Proving That Spanking is Gentler than Yelling
The word among many “experts” is that spanking is bad. Sometimes there are unintended consequences to a widespread societal change. (Click here for a video that gives the big picture on why society should not be run entirely by “experts”, no matter how much they may try to guilt you into thinking that it should.)
Yelling Is the New Spanking
Many parents yell at their children because they have an aversion to spanking. Rejecting spanking as a possible solution, their frustration mounts because of their inability to handle the situation, and it boils over into yelling.
NBC’s Today reported Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions as saying, “Yelling is the new spanking. It’s sort of the go-to strategy for parents… I think (this) definitely is a generation of yellers.”
Many of our interactions with our children while they are younger will be corrective, and if every corrective action comes with an exasperated, angry tone then that may well become the tone that we use on our children the majority of the time. Yelling takes this further in an attempt to make our voice itself one of the primary methods of discipline.
Crosswalk.com argues that yelling is “ineffective because kids tune it out. And when the tone is angry, insulting or sarcastic, it feels like rejection.”
A Better Method of Child Training and Discipline
While I am generally not a yeller even when I am angry, there have been times when my control has slipped and my frustration has boiled over to the point where I have said things like, “It’s not that hard! What is going on with you? Just pick up the spoon and take a bite!”
Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom.” Effective reproof shows the child what she did wrong, and does not necessarily require anger and raised voices. Using the rod effectively and consistently shows that no matter how calm or lovingly Daddy states his commands, he expects to be obeyed every time.
While some may think that yelling is “at least” a kinder alternative to spanking, a yeller is actually more prone to heated emotions than a good spanker, and heated emotions can cause a parent to say things that he or she regrets later. Unthoughtful words can wound a child, while spanking actually helps to heal him. (Proverbs 20:30 – The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.)
After spanking my daughter, more often than not I will take her in my arms, and, speaking to her in a loving voice, will make sure she understands that I love her, that she needs to apologize for what she did wrong, etc. Why am I able to do that after I spank her?
Because the spanking is over.
It has a clear finish line, and, ideally, a clear beginning (at the transgression, not after the buildup of parental emotion that occurs when a child is allowed to repeatedly disobey). Yelling is not like that. The emotions are so heated that there is not a clear line when it is over.
Our children should not receive a parent’s bad mood as a penalty for misbehavior.
The motive should always be correction and training, and it should come out of a heart of love for the child.
But What About the Experts?
Don’t be deceived by modern America’s rejection of spanking. (Click here for a wonderful and well-researched article on the subject of spanking and the “experts” written by Michael Pearl.) Science, while ideally dealing in the realm of facts, is often very biased. The motive for a lot of “scientific” studies is money, proving someone wrong, or “confirming” what a group of people want to be true.
One of the good points which Michael Pearl brings up in his article is, if the people used in a study are all in the prison system, and the main fact extrapolated is that the majority of them were spanked, that is confirmation bias. The majority of Americans were spanked, let alone those in the prison system, so how is that an indicator that spanked children go to prison more often than those who were not spanked?
Not to mention that the spanking methods of many parents are to wait until their frustration and anger hits a point where the spanking is not done out of love and a desire to train, but, like soldiers on a battlefield, these parents are just laying down covering fire to give themselves some temporary relief. (Another illustration by Michael Pearl.)
Bro. Pearl’s article points to better studies that have been done (even by people who disagreed with spanking).
Why Would a Believer Question God’s Word?
The results of these better studies give credence to the Bible. But the believer should not have to look to science to “prove” God’s Word, though genuine, honest science so often does. Romans 3:4 says, “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” 1 Corinthians 3:19-21 says, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men.” Everyone on planet earth could think that you were wrong for believing the Bible, yet you would be right and they would be wrong.
This should give us such a peace regarding our children if we are following the Bible’s instructions regarding how to raise them, train them, discipline them, and teach them about God. Sometimes I have questioned the method of discipline that I employ, but I have come to realize that, while I might improve my restraint, my attitude, my patience, and how I express my love, questioning the rod of discipline is questioning God Himself.
There are six passages in Proverbs that advocate using the “rod” (which I take to mean any reasonable spanking instrument) for discipline. These are Pro 13:24, Pro 19:18, Pro 20:30, Pro 22:15, Pro 23:13-14, and Pro 29:17. Hebrews 12:10-11 shows us that true chastisement will seem “grievous” to the one being chastised. There is no Scripture that I know of that directly speaks of any method of child discipline other than the rod. That’s not to say that it is wrong to use other types, only that it is right to use this one.
Those who say that “the rod” is entirely metaphorical are stretching things a bit, I believe. When the Scripture says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying,” I have difficulty imagining another method of discipline that would consistently produce the type of crying which my soul would want to spare for.
For a great Christian book on training up children that also includes sound methods of consistently employing the rod, I highly recommend Michael Pearl’s book, To Train Up a Child (affiliate link). My wife and I use it, and it was given to us by my brother-in-law; he has seven children in his household whose good behavior and attitudes speak for themselves. It is controversial, but so were a lot of good things.
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