Thursday, August 15, 2013

Just take away their electronic gadgets!

Earlier this week, I made a quick stop at Trader Joe's. While waiting in line to pay, the lady in front of me being checked out was loudly telling the cashier, and then me, about an encounter she had seen at school, where she presumably works.

Another teacher in the classroom was having an issue with one of the students being disruptive in class. Exasperated, the teacher "punished" him by moving him somewhere else, to which the student defiantly replied, "If you move me, I am just going to talk wherever you move me to!"

This is the part the shopper at TJ's was all upset about. "No consequences! That teacher just didn't enforce any consequences!" she rather yelled at the cashier and myself.

I smiled my sweetest smile, and told her "Well, that's when it's time for the paddle to come out." Boy oh boy, guessing she was a teacher herself, I knew this would not go over well - I was just trying to see what her exact reaction would be.

"Oh, NO!" she exclaimed in horror. "No, no, NO!" In fact, she was acting so horrified I started thinking that maybe she was just being sarcastic, and actually agreed with me. Then she added: "You just take away all their electronic gadgets!"

Me: Really? Hm. What if they don't have any?

Teacher: Every kid has them!

Me: Mine don't.

Teacher: They don't? You better get on that, because when they start kindergarten, they will be expected to know how to use a computer.

Me: Well, actually, we homeschool, so they will never start public school.

Teacher (disgusted): Do you even own a computer?

Me (laughing): Yeah, obviously! And laptops, tablets, smart phones, and on and on. But we don't let our kindergarteners use them!

At this point her transaction was done, and she rather indignantly made her exit, reiterating the importance of me making sure our children are familiar with every electronic gadget on the market.

Lately, both my husband and I have heard of confiscating electronic gadgets as a popular new form of discipline. While I agree that limiting a child's "screen time" (as opposed to "face time") is generally a good idea, I fail to see how it makes a good teaching tool. The only way it would be effective is if the child is already addicted to said gadgets, which he/she shouldn't be. So if you are doing this thing of parenting halfway decently, your child would not be addicted to an electronic screen to the point that it being taken away causes withdrawal symptoms.

Also, if a child's whole social life is dependent upon access to social media, that is a sad state to be in. Cutting off the electronics evidently is the modern day equivalent of "grounding." Of course, none of these sophisticated new forms of punishment are anything the Bible suggests.

So yes, get out the good old paddle for that disrespectful, mouthy pupil who sasses the teacher. After all, Arizona is still one of the states allowing corporal punishment in public schools.


  Corporal punishment prohibited in both schools and the home
  Corporal punishment prohibited in schools only
  Corporal punishment not prohibited in schools or in the home



Of course if anything, the fact that some strange government worker has the authority to spank a child that is not their own should be one more reason to consider homeschooling.

And by the looks of this, parents across large portions of Europe are forced to resort to electronic withdrawal and other ineffective forms of punishment. Am I glad I don't live there!!



There you have it, folks. If you think I am a sociopath and a misfit, it is because I grew up in countries where corporal punishment is illegal. I think in my day, which predated electronic gadgets, the most popular form of discipline was "Liebesentzug," which roughly translates as "withholding love."

Now if that doesn't explain everything, I don't know. But rest assured, our own children are not lab rats for these untested new forms of discipline, and should continue to grow up into polite, respectful, and well-adjusted individuals.

42 comments:

  1. Amen! I think people believe that if someone spanks their kids they are just wailing on them night and day. My parents saved spanking for "big" offenses, and I admit I was such a manipulative and defiant child that spanking really was the only thing that worked. I truly believe I wouldn't be half the woman I am today if my parents hadn't spanked me when I was out of line.
    Unfortunately everyone in the USA is so sue-happy that any teacher who dared spank a child would be in court the next day for battery.

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  2. Amen Amen A.M.E.N. :) Good for you. Hopefully you gave her something to think about.

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  3. Amen. It's scary to think where this country is going, and I'm so thankful there are still good parents out there doing an awesome job - rather than just withholding electronics!! (It's also scary to think that a TEACHER would think that a kindergartner has some deep need for full computer literacy.)

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  4. in your homeschooling, at what age do you let your children use electronic equipment?

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    1. Miriam, age 6, is just starting this year. the older boys are all a lot more proficient, based on their age.

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    2. so i guess the clarification is maybe, that you let your kids use the gadgets, but they are not "theirs" to own? i dont see any difference in miriam using a gadget and the kindergardener you mentioned above? its just a year or two or grade or two different, depending how far advanced your children are against the public schools. a 6 year old is usually starting 2nd grade. i guess miriam is in 2nd? kindergardeners may use the gadgets in public school but that doesnt mean they have ownership of the items does it? i dont have kids in school right now. i have heard that kids were being assigned laptops, but i dont know at what age it begins. i see tons more benefits to homeschooling and parents being more involved in their kids lives. after all God gave them to the parents. i just cant throw out all public schools or private or private christian schools, at least not yet. people have always been coming together in life to share things. homeschoolers can do things in groups, and there was the one room schools of 100 years ago. i guess you guys just want more control and less government control? we started out in private not specifically christian school and ended up in public school. my education took a downturn around 8th grade i want to say. but, some of it may have been me......never felt that smart.......:) thanks for answering!! :) I like the verse--A soft answer turns away wrath........sometimes life is just in our attitudes.......:) thanks again! :)

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    3. i thought about sending you something for your galloping project, but never got it in the mail. then i think i saw a postcard from my area already. are you still doing that? what all did you get from Huntsville, AL? my parents are from Selma, AL where the Black People marched in the Civil Rights march. i know i have a card from a building from there-but nothing from the march. huntsville is the home of Space Camp and NASA, for which my dad and other relatives worked. just wondered. i could send you some cards. i also have a desire to send you something else. ill look for your address.......i guess theres just history everywhere.......:) and of course, geography!! :) also, what do you think about the verse about giving people a cup of cold water in His name, and that being the same as giving it to Jesus-i think it says.......is that christians giving a cup to anyone or just the fellow brothers.....thanks! :)

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    4. Anonymous 12:10 pm: In most U.S. states a 6 y.o. would be in kindergarten or 1st grade, depending on their birthday. In our district you start kindergarten if you are 5 on September 1st. If you turn 5 on September 2nd or later you wait another year so you turn 6 shortly after starting kindergarten. I was a school nurse for 20 years, I never saw a 6 y.o. in 2nd grade.

      As for corporal punishment in schools I am opposed to it. I grew up where it was permitted. We had one teacher in particular who got sadistic pleasure at throwing students into the wall or locker. Today he'd loose his license, he should have lost it back then. I was hit with a leather strap across my back by a male gym teacher in 3rd grade for forgetting to wear pants under my skirt. Pants were not allowed for girls, only skirts or dresses but on gym days you had to wear pants under the skirt or dress.

      Corporal punishment at home is up to the parents. I don't think it's the best way to discipline. My parents didn't use it and neither did I.

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    5. Elizabeth, I agree with you. I'm a teacher and I oppose corporal punishment; there are better more effective ways to discipline children without resorting to spanking.

      As a teacher and as a parent we have to know what works best with our child (or the children in our classroom). Spanking tends to instill fear in children, instead of confidence in making better decisions. Isn't that our job as parents (to help them become independent thinkers who've learned to make good decisions for themselves as they follow God)?

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  5. did you know there is a daycare ad showing up on your page?

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    1. That's funny you mention this, Anonymous, because I have been seeing constant ads for free K-12 public school on your page as well, Zsuzsanna! Very odd!

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    2. I just recently allowed ads on my blog. The ad content is based on your search preferences on Google, though I did disallow any questionable categories. My plan is to spend the earnings on fun outings with the kids, zoo membership, etc.

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    3. She does talk about both subjects a lot...and I'm sure the search engines aren't quite "smart" enough to identify between positive and negative commentary...

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  6. I used to get spanked in school for talking. :)

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  7. http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/man-finds-and-returns--6-900-in-cash--164935132.htmlnot related, but remembering how you let Solomon keep the $100 bill found in the wallet, what would you do if the money were this amount?

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  8. All my children are adults now, with one left still in college. I never spanked, and I raised them for the most part as a single mother. Parents have different goals for their children. My goal for my children was to make Jesus' words the most important part of their lives. They have excellent jobs, but most importantly, they make participating in charitable causes their number one priority, as that was the most important thing that Jesus emphasized. I have great kids. I took them, their spouses, (single kids got to take a friend), and my grandchildren to Greece this year. We had a blast. I take them on one big vacation a year, as I enjoy having them for travel partners. They are absolute delights. They go on their own vacations too, but it's a tradition that we have done since they were young. We have loads of fun and a lot of laughs. When you live to follow what Jesus asked, you shine inside and out. Life is grande, blessed, and full. It's where true inner happiness comes from. You have different goals for your children.

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  9. how bad of a person were you before you met your husband and got saved? being raised in liberal europe, and in public schools, and in a non fundamental christian home, you must have turned out pretty bad, right? were you a thief or drunkard? did you do drugs in your youth? did you smoke? were you a fornicator? were you a lesbian? youve talked about how bad public schools are and how bad government is, i just want to know what state you were in at age 19 when you met your husband? youve said before you have never and will never be a homosexual, and you seem to say this is bc of God? but were you ever a lesbian before you came to God? Did God save you from going down this path? it just doesnt seem that you were the type to be such a bad person, but yet you were without God then? will you please prove me wrong? if you had turned out ok, and were going to a university, im just trying to understand how bad the govt, and schools, and your life really was? if you were that badly messed up, i dont think steven would have married you--so, i guess things are not that bad over there?? you turned out very intelligent it seems. i find it hard to believe that all this change has happened just since you were 19 years oldf? What was your life like before you got "saved"?

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  10. Goodness, I find I almost agree wholeheartedly with you! Do I spank? Not as a rule, though I have...and hated it. And I would not allow my child in a school where teachers could spank my, or any other parents' child. (You hit the nail on the head there!) In fact, the reason I homeschool is for the reasons to which you alluded. I resent the polarization of families the schools encourage by their "well, everyone else is doing it " attitude, such as with electronics. Would you believe I had a similar conversation with a teacher? Some high schoolers in our area caused a good deal of trouble after midnight, following a school game. (A huge fight resulting in serious injuries.) When I asked what these kids were doing out that late in the first place, she said that these days, all kids have cell phones. As such, parents worry less about them, so they get to stay out later than we did at that age. When I pointed out that the the cell phones sure didn't help here, but having the kids home right after the game would have, she responded that you can't expect your kids to have curfews two hours earlier than their peers! Oh yeah? Watch me!

    Now....where can I find directions on how to make those lovely Advent calendars you set out for your children?

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  11. After seeing my teacher, grade 5, beat a child almost half to death, I don't advocate this kind of punishment in school at all! The teacher was fired, the boy spent a WEEK in the hospital, this was in the early 70's, I am happy we don't let teachers paddle children in my State.

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  12. Anonymous, I think no matter how you raise your kids, they will probably tolerate you enough to let you take them on a trip to Greece. "Charitable causes" is a little vague, and many "non profits" are corrupt. Jesus also warned us about sparing the rod.

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    1. We see each other all the time and are a very close family. I am very blessed that God chose me to be their mother. As for charitable causes, we like to concentrate on the same issues that Jesus commanded from us-poor, homeless, hungry, sick, etc. Since He is who we worship, His words are very important to my family and me. Jesus was silent on sparing the rod.

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    2. That's from Proverbs, the Old Testament aka Hebrew Bible--Jesus was the Prince of Peace and I can not imagine him ever hitting a child as a method to solve a problem. The OT features an angry God who advocated genocide--of course this character doesn't mind if parents hit their children. My child loses it and starts bawling if I even raise my voice, much less hit her.

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  13. In today's world, kids become computer literate pretty much automatically so there is no hurry to introduce hand held devices. We may have needed some training in the 80's and 90's, but electronic devices are everywhere and extremely user friendly. My one year old figured out how to get through several menus on my phone to play his favorite game. I'm more proud of the fact that he enjoys the books I read to him.

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  14. To those griping about the ads: k12 is homeschool and a valid option for people who have no other legal way to homeschool. A teenage girl in my church does k12. Her mother is dead and her father is deathly ill. She can't legally homeschool herself "freestyle."

    R.S.

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    1. um, i brought it up, and i never once "griped" about the ads. i just found it odd to advertise for things one doesnt agree with, like daycare.........:) the ad i saw for was for daycare.........zsuzsanna explained it was based on our google searches. i wonder what i googled to get the nice evening gown ad? :)

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    2. i asked earlier. maybe my comments were too long, as i often get sometimes. so ill be more concise and ask again. does using the Rod in the bible always mean hitting? like with sheep, can the rod mean "to guide"? ive just heard this. im no expert on kids, adults, or sheep. thanks!

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    3. Proverbs 23:13-14 is pretty clear.

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  15. thanks for answering! :) it makes it look like you support such activities and are promoting them. thats why i asked. ive googled daycares after reading discussions i am sure. thanks! :)

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  16. I am not against spanking per se, but I think it should be used VERY sparingly, for truly major offenses. For talking sassily to me, I would never spank my child. There are other consequence/punishments that work much better and do not rupture the parent/child relationship, even temporarily. For example, I find inducing boredom in children is a great way to have them think twice about doing that behaviour again. And I don't mean by taking away electronics - I mean by having them write lines over and over or do a truly boring repetitive task that is helpful to the family (like polishing silver or organizing drawers or something like that). So while I agree with your point about kids being overly addicted to electronics, I'm not sure why you'd jumpt to spanking right away. (Actually, I think you were just being a rabble rouser and wouldn't spank your own children for that type of offense.)

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  17. Even if she lives in Arizona, it's possible the school or district might have a policy against corporal punishment (even informal). If it was a matter of keeping her job then I totally understand not doing it. I'm a teacher myself and would never paddle a defiant kid in my class, even if it was legal - but that's because I believe it's up to the parents and would NOT want to go against their beliefs. If they believe in it, they can do it at home. If they don't, they don't.

    Anyway, my dad and uncles grew up in the "strap" era and it never stopped their bad behaviour as far as I can tell...

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  18. discipline........i guess we could all be like my mom and say.....well, if theyd just give more people the chair!! sigh!! :(

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  19. Zsu, forgive me for commenting again, but something else just bothered me about your post, and I think I finally identified it....and it's not the corporal punishment issue! It's the reliance on electronics by the schools to teach, making the teachers ' jobs easier by minimuzing human interaction! I am sure, curriculum choice differences aside, you and I would find plugging in a DVD to teach phonics far easier than actually TEACHING our children. Our parents didn't call t.v. the electric babysitter for nothing! Recently, my husband and I took one of our sons (age 12) out for dinner alone. Nearby was a family with a boy close in age. When the meal came, said boy had to be cajoled to put away his handheld game device. He whined loudly and sulked whole meal, eating nothing, as if being taken out to eat was a punishment! If your 10-12 chooses an electronic over proper manners in a restaurant, then I am not afraid to say you have made serious parenting mistakes. I'd have taken my son out to the car so fast it would make hus head spin. Of course, he would not have had the devi e in the first place!

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  20. Your kids are lucky! When I was a kid, I got a spanking AND a grounding! Lol

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    1. Her kids can't be grounded. They're already stuck at home and not allowed out.

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  21. What if your child prefers to be spanked as their punishment? My kid would much rather have a spanking- and not some weak painless one, a good paddling- then for me to take away something she likes or take away privileges she's earned. So isn't is better to pick the punishment that best suits how the child will respond to it?

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  22. There is a line between discipline and abuse. You don't hit/spank out of anger. Anger can get you into trouble and cause you to go over the edge and into that abuse catagory.

    I have spanked my 7 year old. It's a rare occurance (I think I've had to do it three times.) Usually all that I need to do is either give him a "look" or ask him if he wants/needs a spanking and the objectional behavior immediatly ceases. I have also put him in his room on his bed with nothing but his thoughts as a punishment. I have also taken his "screen" away for a few days (that was for not getting a certain task I asked him to do done.) I think that if you always jump to paddling instead of "progressive discipline" (as in the punishment meets the level of misbehavior it speaks about your parenting skills or lack thereof.) There are "spank worthy" misbehaviors and "non spank worthy" misbehaviors. If every single solitary misbehavior is spank worthy in your house, you are an abuser not a parent.

    I send my child to a private school -- (I do not, nor will I ever have, the patience to homeschool. I also *gasp* work outside of the home. I will add that his school partners with homeschooling parents and wholly supports their decision to do so. Their children are free to come and join the extracurriculars, field trips, etc etc etc) The school doesn't put up with any shinanigans as far as behavior goes. The teacher will try to deal with it as they see fit but if it contiues, mom/dad get called. If it's that big of a deal, you are out of the school. They also don't allow "electronics" other than the computers that they use for certain things inside of the school. The whole taking away of electronics inside of a school is laughable. My child does not take his (one) electronic to school (nor would he if he went to public school. School is not the place for handheld devices. They are there to learn, not play with electronics. My point is that the teacher that you encountered was not exactly accurate in her "all children have them" statement. Many children do, but not ALL children do.

    I also went to a private school as a child and they paddled. My mother requested that they not paddle my sister and I. She requested that if we got out of line that they call her. SHE would come and deal with us. They never had to call her. Just the thought of them having to call her was enough to keep us in line. It had nothing to do with getting spanked by her that kept us in line. We did not want to dissapoint our parents by misbehaving. I think that many (MANY!!) children do not slightly fear their parents nor do they care about dissapointing them. Too many parents want to be friends with their children. My main mission as a parent is not to be BFF's with my children. It's to raise a productive human being.

    **by using the word "you" in my above posting I mean the general "you"...not YOU you zsuzsanna

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  23. Quite frankly, we are very happy that your lot don't live here either.
    Greetings from Europe.

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  24. You may want to think about writing up and publishing your privacy policy (see Google's policy) or you'll find they won't pay you the money you earn.

    A tip from an agnostic :)

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  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SbSYKNzIpQ not saying one way or the other......heres just a video clip from little house movie.................

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  26. Anyone who thinks hitting a child is in any way, shape or form appropriate should have their kids taken away and given to someone who has half an idea how decent human beings raise their offspring.

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  27. I find it interesting that in all discussions about spanking, the people who are pro-spanking seem to think that punishment is the only way to discipline kids - and that parents who don't spank either aren't disciplining their kids at all, or are doing so in ineffectual or unhealthy ways (such as withholding love! Yeesh!).

    But that's not the case at all. I don't punish my kid in any way, and I've certainly never hit him. If he acts up, which is extremely rare, we sit down and have a talk about it. See, kids reflect their parents quite a bit. If I show him respect, he shows me respect. If I let him feel like he has some control over his life and feel like he can make many of his own decisions, he is quite willing to accept the times when I put my foot down - especially because I tell him why ("yes, you must floss and brush your teeth every night, because that's how we keep our teeth healthy").

    It does take more time. I can't just say "go do this" and have him jump to it. We talk about it first, or sometimes he tells me that he's busy and then we decide when he's going to be able to do it. But, frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Because I don't see my son as my property that should just jump when I say jump. I see him as a person, and I want him to grow up feeling comfortable with setting his own boundaries and making his own decisions. He won't be my kid forever, someday he will be a man. My job is not to train the kid for my personal convenience, but rather to raise the man for his well-being.

    And no, he is not a spoiled child. Not at all. We can't leave the house without getting tons of comments about how amazing he is. He's happily and quietly sat through restaurant dinners ever since he was a baby. As a toddler, he loves sharing his toys and never takes things from other kids without asking permission. If someone gives him something, he nearly always says "thank you" without prompting. He treats people with respect because he is treated with respect.

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