Recently there was a video making its rounds on social media that showed a father and son. The father starts off very calm explaining that his son had been acting up in school and that he felt some punishment was necessary while also teaching his son to defend himself. Then the video starts and I have to admit that I fast forwarded to the end as soon as I saw how bloody it was because (at times) I’m a sensitive soul and I always hate seeing people get hurt. The video showed the father boxing with his son. I use “boxing” loosely because it looked like someone of superior height, weight, and experience beating up on someone. The father didn’t hold back and landed multiple punches to his son’s face. The end of the video showed the father questioning the son while the son was obviously still bleeding pretty badly asking him if he would act up again in school. I ran across a follow up article on the video today and you can read it here . Basically, the father was arrested and the son was removed from the home as a result of the video. Let me say first and foremost that what the father did is pretty much the definition of physical abuse if you want to get technical. When a child discloses something like that to me I’m mandated to report it because of my profession and license–whether I agree with it or not. I’ve reported child abuse on multiple occasions as it’s been a regular part of the jobs that I’ve had. In no way am I endorsing the father’s method of parenting but I have also witnessed the opposite where parents stay up all night in shifts because they are terrified that their child will kill them in the middle of the night. I can assure you that being scared of your child and what they are capable of is terrifying. Neither option is ideal by any means. However, in addition to beating up his son who was clearly unable to defend himself, the father took it a step further and posted it on social media so the whole world could see (literally). He mentioned the son’s classmates and teachers as well in the video. That’s pretty humiliating and public shaming as a form of discipline is a horrible decision. But we also have to be honest. A startling number of kids these days do not have any respect for authority figures of any sort. There are too many horrible situations where there has been a conflict that involved an authority figure (law enforcement officer) that turned deadly for no reason at all. Also, by the same token there are also situations where someone was compliant and still ended up “mysteriously” dead. I guess my point is that you can’t really win these days. I think that the father had good intentions. He was trying to teach his (almost) adult son about making better choices and respecting authority and he ended up in jail himself with his child being removed from his care. I don’t have a solution to the problem but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve posting a video of a child being hit in the head until he’s bleeding profusely. There has to be another way.
Like many people, I often find myself annoyed when I’m added to groups on social media without my consent. Usually it’s a subject matter I’m not particularly interested in and serves no real purpose to my daily life. Not too long ago I saw a post from one of the groups that I had been inadvertently added to. The group was specifically for single women and someone apparently thought that I could benefit in some way from the content. Let me make a quick side note. There are some people who flaunt their singleness like a badge of honor telling any and everyone how happy they are to not be “tied down” to another person. Good for them but it’s not my thing. But I digress. In the group one of the administrators had posed a question asking how the members in the group were doing in their current state of singleness. The typical responses were extremely positive with respondents saying that they were having the best times of their life and that they were working on themselves and actively pursuing their spiritual path. However, one post from a member stood out in stark contrast to the others. This lady kept it 100 and basically said that the single life (for her) sucked and that it was lonely. Almost immediately the replies from other members started coming in. They chastised her for being lonely and said that she needed more prayer, and church attendance because something was wrong with her. The pettiness came out full force with accusations of bringing the group down and “focusing on the negative.” It was sad that the supposed purpose of the group was to be supportive of single women but quickly became a group of bullies after someone honestly shared how they were feeling. I don’t know what the moral of this story is but I’ll just say that if you join a support group just first make sure they are actually supportive. Or, develop a support system of real people who won’t jump down your throat when you’re honest about your feelings.