|Do they? Really?|
Over the years, it has become a pet peeve of mine as well as a great concern over how a child should be disciplined. Maybe it's something that comes with age...but maybe it's something that no longer seems right...because doesn't violence breed violence?
I'm not talking about spanking a child with your hand on their butt...I'm talking about hitting them with a belt or paddle. What the law now refers as corporal punishment.
Where did we humans get the notion that hitting a child with something hard was discipline?
"Spare the rod, spoil the child". Biblical reference? Not at all. In fact, it came from a 17th century poem titled “Hudibras” by Samuel Butler. The actual verse reads:
“What medicine else can cure the fitsOf lovers when they lose their wits?Love is a boy by poets styledThen spare the rod and spoil the child.”
At the time that this was written, it referred to the spanking of a woman, as part of making a love relationship grow stronger. However, over time...the meaning changed to that of referring to the spanking of a child.
The Biblical reference reads: Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Here again...a 'rod' is mentioned...but what does it really refer to?
It's symbolic in nature...as a means of authority. It wasn't meant in the literal sense, as some of those of faith would have you believe. The Bible does not condone corporal punishment.
There are advocates for and against (opens as a pdf) physical discipline, and this is a hot topic in today's world. Who is right?
I personally fall with those against such discipline, as I have witnessed children whose self-esteem was lowered, as well as developing anger issues and aggressiveness.
Is this not a cycle that is perpetuated over time? I believe it can be.
In my eyes, this IS a form of child abuse...when a child is hit with a belt or a paddle. It IS child abuse when welts are left, bruises appear and a child looks at you with wounded eyes...feeling betrayed by the very person who is supposed to love and protect him.
Education is key...and one can discipline a child without harming them physically, mentally or emotionally.
I welcome your thoughts.