

  6. ben overby says:

    I thought that when we did church right it was supposed to feel like a spanking. : ) Learned that in Church Death 101.

    Great blog, Trey.

  7. Melissa, Liss and MOMMY says:

    Our kids are perfect…we would never have to say that.

    Hee Hee!

    Actually we don’t ask we just spank ask questions later…isn’t that how you are suppose to do it?
    Just kidding…

  8. leslie says:

    very funny…

    my brother was (is) strong-willed.. my parents admit that they prayed the hardest over him because that was all they could do.. he’s turned out the best out of the four of us.

  9. preacherman says:

    That’s funny Trey.
    I have a 6 year old, 3 year old and and 18 month old. Well our 3 year old the other day was having a huge tantrum. I had on a knights helmet on his head and threw it on the ground and I said to him, “Stop throwing a tantrum!” He said, “I throw my helmet not a tantrum!” And stomped away!

    He is strong willed. I’ve tried spanking and he laughes. Anyone have that problem?

  10. Monalea says:

    I just love the story and I needed a good laugh.


  11. TREY MORGAN says:

    I’ve always believed that if I looked up the meaning of the name Connor it would mean something like… “Tested by God.” :)

    He’s a good boy. Strong willed still, but very good kid.

  12. Jeanne M. says:

    I think it was Mark Twain who wrote something to the effect that children should be put in a barrel, and close the top. When they become teens, stop up the bung hole. Sometimes it seems that is all a parent can do because there are certainly no easy solutions to fit every child. God bless you and Connor in your struggles to survive. 😉

  13. Anonymous says:

    preacherman, and who ever else cares,

    Our son laughed once at the spanking – if you spank bare butte with a bare hand you are not likely to leave a bruise- you don’t have to make contact many times just make it count when you do and let them know they’ve been spanked. Any laughter or disrespect afterwards means you get double.

    Also, when my son was little he was not doing a good job minding on the first time. We had always heard not to count because that teaches them to mind on 3. However, I decided that I would start counting and explained to him that every second it took that I counted before he minded me was that many spankings unless he did it before I got to 2 or explained why he was not minding. The first time I counted to 10 and delivered 10 hard spankings. I rarely get to 2 with any of my kids. However Trey, I do find myself or my husband saying, “Don’t make me have to count”

  14. jel says:

    I like the storys to,

    mom always said when ya have kids ya pay for your raising ! i missed that boat!

    have a great weekend

    don’t forget to wish Neva Cooper a happy Birthday Sunday!

  15. preacherman says:

    Thanks for the info.

  16. TREY MORGAN says:

    Annon & Everyone … thanks for the story.

    You know there are people in this world that don’t believe in spanking their children … personally I think they are what’s wrong with this world! :)

  17. The Preacher's Household: says:

    That picture of Connor looks just like you! :)

    If you preachers only knew how exasperating it was to wrestle a pew full and then have to turn around and be the cheerful and encouraging preacher’s wife to others then you would never go over 25 minutes.

    I’m personally glad you had the experience – it built character – yours and your son’s.

  18. Dwight says:

    Excellent post…very funny…excellent picture. I’ve raised four. Spanking helps.

  19. Brooke says:

    How well I remember Conner when he was that age…he was a lot fun, but definitely strong willed and stubborn…could you possibly be paying for your raising?? Never, maybe for Bruce’s though 😉

  20. TREY MORGAN says:

    Brooke … would you believe me if told you I thought I was paying for Lea’s raising???

    I didn’t think so :)

  21. Justin says:

    Funny story, and I totally I agree with you about people who don’t spank their kids. My mother spanked me, and I thank her all the time for it. Especially when I see how the majority of the people my age are acting now. I’m always hearing horror stories about kids, and I just couldn’t imagine acting that way. I knew what would happen!

  22. Timbra Wiist Owner/Photographer says:

    um, i remember the FIRST time you used this in a sermon! ha!!!! it was when i was in lubbock for my graduation and we came out to tulia. . . . you may have to have that fifth kid after all so you can have some new stories. . . ha!

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Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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