Monday, January 25, 2010

To Spank or Not to Spank, that is the question!

So I would like to get some feedback on what your opinion is on spanking. Of course Reagan is too young to get a spanking, but I am sure we are not far away from needing some sort of discipline. She already gets into things that she knows she is not supposed to. How do I know she knows? Well when she heads for it, and then turns to see if we are looking and we say no, she gets a big smile on her face and goes for it. It is cute right now, but what do you do when it could possibly be something that could injure her? My sister and I were both spanked. Now we weren't spanked all the time and when we were, we definitely deserved it. My parents didn't spank us out of anger, but out of love. Trying to teach us wrong and right. My sister and I turned out great. I know my husband was also spanked as a child and turned out great. And frankly sometimes time out just doesn't cut it. I am reminded of a story I heard from a friend. She was in Walmart one day and a child was really misbehaving. The mother of the child spanked the child on the rear end and another person standing near by called the police. When the police got there, my friend came to the defense of the mother. The police understood and left. Now, I am not in agreement of spanking your child in a public place. I think she should have left the store and taken the child home. However, that was definitely not abusive behavior and did not warrant a call to the police! Can a spanking be abusive. Definitely! When it is done out of anger and is excessive (leaving bruises, etc...). But spankings can also bring about correction and change. It is not a parents job to make their children happy. It is a parents job to make their children holy. I have definitely seen a trend of parents not spanking their children or even doing much discipline at all. The result, I see so many unruly children and especially teenagers out there. Have you stepped foot on a high school campus lately? Scary stuff! Not that if those kids had been spanked they wouldn't have turned out the way they did, but there is definitely a lack of respect for their parents and adults in general. And I just don't remember it being this extreme when I was growing up. The parents should be running the house, not vice versa.

Here are some verses from Proverbs that address discipline.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent
to discipline him.

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline
drives it far from him.

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod,
he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul
from Sheol.

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings
shame to his mother.

So will we spank Reagan when she misbehaves? At this point I just don't know. I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

And by the way... I know this posted on Tuesday. I wrote it yesterday, but got sidetracked and forgot to post!


  1. I don't want to say that I am a fan of spanking b/c that sounds weird but I am certainly up for using it as a legitimate form of discipline. I have had these conversation till I was blue in the face. Usually people in the NO SPANKING camp are anti-spanking b/c they were spanked to the point of abuse or they make wrong assumptions. They assume you spank as sheer reaction or spank out of anger.

    I do think it depends on the kid. My mom used to always say that she could beat my sister black and blue and all my sister would do is laugh. But if my mom my sister in a room by herself it was the end of the her world, and therefore, more effective discipline. The fear of a spanking was enough to keep me in line and I can only remember one tiny swat in all of my life. So it may not always be necessary. Someone debating me on the issue made a comment that "why does their have to be pain to correct children?" I thought that was crazy! I want my child to understand that pain CAN and WILL be the result of some of their choices. The pain you get from the sting in a spanking is far better than the pain you get from bad choices later in life. I always thought my generation had such a hard time understanding consequence and I think that disconnect gets worse each day. I have also noticed that kids I know that do not get much discipline are disobedient and unruly and their parents are always frustrated. The kids I know that get discipline (and spankings) have a MUCH better relationship with their parents. But as a warning always define what you mean you you say "spank." I have had this convo many times. When you pull out verses like Prov 22 there WILL be people who think you mean beating your kid with a rod. But to answer your question I think spanking (as you and I mean the word)is a loving and legitimate form of correction.

  2. I think that some form of loving, legitimate correction is absolutely necessary. I find myself in a life position where spanking is impossible. I don't think I would ever be able to convince the rest of my German family that it's okay. And it is absolutely completely against the law in any form here from what I understand. (By the way, homeschooling is also against German law). I have to admit I've had a hard time with this. I always assumed spanking is a necessary part of instilling discipline. But, because of where I am, it's not, and I highly doubt it will be, a possibility for me. As a public school teacher, I'm sometimes dismayed at the utter wildness I see in some students. But I'm also heartened by the fact that I do see children who do have discipline and have been so disciplined without spanking. It gives me hope that I will find a way. You'd think with all my educational psychology classes, I'd have the answers, but I don't. I guess it's a choice that each parent has to make in prayer.