Recently I was having dinner with a couple and their teen-aged son. His behavior was simply unacceptable and defied every rule of dinner table etiquette imaginable. Eating birthday cake with a spatula, as opposed to the fork that was set before him, smearing icing on his face to garner a reaction, licking the knife that was to be used to cut the cake for the guests and having inappropriate discussion. I was truly appalled. Mostly because this was not a toddler, rather a 15-year-old boy, even more so that the parents simply sat there and ignored him as if it was perfectly reasonable behavior. “Hell to NO, put that ass in check” is what I was thinking to myself.
Perhaps there is a marked difference between the way that Black women parent versus that of White women. You see, the young man who was acting out was adopted and raised by a White lesbian couple from birth. Which brings up a whole slew of other questions about why he may behave in the manner that he does, but the point is there is no discipline when he knows he’s done wrong. Toleration of disrespect and talking back and getting rewards in the form of Wii’s, cell phones, vacations and any other manner of reward for piss poor behavior.
Lest I go off on a tangent, let me say that the shenanigans did not stop there. The young man decides to arbitrarily excuse himself from the family dinner, leaving his food on the table to play video games in the living room while his mothers pleaded with him to stay. Plead? With a kid? Surely, this was a joke! I may not be a parent, but I was a high school teacher and Guidance Counselor for many years, and I simply do not play that shit. There is a way to love a child and be a firm disciplinarian. In fact, it’s necessary.
When finally, I couldn’t bite my tongue anymore, I demanded he come back to the table, knock off those video games, finish his food and wash the dishes. And guess what? He obliged. No back talk and snickering under his breath, none of that. This young man is a mild case compared to his brother, the couples’ Black adopted child, whom they’ve had since birth.
The eldest son has busted rounds with his BB gun in the house, threatened to bring physical bodily harm to his mothers, steal from his grandmother, his mothers, the neighbors. Did I mention he shot up the house? And here is the kicker: he’s rewarded with a hunting license and taken on several hunting trips throughout the year. This kid, who is now a college co-ed, get’s D’s and F’s, yet his tuition is still paid every semester. He has never had a job, and by a consensus of opinion, is an all around fuck-up.
Yeah, this is a problem. And it ain’t the kids, it’s the parents. In my humble opinion, if they would have been whipping that ass in the beginning, all of this blatant disrespect that they show to their parents and unwarranted mischief could have been circumvented. To be sure, hitting is not the only means of disciplining a child, but it should not be overlooked as an option.
What say you? When it comes to discipline do you believe in or practice spanking? Where do you draw the line between beating and spanking?