To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 4


The Purpose of Spanking

We need to keep in our minds the purpose of spanking.  The purpose of spanking is not to “break the will of the child” or to “rid the child of sinful nature”.  It is not reactionary.  We also need to be careful that we are not taking our child’s behavior personally.  Our children are not doing things to us they are just being children.  That is why we need to be careful to spank for direct defiance and not for childish behavior.  The verse in Proverbs is such a great reminder, “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Some translations say, the way he is bent.  That is a beautiful picture for us as parents.  We are not breaking the will or the spirit of the child, we are bending it to fall under authority.  We still want them to be who God made them to be.

This is why our purpose for spanking is to squelch rebellious behavior or direct defiance of authority.  The reason why spanking appropriately is a good form of discipline for the young child is because it is quick and restores relationship.  And if we are focusing on restoring relationship immediately then it is not punitive.  Using spanking appropriately is a good way to train our children that our no means no.


For more insight on the topic spanking listen to today’s podcast.


To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 42012-04-09T15:35:22-04:00

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 3


Warning the Child Forces the Child To Think

Spanking should not be viewed as a punishment but as a part of the training process, the beginning of the training process in reality.  This is why it cannot be a reactionary thing by the parent.  We must begin the training process by giving the child a choice.  We are following the ICE plan, Instruct, Consequence and Exercise.  Even if it is something that is a routine behavior we must remember that we are dealing with a child who’s memories are forming.  Even if they do remember last time, they need to be given the choice so it begins to connect that they have indeed chosen this consequence.  The repeat behaviors are things that we as parents can tend to get the most frustrated with and react.  So giving the child the instruction and reminding them of the consequence removes the immediate reaction impulse.  As the child begins to grow we can even remind them by asking, “Mackenzie, do you remember what happened yesterday when you got out of your bed? That’s right you chose a spanking.” Then we reinstruct, “you are disobeying mommy right now by being out of bed.  You need to get back into bed.  If mommy has to come back in because you are out of bed then you are choosing a spanking.”

If the goal is training then we have to continually reinstruct the toddler to begin to connect the dots that their behavior is choosing the spanking.  If we are reactionary then our emotions are dictating when we spank and we are not consistent.  So not only can we harm our child but even our goal of training is not achieved.  This is why it is so important that a parent is calm.  Remember if you cannot be calm then do not spank!


For more insight on the topic of spanking listen to today’s podcast.


To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 32012-04-09T15:35:04-04:00

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 2


If You Can’t Stay Calm Don’t Spank Your Child

We discussed yesterday how spanking can be done inappropriately and hurt the child.  What does the correct use of spanking look like?  Here is a story to illustrate…

A young girl is down for her nap in her “big kid bed”.  Mom comes down the hall and hears the little girl playing on the floor.  Mom goes into the room and says, “Mackenzie,  its nap time right now, I need you to go lay down in bed.  You have a few stuffed animals in your bed to keep you company but you need to stay in your bed.”  A few minutes later mom goes to check and make sure she is in bed and hears her playing on the floor again.  This time she instructs the girl, “Mackenzie, you are not obeying mommy.  You need to stay in your bed and not get out.  If mommy has to come back in then your stuffed animals are going to have to stay on your shelf for the rest of nap time.”  Mom goes back down the hall and hears her daughter up again.  The stuffed animals are put up on the shelf as a consequence.  Mom then instructs, “ Mackenzie, you are still choosing to disobey mommy.  You need to stay in your bed and not get out. If you get out again, you are choosing a spanking. “  Mom realistically prepares herself that Mackenzie will test her on this so she is not shocked to come back down the hall and find her out of bed.  She says, “Honey, I am very sorry that you have chosen a spanking.  You need to sit on your bed and wait for mommy.”  Mom then goes to the kitchen to get the spoon, giving herself time to cool off if she needs it.  She then goes back in and spanks Mackenzie.  She sits and hugs her daughter for a few minutes making sure that her daughter knows that she is loved and restoring relationship so she (mom) is not the consequence.

Our take away from this story is to make sure that you are calm.  In order to do this, you need to maintain realistic expectations.  Your child will most likely test you to make sure that your “no means no”.  They will also probably test the system for a few days to see if mom or dad is going to be consistent.


For more insight on the topic of spanking listen to today’s podcast.


To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 22012-04-09T15:34:45-04:00

To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 1


The Controversial Topic of Spanking

The topic of spanking is one of the most explosive and controversial discussions in parenting.  People on both sides of the topic believe vehemently on this issue.  Why is that? Because we have seen discipline done wrong and hurt the child.

To clarify, what spanking is not… Spanking is not abusing your child, slapping your child, beating your child, whipping your child and it is not reactionary or out of anger.

Spanking done correctly is done as a last resort.  It is done when your child is in direct defiance of authority not for childish behaviors.  There is also an age range where it is most effective, early toddler years.  When a parent can find more creative consequences that are effective with their child then those consequences can be used.   As a last resort means that a parent has told the child “no”, attempted redirection and if redirection is not successful warned the child that they are choosing a spanking if they continue to disobey.  The child should be removed from the situation so that it is not reactionary by the parent and there is no audience, such as siblings.

The reason for spanking is to teach a young mind that no means no.  You cannot intellectually reason with a two year old that sticking their toy in the socket is dangerous.  Teaching a child early on that no means no is for their protection as well as beginning the future training process.  We will spend the rest of the week discussing spanking, how it is done appropriately and when.  Remember that spanking is something that is NOT reactionary, it is something that must be done calmly or not at all.

Check out what God has to say in Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 22:15, and Proverbs 29:15.


Listen to today’s podcast for more wisdom on spanking.


To Spank or Not to Spank | Part 12012-04-09T15:34:30-04:00

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 5


Consequences and the Difference in Single and Blending Families

One of the areas that can be a struggle for the single parent family and blending family is that the consequences may be different in each home.  Some parents have difficulty maintaining consistency in their home when they know that their children won’t have to follow the same rules when they are in the other house.  There are many reasons why this is.  Some parents may struggle with guilt.  Some may just get tired because maintaining this level of consistency is extra work.  It is so important however to maintain the rules in your house regardless.

Start each evening that the children enter back into the home with a refocus time.  This can simply be a reminder of what the house rules and expectations are for the week.  Make this family meeting fun with a snack around the table.  Be careful to use it only for a refocus and reminder of the rules and not a discussion of what went on in the other home.  Using this time to refocus children will also help the parent maintain consistency because they have to consistently state their expectations.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on using consequences that train in single parent families and blending families

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 52011-02-04T14:37:09-04:00

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 4


The Staff Meeting That Will Save Your Marriage

When we think about the concept of having a staff meeting to discuss parenting the thought may be overwhelming.  Most of our schedules are so packed it may be difficult to fit it in.  We have discussed several times just how important the staff meeting is in being on the same page as parents.

So just how do we fit it in?  There are many times where we have to get creative.  For the simple day-to-day parenting issues sometimes simply a phone conversation will suffice.  We can discuss simple issues as we are driving home from work.  For those more complex issues set aside a little (or a lot) of an evening where you have spent some time processing ahead of time.

We have so many communication tools at our fingertips we can get creative in how we fit in the staff meetings on parenting.  We just have to make sure to do it!

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on using a staff meeting to select consequences that train.

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 42011-02-04T14:36:39-04:00

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 3


Steps for Selecting Effective Consequences

Yesterday we discussed why it is important to get out ahead of your children’s behavior and decide consequences ahead of time.  If you do this you will be less likely to react emotionally to the situation and more likely to be consistent with your consequences.

The first step to selecting the consequences is to make sure that both parents are on the same page.  This calls for a parent meeting where you need to set aside some time to specifically brainstorm.  This is something that will need to be done often because parenting is not a one size fits all type of thing.  Each child is different and sometimes will respond differently to consequences.   There are several things to think through while selecting the consequence.  First you need to decide what behaviors are unacceptable in your home.  They need to be things that are detrimental to the child’s future, not simply things that you find annoying.  Continue to keep in mind the goals of parenting to raise a marriageable, employable and God-honoring adult.  Next, if at all possible, think through consequences that fit the crime and are timely in their delivery.  Consequences that are immediate can be more effective.  For instance if a child does not complete their morning chores, giving an extra chore when they get home from school that day has more of an impact then an extra chore over the weekend.  Keep the weight of the consequence consistent with the behavior and try not to over consequence for small issues.

Giving yourself enough time to think through consequences will help you be less emotional because you will already be prepared for the behavior.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on Consequences that Train.

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 32011-02-04T14:36:10-04:00

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 2


Inappropriate Consequences

There are several signs for us that we need to take a step back and evaluate our parenting.  One of those signs is consistent yelling.  When we yell at our children we make ourselves the consequence and begin to remove our relationship from them.

There are several reasons why parents yell.  Yelling may be the only parenting style we have observed.  It is also a sign of exhaustion; we are so tired that our fuse is short.  Another reason is that we may forget that children will act like children, and we are taking their behavior personally.  There may not be a plan for consequences in our home so we resort to yelling.  It may also be a sign that there is too much stress in our lives and our children are getting the brunt of it.

Give yourself permission to take a time out.  If you are yelling at your children take a moment to calm yourself and then continue the discussion.  You may just need to step away from the situation for a moment to think of a proper consequence.  If you do yell, which we all will at times, take the time to apologize to your children.  Then sit down and get out in front of the consequences for the next time. This way you will be more prepared and won’t have to resort to yelling.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on yelling.

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 22011-02-04T14:34:50-04:00

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 1


The Purpose of Selecting the Right Consequences

One of the hardest things for a parent to understand is the difference between consequence and punishment. A punishment is something that happens after the fact, given from one person to another.  It can be an emotional reaction by the parent to the negative behavior and therefore taken personally by the child.

A consequence is a direct result of a behavior and is something that’s been communicated ahead of time.  The purpose is to reform the negative behavior and should teach cause and effect.   When a consequence is communicated ahead of time it is easy to begin to train the child that they “chose” the consequence based on their behavior.  It takes the parent out of the equation and allows for the restoration of relationship. It is important to sit down as spouses and come up with consequences that fit the behavior.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on consequences.

Selecting Consequences That Train – Part 12011-02-04T14:34:20-04:00