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You can punish your children — in love!

Child beatings, severe spankings by angry parents have caused child psychologists to recoil in horror!
To them, punishment always means anger, and love always means no punishment.
Read Plain Truth about proper LOVING punishment!


"I HATE you!" "I'll KILL you!" screams the six year old. What should his parents do? Should they punish?

This question, when asked a modern child psychologist, received the following answer, "Be aware that the child is going through a difficult period and try to avoid unhappy events."

But How? How does the parent actually apply any such vague and unrealistic advice in dealing with an angry, screaming child?


Discipline Can Be Constructive

In the last number, we saw absolute proof of the ultimate benefits of constructive discipline. J. Edgar Hoover said criminals are made, not born! We saw revealed that most youngsters who are legally labeled "juvenile delinquent" have had a long pattern of falsehoods, disobedience, truancy, petty stealing.

We saw the ridiculous advice from those of the modern school of permissiveness who advocate no punishment, no restraint, no discipline for children who scream "I hate you!" at their parents.

What a paradox!

The leaders of the greatest law enforcement agencies in the land tell us that children "left to themselves" and allowed to express anger, hatred, rebellion and indulge in all sorts of lawless acts can easily grow up to be heinous criminals.

The child psychologists, on the other hand, assure us that these same children will grow up to be perfect little ladies and gentlemen. To quote again from a statement of a leading doctor made recently before the California Academy of General Practice, "At last," he said (following 16 years of no discipline, no restraint), "they're happy, friendly, good-tempered, self-assured and realize that Mom and Dad have finally learned something in the past few months."

Where should you turn for the answer?

Surely, if you have been following this series of articles on child rearing, you have seen the answer clearly proved and documented by now! It lies in the statistics of our courts and police departments, which absolutely PROVE that the end result of permissive child rearing is a frustrated, mixed-up, rebellious, monstrous child who is apt to become a hardened criminal!

Children most definitely should be disciplined!

They should be disciplined often but always IN LOVE. Discipline and punishment are some of the most valuable tools available to parents for the positive and loving teaching of their little children.


Improper Punishment

Punishment should never be merely negative-but ALWAYS, without fail, accompanied by positive teaching. The right action, the right method, which is expected of the child, should be clearly shown him — not only the wrong ones.

Because of certain abuses in punishment, child psychologists have advocated a swing to the opposite end of the pendulum — that of no punishment whatsoever!

They have observed parents utilizing physical punishment as a constant negative measure — but omitting the constructive, positive teaching. Some parents, who are actually unqualified to be parents, are prone to punish their children in the heat of anger, with

hardness and cruelty. Rather than instilling into the child the healthy "fear" which is right and good — not "terror," these parents do cause children to build up feelings of resentment and anger.

They'll probably find their children using lying to escape punishment, and developing into cheats and child criminals!

Seeing these abuses in the punishment of children, many have assumed that all punishment must be wrong!

This is simply untrue. God plainly says, "Children, OBEY your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise; 'that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth' and ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:1-4).

Notice, God says do not provoke your children to wrath!

But a constant attitude of negativism — of only saying "No!" and never saying "Yes! "— of only showing a child what he — should NOT do, and never showing him what he can and should do — punishing only in a NEGATIVE way will, in the long run, "provoke your children to wrath!"

God always punishes His children in Love — never in anger and wrath! Notice how Jeremiah prayed: "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing" (Jer. 10:23-24).

God's very nature is love! Yet, we have read in past numbers that God says He punishes every son that He truly LOVES! Jeremiah prayed for punishment. But he wanted God to punish him in judgment, in mercy, and in LOVE — not in anger.

Most parents usually punish children only when those children have driven them to it. They are punishing because they are literally trying to "get back at" their children and are angry because their child has done something which has disturbed them.

This is improper punishment, and will never bring the right result.

Another danger in punishment is leaving the child immediately after the punishment to himself — and leaving him with the impression that he is still guilty.

The positive type of punishment always carries with it the automatic understanding that the child is now forgiven for his wrong action, and is now in the good graces of his parents!

Only by parents carefully explaining this to their children, and showing that they are punishing in love, with judgment and wisdom, using great discretion, will they avoid some of these dangers in punishment.

One "authority" assures us that punishment is "the end step in a long course of happenings that has carried both parents and children away from the positive feelings of love and understanding" (The Complete Book of Mothercraft, Parents' Institute, page 365). Perhaps, in many cases, it is.

However, if punishment is done IN LOVE, if children are always shown some positive affection after punishment, this statement becomes completely untrue.

You will be surprised how often a child will thoroughly repent of his wrong action and assure you that he is sorry for his wrong deed, throwing his arms around you and telling you how much he loves you when you punish in an attitude of love, and let him know that the punishment carries forgiveness with it.


NEVER Beat a Child!

Today, any case of child beating is sensational.

Newspapers and magazines have widely published certain horrifying abuses of children by berserk parents who were totally unfit and unqualified to be parents. As a result, a school of "do-gooders" has arisen who regard any form of punishment as an extreme. They say that some parents "recommend the indiscriminate use of corporal punishment with the cruelty and sadistic satisfaction that is frightening" and say that most parents "turn to this extreme as a last resort, and because they think that nothing else will work" (The Complete Book of Mothercraft, Parents' Institute, page 365).

Let's really understand! There is never, under any circumstances, a time to BEAT a child. A child should NEVER, under any circumstances, be punished in anger! A child should never be bruised, or injured!

But stating this does not justify the arguments of some "extremists" who, like the never-ending pendulum, swing from one opposite extreme to another. To them, the very word "punishment" MEANS a cruel, sadistic BEATING! One author went so far as to say, as already quoted, "The word 'punishment' should not appear in our dictionaries except as an obsolete word, and I believe this should be just as , true in the field of criminology as in that of child rearing . . . why then should the parents . . . ever punish in the old Biblical sense?" (Psychological Care of Infant and Child, Watson, pages 63-65).

Do you see? This author cannot bring himself to conceive of PROPER punishment, done in love, in a right manner, and at the right time! But punishment can be done correctly!