Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 28th 2014 Contents reasoning, some say, none of the
tenets should be relevant.
But for those who believe and
acknowledge the Proverbs, it's
accepted and employed because
children are given to folly---indis-
cipline and waywardness---and
parents have a responsibility to
cull this. Are they misguided?
Paul J Preston, in his In Defense
of Spanking: What every parent
should know about corporal pun-
writes, "The majority of Amer-
icans still feel that children need
an occasional spanking, and well
over 90 per cent of parents actu-
ally use spanking (1999 research)."
Preston contends that, "Pun-
ishment is the most reliable way
of eliminating bad behaviours...
A generation ago, there would
have been no need for this site.
Spanking needed no defence...
But over the decades, spanking
has been attacked.
"Some experts' advise parents
not to spank their children (but)
I believe that parents know some-
thing that the experts don't.
"I believe that parents know
that spanking---if properly used---
can be an effective form of dis-
cipline that does not harm chil-
Preston tells also why he
believes spanking is necessary
and gives advice on when and
how to spank.
To be continued
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 28, 2014
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
CAROLINE C RAVELLO
I m convinced there is never going to be agreement
on whether we should include spanking in raising
disciplined children. I believe it s important to estab-
lish that at the outset, having looked intently at both
sides of an enthusiastic debate, and given the research
and conclusions proffered.
The very uniqueness of raising a family must bring
every one of us to respect the choices made in each
circle. And still, while it's noble to attempt regulating
disciplining, a large percentage of parents/advocates
argue that appropriate spanking is not abusive.
We acknowledge that child abuse exists in all soci-
eties. Each of us can possibly find examples from our
community upon which we frown, when parents are
given to what we deem extreme measures.
It is accepted that children must be taught right
from wrong, good against evil, understanding the
consequences of going against the accepted conduct;
against what is just and good.
For the parent who's looking for the best way to
discipline, however, there are many voices, fuelled by
research, tenets, practical experience, and many other
integers in the equation of successful "people-making."
Much of the pro-spanking support comes from a
theological perspective established by King Solomon
in the Bible. Conversely, much of the objection comes
from those opposed to the biblical standards which
pro-spankers use as justification.
There are believers/Christians who are advocates
of spanking; clearly defining their positions, establishing
what they consider constitutes abusive employment
of the rod, versus appropriate disciplining. There are
those who do not subscribe to the Bible's tenets but
support spanking as part of a disciplining regime.
There are also people who would firmly defend
their stand as Christians but fiercely deny the practice
of spanking, while there are those who do not subscribe
to the Bible and neither to spanking.
Still, there are those who have given it no thought
nor are guided by anything as practical as above.
Those who I like to say are unconscious parents reacting
to the immediate environment with no coherent course
of how to develop a conscientious citizen as they
move a child from baby to adulthood.
Credited as author of the Proverbs, Solomon had
some stern admonishments and relentless advice for
everyone. Those who use the Bible to fuel their argu-
ments for or against spanking generally refer to the
Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his
son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your children, for in
that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he
should go: and when he is old, he will not turn from
it. Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of
a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.
Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not withhold discipline from
a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not
die. Punish him with the rod and save him from death.
Proverbs 29:15 A rod and a reprimand impart
wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will
give you peace; he will bring you the delights you
Among anti-spanking Christians, many reasons
have been offered for their positions against using
those verses. Primarily, it is that Solomon is not regard-
ed as living an exemplary life and could not possibly
be the accepted author of the pre-eminent advice for
discipline. I've read that people say Solomon's dis-
ciplining of children may have been out of his frus-
tration as an inadequate parent in a situation of
overindulgence where he is credited with having 700
wives and 300 concubines and possibly too many
children to control.
Solomon's life is cited as an example of children
gone wrong and parent not living right and by that
Spanking: Is the Bible wrong?
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