“Spare the rod, spoil the child”
Kate Gosselin spanking daughter via Google images
Recently, I was able to voice my opinion on this subject. Spanking the children. The conversation wasn’t really about whether or not it is right or wrong. A person I know made a statement of disgust over a couple of women who were bragging about the types of physical disciplines they used on their children. They tried to back it up with Scripture. Man, I hate it when that happens. I almost didn’t join the discussion, but I get really ticked off when less than educated people try to use Scripture to back up their stupidity and poor judgment.
Solomon does write about disciplining children in Proverbs. There may be other places in the OT which talk about child-rearing too. I don’t recall where though.
However, using a “rod” to beat your children with because it’s in the Bible is disgusting to me. Following that logic, then I suppose it’s ok to make 700 virgins your concubines too, right? I mean, it’s in the Bible stupid. Duh! And, when we fast we should wear sackcloth and cover ourselves with ashes.
I’m just getting started. But, before I continue, let me say this. If you hit your kids with your fists or an object, I believe you need help. That, my dear reader, is abuse. If you twist their arms, jerk them, shake them, slap them, poke them so hard a bruise appears… you are being abusive. I do not condone that and I never will.
Now, having said all of that, I do not believe there is anything wrong with spanking a child when done correctly. Am I perfect? Unfortunately, no. I have made some mistakes in disciplining my lovelies. Fortunately, they have been very few and my conviction was immediate and my confession as immediate as possible. My apologies have been accepted because my kids were kinder and more loving than they should have been… because I was wrong.
I am not an expert. But, I have strong beliefs that a loving, nurturing, and joyful home is important for everyone in the family. We all have bad days. Some days kids behave very well. Some days I need a couple glasses of wine before bed. The same goes for them. Not the wine. But, the mood swings. We’re imperfect humans. I try to remain aware of this and give them the benefit of the doubt. However, I absolutely will not tolerate defiance or blatant disrespect.
When I spank my kids I swat once on the buttocks with an open hand. Before I spank, I give plenty of warning and opportunities for them to make the right choices. Spanking is a last resort. I might threaten to spank and count to three, however, I rarely have to follow through with it. When I do have to spank, I do not enjoy it. I feel it is a necessity for proper discipline and control in the home. It sends my message in a hurry and I can count on one hand when one of my children has continued their improper behavior beyond the spanking. In those rare cases, I have repeated the steps to another spanking — warn, give opportunity to make the right choice, count to three, spank. It is their choice. Behave and submit to my authority, or be punished.
I also do not threaten to do anything to my kids that I don’t FULLY intend to follow through on. I don’t tell them I’ll break their arm or rip out their hair or any of that verbal crap (which is abusive language, IMO, but that’s another subject altogether). I warn. I follow through with my threat. End of story.
My kids know that I am not messing around.
It works for us.
My daughter has had less spankings than my son. She responds better to time-outs in her room and I allow her to scream to the tops of her lungs in there as long as her door is shut. She blows off her steam and then comes out and we have a calm conversation about her behavior followed by lots of hugs and kisses and compliments. I can’t remember the last time I spanked her.
My son is not the same. He’s about half and half. Nothing jolts him into obedience like being spanked. Thankfully, he has learned self-control enough that I don’t spank him daily. In fact, if I kept track I’ll bet I don’t even spank him every other day. He is really learning, and being sent to his room is starting to work.
Do we draw lines? I don’t think so. I believe it’s pretty matter of fact. You are either constructively demanding obedience in your home or you are being too lenient or too abusive. Kids need discipline. Without it they will become spoiled and will have very little respect or trust for authority. You cannot negotiate with a 3 year old. You cannot.
You are the parent. You need to act like it.
What say you?