Parenting

10 Gifts your child will never forget

gift2.jpgIts amazing how when we look back at the memories of our lives, there are very few things from our childhood we actually remember.

Most times the memories that seem to stand out are the things that at some point defined who we are. Most of the times, the memories do not involve a physical gift from our parents, but rather something they did. Memories like playing together, or them shouting at us when we made an innocent mistake. Memories of us learning something they taught us. These things define who we are, our outlook on the world, our confidence in society.

I have stated below some ‘gifts’ you should give your children to ensure that the memories they have, are ones that will shape them to be the best version of themselves they can be.

  1. Always be happy to see them. This may sound like a strange statement but we fail to realise how after a stressful day at the office, or taking care of the chores in the home, our faces do not tell a happy story. You may have had a bad day that has nothing to do with your children, but your lack of a smile tells them that they aren’t your source of joy. Always make them feel that they are your source of joy. Smile.
  2. Be quick to encourage. When you see they are struggling with their maths homework. Don’t jump in to tell them how their lack of effort is why they are failing. Instead tell them why you believe in their ability to succeed. Tell them what potential they have. How they can do whatever their minds desire. Your words influence who they are. Encourage.
  3. Love your spouse. Marriage is tough, but your marriage is the best example to them of what love should look like. Let them see you laugh with your spouse, and let them see you hug and hold and kiss each other. Let them know the joys of marriage, and not only the complaints and frustrations. Love is a beautiful thing. Put the best version of your love for your spouse on display to your children
  4. Appreciate the beauty that is life. Take your child to beautiful places, to lay and look at the stars, to explore caves, to appreciate the birds and flowers. Let them know that there is beauty to explore, beauty to appreciate, and beauty to enjoy beyond that which the world tells them in magazines and on television. True beauty is in nature. True beauty is timeless.
  5. Live generously. If you teach your children generosity, you teach them how to share and to love others as much as they love themselves. You teach them that their value is not found in their possessions but in the hearts and lives of people they change. Show them generosity. Let them see you being generous to each other and to strangers.
  6. Imagination. Allow your children to imagine, to dream. Tell them stories of wild imaginations, let them live in hope of a better future, of a world where anything is possible. Let them sit on your lap as you read and talk and imagine.
  7. Eat together. Its so important to connect after a day apart. To give your child and even your spouse an opportunity to open up and tell you about your day. Sitting together at a table, with no television on, is a great way to have these moments to give your child the platform they need to tell you what’s on their heart. Big or small, it all matters.
  8. Listen. I mean truly listen. Not to just what’s being said, but to what’s not being said. To the body language that tells another story, to the hint of something you might overlook. Most times they want to tell you the truth. But they want to know they have your full attention. So stop and listen
  9. Grace to make mistakes. Don’t be so quick to shout at them when they make a mistake. Even a small thing like spilling water on themselves, to bigger things. Allow them to explore, to learn, to grow. I remember someone told me once of when their daughter learnt how to open the juice, and in her efforts to open it, all of it spilt all over her. Her first reaction was to shout at her for messing her dress, instead of praising her for successfully learning to open the juice, and for managing to do it on her own. Some moments can either be a learning experience or a bad memory. Be patient. Slow to shout, and quick to celebrate.
  10. Make memories don’t buy things. Its important for us to make memories with our children, and not to plonk them in front of the television or buy them expensive toys. Build a kite together, bake together, go fishing together. Those are memories that will last a lifetime. Memories that will bond you closer together, and remember, the same applies for your spouse. You need to build memories with them. Spending time together does not count if its in front of the television. Go for a walk, talk, go have some coffee and cake, or an afternoon picnic. Lets make memories that will be stories to tell for generations to come.

 

Lets rear children who place more value in people than they do in things.

Children who are kind, caring, compassionate and know they are loved.

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Taryn Leigh

Parenting

Playdough Recipe

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So recently I was thinking of things I can do that are cost effective to give my son to play with, and playdough came to mind.

When I went looking in the shops, I was shocked at how expensive it was to buy. That got me looking for a recipe, as I recall my mom making some when I was younger.

I must say it only took me literally 5 MINUTES to make!

So I thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

Coloured Playdough

Materials

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food colouring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

  1. Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food colouring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour.
  3. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don’t have it on hand.
  4. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.

 

Any there you have it. Nice soft squishy playdough, for hours of fun!!

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Taryn Leigh

Parenting

Newborn baby Shopping Guide & things for new mom’s too

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There are tons of shopping guides on the internet, but as a first time mom I found them incomplete.

So here is my shopping guide (from one mother to another) of everything I used, as well as some things I learnt along the way.

Baby Things:

 

Toiletries & Things:

Try have at least one organic thing just in case your baby is hyper sensitive to Johnson and Johnson or Elizabeth Anne’s products. I got my organic things from the Rain store. They are awesome.

Remember for a new born baby, everything must either be SCENT FREE (I learnt this from the baby sense book, where they explain why in detail) or lavender scented to calm them. They are adjusting to a new world in the beginning. So you want a calm happy baby.

  • Baby Oil (when baby is first born use this and not lotion)
  • Aqueous cream
  • Baby Head to Toe wash (better than separate shampoo and separate body wash)
  • Cotton buds (to clean their naval)
  • Cotton wool (get those round disc ones it’s easier, you use this to clean their eyes & face)
  • Surgical spirits (to clean their naval)
  • Glycerine (to clean their tongue, it also calms them I found – put a little on a dummy)
  • Baby bum cream (I used bepanthan, the best. When baby is older you can use cheaper stuff)
  • Wet wipes (you really can’t have too many)
  • Nappies. I bought 2 huge bale packs of each size. Except size 4 and 5 I bought 3 packs of each
  • Disposable nappy bags (to use when going out if u have nowhere to throw the nappy)
  • Milton (to clean the dummies or bottle when u can’t use a microwave steriliser, e.g. no electricity, or if you out and about)
  • Baby laundry washing liquid, scent free (Purity/Elizabeth Anne’s makes one)

I’ve never used:

Baby powder

Baby jelly (or Vaseline, it’s actually not good for a baby)

Baby face clothes (You only use this as they get older. With a newborn you to use cotton wool instead to stop eye infections)

Baby conditioner

Bars of soap

 

Medicine:

  • Infant Panado syrup (the one with the dropper)
  • Bennets colic drops (for when baby has wind)

 

Accessories:

  • Nasal aspirator (a must for when their noses are blocked)
  • Digital thermometer (try get one that reads the temperature fast, the in-ear ones are the best. Expensive, but worth it when you have a sick screaming child)
  • Baby scissors (their nails grow so fast)
  • Towelling nappies (use as a burping cloth. Cheaper and better than the actual burping cloths)
  • Bottles & Teats x 4 (I used NUK, get the one for their age and what liquid is going inside i.e breast milk vs formula etc)
  • Dummies x 2 (NUK)
  • Bottle warmer carrier (for when you go out)
  • Dummy Chain
  • Bottle and teat cleaning brush
  • Nappy Bag (to keep in the nursery with your nappies stacked inside)
  • Baby bag (the bigger the better)
  • Baby brush
  • Bath / changing mat (get the two in one type, it has a towelling top so baby doesn’t lay on a cold surface.)
  • A nappy changing mat that is foldable that can go in a baby bag
  • Microwave bottle sterilizer
  • A Flask (This helped us when there was no electricity or we travelled to keep water hot)
  • Microwaveable / Freezer friendly baby food storage containers (for when baby is on solids)
  • A liquidiser (not blender), to make babies food when on solids at 4 or 6 months

 

Blankets, towels and Bedding:

Remember do not waste money on a cot bumper and duvet set. They say it increases the risk of SIDS. If you put it on, you will then be taking it off every night. Which is a pain.

  • Receiving blankets x 3
  • Muslin cloths x 2 (you use this to swaddle baby, as well as to cover the pram. Its breathable)
  • Warm blankets x 3
  • Pillow (ask them for a breathable one to prevent SIDS)
  • Cot mattress (ask them for a breathable one to prevent SIDS)
  • Waterproof sheet (ask them for a breathable one to prevent SIDS)
  • Fitted Sheet x 3
  • Baby positioners (helps keep baby sleeping on their back or side to prevent SIDS)
  • Hooded baby bath towels (5 should be enough)
  • Pillow cases

Clothes:

When baby is a newborn, don’t buy tops that don’t clip under the nappy. Cause it creeps up and baby is then cold. Waste of money. Also don’t buy too many newborn clothes. They use it for 2 weeks. Rather buy 0-3 months or 1-3 months if you can. You will need some newborn stuff because the 0-3 months will be too big in the first 2 or 3 weeks. Just buy a few of each thing. Remember people will also give you. As long as you have the minimum.

  • Baby grows x 5 (in each size)
  • Vests x 5 (in each size)
  • Leggings (pants) x 5 (in each size)
  • Socks x 3
  • Beanies x 3
  • Bibs

Nursery hardware:

I didn’t use a compactum … and I’ve realised I didn’t need it. The bed is good enough to change baby, and even put the bath on, to bath him. I used a bumbo seat to feed baby and not a feeding chair. The Bumbo seat can be moved from your kitchen counter to the floor in the lounge. Its compact and you can even take it with to Spur or your parents house.

  • 1 x cot
  • 1 x bedside cot (the ones that attach to your bed. Makes life easier in the first few months)
  • 1 x Baby bath (get the type that collapses, its softer & more comfy for baby than hard plastic)
  • 1 x Pram
  • 1 x new-born Car seat (our pram and car seat is one thing. It’s Cheaper and easier when moving baby)
  • Bumbo seat (you will use from 4 months to feed baby cause they can’t sit on their own)
  • Laundry basket (to keep babies clothes separate from yours, remember you want baby to be scent free from germs and smells)

Toys:

When baby is small they need minimal toys, get things they will learn from. The baby sense book recommends to keep play area and sleep area separate. Therefore getting a cot mobile is not good because baby wants to play when they should sleep. So a play gym is better, you can put it in the lounge during their play time during their calm alert state.

  • Bath toys (you can use from 4 months and up)
  • Grabbing toys with different textures and colours (important for development)
  • Toy/play gym (to teach them to reach and grab)
  • Rattle (they learn cause and effect from this)
  • Teething ring or toy that has a teething part to it

Nice to have:

  • Baby carrier
  • Night light for their room
  • Books (reading to baby is important)
  • Baby progress book (shows all the milestones that you record for baby)
  • Baby clay to make keep sake hand prints and foot prints
  • Baby comfort blanket (they hold this soft blankie to feel safe)
  • Rocking Chair
  • Sleeping sack (it’s awesome you zip baby inside. Then don’t need a blanket to cover them, and it then prevents SIDS)

Mommy things:

 

  • Baby Sense book and highlighter
  • Breast pump (Medela is the BEST brand. The others don’t work properly)
  • Nursing bras (got nice ones at woolworths)
  • Lansinoh nipple cream (apply 2 weeks before due date to prepare your nipples)
  • Maternity pads x 2 (Carriwell is the best, get it at baby city, normal pads don’t work)
  • Carriwell Disposable panties (trust me you will need this in hospital!!! Cant stress it enough)
  • 2 ply toilet paper to take to hospital. Because hospital toilet paper is hard after just giving birth
  • Nursing breast pads
  • Front opening pajamas (to make it easier to breastfeed
  • Breastfeeding shawl, or just use a receiving blanket when in public

 

I hope this list helps you. If it did, please feel free to drop me a comment I would love to hear from you.

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Taryn Leigh

 

 

Health & Wellness, Parenting, Products I Love

WEIGHTED BLANKETS – Why your whole family needs one

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What is a Weighted Blanket?

Weighted blankets are blankets with weighted beads sewn inside, which help promote self-calming and enhance proprioceptive feedback.

How does a Weighted Blanket work?

Firm pressure or deep touch therapy on the body for an extended period can calm the mind, as it simulates being held or hugged. Research has found that deep pressure touch stimulation releases serotonin, a chemical in the brain that works in the regulation of mood, sleep and sensory perception.

Weighted blankets mimic deep pressure touch stimulation and thus have a calming and soothing effect.

Who should use a Weighted Blanket?

Babies who struggle to sleep through the night – This is perfect for when your baby is past the swaddling age, yet still needs the comfort of being swaddled. The weighted blanket assists to calm the baby, and give them a sense of security, resulting in a deeper longer sleep.

Children suffering from anxiety or autistic children suffering from hypokalaemic sensory over stimulation – Studies have shown weighted blankets can help children with ASD & Anxiety fall asleep. The kids benefit not only from the release of serotonin the weighted blankets bring, but also from the decrease in heart rate and blood pressure that result from the calming effect. This allows for more control, and in turn, a better chance of rest.

Adults suffering from Insomnia, Stress or Anxiety as well as autistic people suffering from hypokalaemic sensory over stimulation.

Weighted Blankets help to reduce cortisol as you sleep. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, and a reduction will lead to overall better sleep quality

Also people suffering from:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder,
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,

would also greatly benefit from using weighted blankets

How to use a Weighted Blanket?

Weighted blankets can be used at bedtime to induce sleep and left on overnight or for as long as you want or need. If the blanket is used for a calming effect, it can stay on as long as needed. There are no ill effects of leaving a weighted blanket on for long periods of time, and the benefits are wonderful. Many people compare them to receiving a big hug.  You receive a wonderful sense of security and calm.

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Where can you buy a Weighted Blanket?

Here in South Africa there is an amazing company called Weighted Blankets South Africa, where I bought my weighted blanket.

They offer exceptional service, and the blankets are made with the utmost love and care, in the most luxurious Egyptian cotton fabrics.

They are:

— Machine Washable

— 100% pure cotton

— 300 thread count Egyptian cotton

— High-quality breathable fabrics

— Hand-made, professional construction

— Ideal for any climate

 

They come in 3 different options:

  1. Basic range – 100% cotton front & back with a colour border
  2. Classic range – 100% cotton print front with a 300 Thread Count Egyptian cotton back
  3. Luxury range – 300 Thread Count Egyptian cotton front & back
  4. Bespoke range – Patchwork Quilt front & Egyptian cotton back

All blankets are quilted into blocks to evenly distribute weight.

 

They come in 5 different sizes:

Baby:                     73 x 75 cm

Toddler:               80 x 120 cm

Child:                     100 x 150 cm

Adult:                    120 x 180 cm

Large Adult:        150 x 200 cm

 

And there are an array of beautiful fabric options to choose from, in a variety of colours and patterns

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To find out more on these blankets, you can email Adele from Weighted Blankets South Africa adele@weightedblankets.co.za

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Taryn Leigh

 

Health & Wellness, Parenting, Products I Love, Recipes

Why You and your Baby should drink ROOIBOS TEA

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Rooibos tea is a medicinal, herbal beverage that is acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant that is found in South Africa. According to the South African Rooibos Council, rooibos is not a true tea, but a herb. The fermented tea is red in color.

 

The tea is absolutely FREE FROM CAFFEINE content and is also low in tannins, with absolutely no possible side effects. Rooibos tea has no oxalic acid and therefore, it can be consumed by people who have kidney stones.

Rooibos tea is rich in many mineral contents such as:

  • iron,
  • calcium,
  • potassium,
  • copper,
  • manganese,
  • zinc,
  • magnesium
  • alpha hydroxy acid.

It also contains ANTIOXIDENTS like aspalathin and nothofagin, and the extremely potent and versatile phenolic compounds.

Rooibos tea is said to contain rare nutrients like Quercetin and Bioflavonoids that assists in good blood circulation and obstructs haemorrhaging.

 

The Benefits of Rooibos tea include:

  • useful in infants suffering from colic or stomach cramps,
  • cure for nagging headaches,
  • insomnia,
  • asthma,
  • eczema,
  • bone weakness,
  • hypertension,
  • allergies,
  • premature aging

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Freshpack Rooibos now makes various flavour Rooibos Tea’s for babies, and they are stocked in most supermarkets. The tea has a natural sweetness which babies enjoy, while assisting them with their stomach cramps.

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Refreshing Rooibos Tea Recipe

  1. Make one litre of rooibos tea (four to six teabags)
  2. Sweeten with honey, stirring until dissolved
  3. Leave in the fridge overnight
  4. Serve as is, with mint, lemon, orange or with your favourite fruit juice.

 

Tip: Cold rooibos can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.

 

Despite all the health benefits, there are studies that suggest Rooibos tea could interfere with chemotherapy treatment, and it also might not be beneficial if used during hormone related cancers like breast cancer. So always consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

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Taryn Leigh

Health & Wellness, Parenting

Goodbye Baby Fat – Hello Bikini – How to LOSE WEIGHT post Baby

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It’s every woman’s struggle after having a baby of how to effectively lose the weight.

I am no medical professional, so I speak from one mom to another, who has this daily internal struggle herself. It’s something we all struggle with, so below are some tips and tricks of how to go about it, but also what EATING PLAN I think would work best for us mom’s. An eating plan that is both practical and easy to follow with a new born in the house

Firstly

  • Don’t give into guilt and shame if you are still carrying around baby fat. In reality it took 9 months to gain it, so you should give yourself that amount of time to lose it.
  • Make sure you are mentally ready to lose the weight. Don’t do it because you are being pressured, as you won’t manage to keep to it
  • NO quick fix diets. To keep the weight off, you need to eat healthy, and that means making daily good food choices for months to come.

Secondly

  • Choose an eating plan that can fit into your lifestyle with a new baby in the home. No sense trying to starve yourself (especially not an option if you are breastfeeding), and no sense being stressed about cooking “special diet food”, because then you will need to make different food for your husband or other children
  • Make sure you have rid your home of things like chocolates, cakes, biscuits, sweets, chips etc. You don’t need the temptation in your home, enticing you to eat it
  • Commit to drinking more water. This is also essential for breastfeeding moms

Tips for losing weight are to:

  • Set realistic goals – 1kg – 1.5kgs a week is realistic
  • Write down what you eat – This is important as its easy to forget that extra slice of bread you had or that little piece of chocolate
  • Reward yourself for your accomplishments. This is a NON-FOOD reward. So for example when you lose 5kg, book yourself in for a foot massage to celebrate, or buy that nice new pair of shoes you wanted
  • Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.

What eating plan / diet do I recommend?

For me (who has tried every eating plan I got my hands on), the most sustainable one to follow is Weight Watchers. Here is why:

  • You do not need to make any special food
  • You can still eat what your family always eats, and are your favourites
  • There are no food groups off limits, so if white bread is your weakness you can still keep eating it
  • It’s simple to follow, and you will see results within the first week

 

How it works:

You are advised what “points” you can consume for the day. Each food item is given a certain number of points. So for example one slice of bread might be 1 point.

You then write down what you want to eat for the day based on the number of points you are allocated. So for example if you are given 22 points for the day (based on your height and weight), you then look at the list which shows how many points each food item is allocated, and you work your meals around checking you do not go over your points for the day.

What happens if you go over the points for the day? – No problem at all. You either choose to eat less points the next day, or you decide to go for a walk. They even tell you how many points you “gain” for physical activities, which INCLUDE chores in the home, like ironing.

Because you can eat ANYTHING. You do not need to stop making your families favourite meal. Instead what it might mean is you need to eat a smaller portion of it, to stay within your points, but you can then add vegetables or salads to the meal which will be FREE points.

You can be part of a support group which meets weekly, where you can weigh in and discuss tips and tricks on how to keep within your points.

It even allows for you to eat Take Out food, by telling you how many points are in a Nando’s Burger for example.

AND the best part is, even if you are still breastfeeding, you can let them know and they can assist you to eat the healthiest options for your baby’s nourishment.

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Tips for eating healthy:

  • Eat three nutritious meals per day, with small, healthy snacks in between meals as you need them.
  • Avoid overeating by never letting yourself get over-hungry.
  • Add fruits or vegetables to every meal. They are high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals. Slice up a banana or strawberries for your morning cereal. Add lettuce and tomato to your sandwich. Toss a salad to accompany dinner.
  • Take a close look at your portion sizes. Read the nutrition labels to check the serving sizes.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you can watch what you eat, but it is important to eat when you are hungry and to consume extra calories to allow for adequate milk production.
  • If you are at a weight that’s considered healthy for your size, your calorie intake needs to increase by 500 calories per day from your pre-pregnancy intake if you’re breastfeeding. If you are not breastfeeding, you may begin a sensible diet of healthy, nutritious foods in moderation.

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Some information has been adapted from the Weight Watchers website.

For information on Weight Watchers in South Africa, check it out here

 

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Taryn Leigh

Parenting

Spare the Rod – What does this mean for Christian Parenting?

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“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me…” Psalm 23:4

One of the hot-button issues when it comes to discipline and children is, of course, spanking, and the more Christian and conservative the audience, the more hot the debate becomes. And yet there are no verses in the New Testament that support spanking, smacking, whipping, or otherwise hitting children.

In the Old Testament there are a total of five verses that have been interpreted to encourage, or even command, the use of physical punishment on children. All five of those verses are in the book of Proverbs. The word ‘proverb’ in the original Hebrew text is mashal and defined as a parable, prophetic and figurative discourse, symbolic poem, pithy maxim (i.e. a collection of wise metaphors and adages).

Of interest is that ancient Hebrew had many words for children, each denoting a specific stage of childhood and many a specific gender:

yeled or yaldah newborn boy or girl

yonek or yanak – nursling baby

olel – nursling baby who also eats food (translated ‘young child’ in Lamentations 4:4 KJV)

gamal – weaned child (around 3-4 years old)

taph – young child, one who still clings to their mother

elem or almah – firm and strong, older child

na’ar (masc.) or na’arah (fem.) – independent child, young adult child (includes older adolescents and young adults)*

The word translated ‘child’ and ‘children’ in those Old Testament rod verses is na’ar, which when literally translated, means ‘young man.’

Let’s look, also, at the words translated ‘discipline’ and ‘punish’ and ‘rod’ and others:

The word muwcar is translated ‘discipline’ and means, literally, ‘verbal instruction and teaching.’ In Hebrew culture muwcar was vernacular for ‘let us reason with one another’ implying a mutual discussion for learning purposes. And towkechah is translated ‘reprove’ or ‘rebuke’ but also means ‘reason with, convince, prove, persuade.’ Neither of these words means to physically punish in any way, shape, or form.

The word nakah is translated ‘punish’ in most English translations of the Bible, though its literal translation is ‘beat’ as in “The sun beat down on his head,” implying a constant presence; or ‘hit’ as when beating back an enemy or punishing a slave or criminal; or ‘smite or smitten’ which can mean ‘hit or trigger the conscience’ or ‘be favorably impressed, enticed, or entranced’ as in, “He was smitten with the idea of a new bicycle.”

The word shebet is translated ‘rod’ and means, literally, ‘shepherd’s crook’ and, in Hebrew culture, was a means not only of guiding and protecting sheep, but also a symbol of leadership. The markings on the head of the shebet often identified the head of a family or tribe, letting everyone know who to go to for guidance and protection. The shebet, then, denotes wisdom, leadership, and protection.

The word muwth is translated ‘die’ and has several meanings related to death including ‘to follow a path of destruction.’

The word ‘ivveleth is translated ‘foolishness’ but also means ‘inexperience, naivety, silliness.’

And, finally, the Hebrew word sane is translated ‘hate’ and yet means ‘does not love’ or ‘does not choose or show a preference for.’

When we read the five ‘rod’ verses with the literal translations of the words above, the meanings become more clear.

So Proverbs 13:24 reads:

“He who spares his rod wisdom, leadership, protection hates does not love, does not choose or show a preference for his son, but he who loves him disciplines offers verbal instruction and teaching to him promptly.”

Proverbs 22:15 reads:

Foolishness Naivety, silliness, inexperience is bound up in the heart of a child young man; the rod of correction wisdom, leadership, protection will drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 29:15 reads:

The rod Wisdom, leadership, protection and rebuke reasoning with, convincing, proving, persuading give wisdom, but a child young man left to himself brings shame to his mother.”

And, the last two ‘rod’ verses, found in Proverbs 23:12-26 read:

“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.

Do not withhold discipline verbal instruction and teaching, reasoning together from a child young man; if you punish guide, trigger his conscience, favorably impress, entice/entrance them with the rod wisdom, leadership, protection, they will not die follow a path of destruction.

Punish Guide, trigger his conscience, favorably impress, entice/entrance them with the rod wisdom, leadership, protection and save them from death following a path of destruction. 

My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well. The father of a righteous child young man has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!

My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.”

Such a beautiful image of a father tenderly and diligently sharing his wisdom with his son, isn’t it? Clearly, applying these scriptures to small children is not in line with a literal interpretation. It actually makes more sense to apply them to the disciples, which is exactly what Jesus does with his twelve ‘sons.’

father's hand lead his child son in summer forest nature outdoor

 

Beyond translations and interpretations, though, and of far greater import, what seems to get lost in the spanking debate is that Jesus brought grace and mercy as his methods and message for a reason. The purpose of the law in the Old Testament was to highlight the need for a Savior because humans simply cannot live perfectly.

Jesus came to fulfill the outward requirements of the law that highlighted man’s sins and replace them with an inner heart change. He demonstrated in many ways that the law (outer governance and control through fear of punishment) was no longer to be a rigid yoke with its heavy burden of cleansing and rituals and sacrifices and punishments, but instead was to be a kingdom of the heart, of mercy not sacrifice, because the sacrifice was Himself.

Jesus stopped the people from stoning the prostitute (John 8:2-11) which was a requirement in the Old Testament. (Deuteronomy 22:21-22)

Jesus healed people and traveled on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14) which was punishable by death in the Old Testament. (Exodus 31:14-17 and Numbers 15:32-36)

Jesus consorted with ‘sinners’ and ate with them (Luke 15:1-2) despite the admonitions in Proverbs 13:20. (the same book in the Bible with the ‘rod’ scriptures)

Jesus showed again and again that if we accept him as our Savior, we are called to be “ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)

We accept that Jesus brought a new and better way, a way of the heart, “Not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3b), but don’t seem to want to acknowledge that better way with our children. We accept God’s grace and forgiveness for ourselves, but often don’t share those gifts with, and model them for, our children. But we are our children’s first taste of God. Is it any wonder people have such a hard time understanding grace and mercy and unconditional love when they may not have been taught those things by their earthly parents and don’t exercise them with their own children?

Through Jesus’ sacrifice, he tore open the veil dividing man from God and brought a new kingdom, a kingdom of inner governance through the Holy Spirit whose fruit is “peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Nowhere does Jesus say to follow him except when it comes to our children. He doesn’t say to offer grace and mercy and forgiveness to everyone except our children. The Bible doesn’t tell us to show the fruit of the Spirit to everyone except our children.

If we truly believe that, based on five verses in the Old Testament with disputable translations and debatable interpretations, we are being disobedient to God’s commands if we don’t spank our children, then we must take that belief and walk it out fully.

In other words, if we must obey that supposed command, then we must obey all the other commands such as,,,

  • an “eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24) and stoning adulterers (Leviticus 20:10) …but didn’t Jesus bring forgiveness?
  • we shouldn’t feed the homeless because “if a man doesn’t work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) …but aren’t we supposed to be the heart and hands of Jesus?
  • we shouldn’t give Christmas shoeboxes to prisoners’ children because “the sins of the father are visited on the children” (Exodus 20:5) …but isn’t the “kingdom of heaven made up of such as these?” (Matthew 19:14)

My point is summed up in this verse:

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10)

In other words, if you feel bound by those five verses, then you must be bound by all.

If you truly believe that those five verses have been interpreted correctly and that “spare the rod, spoil the child” (Note: There is no verse in the Bible that says ”spare the rod, spoil the child.” That phrase is actually from a satirical poem called Hudibras by Samuel Butler first published in 1662.) refers to an actual physical rod (instead of a symbol of guidance and loving correction…i.e. discipleship) and that the word used for ‘child’ refers to a toddler or small child instead of the actual linguistic translation meaning ‘young man,’ then so be it.

But do you really believe that Jesus’ New Covenant is for everyone except children? That grace, mercy, unconditional love, and forgiveness are for adults only?

The disciples made that mistake, and Jesus said to them,

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)

Five verses with questionable interpretations versus following Jesus’ example…no contest.

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Taryn Leigh