Punishment or Discipline?

A football player was recently accused of child abuse because he switched his four-year-old son. The media and psychologists seem to be of the opinion that you should just talk to your children to get them to behave or be respectful. LOOK AT OUR YOUTH TODAY, EXPERTS AND TELL ME HOW THAT’S WORKING! Have you ever tried to reason with a four-year-old? Not going to happen. They are children.

Tell, me, experts–how do you teach a toddler not to hit his brother or sister? As soon as you arent’ looking they’re going to hit. You can talk until your teeth fall out and that child will do as he pleases BECAUSE THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES. When the child goes to school and the teacher gives an assignment, that child may sit in the classroom and refuse to do anything. He knows the teacher can’t make him do anything. His or her hands are tied by government mandate and the ridiculous notion that kids will always do what is right and reasonable.

I do not believe in, nor advocate child abuse, and we don’t have all of the facts in this case. Was the four-year-old continually trying to do something that could cause him injury, in spite of repeated requests not do engage in this behavior? How do you stop a child from running out into the street with heavy traffic?

Punishment is done in anger. Discipline is done in love. My children were spanked after we had a conversation about what they had done and why discipline was required. They knew we never took pleasure in spanking, and spanking was always done in self-control. If we were angry we would walk away and think about the situation and how best to handle it. Discipline would be administered once we had calmed down. When the crying was over our children were hugged, told they were loved, and asked if they understood why they had to be spanked or had a privilege taken away.

People say there is no instruction manual for raising children, but there is. It has been around for centuries. it is the Bible, the Word of God, and when used properly, it yields good results, albeit sometimes later in life. Following are the verses that talk about children. By the way, I use the KJV because it sticks to the original meaning of the original manuscripts. Words evolve and change their meanings over time. If you think you can’t understand the KJV, read it slowly to get the context. Often the verse explains itself by using different words in the same sentence to convey the correct meaning. If you still have trouble I would suggest Vine’s or Strong’s Concordance, both of which are available online and in most downloadable Bible programs.

First of all, I would suggest reading (and studying) the entire book of Proverbs. It is filled with contrasts between good sons and wicked,foolish, and evil sons (generic for people). There are 31 chapters of Proverbs, one for each day of the month. (I know some months have less than 31 days.)

I would also recommend reading Psalm 119:9, 11, Jeremiah 17:9, and Genesis 6:5. Genesis 6:5 explains why God destroyed the earth by flood and had Noah build an ark.

I have taught Sunday school for many years and even the children of church-going parents act up and disobey. Trust me, talking is futile. And I have NEVER seen a toddler who would listen to talking,nor a pre-teen. Kids will test boundaries. They need to know there are some.

Life comes with consequences. No consequences while growing up means the child won’t be able to cope with consequences in the workplace either wihen he grows up. Intelligence has nothing to do with it.

When we were in Germany the military had their own programming on TV. One day there was a slot where an interviewer was talking to four or five children on a playground. The interviewing was asking them if they believed their parents loved them. The first interviewees all said no, because there were no rules and they could do whatever they wanted. They felt their parents didn’t care about them or what they did. The last little girl was on a swing. Her answer was different. She said she knew absolutely that her parents loved her. The interviewer asked what made her so sure. Her reply: “Because my parents have rules for me and sometimes I get a spanking when I disobey. They do that because they love me and care what kind of person I grow up to be.”

We have two grown children. Our son was, for the most part, our compliant child. Our daughter was the wild, rebellious one who didn’t care what kind of discipline she received, she was going to do whatever she pleased. For most of her adult life (thus far), her life has been a train wreck, but she always knew she could talk to us. She always knew we loved her. She has turned her life around, given herself back to God, and both of our kids tell us they are glad they had us for parents. I hear the same scenario from other parents around the globe who believe in discipline (not punishment).

One more thing: threatening is a waste of time. Say what you mean; mean what you say. Don’t threaten to spank, ground, etc. if you don’t mean it. They know when you are lying. Also, be consistent. I always had a hard time remembering what I said so I made a chart: backtalk gets this consequence; definace gets this; disrespect gets this: etc. The kids knew what to expect because it was posted. It kept me from losing control, and it kept me consistent.