Britney Dearest: {Part 3} "Bad Kids" Do Not Need More Spankings

/ Thursday, February 12, 2015

{Part 3} "Bad Kids" Do Not Need More Spankings

If you haven't, read parts 1 & 2:
{Part 2} The Old Testament "Rod of Discipline": Parents, Put Down the Belt (or Whatever You Use)

I wish I could remember where I read this, but unfortunately I cannot:

"Jesus does not advocate throwing child abusers into the sea with millstones around their neck. He just says it would be better for them if it happened.
There are some who cite the Bible to populate our schools and homes with rods and paddles. But they are very silent on the subject of millstones.
Again, Paul asks, "Which shall it be? Shall I come to you with the rod? Or with love and the spirit of meekness?" (I Corinthians 4:21).
There is no hypocrisy here, as in the Proverbs, about beating somebody because you love him. The rod or love. It must be one or the other. It cannot be both. Paul does not doubt that love and meekness are the way of Christ.
And Paul wrote:
Father's provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
Ye Father's, provoke not your children to anger... (Colossians 3:21).

We now know well that corporal punishments do provoke youth to anger, though the effects may be delayed. Many of such youths tend to be more violent and aggressive, more inclined to juvenile delinquencies, vandalism and adult crime. They also have lower achievements in learning and education. This has been confirmed many times by scientific studies.

Nowhere is there a more sublime statement of Christianity than in the Pastoral Letter of the Apostle John (6). He urges Love rather than Force and Fear - in education and in life.
We urge all Christians next time to reach for the Bible instead of the rod or paddle and read the words of 1 John 4:4 and 1 John 4:16,18."

Feel free to discuss your views and opinions in the comments section.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 
–Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

"Bad kids" do not need more spankings, they need to be shown and taught the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They need parents who display God's characteristics- He listens to us, He understands us, He connects with us, He's patient with us, He guides us, and He lovingly disciplines and chastises us, He doesn't seek to harm us or cause us pain. He sent us Jesus to show us how we are to conduct ourselves in every aspect of our lives and I cannot imagine Jesus hitting a child.

“And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 Commentary)

From Another Mother {with whom I can relate}:
"As a general rule, I find it easier to lead my children the way God desires when I focus on my own personal relationship with God. Since trying to control and change my children at the heart level (where it really matters) is impossible to do by force and can lead to rebellion, I try to stay focused on allowing God to change me into a wiser, more generous, more patient parent. If we sincerely and diligently pursue God's will for our own lives, we will find that we simply don't have time to try to control other people. Instead, I find that using tools to manage my own anger and encourage my own self-discipline go much farther and deeper to eliminate many so-called, 'behavior' problems in my children. Because -- while every human being does things wrong on occasion -- most of the time if my kids 'misbehave' it is because I am being lazy.

Sometimes, the fact is that I did not help them to eat in a timely manner and they (toddlers) have become cranky and irritable as a result. Or maybe I unwisely planned a stressful outing at their usual nap time. Other times, instead of helping them to do what they need to do -- learn and explore -- I'd rather use the word, "no" so I can sit on my rear-end and relax. It’s embarrassing to admit to being so self absorbed and lazy sometimes, but it’s true. For instance, if my child wants to explore the street: instead of taking her hand and walking out with her and showing her the cars coming, pointing out how you can hear them even from a distance, see how fast they go, and judge when to get out of the way, pointing out how we can be crushed just like the leaves in the street - instead of this, sometimes I'd rather just say, 'get out of the street!' The same principle is true of many other conflicts we encounter with our children on a daily basis, especially with toddlers. But such laziness is clearly labeled a sin in the Bible and should not be excused. Nor should our children’s bottoms bear the weight of our indiscretions."  Source

Why I'm so Passionate About How I Raise My Kids...
As parents, the next generation is on our shoulders. More often than not, how our kids behave is a result of our parenting skills. It's important that we learn how to balance our work and home duties with our parental duties and social life if we have or want one. I'm determined to do everything in my power to raise my children to be perfect. Unfortunately, that has a negative connotation. If God tells us to be perfect (Matthew 5:48), it's not wrong that I strive to raise my children to be perfect. It's not to say they won't make mistakes and do things wrong, it's to say that when they do make mistakes, they'll learn and recover. They'll do their best and give their all; do things as they're doing it for the Lord, without murmuring and complaining. They will love others and forgive because I love and forgive them. They will show grace. They will be great leaders and teachers because of the nurturing leadership and discipline they receive in our home. They will respect people because they are respected. They will be obedient to authority and make wise choices because I will teach them how, I won't just tell them to do it. I will try to understand and change the root of their negative behavior, not use force and control to change only the behavior itself.

I'm really inspired by the Duggars on the show 19 Kids and Counting. I don't care how crazy you all think I sound. The parents are so calm and patient with their kids, their kids are very well-behaved and kind. They're a close-knit family who works well together. They're strong in their beliefs in the Lord. The older kids feel comfortable talking to their parents about their "love lives", they're not embarrassed about their parents going on dates with them. The parents believe it's healthy to show a lot of love and affection towards each other in front of the kids. Their eldest children waited until marriage to have sex. They're not easily influenced by the ways of the world. I admire it all, even the fact that they homeschool, although I don't. I understand that they are not perfect, but overall, they set a great example for all parents who desire to raise loving, God-fearing children.

I'm very aware that there's no one specific way to parent and make perfect children. As children grow into teenagers and into adults, they will make their own choices and go whichever way they choose. Whichever way, they go (prayerfully, the straight and narrow) I will know in my heart that I did the absolute best I could to raise my children to be kind, loving, understanding, and successful individuals.

My Disciplinary Methods
So, after all that, you're probably wondering what I do instead of spank and whoop... Well, I'm still learning, but right now, I set specific consequences, I take away privileges and favorite items, time out (you laugh, but it works). I use positive reinforcements and rewards. Overall, I try my best to show them how I want them to behave. I keep them busy, especially my 3-year-old, so he doesn't mess with stuff he shouldn't be messing with. Kids are naturally impatient. I have to learn patience in order to teach them patience. They like to explore so I try to find new ways to support that. When my son gets hungry and I keep saying, "hold on", "one minute", he'll eventually find his way into the refrigerator. He knows he shouldn't go into the fridge, but should he get in trouble for that? No. I should have got my butt up from in front of the computer or couch to fix his food. Or better yet, I should have been on top of it and had his lunch ready before it got to the point of him being hungry.

I struggle with consistency in my discipline efforts, but I'm dedicated to improving. At times, I bribe and make threats to get my toddler to obey. He loves gum and we have a gumball machine, so I'll offer him gum to get him to do something. Or I'll threaten to spank his little butt, although I don't plan on really doing it. It works. I'm taking progress one day at a time. I would be lying if I said it's easy for me not to want to hit my kids at times. It's what I'm used to. Sometimes I want to give my 3-year-old a good swat on the butt, I don't. A few days ago, I tapped his hand. It was bittersweet, to be honest. I felt like he deserved it because he was being very mischievous, not listening, but at the same time, I had a cloud of guilt over my head; unsure of whether that was okay or not, with the way that I'm going in banishing hitting.

My overall point is, spanking is not the only form of discipline and a person isn't any less of a good parent because they choose not to spank their child. The overall goal is to raise Godly, obedient, respectful, loving children and if that can be done with other disciplinary alternatives rather than spanking, I'm sure God will still be pleased. There is no guarantee as to whether or not our kids will follow our instruction with or without spankings, look at Cain and Abel. They were raised the same, taught the same, different life choices.

Today, I started reading Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham and I LOVE it so far. I've been taking notes that I'll blog about after I finish the book. It's not a Christian theology parenting themed book, but I still find it lining up with Biblical principles: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. The book focuses on us parents healing from our own childhood wounds and changing our own behaviors in order to connect with our children and coach them into being empathetic, responsible, self-controlled adults. 

A few points from the foreword and introduction:
  • "Our culture erodes our relationship with our children and woos them away from us at too early an age."
  • "Give your kids the best of yourself, not what's left of yourself."
  • "Parenting effectively depends above all on your connection to your child. Period. Otherwise, we have little influence and parenting becomes an exhausting, thankless task."
  • "Small humans rebel against force and control, just as big humans do... They're always open to our influence, as long as they respect us and feel connected to us."

The next four paragraphs were written by Rick Creech {yes, him again :-)}:
Punishment is necessary at times, but corporal punishment is never necessary, and it definitely is not a requirement of the Bible. Spanking is not wrong of itself, but it can be easily abused, and it certainly is not commanded in the New Testament that Christians spank their children. As previously noted, there are other ways of looking at the verses of the Old Testament that some people use to justify spanking. For those who think that spanking is important in the upbringing of children, they should be aware of the fact that spanking can be easily abused. If you think that a child deserves a small spanking for something that he has done, then what does he deserve when something really bad has been done? When does a person cross the line from giving a spanking to giving a beating and then to committing abuse? How do you define that line to a parent, and how do you teach a parent to not cross that line? If people would use other means of correcting their children rather than corporal punishment, no one would harm a child by having crossed the line.

If parents spank their children, they may be giving the message that it’s good to strike another human if you are bigger and stronger and if you do not like what that person has done. Sometimes young children learn behavior by copying their parents’ behavior. Some children learn to hit other children because they themselves were hit by their parents. To strike someone in any context is an act of aggression and violence. We often ask why we have such a violent society. One reason may be because of the violence that some children learned through the spankings they received from their parents.

The goal of the parent should be to become a teacher and a trusted adviser to the child. Discipline is important, but do not forget the primary meaning of the word discipline. The American Heritage Dictionary gives the primary meaning as: “Training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior, especially that which is expected to produce moral or mental improvement.” To discipline does not mean to spank; it means to train and to teach. The followers of Jesus were called disciples, not because of punishment that they received from Jesus, but because of the teaching that they received from Him.

Those who think that corporal punishment and spanking are important elements in the upbringing of a child run the risk of harming a child’s self-esteem and view of self. They also run the risk of being on the wrong side of a serious warning given by Christ when He said in Matthew 18:6, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” To offend in the Greek language means to cause to stumble. Every child has such a great potential. Only the proper training can bring that potential to fruition. The wrong kind of correction can be a stumbling-block to the healthy development of the child.

“Fathers do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21)

If you're interested in reading and learning more, I highly suggest you read the book Should Christian Parents Spank Their Children? by Rick Creech in it's entirety HERE. It's actually not that long at all. Chapter 7: Life is a Teacher and Chapter 8: Why People Do What They Do are very insightful and helpful.

"Over time, some people who hated and resented being spanked as children come to view it as desirable, even necessary because their brain can’t recognize being hit as a harmful act of violence. Some people joke about the pain that once made them cry. Many allow religious, cultural, and social justifications to trick them into doubting their healthy childhood belief that it was and felt wrong for them to be hit. As adults, they fervently believe that being whipped was so good for them that they will repeat this cycle with their own children. The core belief still dominant in black American culture is that hitting your child equals good, responsible parenting."

More Sources:
National Center for Biotechnology Information - Effective Discipline for Children // Gentle Christian Mothers - Choosing Not to Spank // Ask Dr. Sears - 10 Reasons Not to Hit Your Child // Dr. Phil - To Spank or Not to Spank // Got Questions? - How Should Christians Discipline Their Children? What Does the Bible Say? // Bible Gems - Should Christian Parents Spank Their Children? // Religious Tolerance - Child Corporal Punishment: Spanking. What is the "Rod" Mentioned in Proverbs? 

I'm very open to other views and opinions so feel free share your thoughts. :-)
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About Me

Hi! I'm Britney. I'm a wife and a mother to 3 children + 1 fur baby. I write about everything family, home, and DIY related. I'm slightly obsessed with home decor Instagram accounts and DIY blogs. Junk food is my peace. Read more

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