Is Spanking Child Abuse?

Discipline / The Basics //

This Sunday I am teaching on Boundaries with Kids. Children are not born with boundaries. This is why Solomon said; “A child who gets his own way brings his mother to shame.”

It’s the parent’s job to make the rules. It’s the child’s job to break the rules. This does not mean that your kids are bad. This is how kids figure out where the boundaries are.

When you make a boundary, your kids are going to test it, so you need to have a plan. Ask yourself, what is the consequence for breaking the rule?

When I was growing up it was the same for every kid in the world. You break the rule and you get a spanking. Not only that, but every adult in America was deputized to administer spankings to any child. It was not uncommon to receive spankings from teachers, next-door neighbors and parents of your friends.

Today attitudes have changed. Spanking is not accepted in some parts of our culture. In fact, some people think that spanking is a mild form of child abuse.

Is spanking a helpful discipline tool or is it a mild form of child abuse?

Before you tell me your opinion, I’m going to give you my thoughts.

The book of Proverbs is full of scriptures recommending spanking as a method of discipline, but it is NOT the only method of discipline. There are other biblical methods of discipline including: time outs, loss of privilege/reward, and allowing your kids endure the consequences of their choices.

Here are my thoughts on spanking.

Spanking is not a punishment for being bad, but a discipline for changing unsafe behavior.
Yelling is more damaging than spanking.
Spanking should never be done in anger.
Use a designated paddle. Never use your hands.
Counting to three gives your kid a chance to change and avoid the spanking.
Spanking is a last resort. If you can create safe boundaries for your kids without spanking, then do it.

What do you think?

Be nice. I’m OK if you disagree, but don’t try to spank me with your words.





About the Author

Pastor, filmmaker, coach and comic book collector, Mark Harper has over 30 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church Curriculum series, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. Mark and his wife Debra have two adult children, one grandchild and one Yorkie who thinks he's a german shepherd.