What Would You Do?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Imagine this scenario: You volunteer with 5-year-olds in the children’s Sunday school program at your church. One of your co-volunteers, Doug, gives children a “swat” when they are acting up. You mentioned to him that it isn’t a great idea, but Doug says he is just doing what he does with his own kids. Should you tell?

The answer is YES. In volunteer service, corporal punishment, such as spanking or paddling, is not acceptable. Although parents have different views about this topic, it is not up to you as a volunteer or staff member to use physical discipline in any situation. Even if Doug is just “swatting” the kids in his estimation, there is a potential to hurt a child if the swatting escalates to a different level. Address this with your supervisor or the children’s director at your church immediately.

If age-appropriate timeouts and other techniques are consistently not working with a particular child, contact the parents and discuss methods that might work for that child.