The Black State of Beating Children
In the spirit of Steve’s post on tough love, I wanted to know what you think about beating your current or future children.
Yesterday, my sister sent me an email praising older Black mothers who were very strict and used a no-nonsense approach to raising their children. The email ended by thanking our Black mothers for setting us on the straight path while simultaneously challenging current younger Black mothers to learn from their elders as it relates to child rearing. And that got me thinking about the Black State of the butt whoopin’.
And just so we are clear, by butt whoopin’, I mean using a belt that will primarily be used on the buttocks but sometimes you might catch some thigh. Moreover, I am not talking about open handed slaps or beating kids upside their head. There is a difference between child abuse and corporal punishment.
Now I don’t have any statistics on how many Black parents beat their children and I think it would be difficult to find reliable statistics because you would probably end up with over or under reporting. And are you asking the parents or the child? Won’t the child be afraid of “telling” on his parents and won’t parents try to make it look like they are the best parents in the world?
In any event, I think Black people need to get back to beating. And I won’t say that beating is any less popular now, I just believe that as an aggregate, we forgot the purpose for beating their children. “Spare the rod, save the child,” is what I heard growing up and I think it is true as it ever was. But now I sense that Black parents are beating their kids trying to work out the anger or frustration in their own lives. Moreover, there are no rules, and if they are, they are enforced to varying degrees depending on how Mommy or Daddy “feels” that day. And kids are so conniving because they pick up on contradictions real fast and will play you like a fiddle. And parents need to realize that the innocent phase of childhood is getting shorter and shorter so it might be better to get out of the mindset that you won’t use corporal punishment until a certain time and nip things in the bud before it gets out of control.
Now do all kids need to be beat? Of course not, because every child is different and therefore requires different needs. But I hate when the people who don’t believe in corporal punishment try to paint me as an aggressive person who will take pleasure in beating my children. Beating your kids is not fun and I will probably be crying myself if I have to do it. So I don’t have a pre-determined goal to beat my children, but if I see they understand the rules of my household and persist to disobey, please believe the belt will be in full effect.
What about fathers and daughters?
I had a conversation about a year ago that involved the issues surrounding father beating their daughters and the ramifications that may cause for the daughter. I started out the conversation stating that I would beat my son and my daughter. And I went on to say that don’t want my beautiful daughter to think that because she is cute, she can’t be disciplined. But the woman I was talking to pointed out that she would prefer that fathers beat their sons and mothers beat their daughters. And her logic was that fathers who beat their daughters may cause them to think it is ok for a man to put their hands on them. I was on the fence at first but I think she made a valid point so that is something I want to hear your feedback on. Should fathers beat their daughters? And what about single fathers raising girls?
I could go on and on about this because parenting is one of the most sacred acts of the human experience. And sometimes parenting requires punishment for hard-headed kids. Unfortunately, I have seen Black parents use corporal punishment for the better and for the worse. And for that reason, we need to get in each other’s business like we used to do back in the day. I was raised by almost everyone on my block and my mother was raising four kids by herself but the checks and balances of the “block” made her life easier because if she couldn’t come home at a decent time, I would eat dinner across the street. I say all that to say that the way you raise your kids is my business and vice versa. Not everyone will do the same thing and I understand that but it takes a lot more than a village with all of the madness of this world. Love your kids and as it says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Stay up fam,