Many parents find themselves using frequent sayings such as, “do not touch that”, do not do that”, and “stop being mean to your sister!” Along with those sayings, parents still refer to a specific passage from the Bible, Proverbs 22:15, which states: Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. The chapters 22 and 23 of Proverbs speak of how the rod should be used and when. It also tells parents spanking the child will not kill him. Many researchers and parents would argue these facts and state is does cause harm but if they could understand the limitations of the teachings, incorporate communication, and set boundaries the use of a rod would instill wisdom, instruction, and understanding in a child.
Understanding the Limitations of the Teachings.
Several forms of emotional damage have been associated with physical punishment in children such as confusion, aggressive behaviors, and mental illnesses. These are all signs of abuse or to be more specific a parent that did not fully understand the limitations of the biblical approach. On the other hand, are these factual claims? Not even research can back these claims up. Afifi, T. O., Monta, N. P., Dasiewicz, P., MacMillan, H. L., & Sareen, J. (2012) authors of a journal called Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative US Sample clearly state that research is flawed and no findings can be proven to show a link between physical punishment and mental disorders. Parents may have heard “spare the rod, spoil the child” but there is more behind that saying. The Bible does not say to use excessive force it tells a parent to use their love and words of knowledge to correct a child.
Children become confused when a parent only spanks the child and does not explain the circumstances of the punishment. As a result, the child could suffer from mental illnesses such as depression. Another issue that could arise from the lack of communication between parent and child is aggressive behaviors. Confusion also comes from the parent failing to be consistent with the child. For example, the child getting into trouble for going to a neighbor’s house yesterday, but found out it was ok today since the parent was too busy on Facebook to notice. A big part of parenting is paying attention to the child. A child should never be blindsided by the discipline that is handed down by the parent because they are on top of the game today but not tomorrow.
A child is like a book with empty pages, they need information to be able to learn. Children also need the emotional support from a parent to know they can do better and no matter what they are loved. McLoyd and Smith (2002) done a study and found that spanking increased behavior that children exhibit, but “when spanking occurs in a context of strong emotional support for a child, it does not appear to contribute to a significant increase in behavior problems” (p.50). Therefore, the...