Scary punishment

I picked up the following off of the website for the podcast The Mighty Mommy from the Quick and Dirty Tips family of podcasts.

If you know for certain your child is lying to you to avoid punishment, you may want to ask him why. Is he afraid of the punishment? If he is, can you consider a different form of punishment? Depending on the infraction, you might even consider offering to relieve punishment altogether if your child will come clean. The idea behind this thought process is that you want your child to tell you the truth. Let him know that lying won’t get him out of the situation, but telling the truth now and in the future, will definitely result in a more positive response from you.

While I agree that a child telling the truth ought to understand that the fact he told the truth was honorable, and, sometimes it might even lessen the severity of the punishment, I do disagree with one point.

The Mighty Mommy states: “Is he afraid of the punishment? If he is, can you consider a different form of punishment?” I should hope he is afraid of the punishment. What good would punishment be if there were no reason to avoid it? Obviously, I am not talking about abuse of a child, but punishment should not be comfortable. If it were, then it would serve no purpose.

As I listened to this podcast this morning, I cringed. The reason people commit crimes is because they have no fear of the punishment. If they did, then they would not do it. That is not to say that people don’t get caught and punished, but that the criminal considers the risk of being punished to be lesser than the benefit of the crime. Of course there is the problem of committing the crime and never having to serve out the full punishment. You know, 15 years in jail, but they got out in 3 for good behavior. That never made sense to me.

Am I equating a little lying to avoid punishment from your Mom or Dad with being a hardened criminal serving time in jail? Yes. Yes, I am. Criminals start somewhere. Most of the time it starts in the home with the ones who love the child. If that child is willing to go against and abuse the people who love him the most, what is to keep that child in check when he goes out into the world of people who have no personal connection or love towards him?

A child learns how to treat the punishment system of a government by what they are taught in the home.

Romans 13 teaches that the government is not a menace to good works, but to the evil. That is exactly the pattern that should be taught in the home.

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