Anything about JUDAISM
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Renée Posted - 18 January 2001 5:34
I'm not sure if this is the right place (I never am) but it seemed somewhat appropriate.

What is the halachic stance on corporal punishment? IS it advised that parents beat/hit/spank their children? At what stages of development would this be comsidered appropriate? One reason I ask is that I was never hit my entire childhood, and I think I turned out fairly well. I was wondering if Judaism supported this at all or if my parents just brought me up that way because it was the popular way to raise children at the time.

MODERATOR Posted - 18 January 2001 5:49
As a principle, corporal punishment is encouraged by the Torah. All over Sefer Mishle, King Shlomo makes statements like "He who spares the rod hates his child" (Rashi: That is, he will come to hate him after the kid gets messed up), etc. There are special Halachos regarding how a Rebbe is allowed to hit his students during the unfortunate period of the nine days.

However. However, Rav Dessler ZT"L explains all this is contingent on the parents' atittude about the punishment. In other words, if the parents hit the child with the idea that by doing so THEY will get the child off their own backs, get the child to behave so that THEY (the parents) will no longer be annoyed, or to let out THEIR frustrations or anger on the child, all the child will learn from such corporal punishment is that violence is an acceptable means to get what you want, since the parents are using it to get what THEY want.

However, if the parents use the corporal punishment not to get what they (the parents) want, but rather totally and completely for the sake of the child's training, it will work.

I repeat this Torah of Rav Dessler to parents often, and they ask me how they can know deep down what their motives are in punishing their child. I give them an example.

Let's say your 4 year old kid flushes a little aluminum foil ball down the tiolet. You punish him, since he needs to be taught not to flush things down the toilet. Maybe you scold him, maybe you even raise your voice. Whatever.

Now let's say the same kid flushes your DIAMOND RING down the toilet instead of a worthless piece of aluminum foil. Now here's the test. To the child, there is no diff between a shiny foil ball and a diamond ring. As far as his training is concerned, the two acts were the exact same infracton. If you will punish him with the exact same tone of voice and using the exact same measures when he throws away your diamond as when he throws away a piece of garbage, then you are punishing him for HIS sake. But if you freak out on him because it was YOUR diamond ring that he flushed down the tiolet, you are punishing him for YOUR sake.

Know what I mean?

Me Posted - 18 January 2001 21:29
most parents today seem to stick to doing it for their sake not the kids. they don't want anyone telling them to raise their kids dif. b/c they feel that it's a parents natural instincts and doesn't have halachic things to it. I've seen it in many many homes and it really gets me upset. I can't say I can judge any parent b/c i sure ain't in those shoes yet but still all i know is i didn't learn to much when my parents came down too hard on me. all i learned and many of my friends learned that you have to do e/t behind your parents back!!! well like u see even if it's not bad i go on this site behind their backs! i learn to have s/t against my parents even tho i know they do so much for me. and i've heard the same old saying in many households when ppl approach ther parents... i don't need anyone to tell me how to raise my kid,... i'm disciplining. it's like when parents say who do you think you are to talk to me like that it builds up a feeling in a child of who do YOU think you are to talk to ME like that!!!!! i do think that discipline should be approached gently and explaining in a loving way even if that means having patience. then if that doesn't work you should come down harder. i was never given the chance to be explained to in a gentle way that the torah says you have to have derech eretz not only for parents sake but for my own sake but i always heard the same words when i'd slip in a raiseed voice who are you to talk to a parent like that? you think that taught me any thing!! not quite it did the opposite. why don't parents understand that? they think they're being such good parents when they come down so hard and then they don't chap what's happening with their kid how they can grow up being so chutzpadik when they spent their whole childhood being raised that it's wrong. Bli neder i want to mainly work on patience even more than my chutzpa b/c i want to give my kids a chance imyirtza hashem andd i know that it's important for them to be happy but not take advantage.
smile! Posted - 19 January 2001 22:34
moderator...do u think there are really people like that who will be able to control their anger torwards their child b/c of the diamond ring like the ball of foil?!?! i think people TRY to and strive to get to that level but i doubt there are people like that. so can we just make a generalization that b/c most people aren't like that - it should be forbidden to hit your kids? (i don't mean to sound like i;ve given up on humanity-but its just to get to that level takes SOOO much work, and as we know we aren't on such a high level now then 'we' were in the past...so there really isn't anyone that would be able to take those two things in the same measurment. (only VERY VERY soecial people of course b/c there is always exeptions)
Renée Posted - 19 January 2001 22:41
Oh my! Well, I'll say one thing in favour of corporal punishment: my parents never once hit me...and they can't stad me.

I don't think there's any relation though, based on the peculiarities of my situation.

MODERATOR Posted - 20 January 2001 1:24
There are people ike that, smile, though I agree there aren't enough.

Often parents just dont think in these terms, like, why am I hitting my kid. They only think in terms of hitting or not hitting. I find that when parents are taught the proper "way" to hit, it makes a difference.

My point was to bring out a Moshol, and sometimes a parent won't be 100% on the right side or 100% on the wrong side either. Lots of times they're in between.

But it says all over that one must never hittheir children out of anger, but only out of intention to rehabilitate. If the only way they can hit is out of anger then no, they should not hit at all.

Nicole Posted - 31 August 2001 9:53
I don't really agree with the hitting thing either. I mean, as a child, when I WAS hit, I only found myself hating my father, not wanting to correct my actions. On the other hand, when one of my parents would just look at me sadly and say "I would never of expected that from you, Nicole, I would feel horrible" I don't feel that corporal punishment solves ANYTHING.
Nicole Posted - 12 August 2002 22:34
I'd just like to renew that. "CORPORAL PUNISHMENT DOES NNNOOOOOTTTTTTTT SOLVE ANYTHING" I'm really fed up because my friend just finished telling me about some VERY unfortunate incidents in her home and there is absolutely no reason why a child should have to go through that. If parents would only find another way to express their feelings, the world would be a better place. AUGHhhhhhhhhh! It makes me so mad!

Nicole

wannabe Posted - 31 December 2007 14:19
Ive read in R' Wolbe's sefer- the one on parenting, I think it's called Zeriyah U'Binyan B'Chinuch- that nowadays, any kind of hitting is assur b/c of lifnei iveir.
hanzitheincredible Posted - 02 January 2008 19:08
i think that it is ok for parents to smack a child if they were completely out of line, not for every little thing they do wrong, but if they were particularly chutzpadik or something. kids need to learn that they cant get away with certain behaviour, and i have seen a difference between kids who are punished and kids who arent
wannabe Posted - 06 January 2008 15:46
hanzi- hang on- who said they're getting away with it if you don't hit them? there are many other and more effective ways to discipline.
learning2live Posted - 06 January 2008 15:46
you also have to remember "chinuch l'na'ar al pi darko" - it really depends on each kid

i know one of the teachers in my school was saying that they try to stay far away from hitting (not little taps - but anything harder) because they don't trust themselves to have no traces of anger...

green Posted - 07 January 2008 0:19
Another thing that R' Orlowek says about hitting (I don't know if this is in any of his books, could be) is that it's addictive, in the sense that it gets quick results and that sort of conditions the parent to hit again.
wannabe Posted - 07 January 2008 13:29
green- it's probly a similar thing with yelling, right?
hanzitheincredible Posted - 07 January 2008 15:11
wannabe, im not saying that there arent other ways of disciplining, im just saying that if a kid does something very wrong then a parent shouldnt not smack them bc its morally wrong or whatever - i think theres too much slacking in todays society and the kids are picking up on it. ive seen a lot of examples of kids who grow up doing whatever they fell like bc they know that even if their parents try and tell them not to do xyz they still see that there are certain things they can, in your words, get away with
green Posted - 07 January 2008 15:11
I'd think so....and yelling in general just creates such a scary, unsafe atmosphere for the people who live in that house.
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