Why was I mad? Well, in all honesty, it was my fault for the chaos of the morning that made me boil over with frustration and anger. My little man had been whining and crying and throwing major fits for nearly 2 hours straight. And it had been like that every morning and afternoon for nearly two weeks. He was doing so because I had decided to try out a new parenting/training technique, hoping it would make my children perfect angels and allow me to give up on the spanking technique I normally use. (If I am being honest I wish I never had to spank. I have a bit of what you would call ‘a tender heart’. And the world has begun telling us moms that if you spank then you are abusive. Never, ever, ever would I want to be an abusive mother. The thought makes my heart ache.)
Yes, I am a spanking mom!!! Oh the shame!! How could I? Well, these past 2 weeks of chaos and major fit throwing is why? The past weeks have shown me that the power of the ‘rod’ really does hold great power. Not power in the sense of lording it over our kids and beating them into complete submission. I mean power as in the amazing work of transforming the heart of my little boys.
Allow me to explain and give some stories to illustrate:
First off, I decided to try the time out/go to your room method that “Love and Logic” speaks of. It sounded like a great idea. For some children I am sure it works wonders, for mine, it was horrible. At first I just thought it would take time to make the method effective but I tried it for over 2 weeks and saw no improvement. In fact, it made matters worse. My little boy would have a moment and I would send him to his bed. He would cry and then slowly build into a major fit. Then he would start yelling, “Mommy, please give me a spanking!! I need a spanking!!”
I ignored him and eventually he would calm down.(After a 25 minute cry session, mind you.) Yet, every 20 minutes or so this would happen. With my usual method of instilling the rod a few times while lovingly telling him the reason for it, he would get right back to being happy and move on. The time out/bedroom method just seemed to make him angrier and angrier and was doing nothing for mending his heart.
And that is how I ended up having a horrible mom melt-down. I could not take the fit throwing any longer. It was driving me crazy!!!!!!! Instead of this method helping both of us, it was creating chaos. (I like many other methods from “Love and Logic”. I just found that this idea did not work for me.) So, moving forward in wisdom, I went back to the use of the rod. Peace and joy began returning to our home and the fit throwing subsided. As usual, we occasionally had a fit here and there but it was nothing like those 2 horrible weeks.
I share this story in hopes to let other moms realize that spanking our children is not a hateful or abusive method of training our children. If used in the wrong way and enforced in anger and frustration than yes, it can have a negative outcome. But when given in love, spankings can help our children realize that choices have consequences and sometimes those consequences can be very painful. I would rather my child deal with the pain 0f a swat on the butt now than going through the pain of a horrible decision that could ruin his life when he is an adult.
Another example: When my son is dealing with anger, I will tell him that the anger in his heart is like a horrible monster that needs to get out. I ask him if he needs me to hug it out, kiss it out, squeeze it out, tickle it out or spank it out. Sometimes he merely needs me to tickle him to help him get happy again. But there have been many times where he has actually told me he wants me to spank him.
One morning, he awoke in a foul mood. He was lying in bed, moping and crying for no reason. It was ridiculous. I just ignored him and told him he could not get out until he decided to greet the day with a smile.
“Mommy, can you give me a spanking?” He asked.
“Do you need me to get the anger out?” I asked.
“Ok. Two spankings and then we will see if that helps.”
I spanked him twice with our “spanker” and after that he was fine. He got out of bed and smiled.
“Better?” I asked.
The whole ordeal amazed me. Never had I thought my child would tell me he needed spanked. Yet, he has done so on several occasions. As he gets older I can see the work that the ‘rod’ is doing. He now tells me he doesn’t want to be rude or angry or mean. I can see that there is a struggle going on in his heart. A struggle that I, as his mother am to help him overcome. And many times, the rod is the tool we use to overcome.
I have found that the consistent and loving use of this tool brings peace and joy into my family. All the ‘spanking haters’ out there are probably thinking that I’m lying. But I am being 100% honest. My children are content and more joyful when I spank rather when I do not. My boys are happy, laughing, beautiful
They know the boundaries and they know the consequences. Instead of striking terror into the heart of my children (as so many seem to think spanking does) it brings peace. I truly believe it is because I no longer have to be on edge. I don’t have to tell my children over and over to listen. I am a happier mother and so my children are therefore happier. * I find it necessary to state that I spend time every day in fellowship with my kids- Building blanket forts, pretend hunting, tickling or reading books. The use of the rod must be counter balanced with sweet fellowship with your children. Without fellowship, you are a spanking dictator. They will not find the love in you discipline if you show no interest in them.*
Finding Joy in a Bad Experience:
I am glad that I had such a bad experience with a different training method. It reiterated to me that the word is true. God is right when the bible states, “Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul….” Proverbs 23:13. I have found that when I am consistent and apply the rod in love and gentleness, the heart of my son begins to mend.
Now, I do realize that for some children, the rod may not need to be used as often. My younger son is a gentle soul and I only to flick his bottom once and he usually moves forward in obedience. Yet, with my older son, he has a strong-will that seems to be molded best by the heavy use of the rod. It is the training tool that has helped bring peace into our family. For when our children listen and obey, peace is bound to follow.
In fact, if we are not training our children in obedience than we have failed miserably. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother(which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may go well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-2. Teaching our children to obey brings blessings into their lives. God honors obedience and I don’t know about you, but I want good things for my kids. And if teaching them obedience will do that than I better do my job and train them. Our children will not learn obedience unless we train them to do so. May we as moms fulfill our God given rules and not be in fear of using the ‘rod’.
*I want to take this time to say that I believe other forms of discipline are indeed effective. I do not think every child should be treated the same. Every child is unique and must be handled with God’s wisdom and guidance. For me, I prayed and took advice from seasoned mothers. Using the rod was what worked for me and my family. Always use discernment and seek God’s help when training the children God gave you*
Methods that have worked for me:
1. Spank for wrong attitudes-disrespect, meanness or disobedience.
2. Ignore whining or tell them you will not speak to them until they have spoken in a ‘big boy’ voice.
3. If boys are fighting in car or grocery store or even at home- I will tell them that I charge for fighting. They can pay me with chores, toys, or money they have saved.
4. Let their choices make them wise- Examples: 1. When my youngest kept taking his shoes off in the car after I told him ‘no’, I would flick his feet with our ‘spanker’. He wasn’t getting the hint. So the next time he did it, I made him walk barefoot to the house. It was cold and rainy. He did not like it. (Your children will not die being a little cold and their feet will not get frost bitten. 😉 ) 2. My oldest didn’t want to wear a jacket. I allowed him to not. He got cold. Now he knows to wear a jacket.