Spanking as Creative Correction

God tells us that parents can and should use spanking as a way of reinforcing moral lessons.

Lisa Whelchel is best known for her role as Blair Warner on the hit 1980s TV series "The Facts of Life." She and her husband, Steve, a minister, have three children, whom they home-school. This excerpt is from her book, "Creative Correction."

Whether spanking works or is the best approach depends not only on the child and the circumstances, but also on his or her age. When my kids were little, for example, I sometimes felt it was more effective to administer a spanking than to try to reason with them. I can remember giving four-year-old Tucker an impassioned and encouraging talk on the need for self-control. It was designed to bring about a great change of heart in my son and had been a deep and meaningful conversation...or so I thought.

The moment I finished talking, my son piped up. "Mom," Tucker began, "only one word makes sense out of everything you just said."

"Oh, which one was that?" I asked, curious.

He furrowed his brow. "I forgot."

A spanking might have been kinder than my long-winded lecture, and definitely more memorable!


Thankfully, as my kids have matured, my "talks" and other modes of correction have had some impact. But in their early years, discipline was certainly a challenge. For example, when my children were toddlers and constantly getting into things, it seemed my only alternatives for discipline--other than spanking--were distracting or confining them. And I didn't like either of those choices. Diverting their attention from something off-limits was a superficial cure. It only postponed the need to teach them that we can't always have everything we want. Besides, it kept me hopping! Yet the other alternative--keeping them confined to their playpen for half the day--seemed even more cruel than a slap on the back of their hands.

So I chose to spank. And for many years it worked, even on Tucker. Using corporal punishment while my children were young actually afforded our whole family more freedom in the long run, because it established boundaries and reminded the kiddos who was in charge--freeing me up to try other, more creative corrections as they matured.

What Does the Bible Say About It?
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