To Spank or not to Spank

Actually, this blog is not about spanking. Sorry. Someday I promise to blog about my opinions on the top ten “hot button” issues that aren’t a do-or-die in the christian faith.

Here’s something I’m learning. Discipline is for correction, not punishment. To correct, is to look to the future and help direct future actions and decisions, whereas punishment only dwells on the past error. This is a challenge for me because my first impulse in discipline for Violet is motivated by anger or frustration which translates as punishment for retribution. Please don’t judge me too harshly unless you’ve had kids; they may be cute as all get out but they have some pretty devious secret weapons to undermine the sanity of any adult. Here is a list of the ones I can think of right off the bat.

  • repeating a word over and over and over.
  • asking for something and then refusing it when you give it to them
  • speaking in a foreign language that they understand and you don’t and they don’t understand how you don’t understand them.
  • crying
  • crying
  • whining
  • begging desperately to have the owie kissed for the fiftieth time while you’re driving down the freeway.
  • lots of other things i have blocked from my memory.

All that, coupled with a lack of sleep and a strong desire to set the alarm earlier just so you can see what it’s like to wake up to an alarm instead of someone yelling your name from across the house, make for a ton of teachable moments. For me.

I could probably spend another couple paragraphs unpacking the differences in application between correction and punishment, but I’m still trying to figure that out and Henry is asleep which means I should be too. All I know is this: God is good, all the time.