What Parents need to learn from the Adrian Peterson Story?
The media is all ablaze with the Adrian Peterson story and the lessons are many but seldom does the media ever really get things right for fear of not getting high enough ratings that they often times sensationalize stories. What should be happening right now is when something as critical as this takes place, lessons should be drawn, compared, contrasted and dissected in order to give those struggling parents another avenue than just corporal punishment. I stand as guilty as many who never spared the rod for fear of spoiling the child but as Chris Carter so eloquently put it, “there are thousands of things that I have learned since then that my mom was wrong. You can't beat a kid to make him do what you want to do."
What I discovered was never discipline a child when you are angry, it tends to grow and you make your own child of victim instead of teaching them a valuable lesson that will help them make better decisions later on in life. I had to learn that the hard way and it cost me my oldest son. I was so concerned with keeping him on the straight and narrow that I neglected the most important thing and that was he was a human being with feelings and sometimes the rod is not the best option. I forgot to talk to him like he was a person and help him through his mistakes. I forgot to listen and hear him as he asked for guidance instead of earning a whipping. Here are lessons that we, as parents, should learn.
First is it really respected that we gain after a beating or is it fear. Do they now do as we tell them out of respect or out of fear? Will they ever approach us and allow us to help them through any issues as they grow or will they fear that we are going to demean and belittle them as we did as they grew? If discipline is your choice then may I suggest one pop and nothing more, telling them exactly what they did wrong and how to fix it?
Secondly, all that we were taught growing up may not be true today so we as parents need to analyze the knowledge obtained from our parents and make the necessary changes that we need to have it fit today. A child does have rights; they have the right to grow up healthy and happy and if there is no other defender of that fact, there should always be the parent. They deserve and have the right to be educated properly at home about what is right and what is wrong. You do not need a switch to do that, all you need is time.
Thirdly, beating your child does not mean that it will ever prevent them from enduring and avoiding bad things or bad decisions. To keep that from happening, the only thing you can do is never have a child at all. Bad things are going to happen and they will make bad decisions as we do now. The key is to make sure that they are aware what to do when bad things happen and to recognize a bad decision. If we can do that, as a parent, then we can rest assured that we have properly prepared our child for the challenges ahead.
I will never be able to get those lost moments back with my oldest but thanks to him, my Bible and the others children who have blessed my life; I can possibly help another parent and be better to my children that came after him.