Sep 28, 2009

Discipline is a Discipline, part 3 (aka a good ole fashioned whoopin')

My neighbor can hear me when I punish my C. It's embarrassing, truly.  My first mistake is ever correcting, disciplining or punishing her with the windows open or out of doors... the second mistake is not clapping my hand over her mouth the moment she starts to wail.  She really, really, really, really, really doesn't like to be corrected, and she is not shy about letting the world know, even if we are in the grocery store, or, heaven forbid, the library (this has happened... believe me, it's one of the worst places for it to happen.)

Proverbs 29:15 (CEV) 15Correct your children, and they will be wise; children out of control disgrace their mothers.

I wanted to finish up my conversation about discipline with this one, because it's one of those "hot topics" I truly enjoy talking about.  I am not going to lie, I spank my kids.  Please don't call CPS, I guarantee I don't spank every day, and have never left a mark on their sweet little tushies.  I do know people who morally object to corporal punishment, both Christian, and especially not. Even doing some basic research for this post, I learned some new things that made me think. I found a great website called GOYB Parenting (Get off your butt parenting); for a decidedly anti-spanking spin, check out this article from GOYB. 

Let me first put us all on common ground by defining a few words:
discipline: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
punishment: to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation
correction: a bringing into conformity with a standard

(these definitions retrieved from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

I was spanked with a wooden spoon as a child.  I was terrified of the Spoon, especially when yielded by my father. Although, to be honest, I am sure I never once considered the Spoon when making some impulsive decision or being "naughty", it always took me by surprise when I earned a spanking.

As a mommy, I would never use a spoon to spank, I am simply too worried about hitting too hard. At least with my hand, I know exactly how much force I use and how much it stings... my hand. I know that some people think that "hands should be for loving and holding, not for hitting", I think that a kid knows WHO holds the spoon, so one way or the other they are still being hit by a loving parent (well the LOVING part of that sentence is assuming a lot, but you know what I mean).

Proverbs 22:15 (NIV) 15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

 I do have a set of rules that I try to follow when I spank:
  1. Do not spank when you are angry. (this is definetly when abuse happens)
  2. Do not spank for every offense.  I want the "punishment" to fit the crime. I try to reserve spanking for more serious offenses like direct defiance or not listening in a dangerous situation (running into the road for example).  I'll admit that I sometimes spank my daughter when she is hysterically out of control, it seems to stop her in her tracks... not sure it's the right thing to do, but know that it's better than slapping her!
  3. Do try to use discipline, not punishment, as much as you can. The definition of discipline (training that corrects, molds, or perfects) really does mesh more with my view of the intention behind the Bible and these verses on correction and the "rod". See GOYBP's study on the "rod".
  4. When I do spank, generally I make it a practice to tell my child that I am going to spank them, and send them to their room to wait for me.  This helps me gain control, space and perspective, and it seems to make the spanking more effective because the child has to think about it.
  5. I always ask my child if they know why I am spanking them.  I never want my child to be unaware of the reason I spanked them.  I also always end it with a hug and a reminder that I love them.

 Proverbs 13:24 (NKJV) He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
It is my opinion that no matter what you decide to do; time outs, grounding, behavior contracts, rainbow charts or a good ole fashioned whoopin', the 2 most important parts of discipline are 1. Knowing WHY you discipline your children. and 2. Being CONSISTENT.

So, why do you discipline children?  For me, it has to do with training them up to be independent, holy, God-fearing adults.  God also tells us to discipline them, because it yields a good reward, every verse in Proverbs gives a good reason to do so. Ultimately, the best reason is because we love them.  Love should motivate us to take a more difficult road now, to make them better people later on.

Proverbs 23:13-14 (NLT) 13 Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them.  14 Physical discipline may well save their soul from death.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Hope your home is full of peace...


  1. Careful! You might spank chances of Harvard Law School out of them!!! ;)hahaha

  2. Oh and the best part about the super mad picture of Ben is the "Dolce Vita" pamphlet on the table...hehe

  3. Hey lady! This was the best line: "Love should motivate us to take a more difficult road now, to make them better people later on".
    There are so many nights when I go to bed thinking "man I was so hard on Bug today" but then when I think about alternative approaches I could have taken, I see that she wouldn't have learned the lesson as well or at all. It IS difficult to be the disciplinarian, but I believe Bug is more respectful and better behaved because of it.
    So far, time outs have worked. She DESPISES time outs, cries the whole time, and for some reason she never tries to get out of the chair...a fact I find hilarious and a relief! HA!

  4. I must admit with our 2 year old we try and discipline as much as possible but the only punishment we use is a spanking. We tell her "there is foolishness bound up in her heart" so she needs the rod. (we use a rubber spatula with a lot of wobble, I have heard kids fingers being broken by the wooden spoon)I know how you feel about cps, people in this world are so anti-spanking. Great post. God bless you today!

  5. HAHA Shelby, that is a great article. Interesting, although I would be interested in the correlation between parents who spank, and what the parent IQs are...
    I would guess that parents who default to hitting their children (3 or more times a week!) for every offense, minor or otherwise, probably aren't very smart themselves - and the falling IQ numbers probably would happen either way. I think that mindlessly spanking is lazy parenting...

  6. I love the pouty faces! That one of Ben should be in the senior yearbook!


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