Spare the Rod: Don’t Hit! (Part 3)

In this final installment of my discipline and The Bible series, I’d like to ask the following question:

Could you imagine if we only did what our forefathers (and foremothers) did?

Just because our forefathers did things a certain way does not make it the best way, or the right way. If we only did what our predecessors did, we would have no plumbing, electricity, cars, TVs, cell phones, computers, indoor toilets or eye glasses. Slavery would still be legal, women wouldn’t be allowed to vote, and we’d still believe the world was flat — you get the point.

There was a time when builders stuffed walls with asbestos as insulation. Then, someone discovered (I’m paraphrasing), “wait, that’s bad stuff! It’s making people sick and it could kill you!” So we stopped using it. Until the 1970’s lead was in paint, that ‘s just how it was. Then one day someone realized it was bad, especially if kids ate it, and we stopped using lead paint.

What if we’d just kept using these things? Wouldn’t that be stupid, especially once we learned they were unhealthy choices?

Then why, in the name of God (no pun intended), do some people still hit their kids when there’s so much evidence that it’s harmful? (Click here for evidence, and here, and here.)

Times change, things change. We learn and adjust.

Yet some people insist on being literal about what The Bible says concerning discipline, instead of putting it in a modern-day context.

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why do these people take Proverbs’ words on discipline literally, while “overlooking” other things in the Bible they could take literally — like Solomon having 700 wives? I doubt there are many women out there that would be OK with their husbands having one extra wife, let alone 699!

So it’s OK to beat your kids, but not have 700 wives. Hmmm. Sounds like picking and choosing what’s convenient to me.

Simply heeding the word of the Bible when it comes to discipline is the easy way out. It’s time to stop the literal translation and take responsibility for our actions and our children’s future.

The last I heard, “turn the other cheek,” was not an invitation to take another whack of the paddle on the OTHER butt cheek.

If you haven’t already read them, here are links to Part 1 (quotes from The Bible, plus modern opinions) and Part 2 (which questions if the word of God is being misinterpreted). 

And remember, you are not alone…

If you like this post, Stumble It!

Related Links:
– Spare The Rod: Don’t Hit (Part 1)
– Spare the Rod: Don’t Hit (Part 2) 
– Never Hit a Child
– Equal Rights for Kids: Don’t Hit (Part 1)
– Equal Rights for Kids: Don’t Hit (Part 2)
– Equal Rights for Kids: Let Your Kids Decide 

Equal Rights for Kids: DON’T HIT! Part 2

picture-6Unfortunately, the number listed above is not my current salary. It’s an alarming statistic, tallying the number of students spanked or paddled by teachers during the 2006-2007 school year — according to the Department of Education.

Did you know that in 21 states corporal punishment is legal in public schools? In other words, it is LEGAL for a teacher, principal, or guidance counselor to spank someone’s child if they misbehave in school.

Here’s my question: would it be wrong if your coworker were treated this way? How about your wife or husband? What  if you were given a spanking when you missed a deadline? Would that be OK? If your answer is no, then why in the world is it considered “OK” to do to a child? Quite simply, IT’S NOT.

Research has proven that there are many negative side effects associated with spanking, swatting & paddling. As a mater of fact, it has the capacity to cause long-term brain damage! This is true whether it occurs in school, or in the home. No matter how you slice it, it’s bad news for kids. More on the research I’m speaking of in a moment.

First I’d like to explore some common beliefs about hitting children.

Zig Ziglar, in his fantastic book, See You at the Top, wrote the following about spanking and discipline:

“I am certain that many civil libertarians will scream it’s archaic to lay your hands on kids. Psychologists generally agree that when a child understands he is going to be held responsible for his deeds, he is far more likely to be concerned with those deeds…” 

“…Psychologist James Dobson strongly feels it is most destructive to permit a child to go through life without the loving assurance expressed in discipline. Discipline assures the child he is worthwhile and that you love him enough to discipline him for conduct which is not in his own best interest.”

I whole-heartedly agree that children, like adults, need to be held responsible for their actions. It’s true that we can not let them act and speak however they want, like wild animals.

What I do not agree with is the use of physical force as discipline.
(this is one of very few issues Zig and I are in disagreement on.) 

“Discipline,” is not a one-dimensional word. As a matter of fact, if we utilize positive forms of discipline (punishment/consequences), we instill discipline (self control & determination) in our children — as well as virtue, morality, manners and responsibility and self respect.

Our children do not need to learn fear and repression, they need to learn integrity and positive expression.

We don’t want to beat them down, we want to build them up — all the while making sure they have a solid foundation to build their own future on.

Mark Brady, PhD., has written many books about parenting. He also specializes in the
brain development of children. In his book, A Little Book of Parenting Skills, Mark explains:

“A parent’s role fulfills a sacred trust: one intended to safely help grow the heart, mind, brain and body of a vulnerable human being. No matter what you think, or what your own parents did that made you ‘turn out alright,’ hitting children violates that sacred trust.

Modern brain imaging studies clearly show that hitting children disrupts and disorganizes the developing structures of the body and brain. The home that used to be a safe refuge, no longer is. The people who used to be the ones a child could turn to for safety, no longer are. With nowhere safe to go, and no one available to turn to for soothing and help in regulating emotional distress, the world becomes an overwhelming, confusing, unmanageable place.”

In An Interview With Mark Brady, Part 3, Mark had this to say:

“Research suggests that parents who hit children were themselves hit by their parents. From their perspective, they were hit and ‘they turned out all right.’ My response to this assertion is: ‘Compared to what?’  How might you have turned out had your fear circuits not been intermittently triggered in ways that make the world look like a dangerous and difficult place?”

In Part 3 of this series I’ll touch upon how religion plays into the discipline paradigm. I’ll also share more of Mark Brady’s findings, as well as some healthy discipline alternatives.

Until then, don’t hit!

And remember, you are not alone…

Related Links:
Never Hit a Child
Equal Rights for Kids: Don’t Hit (Part 1)
Equal Rights for Kids: Let Your Kids Decide
Why Spanking Children is a Bad Ideaby Mark Brady 

Equal Rights for Kids: DON’T HIT!

In a previous post, Tired of Being Exhausted, I touched upon the topic of hitting children (see excerpt to follow). In an effort to advocate for children’s rights, I felt this topic deserved a post of its own.

“If you made a mistake at work, what would you do if you were reprimanded with a spanking by your boss? If he or she took you into their office, bent you over their lap, and spanked the crap out of you? Yes, the sicko’s are probably drooling over this thought  but for the purposes of this blog please disregard any thoughts of your boss being incredibly hot, or any desire some of you might have to be spanked.

Would this be acceptable behavior? Or would you have your boss arrested for assault?”

The answer seems pretty clear. So why would anyone think it’s OK for parents to hit their kids? What makes it acceptable to hit a child? I don’t understand, nor do I see any advantages to hitting when there are plenty of other things you can do to teach a child a lesson other than their taking away their dignity, and yours.

We can reason with them, give them a time out, take away TV, a favorite toy, etc.

Reasoning seems to be the most productive avenue to take (both for the short and long term). It teaches without threatening. But it doesn’t always work, and kids need to know there are consequences if they continue to act out.

But hitting? What does that accomplish, other than stopping the unwanted behavior? Does it address the root of the problem? The child’s frustration, disappointment, fatigue or whatever it might be?

Kids are going to make mistakes. Sometimes they’ll do something bad intentionally, sometimes because they just don’t know any better. But raising children to live in fear of violence & punishment simply creates adults who live in fear. Is that the kind of adult you want to create? One that never fulfills their potential because they’re too afraid of making a mistake and getting punished?

When a child is hit, what have they learned? To refrain from doing something because they’ll be hurt by mom or dad if they do. Wouldn’t you prefer your kids stop doing something because you’ve TAUGHT THEM that it’s wrong? Isn’t it better to help them attain a solid moral base instead of striking them like an animal?

In the effort to stop a behavior for the short term, what long-term damage is being done?

The Hit List

Hitting = violence
Hitting = instilling fear instead of understanding and love
Hitting = creation of resentment
Hitting = disrespecting
Hitting = hurting
Hitting = teaching children to cope through violence, instead of compromise and communication
Hitting = part of a power struggle, it’s all about control
Hitting ≠ teaching (at least not in a positive way)
Hitting ≠ tough love; it is an easy way out for a parent
Hitting ≠ caring

In this battle for control, the child is seeking it and the parent is looking to maintain it. It’s a fine line that is difficult to walk. But at the end of the day how we treat our children is instrumental in who they become as adults. Do you want to create an adult that is successful and strong… or subservient?

The bottom line is that hitting children is wrong. Period.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
– Equal Rights for Kids: Don’t Hit, Part 2
– Stop Yelling Daddy!
– Equal Rights for Kids, Part 1: Let Your Kids Decide