Peterson Shows Danger in Cycles of Bad Parenting
Editorial by: Emily Ram, Junior Writer
Adrian Peterson, 29, known for his 4.4 second 40-yard dash time and game-changing abilities as running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League, appears to be on the news for the brutal beating of his 4 year-old son. According to multiple reports, his son was beaten with a switch (tree branch) and Peterson pleaded guilty to striking the child in the testitcles, putting leaves in his mouth along with his pants being hung down.
Doctors indicated this as child abuse, and that the scars that were left as a result were extensive. As crazy as this punishment was, Adrian feels “very confident with (his) actions because (he knows his) intent.” (CBS Local) Peterson felt no obligation towards an action that can possibly have this child traumatized in the future which isn’t right. It is possible for his older fans to follow such actions as an example and this method of “parenting” used may not work in the future.
It seems as if Peterson believes this method will help his 4 year-old son. Peterson claimed that he “Never (goes) overboard!" and continued to state that “all (his kids) will know is, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don't play no games when it comes to acting right.” (CBS sports) For example, Adrian has done extreme punishment before over the fact that his son pushed another one of Peterson's children off of a video game. One conversation between Gregg Doyel, national columnist, and his son shows that studies proved corporal punishment will do emotional damage to a child in the future. (CBS News)
Based on the Peterson story, fans are also speaking out how corporal punishment has done them bad rather than good. Anti-abuse advocates filled up Peterson’s Twitter timeline with statements like “How is making your child bleed going to help them in the future?” It is a valid statement because all bloody scars are going to be is a memory, and it never does any good in the end. Studies shown that corporal punishment teaches violence “and that can lead to a cycle of violence and victimization in the child's future relationships.” (CNN.com) His son can become prone to doing this in the future.
Adrian also believes that he never went overboard but does the same exact discipline his father has done to him when he was little. “He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas,” Hardin said in a statement.
Corporal punishment is being passed on from generation to generation. Is it possible that Adrian’s father beaten him so hard that he knocked some sense out of him? As tweeted by an anti-Peterson Tweeter, “There is a difference between discipline and abuse.” Families are known to use corporal punishment as a passed on way of discipline, but was it necessary to make the 4 year-old bleed? How would you feel is you seen a 4 year old with extensive scars all over them? Parents beat their kids with a belt, with a hanger, with their hand- but not with a tree branch with their pants hanging down. Wouldn’t it have been fair enough if Peterson just simply told his child the right thing to do? Besides, he is a 4 year old, how much sense do you expect them to have? Adrian Peterson clearly went overboard with this.
Many of you may be thinking, “My parents beat me when I grew up, and I’m perfectly fine” or “why is it such a big deal that Adrian Peterson used corporal punishment on his son?” Think about it for a minute. Haven’t you noticed that because of the whoopings as a kid, you're more prone to get angry at certain situations the people around you are quite calm about? Have you noticed that when you get angry, you end up having a headache, or even a stomachache? “A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.” (Safehorizon.org)
Also, there is a difference between teaching your child discipline, and then doing a little too much. Most may get beaten with belts, your mother’s hands, even keys, but when you were a 4 year-old, did you get your private part shocked? Again, repeating what Peterson did, he beat his son with a switch (tree branch) leading him to be struck in the testitcles, had leaves in his mouth along with his pants being hung down. The punishment bestowed on that child is heartbreaking and can have permanent long-term damage.
Adrian Peterson should feel highly bad about what he did. Extreme corporal punishment is not right, it only does damage and leave the child with a future of intensity. Adrian Peterson did go overboard, and should evaluate the fact that corporal punishment doesn’t help.