2005-03-30 - 11:25 a.m.
The reason that corporal punishment should not be used as a form of discipline:
Is that really worth the risk?
Those who love their children would be wise to not take such risks- particularlly when it is evidenced that there are other equally effective methods of discipline.
What strikes me about this is the quote from the Buffalo Police Dept head of investigative services that "alot of times discipline crosses over into abuse" and the indication that the father didn't THINK he was abusing his child.
The other quote that struck me was the neighbor who commented on the way the DAD used to take care of those kids and that he appeared to be a nice guy.
YES INDEED he was likely a NICE guy. NICE GUYS or GALS can STILL MURDER their very own children that they undoubtedly care for if they take such foolish risks of using corporal punishment with their children! Its so very short sighted and well intentioned- but that doesn't matter in the end WHEN A CHILD IS MURDERED.
The sibling left behind isn't going to remember how much his DAD loved him, he'll instead be left the legacy that HIS DAD MURDERED HIS BROTHER.
That kind of "tough love" is not the love that children deserve.
And why do parents do this? I don't buy into the crap "because their parents did". Alot of people grew up in dysfunctional families. As adults we need to take responsibility for our own choices and BE our own individual person REGARDLESS of our background.
There is so much available information out there that those who remain short sighted and foolish and risk their own children's lives and health and emotional well being are well deserving of any judgement others pass on them. They have asked for it themselves by refusing to listen to what society has been saying for years... and WHY? WHY the refusal to change or seek other ways ? In the end its that same old sin that is said to be the downfall of all: PRIDE
Pride feeds the unwillingness to learn from others. Pride feeds the arrogance of believing there is only one way to do anything- whether it is child rearing or anything else. Pride leads one to seek control even to the point of a power struggle with a defiant child.
It's that blinding pride and self absorbed arrogance that are the determinative traits of those who use corporal punishement. YES I said DETERMINATIVE- because it is these traits that lead to the inevitable negative outcomes. Its that self pride that feels assaulted when a child is defiant or won't act as the adult wills them. Only those with this sin of arrogance will get into power struggles with a three year old to begin with.
So how does a parent get to a point of beating their child? That abuse likely comes from that need to establish CONTROL and is fueled by ANGER when one's pride is assaulted, unbridled Anger that swells EVEN in the face of a three year old. And this comes as a result of insecurity of the adult who feels threatened when they are not in control.
Those who must continue to prove their authority through Corporal Punishment in the end get the end result of violence: Their own demise and The demise of their family.
This article should serve as a warning to them. Jail without Bail is the immediate outcome of this Father along with the grief and personal pain he must carry at the loss of his son at his hand. That must be the worst punishment anyone could ever be left with: Facing their own reality day in and day out and realizing they have indeed been EVIL through succombing to the temptaion of pride. To have KILLED one they actually cared for and loved and intended to LOVE.
I've said it before though: Love isn't a feeling, it isn't an intention , it isn't what one wants and wills and thinks or feels about another.
Love is ACTION. That's the only thing that REALLY matters in relation to other people. HOW we treat them.
LOVE has no room for violence of any kind. TO Know what it is one can think of the Beatitudes: Love is Patient Love is Kind...etc...
To believe otherwise is to deceive yourself.
So did this Father love his son? YEs and no- YES HE WANTED To , and yes he hoped for the best for his son.
But NO , in the end he did not love his son. He either didn't know how, or he knew and chose to act otherwise.
Due to his own fallabile nature, and his own sins and shortcomings, this Father was perhaps incapable of knowing what love really is. HE WANTED to love, but fell short.
And in the end it has to be because he didn't love himself.
He fell so short that his anger and his pride were stronger than his desire to love.
I'm convinced that fundamentally
So what can one do when faced with anger and pride? I am convinced that the inverse is also true. Anger and Pride can't Co-exist with love. When one is validated and LOVED they can't stay angry and prideful. One who is prideful, arrogant and angry is drawn out of themself by the very act of being validated by another.
Its counter-intuitive in a way, but in another way its so very logical. The times we feel so actualized and happy are often times we are productive and doing something that takes us to a place outside of ourselves. Whether its a state of creative "flow" where one gets so pulled into something one seems to forget ourself, or a time one is so absorbed with thinking and being with others, It seems to me that at those times one is often happiest.
So if one has a problem with anger and pride they personally need to focus on how they can be validated in the moments when they are feeling challenged and vulnerable. I think for some this is an acquired and not natural skill: To be able to see a defiant child as LOVING you the adult EVEN when all your buttons are being pushed. To recognize the challenge is only because the child WANTS TO BE LIKE YOU at some fundamental level and must go through this process of growth.
To see that to act without restraint is indeed a way to scar the core of a child. Whether or not a child will be physically hurt, to use corporol punishement will result in an attack at the person who will grow up with insecurity in adulthood.
Its that insecurity that results in the excessive pride. That prideful arrogance is really just a mask for one's own insecurity.
The ultimate source of validation therefore really has to come from within from anyone who has grown up with parents who attacked them punitively. They have all those internal messages that they are not worthy, they are not good enough etc...
Ultimately its up to each person themself to choose what they are going to BELIEVE about themself.
I am convinced that the way one acts toward others, including their own children, is reflective of one's belief of self.