Chapter 15: Infancy to Childhood: Training Procedures
Tripp breaks it down further into the "when," "how," and "why" of spanking in enforcing discipline in your home. As he says, "A young child does not give proper weight to words alone" (pg 149).
The "When" of Spanking
Tripps position is "When you have given a directive that he has heard and is within his capacity to understand and has has not obeyed without challenge, without excuse or without delay, he needs a spanking" (pg 149). He encourages parents to be consistent in their discipline in order to see results. As he finds, consistency is key.
The "How" of Spanking
Tripp lays out a very clear procedure for spanking:
- Discipline your children privately.
- Tell him specifically what he has done.
- Have him acknowledge what he has done.
- Remind him that spanking is to correct his behavior, not to satisfy your need for retribution.
- Tell him how many swats he will be given.
- Pull down pants or remove diaper.
- After spanking, remind your child that you love him.
- Pray with your child for his heart to be corrected.
The "Why" of Spanking
Tripp believes very clearly that spanking is necessary because "God commands it" (pg 153).
Tripp spends the rest of the chapter discussing some commonly asked questions. The part that really stood out to me was "pray." Such a simple idea, it's amazing how easily it can slip a parent's mind. Not only in time of discipline, or frustration, but also in every day life. How often are we praying for our children, or modeling payer for their own sin?
I had a few personal questions in this chapter as well. I can understand needing to preserve a child's dignity and this is why Tripp recommends spanking in private. However, I struggle how to balance this with raising a two year old that needs an IMMEDIATE consequence. I don't often swat his behind in public anyways, but when that is necessary, how do you follow through with this step?
Also with a young child this age how to you begin to communicate the reason behind spanking, to restore them into proper relationship with God? How do they understand that? I don't want my two year old to come to an understanding that God is constantly disciplining him. What are the words here?
Questions for discussion:
1. What Scriptural principles should guide the "when" of using the rod of correction?
2. What elements should be present in the "how" of using the rod of correction?