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Adrian Peterson case reopens discussion on child discipline

Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

The Minnesota Vikings future hall of fame running back Adrian Peterson was booked last week and later posting bond after being indicted by a grand jury on charges for reckless or negligent injury to a child.
A warrant was issued for his arrest as photos of his four year old son were viewed by a grand jury showing injuries the young boy suffered after Peterson admittedly used a switch (tree branch) to spank his child as a form of discipline.
Photos of the boy showed cuts on his thigh and hands. He also had bruises on his lower back and buttocks.
Most of the physical evidence showed stripe marks reaching at least five inches in length. I counted about nine marks that were left behind on the child from this incident.
He reportedly was correcting the child for pushing another of Peterson’s children off a video game.
Some police reports note that Peterson has put leaves in his child’s mouth when “spanking” him.
Another notes that Peterson likes belts and switches and also has a “whooping room” in his home.
The photos and this case have now reopened a nationwide discussion on parents using some form of spanking to discipline their children and what should or should not be accepted.
Let me be the first to say that I personally have no problem in using spanking as a method to correct our kids.
My Bible is pretty clear on this issue.
In Proverbs 13:24, the Bible says “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
Proverbs 29:15 says “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
And finally, Hebrews 12:6-7 states “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Long story short, it is biblical to spank a child as a form of correction.
That being said, it appears to me that Peterson went overboard and was not careful in the discipline of his four year old.
I’ve heard many experts call Peterson the “pound for pound strongest man” in the NFL.
With that strength, he needed to be careful with just how hard he struck his child.
Though I personally have never used a “switch” on my children, I know others who have and never left the marks I’ve seen in these photos of Peterson’s child.
As a man weighing more than 300 pounds, my kids have been fortunate that my spankings come across rather weak most of the time. This is because, as a big man, I’m extremely conscious of making sure I’m not putting too much power behind a spanking.
This is why I personally have never used items like a belt or a “switch” on them. It wouldn’t take much for me to leave marks on my children and at the end of the day I don’t see what that would prove.
Any spanking a child receives should be preceded and followed with a discussion with our children to make sure they are clear on why mom or dad has been moved to what I call the final stage of the discipline process.
A spanking should be only a last resort used if other methods are not working.
And through the years I’ve learned taking away privileges are some times a bigger “spanking” for my kids that any hand on their bottom.
When parents start taking away a favorite toy or video game as a form of punishment, I’ve noticed many times that I finally see my child understand the significance of their actions.
Either way, this Peterson case will be sticking around the mainstream media for a while and so will the top of disciplining our children.
Where do you stand on this issue? I encourage you to write a letter to the editor, especially if you have past experience in either having a switch or other object used on you or if you used a switch or other object on your own children.
Drop the letter off at the office or email
One Extra Note
I had a reader call me last week and didn’t leave their name. They said they felt I was being “too religious” with my commentary.
This is a great reminder to our readers that Page 2 is the commentary page. It is there for opinions to be expressed on a variety of topics.
My editorials only offer my opinions and information on a variety of topics.
So if someone disagrees with my take on an issue, that’s perfectly fine.
We live in a free country and I enjoy celebrating the First Amendment weekly.
Readers disagreeing with me can write a letter to the editor for publication to express how they feel on a particular issue.
Letters can be dropped off to our office or emailed to They must have the person’s name and town location on them as well.