Did This Father Go Too Far in Punishing His Son?
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
The details are admittedly sketchy on what happened here, but this boy decided to share his domestic dispute with cyberspace. We are not sure if he is seeking sympathy or just happened to snap the photo. The story goes something like this: The teenager gets out of control and begins to argue with his mother. He then refers to his mother as a b*tch, which leads to his father stepping in to defend his mother. We don’t know who won the fight, but this is what his face looks like after the fight is over. Assuming that he is the cause of the injuries in this image, did this dad go too far with the boy?
As the image has been circulating throughout the blogosphere, everyone has been giving their two cents on the matter.
Did the dad go overboard? My answer is “probably yes,” unless there is some piece of the story that hasn’t been shared. I can’t imagine your son saying anything that would justify a beating of this magnitude. Even kicking him out of the house or calling the police might be a better option than simply beating him to a pulp and risking jail time yourself.
Anyone who was raised in the old school knows that this sort of thing happens regularly in our community, and there was a time when the idea of being able to call the authorities on your parents was simply out of the question. While some might think it’s a sad day that a child can call the police on his parents, there are some parents who need to learn how to slow their roll. Beating the h**l out of your child and being proud of it is no way to parent, I hope we can agree on that. There are far more intelligent and loving ways to get your child to respect you, instead of threatening to kill them for every little indiscretion as they simply creep and do all their dirt behind your back.
At the same time, I am admittedly skeptical of all the new age (read “white”) psychologists who try to tell us that black parents are backward for believing that some kids need to be spanked. Every time I go to the grocery store and see a little blonde-headed three year old throwing boxes of cereal at his mother’s head, I am reminded of why the old school can sometimes be preferable to the undisciplined behemoths that I’ve seen on college campuses. I can name at least 500 kids I’ve taught over the years whose parents never taught them discipline and therefore gave them a license to become menaces to society.
We love our kids, and there may be room for various forms of physical discipline. But beatings like the one in this image have to stop.
Feel free to help me understand why I might be wrong.
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