A few days ago, I told the mother of one of my Primary students about my discussion with the kids in the class. Do you remember? One little boy asked me if I ever get mad. I answered thusly. From time to time, most people have feelings of anger, sadness, rejection, or fear. However, it's what you do with those feelings that counts. If you allow yourself to hit or or kick or yell or fight or throw a tantrum because of your feelings, it is called contention. Jesus told us, contention is from Satan. Choosing to act out with contention, you choose to follow Satan. I know I don't want to follow Satan. It is better to talk things out if you can or walk away if it's not possible to talk it out. You always have a choice whether you are going to choose contention or choose to forgive and forget.
The mother was highly offended and pointed out that even the Savior got angry. She totally missed the point. First, I didn't say we shouldn't get angry, but that we shouldn't act out in anger. Second, the Savior was justified because the temple was being defiled and blasphemed. Third, no person on Earth has ever been as pure as Jesus. None of us can claim to spank without anger. I further illustrate this point by words from prophets and apostles.
"I don’t believe that children need to be beaten, or anything of that kind. Children can be disciplined with love. They can be counseled—if parents would take the time to sit down quietly and talk with them. Tell them the consequences of misbehaving, of not doing things in the right way. The children would be better off, and I think everyone would be happier.
My father never touched us. He had a wisdom all his own of quietly talking with us. He turned us around when we were moving in the wrong direction, without beating us or taking a strap to us or any of that kind of business. I’ve never been a believer in the physical punishment of children. I don’t think it is necessary.
I have never accepted the principle of “spare the rod and spoil the child.” I will be forever grateful for a father who never laid a hand in anger upon his children. Somehow he had the wonderful talent to let them know what was expected of them and to give them encouragement in achieving it.
I am persuaded that violent fathers produce violent sons. I am satisfied that such punishment in most instances does more damage than good. Children don’t need beating. They need love and encouragement. They need fathers to whom they can look with respect rather than fear. Above all, they need example.
I recently read a biography of George H. Brimhall, who at one time served as president of Brigham Young University. Concerning him, someone said that he reared “his boys with a rod, but it [was] a fishing rod” (Raymond Brimhall Holbrook and Esther Hamilton Holbrook, The Tall Pine Tree: The Life and Work of George H. Brimhall, n.p., 1988, p. 62). That says it all.
It is not by the whip or the rod that we can make obedient children; but it is by faith and by prayer, and by setting a good example before them. If you know what to do, you can correct the child without violence.
Chastening may be necessary, … but parents should govern their children by faith rather than by the rod.
Although it is written that, “The rod and reproof give wisdom; but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame [Proverbs 29:15],” and, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes [Proverbs 13:24];” these quotations refer to … wise and prudent corrections. Children who have lived in the sunbeams of parental kindness and affection, when made aware of a parent’s displeasure, and receive a kind reproof from parental lips, are more thoroughly chastened than by any physical punishment that could be applied to their persons (DNW, 7 Dec. 1864, 2).
Instead of being behind with the whip, always be in advance, then you can say, “Come along,” and you will have no use for the rod."
Margorie Pay Hinckley said, “You don’t teach a child not to hit by hitting.”
Brigham Young said, "Use no lash and no violence against them."
“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same,” Doctrine and Covenants 1:38.
It's what we do with our anger that matters. I started out as a very angry person who spanked her children. The outcome was not what I dreamed of for my family. With our last children, I tried to use kind, calm communication and had better results. Not perfect by any means, but much better.
I found all these quotes on the internet: Brigham Young, Parental Responsibility, At Home With the Hinckleys, Save the Children, Gordon B. Hinckley