Religiously convicted parents’ disciplining techniques make their kids dumber than more “enlightened,” secular parenting techniques, according to “new” analysis; that is, parenting techniques are better for your childs’ intelligence coming from a worldview and presupposition that denies the inherent wickedness of a persons’ heart, or rather, just denies the very existence of sin in general.

Okay this research didn’t say that out-right, but using deductive reasoning, one can easily fill in the blanks about where they are coming from in their broader worldview assumptions that always seems to “inform” the scientific method they employ.

Please give me another heaping dose of misinformation, NBC.

So should I go with this researchers’ “finely tuned,” humanistic, enlightened analysis of parenting? (Emphases and bracketed insertions mine)

  • “‘All parents want smart children,’ said study researcher Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire. ‘This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehavior in other ways can help that happen.'”
  • “‘You can’t say it proves it, but I think it rules out so many other alternatives [great postmodern acrobatics, pure certain uncertainty?]; I am convinced that spanking does cause a slowdown in a child’s development of mental abilities,’ Straus told LiveScience.”

Or should I go with the Word of God, despite the unpopularity or difficulty of doing so?

  • “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” – Proverbs 13:24
  • “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.” – Proverbs 19:18
  • “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” – Proverbs 22:15
  • “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” – Proverbs 29:15
  • “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” – Proverbs 29:17

Resting in God’s grace alone working through His own ordained means, maybe we should stick with the latter technique He’s granted us. Since the Lord did wisely create all there is and knows how to run it all, despite how we “wise” humans think it should be (weighed against the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God), basing our conclusions on our own fallible analysis that seems to morph and change itself every few decades anyway, it would seem unwise to do other than what God has granted, as these people suggest.

As for why parents still spank? Another enlightened answer ensues:

  • “As for why, [Gersher] says [spanking is] a quick fix, though its seeming success is short-lived and the negative consequences often outweigh the positives. Parents also might have been spanked themselves and so continue the tradition.”

Clearly she has done her research and investigated the Biblical goals for spanking. Yes, I spank because I was spanked (a sort of familial tradition, as she presupposes) and I spank because I love stopping everything I’m doing when my son says, “NO! NO da-da,” and graciously and gently taking the time to explain to him what he did wrong, why it’s wrong, and why I have to spank him … every time. Yes, I do it for convenience sake. It’s not difficult at all to cause my child pain either.

The nerve of these people. There is absolutely no consideration given for the concept of spanking as coming from the Scriptures, with the end goal of raising a child who loves and fears God and His Word. What a non-intelligent, reductionistic response. So goes secular thinking when it comes to issues of morality.

I guess the conclusion for this research would be, “Here is evidence that spanking (coming primarily from religious conviction, since that’s where it originated from) in the realm of parenting, makes kids dumber than other kids whose parents don’t spank.” Am I missing something? That is really deceitful. The grand, overarching statement to culture, whether intended or unintended, is this: religiously convicted people’s ideas are dumb and are advised against. We can all draw the inference, NBC. Thanks for letting us all know this wonderful information.

We don’t need a researcher to tell us this … the Today Show might as well just get Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins on to give us that “enlightened” perspective.  (I wonder if that research was funded with tax-payer money) However, those guys aren’t effective with the general population in turning ideas as it pertains to parenting. Getting “experts” on who speak in such general, neutral tones, with such politically correct language is much more effective in changing the cultures’ attitudes toward “religious” conviction as it relates to the family.

Sadly, this thinking has made its way into the church now in many areas of children’s ministry and daily life of the average church-goer. It is no wonder statistics are showing the rapid secularization of the church in America: we’re ignoring or rationalizing the very means God has given us to raise children to His glory and instead taking in the cultures’ ideas for how to raise our children. It is no wonder kids are leaving the church in droves after high school now. (What is it, 8 or 9 out of 10 now?) Of course the issue of spanking is just one area where the church is secularizing and there are many, many other areas we need to be focusing on as well. This is just one slice of the pie.

Those young years are an important, foundational, developmental point in a childs’ life, and God’s wisdom proclaims to us that the rod is necessary for raising children who fear God and obey their parents, then and later on. That doesn’t mean spanking is all we need to be doing. Again, this is just one area of raising children from a Biblical framework that must be implemented. It is just one tool the Lord has given us, albeit an important one. It certainly serves it’s purpose in driving “folly” and sin from children’s hearts at a young age. I’ve already seen the results in my son. I don’t claim to know how it works, but the Lord says it does. Do we believe Him or not? These researchers, sadly it seems, would say no.