In light of Adrian Peterson’s child abuse arrest the question that is at the tip of everyone’s tongue is does physical punishment hurt or help a child’s development?
Several athletes have spoken out on the matter. From the NFL to the NBA, there is a division of opinion. Let some former players tell it — a good whipping is like a family heirloom handed down from generation to generation. Former NBA player Greg Anthony said on CNN, “I was spanked and I turned out OK.”
In response to former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason’s criticism of Peterson, Charles Barkly stated, “I’m from the South. I understand Boomer’s rage and anger … but he’s a white guy, and I’m a Black guy. I don’t know where he’s from; I’m from the South. Whipping—we do that all the time.”
Conversely, Cris Carter, the Hall of Fame wide receiver and ESPN analyst, believes his mother did the best she could, but was wrong for some of the things she taught him. “You can’t beat a kid to make them do what they won’t do,” Carter said.
While spankings are part of the Black culture, study shows it can also have an adverse effect on children. Harsh corporal punishment, the term coined by researchers, was defined as at least one spanking a month for more than three years, frequently done with objects such as a belt or paddle. It was determined, “ Exposing children to harsh HCP may have detrimental effects on trajectories of brain development.” HCP is correlated to depression, aggression and addictive behavior, researchers said in a study that was published in 2009.
Adrian Peterson’s mother also weighed in on the conversation. Bonita Jackson defended her son by admitting she and Peterson’s father, Nelson Peterson, were “big disciplinarians.” They not only used their hands, but also switches and belts to occasionally spank all six of her children.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle Jackson said, “I don’t care what anybody says, most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant to sometimes. But we were only trying to prepare them for the real world. When you whip those you love, it’s not about abuse, it’s about love. You want to make them understand that they did wrong.”
Adrian Peterson, like many parents, may have possibly taken it too far, but do I believe spankings are sometimes necessary? Yes.
I turned out great, like many of my family members and friends. However, physical punishment should never leave injuries or wounds on a child, especially a toddler, but it’s far too easy to cross that line.
What is your take Clutchettes? Have you been spanked? Did it help or hurt your development?