Saturday, September 20, 2014


I’m reading in the newspapers that there is another animal out there in the person of Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson, who took a “Twitch” as he called it, a tree branch stripped of its leaves and applied it to his 4-year old son’s butt! He sees it as old-fashioned southern discipline, and after being called on it, says he regrets any unintentional pain he heaped on the child.

Of course there is that other jackass who punched his fiancé in an elevator and was caught in the act. She of course married him after that, thus jackasses attract to each other. But I believe I already mentioned how I feel about them, so back to Mr. Peterson.

He seems to think that because the child is his in name only, he has a right to apply abuse to an innocent child, inflicting pain and thinking it is for the benefit of the child. But I would ask him this: What do you think would happen to you, if you inflicted that same kind of punishment for the same kind of ‘crime’ on another 4-year old other than your child? It of course would be deemed unacceptable. He would be arrested.

The first word that comes to mind is assault, which I think would probably come to his size-challenged mind also. What would make that bad, but beating his 4-year old son OK? That child is no one’s property and should be respected. You want to punish the kid, ok, take away something he loves for a while, and see what else there is, but keeps your hands off of the kid!

Mom had her wooden spoon, which she used for several well-deserved occasions, but I didn’t see the business end of it until I was older that 4, and she used it with just one whack, on the arms, the butt or legs and never on the head. It was more for intimidation and coercion than for real physical punishment. But I think it was wrong too, in retrospect. Most young kids got a strap or wooden spoon. The interesting dichotomy is that the strap meant the father was the disciplinarian while the wooden spoon meant mom was the enforcer.

The enforcers!
My father was never one to hit, he always deferred to mom, and although he yelled, it wasn’t often, he liked to pick his spots. Mom on the other hand used yelling a lot, and complained I didn’t listen enough to her. It was kind of hard, even with her yelling to hear her as the wooden spoon came into play, causing me to develop cat-like responses to sudden noises.

I will say this for corporal punishment: it is more effective than the more lenient kind I am proposing, but it is more barbaric, more painful when pain shouldn’t be the criteria for punishment. Most of us growing up in the 40’s and 50’s got the paiful kind, and really, we grew up very well adjusted for it, but it is time ti think about ourselves a little better.

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  • As a child of the 60's, I think we all typically grew up the same way when it came to discipline. Whether it be the wooden spoon,(which I think we ALL got on occasion), or a hair brush, whatever the "weapon of choice was", I think that kind of discipline was just continued through generations. We, generation X, we're hoping to "curb" that a little, break the cycle, if you will, with , like you said, taking a favorite item away, talking, trying other ways with out the hitting that we all got. I'm not saying a swat on the backside on occasion for a child that is disrespectful or did something to deserve it is not warranted, sometimes much needed. But "switches " and really hurtful items should never be used. That's not " breaking the cycle", that's continuing it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:07 AM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:11 PM  

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