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Spare The Rod Spoil The Child
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Spare The Rod Spoil The Child - 20th February 2009, 06:45 PM

I was listening to a Christian woman give a speech on child rearing today. She quoted Proverbs 13:24 "Spare the rod, spoil the child."

She said that as a good Christian mother she must follow biblical teachings and spank her children. She said the correct way to spank is with an attitude of remorse. Her attitude was that if she didn't spank her children she was not following the Bible.

The NIV Bible in its notes states that a "rod" is probably a figure of speech for discipline of any kind.

There are a few definitions on the internet of the "rod". One says the rod was used for marking sheep, similar to branding. One said it was used to guide and protect the sheep. One said it was used to beat sheep, predators, and servants.

This brings to mind many questions. Is this woman's interpretation of the verse correct? If discipline was more violent in biblical times, does that mean we have to resort to that now? What if the interpretation of spanking with the rod is incorrect? Where do you stand on spanking? Would not spanking a child be a sin?


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Judaism 20th February 2009, 07:30 PM

We did spank our children at times, but we always felt it was last resort. However, even in doing so, we always made it clear that we still loved them even though they did something they shouldn't have. And I'm happy to say all of our "kids" (41, 40, & 36) have grown up to be very responsible and loving parents. BTW, we never used a "rod" against them, and the vast majority of "spankings" involve one swat on the butt.

Frankly, I feel that spanking often may be more humane than incessant "time-outs" and prolonged grounding, both of which just seem to prolong the agony of both the child and the parents.


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20th February 2009, 07:34 PM

Technically, that exact phrase is not Biblical. Proverbs 13:24 says:

Quote:
“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
Similar verses are:

Quote:
…”The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15)
…”Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22: 15)
I think the principle here is that parents are given Biblical authority (i.e., responsibilty) to discipline their children. Does it mean that we should beat a child into submission? Of course not. But a parent must correct and protect his/her child. I admit that I tried the spanking route with my son early in his life, but I just couldn't handle it emotionally. Fortunately for us both he was 1. a VERY good kid!!! and 2. VERY responsive to a simple look or mild rebuke. For that I am OH SO THANKFUL. --Steve--


[I][FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"][SIZE="2"][COLOR="Olive"]That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/I]
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 255)
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20th February 2009, 07:55 PM

You can read this two ways

One from Fear

Spare the rod and you will spoil the child - IE Hard punishments get results and the child will be wasted if not punished harshly
I see many downsides to this - IE if a good belting is given doesnt this teach that vilolence gets results ?
Is this what we want to teach for the solving of problems in the childs future?

This is the quick fix and often leaves the parents feeling guilty


One from Love

You can spare the rod (set it aside) and spoil the child with Love
This harldy means a lack of discipline but correction is done with Love and Patience. Communication is King and all is explained as you would an adult
Talking to the child as an equal member where possible
This would be the use of a "naughty chair" and the wanting to hold no grudges after.
We often forget that our behaviour towards partners etc teaches the child all of the time - Have a house where communication Love respect and gentleness is the norm and thats what you teach is normal.

Often harder to achieve the results wanted, but once established brings a happier household for all
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Judaism 20th February 2009, 08:28 PM

I checked it out in both the Tanakh (JPS edition) and the RSV, and they're pretty much the same. However, since the RSV translation reads more smoothly, here's what we find:

Quote:
[24] He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.


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Bahai 20th February 2009, 09:23 PM

I've ghostwritten two books by members of a religious group that cited the spare the rod verse as a reason to deal harsh punishment to their children. The attitude was this: It's not the child that's misbehaving, it's a demon and you need to drive the demon out.

One of my clients related how one mother despaired of ever being able to hit her child hard enough to drive the demon out.This came up during a discussion with church leaders about what implements (rods) to have in the "lounge" for mothers to hit their children with. Hairbrushes, wooden spoons and rolled up newspapers were most favored.

Corporal punishment's popularity waxes and wanes, but it is something that many of us take for granted. In the Baha'i writings we are instructed never to strike our children. A Baha'i psychologist giving a lecture on this in San Francisco years ago answered a question from the audience: "By striking," the woman asked, "does Abdu'l-Baha mean spanking?"

The speaker blinked, smiled, rolled his eyes and said, "Only in California." He got a good laugh and the mom got the point without to much embarrassment. But for Baha'i parents it raises the issue of what to substitute if you grew up thinking of spanking as part of your repertoire.

I was spanked rarely as a child, but my mom had a tool that was even more deadly -- THE LOOK. THE LOOK said, "I am disappointed in you."

The Baha'i writings make a point that in a society in which God's laws are written on our hearts, the contemplation of a wrong is its own punishment (for adults as well as kids). I can attest that as I have tried to live the exhortations of my faith, I have become sensitive to some "sins" to the point that merely considering them brings swift remorse.

For a child, I think that threat of disapproval from a beloved parent has the same weight. My youngest child is especially strong-willed and, at six, a bit self-centered. Nothing modifies her behavior faster than when it sinks in that she's hurt Mom's feelings.

None of my kids have EVER been spanked and though they do things from time to time that make me cringe, other people seem to think they're the best-behaved kids they've ever met. I have no idea how that happened


[I][COLOR="purple"][I][B]Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberatons on its exigencies and requirements.[/I] -- Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah[/B][/COLOR][/I]
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20th February 2009, 10:34 PM

Apparently I have that "look" lol
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21st February 2009, 01:25 AM

Sometimes it is necessary, but only as a last resort.
Our 2 boys were brought up this way, but my wife and I never liked the idea of violence and preferred to reason with them, but on occasion they would be pushing the envelope to see how far they could go, or get away with something, but we never had to do more than give a swat or two on the bottom.
That never failed to get their attention, and then I would spend time talking things through with them.
Discipline is a job which takes intelligence and patience, and is as trying to the parent as it is to the child, but that is the way of love.
You need to spend time, there is no substitute, and if you explain things to children, as if they were little adults, they soon get the idea that they are important in the family scheme of things and they participate more on that level.
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Reason with your Child & Be an Example for the Child ..
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Butterfly Reason with your Child & Be an Example for the Child .. - 21st February 2009, 02:35 AM

In the Koran & the teaching of Prophet Muhammad there are no instruction to beat up children.
Prophet Muhammad was very very kind to children & loved them but at the same time Emphasized to raise one's Child with Love, Care & Discipline.

The adults are TOLD to set an ' Example ' for the child to follow and to
' Reason '.

A woman once came to Prophet Muhammad, Requesting Him to reprimand her child for eating Sugar a lot.
He asked to bring the child after 3 days ..
She came back after 3 days with the child. Prophet Muhammad simply told the child, " Son do not eat Sugar ".
The woman questioned Prophet Muhammad if he just had to say something so simple to stop the child why he had waited for 3 days and why didn't he tell the boy this 3 days back?
He answered, " How could i stop the child when I myself was too eating (using) Sugar ".

Moral of the story is, You need to practice first what you want others to act on, specially children.

I am a single Parent and have 3 beautiful kids, A daughter aged 22 & Two sons aged 20 & 19 .
I always Loved them, Cared for them & Disciplined them with Reasons and by setting examples for them, And they have turned out to be Good humans. They might not be Shrewd & Street Smart, But at least i live & sleep comfortably with the thought they are NOT capable of Harming Humans, Animals, Plants & The Environment.

I know they will NEVER HURT another fellow human being Physically or Emotionally.
I must Confess here Religion has been a Great source of Motivation & Inspiration for them and me in molding them and the Stability of Character,Kindness & Discipline came through the Values of Islamic teachings & Practice.

Much Love,
Maheen
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21st February 2009, 06:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightkeeper
I was listening to a Christian woman give a speech on child rearing today. She quoted Proverbs 13:24 "Spare the rod, spoil the child."

She said that as a good Christian mother she must follow biblical teachings and spank her children. She said the correct way to spank is with an attitude of remorse. Her attitude was that if she didn't spank her children she was not following the Bible.

The NIV Bible in its notes states that a "rod" is probably a figure of speech for discipline of any kind.

There are a few definitions on the internet of the "rod". One says the rod was used for marking sheep, similar to branding. One said it was used to guide and protect the sheep. One said it was used to beat sheep, predators, and servants.

This brings to mind many questions. Is this woman's interpretation of the verse correct? If discipline was more violent in biblical times, does that mean we have to resort to that now? What if the interpretation of spanking with the rod is incorrect? Where do you stand on spanking? Would not spanking a child be a sin?
of course that interpretation is incorrect... the point many christians overlook (often intentionally) is that no matter how frequently (or loudly) they try to "claim" the Old Testament, & "interpret" it to fit their own views, it's not theirs to either claim or interpret.

the reference to guidance, which is generally seen as verbal can be clarified with it's counterpart "never strike a child with anything more than a shoelace."
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