I had a great talk with my daughter today
So, my 4 year old has been testing the limits lately. Not obeying quickly, talking back with attitude, even a few times looking right at me and saying “no”. I am a believer in controlled spanking. The Bible clearly talks about using “the rod”, and I believe that is both a guide like a shepherd’s staff but also a tool of discipline. But that doesn’t mean I want to spank more than necessary, I’d rather get to the heart of the issue and not have to spank at all.
To explain a little further, I believe you should never spank in anger. I try to always send the kids to their room, calm down, and decide a course of action. I also find this method makes it seem more serious to the kids and I therefore do not have to spank very hard. I always reassure that I love them. I am starting to always use the Bible to explain what they did wrong and give them ways to obey in the future.
But back to the talk today. This attitude is a heart issue. So we had a talk about what the Bible says. We talked about when Jesus was asked what the most important commandment, or rule was, He answered “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself”. We talked about what that looked like, speaking in a kind voice, sharing, taking turns. That if you really want something, that probably means someone else probably really wants the same thing and that the kind thing to do is let the other person go first.
Then we talked about how children are to obey their parents. That means listening when they are talking, answer in a nice and respectful voice, obeying as quickly as you can. And how parents usually have a reason for why they want kids to do things, and that God gave them a job to do in taking care of their kids.
We finished by me telling her how I have higher expectations now. That now she knows how God expects her to behave. How I love her and hate having to punish, and sometimes spanking her. Now that she knows why she needs to act kindly she gets one reminder or there will be consequences.
I’m hoping that by getting to the heart of the matter, it will diminish the behavior. But I think the main goal should also be: where my heart is in dealing with these things. Am I being lazy, am I angry, am I delaying consequences because I don’t want to deal with it? By dealing with my heart and actions, I am modeling the behavior I expect in my children.