Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Parenting fail

Or: I don't know if I should laugh or cry



Okay, this is one of those posts that I will get a lot of hate for. If your disposition is such, please skip this one altogether and save yourself the agitation. My goal with this post is not to upset, but to encourage those who believe the Bible by exposing the failures of humanistic parenting.

Another disclaimer: I have no beef with this lady personally. She is the example I am using to expose such faulty parenting philosophies as she embraces. But it's nothing personal. I am just honest enough to link to her rather than talk about her anonymously after quoting her.

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Last week, I stumbled across a blog post entitled "The Consequence of using consequences".  Being a mother in the 21st century, I was well aware of the fact that there are parents who think punishing a child in any way (ranging from a reprimand, to time out, loss of privileges, or [horror] corporal punishment) is always categorically wrong. It's also wrong to use the word "wrong", or "bad". The post in question, however, makes such parenting seem downright draconian in contrast to the parenting philosophy the author embraces (or rather, the lack of parenting).

  • Where I’ve started to differ is in consequences that are meant solely to extinguish an unwanted behavior. For example, “if you try to put your hand on that hot pot again, then you will not be able to eat any of the applesauce that we are making.” The consequences there are to deter the child from touching the hot pot, but they don’t make much sense – that kiddo is probably just really excited to eat applesauce. Why not focus on that feeling of excitement instead of the behavior? (“It is so exciting to make special treats, isn’t it? I’m really hungry for applesauce too, but we can’t touch the pot because it is hot and we will get hurt. How about we set this timer, and when it beeps we will know that the applesauce is done cooking. While the applesauce cooks, let’s go play a game!”)

Right away, it is evident that this lady is sorely mistaking being a shrink for being a mother. Whoever said she had to give ANY explanation for why junior can't touch the pot? Whatever happened to "Don't touch the pot" instead of her lengthy monologue? So first she assumes that her child's psyche is so delicate that he can't just be told what to do without an explanation - oh, no! He might come to believe the parent is an absolute dictator! But then, the reason why a parent dare exert such authority must then be sweetened with much sugar and wrapped in cotton as to not upset the child. Somehow, we must convince the child that the only reason why he can't touch the pot is because it's not in his  own best interest, not because the parent doesn't want him to. Naturally, the parent's needs and preferences don't matter. And instead of cleaning the kitchen together, we better stick with "out of sight, out of mind" and go play a game - because we know that as long as junior can see the pot, he will want to keep touching it for lack of negative consequences.

  • Using rewards and consequences works against my goal of deepening my connection with my child. It may also work against my goal of encouraging my child to behave in a way that is respectful, safe, and kind, since rewards and consequences do little to teach children why certain behavior is inappropriate, inconvenient, or dangerous.

So, at this point I am starting to feel pity for this lady. If she is insecure to the point that she thinks telling her child what to do, or else, will hurt their relationship she must be very insecure indeed.

  • Just the other day, I took Kieran and one of his friends to a gym for “open preschool gymnastics.” One of the rules of the gym is that only one child can be on their trampolines at a time. But darn it – those trampolines are fun, and Kieran and his friend wanted to jump together! I don’t blame them. I cannot tell you how many times I said “Kieran, please get off, it’s Joshua’s turn.” Or “Joshua, please let Kieran have his turn for another minute, then it will be your turn.” I cannot tell you how many times they ignored me. And so there were several instances where I was frustrated (because they were ignoring me) and embarrassed (because one of the staff members had to come over and ask the boys to take turns).
Well, of course they are going to ignore you. There is no negative consequence to their disobedience, only the positive consequence of getting to do exactly what they want to do. There is no such thing as there being no consequence. If the rewards of disobeying are greater than the negative consequences of it, why would they obey? Character and self-discipline are acquired through parents who instill such values in their children, not those who leave their children to be their own guide. And as far as being embarrassed - well, I guess the Bible is all too true that "a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame":

Proverbs 10:1  The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Proverbs 15:20  A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.
  • And what did I find myself doing? Doling out consequences. “Kieran, if you do not get off the trampoline right now, we are going to go sit on the benches for a minute so that we can calm down.” Would that have solved the problem? I don’t know – I guess he would have thought twice about getting on the trampoline when Joshua was jumping.
Please tell me it isn't so! Threatening the child with having to get off the trampoline, when he has been told to get off it! That's like saying "If you don't come when I call you, you will have to come when I call you!" What a scary consequence indeed. Which is why again it has to be sugarcoated as "so WE can calm down" - see, we're in this together! I mean, it couldn't be that you only are acting out of line, no! WE all are!

  • I do not want to make Kieran’s chief motivation for behaving in a certain way to *avoid consequences*, and that is what doling out consequences teaches children. [...] I want to model for him – and for him to act out of – respect to others, concern for his own well-being, etc. 

What a noble notion. But what makes you think you can reason with a young child who has never known anything but getting by with disrespecting his mother? Especially when it meant pleasure for himself, and getting to do whatever HE wanted to do? 


  • I believe that using rewards/punishments do not further Kieran’s safety or trust in himself or in me. I believe that they take away his desire to cooperate with me. I believe that consequences/punishments make him resentful, and rewards take away his inherent pleasure from whatever “positive” behavior he is doing.

I guess she has to keep saying "believe" because the facts of K's behavior clearly defy her convictions. Seems to me like K already had no desire to cooperate with her, was already resentful, and did not seem to experience any "inherent pleasure" - other than "the pleasures of sin for a season."

  • What’s more, focusing on Kieran’s behavior tends to make me more frustrated. When I’m concentrating on how he might be inconveniencing me (i.e., if he makes a mess that I’ll have to clean up, or he is having a meltdown and it’s giving me a headache, etc.), I am making the behavior about me. When I concentrate on why he might be making a mess (he likes the feel of the flour running through his fingers! he likes to manipulate the water pouring in and out of the cups!) or having a meltdown (he’s hungry! tired! lonely!), I forget about how it affects me – I focus on Kieran’s needs, and I’m more willing and able to help him meet those needs in appropriate ways.

Yes, let's make cranky preschoolers and THEIR needs the center of our parenting universe. Nevermind the fact that we carried them in our bodies for nine months, faced death to deliver them, and have taken responsibility for them in every area imaginable since then - but let's not expect them to show any amount of reason in return, such as doing what we tell them. No. We have to prove that we are only telling them what to do because it's in THEIR best interest. Don't say "Stop screaming", or "Stop screaming because I have a headache and you are waking the baby". Say: "I understand you are frustrated because mommy has not been feeling well, and has been taking care of the baby. But it would make us all so happy if you stopped screaming and instead sat down to eat some ice cream" Sure, pacifying the monster is one way to handle the situation. I would prefer not to raise self-entitled monsters in the first place, though. 


  • For example, let’s say Kieran is throwing his toys across the room. I have a choice – I could focus on the behavior, and it might look like this: “Kieran! Stop throwing those toys! Look, you could break my nice picture frame. You could put a hole in the wall. You could break the toy. And now we have to clean up a big mess!” What kind of response would this get for me? Probably an even grumpier, sadder Kieran. Instead, what if I responded by focusing on the needs behind the behavior: “Kieran, I see you are throwing your toys. Are you frustrated about something? You were working on a puzzle over there, did you need help finishing it?” (Checking in to see if he’s frustrated) or “It’s been awhile since we had a snuggle and a snack, do you want to help me get some fruit cut up?” (Checking in to see if he has a creature comfort that has not been met). There are so many ways I could choose to make a connection with Kieran, rather than jumping to consequences.
Let me get this straight - in return for throwing toys, K gets a psychoanalysis, a snuggle, and a snack? How about a nice back massage while she is at it? I wonder if this lady shows similar grace and constraint when her husband (I'm assuming she's married, but who knows) does something unreasonable or wrong? That would actually be right, because he is above her in the line of God-ordained authority. But parents cowering in fear of their children - talk about a topsy-turvy world!

My approach would have been to smack the child's hand the first time it ever threw a toy. Not even a warning "If you do that again..." - because in the future, I don't even want them to do it the first time. I want to teach the kids to think for themselves: Is this something that may earn me a smack on the hand? Have  I ever seen mom or dad throw toys? Has there been a similar incident in the past, and how can I apply what I learned in this situation?   


Because this lady found her behavior less than perfect in retrospect (I agree, but for very different reasons), she came up with "Alternatives to consequences". The one that blew me away was #6:
  • Help him identify his feelings: “It is frustrating to wait sometimes, isn’t it? It makes you angry that you have to let someone else have a turn. You really want to be on that trampoline right now. I wish I could jump on it too. Let’s jump here on the floor together and talk about how mad we are!”
Let's not just validate his feelings of self-entitlement and ANGER, but let's jump around on the floor together and talk about how mad we are that his "friend" is getting a turn, when really, we should be the only one on the trampoline ever. Wow, way to teach him to begrudge others for having something that we ourselves don't have, to gossip and talk bad about our "friends", to be angry for no valid reason whatsoever, and to then have to find a physical outlet for this sort of anger. Wow, that's just scary.

So what is my conclusion? That I am super mom and this lady isn't? Not at all. In fact, I am certain that I could easily have been duped into similarly stupid parenting notions if it were not for the Bible and its timeless truths. She is wrong not because she doesn't parent my way, but because she doesn't parent the Bible way. My parenting is only right as long as it lines up with the Bible, which is a goal I fail to attain - but at least I'm trying. 

Pity the next generation of children who have to live in a world of "K's" grown into adults. My only consolation is that "parenting" such as this is pretty self-correcting: the parents either cannot handle more than one or two such children, or if they end up having more, the children will be expected to think about someone's needs besides their own.

Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
 
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Yes, dear readers, the sad truth is that some parents hate their children without even realizing it. They are perfectly content to let them turn out badly just so they won't have to lay down the law with them. They'd rather be buddies with their children than make them mad by being a parent. These parents fear that the child will hate them if they provide the discipline that the child is so sorely lacking.

While I didn't agree with everything said in a recent Wall Street Journal article, either, it was refreshing to see someone not base their parenting on worries about the child's psyche:

The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable—even legally actionable—to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty—lose some weight." By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of "health" and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image. (I also once heard a Western father toast his adult daughter by calling her "beautiful and incredibly competent." She later told me that made her feel like garbage.)

Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best. Chinese parents can say, "You're lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you." By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they're not disappointed about how their kids turned out.

I've thought long and hard about how Chinese parents can get away with what they do. I think there are three big differences between the Chinese and Western parental mind-sets.

 First, I've noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children's psyches. Chinese parents aren't. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently. [...]

74 comments:

  1. Great post Zsuzsanna! I agree with you on the issue of discipline...I too would have smacked the childs hand on the first incident of throwing!

    Recently I have been working on a blog post about 'un-schooling' (an epidemic in Ireland) I have noticed that a lot of unschooling parents tend to 'discipline' their children as you described here. I have been shocked to witness a child punching her mother at a home-ed gathering!

    It makes me laugh when folks say "Well, there is no manual for raising kids!"...Ummm, yes there is its called the Bible!

    Great post!

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  2. I disagree with almost everything you say in your blog, but this is one time I have to agree with you almost completely.

    I am not an American. I am a South African and do not believe in the "pussy-footing" approach to parenting. Although my parenting is not based specifically on the bible, I suppose a lot of what I believe has biblical origins.

    We have three (major) rules in our home:
    1. Mediocrity is not an option. We do not get rewarded for being average.
    2. I am the dictator and overlord of our home, until someone else is bringing in a paycheque. Then we can talk.
    3. Every action has a consequence. As a child, as an adult - everything you do has a consequence. So think before you do.

    Not to say that I do not consider my childs feelings or desires. But she's a CHILD and I am the adult, and I therefore immediately know better.


    ps. I once had a 'discussion' with someone regarding corporal punishment. He told me that my smacking my daughters hand (as a baby/toddler) when she touched something she shouldn't would almost certainly lead to her having suicidal thoughts. I found that to be highly amusing. I was smacked regularly as a child, and haven't had one suicidal thought.
    The poor precious little one's today are so fragile, aren't they? /sarcasm

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  3. Totally agree with you on this one.
    "Natural parenting" is not natural at all!

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  4. Discipline and child raising are tough issues to figure out, even Biblically.

    I certainly don't agree with this lady, though. I mean, how will a kid ever understand that they are a sinner in need of a Savior (a consequence for our sin) if they learn that there are not any consequences to their actions?

    I do not shield my children from natural consequences to their actions. If they throw their toys, I take those toys away, teaching them that if they can't respect their things, they won't get to have those things.

    As for spanking being Biblical, I am not sure I believe that. In Psalm 23 it says "thy rod and thy staff they COMFORT me". You can correct someone while still being comforting, but not spank them and be comforting. Never mind that it appears that Christians pick and choose which of the Proverbs they want to apply to themselves and which they don't. They want to apply the ones they think refer to spanking of children, but we don't use a rod on the back of adult fools like the Proverbs tell us to do. Why do we follow one and not the other?

    Anyhow, there are some difficult issues for sure, BUT children do need consequences for their actions.

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  5. Wow. It's sad to me that you think the tone of your post is "Christian."

    I want to share this link: http://dulcefamily.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-top-10-parenting-scriptures.html

    This is the type of Father I would want to serve. Not the type you advocate for - not one who is cold and quick to dole out pain and fear.

    I wish you peace.

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  6. I read that elephants spank their young with their trunks-I don't know if that's true. There was a time that I thought I would never swat on the bottom one of my grandchildren-then my granddaughter turned two(the terrific twos). It's amazing what one swat on the bottom will do. She has more self-control when she is with me as a result.

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  7. Katy-Anne,

    I'd just like to clarify that I do not for one second believe that discipline and child raising are difficult to figure out using the Bible.

    The Bible says "if thou beatest him with the rod he shall not die", and "thou shalt beat him with the rod and deliver his soul from hell". Clearly, the rod is for corporal punishment.

    How then can it also be called a "comfort", as you correctly reference? Because children that have clear, enforced boundaries are very secure, happy, well-adjusted children. Because being chastened yields "the peaceable fruit of righteousness".

    More importantly, they grow up to realize that there are consequences for their unbelief - "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him". They will get saved and live eternally, rather than spending eternity being tormented in hell.

    As someone else said, today's parents are so mediocre. I am all for loving the children, being gentle and nurturing, and all that. But to whatever extreme this positive is practiced, it must be balanced with the negative of paying for disobedience. That's life. I'm guessing that your aversion to corporal punishment comes from someone you know applying only that "negative" side of the coin without balancing it with the positive. It's no less wrong than this lady who thinks she can get by with just the nurturing side. However, the fault is with the people who incorrectly apply the Bible, not with the Bible itself which is eternally true.

    Dionna,

    you do not get to pick "the type of Father [you] would want to serve". Thinking that you can is probably the root of your parenting failure, as your child DOES get to pick the type of mother he wants. As I said, being gentle and nurturing is perfectly fine, as long as there are consequences when the child abuses the relationship, disobeys, and makes himself god.

    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom - there comes a point in our Christian lives where hopefully we do right because we went to, not because we fear what might happen if we don't. But without a healthy dose of fear of God as Christians, we are lacking the foundation. Your son disrespects you because he doesn't have any consequences to fear. Such behavior will lead to him despising you and himself. I pity you.

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  8. Thanks for leaving the word of encouragement on my blog. I just wanted to let you know that *they* took notice that you had and commented on their site about it. Just wanted to let you know you're famous! *smile

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  9. Cheryl @ Treasures,

    thank you. I stayed up too late last night reading your blog! :)

    I figured it would get back to her pretty quickly. I average over 1000 unique readers daily, so when I link to someone it will drive the traffic to their site up quickly and noticeably. Out of integrity, I opted to include the link, even though it means I will be flooded with emails from bleeding-heart moms who will tell me how wrong I am. Ah well. It's not my loss. I am just trying to push back on this trend of limpwristed parenting and psychobabbling kids.

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  10. I do agree with Katy-Anne but my granddaughter is no longer the cranky child hitting her cousins,etc. She is happy with me. I read a book years ago-A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 and I do agree the Bible is using Shepherd/sheep vocabulary. The book goes into good shepherds and bad(abusive,neglectful) shepherds. I read somewhere that one swat on the sheep's behind guided it-two swats(beating-meaning two swats) for some. I do not believe a father should swat on the bottom a daughter-my father never swatted me and my husband never swatted our two daughters. I appreciate that the Duggars speak against spanking-there is too much harsh discipline. I remember hearing that some parents used a belt years ago-that's abuse.

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  11. All I thought about was the applesauce burning when mom took jr. off to play a game.

    What happens when a child runs into the parking lot? Does she let him go get hit by a car because she doesn't believe in consequences?

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  12. Sarah in Ireland,

    unschooling is one of my pet peeves. Have you seen my blog post about it?

    http://stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com/2009/02/unschooling_06.html

    BTW, I've been meaning to add you to my blog roll in the sidebar to make it easier to keep up with your new posts. But I noticed you don't do comment moderation. I just want to make sure you are okay with you putting you on my blog roll? Because I have some disagreeable readers (mildly put) that may project some of their hate for God and the Bible onto you via comments. Please let me know what you think.

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  13. I found your link because when you link to my site, it shows up on my blog. And yes, I mentioned your post on my Facebook page - I'd encourage you to come read the thoughtful, gentle comments from other Christian mothers. Among the comments are some links to grace-based parenting, such as:
    http://aolff.org/spare-the-rod
    http://parentingfreedom.com/discipline/
    http://goybparenting.com/?page_id=29
    http://goybparenting.com/?page_id=21
    http://positivelyfeminine.org/maternal/pm1/grace.htm
    Here are some gentle/grace based parenting books
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193058668X?ie=UTF8&tag=positifemini-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=193058668X
    http://www.amazon.com/Mission-Motherhood-Touching-Childs-Eternity/dp/1578565812/ref=pd_sim_b_6

    Regardless of what you believe, the God I know is loving and gentle, and I aspire to be so as well.
    Peace.

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  14. I could not get over the fact how many times Kieran's mum kept saying that she needs to focus on his needs. By doing that you will raise a person, who is all about his or her needs... One of my favorite Bible verses (when it comes to relationships) is Proverb 27:17; we ALL need to get feedback from our behavior, good or bad.

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  15. Zsuzsanna, do you literally live every other verse in the Proverbs too? Can someone use a rod on your back if you are a fool? (Not saying you are, just picking on one of the verses I remember off hand). How do we know which ones to pick and choose?

    Also, the Proverbs talk about using a rod. That must mean that it's automatically wrong to use a paddle, your hand, a hairbrush or anything that is not a literal rod (yes, I know people that take this position).

    My kids have consequences when they do the wrong thing.

    As I study the Bible, I see two distinct "religions" if you will. The Old Testament is about being a Jew, which is law based, and harsh. The New Testament is about being a Christian, and grace and mercy. The Jews couldn't keep the law perfectly and that's why Jesus had to come, because we couldn't do it on our own.

    So while in the Old Testament it might have been acceptable to spank or beat children, I don't know that it is acceptable today.

    This is something I have been studying for a while and am not at any specific conclusions yet because I want to make sure that I have it right.

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  16. I have 7 children in my home. I have 5 boys ages 15,13,11,5 and 6mos (the 6 month old is my foster son) and 2 girls ages 15 (nearly 16) and 6 (the 15 year old is my foster daughter). I have never hit/swatted/spanked/etc. any one of my children. Yet they are not misbehaved. I am often commented on how well they behave and how polite they are. I simply set boundries and enforce them. Now I cannot claim to know how they will turn out as adults. But if their behavior as children and now teenagers is any indication, I firmly believe that they will also be amazing adults.

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  17. if Christ himself had kids, would he have hit them?

    if you do something your husband asked you not to do, does he have the right to hit you?

    lighten up - and know that there's a lot of outdated stuff in the bible - try perusing the NEW testament - it's an evolution of the OLD testament... there's no stoning and human sacrifice in that section - I'm sure you know that, but I'm curious why you're basing all your parenting decisions on the old testament PUNISH PUNISH PUNISH model?

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  18. This is very funny as I read your blog and hers (for different reasons obviously) - it's a small world! In this case I would have to agree with you.

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  19. Zsuzsanna-you're right about the Duggars. I reread chapter 5 (p.138-139) of their book.

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  20. I see you are quoting Amy Chua. You do realize she is a working mom, who raised her kids with nannies, a nonpracticing Catholic married to a Jew, who is NOT raising her girls to be housewives? I believe she is also ultra-liberal in her politics and highly educated (Harvard and Harvard Law). She is not submissive to her husband and clearly is preparing her girls for a higher education and a successful career. She also hit her kids when they did not perform to her musical standards.

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  21. "if Christ himself had kids, would he have hit them?" Anon, have you actually read the New Testament? The answer is Yes, Jesus did, and still does discipline his children even to the point of taking them home(death) when they stray so far and so long as to be a destructive witness.

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  22. I suppose that I fall into the camp that you see as "hating their children" because I do not spank mine, but I do unequivocally believe that as parents, we are the leaders of our children and I expect my children to obey me - I definitely run a dictatorship not a democracy, and for the most part my three year old is compliant and obedient. We certainly have instances where he is not, but my expectation is that he will, and when they do not, things do not go well for them. I focus the majority of my parenting energy on having a good relational connection with my son. When we are well connected emotionally, and I have done my job of meeting all his physical needs - sleep, hunger etc, I find that I have near zero difficulty in his compliance when directing him. We don't have a TV in our house, (well technically we do, it's on a top shelf in a closet in our spare room gathering dust!) and so my three year old with me all day, while he does play with his toys, he spends a lot of his time "helping" me do whatever it is that I am doing. I find this the most helpful approach in my parenting. When he "helps" me with the dishes, the cleaning, the laundry, caring for his baby brother, or is at least playing beside me while I do what needs to be done, we are together, we are talking, he is learning. Out of this blossoms good behaviour and an actual desire to do what is right to please me (and God). If I am busy and in a rush and spend the whole day sending him off to play with his toys or setting up activities to keep him busy, so I can do my tasks without his "help" then I find that he is a naughty little trouble maker.

    Of course, even on the best days, he is still a willful three year old, but I deal with naughtiness swiftly and firmly. If water is purposefully dumped on the floor when he is playing in the sink, that activity is immediately ended. If a toy is thrown, it is immediately removed. If I tell him to do something, or to stop something and he does not, we immediately sit down to talk and pray together. I practice consequences and discipline, but I do not ever strike my child.

    Reading this over makes it sound like I have some quietly behaved child. I don't. He's a rambunctious three year old boy with all the energy and snails and puppy dog tails associated with that! I am constantly trying to discern what is a discipline issue and what is a three year old boy expressing his energy and enthusiasm and immaturity.

    I suppose my point is that I do love my children, I discipline my son, I correct him, I am training him up in the way he should go, but I don't have to spank him to do that. I have no desire to argue about the rightness or wrongness of spanking, but just to share that just because a parent doesn't spank does not mean they do not discipline or expect instant obedience from their children.

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  23. Oh, and the picture you posted? Great example of what happens when parents leave the TV on to be the babysitter!

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  24. I wonder what she'll say to her kid when he's a completely out of control teenager. There are consequences in life. If her angel steals the authorities won't ask him about his feelings, when he is a bully and violent towards other kids because he's so used to getting what he wants all the time the school and the authorities won't ask him to jump in place and talk about why he's mad.

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  25. Mary Pride in her book-All the Way Home- recommends the book-What the Bible Says about Child Training by Richard Fugate($13-sold at Christian Liberty Press). I read this book-it recommends spanking,etc. and is worth reading.

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  26. A Beka Books has a booklet($1.60)-Under Loving Command- that I have but it's in a homeschool tote/box(have to get it out now). The booklet is in their catalog and on their web site(miscellaneous). Mary Pride recommends reading it-in her book- as well as reading Fugate's book. I read that great article in the Above Rubies magazine-thank you-treasuresfromashoebox.

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  27. I completely agree with you and found your post very funny and on point! God bless you.

    in His peace,
    Melody

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  28. Zsuzsanna, I would be delighted for you to add me to your blog roll! I have thought about the comment moderation issue and have decided that I would err on the side of caution and will enable it. Thank you for your consideration.

    God bless

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  29. I completely agree Zsuzsanna! I have heard other parents try to parent like this women, they misunderstand that spanking isn't mean, it is loving. If you love your child, you will correct them. You can't reson with a child! Yes there are parents who abuse their kids, and that is wrong, thoes people make me sick, but spanking is NOT abuse. I would watch out about publicly stating that your spanking your kids. I don't know what the laws are in AZ, but I know that people have gotten their kids taken away from them because they spank, which is really sad. With how well known your husband is on the internet and everything, it wouldn't surpise me if some idiot tried to turn you in for stating that you spank your children. People have also been turned in from security tapes in parking lots of them spanking their kids in the car. I know the laws are different in every state, even know it is none of the states business how we raise our kids!
    Also I have never heard the duggers speak out about not spanking. Their kids are very well behaved, so I'm pretty sure they do!

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  30. Why does Proverbs give the mother the bad kids and the dad gets credit for the good kids?

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  31. I find it poor form to single out someone else and quote them to point out all the things they've done wrong. You're speaking behind someone's back. It's unkind and does not reflect well on you. I didn't see you post in the comments over there saying you disagreed and had some thoughts.

    Chua fails to support your argument because her values are the antithesis of everything you believe. Anti-Christian liberals who probably believe in abortion held up as examples by you???? Really?

    I read her book. Just FYI Chua managed to spank her younger daughter right out of music. Which is a true shame as she was a talented musician.

    The older daughter still plays.

    Different temperments. The younger child will spend her entire life feeling inadequate and unloved by her mother; constantly acting out, desperate for approval. The legacy of Chua's discipline is not ubiquitously positive.

    I don't spank (I bet you saw that coming) because I vividly recall how spanking failed to work with me. In fact, my parents gave up on spanking when I was 6 because it wasn't working. I have focused my parenting efforts more on the methods of the poster you are so thoroughly condemning and it works well.

    It is a difficult parenting approach to do well because it really is not the way any of us have been raised. It's a different mindset and it takes some study and effort.

    Spanking would be easier, but just as it did not serve me, it would not serve my child.

    I am very happy with the results of our discipline choices. Even though it is much more work for us.

    My child is well behaved without spanking. Discipline does not have to involve hitting. Nor does not spanking mean handing control over to the children.

    Even though we don't spank, we are actually very strict.

    Emme

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  32. Good post and honest perspective. Thanks for sharing! I could say more but I've got pneumonia (and am 28 weeks along) and I'm pretty much worn out.

    ~Mrs. E.

    P.S. I know you don't know me from Adam but it would be great if you could pray for me that I'd regain my strength in time to go through with my home birth as planned (end of May). This illness is leaving me really drained. My name is Tabitha E from TN. Thanks.

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  33. The lady in question seems very insecure. I have no doubt that she means well,but the truth of the matter is she is teaching her kids that they can do whatever they want and only get a talk about it. Parents need to be parents . This form of parenting will only lead to kids being ultra-liberal adults. He is going to hate people simply because they have things he does not have.

    Is she only going to chat with a child who runs out in front of a car? Give in to him every time he screams and throws a fit because he didn't get a toy at the store? What if he breaks something that belongs to someone else? No consequences for any of this I suppose. Does she realize that him touching the pot on the stove could have resulted in a serious burn that would have required medical care?

    I hate to be mean but parents with this philosophy need a reality check.

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  34. People who say spanking doesn't work just do not, or were not spanked correctly. I know parents that spank and they have disobedient kids. There is a right and wrong way to spank. It is stupid to do something incorrectly and then state it doesn't work. Also people that say they have obedient well behaved kids and they don't spank, what you and I consider obedient are probly two different things.

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  35. Bravo Zsuzsa!!! Maybe the mother will be able to read this and see the truth. I honestly can not believe parents today think letting a toddler call the shots is okay!!!! Good post.

    jessica

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  36. As a professor in developmental psychology I can tell you, that spanking is abuse, the right way, the wrong way, the biblical way, it is wrong and cruel. Personally I never raised a hand to/on my children and they turned out to be friendly, polite and scrupulous people!
    Zsuzsanna is absolutely right about this woman.What she claims to be raising children is insane!
    Children need structure, luminosity stability and lots of love and common sense.

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  37. as much as a i disagree with Zsuzsanna blog, she isn't talking about this other blog behind her back. she links right to her.

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  38. I love that the counterargument to comments like mine is that my bar for behavior must be lower than those of the perfect Christians.

    That must be it. I'm worse than the elephants mentioned in a previous comment.

    Anyway, I forgot to mention in my earlier comment that my father is a Biblical Scholar (Ivy League Masters of Divinity) and retired pastor (who now works hospice). He managed to justify not spanking.

    I am better for it and so is my child.

    If you really want to get at the root of this parenting style you despise so, look at who gave it its start; Alfie Kohn.

    There are tons of Youtube videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRE2gqjQx5Q

    Much better to attack the ideas from their academic source than random people online. Motherhood is hard enough without blogging drive-bys.

    I don't care what you believe. Do what you have to do but the way you go about defending it is just mean and you can do better.

    Emme

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  39. I have read your blog for a couple of years now and never commented. While I disagree with you on many issues, I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one.

    The issue here is that this mom has an entirely different worldview than Christians do/should. As far as I can tell, she is operating under the assumption that people are naturally good and that left to ourselves we all actually will want to do the right thing in the end. I taught high school kids for years, and I have dealt with the "further down the road" version of this child many times. When a parent wants to be a friend to their child instead of being an authority figure, the kids end up not respecting/obeying any authority, and (surprise, surprise) when they get to high school they're not very interested in being their mom or dad's friend.

    Children who are parented the way this mother parents her son learn very quickly to use their emotions to manipulate people. They've learned that as soon as they say they feel sad or angry (or any other emotion that's not good or happy), Mom (or Dad) will jump to make them feel better. Children learn to use that to their advantage VERY quickly.

    I really enjoyed reading this post.

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  40. There is no way I would have gotten away with anything K gets away with. When I did something wrong my mom or dad spanked me enough to get the point across.

    By the way, when christians sin, God spanks them.

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  41. I have to laugh when the critics try to point to you and other who follow the Bible for discipline/training to be so "cruel" and "abusive" when for example you breastfeed (and on demand), wear your babies, co-sleep, homeschool them, don't have a t.v because you want to enjoy every moment they are home with you (among other reasons like protecting them) but ohhhh..your so cruel! lol I wonder how many of these anti-spanking parents send their kids off to public school and a million activities to avoid being with their (most of the time) bratty kids. I know a few parents like this and yeah-anyone can be a kind gentle parent when they are only with their child maybe one or two hours a day awake. Keep up the great posts!!

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  42. I have been thinking about this all night..... Good post!

    When I was younger, and ignorant of what the bible said about raising children I subscribed to the camp of "k's" Mother. Everything my son wanted he got, because I wanted him to experience at his pace, level, whatever. I didn't have a method to discipline him and he got to do whatever he wanted. I tried to talk to him to reason with him and to help him understand what he was doing was wrong and he wouldn't get good things if he continued his current behavior. I had no control, not that he was out of control, but what he said went.
    When my second was born my oldest was about three months into his twos. My husband and I started going to a bible believing church and Started reading our bibles, praying and seeking Gods will for our family.
    We started spanking our two year old. We spank with a rod, as we feel hands are for caressing. When our second child proved to be more willful we started spanking her too. Same with the third, and I will with my fourth.

    Children are all in the flesh and it is our job as parents to guide and direct to glorify God in our homes. To help them learn to control the lust of their flesh, eyes and pride of life. (1john 2:15)

    God has given us a spot for such spanking, on the backside. Not on the thigh, back head, or any other place. In Psalms 78 vs 66 talks about God smote his enemies in the hinder parts.
    If there is no control or submission in our children in a christian home the natural order of home life as ordained by God is disrupted. There is submission on all levels, and the purpose is for God's glory, as Ephesians 5 & 6 outline for us.
    If we do not/cannot take the word of God literally, how can we take it?
    As this get quite long, I must say what God says works. Simple as that.

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  43. Karen is it so hard to believe that there are non christian and non spanking parents and have well behaved children anyway??
    You know how much scientifical research has been done and how many books on the subject have been published the years after the KJB?
    Spanking is a short term solution. Good behaviour caused by spanking is based on fear.
    By the way, every child is different and to apply only a few rigid guide lines from a 2 or three thousand year old book, shows rather, let's say a limited view.
    This endless negotiation of the lady is really not the way to raise a child. The non authoritarian method from the sixties and early seventies, well we all know that doesn't work at all.
    Raising children means repetition, patience and what I said before, love and common sense, no spanking please.

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  44. Reading through the entirety of the linked blog, there are some points she makes that seem reasonable.

    Ultimately her goal is to teach her child to think through his actions and use reason to avoid bad behavior. I get where she's coming from. When I was a child I was much more willing to do what my mother told me once I understood the reasoning behind it (I.e don't touch the pot because it will hurt you.) I just needed it to make sense.

    Of course, this method obviously isn't going to work with very young children-those who aren't capable of reasoning and rational thought.

    As for 'the rod' I believe it should be used extremely sparingly- which in turn makes it more effective. I was only spanked three times in my life and I remember each time vividly-even though they all occurred before I was four years old. And I certainly never did those bad behaviors again.

    Cassie

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  45. OK.... deep breath... here goes....

    I agree with you.

    There I said it.

    I had a conversation with my daughter the other day about consequences. My son had done some misdemeanour or other and there were consequences laid down by mom..

    Anyway my daughter wanted to know if there were consequences to everything. So I asked her to come up with a situation where she thought there wouldn't be consequences. She came up with;

    Not doing your schoolwork - you don't get to play out, you fail your exams, you can't get a good job.

    Not making your bed - you get in trouble from your parents, you get to sleep in an untidy bed.

    Then she moved on to other more benign things.

    Breathing - you don't die!

    Eating - you satisfy your hunger and you don't die!

    Playing - you have fun!

    In the end she couldn't come up with a situation which didn't have consequences; good, bad or benign. It was good because it helped her to understand what the concept of consequences is.

    On to the blog you mention, yes children MUST know what consequences are. As already mentioned consequences can be good or bad. If you reach adulthood without realising this you are in for one heck of a shock and a very hard time getting on in life. By protecting a child from consequences you are not doing that child any favours. I really hope this mom wakes up to that soon.

    Wow... I agreed with Zsuzanna and the world didn't end!!

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  46. "as much as a i disagree with Zsuzsanna blog, she isn't talking about this other blog behind her back. she links right to her. "

    Unlike the lady in question who refers to this post on Facebook without name or link and then allows commenters to criticise without the full facts.

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  47. I don't care what kind of degree you have, it doesn't mean you know anything about the Bible. Thoes of you saying that spanking is wrong and that you have some kind of degree or your a pastor like that means your must be right or something. It is not impressive that you went to school and were taught a bunch of nonsense by man. I will believe the Bible over man any day.

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  48. Not only did you gossip, but you caused other women to gossip. If you had a problem with what that person was doing, you should have gone to her directly.

    With that said, let's count how many times you told Solomon no, and then ended up going up to your kids to fix the problem yourself. He's ten years old and he still doesn't stop when you tell him to. Don't judge other people's parenting until you can get yours right.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/victorktey#p/u/49/QHr6MZugvlo

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  49. If we ever met in person, you probably wouldn't like me at all. We have very different views on the world. However, I'm in many ways with you on this one!

    I used to work in retail and I don't know how many times I got so frustrated at mothers who took this approach with their children while the kids essentially trashed the store. I understand that moms can be overwhelmed at times but these women simply watched their kids wreak havoc on our displays and then commented on how cute the kids were. (It wasn't just me, either. My co-workers agreed that there were many kids who needed more discipline.)

    I think it's good for kids to at some point understand the reasoning behind certain things that parents tell them to do because that helps them learn about the world. For example, the hot pot - it helps to know about the physical harm but when you're 2, you can't really comprehend that and when you're about to burn your hand, your parent really should just scream "no" at you. It's better to be sad that your mom yelled at you than to end up at the hospital's burn center!!!

    This goes beyond kids, though. I've had nasty looks from my neighbors for yelling at my dog when he starts barking. I suppose some of these people might want me to talk to him about why he's feeling so angry at the poodle down the street.

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  50. The Bible is not just some old book, it is Gods word! God told the people who wrote down the Bible what to write down. The KJV is a 5th grade reading level, so you don't have to be a stuck up educated jerk to understand it. So whatever new book that has come out on child rearing, it will never be better then instructions from God himself! Parents who spank their kids in the right way, will have loving well behaved children.100yp years ago and even 50 years ago everyone spanked. Kids were also better behaved back then. Why do people think the norm is to have a wild out of control teenagers these days? They were never correctly punished when they were younger, and they were not taught the Bible. They seemed to be the ones that hate their parents. The spanked, home schooled, Christian kids, that were taught the Bible correctly seem to be the ones who love their parents and act right. Of course there are exceptions, I know Christian kids who have turned out bad, but that is not the norm. The Duggers do spank, and their children love thier parents and treat them with respect. They don't look like they are living in fear and are messed up for life because they were spanked. I think the Duggars show a very good example of showing how kids are to be corrected. They will never say publicly that they spank, that would not be wise with the messed up and unconstitutional DHS system we have in this country!

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  51. I can't help but think of the quote: "the Bible said it, I believe it, and that settles it". Yes the Bibles says it, but whether we believe it or not does not settle it. It is settled because the Bible says it, what we believe has nothing to do with it. In this day and age everyone is doing what "they think is right" or what they "think" the Bible means. Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

    Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
    "Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
    Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
    For those that have kids that you don't spank and you think they obey, good for you. They just might obey, but it isn't so much that they obey outwardly as much as if in their hearts they are obeying.
    Good Post, Mrs. Anderson!

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  52. I think the main point you were trying to make is that child-led parenting is a failure. There is a reason adult parents give birth to children and are entrusted to raise them. In my job, I see new hires in their early 20's who were obviously a product of a parenting technique similar to K's mom. They feel entitled and act pompous, but are actually oh-so-insecure. However, you don't need to spank your children to avoid them turning out that way and, indeed, to raise them to be good, productive, God-fearing individuals. And, besides, it seems ludicrous to me to say that the Bible should be read literally. There is clearly a tremendous amount of interpretation. For example, you must interpret when to begin and cease spanking your child. Do you spank a 15-month old who willfully breaks something. What about a 13 year old that speaks disprespectfully? A 16 year old? When does it stop? If the way you teach your children to obey is to spank them, then your power over them ends as soon as they become old enough to hit back! I can't say that spanking is never warranted - in some extreme circumstances, in the right age range, it can be effective. But, in my opinion, it is the absolute last thing you should try.

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  53. With my kids, spanking is rare. It's only for those times when they learn they need to obey. It's a safety issue. I'm not trying to ruin their life or control their will, I need to keep them safe. It's for the times they run off in the parking lot. They need to learn consequences. Touching a hot stove, they get an instant consequence--it hurts. Running out in the street, well, I'm not going to let a car run them over to show them how much it hurts--I drop everything and catch them. Then they get a spanking, to reinforce that it hurts. So that they won't do it again, they'll think first. A young child can not be reasoned with. As they get older, tho, they can understand. I don't think I've needed to spank anytime after 5 years, and very rare at that.

    [The burning applesauce comment above was mine, for some reason I typed in my email name instead of my posting name.]

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  54. Like many of your commenters, I disagree with a lot of what you post (your blog :-), but I am definitely on your side of the child parenting/discipline thing. I suppose it's easy for me to say what I will do since I don't have kids now, but I was raised in a household where I got spanked when it was necessary. And to be honest, it was often. I was ONE rough child to raise..ha! I think there's a vast difference between spanking when necessary and beating the crap out of your kid. A spanking when necessary never killed anyone...and frankly, I appreciate my parents more for that today.

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  55. Wow! "Denise" must really be either crazy, have no life or extremely jealous of you to examine every picture and you-tube clip! SCARY. I will never understand why people read and comment on blogs they can't stand (and apparently watch you-tube clips too!). What a waste of time and energy!

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  56. “Christians” love to pull the shame, blame & cat fight as often as possible!

    I love how the pro spank moms use the "bible said it & the way I interpret it is THE right way" reason, & the non-spankers have a "I love my kids" attitude. Do you spankers really harbor such resentment? Was the pregnancy, "near death" (lmao!) delivery & horrible infancy such a horrible price to pay?

    I don't spank, but I DO love my child. I “endured” pregnancy, birth & life thus far & I’ve done so joyfully because of my love for my child. I NEVER talk badly about my son because I love him enough to focus on the joy he brings into my life. But you spankers are so focused on the "child sin" & negative that you don't have time to just enjoy your little ones.

    Sadly, many of you ignorant spankers choose to have a bunch of kids so you can try to change the world to your small minded way of thinking. Thankfully my fewer children will have been given the best of me in hopes that they will in turn empower others & live a fulfilling life.

    Give me your worst, “ladies”!

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  57. It's shocking to me that you use such a vicious tone when it seems that the primary purpose of your blog is to espouse Christian virtues. You could not have been more correct in forewarning that the post would gain hateful reactions – your words are venomous and cruel, so a few passionate replies are likely to be posted (I will point out that the most hateful replies, however, are posted by your SUPPORTERS, rather than your detractors). Parenting philosophies are going to differ, and I understand that you are attempting to use what you consider a Biblically-incompatible manner of parenting as an example to share your own beliefs, but you really are cruel in the way you approach the issue. If I were a non-believer delving into the Christian faith for the first time, and your blog were my initial exposure to Christianity, I would definitely look elsewhere for religion.

    As for the other comments, I'm appalled that many of the "Christian" reactions tend to be so inflammatory and hateful. Would Christ be proud of this post and the reactions that it provoked? Would he consider it 'Christian' (which, as an adjective, means to be Christ-like)? When I read the New Testament, which is supposed to serve as a living guide for believers, including a "mother in the 21st Century", I see a man whose very nature is love. He lives, breathes, and preaches kindness, patience, understanding, intelligence, reason, and love. I think my strongest impression of Jesus is his oratory skill. He is constantly teaching. He is using examples and showing the negative consequence of bad decisions by talking to his followers. Not one single time do I remember Jesus raising a violent hand to anyone - not to a woman, not to a man, not to a demon-possessed person, not to a child, not to a Roman - he does not raise a hand in violence to anyone.

    And he teaches the children. In fact, he reprimands an adult that wants to minimize the importance of those little human beings. What would Jesus have to say to you about repeatedly calling children 'monsters', 'junior', and 'it'?

    Earlier I referenced something you said at the beginning of your post. You called yourself a “mother in the 21st Century.” My question for you is this: if you consider yourself a modern woman, why do you only look to the Old Testament for guidance? This point has been brought up before, but instead of a blog response, I think you should really consider the answer to that question. Pray on it. Ask yourself why you choose to be guided by the part of the Bible whose title exclaims its archaic and outdated nature. Why not model your treatment of others – such as the adult you attacked in this post and your children – on Jesus and his teachings. After all, he did make a rather large sacrifice in order to seal the NEW TESTAMENT we are fortunate to live under.

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  58. How is this for a NEW TESTAMENT scripture:

    Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
    Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he CHASTENETH, and SCOURGETH every son whom he receiveth.
    Heb 12:7 If ye endure CHASTENING, God dealeth with you as with sons; FOR WHAT SON IS HE WHOM THE FATHER CHASTENETH NOT?
    Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye BASTARDS, and not sons.
    Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
    Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
    Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

    My children are not bastards.

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  59. Indeed this is a great discussion! =)I have debated on posting but here it is anyway.

    As an "ignorant spanker" the power, authority, and command from God is to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    I enjoy my children a whole lot more when they are respectful and honoring of who I am and who they are within the boundaries that are set for them according to the word of God. I love them no matter what, but really it would be foolish to say they are at their best and most enjoyable while misbehaving.


    To be "focused" on our child sin is indeed a concern of a Godly mother. I can say that sin is a deadly thing, and deserving of punishment far far worse than a smack or two on the hind parts.

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  60. Cynthia, I didn't look for the video. There's a closed Yahoo group that I read. They discuss topics such as heresy, people who call themselves preachers with no biblical knowledge who preach hate like Fred Phelps and Anderson, they discuss hypocirsy, etc. Real Christians are angered, as they should be. Jesus tells us to beware of all this. Some people are moved by the Holy Spirit to speak up and point things out so innocent people don't get taken in.

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  61. The video Denise posted actually evidences that the Anderson children are NOT at all being harmed by the parenting approach that Rev. and Mrs. Anderson take. It was a special event at home, with a camera rolling, lots of guests, and furthermore an event with enormous significance to their religion and culture. All of these reasons add up to it being quite an expected thing for the kids to be rambunctious. Based on the date, Solomon would've been eight or nine. The anti-spanking zealots would have us believe that their children must be terrified robots who aren't free to express themselves or otherwise act like children. Instead, they acted like kids, and Mrs. Anderson acted like a normal, loving mother, letting the kids run around at this special, exciting event, until one of them started doing something that potentially imperiled the safety of another. Then she stopped them. In the excitement of the special event, it took a couple of tries to get their attention.

    Wow. These kids are NORMAL. It really puts the lie to the idea that kids who are brought up with "Biblical corporal punishment" grow up abnormal.

    BTW, I'm not a Christian. I'm an atheist. I just had to comment because the attacks on the Andersons parenting were getting so ridiculously absurd.

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  62. sanderson1611,

    Has God literally come down from heaven with a rod and beat the crap out of you? If not, then this isn't exactly literal either.

    My kids face punishments and consequences for their actions like most kids do. That doesn't mean it has to be done by spanking.

    Why do people insist on interpreting verses literally that are blatantly and obviously not literal? God has "disciplined" me too and used that for growth and change, but He's never come down from heaven with a rod and physically spanked me.

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  63. This definitely seems to be a subject that divides people to polar opposites. My mother did not believe in corporal punishment I can can honestly say that her method of discipline was far worse that a quick spanking. She ruled our home with just as much fear and intimidation as anyone claims of the "spankers" by silence and looks of disappointment that crush a young child's soul.

    I DO believe that there are times when spanking is necessary. Discipline is a complex issue that has to geared towards the temperament of each child. We currently have one son who is 9 months old (and other on the way) and he can be very demanding, is not old enough to be reasoned with, but already shows signs of having a sensitive spirit in which a stern tone of voice will stop the unsuitable behavior/activity. Our next child may be much more strong willed and need greater reinforcement.

    I'd also like to comment on the issue of OT v's NT. It isn't a competition. The two parts of the Bible TOGETHER make up the whole counsel of God. Those who only read one or the other are not receiving the full wisdom of Biblical instruction, and dare I say those who only focus on the New Testament have in my experience tended towards spiritual immaturity. One person commented on how passive she saw Jesus Christ. I personally see a much more dynamic person than that. This is the same man who upon entering the Temple in Jerusalem overturned the money changers tables and drove out the commerce from God's House. That is not the act of a merely passive man.

    I love my son, and my yet unborn child. Because I love them I will do whatever needs to be done to raise them up in disciplined self control to love the LORD. That may involve some spankings and it may not, its too early to tell yet for me. The very core of each of us is sinful and it is partly my job has a parent to teach my children that sin cannot be allowed free reign in life without punishment being the result, both in this physical life and in our spiritual lives.

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  64. "anyone can be a kind gentle parent when they are only with their child maybe one or two hours a day awake. Keep up the great posts!!"

    Karen R -
    You are implying that homeschooling parents are NOT kind and gentle due to the fact that they are home with their kids ALL day. I doubt you mean to say that.

    As a public school parent who also spanked (why does the homeschool debate have to be brought into so many parenting discussions)I can assure you that we did not choose public school so that I could get away from my kids. There are so many stereotypes with each education choice and I could write a few here but I hate to add to the venom. But please know that many public school parents are also Christians who have put much thought and prayer into their choices for their children's education. Generalization is never a good thing and I'm sure you don't like to be lumped into any generalization about homeschoolers. You have chosen what is right for your family; let us choose what is right for ours.

    On another note (and the topic of this blog) I agree with those who choose to take a strict stance in disciplining our children. "Strict" does not equal "cruel."

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  65. I don't believe in the Bible at all and I agree with everything you wrote in this post. I am the parent. Don't touch the gosh darn pot and get the heck off the trampoline RIGHT NOW. I am old school, I guess. My kids listen because I make them. Period.

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  66. VERY good post. The Bible is here for our learning...and I am THANKFUL that I have it to refer to. God's wisdom far surpasses mans...if more children were TRAINED and DISCIPLINED Biblically, our world would NOT be in the mess it is in today. Discipline is needful because it corrals the child's will...and every child has a will. Sure, you can give them everything they want and let them do whatever they please, but you are raising a selfish and spoiled "brat" who ...for lack of a better term. And this is why America is headed to hell. Direct disobedience to the careful and wise child training guidelines given to us. So sad.

    Thanks for the great post, Zsuzsanna and by the way...you guys are doing a great job with your children!!!! :)

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  67. Thanks, Zsuzsanna. I am a liberal-humanist-atheist who just peeks in from time to time -- but you've given me food for thought. You're absolutely right that too many modern parents are letting their children be the boss - with disasterous results. I remain a believer in humanism, but you've convinced me that humanism is NOT for children! Humility and responsibility are the first things parents much teach a child, only THEN is a young person ready to begin autonomously charting his/her path in life. Thanks for the insight, and best wishes.

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  68. I don't regularly follow your blog, I just check in once every few months, but I see a pattern in a lot of your posts. You lash out at others who don't believe the same way you do. Sure, maybe this parent is making some mistakes, but going through so many quotes and calling her stupid? really? I don't want to make this a long comment or anything, but I think you should maybe consider your writing style. Someone else mentioned that your post was not written in a Christ-like manner, and sadly, I have to agree.

    Like I mentioned, I never read your blog and I disagree with you on a lot of things, but I've never bothered to comment. But this made me comment because it made me so sad. I hope you take in consideration some of these "hateful" comments and think about your words before writing. It's one thing to speak in truth and another to tell people they're stupid because you have different beliefs.

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  69. Christian Light Publications has the book-What the Bible Says About Child Training by Richard Fugate- ($9) and a few other books on child training and family living that agree with Fugate's book.

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  70. I don't believe that sparing the rod spoils the child in all cases. I can only speak for myself but the few times I was spanked I always quickly became more out of control and rebellious. The only times I felt like I could really understand what my parents wanted and did what they needed me to do was when we sat down and discussed the situation.
    I'm a very goal oriented person and I'm also very inquisitive. My parents saying, "Do this because I told you" only made me distrustful and resentful. When they would say, "We need you to do X because of Y or else Z won't happen" I would do what they asked me and do it well and with respect.

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  71. I have to say that I TOTALLY AGREE with this post!! I have a four year old boy and let me tell you, he is ALL BOY!!! :) Many times I have questioned my methods of discipline with him. They range any where from spanking to time-out, to taking something away. It all depends on what he's done. I specifically have spent time in prayer over this subject and EVERY TIME I OPEN MY BIBLE TO SEARCH FOR WISDOM, I HAVE OPENED IT UP TO ONE OF THE ABOVE VERSES! I love my child more than life. We have a very healthy parent/child relationship. He is well-behaved AS A RESULT of the discipline my husband and I practice in our home! Thanks for the post! It was fun to read....

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  72. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" is from a 1662 Samuel Butler poem.

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  73. Coming in late to comment, but I was a public school teacher and I now homeschool my children. In both settings, I have been around numerous children with their parents, and got to know many parents' discipline choices. It has been a rarity to come across enjoyable children who are not corporally punished. This is just my observation, as I wavered on spanking or not--but almost every child who was a joy to be around was a child whose parents utilized corporal punishment in some manner. It's amazing.

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