discipline myths part 3

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This is the last of the series. For part 2, click here.

3. DISCIPLINE WILL DAMAGE MY CHILD

Again, I want to reiterate. Hitting will damage your child. Beating will damage your child. Slapping your child in the face will damage him.  These are forms of abuse and will leave major emotional scars on your children. The kind of discipline I am talking about is done within the context of a loving relationship. It is done by a parent who is in complete control of his emotions.

The rod of discipline can take many forms, depending on the age of the child. I don’t spank my 14-year old anymore because for one, he is already much bigger than me, and spanking wouldn’t be as painful as grounding him or taking away his cellphone. For my toddler, Joaquin, I use a small wooden spatula and give him one swat or spanking on his upper thigh or butt. The principle for choosing the specific form of discipline is found in Hebrews 12:11 which says that “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” What about time-outs? Well, the keyword is painful. Most kids continue to disobey because in their minds, “I’m just gonna get a time-out anyway.” But if they know that something painful is going to happen to them like a spanking or grounding, then they will be more careful to obey. Why does it have to be painful? Because in real life, pain happens when we disobey. When we exceed the speed limit and collide with another car, we don’t just get a time-out. We are hurt in the process. The earlier our kids associate pain with disobedience, the sooner they will live in obedience.

Discipline is not a man-made idea. It is a God-idea. God will not command us parents to discipline our children if He knew that it will damage them. God loves them more than we do and He desires for our children to get the best.

Please look at the following verses with me:

Prov.23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.

Prov.23:14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.

Prov.29:15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

If we parents discipline the way God wants us to, our children will not be damaged by it. In fact, they will benefit from it.

Practical tips:

1. Make sure you use a neutral object for spanking like a wooden rod,  a ruler, or a glue stick. Never use your hands to spank. Our hands should always be used to love and comfort.

2. After you spank or ground your child, give him a hug. Remind him that it is because you love him that he is being disciplined. The word of God says that He promises long life and everything going well for those who honor their parents.

3. Teach your child to always ask for forgiveness from you whenever he has disobeyed. This will teach him to have a heart of repentance, even towards God. Also, parents, be quick to forgive. Sometimes it is us who harbor anger in our hearts towards our children.

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