In general, I think parents and guardians today are soft; which – to me – explains why so many kids have lost their collective minds. In part (at least in the black community), I think it has to do with the restructuring of the family; most notably (1) the grim reality that parents are getting younger and less mature, and (2) the disintegration of the two-parent, nuclear family. But I also think the proliferation of child abuse laws – effectively limiting the parents’ ability to physically discipline their children – also plays into the phenomenon.
In spite of the growing culture of discliplinary quiescence, there are some parents who refuse to allow their children to run amok. For that, I tip my hat. In a society that teaches the effectiveness of nonsensical psychological measures like “Time Outs”, I feel a certain sense of…I don’t know…satisfaction when I see (what some would consider) more extreme actions being taken.
First, I’d be remiss to not include Exhibit A: a man kicking the holy hell out of his wannabe gangbanging nephew and embarassing him for the world to see. This video became a YouTube hit (no pun intended), to the chagrin of the thug-in-training [Warning: Strong Language]:
But more recently, a friend of mine sent the next clip. In this video, a dad caught his young daughter receiving dirty text messages on her phone. Though she didn’t get a beatdown, she probably wishes she did:
I love seeing these kinds of actions from parents. While I can’t declare with absolute certainty that these measures will work on everybody, I can appreciate when adults at least make an attempt. Some people will argue that methods like this contribute to the moral decline of the person subjected to the discipline…or that it could cause the young person’s propensity for violence and agression to become significantly more potent.
I say, that’s bulls**t.
Two moments in particular immediately come to mind when I think about how I was raised. Once in the fourth grade, I recall giving my teacher a one-finger salute. She called my mother, who then called my father. When he got to the school, he didn’t even wait to find out what happened. Seemingly without thinking, he grabbed the nearest weapon he could find – an extension cord from the classroom’s overhead projector – marched me into the nearest bathroom, and performed his own version of an exorcism. Trust me when I say: those demons were purged from my system that day. They never returned. I also remember once in my early teens, my mom caught me in the basement playing touchy-feely with my then-girlfriend. After she made me take her home, Mama smacked the s*** out of me when I returned. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. She made me apologize to the girls’ parents, took away my driving priviledges, and gave me a solemn warning that she would put me out the next time I pulled a stunt like that. Needless to say, I learned my lesson.
Again, this doesn’t work for everybody. Some people – to my surprise and bewilderment – actually don’t need to get smack upside the head or have their cell phone used for batting practice in order for a message to sink in. But if it does work, you won’t see my as an opponent. Anything to prevent one less thug and one less teenage mother (short of killing them) is welcomed.