How Much Discipline is Too Much Discipline?

As a young person growing up in DeQuincy, Louisiana, I quickly became aware that proverbs 13:24 seemed to be my mother’s favorite bible verse. At least, it was the one she quoted the most often. The English standard version of the verse reads, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Or as my mom used to put it, “spare the rod and spoil the child.”

In the times we live in today, parental discipline of children is a hot-button issue. When is it acceptable to physically punish a child? How much punishment can be used?

From a legal stand point, the issue often arises when parents are divorced and one parent disagrees with the other parent disciplines a child. It is not unusual for child protection services to be brought in. Sometimes this will result in criminal charges being brought against the parent who used the discipline.

The question of how much discipline is too much discipline is not an easy one to answer, the simplest answer is probably when a spanking turns into a beating, the parent has gone too far.

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