- Family and Parenting
The Case for Spanking Your Children (Lessons On Disciplining Your Kids Without Anger)
Isn't Spanking Child Abuse?
The mention of spanking brings all kinds of thoughts to people's mind. To some people it brings to mind images of a mom screaming at her children in a store and then smacking them. Others picture bruised and bloodied kids rescued from their parents by CPS.
But I want to make a case for the most misunderstood form of correction there ever was. I believe that spanking, when it's done right, is an effective tool for parents.
Proverbs 13:23 sums it up: "Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them." Spanking is not enjoyable for parents. It's about caring for them enough to train them to do what's right.
Spanking should not be about punishment
The difference between discipline and abuse starts with a mindset. When you spank your child, it must never be done to "give them what they deserve." It's not about punishing them, it's about training them to know right and wrong.
Spanking should not be done while angry.
Again, your attitude makes the difference between discipline and abuse. Any form of correction, even a simple yell, if it is done out of anger is a form of abuse. Everything a parent does should be with the motivation of making their child better.
This is where anti-spanking advocates have a relevant point. One of their claims is that spanking children teaches them to hit when they're angry. This is very true if you spank when you're angry. There isn't a difference between hitting and spanking in anger.
If you find yourself angry at what your child did wrong, walk away and calm down first. When you've cooled off, then you can think clearly enough to deal with the situation correctly.
Spanking should not be done in front of others
Never spank your child in front of their sibling, their friends, or anyone else. The last thing that you as a parent want is to humiliate your child. So when it's necessary to spank them, take them aside by yourselves.
A good rule of thumb is: Praise in public, correct in private.
Spanking should never leave a bruises
Now that we've covered the parents' attitude, we need to deal with technique. Spanking should never leave a mark! Remember, this is an issue of love - not retribution. If a spanking leaves lasting pain for a child - it is not correction, it's abuse.
Be Clear About Why Your Child Is Being Disciplined
This is basically self-explanatory. A child will not benefit from any form of discipline, spanking or otherwise, unless they know what is being corrected.
Always Reassure Your Child
Never leave your child with the impression that you're angry. A very good rule to remember is this: spank them until they cry, then hold them until they stop.
This is a topic that has fallen out of favor, even among most Christians. We've done our kids a great dis-service by teaching them that there is no pain connected to bad decisions. Learning this later in life is much more painful for them. Spanking helps kids learn to connect their wrong choices with pain - much better to learn this early and safely than to wait til' later!