Last week, the following video went viral on the Internet:
The responses to this video that I came across ranged from, “That’s how I was disciplined” to “That’s child abuse – the uncle should be arrested”. This range got me to think about modern-day parenting.
My husband and I both were raised in households that disciplined by spanking. However, neither of us had parents that ever disciplined us unnecessarily, or to the point of abuse. When we had our son we agreed he would be disciplined the same way – no second thought about it. It worked for our parents and kept up both in line, so why wouldn’t it work for our son?
However, I think about all of the students I’ve encountered in my years as an educator, and specifically the ones who stick out in my mind as having discipline problems. Every child isn’t fortunate enough to have two parents at home and for some, their parents are more like friends. A lot of parents would rather not hit their children and use the “time out” method for discipline. Many have had success going this route, but every child doesn’t respond to that method. More than once I’ve seen a student speak to their parent as if they were equals, talking back and even cursing. Furthermore, more children are quick to pick up the phone and call Children’s Services on their parents if spanked. It never occurred to me that I could have these reactions with my parents, as they instilled a healthy dose of fear in me through discipline at an early age. By the time I was double digits, spankings were no longer necessary.
Have parents gone soft on today’s children? What is the fine line between discipline and abuse?