Spanking a child

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Croghanite, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

    Someone recently posted a thread asking a similar question that I need help with.

    My 4.5 year old will not in anyway submit to being spanked. When I announce he is to be spanked, he will not come to me, he wiggles and tries to shake his way out of my grasp, he tries to block the spank and basically tries anything he can to stop the discipline.

    I just got through a session with him and I tried a different tactic that did not work. He hurt his sister physically on purpose. I ask him if he knew it was wrong and he said yes. I asked him what happens when you do something wrong like hurting someone on purpose and he said get a spank. I told him his punishment will be 8 strikes. The whole time hes screaming no and pleading with me. So I tell him it will be 8 strikes and if you dont come here and receive them than I will add more. He continues disobeying so I say 9 then. Same thing continues to happen until I come to 11 and I can see this will never end. I end up having to force him over my knee.

    All of this is done in a calm voice, in a bedroom and I fully explain every angle of his choices. I think it comes down to the way a person thinks. My other son when given his choices has always submitted. The 4.5 year old will kick and scratch the entire time and he knows he will get more spanks if he kicks and scratches. I think its the way they handle fear. He is so scared he cant think right.

    Ant thoughts on what I should do specifically when I must spank him? Should I hold him down? Should I try something else?

    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by LAYMAN JOE]
  2. jaybird0827

    jaybird0827 PuritanBoard Honor Roll


    I was blessed with a son who had high pain tolerance. I also realized years later I had used the wrong technique. I should have used many swats in succession rather than strokes.

    You will have to be very gentle and very firm. From what you say about yourself, this sounds very do-able because you seem to be capable of doing all this in a spirt of calmness.

    I strongly suggest you drop the idea of number of strokes for the time being. Correction is instruction, and the lesson may need repetition. Your goal is to strongly encourage your son to internalize this instruction to self-discipline and self-control. What you describe is more of a sentence. From the way in which you describe your son, I think it's likely to be ineffective at best.

    Without abusing your son, you must make him feel the pain of the rod. That may mean many more than 8, 9, 10, 11 strokes. You may need to use some kind of switch or thin paddle that has a sting to it.

    You must also be very persistent with your correction. On another thread I related a watershed incident we had (our son and I) when our son was 3. I required him to do a specific thing, and he defied me. The session lasted over an hour. That is how long it took until he finally submitted to my authority in that issue. It was over one solid hour of the following repeated cycle:

    Do thus and so.
    Passive disobedience. Rather than say "no" or "I won't", no action.
    Instructed to return to the venue and do what was required.
    Passive disobedience.
    Instructed to return to the venue and do what was required.
    Passive disobedience.
    several more cycles follow
    Instructed to return to the venue and do what was required.
    Submission and compliance.

    No subsequent disciplinary session ever lasted quite that long again.
    Be prepared to outlast your son. This is going to be more painful for you than for him.
    Deal with it now. If you don't, future incidents will probably become harder.
    If you do, you and your son are more likely be rewarded.

    Remember, of course, to pray with your son and be ready for restoration when he comes to you.
  3. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    Our son had been fighting a lot more lately over spankings. We had to do the gymnastics to get him in position. He is 8 and has mild-med autism. My husband recently came up with solution that works great. I don't know if it will work for your younger boy.

    He is told he will only get one swat if he will willingly place both hands on the counter and be still. If he won't be still it will be two swats etc. He really likes the option of only getting one. It is also better all around if he willingly accepts his punishment.

    We also make him (mostly to make sure he understands because of his autism) repeat to us what his offense was and why he is getting his punishment. At first we made him repeat it many times. Now he does it right away. This may help because even though he is 8 he functions at about a 6 yr old level in some ways and others he is very bright.

    We also had a daughter around the same age as your son who spankings just didn't work for her. She would take her licks until it got scary. So we made her do a time out that was standing in the middle of a room, not getting to lean or sit down on anything. That did it for her. A few of those and she was almost never disciplined after that until now. It was amazing. She just need her little will brought under control and that is what worked in her case.

    All kids are different so maybe some variation or whatever will help your son.
  4. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

    I should have mentioned that I thoroughly instruct him and he does submit to my authority. Every once in a while he does something that needs correction. Like in this instance he slammed the front door on his sister because she would not move out of the way. I verbally correct him and explain how that is wrong and he does submit. He knows its wrong and he knows a spanking is the punishment.

    My problem is when I need to spank him he fights me. Its a catch 22. He must obey me. He refuses to receive a spank. I spank him for the original disobedience he did to begin with and now he must be corrected for not accepting that punishment willingly. I really have a hard time communicating this through writing.

    The incident with your son at age 3 is EXACTLY the way I discipline my children. My oldest son was 3 and he was told not to get out of his bed at bedtime. Well he got out, I used the same procedure as you with your son and it lasted over an hour. It got to the point that after a few cycles he then refused to get in his bed. I continued in the same manner until he complied. He is 8 now and I cant remember the last time he recieved a spank.

    My problem is the younger son goes nuts when its time for the rod and tries his hardest to physically stop me. My wife can not physically hold him down. I think he goes insane when I take him in the room and it would be best for me to physically hold him down.
  5. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

    I had to edit the original post because I could see how I didnt clearly explain what happend. Im just a dumb electrician who cant write well.:(

    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by LAYMAN JOE]
  6. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

    I wrote can insted of cant!:lol:
  7. polemic_turtle

    polemic_turtle Puritan Board Freshman

    Does anyone use the glue stick? I believe that's just about the "best thing ever"^tm for spanking.
  8. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

  9. polemic_turtle

    polemic_turtle Puritan Board Freshman

    Hot glue guns use glue sticks. They're about 10~ inches long, from 1/4 - 3/8 inches thick, and they swat like fire. They come in bags and look something like this: link
  10. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

    oh. I got it.
  11. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Thanks Jay and Traci. Great thoughts. I think it just goes to show that the actual practice of discipline requires a lot of wisdom and is not always as easy as it appears when you're just reading a Proverb about it and haven't actually had to deal with a squirming 4 year old.

    We had a thread about this recently. My son and daughter do the same thing. One thing we believe in is disciplining in private. We used to use the bathroom but it was impractical and sound travelled to higher apartments there. We now perform the discipline on our bed and it is actually much more practical. Both James (4) and Anna (2) still squirm and fight their discipline.

    {sidenote} Isn't that the way it is with us and God? I squirm all the time when He's disciplining me. I'm just glad that God doesn't become wrathful toward me when I fight His discipline since all that wrath was poured out on His Son. I, on the other hand, sin in my anger with my son when he struggles sometimes.{/sidenote}

    Anna is pretty easy to subdue with one hand. She also becomes broken much more quickly and is readily restored. James is much stronger. Before we broke the code I practically had to take Motrin after disciplining on a few occassions. Part of the reason I would get angry is his squirming hurt me. We use a combination of our body weight and the fact that he is flat on his stomach and it makes it harder for him to move.

    I know there are some that disagree with me and that kids should be trained to willingly submit to discipline without moving at all. They can come to their own convictions but my children are my responsibility and not theirs. For my part, I think there is a fine line between discipline toward the end of training their heart and breaking the kid to the point that he obeys you but only out of abject fear.

    My measure of effectiveness is this: Is my son or daughter in a posture of repentance after the discipline or is he/she still in rebellion? Do they earnestly seek my forgiveness at the end? Do they pray with me and ask God to forgive them?

    If they fight it, it makes it frustrating to me. I'll wrack my son's knuckles if he blocks but I have to be careful because a spoon can do some damage. Eventually, I have to stop because I'm not just going to keep spanking him. I want him to respect my authority, not dread me. In fact, my temper causes me to yell at my kids at times or to discipline in anger. I can see the difference between respect and terror. It breaks my heart when I see the effects on my kids.

    So what do I do when I sin against my kids by either yelling or in the process of disciplining? I ask for their forgiveness. We ask for each other's forgiveness. I model to them that Dad needs a Savior just as much as they.

    A week and a half ago I was stressed out about leaving my family and was on the phone trying to work some details for the next morning's early departure. My daughter came up to me with something she wanted to show me. I told her to "...go away...." The look on her crestfallen face was horrible. She's only two but she walked up to the couch and buried her head in her hands and began to cry. I called her to me and hugged her and told her that Daddy was very sorry. I asked her to forgive me. Maybe she didn't quite understand that I had sinned against God and against her but when she's old enough, she'll be used to a father who sins just like her but who has modeled repentance to her.

    I think discipline is a combination of correction and example in that fashion.
  12. bfrank

    bfrank Puritan Board Freshman

    We are told in the Proverbs that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod will drive it far from him. Though I am certain you are already well familiar with this concept, the idea is that the child is a rebellious sinner. The rod then is the means by which the parent, preferably dad, drives out the rebellion. The Lord has ordained dad as authority of the family. Dad is to exert his authority over the rebellious child to bring him into submission. The child must be made to submit.

    Consistency is key. The goal is to break the child's will...not his spirit, but his will. If that takes sitting on the child until that transformation takes be it. You are bigger and stronger, you are in authority; God has placed you there. Let the child feel the weight of that authority.

    Anger and sin must be purged from your own heart before the session of discipline occurs. The child must know that not only are you in control of him, but also you are in control of yourself and the situation.

    Since my children are young, I have laid down very basic rules for each of them. They are simply "honor your mother and your father". I demand obedience to those principles; disobedience results in correction. Many other issues arise out of them such as "don't hit your sister" etc. But it boils down to honoring mom and dad.

    My children also dread the "correction". However, they still sin and will continue to do so. I am simply instilling the idea of consequences of sinful behavior.

    I have a ritual that I take them through when they disobey. They are to walk into my room and wait for me until I get there. This gives me time to prepare my heart and seek the Lord. I then question them and ask where they were at fault. I get them to see their fault and where they fell short. I get them to admit to their disobedience. Once they've admitted disobedience I ask them what the consequence for disobedience is. They realize what is coming. I then have them take their own pants down and assume the position. I assume you are using the rod on their bare bottom for that is the way it truly works. By this time tears begin to fall, I tell them that they may not cry. I have a set number of swats depending on the grievousness of the infraction. I never use my bare hand; I always use a tool that we've found works well. Afterward, I always try to pray with them and help them see where they have fallen short. We ask the Lord to guide them in obedience. After their will has been broken, I always assure them that I love them. I try to bring biblical application to each session. They know that the reason I demand obedience is because the Lord demands that I demand obedience. I try to show justice, punishing sin, and mercy, loving unconditionally, with each session that they might come to know the Lord's character.

    After the session, after I see repentance, it is over. We talk about it no more...unless of course they bring it up and try to apply it to a future situation.

    Their will must be broken; they must learn repentance.

    I pray that the Lord would grant you favor with your 4.5 y/o

    Grace and peace...
  13. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Concur - the good news is - consistency pays dividends - my daughter was a "scream and kicker" from age 3-7 - she now submits to discipline.

    My method is much the same as reviewed here - however, I utilized a small canoe paddle made of light wood with the handle cut off - the wood is light because they are made to float and the paddle shape distributes the blow more evenly across the backside with a resounding sound that is intimidating without being damaging.


  14. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

    I thank you all for your prayers. The night of the first incident I wrote about I continued to talk with him and before bed I explained that when It is time to be spanked he must take the spank without a fight. I got my older son and showed the younger boy (4.5 years) how he submits when he receives a spank. I went through the motions and explained why he must submit and how it would be better for him to do so.

    Today the 4.5 year old needed the rod again. He for the first time willingly walked over to me and fully submitted to the spanking. Praise God!!! Thank you all for your prayers and suggestions. This board has been very edifying to me on many levels. :D
  15. ChristianasJourney

    ChristianasJourney Puritan Board Sophomore

    Personally, I think you're having too much "conversation" with your son, especially since he already knows that what he's done is wrong.

    The implement is not the important part, what matters is your attitude, and your consistent correction.

    Child hits. Without a word I'd pick him up and swat him. He struggles...another swat. "Stand still." Struggle, swat. Repeat as necessary. When he finally obeys. I'd then give him a brief lecture on hitting...."Don't let me see you hit your sister again. Do you understand? Say 'yes, dad.'" At 4.5 he doesn't need a sermon on what it means to submit. What he needs is to be taught obediance...and obediance is taught when the parent consistenly follows through on his instructions.
  16. bfrank

    bfrank Puritan Board Freshman

    I couldn't disagree more. The child needs shepherding, not just swatting.
  17. ChristianasJourney

    ChristianasJourney Puritan Board Sophomore

    I never said he didn't need shepherding. What I said is that he doesn't need a sermon. I've seen repeated instance where taking the time to converse with a child gives them the opportunity to excuse their behavior, emotional removes them from feeling guilty, and gives them the opportunity to verbally spar with their parents. in my opinion none of this is a good thing.

    Personally, when the child is fighting the parent, I don't believe he's showing fear. I believe he's showing rebellion.

    I do believe in discipling a child. But discipling is a 24/7 behavior, and includes example, sermons, and sometimes swift correction. In this incident for this age child, I believe that swift correction is much more likely to be effective.
  18. Croghanite

    Croghanite Puritan Board Sophomore

    My continued shepherding gave the boy the ability (I think) to understand why he should not fight me when giving him a spank. The continued dialogue worked.
  19. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    I am so glad you have had some success Joe. :amen:
  20. bfrank

    bfrank Puritan Board Freshman

  21. BaptistCanuk

    BaptistCanuk Puritan Board Sophomore

    LOL Joe, I don't know too many kids who would go to their father for a spanking when he calls them. They usually try to run. I don't disagree with you on spanking a child, but you know that no kid likes to get spanked right? He's not going to be thinking, "quality time with Dad" ya know? :handshake:
  22. BaptistCanuk

    BaptistCanuk Puritan Board Sophomore

    On a side note, I once heard someone (an author I think?), say that one time when his child did something wrong, he had the boy hit HIM with a belt. The boy cried the whole time and the father used that as a chance to teach him about Christ and how He took our punishment.

    I'm not a parent yet but feel this could be a good idea. What do you parents on here think?

    [Edited on 8-28-2006 by BaptistCanuk]
  23. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Scripture is full of the prophets using object lessons to drive home a point. I think that if something is done correctly then it could be a good lesson.

    It might depend on the kid, however. I had one friend who did an object lesson that way and took their punishment which consisted in extra chores (they were too old at that point for spanking to be appropriate). One of his children was very distraught over the fact that Dad was being punished for something they did. It was a very effective object lesson for her. His other child, however, felt no pangs of guilt whatsoever.

    In the end, there are just no hard and fast techniques that work in all situations for all children. There are certainly hard and fast principles but the application requires prudence.
  24. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    And a BIG amen to that!:up:
  25. BaptistCanuk

    BaptistCanuk Puritan Board Sophomore

    I agree Rich. It would greatly depend on the child.
  26. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    How hard do the parents here spank? For me to strike more than once or twice would seem to really be extreme.

    How can we tell if we spank too hard?
  27. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    That's hard to say. I think it's more important to discipline consistently then it is to make it hurt a lot. It should sting enough that the child thinks twice before doing it again. But it does not need to be extremely painful.

    Being calm and in control is very important.

    Do not delaying more than absolutely necessary.

    Do not threaten more than once. Once the kid knows the penalty (and he may need to be reminded sometimes later on) then carry out the punishment as soon as the child disobeys.

    But if you're really upset - it may be better to wait a few minutes. Don't spank instantly in the heat of the moment. You need to have total control of yourself before trying to take control of the child.

    You don't even need to spank very often as long as you discipline quickly and consistently. The worst mistakes parents make if to continue to warn, threaten, and yell before they follow up and discipline. If it's a timeout - then it should be immediate. If it's losing a privilege - it should have immediate consequences. You don't have to raise your voice unless the kid is in danger. You just need to get the kids attention. Get in his face, make eye contact, be clear and firm. My kids react better to this then when I yell or if I spank them before getting their full attention.

    Ever see the show "Super Nanny". Her secret is she does not tolerate bad behavior. She does not give repeated threats. She gets in their face and makes sure she has their full attention. Gives the kid one warning - and follows through with what ever consequences she says are going to be. She never yells or looses control. And I think if she spanked, the kids would take less time to control. But it's not spanking verses timeouts - it's consistent, controlled, and calm.

    [Edited on 9-25-2006 by Civbert]
  28. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    With my children I would have them come to me and bend over for the spanking.

    If they refused to come or if they didn't submit to the spanking, then they would get multiple spankings. If they came to me in submission they would only get one spanking.

    It worked for my kids, but each kid must be handled as an individual so there's no monolithic answer.
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