a sad tale of a mother who almost killed her son in an attempt to discipline
him for a claimed wrongdoing. I was dumbfounded at the ugly scars that
were inflicted on the back of this 6 year old boy and could only imagine the
emotional and psychological trauma he will struggle with. Read the
full story here.
I do not think that violent acts such as this
existed in the 1960s when Dr Benjamin Spock opined in his book (Common
Sense Book of Baby and Child care) that children should not be spanked when they
err so that their little personalities would not be warped; eventually causing damage to their self-esteem. He emphasised the
need to accommodate children’s feelings and cater to their preferences. I do not
agree with this theory, but you can read more here.
Disciplining a child is an important part in training
them right, remember the biblical injunction –
he who loves him disciplines him diligently (Proverbs 13 v 24). I do not intend to recommend ways in which
discipline should be administered to an erring child. Our culture, belief
system and religion already influences this in their respective ways. However,
I know that there exist a thin line between discipline and child abuse.
Dr Myles Munroe in his book Kingdom Parenting, wrote the extract below on discipline;
“…never use your hand
to punish a child. Your hand is not a rod. Never spank with your hand because
you don’t want your child to associate you and your hand with pain and
punishment. Hands are for hugging, touching, and caressing, not inflicting
physical blows, God’s hands are tender, loving and caring hands that are always
open to welcome us. As you seek to model the father and his nature to your children,
your hands should be used in the same way.Instead of your hand, therefore employ a paddle
or some other instrument that will not bruise or beak the skin or inflict any
other kind of injury. The rod is not to hurt your child but to correct and redirect
your child’s behavior …In my family, as I was growing up, my father’s
leather belt was the rod and it represented to us both love and pain. My
brothers and sisters and I knew mom and dad loved us because they never hesitated
to discipline us whenever we needed it. On those rare occasion when a belt was
not readily available, such as when our dad was at work. Our mom became very creative;
she found something in the house to use as a rod of correction.”
Dr Myles surmised the under listed as a guide to parental discipline;
- Be consistent
- Never discipline in anger/treat all your children
- Never allow your children to despise discipline
- No not allow your children to complain about their
- Do not allow your children to become bitter
- Do not allow your children to become slothful
- Never ask or demand your children to do
anything you would never do
- Never ridicule, belittle, scorn or embarrass your
children especially in public.
instill discipline in your child, please do it right and with love.
Myles Munroe .