Such A Thing As Non Punative Parenting?

Discussion in 'Family and Parenting' started by Mark, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Such A Thing As Non Punative Parenting?

    I have noticed quite a rise of websites and discussion groups where mostly young parents have decided they have come up with a superior way of raising their children. The difference between this group and a very similar group from the 60's is this group is using a few Scriptures and the "grace" theology as the justification for their "superior" parenting style.

    As with many partial truths, this tends to be tricky to refute. Since part of what is being said is true, when pointing out the error many from the partially true stance can quickly point to the truthful part of what they say as evidence that one must accept all of what they say.

    In parenting seminars I have listed 4 steps to setting and keeping Loving Limits in a child's life:

    1. Teach
    2. Expose both correct and incorrect behavior
    3. With repeated wrong behavior, correct and warn of coming punishment with future wrong behavior
    4. Punish and restore

    It is true that there are some "passive" children who rarely need the punishment, many children simply NEED the boundaries and will not respect individuals who do not set boundaries. In an effort to remove any type of punitive actions (either punishments you set up or natural consequences) one must remove most of the limits or boundaries.

    How they do we expect our children to be disciplined enough to enter school or the work world? How can they play sports and not accept the realities of life experiences that are "punitive" or negative?

    This belief must deny the reality of our sin nature. James 1:14-15 states, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."

    OK, it is true that our training alone cannot bring a child to salvation. Yet, God clearly states that the "law" is the schoolmaster. Because ultimately grace gets us to heaven and justifies us does not mean that we can abandon discipline. Rather several times Paul asks "shall we continue in sin that grace abounds? God forbid!"

    It is true that parenting will take loads and loads of grace! But not an absence of discipline. Sooner or later parenting will include a punitive action. Often it takes a greater love and sacrifice to punish our child.

    What do you think?
  2. During the 70's the controversy was Dr. Spock or Dr. Spank but unfortunately Dr. Spock's never spanked child committed suicide!
  3. Do you have links to the non-punative parenting websites? I was curious to read them so that I could understand more about what you mean.

    In my home I use positive parenting techniques. I have had to spank my children so few times that I can count the number on less than 1 hand. I do believe in boundaries, discipline, guidance, etc. My children are a testament that positive parenting techniques work. Everywhere I take them I get compliments. The church nursery was complimenting my 21 month old just this past Sunday because he is such a big helper and will give the others toys to play with and cleans up their cups after snack time (takes the empty cups and throws them in the trash). :p He is so adorable.

    Anyhow, if anyone ever has questions for me about what techniques I use or my parenting philosophy just ask.
  4. I think the most effective method for raising children is a 'hybrid' of both schools of thought. While I don't agree with punitive punishments for every single infraction-sometimes redirection or explaination is sufficient, I do believe there is a definite place for spanking and other punitive disciplines when raising a child.
  5. BookWorm,

    Children are a joy! It is always exciting to see them make good decisions. It is very important that we expose the good behaviors. If we teach them to be kind we must point out when they are being kind!

    In our family we were never big into spanking. Used if on rare occasions and only for actions that were warned. It came with a whole routine. We would talk with our child, then have them go and get the paddle. They would then get three swats. We would then pray together.

    I would not define our parenting as "punative" though we have used punishment as part of the overall parenting. It is the "non-punative" movement that defines this parentingstyle as "bad" or "negative."

    Effervescence, the "non-punative" people would say you are wrong. There is no hybrid. Any punishment is wrong. Honestly, there may be a few disfunctional people out there who only punish their children, but I don't know any!! Except for this group of people, everyone I know does a combination of both. Hopefully they mostly encourage and teach. But part of love, part of discipleship is punative. Yes, a minor part, but a part.
  6. I guess our household would be one of the "non-punitive" households. We won't spank and we will do the grace-based parenting bit. Basically, what I gather from the grace-based parenting and the grace-based discipline is that we just extend the same grace to our children as God has extended to us...his children...time and time again. While God doesn't "spank" us, he does let natural consequences occur and that is what this concept is all about.

    It isn't that I have anything against spanking, but we want our son to know that we can discuss things with him and that our respect for him as our child and our trust are far more valuable than anything else. We want him to not do things because he wants to keep that trust, not because he doesn't want a spanking.

    There really are some good books out there on the grace-based parenting. I am reading a really, really good book...HA...ironically it is titled "Grace Based Parenting" by Tim Kimmel.

    Some of the time, the parents that choose the non-punitive are the baby wearing, breast feeding, co-sleeping "my child does no wrong" kinda parents...but not always. We are bottle feeding, independant sleeping, my child even at nine months old can be a little wearing parents...but the primary concept doesn't change from parent to is all about that extension of grace.

  7. Hi Jessesgirl,

    I agree with you with you about grace based parenting, non-punitive household. Here is a short sermon you might be interested in. Thank you for book recommendation.

    God Bless
  8. Jessesgirl,

    Most parents and most situations do not allow for "natural" consequences. If you son only wants to eat ice cream my guess is you are not going to feed it to him and then talk to him about the natural consequences. That is just silly!

    There seems to be a direct link in many "non-punative" defenders that spanking = punishment. Is a scolding punative? Is a lecture punative? For that matter is questioning one's intent punative?

    By the way, the link between "discussing" or "respecting" automatically is removed by a parent punishing their child is very simplistic. My parents spanked me and had HUGE respect for me. They discussed many, many things with me. But I am not talking about spanking. I am talking about punishing.

    As somone who has worked with families and parents for 20 years, those who do not carefully teach, expose, warn and punish are the parents who neglect their children.

    Two examples in Scripture of children who were taught, but not punished - Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli. They were a disaster. The son's were so undisciplined that they could not help themselves and made poor decision after poor decision.

    Again, I want to point out that Grace IS NEEDED in parenting. Of course it is. We need grace day after day after day in parenting. Because we love our children enough to discipline them - as God disciplines those he loves, like a father disciplines the son he loves - does not mean we lack grace. That was my original point.

    Thanks for the discourse. I appreciate a good hearty discourse.

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