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Shaking My Head “All Day” From One Dad to Another

I don’t know what to say about Minnesota Vikings All Pro, Adrian Peterson. He is on trial for child abuse and this week violated the terms of his bond by smoking marijuana before a mandatory drug test when admitted on court record to “smoking a little weed.”  His trial is not scheduled  until December 1, so it is likely that Peterson will not play again this season.  Prosecutors have filed to have Peterson re-arrested for the violation.

Peterson has fathered at least six children out of wedlock. Two of them were born to different mothers a month apart. Peterson lawyers say he will plead NOT guilty to felony child abuse charge for whipping his 4-year-old son with a switch (slender tree branch).

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Why not guilty? Peterson has admitted hitting the child, but contends it was intended as discipline, not to injure the child.

When Peterson’s son returned to his mother following a visit with the NFL running back, a check up at the doctor revealed the welts and authorities were alerted.  According to the boy,“Daddy Peterson hit me on my face” and threatened to punch him in the face if he reported what happened, the police station reported. The child also reportedly told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”

I guess my problem is not with the action to discipline but the action of discipline. Before one gets to the excessive method of the punishment, at the core his son was too young.  Cognitively a 4-year old is still learing right from wrong and understanding things that it is up to his dad to help him understand.  The severity of force at such a young age causes more mental trauma than a child learning a lesson.  There are a variety of things that would hurt a child, even if a last resort spanking is the road chosen.

It is tough raising children, take it from a dad with multiples and there were times that I went a bit far but it was more to instill fear in my children, so that they know daddy might be a little crazy. Co-parenting is also a chore because one might be the stern parent and the other might not be and because you are not parenting in the same household the child may not always adjust to the changes in parenting.  As a parent you have to take that into account because it isn’t the child’s fault. Some patience and leniency have to be shown  toward teenagers, let alone a younger child with less grasp of the situation.

But even more, there is also a bit of common sense involved with parenting. Kids are more protected than we ever were when I was young. Spankings were everyday life and not random acts of abuse. It was common to see kids getting whippings in church, school and even in front of police officers. Not so today. Parents are getting locked up, embarrassed and terminated from jobs because of being accused of child abuse. Adrian Peterson didn’t get the memo and clearly he is not the sharpest pencil in the NFL supplies closet with his need to get high and further sabotage his case and career.

Peterson is on record saying that his dad would pull his pants down and stuff leaves in his mouth to keep him quiet while he spanked him. It’s said that this was discipline but as a dad we have to also break cycles.  Maybe this trial will help Peterson see that his dad was wrong and the cycle can be adjusted and broken.

 

Adrian Peterson and son On the Job

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.13.01 AMNFL All Star running back, Adrian Peterson and son sharing a moment at practice.

Work Hard, Father Harder!

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