August 19, 2022

Joe Bennett Unleashed




A brilliant excerpt from an interview with Joe Bennett, aptly entitled, “Joe Bennett Unleashed” – written up by Zoe George, and found in the April/May 2008 edition of the Canterbury Today business magazine.

Child abuse is a topic of great discussion among New Zealanders, particularly in the wake of Sue Bradford’s controversial anti-smacking bill getting the governmental nod of approval last year. A move some could say hand delivered ‘nanny-state’ accusers gift-wrapped, iron-clad evidence.

Many believe this legislation removed the rights of good parents to parent properly and does nothing to prevent abusers of children from abusing. Joe feels very strongly against child abuse, but not in the sense most of us think of it as.

“Real child abuse is having a kid go through the state education for 12 years and coming out unable to read and write. It’s like we are tying a ball and chain around their leg and then we are amazed that they become criminals. If we can’t produce literate children then don’t look at the children, it is the system that has let them down.”

From Coming Events

Saturday 3rd November 2007 – HOME AND COUNTRY SHOW – Manawatu

A good day and time to bring your childrens years worth of effort, fun and skills together.
Saturday 3rd November 2007 at the village Valley Centre Ashurst.
Start time 9am to 4.00pm.

Sections are age grouped:
4yrs and under,
5and 6yrs,
12yrs and over.

There are many sections to enter and you may enter them all or one: Animals calf, lamb, horse, goats or other; Pets cat, bird, fish, dog, mice, rabbit, etc; Baking iced biscuits, non cooked slices, through to Novelty cakes; Floral; Handcraft; Construction; Art; Photography; Bike decorating.

There are games such as three legged races, egg and spoon, bouncy castle, sausage sizzle lunch, tea and coffee for adults and a littlies area.

More information and entry forms will be getting sent out soon. and queries please email

7 September 2007 – History Exhibition –

[Registrations & payments close on Friday 17 August 2007 – details at the end. However, I’m sure Katie would appreciate knowing early on if you intend to join in – helps in the planning process of this large undertaking!

“Snapshots” People and Places Throughout the Ages

Come to the Home Educators’ History Exhibition on

Friday 7 September 2007
Mt Eden War Memorial Hall
9.30 am – 2 pm

Your project can be: any period of history, any person in history or the history of a particular subject.

Presentations can be individual or family/group and can take any form:

* Make a Display stand
* Wear a costume
* Paint a picture
* Write a book review
* Make a model
* Make some craft work
* Make a photo display
* Make a timeline
* A book you have made to display

Or simply come and be inspired by the exhibits!

Our aim is to encourage our children in their love of history and as such we would like minimal parental input so as to reflect the child’s learning.

Each entry will be allocated half a trestle table on which to display their work. Children are encouraged to stand beside their work for some part of the morning so as to answer questions and explain their project to

The feedback will be sli ghtly different to last year. There won’t be formal judging with places awarded. Every participant will receive a certificate as well as a feedback sheet. There will be several appointed ‘reviewers’
who will be circulating and talking to the entrants. They will write their comments on a feedback sheet. Other parents/grandparent/friends will also be encouraged to comment on the feedback sheet so the child take home a
whole sheet of valuable comments.

9.00 am Doors open to set up
10.00 am Viewing starts and continues through morning tea until lunch time.
10.30-11.30am Morning tea available in kitchen area (bring something yummy to share)
Tea/coffee provided
12.00-1.00pm Picnic lunch across road at Potter’s Park (bring your own picnic lunch)
1.00pm Clean up, pack up
1.30pm Presentation of certificates
2.00pm Finish

Those with pre-schoolers: please be aware that it can be a long morning for the littlies and, while the whole family is welcome, there are no child-care facilities available. It is your responsibility to watch after your own children or make prior child-care arrangements.

What to bring: Morning tea to share, your own lunch for picnic at Potter’s Park.
Cost: $5 per entry (with a maximum cost of $20 for one family)
Registration: By Friday August 17 2007, please register with Katie Richards,
Send cheque to: 220 St Andrews Road, Epsom

If you have any questions please feel free to contact:

Katie Richards
Denise Walmsley
Judith Tizzard

August throughout NZ – Literature comes alive with Jim Weiss!

Christchurch, Palmerston North, Hawkes Bay, Auckland and Whangarei

What improves listening skills, broadens the vocabulary, improves grammar and helps with reading, at the same time as inspiring, educating and entertaining? The answer is… Listening to high quality stories.

Now you can listen to high quality stories in real life as Jim Weiss, the multi award winning storyteller is visiting NZ in August! Jim is not your average storyteller. He is a classical storyteller with a focus on classical literature and history. (See bottom of the page for more information about Jim Weiss.)

“He is a master; the best I’ve ever seen or heard.”

Further information will be disseminated through local groups and also on our website , but here is a brief rundown.

Christchurch – Thursday 16 August

9.30am All age family performance. Venue TBA

4.30-6.30 Storytelling workshop (teachers, librarians & homeschooling parents). Upper Riccarton Library

Contact: Dorothy

Palmerston North – Monday 20 August

Massey University College of Education Auditorium

9.30am Preschool

11.30am Intermediate

1pm Primary

2.30-3pm Signing

4.30-6.30pm Storytelling workshop (teachers, librarians & homeschooling

Contact: Sandra


Hawkes Bay – Tuesday 21 August

Hawke’s Bay Opera House

10am Preschool

11.30am Intermediate

1pm Primary

4.30-5pm Signing @ Hastings Public Library

Contact: Ruth


Auckland – Thursday 23 August


9.30am All age family performance. Ray Freedman theatre, Epsom Girl’s

3.20pm Radio Rhema interview with Rob Holding

4.30-6.30 Storytelling workshop (teachers, librarians & homeschooling parents). Hera House. 17-19 Gladding Place.

(This venue is RIGHT by the Manukau off-ramp so is extremely easy to get to.)

Contact: We need a contact to help with enquiries and registrations for this event. Please advise if you would love this job!

Initial interest may be registered with

Whangarei – Saturday 25 August

Incorporating the Whangarei Home Educators Conference

Several Keynote sessions plus a workshop for teens

Contact – WHESG;

5pm (time to be confirmed) FREE COMMUNITY PERFORMANCE

Old Library Complex

Contact: TBA


Pricing varies depending on location but ranges between $3 and $5 per person. The adult workshop tickets are $20 for home educators and this includes light refreshments.

(In order to get the cost down to the lowest possible level, we are running the children’s performances as a non profit initiative.)

Feel free to pass onto your local group and any interested friends or family members.

Erena Fussell

PS Never heard of Jim Weiss? Scroll down for more information…


LearnEX Educational Services Ltd

Superior Resources to Excel in Learning


Jim Weiss is much more than an entertainer. This is not ‘froth and bubble; –
it is material of outstanding quality from an extremely experienced performer.

Jim is a multi award winning storyteller who is committed to promoting literacy through the vehicle of storytelling. He is performing in New Zealand for the first time ever during August as part of the ‘Great Tales
Down Under’ nationwide tour. Jim’s focus is on the retelling of classics –
tales from classical literature, cultures from around the world and stories from times gone by. His website – provides a lot more information about his content and approach; we’re sure you’ll be impressed!

Literature comes alive with Jim Weiss!


[Please forward freely!]

This event is STRICTLY BY PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY (complete & return the registration slip at the end of this message) – places are limited. There will be no admittance at the door on the night due to Government building security restrictions. Members of Auckland Home Educators Inc are entitled to free attendance and have priority registration until 5.00pm Wednesday 27 June. Non-members may register now but will be placed on a ‘holding list’ until after the priority deadline.

Whether or not you intend to come along, please email me separately at with any concerns, comments, clarifications or
congratulations about ERO visits in the Auckland Region. I’ll arrange to raise them with the ERO representatives on behalf of your group or yourself.

Presenting an evening Forum in association with
Auckland Home Educators Inc ( and The Education Review Office (


Time: 7.00-7.15pm admittance & seating; 7.20pm doors close; 7.30pm prompt
start; 9.15pm end
Venue: The Education Review Office, 13-15 College Hill, Ponsonby, Auckland
Cost: AHE Members – free; non-AHE members – $2 per person to cover promotion
(please bring correct cash)
Priority Registration: AHE members only until Wednesday 27 June (5pm).
Non-members placed on a ‘holding list’ until after the priority deadline.
Registration Close-Off: Friday 6 July (4pm)
Admittance: Government building security restrictions mean there will be no admittance without pre-registration – we must supply an attendance list
prior to the event. Please avoid the embarrassment of being denied entry if you are not listed!
Registration: See the slip at the end of this message

Whether we like it or not, to legally home educate in NZ a parent/guardian must obtain an “Application for Exemption from Enrolment at a Registered School” for each child 6 years old and over. We are also subject to
Education Review Office visits at some point (not annually, thankfully!) to satisfy the Education Act requirement that each child is being “taught at least as well and as regularly as in a registered school”. Many of us would have much to comment on about that, but the fact is that Reviews are due legal process and we are (for the most part, I think!) law-abiding citizens.

Come along to this information evening to allay apprehensions, update your knowledge to help those in your support network, prepare for a looming visit, or just to help you anticipate and be informed for the future. The idea is to help you relax so that you aren’t operating through fear or false expectation which can add pressure to the family and actually alter the way in which you home educate!

Hear Rob Williamson (Senior Review Officer, Homeschooling Unit) and Alan Watkins (Review Officer) explain why the system is in place; how it all works; what you can expect. These representatives are keen to form a closer relationship with our community and are supportive and encouraging of the home education option.

I look forward to welcoming you!

Dawn Burgin
Auckland Home Educators Inc
[a democratic, non-profit, voluntary group providing information & support for current & prospective Home Educators]

Want to unite for credibility and networking? Consider becoming a member – visit or email

T O R E G I S T E R :

Send the following details to Dawn at with “AHE/ERO Forum Wed 11 July” in the heading:

AHE Member: Yes / No (please delete)
First Name:
Family Name:
Email Address:
Support Group (if applicable):

Please do not assume that you are registered until you receive an acknowledgement email.

27th June 2007 – Morrinsville homeschoolers History Fair

27th June 2007 – Morrinsville homeschoolers History Fair

Hi there everyone,

I am just doing a bit of forward planning, seeing as I will be having a baby in January and want everyone to know the details of the History Fair so everyone can at least think about putting it in their diary for next year, and also in your Homeschool Newsletters that will be coming out in the New Year.

Morrinsville Homeschoolers
History Fair

Is to be held on Wednesday
27th June 2007 at
Campbell Hall in

All interested parties please let me know.

Further details can be found at

National Christian Home Educators Family Conference 2007

CANCELLED DUE TO SECTION 59 OF THE CRIMES ACT 1961 taking up so much time this year

20th Anniversary of the first Christian Home Educators Family conference held in Palmerston North February 1987 put on by CHOMES (Christian Home Schoolers of New Zealand)

The plans are to hold the 2007 Family Conference mid to late 2007 in Palmerston North – Watch this space for more information.

Being reviewed due to Section 59 still being debated until possibly June 2007.

HEART retreat

HEART retreat

HEART retreat


Forward notice for those thinking of attending HEART this year: Hoping to have some enrolment forms within the next two weeks. What is HEART? A weekend for home educating mothers at Totara Springs, Matamata. Ladies come from Whangarei to Palmerston North to attend. A number of us went last year and enjoyed the break. More details to follow.

The fixed costs are as follows…

Yes, unfortunately the prices have gone up this year, it was unavoidable. There is a great weekend planned though and I’m sure ladies will get good value
for money! Our hope and heart’s desire is (‘scuse the pun!), that ladies will return home refreshed in spirit, rejuvenated in energy and revived in

Posted from Manukau newsletter.

Competitions for Home educators

HSLDA’s 2006 Poetry Contest for Homeschoolers

Home School Legal Defense Association is very excited to be holding our second annual poetry contest. Along with the art and essay contests, the poetry contest offers an opportunity to reward excellence. Although poetry, and especially poetic form, can seem intimidating, we encourage you to try it.

Read more about it at:

Photo Competition

Home school only

Open to the following age groups.

Age groups: 7 -10, 11-14, 15-18


Age 7-10 The family pet, animal or favourite Teddy Bear(s).

Age 11-14 -Wheels, skateboard, bike, vehicle or just wheels

Age 15-18 – Weather or Seasons

Certificates to the three best in each age group will be issued.

Forward your entry to

Rules of Entry
1. Entry must be by email only to


2. Photo must be relevant to the competition theme.

3. Name, age and email required.

4. Copyright remains with the photographer but by entering the competition he/she gives permission to post image.

5.To protect online privacy only first name and age will be published.

6. Judges decision is Final, no discussion or correspondence.

7. Email entry to be received no later than Wednesday 13 June 2007

8. Winners will be notified by email.

9. Photo must not have been entered in any other competition.

10. Open to those who Home School only.

11.By entering the competition, the entrant verifies that he/she has read the “Rules of Entry” and agrees to abide by them.

Palmerston North’s 2nd Annual Home Education Curriculum Fair

Palmerston North’s 2nd Annual Home Education Curriculum Fair

Date: 10 February 2007
Time: 10am to 4pm
Venue: Reformed Church Building
541 Ruahine Street
Palmerston NorthProgrammeFor more information please feel free to contact:
Sandra Elliott
PH: 06 323 3499

Cost: $2 per family. First 50 home educating mums through the door receive complimentary goodie bags. Spot Prizes.

Café: Nothing over $2.50. Coffee & Tea provided free.

Second Hand Books
There will be a table for homeschoolers to sell their surplus books/Resources. **IMPORTANT** If you wish to do this, please bring a separate envelope for every item you wish to sell, with your name and the amount you would like to sell it for.

On the day you will fill out a *Sticky Note/s for the inside/s of your books to match your envelope (*we will supply these). The envelopes will go to the volunteer supervising the books and any monies will be put in this for you to collect.

LearnEx Education Services
CENZ (Christian Education NZ)
Geneva Books
Tisa Education Services
Creaky Corner
Issacharian Books
Eduquip Ltd
Home Education Foundation


10:00am – Registration

10:10am – Presentation by Eduquip Ltd (10 min.)

10:30am – Building a Biblical Work Ethic (45min.) by Ray Green of CENZ
11.20am – Discovering Your God Given Design (45min.) by Ray Green of CENZ

12:20pm – Presentation by Issacharian Books (10 min.)
12:40pm – Presentation by Home Education Foundation (10 min.)

1:00-2:00pm – 2 electives:
Is It Possible to Discipline Children in Our Undisciplined Society? by Craig Smith
Staying at Home vs Going to School by Genevieve Smith (To help students determine whether to stay at home or go to school for secondary years.)

2:15pm – LEARNEX (10 min.)

2.45pm – Understanding God’s Way of Handling Money (45min.) by Ray Green of CENZ

3:40pm – Creaky Corner (10 min.)

The Corporal Correction of Children – Part 2

The Corporal Correction of Children – Part 2

Posted in In line with Scripture

“A servant will not be corrected by mere words; for though he understands, he will not respond.”

Proverbs 29:19

Spank Not with Words

Do we really need to spank at all? What’s wrong with a good tongue lashing? Surely we can appeal to the child’s sense of duty, reason, sense of fair play?

Well, no, we cannot. We are talking about children here, little ones up to around 8 or 10. (If spanking is done consistently to drive out the foolishness as explained in Proverbs 22:15, and done along with the training and teaching and example of parents, there should be little if any need to spank beyond this age.) Little ones of this age, and honestly even into teenage years, do not think straight. They simply haven’t got the experience of years to have a sufficiently developed sense of reason and fair play and duty. Besides, we are talking about a child who has just committed some breach of rules, exhibiting a life currently directed by foolishness, not reason. Mere words, you see, do not dislodge the foolishness and sin from the heart, whereas a spanking will (see Proverbs 22:15 & 20:30). While they are in the grip of this outburst of foolishness, they are unable to grasp your words of wisdom anyway. So don’t waste the wise words or your breath at this point. (They will be readily received immediately after the spanking.)

In addition, tongue lashings tend to be character assassinations, going deep, doing much damage. “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18 RSV). And because tongue lashings do no obvious damage, we can more easily give full vent to our (sinful) anger, ranting and raving, getting it off our chests, giving them a piece of our minds. This is a bad example, on top of the damage angry words are doing to the child’s spirit and emotions. The Scriptures are clear: “The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20).

Some parents tend to do nothing. Eli the priest failed to restrain his sons, Hophni and Phinehas. They were a disgrace to all Israel, and all Israel knew what swine they were, so much so that it is actually commented on in Scripture that “they would not listen to the voice of their father” (I Samuel 2:25) and that Eli “did not restrain them” (I Samuel 3:13). They were so bad that God determined to wipe them (and their father Eli) off the face of the earth. Their unrestrained lives proved the veracity of Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (and his father, too, as well as the whole family and possibly further afield as did these sons of Eli!) Maybe Eli was a non-violent type, and like his sons, had little regard for the Lord’s ways of doing things, preferring his own. Well, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25) This is what it means to live by faith: to order our lives according to God’s word, even though we can’t understand it, don’t like it, and hope our friends don’t read certain passages until after they get saved.

Grounding, giving them “time-out”, making them stand in the corner, forfeiting pocket money, etc. do not deal with the problem of sin in the heart. This sin, this foolishness which just manifested itself in the unacceptable behaviour of the child, must be driven out, separated from the child. Restrictions such as grounding, etc., are hard to police, cause the offence to be remembered for far too long, and can cause resentment to build up alongside of the original foolishness which was not driven out by the rod (spanking) in the first place.

We fostered an 8-year-old boy for a year. Foster parents are not allowed to administer Biblical correction (spankings). The boy’s psychologist suggested we give him a lollie at the end of each day he stayed within the rules. This did not work. If he blew it early in the day, he would be as disobedient and abusive as he liked thereafter, knowing the worst that could happen would be the withholding of a lollie. His lawyer suggested we write down infractions in a wee notebook, like the soccer referees do. This had no effect whatsoever.

Then one day we were assigned guardianship over the lad. I told him that he would now be subject to the same rules as our own children: one spank with the rod across the backside when it was established that he had violated one of the family’s rules. Soon afterwards both he and our youngest son transgressed together at the same time. After questioning, establishing the facts, and explaining the rules again, our son took his spank. The foster boy was next, and like our own, he cried before and after the spank….and was very receptive to further instruction and reassuring cuddles afterwards. His first words to me after the spank and again first thing the next morning were: “Dad, you’re the best!” He also wrote a card of thanks for the spank and put it on my plate at breakfast. He was a totally different boy from that point onwards.

Our words need to follow the same pattern as God’s words: we should use them to teach, reprove, correct, train in righteousness, edify and impart grace (II Timothy. 3:16, Ephesians. 4:29), but not to whip children either as punishment or to enforce obedience.

From Keystone Magazine
July 2000 , Vol. VI No. 4
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig

The Corporal Correction of Children – Part 1

The Corporal Correction of Children – Part 1

Posted in In line with Scripture

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”

— Proverbs 22:15

We Need More Grandpas

Junior bit the meter man, and then he hit the cook;

Junior’s anti-social now, according to the book.

Junior smashed the clock and lamp, and then he

hacked the tree.

Destructive trends are treated in chapters two and


Junior threw his milk at mum, and then he screamed

for more;

Notes on self-assertiveness are found in chapter four.

Junior tossed his shoes and socks out into the rain;

Negation this, and chapter six says disregard the


Junior set dad’s shirt on fire and upset Grandpa’s


That’s to gain attention as explained in chapter eight.

But Grandpa takes a wooden spoon, pulls junior ‘cross

his knee;

(He’s read nothing but the Bible since 1933!)

What did Grandpa read in the Bible? He would have read a great deal about how to love, train and discipline children. The other book referred to in the poem was also ostensibly about how to love and train children, but instead of disciplining them, it seemed to emphasise understanding them.

We have here two very different world views which give opposing advice regarding the rearing of children. One world view is found in Grandpa’s Bible: that of the Creator God. The other is found in the literature of created humans. In the final analysis, there are only ever these two world views: one from the mind of God, the other from the mind of man (although there certainly is a vast amount of variation in this second one; see also Proverbs 3:5).

Our text says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child”. This is a foundational statement about the nature of the child. Jeremiah 17:9 expands on this: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Children are NOT blank tapes who learn evil from elders, an idea championed by John Locke in the late 1600s. They pick up bad behaviour NOT from the environment, as behaviourists such as B.F. Skinner would advise: it is in their hearts (and in our adult hearts even still) from conception. Children are NOT little bundles of innocence: they are little bundles of depravity (see Psalm 51:5) and can develop into unrestrained agents of evil unless trained and disciplined according to God’s Word. Selfishness, violence, lying, cheating, stealing and other such behaviour are just the child unpacking some of this foolishness from the vast store in his heart. Bad examples such as ungodly parents, siblings, peer groups or television heroes only bring out the worst of the child’s innate foolishness and allow the child an excuse for its own bad behaviour….these things do not cause the bad behaviour. Each child has its own personalised store of foolishness bound up in its heart. Some seem to have vast amounts of the most amazing variety of dirty tricks, rebellion, manipulation and other forms of selfishness, combined with really cunning and creative ways of inflicting them upon you. Others seem so sweet and innocent all the time. Don’t be deceived (which is a weakness of our sinful hearts and minds that takes prominence in situations where we are called upon by our duty to God to rouse ourselves out of the old easy chair and do some unpleasant discipline and training). Visiting us for the first time from the USA 17 years ago, I asked my mum to give her opinion of our child training and discipline practises. She’d observed for some weeks, and we knew we were doing a great job. “You want my true opinion?” she asked ominously. “Well, yes, of course Mom!” “That 3-year- old of yours has you both wrapped around her little finger”!!!! I couldn’t believe it! But my mum went on to name example after example of us being pushed around and manipulated by this sweet little girl who we were sure was obedient and respectful in every way. How wrong we were!

The text further says, “but the rod of correction drives it far from him.” Three things are immediately apparent: First, a rod is to be used. Second, it is to be used as correction. Third, it is to drive the foolishness out.

The “rod” here may have some reference to ancient symbols of authority or guidance, such as a shepherd’s rod or a ruler’s scepter. Both are very applicable to this situation, for a shepherd’s rod, like a good spanking, is to keep one out of future trouble. And parents, like rulers, must exercise over their children the authority delegated to them, or else be found guilty of abdication, neglect, irresponsibility, etc. A rod is probably not a hand in most cases, though exceptions may have to be made at times.

Spankings are to correct the child, not punish the child. Our culture is quite used to the idea of spankings being referred to as “corporal punishment”. This terminology is quite correct in describing the way certain criminals are to be dealt with by the civil government (Deuteronomy 25:1-3). Once public schools came into existence, the teachers, being agents of the civil (secular) government, could not corporeally “correct” to any particular standard (lest they break the secular clause of Section 77), and so simply punished…..usually by caning. It is instructive to note that Section 59 of the New Zealand Crimes Act 1961 (the statute which protects parents from being charged with assault whenever they spank their children) reads as follows:

“59(1) Every parent of a child and, subject to subsection (3) of this section, every person in the place of the parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.

“(2) The reasonableness of the force used is a question of fact.

“(3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section justifies the use of force towards a child in contravention of Section 139A of the Education Act 1989.”

It says parents are justified in using reasonable force by way of correction. This is a legal recognition of a parent’s Biblical duty as spelled out in our text. Note: the force used must be reasonable in the circumstances (which appears to include ethnic and familial traditions…see “The Parental Use of Physical Discipline in New Zealand”, Parts 1 & 2, Keystone Vol. V, Nos. 3 & 4, May & July 1999) and used for correction. (Section 139A of the Education Act prohibits anyone from using force “by way of correction or punishment” in any early childhood centre or registered school “unless that person is a guardian of the student or child.”)

Spankings are further meant to drive the foolishness, the sinful manifestations, out of the child’s personality so that they do not become permanent fixtures. If the foolishness and sin are not driven out, but simply left to simmer inside, what do you suppose happens? The child matures in foolishness and grows into a fool. Read through the book of Proverbs for some sober warnings against such a thing. It is so bad that at one point the Scriptures declare: “He who spares his rod hates his son.” (Proverbs 13:24).

The objective behind spanking is to train, to correct, to discipline. It is not retributive, it is not vengeful: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19b). God’s law requires the entire community was to take a hand in stoning capital criminals to death — with the exception of parents if it is they who turn their child over to the civil authorities. (Compare Deut. 17:7 with 21:18-21). Parents DO NOT have life and death powers over their children.

Because we each have this foolishness, we can easily identify with our children and help them see it is something we all must struggle with. Our job as parents is to drive the foolishness out until such time as the child can toss it out himself. It is a problem the child and the parent together can point out, identify and deal with together: often children are very perceptive in spotting parental inconsistencies (foolishness), and parents should be thankful — and repentant — when their children do point these things out. We therefore do not label our children “bad”; they and we see that there is bad in them, but with training they will master it.

From Keystone Magazine
May 2000 , Vol. VI No. 3
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig

The Anti-Spanking Lobby

The Anti-Spanking Lobby

Posted in Statist and Professional Trends

Our family had a lot of fun a few weeks ago when we appeared on the Holmes Show as the “Disciples of Discipline”! I had written an article on spanking, the parental skill of the judicial application of the rod of correction, which appeared in a recent edition of Above Rubies. Someone had sent a copy to Holmes.He had read in that article that we were Christians, spank our children, are home schoolers and foster parents as well. He may have thought he was on to some fringe people or extremists, which always make good stories. Well, if you ever find yourself in this position,and I hope many of you do, since many New Zealand parents are literally tearing apart at the seams because they do not know are totally unaware of the educational and parenting skills many of us Christian home schoolers take for granted. If you are ever in this position, you must plan ahead. Speak only in measured and calm tones. Decide before hand what you want to say and what you do not want to say. Anticipate the trickiest questions they might ask and practise how you should answer them.

They spent the first two hours with us filming and talking about home schooling. They then indicated that they were favourably impressed with us as a family. So we relaxed about the upcoming interview on spanking. And sure enough, they were easy on us and did not try to make us look bad. We believe the Lord also overruled when the final cut and editing took place as His Biblical standards seem to have come across accurately.

So where is the debate on whether to ban smacking in the horne up to at this point? I rang Labour MP for Hamilton East, Dianne Yates’ office, and they assured me she had no further plans to introduce legislation of that sort. Someone rang me to say that the Minister of Justice also had no plans to amend the Crimes Act to make spanking illegal. I rang the office of the Commissioner for Children in Wellington to see what they were up to. Although they have nothing in the pipeline at the moment, it was conveyed to me that when the political and social climate was right, they would be considering moves to ban parental corporal discipline. They have already published several pamphlets with titles like, “Hitting Children Is Unjust.” Now, most of us would hopefully agree that to haul off and hit a child with a back-hand across the mouth because you were annoyed is totally unacceptable. But to this crowd, hitting also means smacking and spanking no matter how lightIy or lovingly done. They also sent me a disturbing article by a Ms Penelope Leach, titled, “What’s Wrong with Hitting Children?” It is terribly biased. Check out this paragraph explaining that abused children seem to blame themselves for the abuse, and never the one who abused them. Watch the language carefully:

“A study of a very large sample of University students, reported in the international journal Child Abuse and Neglect shows that this tendency to self-blame for physical punishment continues into adult life and therefore into parenthood. Subjects retrospectively justified not only punitive but brutal parents by assigning crimes to the children they used to be. Far from blaming those parents, they often expressed gratitude to them for the way they themselves had grown up. And during interviews, they consistently played down the violence used towards them. For example, 80% reported being spanked as children, but only 40% reported that they had received ‘physical punishment’; for many young adults, then, smacked bottoms were too trivial to count. Some subjects had suffered lasting bruises from parental beatings, but only 10% of them considered those punishments to have been excessive or cruel. Even amongst the group of students who had received hospital treatment for fractures, or other serious injuries resulting from parental punishment, only 43 % classified themselves as having been ‘abused’ or ‘cruelly treated’. The study concludes that ‘the recipients of punitive physical discipline are the least likely to recognise its inappropriateness.”

I find this paragraph one of the best promotions IN FAVOUR OF smacking from the pen of unbelievers that I have ever read. As much as the authors clearly despise spanking, those University student-subjects of theirs clearly did not. So the authors had to fabricate imaginative interpretations of their findings to agree with what they wanted to find . These poor, confused University students were so perverted by their loyalty to their parents that they were unable to think for themselves. Even among those who definitely had been subjected to excessive force, the kind that broke bones, only 43 % said they had been ‘abused’ or ‘cruelly treated’. So tbe study reckoned that these adult aged University students were a) deluded, b) unable to recognise their ill treatment and c) so rnessed up as to actually express gratitude for the way their parents had treated them. In other words, if you disagree with the authors’ pre-commitment to the idea that spanking is never justified, by their reckoning you need professional help for you are clearly not a full packet of biscuits!

Write to the Office of the Commissioner for Children for their pamphlets and a copy of this article quoted above: PO Box 12537, Wellington, ph. (04) 471-1410, Fax (04) 471-1418. Moves to make criminals out of us parents who spank our children are likely to come from this office.

From Keystone Magazine
November 1995 , Vol. 1 No. 5
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig


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