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By WS Staff

       The Reasons for These Discipline Guidelines       1
       General Guidelines for Family Discipline       2
       Our Goal       2
       What Is Discipline?       3
       Agree on Home Standards of Behaviour       4
       Love and Discipline Go Together       5
       Discipline for the Right Reasons       5
       Meeting Children's Needs       6
       Responsibilities of Parents and Guardians       6
       Keep the Doorknob Within Easy Reach and Don't Over-discipline       7
       When to Discipline       8
       Children Need to Understand Why They Are Being Corrected       9
       Disciplinary Needs Change as Children Mature       9
       Be Diligent and Consistent       10
       Use Moderation in Your Discipline       10
       Harsh Discipline Is Not the Family Way       11
       Discipline Without Favouritism       12
       Good Discipline Is an Acquired Skill       12
       Correcting Children, Like Parenting, Takes Teamwork       13
       Specific Guidelines       14
       Common Disciplinary Procedures       14
       Giving Verbal Instructions       14
       Showing Verbal Displeasure/Censure       14
       Loss of Privileges       14
       Imposition of Additional Duties       14
       Conversation Restriction       14
       "Time Out"       14
       Corporal Punishment       16
       Spanking Is the Exception       17
       Counsel Ahead of Time       17
       Correctional Taps or Swats       18
       Guidelines for Spanking       18
       Witness for Corporal Punishment       19
       Be Loving and Forgiving19
       Non-acceptable Forms of Punishment       20
       Public Ridicule       20
       Forced Restraint       20
       Withholding Basic Needs       20
       Reporting Problems       20
       Correcting Disciplinary Misconduct       21
       Conclusion: Making It Easy for Others to Be Good       21
       Confirmatory Verses & Quotes on {\b \i Family Discipline Guidelines       }22

Dear Family,
       1. GOD BLESS AND KEEP each one of you as you labour to care for, love, encourage, lead, guide, teach, train, correct and discipline the precious children the Lord has blessed us with. (Amen!--D.)

       2. "Taking care of children is probably the most important job there is, molding their little lives and teaching them every day." (MOP 9:1.)
       3. "[EDITED: "Your"] children will very likely do a bigger job for God than you have done or ever will do, if you will only help train, teach and lead them right and set a good example. You're investing a little bit more in eternity every time you invest in [EDITED: "your"] children, because children are forever! Everything you are able to put into them is going to count, and what works on them now, they are going to be teaching others later! Our children are the future!" (DM 2:128.)

       4. Over the years we have received an abundance of counsel on the subject of discipline in the Letters and in our many childcare-related publications and books. In order to simplify matters and make our Family standards more straightforward and easy to apply, we have put together these guidelines. We pray they will be a blessing and help to you as you pray about any changes that may be needed in your Home.

       5. The specific reasons for publishing this set of "Family Discipline Guidelines" at this time are as follows:

       a) To encourage all of us to maintain a loving, consistent standard for all our children--a standard that fulfils our Scriptural and moral obligations to God and our children.
       b) To remind each Home of the need to meet regularly and agree unitedly on suitable local standards and appropriate application of methods of correction or punishment. A unified disciplinary standard should be discussed and approved by all Home Members over 14 years old.
       c) To provide our new generation of teacher trainees and childcare workers with a condensed summary of current Family disciplinary guidelines and policies.
       d) To encourage all Family Members to continue to work steadily towards improving their Home's childcare department, providing good training for, and to lighten the load on those who work with and care for the children. All parents, childcare workers and teachers should get proper rest, time for the Word and prayer. They should also have sufficient time away from the children to prepare classes, materials, do reports, attend to personal matters, and simply relax and unwind.
       e) To encourage each Home Shepherd and all adult Family Members to be fully aware of the disciplinary methods used in their Home, and to report any concerns they might have to their Home Teamwork so that problem areas can be quickly corrected. Disciplinary concerns that can't be resolved satisfactorily and quickly on a Home level should be addressed to their respective over-Shepherds.
       f) To establish clear boundaries and limitations on the forms of punishment used.
       g) To help address the concerns of courts of law, Members' relatives (especially grandparents), scholars, concerned friends, social welfare workers, and government and private agencies who are seeking clear reassurances from us that our children are being well cared for, and not being abused or mistreated in any way. Therefore, in these Family Discipline Guidelines we are clarifying, reaffirming and defining specific limits where needed, to assure all that safeguards are in place and that there will be no opportunity for abusive treatment to happen now or in the future.
       h) To continue to assure the best possible care and training for all our children.

       6. Note: We use the term "child" broadly here to refer to anyone under the age of 16.

       Our Goal
       7. Providing a loving, happy Christian environment in which to raise our children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph.6:4) is a primary goal of the Family. While we believe that discipline and correction are vital to a well-rounded Christian upbringing,

       "Our ultimate goal is not to have 'perfect' children, but well-adjusted children, and by well-adjusted we mean loving, caring, feeling confident of the Lord's Love and of our love, mature in the spirit and loving the Lord and His Word, and having faith in the Lord." (Maria, #85:13, DB10.)

       8. We want our children to grow up in a safe and secure environment, free from abuse or the risk of abuse in any form--physical, emotional or sexual--and free to develop to their full potential.
       9. Mama recently commented, "I asked Dad if he had been given much corporal punishment when he was a kid, and he said no. He explained it was very rare that he was ever given a spanking, and that he feared his parents' lectures much more than a spanking. He got a lot of lectures but very few spankings. He said he loved his mother and father and wanted to do what was right and didn't want to disappoint them, so he was a good boy most of the time and didn't need spankings.
       10. "I think that this is the model that we should strive for with our kids, that they will want to do the right thing, and that they will not want to fail us and the Lord.--And that they will be so sensitive to our wishes that a look, a word or a talk from us will keep them in line, and they won't need any heavy-handed discipline. Of course, there are going to be those who will need something more than the look or the word. But I believe the Lord will help us to help even these to want to obey--not so much out of fear of punishment, but out of fear of failing us and the Lord.
       11. "I think it has a lot to do with us as parents, and how much we pray for them and ask the Lord to give us the right methods of discipline that will bring them back on track."

       What Is Discipline?
       12. Important note: Throughout our publications the word "discipline" varies in meaning according to the context. Most often we use the word to mean correction or punishment, similar to how the word "chastisement" is used in the Bible. However, we also use discipline in a broader sense, to mean child training or character building.
       13. The Bible uses the expression "the rod of correction," but we do not take this to always mean corporal punishment. In fact, spanking is usually our last resort after all other approaches have failed.
       14. Mama recently commented, "Bible verses which talk about applying 'the rod' (Pro.13:24; 22:15; 29:15) may be taken literally, to mean physical punishment, or may be interpreted in the larger sense of any kind of correction, physical or otherwise. The rod has always been symbolic of correction, and you will note that in Dad's writings when he speaks of 'applying the rod' or 'cracking the whip,' he is most often not speaking in the literal sense. In fact, most of the time he very effectively disciplined David and Techi as children without using physical punishment."

       15. "Dad and Maria show us that discipline is not merely punishing, [EDITED: "which is"] often misunderstood, but that discipline is training which corrects, molds, strengthens. ... In God's Word, parental authority is clearly laid out and this is what Dad acts on. ... Dad's discipline starts by developing his children's character." (Techi's Life Story, pg.183, par. 5,8.)

       16. "To depend on corporal punishment as the principal method of discipline is to make a critical error in assuming that discipline equals punishment. Discipline is training the child in the way he should go. Punishment is only one part of this, and the less the better. The better disciplined a child is, the less punishment will be required. How well a child responds to discipline depends primarily on how much the child feels loved and accepted.
       17. "Proponents of corporal punishment seem to have forgotten that the shepherd's rod referred to in Scripture was used almost exclusively for guiding the sheep, not beating them." (Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your Child [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.452"].)

       18. Discipline also has a broader meaning that embraces our entire way of life and the standard of behaviour required to sustain and nurture it. Life in the Family requires a sophisticated level of teamwork, not unlike a team of astronauts, or an expedition party heading out to some dangerous part of the Earth. We are a Christian movement doing our best to evangelise the World. In order to survive, prosper and live in unity and harmony, a certain level of discipline is required. Hence standards of consideration, communication, honesty, generosity, fairness, forgiveness, and concern for others are necessarily higher than is required of most people who do not share their living quarters, goods and facilities, nor coordinate their activities and cooperate and work together towards a common goal as closely as we do, nor share our Christian standards.
       19. It takes diligence to properly care for our children, have smooth-running Homes and schedules, provide good meals, proper rest, take care of schooling, ensure that all get good daily exercise and make spiritual progress. The good training and teaching which our children receive eliminates the need for much "correctional discipline."

       20. "Effective discipline involves placing reasonable limits on children at their various ages of development. ... Ultimately, the goal of discipline is to create children who become self-disciplined persons with inner controls. You do not want children always looking to you, or any other authority figure, for discipline. Your objective is to have them learn to discipline themselves without ever having to consult anyone else." (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, What Do You Really Want for Your Children? [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.671"].)

       Agree on Home Standards of Behaviour
       21. "Parents who lack a standard of discipline are making it difficult on themselves! Having this bedlam and confusion and inconsistency is certainly doing the kids a lot more damage than good, without disciplinary standards to follow." (Maria, ML #1707:27, GN Bk.18.)

       22. A Family policy we would like to reinforce is the Home disciplinary (behavioural) standard, as described in GN 465, "'Back to the Basics' in Home Requirements."

       23. "It is now required that parents and teachers unite in counsel and agreement on the behavioural standards and Home rules for the children. It is imperative that a specific [EDITED: "behavioural"] standard for children be established and unitedly agreed upon by all the adults and teens in each Home. This standard should be strictly set in each Home according to the specific guidelines in the Letters. We suggest that the adults and teens ages 14 and over in each Home unitedly read 'Childcare Discipline Jewels' (ML #1707 in DB2), 'Dad on "Kidz Correction"!' (ML #2064 in DB7), and 'Dad's Guidelines for Discipline!' (ML #2066 in DB7) [EDITED: "Also, 'Understanding Children and Making It Easy For Them to be Good,' Maria #85, DB10"], and then discuss and agree together on your Home rules. The Home rules should then be thoroughly and lovingly explained to the children and JETTs [EDITED: "preteens"], hopefully evoking their consent, allowing them to ask questions, make suggestions and participate in the decision-making of the behavioural and Home rules, as well as the consequences for disobedience.
       24. "We believe that the establishment of such a united [EDITED: "behavioural"] standard for children will help avoid double standards and the resultant problems and lack of unity. We want to caution you, however, that the establishment and enforcement of a Home disciplinary [EDITED: "behavioural"] standard should be prayerfully and lovingly carried out, with the desire being to unitedly raise the standard of obedience for adults, teens and children alike, and for the overall care and training of all our children." (Peter, GN 465.)

       25. It is important to keep re-evaluating the various regulatory and behavioural rules you establish for your Home. Be sure that the house rules you make are practical, reasonable and mainly for the protection, safety and consideration of all. For example, "No small children allowed in the kitchen area during meal preparation."

       26. "You need some general rules that everyone's agreed upon ... that must be kept by all the children--at least most of the time. There must be a few basic rules that will prevent hurtful behaviour, either to the child himself or to others. On the other hand, an occasional forgetfulness in these things shouldn't always merit a punishment. Don't you forget things sometimes, too?" (Maria #85:5, DB10.)

       27. In establishing a united behavioural standard for your Home, you will want to make it clear exactly what types of behaviour will and will not be acceptable, and for what age groups. However, how you go about correcting unacceptable behaviour does not have to be uniform, but can, if necessary, be varied according to the needs of the child.
       28. These Family Discipline Guidelines do not address specific behaviours which should be accepted or not accepted, but simply lay down general principles on discipline, as well as define clear boundaries on the extent and type of correction given children.

       29. "You may have to make a few exceptions [EDITED: "to the Home rules"], as some people are a lot more sensitive than others or slow learners, or children may have been emotionally hurt, for example; maybe their parents are gone for a while and they're adjusting to new helpers, or maybe they have a problem of stammering or something and need special understanding. In other words, some cases can't take as [EDITED: "strong"] punishment, etc. Perhaps the punishment is not as [EDITED: "strong"] for more sensitive children as it is for a more rebellious child; nevertheless, the rules should be the same for all and be obeyed, even if the punishments may vary for different age groups or exceptional, individual cases. All this should be agreed upon by the adults in your regular childcare prayer meetings. By the way, the Homes that have regular childcare council meetings seem to be the ones with the least problem children!" (Maria, ML #1707:23, GN Bk.18.)

       30. "Suit the punishment to the individual. The aim is to teach, not humiliate. Be aware of the different temperaments of your children. To the sensitive one, a firm scolding may do the job of three spankings. To the strong-willed, however, three spankings may not be enough." (Dan Benson, The Total Man [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.227"].)

       Love and Discipline Go Together
       31. One very important aspect of Family discipline is love. Love never fails. Love, such as Jesus taught, is able to cover and forgive a multitude of sins. Without true love, discipline becomes little more than one person imposing his or her will on another. Without love, discipline loses its moral and eternal purpose, and tumbles into tyranny--selfish rule upheld by force!
       32. Though it may seem paradoxical, the Bible teaches that those "whom the Lord loves, He chastens" (Heb.12:6). Hence, proper discipline should be a sign of one's deep love and concern for another--not of frustration, anger or rejection.

       33. "The best law is Love, and along with Love comes reasoning, persuasion, explaining, teaching, the Word and all the rest, so that the children can make their own decisions, because they'll stick to it far better if they decide to do it themselves because they want to do it right. That'll go a lot further than only doing right because you're there to make them!" (ML #1705:41, GN Bk.18.)

       34. "We should do with our children as God does with us: He tries to persuade us to do things through the right loving motivation because we want to do what's right, because we love Him and we love others, not just because we're made to, forced to, or because of fear of punishment; that's the old law!
       35. [EDITED: "The"] long-term goal [EDITED: "is"] to encourage [EDITED: "the"] children to obey out of love and to have the conviction to know what's right and what's wrong and therefore choose to do the right thing!--And using God's example, we also should try to persuade others to do the right thing out of love." (ML #2066:26,10, Vol.16.)

       36. "The first fact we must understand in order to have a well-disciplined child is that making a child feel loved is the first and most important part of good discipline. Of course this is not all, but it is most important." (Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your Child [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.452"].)

       37. "Praise and encouragement are one of the most important parts of child training." (Treasures, pg.429.)

       38. "Children thrive on praise! I really know it works with kids, if you commend them for doing well and for being good and say, 'Good boy, good girl!' they really thrive on it! It's more important to praise a child for his good works and his good behaviour than it is to scold him for his bad behaviour, to always accentuate the positive!" (ML #997:8, Vol.8.)

       Discipline for the Right Reasons
       39. Discipline is for the purpose of correcting unacceptable behaviour and improving character and attitudes, and it should be done in love, patience, mercy and fairness. It is important to discern when to correct a child for breaking the rules, and when it is better to let it pass, or modify the rules or circumstances if children are having to be frequently corrected for the same things. Serious correctional discipline should be reserved for serious matters. In such cases it should be evident to all involved that it is a serious matter. Minor infractions of rules or policies which do not involve genuine dangers to health or safety, or that would not have serious social or moral repercussions could often be overlooked or perhaps be allowed to pass with merely a reminder of the rule and encouragement for the future. It could at times be overlooked, while acknowledging to the child that you know what happened and wouldn't expect him to do it again.

       40. "Some offenses are just personal, human, little faults, and we certainly shouldn't nag and judge and sentence our kids for such little blunders.
       41. "We must learn to overlook some things, especially little offenses that are not necessarily 'evil' or 'sin.'
       42. "[EDITED: "Every childish incident"], pushing, shoving, yanking, grabbing, slapping, kicking, etc., is not a disaster and doesn't necessarily deserve a demerit or instant sentence. It's usually not a big deal, and could probably be easily handled with a short but firm reproof to the child, and then it's over.
       43. "Dad's sample has always been one of mercy and forgiveness and leniency, where possible. You feel very loved, secure and confident with Dad, that as long as you're doing your job for the Lord and being generally faithful and obedient, the Lord or Dad are not going to punish you for some human frailty, blunder of the mind, or even a big mistake.--Because they know that we're just human and we all make mistakes, even on a daily basis. They know our frame, they remember that we are but dust. (See Psa.103:14.)
       44. "Let go and let them be human, let them make mistakes, let them be happy! My children have lied, have argued, have daydreamed, have been delinquent in their duties, have been disrespectful to their elders, etc., but it wasn't the end of the world! We all learned lessons from these normal weaknesses and gained victories over them and are stronger than ever for it." (Maria #85:12,15,7,9,11, DB 10.)

       Meeting Children's Needs
       45. Having a child's physical needs met is one of the first steps in assuring happy children. For younger children, meals and activities on a regular scheduled basis provide not only their physical needs, but a sense of security. All children need plenty of physical exercise and fresh air to help "burn off" excess energy. Meeting these basic needs will help solve many disciplinary problems before they begin.

       46. "For the sake of both mental and physical health, children need to run, jump, climb, skip, etc. Arranging a suitable environment for muscular activities is a prime--but frequently overlooked--condition for good discipline in children and for an easier life for parents!" (Dr. Haim G. Ginott, Between Parent and Child [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.523"].)

       47. "The next question to ask ourselves in the face of misbehaviour is, 'Does a physical problem exist which is precipitating this behaviour?' The younger a child, the more behaviour is affected by physical needs. Is my child hungry? Is he tired, fatigued? Is he ill? Is he coming down with something, like a cold or flu? Is he in some kind of pain or other discomfort?
       48. "This does not mean misbehaviour should be condoned. It means that we parents must make sure we are taking care of what is causing the misbehaviour as well as the misbehaviour itself." (Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your Child [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.454"].)

       Responsibilities of Parents and Guardians
       49. The Lord has given us a wonderful Family, with loving, caring brothers and sisters--"aunts" and "uncles" who help us care for and train our children. While it is a blessing for you parents to have the help you need in the day-to-day care of your children, you are, of course, ultimately responsible for the care and conduct of your own children.

       50. "(Maria: God will hold the parents responsible because He's given them the children.) Oh absolutely, He'll hold them responsible!
       51. "You are responsible as a parent to see to it not only that [EDITED: "the child is"] fed and clothed and protected and sleeps and is physically well and healthy, but that he is mentally trained and taught and spiritually inspired!
       52. "You're responsible! If you haven't got time to do it yourself, you had better be sure you find somebody who can and who does it right, and the way you know it ought to be done, or God is going to hold you responsible when you stand before Him one of these days, and even before that!" (ML #389:60,66,67, Vol.3.)

       53. Parents, if you need to temporarily leave your children in the care of others, be sure you have assigned a trusted adult(s) to act in your place as a temporary guardian(s) or "foster" parent(s) to oversee the care of your children. (Note: Some countries have laws that parents cannot leave their children with others longer than a specified length of time. Be sure you research this in your country and stay within the boundaries of the law. As a general rule, young children should always remain with their parents.)
       54. As you know, those of you who are parents or guardians, it is important that you continue to take part in the parent/teacher counselling sessions and meetings that concern your children. Also, parents, or the guardians acting on the parents' behalf, must be consulted and be in full agreement with any discipline given their children (as is described in the section "Counsel Ahead of Time," pg.17).

       55. "Our responsibility [EDITED: "as natural parents"], we felt, was to see that those who cared for our children were cared for, and that they had an open channel of communication with us so that we could discuss and agree on the children's training.
       56. "I don't have to involve myself daily with the children's training, because I have confidence that if problems come up, Gabe and Amy will communicate them to me and we can then counsel together and pray and find the solutions. I have confidence in their [EDITED: "correctional"] discipline of the children as well, but as in all good teamworks, we counsel together on general policies.
       57. "It's so important that all those involved in the training of our children counsel together and agree on policies.--Educational, disciplinary, recreational--every area of childcare should be discussed and decided upon together [EDITED: "and followed through together"]." (Maria, ML #2670:13,20,21, GN 460.)

       Keep the Doorknob Within Easy Reach and Don't Over-discipline
       58. Try to look at things from the children's point of view, and find ways to make it easy for them to be good and to be happy in the situation. Avoid getting too legalistic or authoritarian or becoming overly picky or pushing your own program of perfection onto little ones, or over-correcting them for minor mistakes.
       59. If you use demerit charts, please avoid linking specific punishments closely or legalistically with demerits. This leaves little room for leniency, or taking into account individual differences or situations. In general, demerit charts should not be used too often as they do focus heavily on minor failings.

       60. "When you make the rules and standard too hard for them to keep and too high for them to reach, you make them look 'bad' when they're really not that bad after all. If they fail time after time trying to keep rules they can't keep, they may soon give up and not try at all!
       61. "If you have a big, long list of all sorts of rules, and well-meaning childcare workers looking over their shoulders every minute and policing their every move, the adults will end up tearing down almost everything the kids do. They'll constantly be finding fault in them because they'll be looking at them 'critically' to see if they're upholding all the rules. It's so much easier to see the 'bad' things than all the good things the kids do.
       62. "The first rule of childcare in my book is: You must always put yourself in the child's place to be able to understand the children and to make it easy for them to be good! You can't possibly be doing that when punishing them for things that are normal childish behaviour, and even some of the things that the adults themselves do! Too rigid a disciplinary standard may totally destroy the children's confidence and faith in themselves and their abilities. It can do more damage than good." (Maria #85:1-4, DB10.)

       When to Discipline
       63. There is no simple equation or formula which tells us when to discipline and what to do. So much about discipline is an individual and personal matter. You can't always just go by rules, or feelings, or what other people think, or even how bad the behaviour seems to be.
       64. Although when to discipline is always a question, there is no question that we must discipline our children. They must be taught to choose what is good and right, and corrected when they choose ways that are harmful to themselves or others. The Bible and the Letters contain many admonitions along this line:

       65. "Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest, yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."--Pro.29:17,15.

       66. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."--Heb.12:11.

       67. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."--Ecc.8:11.

       68. "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction: For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."--Pro.3:11,12.

       69. "You don't have to threaten them the very first time, just tell'm, 'Don't do it, it's not good!' Let them make the decision themselves to obey without your having to threaten them. 'Forbear threatening' (Eph.6:9) if you can, although I've found it does a lot of good sometimes! But the first time I don't necessarily threaten. Then when they repeat it, second offence, that deserves a good warning and a clear-cut promise of what you're going to do if they do it the third time. That was our usual system." (ML #1711:58, GN Bk.18.)

       70. "I kept my children well-informed of the Word of God and the rules of the household, rules of behaviour. They knew what the rules were before they broke them, which they frequently did, but at least they knew what the rules were, and I was not guilty of not having told them. You cannot punish children for doing something wrong that they didn't know was wrong, it's not really fair.--But you may have to stop them and teach and train them in some way not to do it again." (ML #1142:76, Vol.11.)

       71. "With the ungodly person or the disobedient child, you can reprimand him several times, you can reason with him, you can give him the rules, and then you can question him and reprimand him when he breaks them. But if he keeps on being disobedient and breaking the rules ... then sooner or later you've got to discipline and punish him for it, chasten and chastise him for it, to try to make him obey." (ML #603:50, Vol.5.)

       72. "Defiance is one of the few indications for punishment. Defiance is openly resisting and challenging authority--parental authority. It is stubbornly refusing to obey. At these times, punishment is often indicated, and such times occasionally occur no matter what we do. However, parents must attempt to avoid such unpleasant encounters.
       73. "When it occurs, make sure you have tried everything before considering punishment." (Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your Child [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.456"].)

       74. "I believe it is human nature for all of us from time to time to resist authority. At each stage of a child's life, he is going to take those steps of resistance. As a parent interested in raising a positive child, you need to understand that his resistance or rebellion does not mean he wants to win or that he wants you to surrender to him. He is simply testing you. What he wants is reassurance that you are firm and strong but still loving. He needs and must have boundaries within which he can operate and a loving authority to whom he can go with the confidence he's going to get the direction necessary to succeed in life." (Zig Ziglar, Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.18"].)

       75. Mama recently said, "It is very very important ... to 'explain explain' and try to get your answers from the principles of the Word and even your own prayerfulness and common sense, to show [EDITED: "children"] why certain things need to be done or not done. It takes a long time to give good explanations, and that's one of the problems, but it's also one of the best solutions, ... and one of the best ways to not only satisfy them that you know what you're talking about, but to train them so that they can in turn pass on the same things to others."

       76. Any time correctional discipline is considered, you need to pray for wisdom as to what is best in that specific situation and for each of the children involved, and not just look at the incident but all the circumstances involving or surrounding the incident: Is the child sleepy, or hungry? Is he upset, etc.? Does he need to go to the bathroom, is the normal teacher there or gone for the day, etc. etc.? Be sure to take time to hear the child's side of the story when following up with discipline from a report that you have received.

       77. "I'm all for asking and letting kids tell you what they mean, or what they had in mind when they did or said something. Of course, I understand that with children you do get a lot of self-justification or 'Job 9:20s' simply because they get corrected a lot. But I also understand that it's very easy to misinterpret their motives, and we often do misjudge them and sometimes blame them unjustifiably.
       78. "That's something that really concerns and hurts me when I think of children getting correction, the thought that they might be getting corrected for something that they're not really to blame for. I sometimes almost cry when I think about that.
       79. "So I'm all for letting children explain themselves. That way, you won't jump to the wrong conclusions. And if what they tell you is just excuses, then you can explain to the child why they're just excuses. And if they're not excuses, then you've got the true story. But if you shut a child up and don't let them explain, you could easily be guilty of accusing them falsely. And as a result of doing that, you could wind up encouraging bitterness and resentment against you in their heart." (Maria, ML #2652:3,4,7, GN 453.)

       Children Need to Understand Why They Are Being Corrected
       80. As much as possible, correction should be clearly explained to children so they will be reassured of your love, and understand why they are being disciplined. Children need to be made fully aware of all house and behavioural rules, and know the consequences should they not obey them.

       81. "If you punish a child for anything, be certain that he knows the reason. It is not sufficient that you know why you are meting out punishment. They are the ones being punished, and even if they do not agree with the punishment, at least be certain that they have heard you say the reason why. If possible, ask them to repeat it so that it is not misunderstood." (Dr. Wayne Dyer, What Do You Really Want for Your Children? [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.677"].)

       Disciplinary Needs Change as Children Mature
       82. As children grow older, and especially in the latter end of their childhood, and during their preteen and teen ages, they become more complex in their thoughts and emotions, and need even more explanation when it comes to discipline. The actual reasons for needing to discipline also usually become a little more complex the older a child gets. It is very important that the parents, teachers and shepherds take the time to listen, talk and establish good communications with the young people in their care. It is best if we can take the time to explain things, to help them understand, to reason with them and help them make responsible decisions about their behaviour. This is, of course, true of any age group, but becomes even more important as the children get older.

       Be Diligent and Consistent
       83. Being consistent is probably the single greatest secret to successful child rearing. Not only must there be consistency within each family unit, but there must be an overall consistency in the discipline which all children in a Home receive. That's why parents, childcare workers, teachers, Shepherds and all need to be united in the spirit, and "praying without ceasing" (1Thes.5:17) as they counsel together and care for the children.

       84. "Let me tell you, child training is a tough, hard, strenuous job! It requires constant work, constant care and constant discipline!" (ML #1708:3, GN Bk.18.)

       85. "Some parents are too severe in their punishment, and others nag their kids too much, even Christian parents. They do a lot of things wrong. Sometimes they don't understand their children and they unjustifiably blame them for things, but they still have to go ahead and discipline them, they still have to chasten them, they still have to counsel them, because that's the job the Lord has given them. Even if they're not perfect, and even if they do some of the wrong things, at least they're doing something! At least they love their kids, and at least they're training and teaching and chastening them when they need it." (Maria, ML #2639:8, GN 448.)

       86. "Actually, in the long run, it takes a lot less time to discipline the children right than it does to let them run wild, because if you have five, six or up to ten children in the house running around loose, it's going to take all of the parents' or keepers' time just to keep the kids corralled. But, if you have strong discipline and reasonable limitations for the children to abide by, it would be much easier and would take less time on everybody's part." (Maria, ML #1707:5, GN Bk.18.)

       87. "Be sure the rules as well as the punishment, deprivation of privileges or sentence you lay down are prayerful and Spirit-led and not done in anger or without prayer.
       88. "Once you have actually promised sentence, you may temporarily suspend sentence and put them on probation. But once you have said, 'Now you're on probation and we've decided we're going to do thus and so with you,' or whatever the sentence is, and you suspend the sentence for right now, you must tell them, 'But if you don't respond to this probation and straighten out, then such and such will immediately occur.'" (ML #2066:4,11, Vol.16.)

       Use Moderation in Your Discipline
       89. We must "train up," not drive or force our children "in the way they should go" (Pro. 22:6). True love, willingness, and obedience come from the heart, not from rigid laws and regulations--any more than a perfect World arrived with the Ten Commandments. Keep a loving balance, and be mindful of your children's feelings, their health and safety. Whatever method of discipline is used, it must always be reasonable and proportionate and must never be carried to extremes. No new methods of discipline should be carried out without prayer and counsel with all involved, including the parents or guardians, the childcare workers, teachers, and discussing it with and explaining it to the children themselves as well.

       90. "'Let your moderation be known unto all men.'--Phil.4:5. Be 'temperate in all things' (1Cor.9:25). ... Don't be too easy on them, but don't be too hard on them either. And always try to show them why and try to get their willing cooperation through understanding and reasoning, as the Lord does. Then, only after your repeated warning and their repeated wilful defiant disobedience and an absolute refusal to obey, are you justified in using loving force--as God does!" (ML #2066:43, Vol.16.)

       91. "A horse that is gentled through love takes a lot more time and patience to train, but they'll be a far better horse and much more obedient, if they are persuaded to do it through love, believe it or not, rather than just breaking their will and forcing them to do it for fear of punishment!
       92. "According to God's Own example, the best way is the love way! The best way is the gentle way and not the breaking way and the force way or the legal way of the Old Law! The best law is Love, and along with Love comes reasoning, persuasion, explaining, teaching, the Word and all the rest, so that they can make their own decisions, because they'll stick to it far better if they decide to do it themselves because they want to do right! They want to do the right thing and want to do right, and that'll go a lot further than only doing right because you're there to make'm! If the gentling and the persuading and the love and the reasoning and the leading, the teaching doesn't work and they're still stubbornly, wilfully disobedient, then you've got to apply the rod!" (ML #1705:23,41, GN Bk.18.)

       Harsh Discipline Is Not the Family Way
       93. Discipline should always be balanced with love, understanding and respect. Although some Letters indicate that strict firmness is needed in some very difficult cases, Dad and Mama strongly discourage the use of harsh discipline. Children and young people should be treated with respect at all times, including during discipline. Punishment should not be unduly humiliating. Angry yelling and abusive speech, including sarcasm, are not acceptable forms of discipline.
       94. Mama commented recently, "Harsh discipline is not the Family way or the Lord's way! Dad and I have never advocated harsh, unloving, merciless, cruel discipline!
       95. "This is not God's way nor how He wants you to react. You are in His Family of Love, and He wants to teach you how you can be loving, yet still be firm. You can be loving, yet still mete out discipline.--So that whatever you do, it will be in love, and your young people will know you love them, even when you have to correct them. And you will lovingly correct them because you love them."

       96. "Give discipline in love as a loving father in the right way--not too hard, not too harsh, not too heavy, not to the point of total discouragement and despair, so that your child gives up and quits trying because he just can't live up to your standards." (ML #2066:9, Vol.16.)

       97. "Don't let your children get away with a deliberate wrongdoing. You'll be sorry if you do! Don't be too harsh & severe, but after a repeated warning where you've made it very clear what you mean & they really understand what you're talking about--if they keep right on at it, wilfully, knowingly & defiantly doing it to see if you really mean it, then you've gotta show'm you mean it!" (ML #2066:42, Vol.16.)

       98. "(Editor's Note: We are very saddened to hear that anyone would speak in ... disrespectful ways with our teens or our OCs, or with our children of any age, for that matter! It seems that this could show a very unloving attitude. The Lord has called us to be loving servants, helpers and friends, guiding & shepherding in love, understanding, mutual respect & warmth. It would be very sad indeed if any of our little ones of any age are being spoken to or treated in a harsh manner, or an unloving, unthoughtful, military spirit.)" (ML #2865, GN 553.)

       99. "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Eph.6:4. ("And now a word to you parents. Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord Himself approves, with suggestions and Godly advice." Eph.6:4, The Book.)

       100. "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Col.3:21. ("Fathers, don't scold your children so much that they become discouraged and quit trying." Col.3:21, The Book.)

       Discipline Without Favouritism
       101. When disciplining, we must consider the needs of the child, and not let personalities, prejudice, personal feelings or opinions cause us to show favouritism, or not be fair and evenhanded with the children in our care.

       102. "We need to all ask the Lord to give us an impartial love for our children.--Love that can only come supernaturally from the Spirit of God! But it is possible, and some of our Family Members do manifest this impartial love for the Family's children, loving children born to other Family Members just as much as children that they have borne themselves. This is a supernatural love, and must come from the Lord. It often does not come easily, so we should pray for it.
       103. "Many parents have difficulty even loving their own children impartially, and unfortunately and very sadly, some show favouritism to some of their children over the others. To me, that is one of the saddest things I can think of, as it must deeply hurt the children who are not so favoured. And the next saddest thing is for our Family Members to show their own children partiality in front of other Family children.
       104. "In all the times that I have observed Dad with my two flesh children, when he was with those children along with children of other Family Members, I never once saw him show favouritism or partiality to David and Techi over Davida or others. Of course, if you're with your flesh children privately, that's one thing, and that's not hurting others. Or if you give your children special attention on Family day or parent time while other parents are giving their children special attention, that, of course, is perfectly all right and is not showing partiality or favouritism. But when you are with any of our Family children, you should try to treat them in a manner that will cause none of them to feel unjustly isolated or put down or neglected or shown less love than the others." (Maria, ML #2670:42-44, GN 460.)

       Good Discipline Is an Acquired Skill
       105. There is an old saying, "When the cat is away, the mice will play." Often when a parent or teacher has to leave their children with someone less experienced, the "greenhorn" or "substitute teacher" may find their child-management skills seriously challenged. It takes skill, conviction and firmness to rein in a group of unfamiliar children.
       106. If you, as a teacher or childcare worker, are handing over your group to a new helper, be sure to counsel together with them before they begin caring for your group, and continue to offer counsel and guidelines to help them be successful at their new job. It may also be helpful to review the basic rules with the children, in the presence of the new teacher or caretaker, so there is a clear understanding of what is expected--a continuation of the same time-established standard. This takes time, so please be sure such transferring of childcare responsibilities is not done too hurriedly, which can in itself cause disciplinary problems and insecurity on the part of the children. New teachers and childcare workers, you have a challenging job, one which will require your utmost dependence on the Lord.

       107. "Are you equal to the task?--No, but God is!--And He will help you to make them His good children, His faithful witnesses and His future rulers if you'll do your best as His queen mothers and kingly fathers to rear them in His house as the fine and worthy princes and princesses that they should and must be to rule His future Kingdom with us! What a future! What a Kingdom! What a task! Are you fit for it?--God will help you if you try!" (ML #315:35, Vol.3.)

       108. Reading the Word on childcare and childcare-related publications such as "Raise 'em Right," plus counselling together with other childcare Shepherds and workers will help give you, as a parent or childcare worker, the training you need. Time and experience will add to your skills, and you will probably find that discipline itself, or "classroom control," is often an acquired skill. Some people seem to have greater natural ability to handle children wisely or manage children in groups, but these are areas we all need to grow in. Pray and ask the Lord for the wisdom, love, conviction and skill that you need. (See Jam.1:5.)

       Correcting Children, Like Parenting, Takes Teamwork
       109. Properly caring for kids is very much a team effort, beginning with Mom and Dad. Traditionally mothers are counted on for love, mercy and forgiveness, and fathers are expected to be more firm, and the disciplinarian. It usually takes male-female teamwork to ensure that kids get a proper disciplinary diet, with a good balance between being firm and having fun.

       110. "A parent only has the right to discipline his child if he also plays with his child. Why? Because discipline, to be effective, must be administered in the context of love, not legalism." (Dan Benson, The Total Man [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.227"].)

       111. Actually, very few of us are sufficient in ourselves to provide children with the balance they need. Some people are naturally very lenient or easygoing, while others are more serious and strict. Personality (both ours and the children's) also has an effect on how well we relate to different children and they with us.
       112. However, if you are a single parent, you will need to learn to handle both roles. And even with two parents, both father and mother should display a measure of both qualities. Where possible it should be arranged for single parents to get the help they need with their children from the other adults in your Home.

       113. "There aren't too many women capable of being both a mother and father to a child. They don't have the guts, firmness and hardness that it takes to lay down the law. Fathers are usually the disciplinarians of the family who won't let the kids get away with it.
       114. "Mothers are inclined to be a lot more easygoing, lenient, tolerant, indulgent and really spoil the kids, especially if they have to handle the job alone. They don't have the strength to both take care of them and discipline them too, especially as [EDITED: "the children"] get older, so they're inclined to let the kids get away with more.
       115. "Every child needs a father.--Especially as [EDITED: "the child"] grows older he needs a father more than a mother! A father comes into the picture loud and strong in the later years when the child really needs discipline and strength." (ML #332C:64,65,66, Vol.3.)

       116. Where it is not possible to get additional help, we are confident the Lord can and will give you single parents the anointing you need for the task before you, as you diligently seek Him and look to the Word for guidance.

       117. "If one parent or helper is always sweet and forgiving and the other always the 'hatchet man' for reproofs or punishments, the kids will of course prefer the softie, and they'll be confused as to who's right and who's wrong! Everybody has got to keep the same good standard on both sides of the coin--and all manifest both loving, gentle understanding, guidance and encouragement, as well as the firm conviction and effective disciplinary control and action, with some bark and bite to it! All parents and adults must pray for this fair balance and wisdom, to be well-rounded with the discipline of our teens and children, just like the Lord both chastens and encourages us." (Sara, BTH, pg.205.)

       Refer to the techniques and methods of enforcing discipline, and alternatives to corporal punishment in Raise 'em Right, pg.228-256.

       Common Disciplinary Procedures (short of corporal punishment)

       Giving Verbal Instructions:
       118. This is the most common and simplest way to correct children. Most of the time verbal instruction is sufficient.--Simply telling children what you want them to do or not do.

       Showing Verbal Displeasure/Censure:
       119. If you have given a verbal instruction to a child and it has been ignored or disregarded, the next stage in discipline is to show your displeasure (censure) for not complying, providing the instruction was well understood.
       120. Before considering going on to some more severe form of correction, all possibilities of either giving verbal instructions and proper explanations, and expressing displeasure and censure ought to be exhausted.

       Loss of Privileges:
       121. Privileges that are usually suspended include video watching, activities, playing with toys, etc. While this may be effective on some occasions, please do not overuse this correctional method.

       Imposition of Additional Duties:
       122. Work tasks in and around the Home that are above and beyond daily responsibilities may be assigned for disciplinary purposes. Such assignments should have time limits and should not take away from the child's get-out and rest times.
       123. With all forms of punishment, whether it be loss of privileges, imposition of additional duties, conversation restriction, time out or corporal punishment, the punishment must firstly be appropriate to the age of the child, secondly be proportionate to the offense, and finally reasonable in all the circumstances.

       Conversation Restriction:
       124. If restricting a child's conversation with his or her peers, or with others in the Home, is used occasionally as a method of discipline to help check children who have a problem with unruly speech, the following guidelines should be followed:
       125. Conversation restriction should ideally only be for a few minutes to a half an hour or so (and certainly not more than three hours at one time in any one day). Should repeated conversation restriction be necessary, the situation should be taken to the Childcare Teamworker and counselled about together with the children's parents, or guardian acting on behalf of the parents. While under conversation restriction the child should always have the option of speaking with his or her parent, guardian, Shepherd or overseer if needed. Conversation restriction should only be used in an age-appropriate way, proportionate to the offense and reasonable in all the circumstances.
       126. Children should not have their mouth taped shut, or suffer any other form of physical restraint or facial covering (such as a gauze mask) for the purpose of discipline, which prevents them from speaking, or from breathing freely and naturally, or causes them undue public embarrassment.
       127. Mama recently commented, "A few minutes of silence restriction can be a positive thing if used wisely, especially for younger groups of children who can get so rowdy sometimes that about the only way you can bring order is to have everybody be completely silent for a few moments. Or somewhat longer periods of silence restriction can occasionally be beneficial for JETTs or teens, as long as it's not taken to the extreme."

       "Time Out":
       128. By "time out," we mean placing a disruptive child in an alternative setting away from other children, where they can pray, read the Word, and receive special attention and counselling. (Isolation or quarantine because of sickness is not considered "time out.") Young children may be separated from their group for short periods of time for disciplinary purposes, but they must not be left alone. "Time out" should only be used in an age-appropriate way, proportionate to the offense and reasonable in all the circumstances.

       129. "Time-Outs for two-year-olds: (Editor: At this age, time out [EDITED: "for five minutes or so"] can be effective, not only as a form of punishment, but it gives a break to both the child and the parent. This in itself can bring about a change of spirit, end the conflict and return peace to your home. You don't always have to punish children for each little misstep. It may be enough to just break up the bad behaviour. They may be bored and simply need distraction. If they sit down with a book at times, it will immediately settle them down and interest them. A short time of sitting and doing nothing would be even more of a punishment if the behaviour warranted it. So time out can be very effective if applied appropriately.)
       130. "Time outs help parents by giving them a needed break from the sometimes exhausting task of managing kids' behaviour. They help kids by giving them the break they sometimes need from each other, and by giving them a chance to calm down and get control of their behaviour.
       131. "Time outs also reinforce the idea that if you want to be with other people, you have to play by the rules. And time outs do all of this without violating the dignity of a child." (Thomas Lickona, Ph.D., Raising Good Children [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.388"].)

       132. A child or teen should not be separated from other Members of the Home or their group for disciplinary reasons for more than three hours a day (and preferably less) unless they pose a threat to other Home Members or significantly disrupt the Home's functioning.
       133. If the situation warrants it, a preteen or teen (age 12 and up) may be separated from their peers for a longer period (no more than three days at a time), as long as it is with the full consent of the preteen or teen, his or her parents, or guardians acting on behalf of the parents, and the Home Teamwork. Preteens or teens who are temporarily separated for disciplinary purposes should be closely shepherded and helped to use their time profitably.
       134. Home Shepherds and those administering the discipline must assure that a person given "time out" is suitably housed, cared for, treated with love and respect, and supervised. In order to make longer periods of "time out" most effective, you should provide positive input through Word studies, personal counselling and positive fellowship from an adult, such as one-on-one reading and "talk time."

       135. Mama recently discussed the practice of isolation: "I am not in agreement with isolation or silence restriction when it is practised in an extreme manner. A few hours in a [EDITED: "room or"] caravan studying the Word because it is a place to get alone and be quiet could be perfectly okay under certain circumstances. Sometimes there just aren't any other free, quiet places for someone to go to for quiet time. And in some ways, it should be looked upon as a privilege to be able to get away from the hubbub of activity in a busy Home to have a few uninterrupted hours in a nice quiet [EDITED: "room or"] caravan to concentrate on the Word.
       136. "Or in some cases, a teen may need to be separated from his peers for a few days of prayer and Word and personal shepherding, if he agrees to it, and if he's doing so poorly that he's infecting others with his problems and affecting everyone else very negatively. If a teen is in such poor spiritual condition that he's bringing down his whole group and causing absolute havoc and requiring almost all the attention of the Teen Shepherd, to the neglect of the rest of the teen group, then to temporarily separate that teen from his peers may be the best solution. But such separation should be the last resort and should be for very limited periods of time.
       137. "The use of the word 'isolation' for such a disciplinary method is a bit misleading, because 'isolation' implies that the person is completely alone, as if in solitary confinement. But in actuality, when [EDITED: "people experiencing such problems"] need to have some time apart from their peers, it is not with the intention that they be separated somewhere completely alone for long periods of time, without the warmth, support and encouragement of others. The whole point of such separation is so that the problem person can have a private time of prayer and reading the Word with the help and counsel of a Shepherd or someone who is spiritually strong enough to help pull the person through his problems. Such times of separation can bear good fruit if they're handled lovingly and wisely and not overused. Temporarily separating a very serious problem case also has the very big advantage that the other teens do not have to endure the strong negative influence that is present when someone with very serious spiritual [EDITED: "behavioral or attitude"] problems is in their midst.
       138. "The practice of restricting or separating troublemakers or uncooperative people is not unique to the Family. It is fairly standard procedure in most organisations, functions, gatherings or activities to have all kinds of guidelines for people so they can't get so unruly that they seriously interfere with what is going on. If someone is disruptive or uncooperative, and especially if someone is disturbing others or making it hard for them to do their work or participate in whatever activity they are engaged in, that problem person is usually restricted in some manner, or asked to leave, or even escorted out by the bouncer or security guards.
       139. "In most situations it is understood that if you don't keep the rules, out you go. For example, if you're very rowdy and unmanageable in System school, the teachers won't hesitate to send you to the principal, or suspend or expel you. They certainly don't let you just continue disrupting and distracting the whole class and making it nearly impossible for the other students to study or for the teacher to teach. If you decide to light up a cigarette in a restaurant or public building where smoking is not permitted, you'll be asked to either put out the cigarette or leave. If you stand up in church and start saying something contrary to what the pastor is talking about, or if you start chatting and laughing and making a big fuss that disturbs others in the congregation, you'll likewise be asked to leave. The same is true when you're in a library or cinema or concert or lecture hall.--If you continue to disturb others by talking above a whisper, you are considered to be infringing upon the rights of others to study or watch the movie or listen to the concert or lecture in peace, and you will usually be asked to leave.
       140. "In society at large, it is understood that people can't get away with shooting off their mouth about anything they want regardless of what is going on, or carrying on activities that disrupt and distract and interrupt a whole group of people who are intent on a particular purpose or trying to listen or study or work. In any kind of group activity, whether it be a class, a church, a business, a club, a sport, a recreational activity or whatever, there is a general standard of behaviour laid down, which is usually typified in written or unwritten rules, and people are expected to keep those rules. If someone refuses to follow the rules, especially repeatedly, it would be absurd for the directors of the activity to let that one person's behaviour hinder the entire group. Even in the System, a problem person who is intent on causing trouble is not allowed to disrupt the peace, comfort, happiness and productivity of others. So it's good to remember that the Family is not the only place where silence restriction and the separation of troublemakers are practised."

       Corporal Punishment
       141. In the Bible, corporal punishment is at times advocated as a necessary form of discipline. In an important situation such as physical discipline or corporal punishment, which is not something to be taken lightly but which needs to be handled prayerfully, it is important that we abide by guidelines that will serve as safeguards. To ensure that we are following a common standard, and to avoid any possible harm to our children, please prayerfully consider and apply the following guidelines concerning physical discipline:
       142. Corporal punishment should usually be confined to situations where the child, through wilfulness, has put either him or herself or others at serious risk of harm, or has been seriously disobedient. In all circumstances, it is essential to make sure that the punishment is appropriate to the age of the child, proportionate to the offense, and reasonable in all the circumstances. Corporal punishment should be a last resort after all else has been tried.
       143. Mama recently commented: "Corporal punishment is being frowned on more and more by today's society, which has abdicated most or all parental authority. They have rejected all restraints and controls on their children, no longer having any absolutes or any standards, and mistakenly think that loving their children means not disciplining them. Now they are beginning to see this has been the wrong road to take and has resulted in the destruction of the morals and character of their children, and a whole generation of kids out of control."

       Spanking Is the Exception:
       144. Corporal punishment should be the exception and should only be resorted to if other approaches have not succeeded in bringing about the needed improvement, and all circumstances and surrounding conditions have been examined and taken into the decision making. Physical discipline should be reasonable, not excessive, and should be suited to the character and nature of each child. Corporal punishment should not be given out of frustration or in a spirit of anger. As with all instances of disciplining a child, it is essential that there be consistency to avoid conflicting messages.

       145. "Love never fails!--If it's real love, it won't fail even if it's applying the rod in love. I think you should try everything else you possibly can before applying corporal punishment." (ML #2066:50, Vol.16.)

       146. "When you have to use the rod of chastisement, be sure you wield it in the right spirit." (ML #2066:19, Vol.16.)

       147. "Be sure that you're in the right spirit as you correct them for their mistakes and their errors and their sins, even as God does us and as we would want others to do unto us for ours." (ML #1142:95, Vol.11.)

       148. Recently Mama commented on the need to find out the facts before spanking: "God's anger at our sin is usually manifested in gentle, loving correction that makes it obvious that He still loves us and cares about us and is trying to help us make it, not in punishment that makes us tremble and shake and feel so intimidated that we can hardly think. God's chastening usually makes us want to do better in order to please Him, be a better example to others, and do a better job for Him.
       149. "When it comes to correcting our children, we've always emphasised that you should wait until you cool off and have had time to counsel together and pray about the child's motivation for doing what he did, and what kind of correction he needs. You need to ask yourself questions like, 'How much love have I shown to so-and-so? How much have I prayed for him or her? What other problems could be accentuating his tendency to this kind of behaviour?'
       150. "You need to cool down enough so that you can talk calmly and sweetly to the person about the problem and why it happened, and what has to be done about it before administering any kind of correction.
       151. "For example, if you hear second- or third-hand that Johnny tripped Suzie, and Suzie fell down and hit her head on a rock and had to be taken to the doctor for stitches, you shouldn't go storming in and yank Johnny from his chair, start screaming at him and give him a good spanking, or pass some other stiff sentence upon him.
       152. "You'd better find out the facts by talking with any adults involved, and also other children and, of course, with Johnny himself. Who knows, maybe someone else tripped Suzie, lied about it and put the blame on Johnny! Or maybe Suzie was 'asking for it' by saying nasty things to Johnny. Or maybe an adult had been showing a lot of favouritism to Suzie, to the point that Johnny finally couldn't take it any more and felt so bad and left out and belittled that he decided to get some attention, even if it was by being bad.
       153. "The list could go on and on, but the point is, don't discipline in anger or you'll be more in the wrong than the one you are disciplining, and you may be very ashamed after you find out the whole story. Of course, Johnny would still have to be disciplined if he is guilty, but you may see and thus handle the situation much differently if you know all the facts."

       154. Corporal punishment should only be administered by the parents of the child in question, or those standing in the place of the parents, i.e., teachers and childcare workers or those at that time who are in charge of the child. If the regular caregiver is not with the child, then any adult may give verbal instructions or verbal censure to a child, or may impose a short period of silence or time out on a child, or where appropriate, proportionate and reasonable, give a single swat to a child. But any further punishment should be by the child's parent or by someone authorised by the parent.

       Counsel Ahead of Time:
       155. The parents, or guardian(s) acting on the behalf of the parents, the childcare Shepherds and those caring for children should counsel together to decide what disciplinary measures should be used. Decisions about an individual child's disciplinary needs should be counselled about and agreed upon in advance by the parents, guardians, or those caring for the children. For example, it may be decided that a spanking should be given if a certain child persists in a certain naughty behaviour after other approaches have been tried for some time. This should then be prayerfully followed through on as needed by those caring for the child, and should continue to be counselled about: How is the discipline affecting or helping the child? Have the discipline needs of the child changed? Such decisions should be continually re-evaluated as the children learn and progress. This counselling would be in addition to the general Home disciplinary (behavioural) standard which your Home should have established, as per the DTR. (See "Agree on Home Standards of Behaviour" in General Guidelines for Family Discipline, pg.4.) As individual situations arise, they should be discussed in your daily or weekly small group meetings of the childcare personnel responsible for each group, as well as at regularly scheduled childcare/parenting meetings.

       156. "I'm sure the Lord has an answer for all of our parents and Shepherds and childcare helpers, because He certainly wants our kids to get over their problems.--Or even better, He'd like to help us prevent their problems. So you're just going to have to pray and be desperate about it and convinced that it's a genuine need, and I'm sure the Lord will somehow make a way and provide the time you need to help your kids. Many problems are common to all, and if handled wisely, may be effectively addressed in small groups, sitting around a table or in a circle, and discussing questions all together." (Maria, ML #2631:23, GN 446.)

       Correctional Taps or Swats:
       157. Children may receive simple correctional taps or swats at the time correction is needed as long as it is not done in anger, or with excessive force. Correctional taps or swats should be directed to the bottom or the "offending member" only, but never about the ears, eyes, stomach or other sensitive parts of the body. Nor should a child be swatted on the top of the head. The use of, and frequency of, a single correctional tap or swat should be discussed regularly with the parents or guardians of the children, and with the childcare personnel responsible for the group.

       Guidelines for Spanking:
       158. If the discipline involves more than simple correctional swats--for example, a spanking (several swats on the bottom)--please keep the following in mind:

       (1) It should be done in accordance with our general principles; i.e., not in anger, no excessive force, etc.
       (2) The reasons for giving a spanking should have already been agreed upon, as in "Counsel Ahead of Time," on pg.17.
       (3) The need for a spanking should be agreed upon at the time an incident occurs, in counsel with one other adult, YA or Senior Teen. (A fellow childcare worker, childcare Shepherd, parent, etc.)
       (4) Generally, children should not be spanked on a bare bottom. If a child's bottom happens to be bare at the time the spank is needed, such as after a bath, their bottom should be covered with something, such as a towel or underclothing, before spanking.
       (5) Children must never be struck with a fist, or with a force or any object that would bruise, or break the skin.
       (6) If corporal punishment is to be administered to preteens or teens, it should only be handled by an adult. Corporal punishment for teens should be an unusual exception, however.
       (7) The child's parents, or guardians acting on behalf of the parents, and the Childcare Teamworker should be informed of all spankings which are more than simple correctional taps or swats.

       159. Babies and Young Toddlers--ages 0-18 months. Babies under 6 months should not be given any form of physical correction. For children 6 months through 18 months, circumstances might arise where it could be age-appropriate, proportionate and reasonable to smack a child under the age of 18 months, but it is hoped it would perhaps be limited to a single light slap or tap to reinforce a needed admonition.
       160. Children of 19 months up to four years should not be given more than two swats on the bottom at any one time.
       161. Children age four or five years should generally not be given more than three swats on the bottom at one time (with the hand or a non-damaging, reasonable object, such as a light, flexible slipper).
       162. Children ages six and over should not be given more than six swats at any one time (except in extremely serious situations, and with the agreement of parents, or guardians acting on behalf of the parents, and Shepherds).
       163. When going over these guidelines, Mama said, "Some people think six swats is too much, and some people think six swats is too little. You can't please everybody. But personally I don't think the number is as important as the context of the situation, and what else you do or don't do as far as your verbal lessons. The spanking in some cases would seem almost symbolic or a token of the punishment. Even if a spanking is needed, correcting a child involves so much more than that. I don't believe you can just count on the spanking itself to do the whole job for you. You must pray with them, hear them out, explain the problem and the reason for the correction, then show them forgiveness, followed up with love and encouragement."

       164. We strongly suggest that after age 13 corporal punishment no longer be given, as other forms of correction are usually more effective for this age group.

       165. "Some of you need to revise your attitude on how to correct young people if we're going to start specialising in training teenagers! I mean by that, subteens and even older children who are not subteens, but are mature enough to be treated like teenagers. Don't use force unless you have to!
       166. "Whoever's going to be teaching teenagers is going to have to learn that corporal punishment, except as a last resort, is not the answer to our kind of teenagers!
       167. "Our teenagers know the Lord, they know what's right, they know what's wrong, they know us, they're reared in love and righteousness and the right way and I don't think we should have to apply [EDITED: "corporal punishment"] to our children. I would say in some cases it might go even lower than the teenagers, even down to [EDITED: "six- or seven-year-olds."] She [EDITED: "Techi"] has the understanding of a teenager and the insight and the sensitivity.
       168. "So I don't think you have to use corporal punishment with these teenagers who know better! I think we're going to have to let the Family know that when we talked about giving a few swats to kids, 'applying the rod,' we were talking about the [EDITED: "younger"] ones who can't understand much else! ... Sometimes you have to give'm a little swat or a spank on their bottom or something.--But usually not these other big kids, they know better!" (ML #2064:10,2,3,8, Vol.16.)

       Witness for Corporal Punishment:
       169. At least one other adult, YA or Senior Teen should be nearby to witness the administering of any significant corporal punishment which goes beyond simple correctional swats. (Observation by another person could be done unobtrusively, so it does not embarrass the child unnecessarily, or make the correction seem greater than it is intended to be.) Having one of our brethren observe us administer discipline shouldn't restrict us, but will help assure that the child is handled respectfully and fairly, and in love, not in anger or ill will. (Having a witness when administering significant corporal punishment is also a wise legal precaution to take.)

       170. In cases where there is no other adult, YA or Senior Teen to counsel with or to witness the discipline, the administering of physical discipline will need to be at the discretion of the parent, or a guardian acting on behalf of the parents, or the caregiver who is responsible for the child at the time. In such a case, any significant discipline (more than simple correctional swats) should be reported to the parents or guardians, and the Childcare Department Head or Childcare Teamworker.

       Be Loving and Forgiving:
       171. Any corporal punishment given a child should be administered with love and understanding. Be sure the child knows that you love them. Be affectionate, give hugs and help them know that their mistakes have been forgiven, and that you have faith in them that they will try to do better in the future.

       172. "Remember, when the child training, the chastening, the punishment is over, then is the time to love, to comfort, to encourage, 'lest that which is lame be turned out of the way'--in other words, become discouraged. (Hebrews 12:12,13)--Lest you get so hard on them they just can't meet your standards and they give up and quit. So encourage them all you can.--Forgive, comfort and love 'em up! Love never fails!" (ML #1142:88, Vol. 11.)

       173. "God Himself chastises us with His rod, but He does it in love and in patience and always comforts us afterwards and tries to encourage us to keep on in spite of our mistakes." (ML #2066:15, Vol.16.)

       174. Mama recently commented, "Immediately after a child is corrected, I think it is a good idea to have them put the lesson they have just learned into their own words. Having them verbalize the lesson not only helps them see it more clearly but gets it firmly fixed in their own mind so they will remember it longer. By confessing and admitting what the lesson is, they will also be less tempted to brood about it or feel hurt or change their story later."

       175. "When corporal punishment is used, we must be careful in several respects. First, the child must understand exactly why he is being punished. Words such as 'bad boy' can hurt the child's self-esteem and should not be used.
       176. "Secondly, parents must be careful not to inflict any physical damage on the child.
       177. "Thirdly, immediately after the punishment, parents should then give the child an abundance of eye contact, physical contact, and focused attention to reassure him that he is indeed loved." (Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your Child [EDITED: "Raise 'em Right, pg.457"].)

       Non-Acceptable Forms of Punishment

       Public Ridicule:
       178. In our Family, all should feel happy and confident of the Lord's and each other's love. No child (or adult Family Member) should be punished or disciplined or stigmatised by being made the object of public humiliation or ridicule. An example of unacceptable discipline would be to require a child to wear a humiliating or embarrassing sign. Public confessions of wrongdoing and the making of public apologies must be willingly undertaken by the person involved, either because they agree with the counsel to this effect which they received from their Shepherd, or they came to this decision on their own. Such public confessions should not be insisted upon or forced on them.

       Forced Restraint:
       179. No child (or adult) should be forcibly restrained or detained in any way, except in extreme cases in which they show obvious intent to harm or by their actions pose a real and immediate danger to themselves or others. In such cases, appropriate reasonable force may be temporarily employed until the danger has passed or until professional help can be sought, if necessary or appropriate.

       Withholding Basic Needs:
       180. We do not approve of, for disciplinary or any other purposes, withholding basic needs required for the child's growth, health or physical development.
       181. Restricting a child from his daily needed physical exercise should likewise not be resorted to. Nor should a child be barred too frequently from participating in enjoyable activities.

       182. Every child in the Family must know that he or she is safe and will be protected from harm (or sexual misconduct). They must also know that if they do suffer harm, or know of other children suffering harm, they can and should immediately report it to their Home Teamwork.
       183. Also, the children should know that they can appeal directly for help to a superior Family officer should the need arise. The CROs already make an "Open Heart Box" mail address available to all Home Members, and this should include the children. Any child who wishes to, should feel free to write directly to their CROs, for whatever reason.
       184. The CROs should personally read any report made by a child alleging harm or wrongdoing, and see that all such reports are promptly investigated. If a NAS or other field officer uncovers serious wrongdoing, they must report it to their CRO immediately.

       185. If anyone is found to be administering discipline in a manner that is harmful to a child, he or she should be reprimanded and the situation corrected by the Home Teamwork (and/or Area Shepherds, if necessary).
       186. For minor offenses, a warning and counselling may be sufficient. If the problem persists, they may have to be relieved of their childcare responsibilities and be reassigned other ministries that do not directly involve the care and discipline of children.
       187. If they have gravely mistreated or significantly harmed a child, they may be put on probation or excommunicated.
       188. Any adult being disciplined for their conduct with children who feels they have been misjudged or treated unfairly may appeal to their NAS or CRO.

       CONCLUSION: Making It Easy for Others to Be Good
       189. "[EDITED: "Caring for"] children is a full-time job and a big job! It takes the strength of Samson, the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job and the faith of Abraham!--It also takes the Love of God, that's for sure!--And you could also say the insight of Daniel and the courage of David!--At least the administrative ability of David." (ML #389:22, 23, Vol.3.)

       190. It is the responsibility of all Home Teamworkers to see that teachers, parents and childcare personnel have sufficient time off to be renewed, restrengthened and refilled for the very important responsibilities they carry. As one childcare worker wrote, "If you work with kids a lot, and especially if you aren't getting enough time off, or variety or as much help as needed, kids can get on your nerves, or you can start seeing things in a distorted way. Your eyes are too close to the picture, and you start expecting more than you should from the children. So if you want to spare the childcare people from 'getting out of it' by having to keep up with many kids every day, then you need to make sure they aren't being overworked, neglected or left with the kids all the time, or with too many kids much of the time. Make sure they are given time off, and given extra tender loving care. Even people who generally do well with the kids would perhaps do even better, and be more patient if they had more time away. Time away for a childcare worker is such a blessing, and gives you a chance to see things from a different perspective, drink in the Word, and it gives the Lord a chance to speak to you about areas where you need to change or improve."
       191. Home Teamworkers, please take the time now to re-evaluate the load that your teachers, parents and childcare personnel are carrying, and consider if the responsibilities need to be spread out more evenly. Are there ways that other Members of the Home can step in to help care for the children from time to time to give the teachers and childcare workers and parents needed breaks daily and weekly? "Make it easy for them to be good!"

* * * * * * *

       192. God bless you as you take these disciplinary guidelines to heart, and you discuss and pray in your Home about what, if any, changes need to be made. "May God help us all to be good stewards of the most precious gifts He's given us: Our children!" (MOP 9:121.) We love you! (Amen!--Do it!--D.)


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