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Disciplining Teens: Talk Less. Listen More.

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Is corporal punishment an acceptable form of discipline and when does it become child abuse? -- to the specific -- Is it befitting of a Christian to physically discipline a child?

The answers vary depending on who is asked, Although "Prov 22:15 says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

Some believe "Taking privileges or punishment, but if a child is willfully disobedient, defiant or disrespectful, I still think corporal punishment is effective." However that is where some experts and other faith leaders disagree.

"It is important, he said, to live by example, whether that be encouraging prayer or preventing violence -- a lesson that can be drawn from Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

"What matters for us is asking, was Jesus the sort of person who would push or hit people to get his point across?" The truth is plain before our eyes. We know the difference between right and wrong.

teens discipline love respect

When the book of Proverbs can be cited by both supporters and detractors of corporal punishment, it's not surprising that right and wrong gets muddied.

Discipline is about building character and any action should be aimed in that direction. "When you violate a kid's physical boundaries like that, you are setting them up to be pushed around as adults or to push others around. It is not the kind of character we want to build, however we discipline youth is a topic worthy of discussion, it is also one of the hardest to address because it touches so many sensitive areas including parenting style, religion and race.

"You can't tell a parent they are right or wrong as to how they discipline their child," often many parents become frustrated with their child's disrespectful behavior. "We can give them tools and offer assistance to help them do things a little better,"

It is necessary to teach children that their actions have consequences, but to do so with respect. "We have to add respect to our relationships even if it is a younger child,"

"Parenting involves taking care of someone who may not understand that care. The parent is doing what they are doing out of love."

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Tips for disciplining children:

--Don’t punish. Reward.

--Don’t criticize. Praise.

--Put the relationship first. Being right is not what matters.

--Talk less. Listen more.

--Understand the world from their perspective.

Keba Richmond-Green, M.A.,is an Author, Therapist, Accountability Coach, Advocate, Speaker & Mentor. For over 10 years she has been dedicated to the empowerment and education of youth through her no-nonsense approach by promoting accountability, responsibility, and integrity.


Keba's motto “plant a seed and watch it grow” has allowed her to connect and influence many young people’s lives. Her vision, strategic execution, and analytic skills help her to work with youth to help them find their purpose and individuality. The only way to affect change is the willingness to change yourself. Learn more about Keba Richmond-Green by visiting her website here.

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