Parenting in Jesus' Footsteps

Resolution of the United Methodist Church

Whereas, corporal punishment models aggressive behavior as a solution to conflict,

Whereas, some research has associated corporal punishment with increased aggression in children and adults, increased substance abuse, increased risk of crime and violence, low self-esteem, and chronic depression,

Whereas, it is difficult to imagine Jesus of Nazareth condoning any action that is intended to hurt children physically or psychologically,

Whereas, time-outs and deprivation of privileges are as effective as corporal punishment in stopping undesirable behavior,

Whereas, the effectiveness of corporal punishment decreases with subsequent use and therefore leads caretakers to hit children more severely,

Whereas, children must eventually develop their own conscience and self-discipline, which are fostered by a home environment of love, respect and trust,

Therefore, be it resolved that the United Methodist Church encourages its members to adopt discipline methods that do not include corporal punishment of their children. And be it further resolved that the United Methodist Church encourages congregations to offer opportunities for dialogue and education on effective discipline of children.

Submitted by Rita Swan, Sioux City, IA, USA

Petition Number 41038
Adopted May 31, 2004 by the General Conference of the United Methodist Church of America

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