Tough Love or Child Abuse?

With the slew of allegations coming out of the NFL relating to violence and abuse, the conversations and discussions on the topic have begun to serge even more as well. Violence against women is something that most can agree is just plain wrong with no justification. However, the child abuse versus physical discipline debate is one that has people falling equally on both sides of the coin.

Former Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green was recently charged with felony child abuse after his 15-year-old daughter told police he punched her in the face over a dispute about her washing the dishes. She also said he threw her to the ground and against kitchen cabinets. I think we can all agree that the proper punishment for not washing the dishes shouldn’t be being punched in the face. But should physical discipline be a part of parental disciplinary tactics at all?

I think it has a lot to do with the mental and emotional state of the parent. The circumstances and the nature of the child’s behavior and disposition come into play when determining punishment but are there rules for parents relating to whether or not they’re in the appropriate emotional state to deliver physical punishment? The number one rule when choosing to use physical punishment is not to do it when you’re angry, overwhelmed  or frustrated. There are millions of kids who avoided that spanking that was promised once mom or dad got home from work because by time they were home they’d “cooled off”.

These recent situations of alleged child abuse, among NFL players particularly, reek of men who feel a loss of control which oftentimes results in acting out of ego instead of discipline. If used at all, spanking should be a tool for teaching, not to control or gain power. The sad thing is that Green seems pretty lackadaisical about the incident. According to the police report, Green said that he “may have” done those things. So you can’t be sure if you did or didn’t punch your daughter in the face Mr. Green?

Some feel that corporal punishment, if done right, is very effective in raising children. Back in 2015 Toya Graham was praised for her “tough love” after publicly beating her son and removing him from the Baltimore uprising.

Unfortunately, there is no psychiatric evaluation to determine whether a person is fit to be a parent or deliver corporal punishment to their children. But one thing’s for sure, if you believe in corporal punishment at all, spanking/hitting should be a last resort and not done in anger.

Chime in to the Chatter: Do you spank your children? Do you believe in corporal punishment at all?