In writing I've come across an idiom of my language that means:

Until you punish the offender, they will not give up offenses.

What is the English idiom for this?

Let me add some explanation to this: there is a child who is really mischievous, you make him understand but doesn't understand. He doesn't give up bad things. Now you're fed up and thus feel he should be punished so that he leaves bad things.


spare the rod, spoil the child

Said to derive from the Book of Proverbs, here is the King James Version which was printed in 1611.

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

In these more liberal and compassionate times, it's not such a popular proverb as it was maybe 50 or 60 years ago, but I'd say it is still well-known and it would be easily understood. The word "rod" refers to corporal punishment but today it would stand for any non-violent punishment.

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spare the rod, spoil the child

If one does not discipline a child, he or she will never learn obedience and good manners.

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