Question:

I have read some of the responses to Christian parents questions on spanking their children and teenagers. Many of my friends have trouble with their teenagers, and often think of using it. The thing is what would a parent do with a teenager who is athletic, a soccer player, a junior varsity football or a swimmer? How would you spank a teen like that?

Some of them can't use the threat of being grounded because their teenagers work. Taking away privileges don't seem to work either.


Answer:

When a person doesn't want to do something, there is no end of excuses for why they can't do what obviously needs to be done. The Bible mentions of a number of ways misbehavior can be punished. See "Disciplining Children" for a list. No one method is the best in every circumstance, thus a parent needs to look at each situation and determine what will most effectively guide this child in this situation to become a godly young man or woman.

Spanking is not a cure-all. It can be an effective tool in certain situations. What I have advised parents to do in the past is that when a child gets to their teenage years they should follow the example God used with David (I Chronicles 21:11-14); that is, to give the one in the wrong their choice of punishments. One should be over with quick, but painful -- either spiritually or emotionally. The other should be longer, but not as severe. If spanking is one of those options and the teenager happens to choose that option, then it is not difficult to administer as the teenager knows he deserves it and has chosen that method as his punishment.