Question:

Question

Answer:

I read the wealth of information your website offers with regard to child rearing. I must say that I agree with most of what you say here. I have found the rod to be much more effective than the wooden spoon once I started using one almost 2 years ago.

I have a question regarding the disciplining of my 12 year old son. I have been using spanking as the punishment for bigger offences since he was a child. Yesterday I gave him a spanking, the first one he has gotten from me in a couple months. He swore at me when I told him that he had to come to church with me for the evening service. Afterwards I noticed he had an erection. I was so taken back by this and didn't know how to respond. I don't understand how he could have gotten any enjoyment from the spanking. The spanking I gave was quite hard and he was crying quite hard. I decided not to make any comment about his erection. I know that boys his age are going though a lot of changes with their bodies, but I want to know how I should have handled the situation. Should I ignore it in the future or should I confront him? Should I have given him the spanking over again?

Please, any advice as soon as possible will be appreciated. I feel that this is a very awkward situation.

God bless you; thanks for having such a great website that people can come to and learn how Christ would want us to act.

I debated about responding to this question. (What is presented above was heavily edited.) There are multiple indications in the note that you are more interested in the punishment than in the correction of a bad behavior. Discipline is a necessity that is not pleasant for the one receiving the punishment, but also when given with the proper attitude, it is not pleasant for the one having to punish. God mentions on numerous occasions that He did not enjoy having to punish Israel. "Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men" (Lamentations 3:32-33). In God's case, punishment of the wicked might even lead to the death of the wicked. But even still there is no enjoyment. ""Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:23).

In your case, you completely misunderstand what occurred with your son. A male's erection is caused by a small muscle in the pelvis squeezing on a vein that brings blood from the genitals and back to the heart. As more blood enters than can leave, the penis inflates and stiffens just like a balloon -- only with blood instead of air. When a boy is being spanked, obviously he will tense up. That tension will include the muscle that produces erections. At the same time, being spanked creates a strong emotional response which causes the heart to beat faster and stronger. The combination will produce an erection in a male that has nothing to do with pleasure or sexual thoughts. However, such physical response is embarrassing for both the boy and the one giving the spanking. It is for this reason that I strongly recommend that the spanking of a teenage boy be left to the father, or if his father is not available to a trusted adult male.

Confronting him will do nothing, he has no control over this physical response. Punishing him would be unjust, you might as well punish a person for blushing or blinking. Repeating the spanking again points out that you are focused on punishing and not molding a young man to grow into a responsible adult. You are suggesting repeating a punishment for which there was not a repeat offense. Your focus must be to turn him away from swearing, not in punishing. Punishment will be necessary to get him out of the habit, but it is just a small portion of a much greater task.


See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Spanking
Questions and Answers regarding Child Rearing and Parenting
Raising Godly Children in a Wicked World