Jan 8, 2015

To Spank or Not to Spank?

Adrian Peterson, football player for the Minnesota Vikings, was recently indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.  The charges stemmed from what Peterson called a "whooping."  Peterson spanked his son with a wooden switch.  The boy suffered cuts and bruises to areas of his back, buttocks, ankles and legs.

Peterson's attorney said, "Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son.  He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas"

This incident has again raised the question, "Should parents use corporal punishment for disciplining their kids?"

YES to Spanking Point of View
Those who believe you should spank base this on Biblical passages such as, "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not diePunish them with the rod and save them from death." 
Proverbs 23:13-14 

Focus on the Family lists 7 steps involved in a Biblical approach to spanking. 
1.  Clear warning - the enforcement of discipline comes only after words have not done the job.  Physical means of correction are only appropriate in cases of clear disobedience, and then only at certain ages.

2.  Establish responsibility - It's important for your child to own up to his or her misbehavior.

3.  Avoid embarrassment - Never embarrass your child in front of their friends, siblings or even strangers.

4.  Communicate grief - Let your child know that more than being angry, you're disappointed and heartbroken when they disobey.

5.  Flick your wrist.  This is an extremely practical method that will save you a lot of second-guessing.  Remember the point of a spanking: It's to sting, to provide a painful deterrent to misbe­havior, not to injure.  The Bible never implies that the rod of discipline should be violent.  As your child gets older and begins to think more abstractly, spanking becomes less effective and less necessary.

6.  Sincere repentance.  Let them sit in your lap after a spanking and cry for a while. This is a great time to model for them the love behind the discipline.  Then after a few minutes, ask, "Are you ready to talk about this with me and with God?"  When you received a nod and can tell repentance and genuine sorrow has occurred, revisit the issue and ask them, "What did you do wrong?"  You want to help them clearly relate the discipline to the behavior, not to them as a person.  Then have them pray with you and ask God for forgiveness for what they did.

7.  Unconditional love.  Let your child know God has forgiven their sin and you have as well.  Then give him or her a big hug and go do something fun.  Your child will know he or she is still accepted and that there's absolutely no barrier between the two of you.

NO to Spanking Point of View
Opponents of spanking children say even if you spank with control, discipline, and good intent, your kids are more likely to have depression and engage in aggressive behavior in adulthood.

88 studies were done on this involving 36,000 people.  Here are the results and findings from opponents of spanking.  You can click on the zoom button to see it larger if needed.

What is your point of view?  Spank or not spank?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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