Let me first give a disclaimer. I have a 23 year old daughter. When she was I believe six years old, I slapped her on her leg one time because she had lied on something rather substantial. The slap left a slight mark that went away after a few hours. I imagine if my daughter had a lighter complexion it may have been visible longer. That scared me, not because I felt I did anything wrong. It scared me because I am a naturalized citizen living in America. I feared exactly what has happened to Adrian Peterson albeit in a substantially less visible manner.
Adrian Peterson does not deserve the crucifixion he is getting
Corporal punishment in Panama is as prevalent as it used to be in the United States and many countries. I personally believe corporal punishment has a place in the discipline of very young kids. While they can discern what not to do from a non-harming controlled pain from a parent's slap, a burn on a stove can be fatal, a lie can harm. That said I never slapped my daughter since for discipline. We have slapped each other around wrestling of course. I was lucky that she was an exceptionally good kid.
I saw the pictures of Adrian Peterson's son. I must admit it looks bad and can understand why most including a part of me are repulsed by it. That said those 'injuries' are very similar to those that a kid gets scraping against brushes. I am not trying to minimize that in the case of his son he inflicted the scrapes. I think that context is important.
Adrian Peterson made a mistake in disciplining his kid too severely with that switch. His mistake was not a mistake that deserved a felony charge. It is not a mistake for which he deserves to be crucified. It is a mistake that require parenting coaching. How quickly we forget the mostly good done by some as we give real evil a pass. In an America where too many children are undisciplined and disregarded by their parents, we should be helping parents who are attempting to steer their children in the right direction.
What is upsetting is that while many in the media and many of us are ready to crucify Adrian Peterson for his actions we give others a pass. Adrian Peterson will not ever put a ‘whipping’ on his kid like that again. The millions of Americans that have had no ill-effects from corporal punishment are just fine.
Politicians that vote against Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are child abusers. Politicians that vote against a livable wage, a minimum wage are child abusers. Politicians that vote against healthcare for the caretaker of children are child abusers.
It is all in framing. One can make Adrian Peterson, a good man that went a bit too far in his discipline, a monster. At the same time a pass is given to politicians that effect material, economic, and physical harm to millions of children and parents. If the fervor and anger were directed to those doing the most harm in our society, we would have much better parents, much better children, and a better society.
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