A Queensland mother has lost custody of both of her children and has been sentenced to nine months probation for smacking her 10-year-old son on the backside with a wooden spoon.
The 46-year-old Paradise Point woman appeared in Southport Magistrate Court last week where she was convicted of assaulting her child.
The court heard that the single mother smacked her son after he used her credit card to purchase $600 worth of video games.
After confiscating the gaming console, the boy, who reportedly has ADHD, kicked several holes in a wall.
The woman’s defence lawyer described the situation as a “brain snap with a difficult child,” and said she was “extremely remorseful.”
The mother will only be allowed to see her children twice a week while supervised.
Magistrate Mark Bamberry said he understands why she smacked her child but said it’s no longer an acceptable form of discipline.
“I was struck by my grandfather about 40 years ago,” he said. “Unfortunately, society has moved on and that behaviour isn’t tolerated.”
More important, however, than the ever-changing and arbitrary parenting trends of society is what the Bible deems acceptable. On this matter, the Bible teaches that physical discipline is appropriate, beneficial, and necessary.
The biblical answers resource, GotQuestions, argues that many Scriptures promote physical discipline.
The site explains:
“Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death” (Proverbs 23:13-14; see also Prov. 13:24; 22:15; 20:30). The Bible strongly stresses the importance of discipline; it is something we must all have in order to be productive people, and it is much more easily learned when we are young. Children who are not disciplined often grow up rebellious, have no respect for authority, and as a result, find it difficult to willingly obey and follow God. God Himself uses discipline to correct us and lead us down the right path and to encourage repentance for our wrong actions (Psalm 94:12; Proverbs 1:7; 6:23: 12:1; 13:1; 15:5; Isaiah 38:16; Hebrews 12:9).
In order to apply discipline correctly and according to biblical principles, parents must be familiar with the scriptural advice regarding discipline. The book of Proverbs contains plentiful wisdom regarding the rearing of children, such as, “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). This verse outlines the consequences of not disciplining a child—the parents are disgraced. Of course, discipline must have as its goal the good of the child and must never be used to justify the abuse and mistreatment of children. Never should it be used to vent anger or frustration.
Discipline is used to correct and train people to go in the right way. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). God’s discipline is loving, as should it be between parent and child. Physical discipline should never be used to cause lasting physical harm or pain. Physical punishment should always be followed immediately by comforting the child with assurance that he/she is loved. These moments are the perfect time to teach a child that God disciplines us because He loves us and that, as parents, we do the same for our children.