Posts Tagged ‘ child abuse ’

Parents And Politics: Delaware’s New “Spanking Ban”

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

22 months.

Is the state of Delaware really banning spanking? Not exactly, but in theory, sort of.

Governor Jack Markell, a Democrat, passed Bill 234 last month, which contains an ambiguous phrase that I have conveniently copied and pasted for your convenience:

(j) “Physical injury” to a child shall mean any impairment of physical condition or

pain.

That’s why Bill 234 is controversial.

Because let’s face it: Spanking causes pain. That’s basically the whole point.

So it’s possible this bill could be interpreted that a parent could be breaking the law by causing pain to their child, via spanking.

Ouch.

How should we feel about that?

Immediately thoughts of “Oh no, now Big Brother is going to try to keep me from disciplining my own child!” come to mind.

The lines begin to blur regarding discipline and child abuse. What if other states adopt a similar bill?

When I hear a story like this, I remind myself what the root of it is. It’s not about whether or not spanking is wrong or right.

It’s about giving the government control over personal issues like this.

The question isn’t about spanking. The question is whether or not you support a “hands off” approach to government or a “decide what it is right for us, government” approach, instead.

Personally, I don’t believe in spanking. I raise my son with a strict, consistent method based on time-outs and taking away privileges, followed by clear communication with him explaining A) why his behavior merited the discipline and B) that I love him, then I hug him.

However, I support a parent’s right to spank their child. Because after all, who am I to stay that my method is better than spanking?

That’s not my call. Nor is it the government’s.

(Can you tell I’m a Libertarian?)

So as we approach this important Presidential election next month on November 6th, keep this mind:

You are voting for a political party and their ideologies, more so than a particular man.

Will you vote for a political party that lets the government decide how you discipline your own child, as well as, how many ounces of soda you can buy for your child when in New York City?

Or are you okay with making those decisions yourself?

 

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A Slap In The Face: Child Abuse Or Discipline?

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

A year and a half.

Back in February when I was doing some research as I wrote “4 Out Of 5 Parents Spank Their Kids” I read that slapping a child in the face can be considering a form of spanking.

I was never slapped in the face by my parents, nor could I ever imagine doing that to my son. To deem a face slap as a form of discipline seems illegitimate to me.

But is it because of the age and culture I am a part of?

The premium TV show Mad Men always does a good job of pointing out situations that are largely considered taboo today, but back in the 1960′s when the show takes place, were considered normal and acceptable.

I have noticed that in this show, children get slapped in the face as a form of discipline and punishment; sometimes even by an adult who is not the child’s parent. And therefore, we are led to believe this was okay for 1963.

Meanwhile, my wife knows a man who, without shame, admitted he slaps his children to discipline them. He is not from America.

So I wonder, as a Generation Y American dad, am I preconditioned to believe that slapping my child in the face is taboo? Or is this type of punishment truly as legitimate as spanking a child on their bum?

I am simply hosting this conversation. I would like for you to point out the double standards, both in favor and against including face-slapping in the same category as spanking.

Do you consider slapping a child in the face morally wrong, yet believe spanking your child’s buttocks is acceptable?

Why is a slap in the face somehow worse? Is it more psychologically damaging than spanking?

Does it make a difference whether or not it leaves a physical mark the next day? Is that what is considered crossing the line?

Why is there more of a taboo on face-slapping?

Why are you more likely to see a parent spank their child in public than slap them in the face? Is it because less parents slap their kids in the face or is it because those parents know they would be confronted by another adult?

If you witnessed a parent slapping their child in the face in public, would you do or say anything to them about it? (Imagine this being an episode of that show What Would You Do?)

Okay, go…

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What Are Your Biggest Parent Peeves?

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

A year and a half.

What things do you see other parents do that annoy you, even though they shouldn’t? Plus, what things should bother you, enough to speak up against them?

I have a few “parent peeves” that come to mind…

Like hearing another parent making empty threats of discipline to their obviously undisciplined kid:

Preston, I’m never gonna take you out in public again. You’re gettin’ a butt whoopin’ when you get home and Santa Clause isn’t gonna visit you this Christmas!”

Or watching a parent give their toddler a 24 ounce caffeinated soda.

My biggest one is medicating a toddler for ADHD or hyperactivity. But I’ve already preached my sermon on that one

When should these things bother us as compared to when it’s none of our business? How do we know it’s our responsibility to butt in and try to do something about it?

Recently I asked whether we should really care what other parents think about us. Well today, I’m asking why (and when) we should care how other parents do their job.

To help answer these questions, I have designed a system for figuring that out and I want to share it with you today:

Superficial disagreement- A difference of petty opinion or personal preference. Action required: Think to self, “Hmm… that’s weird. That’s not how I would do it.”

Personal disagreement- A difference of opinion so strong it offends you. Action required: Write a Facebook status update or blog entry generically dissin’ it.

Moral disagreement- A difference of moral viewpoint. Action required: Personally confront the parent or the authorities.

I think all parent peeves fall into one of those 3 categories and it’s a matter of sorting out which action should follow on our behalf.

To demonstrate, I’ll throw you a few examples:

A parent calls their kid an idiot in the school parking lot.

A parent slaps their kid on their face at the park.

A parent lets their kids run around and play loudly in the department store.

A parent uses the “cry it out” method on their 4 month-old.

A parent lets their now 3 year-old sleep in the bed every single night with them.

You get the idea. What’s interesting is that I’m pretty sure there are parents to defend either side of each of those examples.

So ultimately, it comes to a case of good old-fashioned relative morality.

Yes, I’ve had people defend the one of slapping their kid on the face. I was told that internationally it’s not a big deal.

Your turn. What are your biggest parent peeves?

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From In Utero Child Abuse To Illegitimate Abortion

Monday, February 6th, 2012

14 months.

“What do you think the consequences should be for a woman who harms her unborn baby by drinking alcohol?”

That is the question a friend from high school recently asked on Facebook. She and her husband adopted a little girl from Russia who suffers from several physical conditions because the birth mom drank alcohol while pregnant.

It’s common knowledge that when an expecting mom drinks alcohol, it greatly puts an unborn baby at risk. Granted, alcohol isn’t the only harmful threat for a child in regards to the pregnant mom’s wreckless behavior.

What about drugs? What about carelessness in general? What consequences are there for those in our society whom we consider to be “unfit mothers?”

It’s not like it’s easy to always pinpoint the “birth defects” of a child on the mother’s bad decisions. After all, not every baby born from a good mother makes it into this world perfectly healthy.

But going back to the topic of pregnant mothers who make destructive decisions, what exactly can we consider to be “child abuse” in the womb? Or as I like to call it: in utero child abuse.

For me, though, I take this topic a level further:

If a mother deliberately harms her fetus with the intent to kill her child, maybe by using a coat hanger, or having someone repeatedly punch her stomach, or even if the mom herself shoots her own stomach with a gun, and the child dies in the womb, is that definitely considered murder?

I realize each state may have its laws regarding this situation, but I’m less concerned with man’s law and more interested to know how our society perceives this within our own moral scope.

When a mother intentionally terminates her pregnancy on her own in some unthinkable way I just named, is that definitely murder?

Or do we deem that as an illegimate version of an abortion?

Image: Pregnant woman holding a cigarette, via Shutterstock.

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