Once again I get fodder from a ridiculous parenting site article. I think that's probably why I still follow them, because it isn't to get helpful information, apparently. What did I "learn"? Matt Damon doesn't spank his kids.
I'm so tired of Christian parents, like myself, getting labelled "backward" for simply following through with their expectations of their kids, simply adhering to scripture. No, no, this article does not say that Christian parents who spank are bad, but it's not supportive. What makes this article more assanying is that there is no description of the kids. Are they kind? Respectful? Thoughtful? or self absorbed, bratty, and disrespectful? I've heard tell of plenty of Hollywood brats to not be the least inquisitive of how their parents raised them.
Maybe I'm just insane. All I need to know, darnit, as a media brain washed mom, is that Matt Damon doesn't spank, therefore I shouldn't? I need not know more. I can't help asking, though, how often does he even see his kids? Because I'm with my, very strong willed little boy practically 24/7 (the one that is screaming at the T.V. in delight right now, watching a Christmas program). Our lives would be hell if we didn't enforce our "no".
Why? Simple logic really. Without a fish bowl, a fish would be on the floor, without a fence, a cow would be roaming in the neighbor's yard, without a leash, a dog would take off, never to be seen again. If you don't like those affiliations, without pruning a fruit tree would not produce more fruit. My premise is derived from the obvious order we see around us, that kids need boundaries. My premise is also founded on the fact that our world was created by an orderly God, not a product of chance and randomness, therefore, in order to honor Him, our lives need to be conducted in an orderly fashion (of course for different people, this is applied in a different way).
Imagine you were hired for a job. You went to work the first day and no one explained to you what was expected of you. You attempted to do things not knowing if you were on the right track or not. You had no idea if what you were doing was productive because no one communicated and enforced their expectations. How frustrating. Yet the vast majority of children are born and straight out of the womb they are put in charge. Parents think they are "loving" their child by not enforcing any expectations based in the premise, too often, that children are innately good (scripture teaches the opposite). What they are really doing is frustrating them. Every kid throws a fit, but a lifestyle of it?
Why the "enforcing?" It's like this. You can explain all day to a cow that there's a fence between these two trees, but if the fence isn't there, guess what? You will be standing there day in and day out trying to keep that cow from going over the line. Back when I was a kid, parents were still spanking. I watched my friend get his butt dusted for going in the spa (we were little). That's not a method of public display that our home uses, but obviously his mom didn't want to pull her drowned son out of the pool, nor did she want to stand around the pool all day pleading with her son not to go in and drown.
This is what parents are doing. They've been told spanking is bad, therefore the fence is taken out of the picture, so to keep their child within the boundary, they are forced to stand guard to the exclusion of all things productive during their day. My friend's mom would have had to abandon her duties and stood guard around the spa or lock him in his room. Most parents can't handle that, so kids get shuttled off to daycare or whatever else when they should be taken care of by their parents, in a loving environment.
What about the kid? What do they do? Is a kid truly happy doing exactly what it is they want to do all day? I would submit that the worse problem than "abuse" (we'll get to that) is neglect. All children are different, but there is one thing they have in common, sin nature. Left to their own devices, they are unhappy. Seriously, are productive, successful people usually the ones that commit suicide? Does it take discipline to go to work everyday, or school? Does is take some sort of sensitivity to open the door for someone else, or wait in line? How about the deeper things missing in our world today like patience, love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness. I'm telling you right now that kindness toward his brother is not happening naturally for Keane. We have to learn these things.
When my son hears "no", it means nothing until it's enforced. Otherwise, he'll spend the day doing, or trying to do what it was he has been told not to do. Have you ever heard a parent give a command and the child do exactly what it was they were told not to do without so much as blinking? Obviously, in that case, he has learned that "no" is just another word, and parents can be ignored. That's when I want to say, "are you a parent or not?" Relinquish the right, if you are not going to train your child, because what you are actually teaching him, is to live for himself. We don't need more selfish people in the world. We just don't. That's the only thing I'm saying.
Here's my disclaimer. If you don't know the kind, loving, longsuffering God that I know, don't spank your kid. He keeps John and I accountable. I struggle with my agenda getting in the way, so I can't imagine what a godless person would do to discipline their kid. Discipline isn't about us, as parents. It isn't about my anger getting a vent or my "bad day" materialising. That's abuse. Discipline is about my son (will be sons). I want him to grow in godliness. I want him to not have a hard heart toward his Creator. I don't want him to be chained to his own ways and depressed because he can't escape himself. I want him to be free to love and to serve others.