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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:13

"Do not hold back discipline from the child. Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die."

The word discipline has been translated in the following ways: discipline, chastening, correction.

A child must know where the boundaries are – both the absolute boundaries and the guardrails protecting those absolute boundaries. If the parent holds back correction and clear negative and positive instruction from the child regarding the nature of life and its don't-go-there instructions, then the parent is abandoning the child without love. Love has limits.

Clearly in Solomon's day there was a reticence to strongly discipline children, so this idea of striking the child for severe violations of proper conduct was used as an extreme example of correction, discipline, and instruction. It will not harm the child ultimately and you should not feel guilty about telling your children NO, don't do that. In fact, they will thank you later for your clear teaching and warnings.

The joy of parenting is the work of teaching and correcting. It is in the correcting of faulty, incomplete, or incorrect behavior that we understand if the children really understand the concepts that we are teaching. The message is that correction is good and needed, even if you have to go to the extreme of physical chastisement.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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