Adrian Peterson was arrested, suspended by the Minnesota Vikings, and convicted of child abuse in the court of public opinion. I wish he had been my dad.
UPDATE: BREAKING SPORTS ALERT - September 15, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child, is being reinstated and is expected to play this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, the team said Monday.
In a week where even the uber-liberal Daily Kos called the controversy surrounding Ray and Janay Rice was a public “lynching,” ESPN and main stream media quickly found a new victim to completely discard any presumption of innocence before we had even a single detail. Like Rice, Petersen has no history of the crime for which he is accused. In the Rice incident, after 3 weeks there are cracks in the Iron Wall of Knee Jerk Liberalism as more learn that Janay admitted to the Ravens and Commissioner Goodell that not only did she instigate, slap and spit on Ray, but that over 40% of all domestic abuse victims are men. Hmmm, well maybe a “lifetime ban” isn’t quite so righteous as the Witches Caucus of the Senate demands as a sacrifice. (Just imagine how little truth would be known if the woman instigator WASN’T truthful and lied about what happened behind closed doors. But ESPN wouldn’t let commentator Stephen A. Smith intelligently bring up the discussion without threats of losing his job and (worse) being stuck hosting a show with Keith Olbermann until he died.) Yet I digress.
Petersen was recently a victim of true child abuse to 2 year old son by the mother’s boyfriend who murdered him just last year. But by all means, let’s jump to conclusion that he immediately inflicted harm on one of his other children with a switch (nothing more than a tree twig) that is common (and lawful) in many places in the rest of the world. Thank God he didn’t name his son “Redskin” or Eric Holder would already have him in Guantanamo. How did simply doing something our parents and grandparents did become “child abuse?”
My parents suddenly quit spanking me when I was about 5. My mother fell under the spell of one Dr. Benjamin Spock who took to every morning TV show and news program to explain that the greatest generation of the greatest country which had achieved the greatest moral and prosperity freedoms in history had it all wrong.
My mom bought Benjamin’s BS instead of using the one in sociology she achieved at college and removed her 18” Phi Mu sorority paddle from display. So when little PolitiJimmy decided to see if it might be more environmentally advantageous to burn a fire in the oven, she explained to me how wrong it was, how creative I was and assumed I could understand all this like a mature 30 year old. She decided that there would be no more pain associated with anything I ever did wrong. Well, at least until I started stealing cars and throwing plates at them when I was 16. I can’t imagine what the policeman (whom I would come to know quite well) thought when I explained to him it hurt my feelings that I actually had to obey my parents over taking the car to my first kegger.
Granted, I had the highest esteem and confidence of any child in Chicago but also tested in the 5% percentile in self discipline, reason, moral judgment and respect for (any) authority.
It took about 3 years of continued financial and legal destruction before I finally got the hint: “There ARE rules and they do have consequences no matter how they make you FEEL.”
It took another 2 decades, 2 marriages, 2 emotionally wounded children and even more financial devastation to start rewiring my brain, instinct and association to “get” how life worked and how valuable core character qualities like complete honesty, self-restraint and concern for others not only was beneficial to my life, but necessary to the pursuit of happiness.
I did somewhat better with my 2 children when they were young. However, I learned that not all punishment was equal. My daughter popped into this world with all the happiness, energy and vitality of her father. She also had most of his reinforced iron will and obstinence. And while I ALWAYS would paddle her out of love and not anger – even intentionally waiting an hour until I calmed down after she lied about drawing the likeness of the neighbor’s cat on the living room wall in purple. (Seriously, it didn’t look like the cat at all.)
I never really tested the limits of how hard I could spank her, but I did increase the pressure – or duration - as she kept laughing through the entire thing thinking it was a game. Even the few times a few tears were dropped, she’d be asking me for a cookie or to play only seconds afterward. Needless to say, the paddle would break long before her determination would.
My son was completely different. A stern look of disapproval would send him bawling and even putting my hand on the paddle would send him into convulsions. He was so sensitive by nature he never really needed ANY physical punishment. And both (thank God) have been far more successful in so many more “life” areas than I ever was, although I can’t take credit for either.
Yes, there are parents that have their own self-discipline, anger and emotional issues who, out of fear or ignorance, physically and emotionally harm their children. They should be prosecuted immediately and fully so that THEY can learn boundaries that clearly aren’t being grasped any other way.
WND ran an article eloquently describing why it is that violent crime has tripled since the “Dr. Spock” era began.
The sexual revolution that started in the ’60s continues with many casualties. Promiscuity has become so rampant that 1 of every 4 teenage girls now has a sexually transmitted infection. In the last five decades, practices have become so deviant that the number of distinct STDs had risen from five to more than 50 – a sudden increase of a thousand percent. Obsession with sexual violence has brought a 318 percent increase in sexual assault.
There are many parenting styles. And many studies of how effective (or ineffective) many are. From the Ruben Hill study, I realized that my parents weren’t the worst parents – NEGLECTFUL. They simply let their fear of peer judgment, or fear of their own ability to restrain themselves from inflicting TRUE harm upon me override what was best for me. It is quite possible that the cruelty of my grandfather toward my father growing up played a role in over-compensating. My mother however was spoiled rotten by her parents but likely also had issues in that they weren’t around all that much in her later years. So, I don’t want to seem ungrateful for what they DID do for me.
There are research studies that support that corporal punishment is beneficial. From the UK Daily Mail:
Young children who are smacked by their parents grow up to be happier and more successful than those who have never been hit, research claims.
It found that children who are smacked before the age of six perform better at school when they are teenagers.
They are also more likely to do voluntary work and to want to go to university than those who have never been physically disciplined.
I was shocked to learn just how polarized academia was in research for this column. As many studies have been published showing the benefits of corporal punishment I saw a pattern that the study authors are attacked – Alinsky style. The Daily Kos (same one that thought maybe we were lynching Ray Rice by media excess) decided their best comeback against a Professor who found that even young children are better off for physical discipline was to stain her by saying, “Surprise! She’s a Christian.” Perhaps they are unaware of how Christianity alone took a barbarian world into peace, freedom and prosperity exceeding every other “philosophy” in the history of the world. Or perhaps they were just early Common Core graduates.
But the author (and subject of attack), Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of Psychology at Calvin College in the Michigan, found there was not enough evidence to prove that physical punishment harmed most children with the exception of a segment over the age of 6 who were STILL much more academically successful than their coddled contemporaries. I seriously wonder if disconnect is where the parent is oblivious to the sensitivity of their own child or the MANNER in which they inflict it. I probably would feel differently about my parents slapping my hand for attempting to touch the stove than if they dried to cut it off altogether. And I really don’t’ see any studies that study the parents motivation of worldview guidelines – or how they would, since every parent thinks they are probably a great parent.
Of course at the end of the day you have to get into the detail of the study yourself to determine the true balance of the “he said, she said” battle of the PR corporal punishment battle. As a layman, it seemed to me that the research of the “pro-punishment” group doesn’t have a lot of substantial empirical challenges, but I’m no researcher. (Just ask my former professors.) However, two facts stand out to me. First, the central argument against punishment by it’s detractors is almost solely based in attacking the researcher and “method” rather than showing substantial data themselves. Secondly is REAL WORLD experience. You KNOW friends, family or neighbors that don’t spank their kids and have seen how those kids turn out. You KNOW the character of your children. And yourself.
And all of us know that PAIN is a great teacher. Emotional pain in avoiding the wrong person to date makes a wiser in choosing the right one. Physical pain of not eating motivates one to work. The segment of children (like me) who are born with a bit stronger self-will than others ESPECIALY know this because we test the boundaries more than our peers and always seemed to have suffered for it. It shouldn’t be especially surprising to know that the Dr. Spock’s of the world have created a departure of what has been known for over 3000 years:
He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early. (Proverbs 13:24 Amplified)
It seems obvious to me that the parent who does NOT inflict some form of appropriately measured discipline is another form of an abuser.