Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spare the Rod and Raise a Happy, Well-Balanced Child

There was a time when electro-shock therapy was used to treat mental illness. We figured out eventually that it really wasn't effective therapy and did more harm than good, so we stopped using it. We judge all the time. If you have any ethical or moral code at all then you make judgments as to what is right and what is wrong. 

As a people, we were shackled and beaten for generations. Why do some of us insist on embracing corporal punishment as appropriate discipline for the weakest and smallest among us--our children? If you hit a child hard enough to hurt that child, it's abuse. People will intervene if they see an adult kick a dog; yet there are people who insist it's none of my business if I observe a child being hit. 

Michael Vick went to jail, did time for being the money behind a dog fighting ring and I didn't hear a whole lot of people coming to his defense or protesting his punishment. Adrian Peterson beat his four-year old with a switch and there are those of you who want to declare that it's nobody's business except Peterson's how he disciplines his son.

Children deserve to grow up without fear and tears. Using paddles, switches, belts etc. is barbaric and a sign of a parent who doesn't have a clue about child rearing. Simply having sex and giving birth does not make anyone a parent. Parenting requires thought and care.

Ever considered that some of the black on black violence that still occurs far too often may have something to do with a philosophy that beating a child is the way to discipline a child. I have two siblings and none of us were ever beaten as children. We were disciplined--had toys taken away temporarily, sat in the corner for a time out and were told that being selfish, cruel, and mean to others was wrong. None of us had any problem staying on the straight and narrow path.

I am tired of hearing black people who define us in terms of having a belief in whooping our children. Why would any of us want to perpetuate the violence that was done to our ancestors by teaching our little ones that if you're an adult, you can hit children? The dumbest thing that I've ever seen is a young parent wailing on the behind of a small child who just hit another child and loudly declaring with each blow, "We don't hit!"

If we don't start talking about these issues honestly, the violence will continue to repeat itself and eventually destroy us. That is unacceptable. Ask yourself, what are you accomplishing when you hit a child? If violence works so well, why don't we just beat adults when they break the law? Some countries still have public floggings.


Capt. Fogg said...

We pay violent and aggressive men millions to be violent and aggressive and then we wonder why they are violent and aggressive.

We watch with glee when men beat hell out of each other for no reason but money and the joy of winning through violence.

I have to suspect that watching violence for entertainment, that idolizing violent people feeds our lack of empathy and our use of it in other things like smacking women and children around. I think we're a violent species and we need to tame it if we wish to be a successful species.

Listening to this Peterson explaining that he was raised that way, it seems a familiar story. Kids who were beaten often need to think it did them good because otherwise they'd have to recognize that they were wrongly abused -- That their parents were bad parents that they were not loved or appreciated or even respected, and I guess that's hard to do, but when you beat your child you may be beating your grandchildren and your great grandchildren. When you beat your children you may be punishing them for the bad childhood you had and giving them the same fear and pain you suffered.

Lisa :-] said...

Great post, Sheria. Much to think about here.

veganelder said...

When I was teaching introductory psychology courses I would bring up the notion of hitting children in the name of "discipline". Invariably the overwhelming majority of the class would agree that physical punishment was necessary. Invariably the class would be scandalized at the notion that well behaved children can rather easily be raised without hitting them. U.S. America is pretty addicted to smacking our children.

My question to the class was how do you smack a child for 'discipline' without teaching (albeit inadvertently) that violence is an acceptable solution to a problem and also without teaching that it is acceptable for the stronger to harm those who are weaker? I never did get a credible answer to the question.