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Increased Repertoire of Skills
Mar 1998 Alan S.L. Wong

Increased Repertoire of Skills

Further to the section on "Parental Authority" in the article "A Biblical Theology of Parenting," I like to clarify the difference between a violation of a parental rule and a defiance of parental authority.

For the former, it demands the execution of justice that is the enforcement of the stated consequence (it may not be corporal punishment) and the case is dismissed.

For defiance or active rebellion against parental commands, the threat of the rod is used to bring about submission to authority. I believe in the use of the rod (and/or withholding of privileges) for defiance against parental authority.

There are parents who are reluctant to use the rod. Spanking is a controversial discipline method. The Debate over Spanking explores some of the reasons for spanking (i.e., physical punishment that does not cause injury), examines the effectiveness of spanking and suggests alternatives.

The parenting style of Asian parents tends to reflect our culture of authority and respect. Most of our own parents are strict disciplinarians who expected us to do as we were told. This style has passed from generation to generation. However, with Western influence, we are exposed to alternate parenting styles. As much as I believe in parental authority, I know it is all too easy to err in the use of our authority and swing to the extreme of being autocratic. Like most aspects of child rearing, too little or too much of parental authority can be equally harmful. Dealing with Power Struggles offers us alternatives to the exercise of our authority to deal with power struggles. It is good to expand our repertoire of parenting skills.