There is a mom today reading this and needing to know: You don’t have to hit your child to make them obey and listen to you. In your heart you *****know***** it’s not right…your instinct is telling you it’s not right, but the teachings your church or your family or whomever is pushing you to act on tells you to cause your child pain so that they will know that God loves them or so that through hitting your child, your child will obey you and God. I could go on and on all the reasons because in my past, I was that mom.
I was that mom who began as an attachment parent (though in the mid 90’s I had no clue that’s what it was called). I just knew I didn’t want to spank my kids like I was spanked and hurt. I didn’t want that for them. However, I had no clue what to do otherwise and there was no internet, there was no support. Spanking in the south is the thing to do. You are a bad parent in the south if you don’t spank. So, I succumbed to hitting my child and calling it “discipline.” But it did not work.
My child still had unwanted behavior. The book, To Train Up A Child, was suggested to me and I tried the things in there…breaking the will. All I remember about the day I tried to do that was:
1) I didn’t want to spank my child so much and so hard that it would hurt him and leave bruises.
2) How can parents actually spank their child so hard and so long that causes their will to break?
3) My child was still looking at me with confusion and hurt on his face. And this momma could not take it any longer.
I could not do what the book, To Train Up A Child, told me to do. I could not hurt my child like that. My heart was telling me it was wrong. I had all the doorpost charts and books…but it was the same thing. None of it worked.
I would have been spanking my kids 20 times a day according to their advice. Their teachings, and many like them that are touted as “Biblical and Christian,” and they required escalation of hitting and punishment.
I have found a better, loving, gentle, respectful, and truly Biblical way. My 4-year-old is not spanked and we have not spanked. Sure he’s a normal 4-year-old with lack of impulse control and all that, but overall, I have none of the behaviors with him that I had with my oldest.
When I began to view his unwanted behavior as a need not being met, and it was up to me to meet the need, it changed my view of him completely.
I am so thankful for all this awesome information and so grateful for how it has changed me and the tone in the home. It’s funny because I used to be that mom who mocked peaceful parenting and touted all the arguments that pro-spanking parents use. I quoted all those Bible verses in support of spanking kids. There is not one single Bible verse or one single argument a punitive Christian parent can tell me that I have not believed and used in the past.
And I’m going to tell you this: You have been lied to. We have been lied to. We have been misled. It’s wrong. Those beliefs are wrong and I’m putting my foot down and calling them out because I have seen too much damage in families by these so called Christian teachings.
Beating your child and leaving bruises and welts is NOT God’s love. Hitting your child and calling it discipline is NOT God’s love. Demanding instant obedience from your child is NOT God’s love. Demanding that your child speak only when spoken to is NOT God’s love. Telling your child they have an attitude when they are trying to be heard is NOT God’s love. Controlling your child is NOT God’s love.
What is God’s love? It’s supposed to be I Corinthians 13, but I see so few Christian parents actually practicing it towards their child. We all have choice. I’ve been on both sides and for real…Peaceful parenting wins hands down!!!!!!!!!!!!! It produces the Fruit of the Spirit without hitting, without anger, without frustration!