But here’s the problem. I thought that in order to respect authority and understand right and wrong, my children needed to experience the smart of a spank. And on days when I was worn down or short-fused, I defaulted to spanking to keep control. I used negative motivation and the threat of physical pain to bolster a position of power. I was trying to impose external conformity from above and from fear, the very thing I hate about controlling churches and the very thing Jesus spoke against throughout the gospels.
When I defaulted to authoritarian control, enforced via spanking, I couldn’t come alongside my children as their partner and equal before God. I couldn’t help them examine their hearts, face their fears, and identify their desires. They were afraid of me! They would hide, and they would say what they thought I wanted to hear instead of what was really true. I began to see how using the fear of a spanking to change my children’s behavior failed to actually change their hearts or teach how and why to make better choices. Their fear of spankings became fear of me and was destroying the honesty and trust in our relationship.
Read the rest: Why I Don’t Spank My Children Anymore | Joy in this Journey.