The need for discipline is universal. Children at about the age of two begin to challenge their parents as they learn the word “No!” and begin to act as if they don’t have to do what Mommy and Daddy say. This is the early form of rebellion. This is the age when the discipline must begin in earnest. Children begin to look for the boundaries. The literal endpoints of what is permissible. It is WITHIN these boundaries that they feel safe. They are upset by the spanking but in love, we explain at an opportune time why we do it. We do it because love creates boundaries. Love sometimes says no.
So much recent controversy over spanking [corporal discipline] so that the experts are telling us that we must find a different way to discipline. The Bible says that we shouldn’t withhold correction from children in fear that we will damage them [if you strike and punish him with the [reedlike] rod, he will not die. You will [however] save his soul from sheol (soul is the mind, will and emotions saved from sheol, the place of torment). Your discipline MUST be provided in love. I have seen parents in rage, or frustration strike and/or spank their children. The effectiveness of the discipline is compromised then also. For when children see you acting out of pure emotion, rashly, without restraint, then they will behave in the same manner. Your discipline must match your love in intentionality, and intensity.
You are indeed their role model. If you think you are fooling them, you are fooling yourself. They are watching you and they understand intent and trickery. They will match the integrity they see in you. If you expect them to humbly admit their mistakes, do you admit yours?
We all need to avoid becoming the proud and haughty person who is such a know-it-all that she cannot be told anything. The person who will not listen to counsel. And before you say, “Not my child. . . “, yes your child, is capable and acts out and if you didn’t discipline her or discourage her little spoiled tactics, your child will disgrace you – at school, or worse in the criminal justice system. So many young people taking their cues from ignorant older people, disparagingly upset at the smallest inconvenience or slight. Quick to anger, slow to listen, ready for a violent opportunity.
As a father I have seen a certain sneakiness in my kids. I know that I can be sneaky. I know my own rebelliousness and have seen it manifest in my children. These are the best places I can provide discipline to help my child through battles and barriers that I have already faced.