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(s/o) prayer as punishment?

Not going to sidetrack the other question with this - but wouldn't having your child pray every time they did something you wanted them to stop doing until they broke the habit be as likely to condition them against praying for good reason as it would to break the habit?

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Asked by NotPanicking at 6:23 PM on Jan. 9, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • That is exactly what happened with my husband. His family did this very thing. Now he does believe in God but wants nothing to do with the church.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:27 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • Yes. I believe children know when they are wrong. If I told my child to pray until he no longer does the wrong, and his heart is not in the prayer, it is not going to accomplish anything except a distaste for the God that I hold dear to me and a dislike of me. I want him to love God and want to go to him in prayer to correct the wrongs in his life. I hope I raise him to do so. But I would never force him.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 6:29 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • I would think so. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies with certain things.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 6:32 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • Seems to me that would turn a child off to prayer. Prayer is supposed to create a relationship with God not be a parent's go to punishment. Reminding a child they can ask for forgiveness is one thing, making a child pray as part of the punishment is another story.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 6:36 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • you should NEVER use prayer as punishment!!! That is just awful. It should be enjoyable especially by a young child. My daughter is only 2 and folds her hands and prays even before she eats anything!! This is something that should be instilled at a very young age, but only in a positive way.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 6:42 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • I thought prayer was suppose to be something soothing and to bring comfort to the one saying said prayer. It seems that would have the opposite effect if it was forced and more especially used as punishment

    Answer by pnwmom at 6:55 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • how is prayer used as punishment? that's one of the reasons i've never understood the whole ''say 10 'hail marys' and..." no disrespect, catholics, i just don't understand it.
    i mean, how many of us had to write sentences over and over and over saying we'd never....hit that kid again, or talk out of turn in class...then did the very same thing soon afterward? well, it never worked for me, anyway.
    forced prayer isn't prayer. its bullying, and will not accomplish anything worthwhile. if anything, i'd think it causes the opposite return.

    Answer by dullscissors at 7:27 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • makes me think of Stephen King's Carrie...

    using prayer as punishment is confusing on a psychological it negative or positive punishment? are you giving something bad or taking away something good? its not a cut and dry punishment and that confuses kids...leaving them to decide whither its really a punishment or not. its not going to affect the kids behavior in any way.

    i can understand asking a kid to pray for forgiveness, but you cant make them, and using it as a punishment accomplishes nothing.

    Answer by okmanders at 8:04 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • I ask my children to pray that God help them to not "hit their sister" or "throw their juice at the wall". It is used as a form of reconciliation and helps them understand that what they did was wrong. When I do something wrong like loose my temper or swear I pray (in front of my children and with them) that God forgive me and help me to be a better mom.
    I agree that it can be used in the wrong way and be detrimental to a child's spiritual development.

    Answer by tobys.mommy at 8:21 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • "how is prayer used as punishment? that's one of the reasons i've never understood the whole ''say 10 'hail marys' and..." no disrespect, catholics, i just don't understand it. "

    When prayer is used after Reconciliation, it is not a punishment, it is a way to reflect on ourselves and to become closer to God again. Being closer to God, you are supposed to engage in behavior that is more Christ-like and turn away from sin. Just lettin' you know that.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 9:14 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

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