There are three areas of discipline and there are progressive. First educate, then warn, and then correct. After warning comes the correction. You can’t correct a child for something if he has had no instruction on what to do. He can’t read your mind, and he doesn’t automatically know what is right or what is wrong till he has been told. However, if after proper instruction and warning, and he persist in disobeying, you need to make him realize that you are the authority and he must do as you say. If you instruct and warn then do not follow through, you are training your child to question whether what you say is really what you mean.
Then say to him, “My child, you have done a wrong thing. I don’t like spanking you, but I must correct you for a happy life. If you don’t learn respect now, you will have endless troubles at school and with your future employers. Because I love you I must give you some whacks with this stick; just to remind you to show respect.
It is written in Proverbs 29:17 “correct your son and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.” And it is also written in Proverbs 23: 13-14 “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with rod, and deliver his soul from hell.”
Then use the stick lightly on the buttocks. Never beat a child very hard and never on the head. The safe place to spank a child is on the buttocks. You love your child and only trying to correct his wrong behavior, so get rid of that anger before you scare the child to death. Your objective is to bring the will of the child into submission so he will learn obedience, but not to break his spirit.
There is a right time and a wrong time to use the stick. The right is when the child is disobedient. Willful disobedience is when a particular rule has been clearly defined and warning issued of consequences of breaking it, and the child disobeys. You told him, “Take this dish to the kitchen,” but he chooses not to do it, you can fetch a little stick. He knew what to do, but decided not to obey.
Secondly, when a child shows disrespect – being impolite, talking back or lying. Punishing a child for improper behavior without dealing with his negative attitudes is like using cutlass to cut the dandelions in your compound. Outwardly it appears that they are gone, but the roots underneath will soon produce new shoots. A child who is characterized by selfishness may become an adult who is obsessed by material wealth to the degree that he doesn’t care whom he hurts or whom he tramples to get what he wants.
The wrong time to use the stick is when the child has forgotten to do something, or made a mistake. For example, if your child accidentally breaks something, you can make him do some extra work to pay for the thing so he learns to be more careful; but don’t go for the stick, because he didn’t choose to disobey. It was an accident.
Never double punish by spanking and at the same time sending the child to his room or removing privileges. If you have spanked him, consider the punishment over. However, if he has failed to do an assignment as stated above, he should be made to do it.
When correction is necessary never do it in a public place or in front of guests, or in the front of your child’s friends. You could be doing an emotional damage to the child’s ego. Always get alone with your child to discipline.