Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What you and Tripp do to a toddler could have permanent consequences

"Spank. When I picked up this book, my son was about to turn 18 months old and Justin and I were thinking through how to biblically discipline a toddler. Tedd Tripp reinforced our belief that we would be harming our child if we did not spank him. His book includes a detailed list of how to properly go about spanking, which we now have posted on the fridge in shortened form. It’s our cheat sheet (novice spankers need help!). The most important point Tripp makes here is that spanking must never be done out of anger. Rather, it is done because we represent God as the authority in our children’s lives, and we must bring them back in line with his will."


The article was written by a young mother who found Shepherding a Child's Heart to be "helpful and convincing". She cozily notes that she has already begun spanking her son, barely two years old, and jokes about her "cheat sheet" of spanking instructions from Tripp's book on the fridge.

Here is a quote for this mother who is choosing to inflict painful spankings on her son’s buttocks:

“Even without sexual motives on the part of the punisher, spanking can interfere with a child's normal sexual and psychological development. Because the buttocks are so close to the genitals and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, slapping them can trigger powerful and involuntary sensations of sexual pleasure. This can happen even in very young children, and even in spite of great, clearly upsetting pain.”


My question to this mother is whether her son, like all humans, has buttocks which are close to his genitals and which are linked to sexual nerve centers.

Is she aware that painfully slapping her toddler’s buttocks can stimulate sexual nerve centers?

Is she aware that spanking a naked erogenous zone on her son’s body could derail his normal sexual development and cast him into the enormous community of people who have lost normal sexual function in favor of a paraphilia inflicted on them by their own parents?

Does she own her son in such a way that she is entitled to take risks with his sexual and emotional health?

Many Christians view sexuality as an act of will. Perhaps this is the reason that they choose to ignore evidence that spanking pre-pubescent children can set a fetish in them for life. Perhaps they believe that teenagers simply can decide to be sexually normal after being abnormally stimulated by childhood spankings.

But what is the reality? Do people decide to have an abnormal fixation on spanking? Can they be cured? How does this affect their life from puberty onwards?

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