Jehovah`s Witness/children


Is smacking children ever OK?  

Is make-believe and imagination discouraged in children eg. fairies?  

Is it OK to put my child to bed with a toy (teddy bear etc.)

Hello Michelle,

Thank you for your questions. I am not an expert in child behavior so my advice is based on what I know about the Bible and personal experience. Those are not easy topics to answer as every one has differing opinions on just what constitutes discipline, how much encourage a child's imagination or what constitutes a good toy for the child to go to bed with.

Many people have taken the words of Proverbs 22:15  very seriously and literally. King Solomon wrote  "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him."(RSV)    Based on that, disciple was often applied with severity.  This very often become abuse of the child. However there are other principle that Solomon wrote that add further insight as to what that may mean.

At Proverbs 13:24 the King also said "He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly." (NKJV)  The last part of that is important. If we LOVE our children we will discipline them. A loving parent would not be wanting to bodily or emotionally harm their child

Here is something else Solomon wrote in Proverbs 17:10. I will show a couple of different renderings

(BBE) A word of protest goes deeper into one who has sense than a hundred blows into a foolish man.

(NKJV) Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.

(Message) A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

When our children were old enough to reason, we would reason with them as to what they did that was inappropriate and why. We always told our children why they were being disciplined. If, on the odd occasion we did decide to smack them on the leg we told them they were going to get a smack and we would do it WITHOUT ANGER.  We would wait until we were calm before using a smack.    

Disciple does not have to be smack. It can be a stern word.  Every child is different and what will work for one will not necessarily work for another.

Speaking from personal experience (have had 4 children 2 boys and 2 girls)that a small smack on the leg when the child was small had good results for a couple of them but not for others.  Taking something they liked away as punishment worked for 3 of them and not for the forth.

One thing that worked as the children got a little older was "time out" in their room with nothing to do.  The length of time was dependent on their age. Generally we used one minute for each year of their age eg a 5 year old go 5 minutes the 8 year old got 8 minutes.

Discipline of some sort is needed Solomon gave this advice in Prov 29:21.  The word mention a servant but the principle is there for applying the words it to a child

(BBE) If a servant is gently cared for from his early years, he will become a cause of sorrow in the end.

(NWT) If one is pampering one’s servant from youth on, in his later life he will even become a thankless one.

What ever disciple you decide to use, do so in LOVE and without anger and be moderate.

I know of no scriptural reason why a child's imagination can not be encouraged except for the principle in 1 Timothy 3:1-11. This passage is talking about qualities for adult men wanting to have responsibility in a congregation and for Christian woman.  The point of interest here is being moderate in habits.  Keeping that principle in mind when encouraging our children to do things or explore ideas is to be moderate. What is a moderate view if encouraging imagination?  I do not know.  That is something you will have to decide.

All my children had some sort of teddy bear or doll that they took to be. Each child had their preference and each child gave up their chosen toy at different ages. The toys we did give them for bedtime were never too big so as to smother the child. So you must decide what is an appropriate size and type of toy for you child to have, again keeping in mind the principle of being moderate.

I hope I have been able to give you some sound ideas.  

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Brenton Hepburn


I AM one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am always learning. I am NOT an expert in the full sense of the word but I can answer questions on the reliability of the NWT - the so called mind control problems-so called prophecies - how being a JW affects the individual and relatives and general practices and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses. >>WARNING<< Please be aware that there are people here who ARE NOT practicing JWs. By all means ask these ones questions. Depending on the question you will get an honest answer, but, generally the answer you get, will mislead you as to what we believe, often because, they do not give ALL the relevant details. These ones will, have an agenda against JWs., and will at times give answers that are not correct in regard to JW teachings and practices. If you are after a answer from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please read some of the answers that the various experts have published before choosing someone. If you want to ask one of the NON JWs a question, that is fine, BUT if you want a balancing view after asking one of the NON JWs, ask a JW the same question. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: There(have been)and are, some "experts" here who are NOT always the most courteous and polite, at times are actually quite rude, that applies to both JW's and non JW's and their answers may offend, especially when they get personal and attack the character of the person and not the message. Unfortunately some here that have done that. So it IS IMPORTANT to chose an "expert" that YOU feel will best suit YOU by reading some of their past answers . . . . .


I have been a publisher since 1964. When I first went on the internet I found a lot of negative information dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses covering prophecy, mind control and what many said was a very bad translation of the Bible known as the NWT. It shook my faith. After may hours researching these topics I could see why some felt that way, but, I was also able to explain why there were these misleading views. I can now set matters straight for anyone that has negative information about Jehovah’s Witness to show them that such information is at best misleading and at worst dangerous lies.

I have been a student of the Bible for many years, am trying to teach myself Biblical Greek. Was a public tax accountant for many years untill SEP 2009 when I gave it up due to health problems.

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