Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Strong Parenting

I am amused by the viral video of a mother smacking her son around for being a part of the Baltimore protests. She's been called the Hero Mom and The Natural Hero. I am amused about this for a few reasons. It is interesting to see what goes viral. The video was entertaining. What causes me the most amusement, though, is how people (myself included) applaud this mother for strongly and physically stopping her child from bad behavior. The Baltimore situation seems to justify the Baltimore mom's use of force. What a strong woman to react without hesitation and without concern for judgment! Her child was in harm's way- both a present harm and a perceived future of harm. So, she did what she needed to do. She pulled him off the path of destruction.
I am glad she stood her ground. I do not have a problem with her being commended for taking charge of her child. Quite frankly, like many others, I found the story heart-warming.

But, there is a disconnect.
The same people who applaud this strong mother would probably be disgusted by a mother spanking a child at the grocery store.
People cringe when they see parents enforcing consequences for bad behavior. We cringe because it makes us feel uncomfortable. We cringe because we do not know if someone will view it as abusive.
Admonishment of children, especially if done in a public setting, is not lauded.
Therefore, character development is often saved for home.
I do not believe it is optimal.
I cannot count the times where I chose to delay a punishment because I was within the public eye. On numerous occasions, I would then either forget to go forward with the disciplinary consequences or chose not to because life had moved on.
I see a society that craves strong parenting but prefers for the discipline of children to be done behind closed doors.
There is a disconnect.
It is both amusing and maddening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jane Ann, I feel that if we as parent's did take that moment to parent our child in front of others then we are shaping them into being a responsible person. I would rather a parent take a moment in public to give a little tap to the bottom than to wait until they are in the privacy of their home to whale on them. We need to as parent's take a more firm hold on our children and raise them with values for someone else rather than on themselves.