Last week I discussed the Biblical perspective on spanking and why it is essential to raising Godly children. It is through calling the attention and confronting your child of his/her sinfulness using the rod (combined with communication for balanced parenting) that paves the way to bringing him or her to the cross.
For me, spanking is the most effective way for our children to realize that they are sinners and that they need Jesus, whom they must come to for forgiveness, grace, restoration and empowerment.
Today I will share with you the first time I used the rod on Gummy.
Is this situation familiar to you, Parents: “Anak 1…. 2… Dont wait for me to reach 3…”? I am sure this is our default and a poor attempt at making our children stop their misconduct.
By counting and giving chances (the “3 strikes and you’re out” method). And once they’ve run out of chances, you either ask them to go to their room for time-out or you assert your authority in a very long and intense lecture often filled with threats (because, really, you don’t want to spank them). And although raising your voice should not be an option, you cannot help but get angry because, well, they’ve pushed your button, too.
One day not so long ago, I found myself in a similar situation happening repeatedly. That time I was already halfway through the book, “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” but still couldn’t “time” my spanking debut until I saw an opening and the Holy Spirit prompted me to enforce what I had been reading.
The issue that time was about the use of a cellphone. Gummy is only allowed to watch on weekends—Friday and Saturday. She can only watch YouTube videos of kids opening toys or play Tom’s World or Cooking Mama for a total of one hour per day.
That weekend I felt she was trying her luck too much because when we were out and while I was busy talking to somebody she would interrupt to ask if she can play a bit more (I set an alarm always to see to it she hands back my phone when she’s consumed her time). Out of convenience, I simply and repeatedly said, “Okay, okay 10 more minutes…” But of course, it was not just 10, it was 10 minutes x 6 and more. What’s more was that when we got home she told me that she has not yet watched the videos she really wanted. I took it as a go signal that I needed to intervene and call her attention to getting her way and obeying Mommy and not taking advantage of situations to ask for permission nor extensions.
We went to the bedroom and I brought out the rod and she was horrified (that rod, by the way, I bought in church.) Before, I simply used a stick to threaten her that if she does not obey she will get spanked though I never did it. I did not have the heart. Panakot lang. She was close to trembling when she saw the little palo-palo (a mini version of what our lolas used when washing clothes before) and could not believe that Mommy will “hurt” her.
I proceeded to explain what it was for and that her behavior that day called for Mommy to bring out the rod. Her conduct was unacceptable and I expressed that I will no longer tolerate it. I had to discipline her to correct it. I told her that when Mommy gives a rule, it must be obeyed without challenge, without excuse and without delay (those are the three criteria for true obedience, as per Tripp).
It was a 15-minute struggle just getting her to pull down her undergarments so I can spank her bottom. Please note that you do not force them to show their bottom. I made sure to put her on my lap. Skin to skin. I lost count how many “Mummy I promise not to do it again” she said. She also refused to be spanked because it will hurt.
I explained to her that it is more painful for Mommy and that it is not easy, but God is asking me to do it too when you disobey, because if you disobey Mommy, you disobey God. I have to obey God and discipline you when you disobey.
During this whole discourse, I kept calm and never sounded angry. I was pure objective and rationale. I had to be firm the whole time. And then finally the spank. Just one spank on her left buttock cheek. The yelp from a mix of pain and shock and the look on my beautiful and innocent daughter’s face, seeing that agony I knew I did the right thing.
I know the pain I inflicted was enough for her to take her obedience seriously. I know she will remember that pain and every time she is be tempted to disobey, she will recall that and may think twice. True enough, the next time I used the rod on her was over a month later.
Immediately after the spank, I pulled up her underwear and pants and embraced her. I let her cry and I just comforted her until she hushed.
Once your child’s cries quiet down that’s the time you may resume talking to reassure him or her of your love and ask why you disciplined them. At this point, the child’s heart is humbled and is prepared to submit to authority and receive instruction.
Remember, the goal of discipline is to correct, not to punish. After consoling and explaining, we end with a prayer. She prays first for forgiveness from her disobedience and grace to not do it again. I do the same and pray for her, too. We embrace some more, kiss some more and leave the room just as close as we were, like nothing emotional and physical happened.
Our sessions with the rod never affected our mother-and-daughter relationship negatively. It never caused any distance between us, nor harbored feelings of bitterness nor anger.
My parting verse for you today is from Proverbs 23:13-14: “Do not withhold discipline from a child. If you punish him with the rod he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” Do not be afraid.