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Eight Steps for Wise Discipline

Disciplining children is a very controversial subject today. Many people are convinced spanking is no different than child abuse. The way some parents spank, this isn’t too far from the truth. However, spanking should never be used in an abusive manner. Doing so will certainly never have the intended result.

The Bible is very clear that spanking — when done properly — is a good and loving way to discipline your child. Proverbs is full of verses that explain why. Proverbs 29:15 says the rod imparts wisdom. Proverbs 13:24 says that a parent who doesn’t spank hates his child. And Proverbs 22:15 tells us that the rod of correction drives foolishness far from your child.

So how can you spank your child without abusing them? It’s a legitimate question. Our goal certainly isn’t to beat our children. Out goal is to restore them to righteousness. We want them to repent and turn from their sin.

In the video program A Case for Kids, Tedd Tripp tells us eight steps to help us spank our children without being abusive:

1. Take your child to a private place. Discipline is not a spectator sport.
2. Tell him specifically what he has done or failed to do.
3. Secure an acknowledgment to make sure they understand what they have done.
4. Remind him that your objective is restoration.
5. Tell him how many swats he will receive. The number will be different for different children. Some require more, some require less.
6. Remove his drawers. You don’t want the spanking to be lost in the padding of his pants. To avoid concerns about sexual abuse, there are two points to consider: If you’re in charge of his hygiene (you change diapers or wash privates), then remove all his clothing. This allows you to spank lighter with better results. If your child is in charge of cleaning, then leave the underpants on.
7. Restoration — tell him how much you love him.
8. Pray with him.

After you’ve gone through these steps, check your child’s spirit to see if there is restoration in his spirit. If he is not repentant, then you need to go through the process again. Don’t spank too much at one setting. Some kids are tough and may need to learn the lesson over various offenses. However, these steps will help you follow the Bible’s wise advice about the proper way to discipline your children.

Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom’s Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit and sign up for this free e-zine.