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Old 08-07-2007, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am in transition to Gd from spanking. Up to this point I believed that spanking was required in order to produce well behaved Godly children. I never thought I would be one to change my mind on it, but I even suprised myself!

So my question is right now I am not 100% on board. I know for myself personally that I should not spank, I always spank in anger and basically I am just venting my own emotions and hitting my child. I am still fuzzy on whether or not I am going to take the stand that is is not okay for ANYONE. kwim?

The argument that is in my head that I am trying to get rid of is that if spanking is done in a loving enviroment and is done my loving non-angry parents than it is an acceptable from of discipline. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to turn all my spanking friends into non-spankers, but I need more of an argument then just saying "hitting a child is wrong"

They don't see it as hitting, they see it as Godly discipline and something that is necessary. How can I help myself and others close the gap. There is that fuzzy line there. I know it is definately wrong for me but how do you approach the subject to others?

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Old 08-07-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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I think maybe you need to concentrate on your own emotional work, your own spiritual growth, and your own convictions for awhile, and not worry about convincing others just yet. Eventually, you will have a more solid and articulate basis for your beliefs. Give yourself time.

I wonder if you maybe feel a little alone in this, and would feel more validated if you could convince others that you are right. That is understandable. But you don't really need to explain of justify anything to anyone, and you don't have to have converts to your way of thinking in order to feel good about your approach.

I wonder if it would be helpful to you to widen your circle of friends to include some non-spankers? If it doesn't already. Have you looked at the gentle christian mothers website? I'm sure someone will post a link for you. There is also a book called "Biblical Parenting," written by Crystal Lutton. I think you would find it helpful.

As far as your spanking friends -- they will learn more from observing your journey than from any argument you could present to them.

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The argument that is in my head that I am trying to get rid of is that if spanking is done in a loving enviroment and is done my loving non-angry parents than it is an acceptable from of discipline.
Causing pain to a child is not a loving action, regardless of what motivates us. Teaching a child that its possible to "hurt each other in love" is confusing and disturbing. It teaches them that its okay for people to control each other through power and pain.

When Jesus died, he fufilled the expecation that justice be satisfied for wrongdoing. He was asking us to stop punishing each other, by taking the punishment once and for all.

Another really terrific book, for a christian parent, is called "Families Where Grace is in Place." By Jeff VanVonderen. Its not specifically about spanking, but addresses some really solid underlying principles that are so helpful. Great book.

Do not be surprised of choosing to parent gently, without spanking, is the beginning of new things in your faith journey, as well as your parenting journey.
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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Good for you for realizing that hitting is wrong for your family. I think that for now, just focusing on learning Gentle Discipline techniques and how to put them into practice will be a great first step. Read the stickies here, and check out some of the recommended reading from the lists at the top of the GD page. Also check out GentleChristianMothers.com. It's a forum dedicated to Christian mommies practicing AP/GD. All the ladies there are awesome (like here!) and will answer your questions and point you in the right direction. I read a book, titled Biblical Parenting by Crystal Lutton (she runs the GCM board) and it really helped me understand alot of why GD was actually biblical, and spanking is not. Basically (and I'm going to kill it, you should really try to read the whole book!) spanking was 'invented' or started in Victorian times, and it has its roots in sexual immorality. Not biblical at all. If you take the same verses that are used to advocate spanking, break them down to the original Hebrew text, and take them in the context of the times, you see that they actually mean something very different from child hitting.
THere is also a thread here, titled "Letter To Our Pastor About Spanking" if you do a search you will probably find it. Whoever started it is very articulate, and uses alot more bible terminology than I do. It is relatively recent, so hopefully you will have no trouble finding it. HTH
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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Check the articles here:
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/topics/

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Old 08-07-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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Mamaduck and I cross posted, sorry I said alot of what she said...But as always, I agree with everyhing she said!
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your input. You are right I shouldn't worry about what others think. I guess is is just hard to stand alone and hard for me to stick up for what I am doing kwim?

As far as finding non-spankers that is a tough one. I have a few very close Christian friends and one who spanks her 10 month old already We have both spoken our sides and we agree to disagree and I told her it would probably be best if we didn't discuss the topic anymore. I am on the lookout for non-spankers

I will definately check into those book recommendations thankyou!

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Old 08-07-2007, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mommy2abigail View Post
Good for you for realizing that hitting is wrong for your family. I think that for now, just focusing on learning Gentle Discipline techniques and how to put them into practice will be a great first step. Read the stickies here, and check out some of the recommended reading from the lists at the top of the GD page. Also check out GentleChristianMothers.com. It's a forum dedicated to Christian mommies practicing AP/GD. All the ladies there are awesome (like here!) and will answer your questions and point you in the right direction. I read a book, titled Biblical Parenting by Crystal Lutton (she runs the GCM board) and it really helped me understand alot of why GD was actually biblical, and spanking is not. Basically (and I'm going to kill it, you should really try to read the whole book!) spanking was 'invented' or started in Victorian times, and it has its roots in sexual immorality. Not biblical at all. If you take the same verses that are used to advocate spanking, break them down to the original Hebrew text, and take them in the context of the times, you see that they actually mean something very different from child hitting.
THere is also a thread here, titled "Letter To Our Pastor About Spanking" if you do a search you will probably find it. Whoever started it is very articulate, and uses alot more bible terminology than I do. It is relatively recent, so hopefully you will have no trouble finding it. HTH

Thankyou, I think I remember seeing the letter at one time, but I didn't read it, I will do a search.

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Old 08-07-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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Part of my reasoning for believing spanking is wrong is this: If we belong to Christ, he has taken the punishment for our sin once and for all. When we sin, we often have to face the consequences, but God does not directly punish us. That's been taken care of. We have been given grace; but that doesn't mean that we get off scot-free every time we mess up. God doesn't get us off the hook.

I believe as parents are to model Christ to our children. We ought to show our children the same grace, since Jesus has paid the punishment for their sins too. However, we cannot let them get away with sinning any more than we are allowed to. They must face the consequences of their wrong-doings as well. But to punish (violently, especially) would be unChristlike.

That's my feelings in a nutshell, I suppose.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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I think if I knew someone was hitting a 10 month old baby I would strongly, strongly consider calling child protection. I know child protection can be a scary thing too, but someone hitting a 10 month old baby also scares the hell out of me. : : : : : : :

This kind of child abuse is what has led me to stop taking my children to church.

I am so glad for you and your children you are seeking a better way!

~Tracy

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Old 08-07-2007, 08:05 PM
 
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Not to be flip, but I'm thinking to myself, What would Jesus do? I'm trying to imagine him spanking a child, and I just can't do it...
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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In addition to the advice given (esp. about Gentle Christian Mothers and the letter about spanking - which talks about the "rod" verses very nicely), I have two thoughts:

The first is that the root of discipline and disciple are very close. They are both related to "pupil" and "teaching". Thus, the heart of discipline is teaching - and if we look at how Jesus taught, he did not teach harshly, did he? In fact, he was often in trouble with the religious authorities of the day for violating strict religious law and for associating with the sinners. Jesus taught through loving guidance and I hope to do the same. What did Jesus do when Peter denied him 3 times? What did Jesus do when Thomas doubted the resurrection? Jesus taught through story-telling and and example. He invited the sinners to come be with him. There are many ways to teach a child. Why is spanking privileged? How does causing pain to a child fit Jesus' way of teaching or of his redeeming us from our sins? (And honestly, I've never quite understood the Evangelical reliance on the Old Testament passages to support spanking-- didn't Jesus come to establish a NEW Covenant? You won't find spanking in the New Testament as far as I know.)

The second is a more practical point of view: How often would you (or your friends) spank if you NEVER spanked in anger. If you let yourself completely cool down? Maybe your friends are different, but honestly, once I've cooled down, I don't have any urge to spank. My rational brain sees other ways around it, it's when I'm irrational that spanking becomes an option. Spanking is, at least for me, born of anger. I can't conceive of spanking calmly, without any anger.

Oh, and another practical point is that spanking isn't really any more effective (and there are good arguments for it being less effective). To steal an example from Jane Nelsen (Positive Discipline): If your 2 year old runs into the street, and you spank them because of it, will you fell comfortable letting them play alone in the front yard the next day? No. Why? Because you still can't trust them, can you?

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Old 08-07-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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Sorry for the double-post . . . my internet connection was acting up
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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I'm in a similar place . . . actually, with my first child I was determined not to spank, ever . . . but used plenty of time-outs and other punitive methods. I did do some thing right, like teaching her "come here" by just helping her to do it, over and over again, patiently and consistently, when I asked her to. But our first child was really compliant and eager to please, and didn't require even that often. DH and I thought we were such great parents until our second child came along.

#2 was the strong-willed type who often wanted to do the exact opposite of whatever we wanted her to do. The combination of not being fully convinced (a bit of a crisis in my faith as I sorted through messages learned in a lifetime of influence growing up under teachers like Pearl, Barth, Gothard and Lindvall), being surrounded by people who believed that NOT spanking was disobeying God and harming children, and just simply not having good support or tools (in addition to the fact that my husband fairly strongly felt spanking should be a tool--albeit a seldom-used one--in our parenting toolbox), led to us beginning to spank our kids while away on a trip visiting family.

I'm ashamed now to realize how affirming various friends and family members' responses felt to me--like we had finally seen the light and were parenting more biblically, simply because we were now occasionally spanking our children. I suddenly felt more accepted and "part of the group" than I had when we weren't spanking.

I struggled with this for years--never feeling right about it, but never feeling that I had a solid enough reason to stop. We've always spanked seldom and sparsely--mostly a swat, a flick on the hand with a fingertip, etc--but still it always felt wrong to me. Also, I am convinced that even with the carefully-laid-out standards of never spanking in anger, never excessively, etc. it is literally impossible for a human being to follow 100% of those standards 100% of the time. If you spank, you ARE going to do it in a way that "exasperates" your children more often than you'd like, even if it IS possible (which I now doubt) that it can be done in a way that does not cause exasperation to the child.

I have come to feel that spanking is not a biblical requirement, although I disagree with the statements that hitting children is never dealt with in the Bible (I do agree that spanking as done today is never mentioned, but hitting/beating everyone from children to adults to slaves to criminals to animals certainly is mentioned fairly frequently). I have done some fairly extensive Bible study on the topic, which I can share more details about if you'd like.

I think it is important to remember that the Bible was written through a particular society's filter and to a people group that lived in a specific time and culture, and there are things there that may have been included "because of the hardness of [people's] hearts" or that are descriptive or intended to communicate a basic principle rather than intended to be followed to the letter for every people and culture throughout history.

Anyway, I'm currently where you are . . . making the decision to not use spanking in our home. DH is willing to agree to this, at least for the short-term.

I really want to make a commitment to not use punitive punishment at all, but honestly I'm not alsolutely convinced that it will "work" or that it will be best for the kids yet. It's certainly something I want to try, and WANT for it to work.

So far, in approaching it prayerfully, I'm seeing improvement in my kids' attitudes, my relationship with them, my additudes toward them and, as a side benefit, my attitudes toward my husband and my relationship with God.

I am saddened by the way I see certain other people parenting, but, like you, I'm not yet absolutely convinced that spanking or causing minor pain to children is always wrong in every situation. I am coming to the conclusion that it's not BEST, but going from that to the conclusion that it is always wrong, or that it is intrinsically abuse, is a much greater leap. I do know that there are people in my life who love their children dearly, practice something very similar to attachment parenting, and spank. Some of them are frustrated that it doesn't seem to be working, while others seem to have a great relationship with great kids.

As of now, the approach I'm taking, if asked or if the opportunity presents itself, is to share what God is doing in my own heart and life, and in my relationship with my kids. If you do it with the right attitude, it doesn't come across as judgemental or lecturing at all. After all, you're only sharing what's going on in your life. So far the few people I've shared it with have been very interested, and I can see that it's starting wheels turning in their heads.

Basically, my underlying philosophy at the moment is that kids need to be helped to develop appropriate skills and tools for dealing with life well, and they need to be unconditionally loved and treated with respect in the process. They need to be taught what TO do more than they need to be punished for doing what they should NOT do, if that makes sense. Also, in many cases what seems like a discipline issue is really just age-appropriate behavior or a child trying to get a valid need or harmless desire met in a less-than-ideal way. I'm learning to look below the surface and try to discern the root issue or need that must be dealt with, rather than just dealing with the surface behavior. 1 Cor 13 has been helpful to me in thinking about this. Love doesn't jump to conclusions or impatiently assume someone else's motives to be bad at the drop of a hat, KWIM?

This way of thinking from a perspective of training vs. punishment has been helpful to me.

For instance, I believe it doesn't help a young child at all to be scolded for having a messy room. That kind of response does more to cripple them with shame, make them feel bad, and cause them to believe they are incapable of tidying their room correctly (no matter how hard they try) than anything else. What they really need is to be patiently and loving guided, step-by-step, through how to tidy their room and how to keep it clean--preferably with mom or dad working beside them. They need this kind of involvement and help to keep it from being overwhelming, over and over until the skills become natural to them.

Being involved and consistent to help children learn the skills they need to function in life is more labor-intensive than just ignoring them until something triggers a lecture or scolding, but it's so much more helpful to the child.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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I read this thread and all that I keep hearing in my mind is "my friend spanks her 10 mo old".... I just cannot fathom a 10 month old ever even having the mental capacity to ever do anything wrong... It makes me want to cry. I hope that you can see this as the abuse that it is and that you feel the urge to speak up about it, like I would if it was me. Even in places where spanking is ok, I dont think I've ever heard of it being ok for babies...
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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The first is that the root of discipline and disciple are very close. They are both related to "pupil" and "teaching". Thus, the heart of discipline is teaching - and if we look at how Jesus taught, he did not teach harshly, did he?

You won't find spanking in the New Testament as far as I know.)
See, although I agree with your conclusions about the heart of discipline being teaching, this argument that Jesus only ever was peaceful and nonviolent isn't convincing to me.

For instance, He knocked over the moneychangers' tables and drove them out of the temple with a whip. (John 2:15) He also said quite a few things like "I come not to bring peace, but a sword" and told the disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword if they didn't have one.

Spanking the way we do it today is not dealt with in the Bible, but beating and using whips or scourges are mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments, in a number of different situations with various people groups (as well as animals).

The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 4, compares his relationship with the Corinthian church to that of a father and his children. When he says (1 Cor 4:21), "What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?" he certainly seems to be implying (if you look at it in context) that the choice is entirely dependent on their behavior. Though he is speaking figuratively, the comparison to a father disciplining his children with a whip assumes that such a situation would be normal and acceptable in their culture--he was speaking using terms and illustrations that they would be familiar with.

The idea of God using pain to discipline his people as a father disciplines his children is repeated throughout both the Old and New Testaments (for example, in Hebrews 12--which quotes from and refers to the Old Testament on this topic quite heavily. In the Old Testament such discipline could include anything from war, to illness or death, to fire and brimstone raining down from Heaven, having to wander in the desert for 40 years, to being swallowed up by the earth or [specifically children] being devoured by a bear--all of which I would consider fairly harsh physical punishment ). Even in the New Testamant, Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for lying to God, and the punishments promised at Jesus' hand upon His return for those who reject Him (for instance, in Revelation) are quite harsh.

That's the biggest reason I have for struggling with this--it affects more than just childrearing, but also our view of God's character, the nature of the Bible, and more.

At the moment I reconcile it by drawing a distinction between prescriptive and descriptive Scripture, and believing that most of these passages deal with basic principles (i.e. train and intensively bring up your children) rather than laying down the law about specific methods (i.e. if it's not a sin to refrain from stoning our children or beating them hard enough to leave stripes, then it can't be a sin to not spank at all--it's the parental training that is required rather than the specific method of hitting them).

I look at it like slavery--God never said slavery was good, but he did lay out standards about how people could or could not treat their slaves, and told slaves to obey their masters and masters to not ill-treat their slaves. That doesn't mean we're required to have slaves today in order to obey the Bible.

But it is not such a simple and easy question to wrestle with, if you look at the whole of Scripture.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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I agree with trying not to think to much about what other people are doing or judging whether it is right or wrong.

Personally, I do feel like spanking is wrong. I think what really gets to me is that if you use spanking as a regular form of discipline, I really think it is impossible to never ever spank out of anger. I would like to think that most parents I know don't spank out of anger or frustration, but I have a hard time believing that people who spank regularly never make that mistake. I just have a hard time believing that any parent can be so calm and collected all the time. Maybe they are all just better people than I am, but I know that if we spanked we would wind up spanking out of anger or frustration at least some of the time.

Then there is the fact that I don't think spanking is an effective form of discipline anyway.

I don't really discuss this too much with friends. Gentle Christian Mothers has a lot of good resources for a biblical discussion on spanking and discipline and that is really helpful as well. In one thread a mama pointed out this verse: 1 Corinthians 4:21, “What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and [in] the spirit of meekness?” To me, that really says that if Paul is saying his correction comes in love and in a spirit of meekness/gentleness, then how much more should I approach my children that way.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the replies! I don't have time to respond right now it is getting late, I will get back to it in the am.

Thanks!

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Old 08-08-2007, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I read this thread and all that I keep hearing in my mind is "my friend spanks her 10 mo old".... I just cannot fathom a 10 month old ever even having the mental capacity to ever do anything wrong... It makes me want to cry. I hope that you can see this as the abuse that it is and that you feel the urge to speak up about it, like I would if it was me. Even in places where spanking is ok, I dont think I've ever heard of it being ok for babies...
I made that argument with her, I pointed out that even Dobson says there is no excuse for spanking a child under 18mos. I got nowhere with it sadly.

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Old 08-08-2007, 06:13 AM
 
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i think, "normal christians" never spank in anger. Never.
(btw, we don't spank, it is just what i have seen)

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Old 08-08-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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Yeah, I was going to say that for lots of Christians, spanking is this methodical well thought out act. That actually creeps me out more than doing it in anger as a reaction to something. What you are 'supposed' to do is send kiddo to thier room to 'think about it' and calm down. Go up to room and tell child how you love them, and how *GOD* wants this for them. Calmly lay child over your knee and hit. Afterwards, there should be a time of reconciliation, where child realizes he deserves to be hit, and will actaully feel better and love the parent more. Of course if that reaction is not what you get, you should spank again, as the first time maybe didn't 'take...
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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You've received wonderful advise here. I strongly agree that you should only concentrate on your own family right now .. reading the stickies and gentle christian mothers is a great start.

I am a christian parent in the deep south .. so I fully understand the deeply ingrained spanking culture, esp in many church circles.

For me, it's simple. I believe I am supposed to model my life after Christ. I don't believe Jesus would EVER, EVER hit a child .. he would teach, and he would be kind, but he would never inflict pain to teach that lesson. That, and hitting my child would feel so fundamentally WRONG to me .. one of the first things I learned as a parent is to follow my instincts. If it feels wrong, then it probably is wrong, kwim?

Congrats on finding a better way! Down the road, your children are really going to thank you for it. I grew up in a very loving family, but with a Mom who spanked occasionally in anger. I still have issues to this day from it, and I so clearly remember the pain, embarassment and fury (a very confusing emotional combo) that it caused in me as a child. You are going to educate yourself to know better, and do better .. that's awesome! CONGRATS!!!

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Old 08-08-2007, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In addition to the advice given (esp. about Gentle Christian Mothers and the letter about spanking - which talks about the "rod" verses very nicely), I have two thoughts:

The first is that the root of discipline and disciple are very close. They are both related to "pupil" and "teaching". Thus, the heart of discipline is teaching - and if we look at how Jesus taught, he did not teach harshly, did he? In fact, he was often in trouble with the religious authorities of the day for violating strict religious law and for associating with the sinners. Jesus taught through loving guidance and I hope to do the same. What did Jesus do when Peter denied him 3 times? What did Jesus do when Thomas doubted the resurrection? Jesus taught through story-telling and and example. He invited the sinners to come be with him. There are many ways to teach a child. Why is spanking privileged? How does causing pain to a child fit Jesus' way of teaching or of his redeeming us from our sins? (And honestly, I've never quite understood the Evangelical reliance on the Old Testament passages to support spanking-- didn't Jesus come to establish a NEW Covenant? You won't find spanking in the New Testament as far as I know.)

The second is a more practical point of view: How often would you (or your friends) spank if you NEVER spanked in anger. If you let yourself completely cool down? Maybe your friends are different, but honestly, once I've cooled down, I don't have any urge to spank. My rational brain sees other ways around it, it's when I'm irrational that spanking becomes an option. Spanking is, at least for me, born of anger. I can't conceive of spanking calmly, without any anger.
Those are good points, I did come across some things that also suggested that spanking is not mentioned in the New Testament.

For me it IS possible to spank my almost 4 year old w/o doing it in anger. For example she took a toy from a friends house a few weeks back, I made her bring the toy back and told her that when she got home she would recieve a spanking for taking the toy. Well of course the whole way home she was begging and begging me not to spank her. We talked about it on the way home and I told her that since she apologized she wouldn't have to get her spanking. Now my problem is I never wanted to spank her in the first place! I was relieved that we settled the conflict w/o spanking and she learned her lesson. I was wondering to myself why I HAD to spank her. Why was I required to go home and spank my child kwim?

Just the thought of me HAVING to go home and give her a spanking b/c that is what is required of me didn't sit very well with me. Which ensued more of a search for me to decide for myself where the Bible clearly points out that I must go home and inflict pain upon my child for what she has done.

I think she learned MORE of a lesson from having to experience my disapproval of her actions and just by talking about why it is wrong to take things that don't belong to you than she would have ever learned from a spanking. What can a spanking really teach you?? I can come up with a better discipline teqnique for about every issue that will teach a child more than spanking will teach.

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Old 08-08-2007, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As of now, the approach I'm taking, if asked or if the opportunity presents itself, is to share what God is doing in my own heart and life, and in my relationship with my kids. If you do it with the right attitude, it doesn't come across as judgemental or lecturing at all. After all, you're only sharing what's going on in your life. So far the few people I've shared it with have been very interested, and I can see that it's starting wheels turning in their heads.
I think that is a good approach, I guess it is about the only approach that we can really take.

Thankyou for sharing your story!

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Not to be flip, but I'm thinking to myself, What would Jesus do? I'm trying to imagine him spanking a child, and I just can't do it...
I hear ya there, I have thought the same EXACT thing.

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Old 08-08-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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I have a few very close Christian friends and one who spanks her 10 month old already
Ugh, that is beyond disgusting and abusive. :


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Not to be flip, but I'm thinking to myself, What would Jesus do? I'm trying to imagine him spanking a child, and I just can't do it...
That's true!



OP, good luck in your transition to GD! You can do it.


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Old 08-08-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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i only have a moment - but i'm in total agreement with mamaduck. i think you should fully focus on being the best gentle discipline parent you can be. with time, you will be an effective witness to share what is tried and trued for you.

also, there are parents that do not spank their children, and they are very negligent and terrible.....or the children are constantly screamed at or shamed -- and that's just as bad imo, if not worse. i think children can be spanked and have very good parents. i know people say ...NO! good parents don't spank....but i disagree.....but that's another thread. when i discovered i could discipline my children without screaming or shaming - it was like a wonderful gift had been shared with me. i think most of your friends will appreciate what you have discovered -- as long as you share it in love. that's my opinion anyway.

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Old 08-08-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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Would Jesus have hit children? No, didn't think so...
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:06 AM
 
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My parents often did send us to our rooms to give themselves time to cool off. Then they would come in calmly and have a talk with us about what we did and why we were going to be spanked, and how they hated to have to do it and it caused them pain, but God required it of them. Then they'd spank us until we cried, then hug us and comfort us. The whole formula.

My parents were wonderful, godly people who really believed this was the way to do it, and tried hard to do it correctly. But even they made mistakes and spanked out of anger or impulse, sometimes without warning, and sometimes unfairly. I think that if even my terrific parents couldn't do it perfectly, then how could I think I could spank without ever making a mistake?

But most of the time, I really felt that it caused my parents pain to spank, and that they were doing it because they felt it was right rather than because they wanted to. The guilt at causing my parents pain and making them have to spank me when they really didn't want to was part of the punishment, to me.

I remember one time I decided that it was so hard on my mom to have to spank me in the first place, that I wasn't going to make it worse for her by crying and making her feel even more sad. I would just accept my punishment calmly, knowing that I deserved it, and contain my emotions for her sake.

It didn't work quite the way I planned it.

Apparently she thought she didn't hit me hard enough to have an impact, so she hit me again until I cried. Then I was upset because I got hit more times than my sister did, who had been punished for exactly the same offense, and started crying out of indignation and a sense of injured fair play. That satisfied my mom that the spanking had worked, apparently.

Another time, I remember I'd been having a hard time going to sleep at night for the past few weeks. I'd ended up being spanked every night before I was able to settle down and go to sleep.

I thought about it and decided that apparently I needed a spanking in order to be able to fall asleep. So I went to my mom before I got into bed and asked her to go ahead and spank me now, so I could settle down and go to sleep. That would save both her and me all kinds of frustration, time and energy. It seemed so sensible to me. She was rather bewildered, and said she couldn't spank me BEFORE I disobeyed, or just to help me go to sleep.

I really wanted to be a good girl, so sometimes I would tell on myself and remind my parents that I was supposed to get spanked. I wanted my conscience cleansed. I really had an overwhelming sense of being a bad person who deserved punishment through much of my childhood.

I also used to take a belt or a stick and spank or whip myself because I felt I was bad and deserved it. I had this overwhelming sense of shame and guilt that I felt needed to be relieved by hurting myself, but even the pain never seemed to take it away for long.

I felt that I was such a bad person that nobody really liked me and I didn't deserve to be liked or loved, even though I knew I was loved. I knew that my family and God loved me, but I didn't think that anyone--even God--could really honestly like me. It wasn't until I was much older that I really began to understand God's grace and forgiveness, and His deep love for me. I still tear up when I think about the fact that He smiles when He looks at me.

I don't want my kids to feel that way about themselves, their God, and their world.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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wow purple kangaroo- that sounds crazy to me. i'm so sorry you had to go through that. my parents spanked me sometimes too - but mostly they were yellers. my folks are very northern and speak kind of loud to begin with naturally, and when they are angry - they yell and scream. my parents mostly grounded me....in 10th grade i was literally grounded the whole school year -- literally!!

my parents aren't christians per se, but when they did spank me - it was mostly because they were really ticked off....i don't remember my mom ever even hurting me though -- it was more like me running away while she swatted my butt as i escaped. or if my sisters and i were fighting in the car - she'd try to spank our legs while she drove....but we'd all be moving around like crazy so she couldn't reach us. my dad spanked me too - but i don't remember that hurting either--mostly he just screamed at me when he was angry, and that was really intimidating. he was in the military when he was younger...so it was like his nose would be almost touching mine as a teenager saying, "THE TIME IS NOW 11:03PM. YOU'RE CURFEW WAS 11:00PM. YOU ARE THREE MINUTES LATE. NEXT WEEKEND YOU WILL REPORT HOME AT 10:45PM AND YOU WILL NOT BE LATE. IF YOU CANNOT BE ON TIME - BE EARLY!" I was like : :

I'm still late natured to this day too!

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Old 08-09-2007, 10:18 AM
 
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My parents often did send us to our rooms to give themselves time to cool off. Then they would come in calmly and have a talk with us about what we did and why we were going to be spanked, and how they hated to have to do it and it caused them pain, but God required it of them. Then they'd spank us until we cried, then hug us and comfort us. The whole formula.

My parents were wonderful, godly people who really believed this was the way to do it, and tried hard to do it correctly. But even they made mistakes and spanked out of anger or impulse, sometimes without warning, and sometimes unfairly. I think that if even my terrific parents couldn't do it perfectly, then how could I think I could spank without ever making a mistake?

But most of the time, I really felt that it caused my parents pain to spank, and that they were doing it because they felt it was right rather than because they wanted to. The guilt at causing my parents pain and making them have to spank me when they really didn't want to was part of the punishment, to me.

I remember one time I decided that it was so hard on my mom to have to spank me in the first place, that I wasn't going to make it worse for her by crying and making her feel even more sad. I would just accept my punishment calmly, knowing that I deserved it, and contain my emotions for her sake.

It didn't work quite the way I planned it.

Apparently she thought she didn't hit me hard enough to have an impact, so she hit me again until I cried. Then I was upset because I got hit more times than my sister did, who had been punished for exactly the same offense, and started crying out of indignation and a sense of injured fair play. That satisfied my mom that the spanking had worked, apparently.

Another time, I remember I'd been having a hard time going to sleep at night for the past few weeks. I'd ended up being spanked every night before I was able to settle down and go to sleep.

I thought about it and decided that apparently I needed a spanking in order to be able to fall asleep. So I went to my mom before I got into bed and asked her to go ahead and spank me now, so I could settle down and go to sleep. That would save both her and me all kinds of frustration, time and energy. It seemed so sensible to me. She was rather bewildered, and said she couldn't spank me BEFORE I disobeyed, or just to help me go to sleep.

I really wanted to be a good girl, so sometimes I would tell on myself and remind my parents that I was supposed to get spanked. I wanted my conscience cleansed. I really had an overwhelming sense of being a bad person who deserved punishment through much of my childhood.

I also used to take a belt or a stick and spank or whip myself because I felt I was bad and deserved it. I had this overwhelming sense of shame and guilt that I felt needed to be relieved by hurting myself, but even the pain never seemed to take it away for long.

I felt that I was such a bad person that nobody really liked me and I didn't deserve to be liked or loved, even though I knew I was loved. I knew that my family and God loved me, but I didn't think that anyone--even God--could really honestly like me. It wasn't until I was much older that I really began to understand God's grace and forgiveness, and His deep love for me. I still tear up when I think about the fact that He smiles when He looks at me.

I don't want my kids to feel that way about themselves, their God, and their world.

I'm so sorry.

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