Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Punishment vs. Discipline

Today I read Proverbs 23 where we learn that if we discipline our children, we will save their souls.  Now, to most people, to discipline children means to spank them, or in some cases beat them which is NOT pleasing to the Lord.  The problem with spanking in my opinion is that most people do it in anger.  I saw a show once where a dog trainer was speaking to a husband and a wife about their dog and trying to help them understand the difference between punishing and disciplining their dog.  He stated that if you are angry, most likely you are punishing and not disciplining.  Discipline takes a calm demeanor and a level head.  It is very hard to do when one is upset. 

Spanking can quickly turn into punishment and beyond when one is angry.  I personally don't do it to my child because it is what we agreed upon long before we got pregnant and I have to say that I'm not sure spanking would be as effective for my daughter as a discipline tool.  I think she would learn to fear me instead of love me as her father.  Each child is different and so the discipline must be approached in different ways.  What works on one child will not work on another.  I have a niece that putting her in a room alone for 5 minutes worked wonders for her and drove her crazy.  I have another niece though that if you did that to her she would just quietly lie down on the bed until the time was up and not care at all.  My daughter absolutely hates getting a time out and sitting on our lap with her legs and arms pinned down.  Each child is different and needs to be approached as a unique situation.  But it is very possible to discipline your children effectively without using spanking.  The key is to make sure when you are disciplining your child are you doing it because you want to correct the behavior, or because you are angry with the child?  Punishment is not discipline.  Until tomorrow.

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