I know. Spanking is frowned on by many nowadays. But if today’s politically correct crowd sets your agenda, you are half a step from going crazy. Their values are not formed by a set of unchanging and proven principles, but are a collection of bizarre notions that defy logic. If a bakery does not want to cater a same-sex marriage, our government and mainstream media will shut them down, but if a business wants to sell pieces of aborted babies, our government will be their financial partner and the media will convince us they are providing essential medical services. Our Supreme Court says our Constitution demands that we all buy health insurance, and that same document, they say, won’t let its citizens define what a marriage is. So pardon me for not being impressed with this politically correct logic. It may be delivered in elegant prose by distinguished orators, but irrational nonsense is still irrational nonsense.
Having survived being spanked by my parents, grandparents, and a school teacher or two, I stand as a strong proponent of spanking.
Through the years, I’ve been to many seminars and have taken lots of courses on disciplining children. Most who oppose spanking include hitting, beating, slapping, kicking, and all kinds of abuse in the broad definition of the term corporal correction. I’m not endorsing whacking your child in the head with a chair or using your fist to bloody his nose. I’m taking about what millions of parents have done down through the ages to teach their children how to behave. It’s easy to let the discussion center on the relatively few who abuse their children, but there is a huge difference between child discipline and child abuse.
Spanking is just one part of the child discipline process. Wise parents use a wide range of tools as they help their children reach their highest potential.
Here are a few reasons why child training is so important.
1. It establishes a bond between the parent and child. When the parent is interested and actively involved in every part of a child’s life, the child learns that the parent is interested and concerned about his life and future and happiness. It clearly places this specific person in the parents’ chair – which would otherwise remain empty. Being the biological parent does not automatically place you in that position of authority in your child’s eyes. You assume that place in your child’s life only when you embrace the responsibilities of that role.
2. It decreases a child’s frustration. Kids have tons of energy. Setting behavioral guidelines and drawing clear and distinct boundaries shows the child where it is (and isn’t) appropriate to expend their energy. Boys learn that they can run and play and roll in the dirt in their back yard, but not in the restaurant. They can also be taught to know what behavior is acceptable by the type of clothes they are wearing.
3. It makes other people like them. We should really get angry at the parent who refuses to teach his children, but instead we get mad at the undisciplined kid who screams and plays in the food and gets in everybody’s way. A disciplined child will be liked, even respected, by the adults around him/her.
4. It shows a child where to thrive. Boundaries are good. Music is nothing more than sound waves that are restricted by very specific rules. A quarterback may run like the wind, but if he won’t stay inside the boundaries, he will never be a winner. Show your child the boundaries, keep them inside them, and cheer them on.
5. It prepares your child for the real world. Outside your front yard, people don’t care who your child is. If he or she won’t pull their load at work, if they blame others for their problems, if they can’t follow directions – they won’t do well when they are grown. You can’t wait until your child graduates from college to teach him how to bear responsibility and work with others who might be different from him.
6. It teaches your child about God. A whole lot of what your child thinks about God will be determined by how you treat him/her. They need to know that they are still inside God’s love when things go wrong – or they do wrong. How they perceive God’s judgement and mercy will be colored by how you demonstrate those as a parent.
7. It teaches a child that they can come home again. I’ve tried to hold my children to a high standard, but at all times, wanted them to know that they were loved. I’ve expressed how their behavior disappointed me, but I made sure they knew that my love never wavered. I’m not sure just how successful I’ve been, but I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that, if my kids ever got in trouble, they knew they could always come home. If there was a premarital pregnancy, though highly undesired, I wanted to make sure that the ones who loved my children the most, their mother and father, were there to help them through it. I didn’t want them to have to carry these weighty burdens by themselves. So I made sure they knew where the boundaries were. I made sure they knew that I knew when they got outside them. And I did everything I could to affirm them, to love them, and to let them see how much of my life was attached to theirs. I didn’t want them to fail, but I hoped if they ever did, they knew they could come back home.
There really is a blessing in the spanking. The writer of Hebrews mentioned it right after he talked about the heroes of faith. In chapter twelve, he tells us God disciplines us because He loves us and those who receive it will bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
If you build your family on the proven and unchanging principles found in the Bible, you will find the success that others have enjoyed down through the centuries. Don’t let the noise from the politically correct camp deter you. Teach, train, and discipline your children. Let them be blessed!