March 28, 2008

The Rod and Love

Disclaimer: This post is regarding child training and the 'S' word= spanking. Anyone who disagrees may want to skip it. But I feel it's important to say.

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows that I pretty much tell it like it is, at least regarding my own life. I don't feel like I have things to hide and by opening myself up at times I notice that others are willing open up as well. Then we help each other.

This week I determined to work on child training. By that I mean that my daughters were getting a bit sassy, a bit too dramatic and not obeying. Dh and I are always having to repeat ourselves and they are always testing us. I did very good on Monday, but slacked a little on Tuesday and Wednesday, mostly because we were out and about and they were doing pretty good. Yesterday was ok, but I didn't do the best job of keeping my eyes on them.

So today I renewed my purpose to be as consistent as possible and more watchful. The past two mornings our older two girls have been getting up early, like before 6:30am. So by mid-morning they're getting tired and cranky. Today I learned something big and I'm going to tell it.

I had let my older two girls go outside in the front yard to watch some men cut down tree limbs away from the electrical wires. I was in the kitchen doing dishes and keeping my eyes on them. After awhile they came in and then Alexa, our four year old, said she was going back out. I said, 'No, close the door please." She said 'No-I don't want to." I said, 'Go stand in the corner.' She said, 'I don't want to stand in the corner." while beginning to tear up and get an angry look on her face. I made her come to me- she wouldn't. I got our very light wooden spoon, gave a swat, and said 'Come to me." I went and sat on the recliner, appearing to be bored. She finally came to me, then fell on the ground crying etc. Well, this went on for awhile until I put her in the corner. All I wanted her to do was stand there quietly and still for a few minutes. Nope- she was throwing a big fit. Whenever I would give her a light swat, she would scream bloody murder!

Keep in mind that I am calm throughout all of this- I am only giving light swats and outlasting her. I am not the villain! So, since she was disturbing her sisters, I took her to her room and she proceeded with falling all over the floor, crying etc. I told her that she needed a spanking because her behavior was unacceptable. I said I would give her three swats, and that I wanted her to come to me calmly. She cried and said she just wanted two swats- I said ok, how about 5? She sat there a minute, stopped crying and said with a big sigh," Okay, I'll get three swats." I started crying. She had given up her will to control the situation. I realized then that I didn't want to spank her, but that if I didn't, I would show her that I don't do what I say and would be doing wrong to her. So, through my tears I gave her three swats, and then we both started bawling. I hugged her for a long time, told her that I loved her and that if I didn't, I would just let her do whatever she wanted. I said if I let her do whatever she wanted, that she would grow up to be mean and selfish and unhappy, but because I loved her, she would be kind and obedient and happy.

She went to get some tissue to wipe her eyes and when she came back she looked at me and started crying again and said, "I still care for you Mommy." Then she gave me a hug.

I think I really got a glimpse of the Father and how He must have hated to have Jesus crucified. Or when we rebel against His will and finally surrender all to Him. As soon as she yielded the tears just overflowed. I don't care what people say, the Bible is the Truth regarding "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." Pr.13:24

Disciplining with the 'rod' is not easy nor fun, but necessary to teach our children. And obviously, if it were wrong, then my spirited daughter wouldn't say she cared for me or jump in my arms to be loved afterward.

"The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. " Pr. 29:15

"Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.
Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell." Pr. 23:12-14


liz said...

Great post. I am currently dealing with some training issues with my 18 month old. Anybody who says training is easy must not be doing it right. :)

Whitney B. said...

I haven't had a chance to read your blog lately but I did tonight. I have to say this post made me cry.

I am not a mother yet but I commend you for your commitment to your children and for your openess to your readers.

Way to go, girl! ;)

Anneatheart said...

Liz-yes, and training while being in the early stages of pregnancy is non-existent. At least when I had two under two and was preggo, I basically laid on the couch and kept them confined in the room with me. Tough, tough days...

Whitney- thanks for your uplifting comment. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about posting this, but it had a big impact on me, and I wanted to share. Be sure you use this time before you guys have any children to LEARN all you CAN!!! I wish I would have! Not just about pregnancy and birth, on how to get them to sleep, what to feed them, training etc. I'm having to 'learn on the job' with three!!

Val said...

This brought tears to my eyes. That is how child training is meant to be-with love and correction.
Great post.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing you are. I have a 16 year old that was a terrible dramatic tantrum thrower. I have to say I was not very dedicated with her. She was a tough one. HOWEVER today at 16 she is the sweetest thing walking on ground. I don't know how that happened except to say she has found Jesus and I thank him often. He can and will work miracles.
Stay with it Sweetie. I have a very good 15 month old right now. Since being conected with other christian moms through the internet I have learned to start from birth and stick with it no matter what and he is rarely out of my site and needs very little repremanding so far.

prayzgod said...

I can't stand the feel of wood, so I use a plastic mixing spoon.

Yes, I find that often standing in a corner, or having to sit at my feet and not move around or make any sounds often work well, along with logical and natural consequences. I also loosely tomato stake every day. But sometimes, a good ole' rod-spanking is what is needed.

Just now my 3yr old and 5yr yr old were playing in the bathroom, when they are supposed to be tucked into bed, as I just tucked them in 10 minutes ago.

So, I walk over, and they saw me, they knew they were doing wrong, so they both ran back into their room, and sat on their beds as if they were there the whole time.

I didn't say a word - they knew what they did wrong, so I didn't need to say a thing. I just gave them each a quick swat with my trusty spoon, then I turned off their light and closed their door. As I was walking away, they were quiet, except for my 5yr old quietly saying "on no."

It was cute, but I kept a straight face. :-)

Also, as per your situation today, I know well of those struggles. My 8yr old is very strong willed, and I remember times when he'd throw tantrums, and it must have sounded like I was pulling his fingernails out, when I wasn't even touching him. :-?

Now with 8yr old we've been working more on his dropping his bad attitude. Today he rolled his eyes at me, when I told him to put his toys away, so I told him to stand quietly next to me in the kitchen while I was working. His response to that was to quietly grumble, breath heavy, and fold his arms over his chest, while trying to stare me down.

I quietly grabbed paper and pencil, and had him write "I will stop having a bad attitude" 50 times. He was informed that if the paper wasn't in his BEST handwriting, he'd be redoing it. He had a bad attitude about that, so he got to stand facing a boring wall until he stopped throwing his heavy breathing protest, then he had to continue standing there for 10 minutes longer, with a good attitude.

After that, he sat down, did his paper with a good attitude, and has been cheery for the rest of the day.

1yr old is pretty easy to train. I just tell her "no," and give her the "I'm serious" look. Occasionaly I have to give her a little hand slap or whatnot, but that is not usually needed. Just "no" does the trick. :-)

Joy Comes in the Morning said...

I am going through the same thing. My 5yo is so huffy and rude when he doesn't get his way. He loves to scream when he throws a fit. I was just inspired by your post all week about training and so I think I will start working on it this week. As far as you putting it all out there, please don't stop doing that. Some of us need to hear that other women struggle sometimes. It can be very intimidating reading about women who seem to be perfect all the time. So thanks for telling it like it is. You do a lot of good!!!:)