When I was growing up, spanking was the common form of discipline. I had two older brothers and a little sister and I can tell you that spankings from our dad readily drove home the lessons of what was not acceptable behavior or language. I often stopped or refused to do something because knew the consequences were not worth it.
I’ll never forget the day, when I was quite young and said a bad word to my mom. She slapped me and washed my mouth out with soap and then when my dad got home, out came the belt or paddle. I never used that word again.
Teachers and principles in schools also used swats as a form of discipline. My 6th grade teacher was a former major league baseball pitcher and I can testify that he still had one heck of a pitching arm. His swats would lift you off the ground and send you about 4-6 feet forward. I do know that he had the best-behaved class of any in the school, because the corporal punishment worked and taught a valuable lesson.
When spanking and swatting was used appropriately and not in anger, it was a valuable disciplinary tool.
Sadly, too many parents spanked or swatted out of anger, which resulted in physical injuries in some cases. Additionally, when parents spanked out of anger, their kids often grew up to be just like them and physically abuse their own kids.
This pattern of abusive spanking is not discipline and led to bleeding-heart liberal psychiatric and psychological professionals to deem that any and all forms of corporal punishment is bad, wrong and should not be allowed in schools or homes.
After several decades of liberal disciplinary methods, student behavior in schools has gotten out of control. A good friend of ours was a 6th grade teacher for many years. One day, a male student pulled a knife on him in the classroom. Marvin managed to disarm the student and take him to the principal’s office. Marvin recommended swats and possibly suspension. However, the student received a verbal warning and was allowed to return to the classroom before Marvin finished his paperwork. A week later, Marvin put in for early retirement. He told us that he was not allowed to do anything to punish a student. He was also told not to fail a student because it damaged their self-esteem.
So, let’s compare the difference between how the Bible teaches us to hand discipline and what a new guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24
“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15
“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.” Proverbs 23: 13-14
“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” Proverbs 29:15
“On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.” Proverbs 10:13
“By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.” Proverbs 14:3
“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.” Proverbs 26:3
Recent news report:
“In fact, research is so strong, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently released new guidelines against all forms of corporal punishment. The group also says yelling at or shaming children are both minimally effective in the short-term and not really effective at all in the long-term.”
“‘Kids are always looking to us to see how we act and respond to situations, and even if we don’t think kids are watching us, they are,’ said Phillips. ‘So, we need to respond to conflict or stress in a way that we would want our kids to respond’.”
“If your child is acting out and if positive reinforcement and removal of privileges seems to be failing, then health professionals suggest you talk to your pediatrician for recommendations.”
Need I say any more about the difference in behavior of kids from back in my day and many of the kids today? Rejecting God is the rejection of wisdom and the beginning of folly.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.