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July 15, 1995

A parent describes her dilemma: “I get so frustrated with the children. No matter how many times I tell them or spank them, they just do the same thing again. We just go ’round and ’round.”

strongWhen a parent gives a command in a frenzied state of anger, the children take it seriously only
as long as the parent is “hot.” They interpret the parent's commands to be unreasonable and temporary, lasting only as long as the temper. If however, you give a solemn and forceful command when you are not at all emotionally wrought, the children assume that it is well thought out and not based on a temporary state of mind. When their disobedience does not upset you, but still meets with swift and sure penalty, they will believe they really are under new management. If, and only If, you are absolutely consistent, meeting every transgression with swift penalty, they will quickly adapt themselves to the new order. They will do the incredible. They will obey.

You have tried everything else. How about trying consistency? 100% CONSISTENCY, every day, when it is inconvenient, for their sakes, and for yours. You need the rest.


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5 comments on “Consistency”

  1. I have two small boys ages 18 months and 5 months. My husband and I are doing our best to train them, but feel as though we can't be fully consistent because we are afraid to spank in public places. We live near a VERY liberal university, and the general mindset in the area is that there is no such thing as truth, and no authority which warrants obedience. God (if He/she/they/it exists) just wants everyone to do whatever they want, and no one else had better say anything about it. Any sort of spanking is considered child abuse. Even among those who attend church (which is less than six percent of the population), sin is a touchy subject. How can we communicate to a toddler that we are serious when we are away from home?

    1. We are supposed to fear the law of God above the law of man. Fortunately for me, I live in an area where even the law enforcement supports parents in the proper use of corporal punishment. But if I had to live in a more liberal area, I would make use of restrooms or a personal van. If no one witnesses the spanking, then the worst that could happen would be if your child turned you in. Without any marks, though, I doubt you could be prosecuted.