Good Citizens are Formed at Home
Spanking: Will it Make or Break a Child?
“Whoever spares the rod hates the child, but whoever loves will apply discipline.” (Proverbs 13:24)
I strongly agree with this passage, not just because I am a Christian, but also because I can prove this to be one of the most effective methods of molding a child to become a better person.
I grew up with considerable spanking during my childhood years. Let me reiterate, I got spanked many times, NOT beat! There is a huge difference between the two words. And, even if I have already come of age, it never occurs to me that I have been abused or maltreated by my mother, at all. Rather, those spanking moments have helped me become a better person now. I got spanked because I deserved it. I was quite a mischievous child who enjoyed challenging my mother’s authority. But I am thankful my mother did what she did to me; otherwise, I would not have been who and what I am today. Through that kind of discipline I become a highly-organized, well-trained, team player, caring person, and law-abiding citizen.
Spanking worked on me and on my other siblings in a positive manner, primarily because our parents always made it a point to explain to us why we get punished for our grave wrongdoings. And, perhaps the degree or the intensity of punishment we received was just enough for us to bear. Besides, our mother did spanking only as a last recourse after repeated teachings, advises, and unheeded warnings. She would hit us only on certain parts of the body – particularly our hands, legs, and butt; but she never hit our head, face, spine, and other sensitive areas. Our father was also a disciplinarian, but he employed more of an “investigative” type of discipline, scolding us and asking for our motives for doing such mischievous and unwarranted acts. Although, he seldom got angry, we were more scared of him because he always meant what he said. But, no matter how our parents got angry with any of us, we never heard foul language or abusive word from them at all.
Because of my own experience with spanking, I can say spanking is a good form of discipline. I know my stance would raise so many eyebrows and draw strong reactions, especially among human rights advocates, child welfare groups, behavior specialists, and other experts in the field. But, this is what I can say: there is no exact formula on child-rearing. What worked on me and my siblings may not be applicable to others. But I strongly believe that discipline is a must to prepare law-abiding citizens tomorrow.
"While there is hope for him, chastise your child, but do not get so angry as to kill him." (Proverbs 19:18)
I am aware that there is a very thin line between right discipline and abuse. But a parent, who has had a well-balanced childhood, knows the boundaries between the two. An abusive parent may be a manifestation of his own not-so-good past experiences.
Just take a look around you. Society has changed so much over the years. Everyday, we either witness or hear from the news about teenagers getting involved in brawls, crimes, drugs, and other forms of violence. One of the primary reasons for this is because these people cannot categorically identify right from wrong. I am quite wary about how lawmakers and so-called human rights advocate groups condemn spanking as a form of abuse. If we do not reprove our children now, what kind of citizens would we have in the future? If governments impose penalty on parents for spanking their children, what kind of society would we be making? At present, several jails throughout the world are already overcrowded. In fact, many prison inmates are juveniles.
"Folly is anchored in the heart of a youth, the whips of instruction will rid him of it." (Proverbs 22:15)
The people of old must have known very well the essence of discipline as they admonish the succeeding generations through these passages. Perhaps, they may have deemed discipline very important because they repeated the same instructions many times in the Bible. Here are more:
"Do not be chary of correcting a child, a stroke of the cane is not likely to be fatal."(Proverbs 23:13)
"Give him a stroke of the cane, you will save his soul from Sheol." (Proverbs 23:14)
"The stick and the reprimand bestow wisdom, a young man left to himself brings shame on his mother."(Proverbs 29:15)
"...for the Lord trains those he loves, and chastises every son he accepts. Perseverance is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him?" (Hebrews 12:6-7)