No matter how Jack provoked me, I never ever struck him. When I first began babysitting him, his mother and I discussed corporal punishment, and we both agreed it wasn't an appropriate disciplinary measure for a babysitter to use. Of course, this was before the memorable even-ing I caught him calmly roasting a gummy worm with his bare fingers on the gas stove where I was boiling water for pasta. Although he was only six, he knew it was wrong and I knew he knew it—only ten minutes earlier when he had been helping me pour the pasta into the pot, I had warned him not to put his hands near the flame. I lunged across the kitchen, snatched his hand away from the stove, and slapped it. Despite my conversation with his mother, I felt I was justified—a temporary sting was better than burned fingers, and he'd been wantonly disobedient. (For what it's worth, his parents agreed with my actions when I told them later that evening.)
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Issue: "Word and Sacrament: Making Disciples of All Nations" July/August 2011 Vol. 20 No. 4 Page number(s): 62-63
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