With the December 1 trial date tentatively set for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for charges of reckless or negligent injury towards his 4-year-old son when he whipped him with a switch last May, child discipline will again be part of the national conversation. When does punishment go too far?
Last week NFL player Adrian Peterson turned himself in on charges of child abuse after a session of disciplining his 4-year-old son left cuts, welts and bruises on the boy's body. The gruesome incident sparked a national debate about whether or not it's ever OK for a parent to hit a child. Research shows the answer is a resounding "No!"
Resorting to corporal punishment means that the adult uses dominance, power and violence to try to control the child. And, far from teaching the child how to behave, how to right the wrong that upset the parent in the first place, it leaves the child angry, upset and in pain. Nothing is learned and so much is lost.