Life and Everyday

Discipline vs. Punishment

As I was reading some blogs this afternoon, I came across one that really got me.  It’s from a blogger whose name is Chris Sprad, Epic Parent.   He has some awesome things to say about parenting.

Today was especially intriguing to me as it was about discipline.   “Are you confused about spanking?”   Before I read this blog, I thought, my parents spanked me and I survived it.  Lots of things are different now from seat belts in cars to spanking.  Growing up we didn’t need to wear seat belts.  We got out mouths washed out with soap for swearing or yelling at our parents.  I remember getting the belt or plexi-glass stick or even a back hand now and then.  It wasn’t unusual for my parents and many others to use this kind of discipline back in the 70’s and 80’s.

Now, can’t even think about it or I will be in trouble.  LOL  You can’t really lay a finger on your kid without someone else getting up-riled about it.  So how do you make discipline work?  That is what I have been asking friends, teaches, psychologists, etc.  Well, this is what Chris has to say:

Spanking is THE most controversial subject in parenting!

I have friends that deeply believe in spanking their kids and they have amazing, obedient, and loving kids.  I have friends that will never spank their kids and they have amazing, obedient and loving kids. I respect both families and understand the “why” behind both approaches.

I have read books from Doctor’s, Psychologist’s, Pastor’s and Theologians (this is people that know a lot of stuff about the Bible) and many of them disagree on the subject of spanking.

I look at God’s Word and both sides of the aisle believe that the Bible gives validation to their view point.

“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”   ~Proverbs 13:24

Many parents believe that this “rod of discipline” speaks of spanking and others believe that if you dig deeper into the verse that the “rod of discipline” speaks of a shepherd’s rod and is used to gently guide and love the sheep.

I don’t pretend to be a great source of wisdom on this subject, nor do I pretend to know what is best for you and your family, but here are a few things that I hope you will take into consideration when disciplining  your children…

10 Discipline Tips…

  • GIVE GRACE: I think of all the times my heavenly father should of, would of and could have punished me.  However, He simply took me in his arms, did not give me what I deserved and loved me and my heart to a place of broken obedience to Him.  For some of you my advice is to stop spanking and give your kids love, care and irrational forgiveness.
  • SERVE YOUR KIDS: I blew my oldest son away just a few months ago.  We were at an impasse; my attempts at punishment were not working so I simply decided to serve him.  I helped him clean his room, do his chores, helped with his homework and I saw his heart melt.  He didn’t understand why dad was serving him but his entire attitude changed.
  • PAY FREAKIN ATTENTION: Don’t spank because you were spanked, and don’t wash your kid’s mouth out with soap because your parents did this to you.  I encourage all parents to listen to your kid’s heart, pay attention to how God has wired them, their rhythms, likes and dislikes and use this as a tool to guide your discipline.
  • LISTEN TO THEM: I can see times when I have been eager to discipline and slow to listen.  Parents, your kids are real people with their own lives, hearts, emotions and feelings.  I pray that you would seek to listen to your kids, understand what they have to say and why they acted the way they did instead of being trigger happy mom and dad.
  • USE THE “S” WORD: Jodie and I will “spank” our kids when we feel that it is appropriate.  The size of the kids’ offense doesn’t determine which form of discipline we use, but rather the heart of the child and what speaks to each of our individual children.  But the reality is that there are parents out there and your kid simply needs a spanking.  Do NOT give a spanking without reading PROMISES TO MAKE WHEN DISCIPLINING YOUR KIDS.



  • PROMISE TO DELAY DISCIPLINE: Do not discipline right away.  Parents, create a habit of delaying discipline so that you do not vomit toxic words and brutalities on your kids.
  • PROMISE TO HAVE “THE TALK”: I encourage everyone to sit down with your kids and have “the talk” 1)  listen to their heart  2)  give them a chance to  explain  3)  speak truth and correct wrong thinking  4)  share “how” you will discipline them  5)  love and pray with them
  • PROMISE TO DISCIPLINE NOT PUNISH: My good friend told me recently that “discipline looks to the future and punishment looks back”.  Don’t punish your kids, but look forward and lay a strong foundation for the future.
  • PROMISE TO LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY: God’s love for us is not dependent upon our behavior.  We are all jackwagons and will make mistakes, but he still loves us, is present and doesn’t turn his back on us or give us the silent treatment as punishment.  Parents, our kids are going to blow it big time!  However,  we must not withhold our love, heart and acceptance from our kids when they make mistakes.   We are called to love them unconditionally just as God has loved us.

Do you have anything to add to the discipline conversation?


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