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Old 06-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #6
rdwylie
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Default Re: Where do you draw the line between parental discipline and child abuse

As a father of four I know how easy it is to lose your temper (13, 10, 7, 3). The primary differences between abuse and discipline are:

1. Is the parent in control of themselves when engaging the child for the offence?
2. Is the point of the discipline to restore the relationship with the child after an actual offense or is it just "pay-back" for making me look bad in public, etc.?
3. Discipline itself is humiliating but it does not HAVE to be humiliation. Abuse is always and only humiliation. This is not the same as yelling at a child who is about to run in front of a moving bus or stick a fork in a light socket. Discipline is done privately so as to avoid taking the dignity of the child.

As a Christian I am commanded to discipline myself and my children. That discipline takes many forms but the key to it IMHO is the heart of the parent. Acting out in rage is not restorative. It actually divides the parent/child relationship. I have had to apologize to my kids many times before because I did not have the right frame of mind when engaging them after they had actually done something wrong or when they have offended me personally and not a moral or ethical or behavioral "rule of the house".

As far as drawing a line goes, I would say that they moment you are angry with your child you are unable to spank, admonish, or administer correction. While any actual offense must be addressed, it does not need to be addressed in the middle or Wal-Mart parking lot. Cooling down gives you time to address the offense in an adult manner and determine if the offense is actually that or if it was just your kid being a kid.

That's my two cents.
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Last edited by rdwylie; 06-24-2014 at 03:33 PM.
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