Question:

Your site gives plenty very helpful advice to parents about how to administer a spanking. We have three boys. We have spanked them before but not as consistently as we should have. Because of their recent behavior we have determined to start spanking consistently and with no excuses. We are going to discuss the matter with the children and our question is what advice should we give the children as to the way in which they should receive the spanking. We would be truly grateful for any advice you can give.


Answer:

"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11).

As so many who have written, you are focused on the technique of the punishment and ignoring the goal, which is to train children to behave. Of course a child is not going to like being punished, where it is done by a spanking or being grounded. Therefore, it is of no use trying to convince a child that the punishment should be received in a certain manner.

You should be talking to your children, but not about the punishment. What is needed is instruction. "The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother" (Proverbs 29:15). You need to discuss what the child did wrong, why it was wrong, and what he should have done instead. By showing reasoned rebuke yourself, you prevent yourself from lashing out simply because you were angry or had a bad day. It is the rebuke that is critical. The punishment is simply a deterrent. "Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool" (Proverbs 17:10).