2013-04-04

Beating The Hell Out Of Your Children Does Not Make You A Good Parent




This week, I came across this video. The scenario is that this man is “disciplining” his daughters because they were caught making a “twerking”. He is beating them with a cable wire.  He is causing welts and open wounds.   It should be considered abuse, but instead it’s being celebrated.  A slave mentality is way too prevalent in our culture, in particular black culture.

I see people celebrating this man as a good father.   People comparing this beating to the spankings and/or whoopings of their past.   They are looking at him as a hero, as a person helping us “fix” the black community and the black youth.   The only obvious next step for these children is prostitution, and this beating will prevent them from running the streets.  


I call bullshit.  This man is physically and verbally abusing his kids.  He is calling them motherfuckers.  Who calls their kid a motherfucker? He is swinging uncontrolled, and he is spanking out of anger and frustration.   We all know that even if you do spank, you are supposed to do it when you aren't mad and have calmed down.  

Let me preface this by letting you all know I was spanked.  I was spanked with belts, with switches, and at times with electrical cords.  I was all pro corporal punishment. Every year when the school sent the form to my parents asking permission for me to get spanked in school, my parents dutifully checked “yes” and signed.   Do I think I was abused? No.  Was I actually abused?  That’s questionable.  Am I mad at my parents?  No, they did what they knew, and I know that they didn’t feel they were abusing me and wouldn’t purposely harm me.   Is this what I plan to do my child?  No.  As Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  I discipline my child in other ways.  I don’t have to scream or yell.  Sitting her in a chair and saying sit still for three minutes makes her feel as if she is  being tortured.   She’s three, it works, and she learns.  I’ll continue to do it until it stops working, and then I’ll go to something else.   To be honest, I can only remember about one or two things that caused me to get spanked, the rest is I guess only going to come out in the form of repressed memories in my future therapy visit.  


Now for all of those celebrating that this is what the black community needs to save our youth, I ask you this:  If you saw a man beating the hell out of his wife with a cable in the street, would you find this acceptable?  If he was doing it to another man, would this be ok?   I’m pretty much figuring your answer is no.   Here are the facts, the black community should have been straightened out a long time ago.   Per this article, studies indicate 89% of African Americans use some type of physical punishment as discipline.   It isn’t all the 11% causing the problems that plague our community.  Black people have been using corporal punishment forever, a spanking is not why your kid finishes college.  It isn’t why your kid gets good grades.  Parenting does not begin and end with spankings.   If you feel the only way to discipline your child is to spank them, then things gotta change, and a parenting class is in order.   

For those concerned about a positive black male being taken away from his children, what exactly is positive about an abuser?  He abused them, all he taught them was a man can beat the hell out of them when they do something they don't like   Domestic violence isn't positive.  No man in the home is better than a man who is going to beat the hell out of them and call them motherfucker.  

We need to look at why we think violence is the only way to “fix” our kids.  Let’s face it, if your kid is doing a twerk video, the discipline should have occurred before that even happened. That means there was a disconnect between you and your kid to begin with. If they are sneaking out, again that is a failure to communicate with your child effectively.   If your child is in the principal's office, there were already issues.  

Violence was how a slave master “corrected” his slave, why do you want the same for your kids?   I want better than what I had for my kids.  Just because I was spanked, doesn't mean that it’s what is best for my kid.  Heck, it might not be what’s best for most kids.  Studies indicate that corporal punishment does not fix or make children compliant.  There is no proof that corporal punishment is an effective means of long term behavior modification in children.  

I don’t want to be my child’s friend, but I also don’t want them to fear me either.  I want to be respected, and respect is earned, even for us parents.