Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

What’s the Proper Size?


Sometimes I get some very strange search log hits.  Today I got this – “what’s the proper size length of pvc pipe to spank your children” 😯 – which I’m sure was because of this post.

Answer:  There is no proper size length of pvc pipe to spank your children. Zero. Zilch.

Why on earth is anyone searching for this?  If you are looking for advice from the Pearls on how to discipline your children, please abandon your search. Please don’t resort to their extreme disciplinary tactics.  I’m not even certain they can be called discipline.  I think the appropriate word is abuse.

It makes me sad to think that any parent would use a pvc pipe or dowel rod to spank their child.  I get it that many Christan Fundamentalists believe that many passages in the Bible advocate harsh physical punishment

  • Proverbs 13

24He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (KJV)

24 He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. (NIV)

  • Proverbs 22

15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (KJV)

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. (NIV)

  • Proverbs 23
13Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. (KJV)


13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. (NIV)


  • Proverbs 29

15The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. (KJV)

15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom,
but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. (NIV)

The rod depicted in these passages is that of a shepherd’s staff.  A shepherd used his staff to gently guide his sheep, to reach with the hook and gently pull a sheep from a pit – not to beat his sheep.

Consider this:  if God is commanding you to strike your child with an object such as a pvc pipe is that really a God you want to follow? I’m not suggesting that there is never an appropriate time for physical discipline.  But that should not be the predominate means by which discipline is meted out.

  • Colossians 3

21Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.(KJV)

21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.(NIV)

I wish I could say that this is the first time this phrase has landed someone here. Sadly, it isn’t.  😦

*Please forgive the wonky formatting of this post. I’ve tried every way to Sunday to fix it and when I update it goes back to this.

12 thoughts on “What’s the Proper Size?

  1. Perhaps the answer is “the same size cane you would like the civil law enforcement to use on you if committed a crime.” And if they think that isn’t a proper question, perhaps they should rethink their overall view of punishment.


  2. PVC pipe to beat children? Disgusting. I think someone has been reading the Pearls’ books on child-rearing.

    As a side note, I’ve gotten some odd search terms at my blog myself, some of which I’m too modest to write here. O_o


  3. When I was in India, the other teachers would hit the children’s hands with two sticks for various reasons like looking out the window. Usually we learned about this afterwards.
    I complained to the principal who did not condone that type of ‘discipline’ but the other Canadian teacher there finally grabbed the two sticks out of another teacher’s hand and whacked him hard.
    He looked accusingly up at her and wailed “that hurts!”
    “Exactly” she said. “Never do it again on a child or I will do it again on you.”

    She was my hero. You are too, D’ma. I’m glad you are saying something.

    Now I’m curious, Ahab!


  4. The search term you cited incites in my mind another search: “if there is a god, why did S/h/it (she/he/it) make morons?”


  5. I thought of you yesterday as we drove home from Disney World. we didn’t drive through southern Georgia, though we got quite close as we drove through northern Florida. Especially when my husband missed our exit and we drove closer to the border than necessary. Hope all is well.


  6. I think that’s an appropriate answer, Doug B. I really almost put a picture of a police officer with a night stick on this post. I’m appalled at the number of times I get that phraseology in my search terms. Scary ::shudder::

    Ahab, I haven’t read the Pearl’s books, but as I understand it these instructions are in the book. Maybe someone just likes the idea enough to “strike out on their own” without the proper instruction try it without paying for the book. Oh, good lord, did I just type those words? ::cringes:: As for search terms, I get some doozies, but nothing that compares to Cognitive Dissenter’s. And with some of the topics you cover, I’d be embarrassed to know what you get in your search logs, I’m sure.

    Wow, Prairienymph that took some cojones for the teacher to do that! I can’t believe the things that people do to children – all in the name of discipline, of course. I just don’t get it.

    I am certain, exrelayman, that you realize what your new god-term “S/h/it” translates into without the slashes. hehe….yep, if that is god, S/h/it certainly made, at least some people, in it’s image.

    Welcome back, DoOrDoNot! Sometime when you and Zoe come down this way we have to get together.


    • Was I close to you D’Ma? I think of my online friends when I’m travelling but I’m only roughly aware of where people are located. I’d love to get together with you and DoOrDoNot. Gosh, even my heart skips a beat thinking of it . . .

      When we head down and back we are of course on I-75. We saw some damage from the recent tornados. Is it tornado’s or tornadoes? You know that song, I left my heart in San Francisco? I left my brain in Florida. Oh who am I kidding . . . I left my brain somewhere and I don’t know where? :mrgreen:


  7. There aren’t enough people like you talking about this, or else people like you talking about this are buried beneath the onslaught of stupidity and fundamentalism, which is more probably the case.

    Morality is a heresy without grace and common sense.

    Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” is a faulty translation from the Hebrew. The true essence is found in a more literal translation of the first part: “Train up a child in the way that he is…” It means that a parent is responsible for knowing the nature and character of his child in order to teach him uniquely the way that he is and the way that he learns. If you combine this understanding with your wonderful insight about the shepherd’s staff, you find that there is a graceful, unique, protective way to teach a child what he needs to know.

    So much about this could be learned from properly understanding the Hebrew concept of sin – which is really what we’re dealing with here more than anything. In the Hebrew, “sin” has nothing to do with eternal guilt and condemnation and a lot to do with archery. When a young archer is trained in the bow and arrow, he is given the weapon and told to shoot. When he misses the mark there is no punishment or condemnation; instead, the teacher puts his arms around the student, positions his arms the way they should be and sets flight to the arrow. Such is the way an archer is trained. Such is the way a child ought to be trained. Such is the way that God trains us when we miss the mark, if ever the legions of faulty theology and fear-based religion could ever loose their grip upon the church to see the truth. No condemnation, no guilt, just the Father’s arms gently around us teaching us the proper way to fly.


  8. Sounds good to me, D’Ma!


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