This is something that has been on my heart awhile. I know that this blog may get me in trouble with certain people, certain may disagree, some may agree. I don’t care. This is so much on my heart that I am about to explode. I have to get it out. I have to share this. I hope you will take the time to think through what I am writing. Many people say Children are a blessing. They say how they want many children, because of the blessing they are. I LOVE my girls, they truly ARE a blessing. I know some AMAZING moms, who you can truly tell treat their children like the blessings they are. However, I think we get caught up in expecting our children to be “little adults” that we lose site of the fact they are CHILDREN, therefore, how we treat them, what we say to them, etc, doesnt’ show they are a blessing to others. In fact, I believe, it can show the opposite. I want people to KNOW I see my children as the amazing blessings they are. now, before you go off on me,I am NOT saying you let your children run around like a chicken with their head cut off terrorizing everything… I am simply challenging you to LET THEM BE CHILDREN. Please dont expect them to do things they are simply incabpable of that goes against the very nature of children and how God wired them. Here is a few things on my heart about this issue. I hope you will think on and pray through them.
1) I think this “children should be seen and not heard” is (sadly) still VERY much in effect today whether we want to admit it or not. Children are expected, punished even, to sit still, and silent for hours, sit still and quiet while mommy is shopping. I have even heard of couch training, where you make a child sit without moving, without talking, for a certain amount of time, and you spank them if they as much move or speak. I am sorry, but I have a big problem with this. Children are young. Again, I am not saying to let your child run on a wild rampage, but its OK if they have an ourburst occasionally. They are children. They are wired that way, it happens. A young child, in my opinion 5 and under (5 year olds MAY be ableto, depends on the kid) should NOT be expected to sit silently through the adult church service. IT PAINS me to read of parents taking their child out and spanking them for speaking/moving or “misbehaving” in church. It makes me physically ill to be quite honest. Sitting quietly and respectfully, yes, but its ok if they make an occasional noise. Churches needent be so against children. They may say they aren’t, but this type of attitude shows otherwise. If churches want to include children in church, then learn to accpet they are CHILDREN. This leads me to my next thought.
2) Sometimes things we punish our children for are simply things they dont undersatnd, can’t help, or are just being children for. Spilling, accidents, etc. Again, they are children, and children are not little adults, and shouldn’t expected to act as such. You can teach your child manners, good behavior, biblical wisdom, while still allowing them to be children. My daughters are very loving, caring and kind. They are well behaved. I discpline when necessary, but I also allow them the same mercy and grace and love that our savior extended and still extends DAILY (and sometimes HOURLY) toward us. Think about this….are you expecting you children to act as adults? are you showing grace when they make mistakes? None of us are perfect, yet the Father still loves us and shows us grace and mercy. GOD IS LOVE. I think we forget that sometimes.
3) I will not say there is NEVER a time for spanking. BUT… I disagree wtih spanking for everything,every offense, or using it as the primary discipline or FIRST option/resort. I know this may make me unpopular with certain Christians, but I dont care. Spanking isn’t going to make your child’s heart right. I know all the arguments for spanking, so please, spare me. ALSO. YES. I have spanked before. I am not totally AGAINST spanking. I do believe there are times it may need to be used, but I also think that many times other forms of discipline serve and fair much better, and actually teach your child a better lesson. I do not think spanking should ever be used as a first or only resort, but as a LAST resort. I don’t understand how if you truly view your child as a blessing you can spank them for every offense, and definietly NOT repeatedly or as to leave marks (that is abusive, in my opinion). I have heard in some Christian circles, something sord of like a tally for how many spankings your child gets if they dont “behave” when you are out. You keep track of how many spankings your child will/should get, and when you get home, you spank them that number of times, in a row. Whether, 2, or 20. That HURTS me heart SO much, and makes me shudder 😦 I don’t think that is how the Lord treats us as HIS children. Yes, we are disciplined, but he also extends grace and mercy and compassion. We dont always obey the first time the Lord calls us to do something? Why should we expect our kids to do something,we as adults, dont even do? Think about it. I admit. I am guilty of snappping or yelling to fast. I am not treating my girls as the blessing they are when I do that. I am not showing the patience the Father extends to us. Lord, forgive me, and help me to parent my girls the way you father me. If we would spank for every offense, even small offenses, what do you think that tells our kids, does that show them love, or provoke them to anger? Does it show them you love them no matter what they do, or does it discourage them, and even make them feel they can’t ever do anything right, even if you TELL thenm you still love them always. Actions (and how we TREAT them) speak louder than our words…
“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 145:8
“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
4) Please stop expecting children to be perfect. We can say we don’t, but sometimes our actions, words and tone of voice say otherwise. Actions speak louder than words, especially to small, sensitive, impressionable young children
5) For those that chose not to spank… STOP judging them. Stop looking down on them like they are going to have demon spawn for children. I have seen this too many times, I have seen people leave churches over it and its sickening. It’s wrong, and it is definitely NOT what Jesus would have done. Discipline does NOT mean punishment. One can succesfully discipline without spanking. Ive seen it, in fact, some of my friends who don’t spank, have better behaved, more well adjusted, and more loving, caring, kind, WELL BEHAVED, children than those who do.
So, when dealing with our children, is what we DO around them, to them, say to them, etc… saying what WE say? Children are a blessing… but are we living it? are we treating them that way? And again, I discipline my children. I show them what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is bad, what is glorying and edifying and what is not. I do NOT let my children run around screaming, yelling, tearing things up… BUT, I dont condem them or punish them for being… children. I want my children to learn to be well behaved AND still allow them to be children. I want them to learn right from wrong, be obedient, etc, while still letting them be little and enjoy their childhood. Sometimes, I think we focus SO much on discipline, because we fear they will grow up “bad” we forget to actually ENJOY them.
OK… I will stop before I get really uspet,or cause others to be upset. This is just something on my heart, and I wanted to share. Thank you for taking the time to read it ❤