Is it right to physically discipline your kids?

“Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” Proverbs 23:13-14

I’ve accepted the fact that I’m getting older. By virtue of me using Proverbs 23:13-14 as today’s key verse says a lot. When I was younger this would be the last verse I’d want to hear. But maturity shows me that when parents neglect to correct their kids, and sometimes even to the extent of physically disciplining them, they are doing their children a disservice.

Throughout the years, many positions on disciplining children have emerged. Contrary to what many people might think, corporal discipline is not considered abuse by law. Abuse is characterized by excessive physical discipline, the type that leaves marks and bruises. Nevertheless some people advocate that you should never physically hit a child. Some say only in very extreme cases. And there are some that say you should always resort to physical discipline. I believe that you should first aim to reason and talk with your child, but there may be times when physical discipline would be needed.

Here are my rules:

1) Never hit to shame a child; only correct.
2) Always be in control of your emotions.
3) When a child is hit the greatest pain they feel should be the pain of disappointing you, not the actual physical discipline.
4) Avoid hitting a child in the face
5) Physical discipline is best when applied early in a child’s life. When such is the case, you shouldn’t need to physically discipline a child well into their teenage years.

Parenting can be tough. What makes it tougher is when a proper foundation isn’t set from the beginning. Some parents don’t hit their children because their parents went overboard and so they resolve to do the exact opposite. In most cases when you try to correct a wrong by going to the extreme opposite you usually end up doing wrong too.

If you are having challenges with a head strong child begin asking for wisdom on how to reach him or her. Rely on God’s grace to do what you are not able to do in your own strength.

Notwithstanding, be strong! Don’t be afraid to be firm with your children. Provide clear standards and stick to them. And lastly, pray for your children. The Holy Spirit knows how to deal with your children. He knows how to get to their hearts. As you pray, believe God to soften their hearts, grant them wisdom, and help them live honorably towards you.

Love,

Ernst

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