We say it takes a village to raise a child.
It can take a fleet of people to bring home a new baby. Grandparents, neighbors, best friends are all helping the new and bleary-eyed parents with their unfamiliar and exhausting schedule. The dinners are pre-made in the freezer, the laundry folded by a kind grandma, neighbor or mother-in-law are absolutely life savers!
There are countless instances where the village kicks in:
A ride to the pediatrician with your best friend can help you with that cumbersome stroller you’re still getting the hang of collapsing to fit in your trunk…I’ve been there.
When your oldest is sick and you can’t pick up your youngest from school and that helpful neighbor offers to do it for you.
But when it comes to issues like discipline that border on child abuse, we can turn a blind eye and say that how you discipline your kids is your business. What goes on behind closed doors is your business. How you treat or mistreat your spouse is your business.
It’s a Pandora’s Box of taboo topics. A minefield of gray that most of us would rather leave to each his own.
However, if it takes a village to raise a child, why do we neglect one of the parts that is so critical to a child’s psyche and molding in how he or she will perceive violence, corporal punishment, and power?
In the case of NFL player, Adrian Peterson, he took a switch, a small branch from a tree and hit the child repeatedly for interfering with another child’s video game.
This is an old-fashioned form of punishment. Probably one our grandparents endured. I think my dad did. We’ve seen it on episodes of Little House on the Prairie when the school master disciplines a student with a switch or stick. Nuns did this in Catholic schools with rulers, headmasters with paddles.
The difference between those situations and the Adrian Peterson situation is the boy’s injuries and wounds look like they were inflicted out of rage and lack of self control.
Discipline should be carried out judicially. Not in a fit of anger.
This is why I can say I regret some of the spankings I gave my daughter. I know that I reacted in the heat of the moment when I gave her the swat on her diapered backside. Read more