As the Bible tells us: "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)
- The topic of child discipline causes heated arguments.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 90 percent of U.S. parents spank, and about 59 percent of pediatricians in a 1992 survey said they support the practice. According to the academy, effective discipline has three key components: first, a loving, supportive relationship between parent and child; second, use of positive reinforcement when children behave well; and third, use of punishment when children misbehave.
- Some professional organizations of physicians and psychologists have suggested that spanking is detrimental and leads to family violence and child abuse. They have suggested that spanking teaches physically aggressive behavior which the child will imitate. But does the research support these assertions? According to the National Institute for Healthcare Research, more than 80 percent of the professional publications attacking spanking were reviews and commentaries, rather than quantitative research.
- The fact is, child discipline is an important and emotional issue. Parents worry about our child's misbehavior and how to handle it. Parents become angry and frustrated with ongoing behavior problems. Parents dislike having to punish our children.
- Effective discipline helps our child develop empathy and self-control.
- A spoiled or harshly-disciplined child is at risk for numerous emotional and behavioral problems.