Child Discipline and the Government

By:  Jerry Nix | Freewavemaker, LLC Date Published:  July 19, 2023

It was interesting for me to read a comment by a retired co-worker, Dave from Florida, as it related to my last article about the Lack of Child Discipline (which you can read by clicking on the title).

This is what my friend Dave had to say:

Great article Jerry. I’d like to add a thought. We were in a store me, my granddaughter and her three-year-old who decided to throw a tantrum because she wanted to leave. I watched as her mother tried to reason with a three-year-old. I finally suggested she pick her up off the floor, carry her outside and give her a reason to cry. She said she couldn’t. Someone might call HHS and they might take her away. I stared in disbelief for a moment before I realized she actually was afraid that would happen. Then I picked up my great granddaughter and went toward the door. I believe the look on my face told her three-year-old mind she had a problem. She immediately stopped her tantrum and told Poppa she was sorry and she’d be good. She didn’t get spanked but neither did she get the ice cream that was why she wanted to leave. Actions have consequences.”

Dave does understand that his actions were probably the perfect form of punishment for this child.  She did not need the spanking … she needed to think that she would get one – and yet she did get punished by not getting the ice cream she so thought was due her which was the reason for the tantrum she was throwing.

My oh my … I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Boy, if you don’t stop crying, I will give you a reason to cry,” from my own father.  My father has been dead now for about 25 years.  He was a God-fearing man and I realized for some reason the older I get the smarter he became.  Funny how that works out.

His granddaughter’s fear of spanking the child lay in this sentence right here: “She said she couldn’t. Someone might call HHS and they might take her away.”

His granddaughter was right.  We have a lot of people out there (especially “child protective services” that feel good ole fashioned spankings are a form of child abuse.  I had to fight them one time myself and I will tell you that story in a moment.

I even got a note from my niece, Kimberly.  This is what Kim had to say:

Thank you, Uncle Jerry, for an excellent article. 

The 2nd Biggest Regret I have as a parent to a now young adult, is my lack of consistent discipline, and specifically “spanking/switching” … (My 1st regret was my refusal to Submit to the Lord in many other areas as well)!

Sometimes you don’t know, what you don’t know & the rest of the time when you are stubborn & prideful, you just simply cannot hear wisdom & truth from others. The only thing I would add to your article is the Lord’s position on the matter…”

Then she goes on to quote various biblical scriptures about the idea of punishing and disciplining children.  She ends by stating …

“Sorry, this was so long, I didn’t intend a mini-Bible study, I just wanted to show throughout the whole Bible from beginning to end God is consistent and very clear on this subject. This is a certain Biblical Principle from the Highest Authority.”

Unfortunately, back in those “biblical” days when all these commands and instructions were being given out … we did not have the liberal politicians and Child Protective Services that we have today.

Me and The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services:

I told you in my first article on Disciplining children a story about my spanking the two kids we had at the time after a family picnic for something they had done wrong while we were at the store getting supplies for the picnic.  I promised them after the pic-nick that they would get a spanking, and being the father I am, I fulfilled that promise to them with three smacks across the but with my belt.  Not real hard but hard enough for them to feel the sting of the belt.

Well, here’s the rest of that story …

My wife is from Vietnam.  In Vietnam there is an old Chinese remedy that many people use to alleviate the “symptoms” of aches, pains and the common cold.  It does not cure a cold; it simply makes the symptoms go away.

This remedy is called “Coining.”  Here’s some information on this from Google’s BARD.

Coining is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that is used to treat a variety of ailments, including colds, flu, fever, headache, pain, cough, and low energy. It is believed that coining helps to release “wind” from the body, which is thought to be the cause of many illnesses.

Coining is performed by rubbing a coin or other hard object over the skin in a linear fashion until bruises appear. The bruises are believed to be a sign that the “wind” has been released from the body. Coining can be done on any part of the body, but it is most commonly done on the chest, back, and shoulders.

There is some scientific evidence to suggest that coining may be effective in relieving pain and inflammation. However, there is no evidence that it can actually cure any illnesses. Coining can also be dangerous (if done the wrong way), as it can cause bruising, bleeding, and infection.

Below are a few pictures of what this looks like.

If you want to know more about this, I’ve included three you-tube video links:

What happened on the following Sunday and Monday:

On Sunday my daughter (the oldest) came down with the common cold.  Her mom did not want her to get so sick that she would miss school on Monday … so out came the Coining utensils.  For her it was always a penny and a jar of Tiger Balm.

And the process of “Coining” began.  If done properly this process does not hurt all that much, and when done on the rib cage (as it often is) some of my children would even giggle in laughter because my wife would tickle them while doing it.  While she would bring blood to the surface just under the skin, the children would never really bleed – though there would be welts left showing where she had coined the kids (as you can see in the video).

Well, my daughter was feeling fine when she went to school on Monday morning and dressed for Gym Class.  Apparently, the coach saw the marks (or perhaps one of the other students) and reported to the school nurse.

The school nurse called my daughter into the office and simply asked one question: “Did you get a spanking this weekend?”

To that my daughter, Linda, said, “Yes, I did.” Hey, she told the truth to the question was asked – and the only question she was asked.

That’s all it took.  The nurse must have immediately got on the phone with Child Protective Services (CPS) a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

When the kids came home from school I was there and nothing was mentioned to me.  About 30 minutes later we got a knock on the door and there was an African American woman with CPS and the county sheriff’s deputy.  The CPS agent, to me, looked to be in her early 20’s.  The county sheriff’s deputy seemed to be older than me.

The lady explained that we should not be spanking our children and then said she was going to take out children out of the home until we appeared in court to explain why we had spanked our daughter so badly.  I tried to explain that all I did was spank her on the butt – not the back – but she would not listen to me. 

Fortunately, I happened to know a Judge (actually a Justice of the Peace, in Texas) and called him on the phone.  He told the Sheriff’s Deputy to leave the kids at the home and that he would meet with us and CPS in court the next day.

That night:

All that night I spent preparing for what I was going to say.  I called my dad – the strict religious man in the family – and asked him to provide me information from the Bible about child Discipline.   My dad knew the bible like the back of his hand and provided me with several versus from the King James Version of the bible … the only one he would use.  Here are some of those versus:

Proverbs 23: 13-14 … Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Now I did not beat my child with a rod, I spanked her with a belt, and I was ready to tell the Judge this.

Proverbs 13: 24 … He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

I spanked my child out of love and I was ready to tell the Judge this.

Ephesians 6: 4 … And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I was going to explain to the Judge that I did not do this out of anger but that I was disciplining them in instruction of our Lord.

Hebrews 12: 6-7 … For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

I was ready to explain to the Judge that you should discipline the ones you love as God does the same.  God treats us as his kids and if the father cannot discipline his kids he is not much of a father.

After all, we were living in Wichita Texas which is known as the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” here in America.  I thought the Bible would be a good defense.

However, I did not stop there.  Our family Doctor also went to our church.  I got on the phone to him that night and explained what was going on.  He knew of my wife’s practice as he had seen it many times from the Vietnamese Community in Wichita Falls.  He got the Judge’s phone number from me and reached out to the Judge.

The next day:

We met at 9:00 AM in the Judge’s Chamber – not in open court – as instructed.  I was there, my wife took the day off work and she was there.  We also had the CPS agent and her boss there.

In addition, we had our son David, waiting for us in the courtroom.  My wife was prepared to give the Judge a demonstration if it was necessary.

All of my bible study and the boy being waiting for us in the courtroom was not necessary.

The Judge immediately lit into the people from Child Protective Services and told them exactly what coining was, how it originated in China and why it is used so often by the Vietnamese people.  He then asked, “How many kids have you taken from Vietnamese parents that should not have been taken in this city?  Whatever, that number is I want the files to review and we will likely be returning those kids to their parents.”

His final words … “CASE DISMISSED … Mr. and Mrs. Nix you can leave my chambers and return home with your kids.  I need a few minutes with these two.”

What happened to the agent of CPS after that, I do not know.  All I know is that in this case I was right and they were wrong and probably many children had been taken from non-English speaking Vietnamese in the early 80’s for no reason at all … other than them loving their kids and trying to help them.

Please note:  I am not advocating “coining” for anyone reading this.  I am simply explaining what got us into trouble with Child Protective Services and how I prepared to go to battle with them.  Things would have been much easier if the school nurse or principal would have simply reached out to me and asked a few questions before reporting us … but I guess laws did not allow this at the time … silly as it may seem.

So, what is the moral of this story?

Very simply this:

Don’t allow the government, their agencies or any other person tell you how to discipline your children.  They are your children that you love and know best how to discipline them.  Love them and discipline them when discipline or punishment (as some call it) is necessary.  Don’t beat them or abuse them or you may lose them. 

Never forget that just because someone made up a law … that law may not be right.  As loving humans and parents it, in my opinion, is far more important to do what is right even though it may not necessarily be lawful.  Good will always win over evil.

But most of all … don’t depend on the government solving your problems. In the words of President Ronald Reagan …

“Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

2 thoughts on “Child Discipline and the Government

  1. Linda

    So let me first say, while I remember the spanking and the why, (so does my bottom. Still stings to think about it)!

    The only part of this story I remember vividly (I didn’t know you went to court) was mom going to said teachers house and asking her if she was prejudice because she felt like the teacher was trying to get her kids taken away. I remember moms tears streaming down her face and I know she was sooo hurt.

    And that broke my heart more than the belt on the behind.

    Love you daddy!

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