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Is it ok to spank your child?

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#41 Dan L.

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:24 PM

Well, you definitely can't reason with young children. The main thing with children is consistency. You have to be absolutely consistent in discipline and even more so in encouragement. Children tend to respond much better to praise for doing the right thing than they do with yelling/spanking/other discipline for their failures. That is not to say that you don't correct negative behavior, but don't let it be the emphasis of your parenting style. We have a chart on my kids walls that have a list of things like: no whining, setting the table, clean your room, etc. Each day that they make it through and are able to do pretty well at all the skills that we are working on they get a sticker. If they make it through the whole week, they get a prize. It has been much more effective than trying to punish them for when they make mistakes.

#42 Jennifer


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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:33 PM

I'd like to add that one famous priest here in Russia, who often talks about family and education and has a program on TV, several times answered such question in this way: no spanking in anger, no spanking girls, and spanking of boys is allowed only for 12-13 year of age. I may be wrong with the exact age that he mentioned, maybe 11-12, but that was something around this number, i.e. in his opinion, a very narrow gap where it may have a positive effect.

Does anyone know the name of this priest?  I would like to know more about his reasons for giving these specific parameters for spanking.


It sounds like he might be interpreting the "Rod" verses in Proverbs based upon the Hebrew translations, three of which use the word "na'ar". (See Prov. 22:15, 23:13, 29:15.)  According to Strong's Concordance, "na'ar" is translated 33 times in the English Bible (NASB) as "young man" and 38 times as "young men."  In Sketches of Jewish Life, Alfred Edersheim states that naari refers to a youth, which would be an older child who had already studied the Mishnah.  Samuel Martin in his ebook Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me: Christians and the Smacking Controversy elaborates that a na'ar would have been at least 10 to 12 years old and would have been just a few years away from marrying.


I would like to hear more about who this Russian priest is and how he came to his conclusions about spanking.

#43 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 08:22 AM

Spanking a child will not make him respect you. My mother raised 5 children and she believed in corporal punishment using slippers and switches, whatever she could find. We all turned out OK.

My son was spanked only once and this was not due to his behavior, although he had done something that was wrong, but more because of my emotional state at that time. His father has rarely even raised his voice to him. My son is a responsible and polite man full of respect and love for both his father and myself.

Children should not be allowed to do and say whatever they want. They will become spoilt and unable to respect not only their parents but everyone else. We do not, however, need to resort to beating our children. There are better ways of
disciplining them..

"Many who are sincere, well-meaning religious individuals, but who are seriously misguided and not in conformity to the Church, believe that corporal punishment is mandated by Holy Scripture, and that, if they be parents, they would be negligent in not employing corporal punishment in their families. The typical verse quoted in justifying corporal punishment is supposedly from the book of Proverbs: "Spare the rod and spoil the child." This is actually a misquote from the scriptural passage: "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him" (Pv 13: 24). There is another passage from the book of Proverbs which is also quoted in support of corporal punishment: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. If you beat him with the rod you will save his life from Sheol" (Pv 23:13-14).

Consider the wisdom of our holy Church Spiritual Father St. Isaac of Syria. Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev (2000) summarizes St. Isaac's discernment: ". . . the Old Testament understanding of God as a chastiser of sinners . . .does not correspond with the revelation we have received through Christ in the New Testament . . .one should not interpret literally those Old Testament texts. . . .they are being used in a figurative sense. . . .

" Thus it is the 'spirit' of the Old Testament message we have to discern in light of the mind of Christ and His Church. The spirit of the "rod" is not its use in corporal beating, but in effective behavior management informed by the science of the day. (Morelli, 2006d)."

From http://www.orthodoxy...ction-explosion

#44 Kyrill Bolton

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:35 PM

Effie thank you for your insightful juxtaposition of God in the Old Testament often seen as vengeful but as more fully seen and understood in the New Testament as lovingly and patiently calling (very insistently) us to Himself. Today we might use the phrase "an invention" to describe God's actions.

In my life there have been many times when my passions so overwhelmed my mind that nothing short of an "intervention" would or could bring me "to my senses". At times a cooling off was all that was needed but to get to that point of mind over coming of passions sometimes more than just being sent to my room or a corner was necessary. If this required some physical action (and I am/was a strong self willed child) I bow before the authority figures that did the intervention. Can it or was it overdone? God only knows.

To continue your insight with my " bought wisdom", whilst I don't speak with any authority, I will accept that He intervened when passions over ran the rationality of a fallen people.

The judicial and reflective use of measured intervention is welcomed in my life. Your prayers please.

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