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Do you believe in spanking?

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  • Do you believe in spanking?

    Before I pose the question, a couple of relevant verses:
    "He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently."— Proverbs 13:24 (NASB)

    "The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother." — Proverbs 29:15 (NASB)
    As any of the parents here can surely attest, childrearing is no easy task. Both in the church and out, the idea of spanking administered to little children is something of a topic. Naturally, no decent human being, Christian or otherwise, would ever abuse a child, but a light, open-handed spank has been used as a reproof to little people since the dawn of civilization.

    So, how do you see this topic? Do you take the Bible literally and administer light, non-damaging, physical punishment in the rare cases in which it is warranted? Or do you take it metaphorically and correct a child in other manners only?

    Thank you for sharing.

  • #2
    Yes, I believe a parent should discipline a young child with physical punishment. With my daughter, I stopped around age 3. It was no longer needed.

    On a different note, I have seen a dog poke its head around the corner of where the dog shouldn't be - only to be smacked upside the head with a newspaper. The dog did it again, peeked around the corner and whack. The dog didn't do it again. To you parents out there that don't spank your children, how does it feel to know that a dog acts smarter, more controlled and disciplined than your unruly offspring? :eek:

    God bless,
    William
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    • #3
      My wife and I believe in spanking, subject to the other half of the story in those Bible verses already presented:

      Eph 6:4
      "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

      Col 3:21
      "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged."

      There is a discipline that leads to correction and a discipline that leads to anger and discouragement. Wisdom and Love will go a long way towards staying on the right side of that line.
      One observation is that every child is different and the parent will need to figure out what works for that child. For our daughter, we have a wooden 'spanking spoon' that she has only ever been struck with twice. The question "Do I need to get out the spanking spoon?" is usually enough of a reminder to do as you have been asked. Sarah once challenged my wife on vacation "you don't have the spanking spoon, it is in the van at the airport." My wife handled it by assuring Sarah that the restaurant would loan her a spoon if she needed one (four year olds can keep you on your mental toes).

      'Spanking' does not always need to take the form of spanking. A christian brother with a strong-willed child who does not believe in spanking uses 'wall squats' to correct bad behavior (most often a defiant attitude in the case of his eldest son). His children are respectful and well behaved in public.

      After years of foster parenting and over 22 different children, I have found that what matters most is that you let nothing slide. It is hard to respond every time, but if you choose not to engage in those early struggles, you set yourself up for much larger struggles later. Immediate and consistent consequences are more valuable than delayed but severe consequences when it comes to correcting behavior.
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      • #4
        I definitely believe in spanking and in consistency as well. Both parents have to be in agreement on the subject of "crime and punishment" in the household. If one parent is for spanking and the other is against it, trouble can arise because the child learns these things early on and will play one parent off the other as easily as strumming a guitar. Plus, the parents have to be in agreement as to what deserves a punishment and what doesn't, as well as what form the punishment should take. Some children are more stubborn than others, and often taking away things that they want really bad is the best way to get through to them. Ban television for a week, or take away the laptop or phone... things like that are addictive to most anyone, but especially to children.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Novelangel View Post
          I definitely believe in spanking and in consistency as well. Both parents have to be in agreement on the subject of "crime and punishment" in the household. If one parent is for spanking and the other is against it, trouble can arise because the child learns these things early on and will play one parent off the other as easily as strumming a guitar. Plus, the parents have to be in agreement as to what deserves a punishment and what doesn't, as well as what form the punishment should take. Some children are more stubborn than others, and often taking away things that they want really bad is the best way to get through to them. Ban television for a week, or take away the laptop or phone... things like that are addictive to most anyone, but especially to children.
          For foster parenting, they have a required training class. They call that concept "currency". Every child has a currency (something that they care about and respond to). For some it is rewards, for others it is something taken away, for still others it is some punishment like 'time out' (it is illegal to spank foster children). The goal is to find the currency that each child will respond to.
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          • #6
            To a point yes, there has to be a fine line and only the parent knows when that is. You also have to sit your kids down and encourage them too. Spanking accomplishes nothing if you aren't firmly explaining why you are doing it and what they did wrong. When my parents did it to me as a child they would always sit me down and encourage me and bring me back up and explain how they don't want to do that. It always helped.
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            • #7
              Well to be honest I am not really sure where I stand on this. I am certainly not the parent who says you should never lay a hand on your children or anything like that, and in general I try to stay out of other people's business when it comes to how they raise their children. I was spanked as a kid, and I am fine. There is certainly a line that can be crossed though, see Adrian Peterson, but the things that we think of I really do not have a problem with. To each their own I suppose.
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              • #8
                There is one father I know who never would discipline his daughter no matter what she did. By the time she was 3 years old the child was so ill-mannered that the parents had to start spanking her. Less than six months later there was a slight improvement in the child's behavior. Proof that spanking does straightens out kids fast. And I'd recommend it any time.
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                • #9
                  We grew up getting spanked and most of us turned out alright, but as a mother to a five year old girl, I have to say a lot of things have changed. I don't spank my child, I never have. But anyone you ask will tell you that my baby is one of the most well-behaved children that they have ever met. I have a cousin who has a daughter just one year younger than mine, and whenever we visit and our children are playing together, you can really see the difference in the manners and how they play with each other, and yet the other child gets spanked almost on a daily basis. She is rude, she won't share her toys with other children, she doesn't do as she is told, and young as she is she's got a shockingly big vocabulary of swear words that she uses whenever she's upset. To me that's all the proof that I need that spanking isn't always the right way to go. Good parenting and communication is.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                    For foster parenting, they have a required training class. They call that concept "currency". Every child has a currency (something that they care about and respond to). For some it is rewards, for others it is something taken away, for still others it is some punishment like 'time out' (it is illegal to spank foster children). The goal is to find the currency that each child will respond to.
                    Thanks for the information, atpollard. I didn't know this stuff, though I did have an idea that spanking was against the rules in those cases. I'm wondering though... do foster parents sometimes adopt the kids they help raise? In a case like adoption, would the parents then be allowed to spank the child if they deemed it necessary? Or do former foster parents have to continue using the old rules regarding that particular child? Perhaps by that time, both the parents and the child would be used to the "currency" approach and maybe that is the thing that works best for the older child who has been in the system for some time.
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                    • #11
                      I was raised in a home where spanking was a very normal thing. I knew what I would get spanked for and I knew how to avoid it. I did try to avoid it...most of the time. When I did receive a spanking, I can tell you for sure, it was EARNED. I was raised in the church and was there every Sunday. Being raised in Rural East Texas, my friends had the same background. I have passed that to my child. She is spanked when she deserves it, knows in advance what a spanking offense is and has NO worries about if her parents love her or not. She is being raised in a traditional household and a Christian one, at that. I do not believe in spanking a child with a belt, fly swatter (yes, that was used on me) or a peach tree limb. I believe an open handed swat never hurt a child and quite possibly could be the best way to show you love them and want them to do what they should do, without letting them "run wild". My hope is that more parents will stop trying to "out do" the other parent and both be consistent with discipline and the effects of the entitled children we are raising today will be lessened.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Novelangel View Post

                        Thanks for the information, atpollard. I didn't know this stuff, though I did have an idea that spanking was against the rules in those cases. I'm wondering though... do foster parents sometimes adopt the kids they help raise? In a case like adoption, would the parents then be allowed to spank the child if they deemed it necessary? Or do former foster parents have to continue using the old rules regarding that particular child? Perhaps by that time, both the parents and the child would be used to the "currency" approach and maybe that is the thing that works best for the older child who has been in the system for some time.
                        Yes, foster parents frequently adopt and in any case, when you adopt, they become your child to raise like any biological child of yours. (so yes, you could then spank, although as a practical matter you will have probably found something else that works in the meantime, so spanking will probably not be particularly necessary). In our case, we tended to take small children for emergency placement. A phone call at 8 PM on a Friday that a raid on a Meth Lab had just resulted in a pair of siblings with nowhere to go and the Sheriff wanted to drop them off with us for a "few days to a week" while Social Services made arrangements for long term placement (often by locating a family member). So we tended to get to care for someone else's children by trying to help them through a particularly low point in their life. The law never really seemed a problem to me because spanking some else's child never seemed right. I spent more time dealing with failure to thrive babies or trying to teach a four year old not to be afraid of water. We had a few teens who came with instructions like "she likes to run away, so pay attention to what she is wearing so you can tell the police."
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                        • #13
                          I accept the Biblical principle that places spanking within the tool box that a parent can draw from. I was never spanked as a child, nor do I recall ever seeing any of my brothers spanked when I was growing up. Of course, I was perfect so there would have been no reason for anyone to spank me, but surely my brothers must have deserved it. Seriously, maybe it was a Swedish thing, as my parents came here from Sweden. They were both very good at playing my conscience in their favor, so it's not we were an overly unruly household. Spanking was just never a part of it.

                          I have no children that were born to me, but I adopted a seven year-old and have had dozens of foster children. My son, of course, was quite capable of communication so I never saw a reason to spank him if it had occurred to me, and of course spanking a foster child in California wouldn't be a wise thing to do.

                          So while I accept that spanking is certainly a tool that a Christian parent can turn to, it shouldn't be the first choice, and I don't believe that every child is in need of it. Perhaps as babies, it might be a good communication tool to use along with the word "no," in order to teach the baby the meaning of the word, but there I'd be talking about a light tap, not corporal punishment as most people might think of it. Certainly, a slap on the bottom is better than allowing a child to place his hand on a hot burner. The latter might be an effective way of teaching consequences but I trust that most parents don't want to go there. I don't know, I have never raised a baby.

                          To answer the question, yes I do believe that spanking is an acceptable communication tool that a parent can turn to if it seems necessary.
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                          • #14
                            My parents never spanked me even though spanking was a common way to discipline children when I was a kid. My father and mother respected me as they would respect their peers. They treated me like a friend. Because they were so nice to me, I felt bad when I committed wrongs or did not follow them. I overcame with guilt when hurt them.
                            Now that I am going to become a parent soon, I have made a vow that I will never spank children.
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                            • #15
                              Spanking is still legal here. They even spank in schools here. If they do it, they can't tell parents not to do it. Still, some people consider it abuse. There is a big difference between a spanking and a beating though. Spanking a child with a loving explanation is far different than hitting a child out of anger. I support the former, certainly not the latter.

                              I see a correlation when it comes to the decline in spanking over the years..... behavior has declined as well. Undisciplined children seem to also have a lot more self-esteem issues, needing trophies just for showing up, etc.
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