Allowing the Rod of Correction in Parenting: The Proper Way.

This form of argument I got involved in was a familiar one and the topic was one I have resolved never get tired of discussing until I take my last breath. The discussants were as dogged in their cultural belief as I was in my apostolic revival mode of same.

Among the discussants was a man whose eloquence was quite admirable. He gave reasons why he would continue with his parents’ methodology which he claimed had biblical support. To clarify the point he was making, he gave an instance where one of his sons came home with poor scores in mathematics in his end of term report card.

“I gave him the flogging of his life that day. I did not allow any interference from my neighbours. In fact, I made sure that the marks were so deep that they still showed boldly on his skin at the beginning of the following term” he recounted with a sense of accomplishment.

He went ahead to recall that he would always quote a bible reference to his child each time he embarked on such an activity. He quickly gave examples of the supporting bible references. His response when I asked him if the treatment he gave his child produced the desired pass mark in mathematics in the following term got me confused.

“What I know is that I will continue to do my part. If he decides to be a failure, that’s his business.” he said evasively.

At this point, I shared with them how another parent coped with a similar parenting experience.


The mother recounted that at the end of every term, she would always take a detailed and studied look at the respective report sheets of her children, noting carefully the areas where they improved or dropped. Improvements would be commended, while regression would be immediately frowned at. Over the first few days of the holiday period, she would dig deeper into the reasons for any failure before deciding on the best approach to dealing with it.

On one of such occasions, she noticed that one of her children performed poorly in a mathematics examination. Her inquiry revealed that the mathematics teacher for the session was poor both in content and delivery. She, therefore, engaged a mathematics lesson teacher who revised all that the child was supposed to learn in that subject for the term that just ended.

God blessed her effort! Her child picked up very well during the following term, and continued to produce excellent results in mathematics for many years.

*************************************************************************************At this point, one of the discussants asked what the next course of action would have been if the child had failed to respond positively to the mother’s frown and the lesson teacher’s support. My response was that

  1. Parents should prayerfully and exhaustively provide as much support and guidance as they can.
  2. Parents should be guided properly to allow the rod of correction if the child fails in any promotion examination. The rod of correction is the harsh reality of any wrong behavior. In this context, allowing a child to repeat the class he failed, would serve as an effective rod to provide the required discipline in his academic works.


The regular readers of Passion In Parenting posts are already aware that the biblical ‘rod of correction’ does not necessarily mean a cane or whip. This was the misconception which got the man in the first part of this story into the wrong and ineffective parenting approach. Reference should be made to our devotional post of December 12th, 2015 titled ‘Getting it Right with Discipline in Children: The Right Approach’ for more understanding on this topic.


  • Uchenna N. Nduka

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