Something to Cry About: Report from the Kitchen Floor (Trigger Alert)

Picture of a kitchen floorOne point on which Creflo Dollar and both his daughters agree is that he walked into the kitchen and said, “Why are you crying?” He already knew why. I imagine that he asked his question with a bullying tone; I imagine there was an unspoken threat behind the question, a threat with which too many are familiar: I’ll give you something to cry about.

And to the question with the obvious answer, to the veiled threat, she didn’t give the response Dollar required. According to Dollar, his daughter didn’t give enough deference to his privileged position. She didn’t acknowledge his authority. She “became very disrespectful.”  He told the police that he approached her to “restrain” her. That’s his report.

I have a report of my own, one from my own kitchen floor. Distance, linearity and many of the things you expect as Western-trained academics are impossible for me. See trauma theory. See black women’s biomythographies. See yourself in the mirror and try to tell, in five minutes, a very very bad thing that happened.

In the kitchen, I triggered my mother. Her thumbs pressed my trachea and she shook me back and forth like a button-eyed rag doll. I didn’t know when she would stop or if I would still be alive when she did. My first mind said, “This is Momma,” but my second mind made my hands spring out. I can still feel her flesh moles under my fingernails, my hands trying to pry her arms away, her eyes wide with shock as she realized that this “bitch” was fighting back. She threw me on the ground.

I love my mother. She is my closest friend. I’m not half the woman she was at my age. She knew what had to be done and she did it. She worked very hard to insure our financial well-being. She is the funniest woman I know. She encouraged me to speak up, to speak back, despite the consequences. Her violence didn’t make her a monster; it made her thoroughly American.

I don’t have to tell you why I feel the need to defend even as I tell my truth. You already know. It is the reason you tell similar stories with laughter, with nostalgia for the days when children didn’t criminalize their own parents, didn’t dial 911. IN the court of public opinion, minority parents have already been condemned, especially against the mythology of passive white parenting. Perhaps that’s why we defend our parents with silence or a laughter that shows our appreciation for bringing us up right.

I am fifteen. My mother doesn’t like me and she’s told me so. I want her to like me. I want to be a good girl, but I keep being bad. I have an attitude. I don’t understand that there are things I cannot have and I continue to ask. I have little respect for authority. I don’t appreciate her sacrifices because I don’t yet know them. I hide in my room. I am moody.  I withdraw. I am sometimes not courteous. I think the world revolves around me, around my desires. I am fifteen and developmentally appropriate.  This fact doesn’t excuse, to my parents, the types of offenses I commit.

I want to tell you what it feels like to be kicked. You curl into a ball. You know the fight is over and you’ve lost. You realize you never wanted to win. You try to protect your face but not your eyes because you need to see her feet so you can roll to avoid the blows. You scream, “I hate you.” She says, “You know what? I hate you too!” You believe her. You think you always will.

After my mother choked, stomped, and punched me she kicked me out of the house. My father stayed in the basement. My brothers watched from the dining room. I rang the doorbell and asked through the closed door if I could use her phone to call my best friend to pick me up.

My brothers later told me that they’d laughed that night, laughed at the sight of two crazy [women] fighting in the kitchen.

My mother, like yours, was raised before Oprah and the eighties research on child-centered, intentional parenting.

She deserved respect and confused it with fear. And who was supposed to teach her the difference? Public libraries closed before she could leave her desk. AOL searches and instant information were years away. Which friends of hers had not been beaten? Where would she have taken a child development course or a class in adolescent psychology? She worked too hard and too long to come home and be challenged by a doppelganger with an attitude problem. I get it. And I’m glad no one called the police. Jailing half of my parents would have created more problems than it solved.

Besides, I’m anti-prison industrial complex and for a judicial system that considers the needs of the victim. The media coverage of Creflo Dollar drones on like an extended episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit; the victim is forgotten after the first five minutes and the rest of the episode focuses on the psyche of the perpetrator.

What are Creflo’s daughter’s needs? I can’t speak for her, but I can imagine that what she didn’t need was a standing ovation for her father or a bunch of nostalgic people with internet access telling pornographic stories about the beatings they meted out to their own children. I imagine that what she needs are consequences for the perpetrator and a guarantee that this will never happen again.

I want to tell you what happens when you survive the kitchen floor. You get up. You’re not a girl anymore. If no one stopped your parent, you feel like you will always be by yourself. You think there is something inside you that will always bring out the worst in someone else, and you believe those who tell you the same. You spend a lifetime creating opportunities for apologies, which are delicious to you. You attract bullies and people who like or love you with conditions. You want someone to change you, to make you better, more loveable. You pursue a sorority. You join organizations/ institutions with strict rules. You love an angry God. When you worship, you cry “I’m not worthy!” You mean it. You keep going to school because there are so many adults there with the power to validate or reject you. Rejection is best; it gives you a chance to be a better girl. You ask people, “Are you sure you like me?” You want strangers to promise to love you forever. You don’t trust that the people who do love you won’t change their minds. You bully your brothers, your lovers, your friends. You apologize and apologize and never feel forgiven. If you are lucky, your parents will be the last people who hit you. You will live much of your life fixing your face up, lest someone give you something to cry about.

I am not here to deliver maxims. They are not helpful and they invite arguments I don’t want to have. I know what I know and my bones remember. I’m a poet.  I don’t want to tell you what to do with your children, but I will teach your children how to tell what you did.

crunkonia

89 thoughts on “Something to Cry About: Report from the Kitchen Floor (Trigger Alert)

  1. “i will teach your children how to tell what you did.” thank you. thank you so much.

  2. Thank you and I’m so sorry for what happened to you. This story is all too common and I’m glad you made it out.

  3. this was great. i dont physically abuse my kids because of my own experiences but i can give a mean emotional knockout (which i also experienced) because i have learned to manipulate words like a fine weapon. im not the mother i pray to be.

  4. While I respect your perspective I disagree with your analysis in the Creflo Dollar situation ( and for the record I am not a religious zealot or a Creflo Dollar fan before I am accused of being one). While none of us know what happened exactly in that home.. if (notice I said if) the facts of the events unfolded as presented 1. the daughter had a less than stellar report card 2. she is 15.. 3. it was after 1am (or 2am depending on which version of the events you believe) ..4. she wanted to attend a party… any parent, any parent would agree that a 15 year old is still a child in transition and is not entitled to the liberties given to adult. She is entitle to love, support, education, food clothing, shelter and to be reared in an environment that will assist her in developing into a productive independent member of society; but more specifically she is not entitled to attend a party in the wee hours of the morning. She asked her parents told her no and gave her a reason why not. IF she did raise her hand to her father as he stated, his choices were 1. remove her from his home (as she did not want to follow or adhere to his mandates) 2. discipline her. There is a difference between discipline and abuse but our society is deteriorating into one of lawlessness part in parcel because some parents are choosing to not make the hard decisions to be a parent but rather a friend and are not instilling value and respect in our young people. Your home is a training ground for life; authority is authority, I would prefer for her to learn that lesson in her home rather than going out in the world and disrespecting someone else in another form of authority, where those consequences are more severe and can be deadly.

    • no

      again, no

      it is not acceptable to hit your child at home, to show them how to behave so they don’t get his worse in the street

      physical violence is not an appropriate response to disrespect. ever

    • Physical punishment maaaay only work when a child is too young to mentally understand wrong or right but can appreciate that doing something will result in unpleasantness (spanking). Which is why parents might use 2 fingers to slap a toddler or shock a misbehaving one with a spank on a padded behind. However, once your child can understand you – and that’s pretty early (and that’s around 3 years or even younger), it is no longer necessary. I honestly don’t think it is ever necessary though. The author is right about respect vs fear. My mother never hit me yet I have deep respect and admiration for her. I know she hit my younger siblings (though not the beat down some people describe) and I know it was because she was tired and frustrated. Not because they needed it anymore than I did. I am almost a generation older than my siblings (8-12 years). There is a lot of history to why we (Black people) use corporal punishment to gain respect, and also why (for some very wrong reasons) Black or African American parents are seen as the “beaters”…too much to get into here but as a hint,we cannot deny for generations that’s how we were conditioned and let us not forget who did the conditioning. Neither of us are exempt.

      I remember my sister slamming her bedroom door in teenage angst and then coming home to find her room doorless…my mom knew how to doll out punishment. You don’t always have to spank.

    • You missed the point and may also be thinking in extremes, as if you are either hitting your child or not disciplining him or her at all. I trust that since you can read and write, you can come up with more creative approaches. But I direct you to Crunktastic’s post about Dollar if you’d like to engage in a debate on corporal punishment.

    • I totally understand and agree with your point while respectfully understanding the original essay. I was a child who had challenges listening and obeying my mother’s full authority as the premier sacrificial member of my family. I constantly found myself at odds with my mother and I was frequently at the end of her palm. But I know she loved me and I needed to be reared in such a manner that helped to develop me into a man(something very difficult for single mothers without significant fatherly assistance). I thank her for not giving up on me and for not sparring the rod. No she didn’t use a frying pan or brick. That would have indeed been abuse. And she always gave long lectures before, during and after so I wouldn’t confuse the chastisement. I do not subscribe to or agree with child abuse, but sometimes being knocked to the kitchen floor can avoid you from one day being reduced to cleaning it.
      We also must recognize when our children are incapable of handling a good spanking as every child’s emotional state is quite different. Creflo’s daughter appears to have an ornery disposition from the reports. Her injuries being superficial, her reaction to discipline being inadequate and thus calling the police. There is a line between abuse and rearing…I don’t think it was crossed in this instance. I believe she was trying to prove a point. ‘I can make the world look at you differently through a mere phone call, because the world is already looking at you’. I think the above story is a powerful message that needs to be heard, however I do not think it is “Creflo Appropriate”.

      • Eww. I’m not sure how this comment made it through. Especially because of this: “…Sometimes being knocked to the kitchen flor can avoid you from one day being reduced to cleaning it.” I hate to burst your bubble, but I’m willing to bet that every ancestor/ current relative of yours who cleaned the floor was raised “right” (and sometimes that raising included corporal punishment). Sometimes custodial work is a career choice. Other times, it is the only choice. In the not-so-distant past, it was one of the few choices that African Americans had. If your argument is that now, jobs that require labor are the result of passive parenting, you haven’t done research. You don’t realize that we live in a police state where black bodies are imprisoned (despite good parenting) and released with stigmas that make certain blue collar jobs their only choice.
        I think you were trying to write a good sentence, to turn a phrase in a way that mimicked common sense. You didn’t succeed. Especially because the beginning of your sentence is illogical: “I don’t believe in child abuse, but sometimes you have to be knocked to the floor…”
        You also didn’t read the end of my post. I don’t give a shit about Creflo Dollar. I am worried about his daughter, her needs, her life after the kitchen floor, whether she was choked or “spanked” with a shoe.

      • Talib—you’re an abuse-defending troll. You’ve got some nerve coming on here and telling a survivor of child abuse that it’s “sometimes necessary” to knock a kid to the floor.

        And to also sit up on your low horse and cast aspersions on Dollar’s daughter, as if you could know anything about her. Your smug, condescending attitude toward survival is disgusting.

      • How exactly does being knocked to the kitchen floor aid in helping you to avoid such a fate later?

        If as an adult she decides not to speak to someone because she is upset with them, she should not expect to be knocked to the floor. And she should employ the full breath of protections and punishment afforded by the law to prevent any further knocks to the floor. So who exactly is this beating preparing her to avoid being likewise beaten by for imprudence and “backtalk” besides another abuser, pimp, warden or slave owner? Which beating is he helping her to avoid in the future by teaching her to shut up and take a punch out of love?

    • In this case, in domestic violence cases, in excessive force cases, in rape cases etc. – It always stuns me that physical attacks are justified by the sort of victim-blaming that says that the victim must be 100% perfect in all ways and defer in all ways to authority before they deserve protection from violence, especially by an authority figure. It is not OK to beat a prisoner on death row, why is it OK to beat a child?

    • Sure, authority is authority, but if the only way you know how to be in charge is by using pain you are teaching a teenager to fear authority, not respect it.
      Using pain is the control strategy of a schoolyard bully. If a grown adult doesn’t know how to move beyond that – or even to move beyond controlling behavior to shaping it – I don’t blame that child for not respecting him or her.
      Most of the time when I see a parent disciplining a child through physical punishment, it’s because he or she lost control of him or herself, not because of some reasoned decision about the lesson they wanted to teach. Some kid mouthing off is wrong, but letting your temper direct your the way you handle difficult moments with your child is perhaps even worse.

    • I agree with you, I can’t stand Creflo but parents have to parent. They have to be allowed to parent. If I were him I’d give her over to the state. You can’t live in my house if you can’t respect my rules.

    • I agree with you. A lot pf people now days will not! unfortunately those who were abused can’t seem to tell the difference in corporal punishment and child abuse! I know, My mom was hard and she didn’t play but I understood consequences! I know the boundaries. I knew what would happen if you push them. Total disrespect should never be tolerated! Today’s youth have no idea what RESPECT is cause it was not taught to them. I don’t know what happen at the Dollar household but I do know she would be living someplace else and she won’t have that problem with me anymore but I am not gonna let my child and she is a child as long as I am providing for her and she does not have the wisdom to know she can’t go to a party at 2am at 15 years. Everyone who has a opinion about that he should not have disciplined his daughter should send her a plane ticket or go pick her up and let her move in and live with them. I am sure they will do a much better job handling her when she wants to go to a party at 2am and tells them they can’t stop her and she will see them when she gets home. As a minister the bible is clear how he is to run his house hold! For those who are not Christians I understand why don’t agree with discipline BUT for everyone who says they are a Christian and believe the Bible they ought to read it and obey Gods word. Proverbs 22:15, 23:13.

      • Have you ever studied those scriptures in the original language in which they were written? Do you know the Hebrew term used in the scripture is na’ar and a na’ar was NEVER a female child of any age, a na’ar was NEVER a child under the age of five. The word na’ar can also mean a servant.
        The we get to the word “rod” – which has several different meanings. To understand what meaning to use you must look at the torah to determine meaning (the torah is simply the first five books). The torah CLEARLY states that striking a na’ar – a servant or a male child could result in death and the parent was to be punished as a murderer for that death.
        The next thing I find funny is how so many christians “follow” only the parts of the bible that they like. Proverbs is a book of advice from a man, it is not instructions from God. Most of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon. Not sure I want to take parenting advice from someone whose child (Rohoboam) whose disrespect of people was so poor that he ended up splitting the kingdom in two. By the end of Solomon’s life he was a pagan worshiper with his wives and led the children of Israel into pagan worship.
        It is so annoying having people quote scriptures they haven’t truly studied. Really, do with your kids what you please – but please stop using God for justification – God never told you to beat your children.
        In the torah when it does speak of disciplining children – let’s start with Leviticus 20. People START with 20:9, but you have to start with Lev. 20:1 when it is CLEARLY speaking of parents having their children involved in pagan practices – like giving their offspring to Molek (or modern day practices of sitting your kids on the lap of Santa Claus which is patterned after passing the children through Molek – look it up). So, when it comes to “cursing” parents it is clear to see this refers to Lev. 20:8 and not obeying God’s LAWS – not the laws of man.
        The verses in Deut. 21 – people again want to start at verse 18. You can’t take verses in isolation.First – they are speaking of a “wayward” son. Wayward was referring to not following the commands of God – the torah. Then, it tells you EXACTLY what the offense would need to be for such a punishment in Deut. 21:20 – not listening to the voice of the parents who were trying to instruct him in the way AND being a glutton and a drunkard. Again – this could never pertain to a small child or any woman. If parents get to define “wayward” for themselves you could have children being stoned to death for not stealing bread from the neighbors “as commanded by their parents” or any other silly stuff. Parents also had to prove to the elders that they 1) instructed the children properly and 2) had lived by the torah for themselves. Not now, when adults do wrong its “everybody makes mistakes” or “its covered by the blood”, but if a child does something wrong or something the parents don’t like – let the beatings begin. How come “your” sins are covered, but not the sins of your children?
        And for the record – there is NO HEBREW WORD FOR OBEY! So, it isn’t about children “obeying” their parents. Children are instructed to observe and do what their parents are instructing them. However, parents were supposed to be instructing their children in the ways of God laid out in the torah – not making up their own rules and regulations.
        When it comes to hitting, kicking, slapping, or whatever else goes for “discipline” in your home – I would hope you take the time to actually STUDY what the words mean in the bible before you start hauling off and doing “what thus said the bible” and make sure YHWH really said it.Have you even studied how you got your bible, how the translations were done, and how much modern translations differ for the oldest discovered manuscripts? Take some time and study, then study some more, then study some more. Once you know it upside down, inside out, English, Hebrew, and Greek – then start hitting in the”name of God”. If you aren’t willing to study, then be honest and say you are hitting because it is easy and you don’t want to have to think when it comes to parenting. Admit that you hit because they can’t hit you back. But don’t say God told you to do it, He didn’t.

  5. This essay was so important – thank you for sharing. There are so many ways to feel about the violence that’s part of our lives – but we rarely talk about it. I applaud you.

  6. “If no one stopped your parent, you feel like you will always be by yourself. You think there is something inside you that will always bring out the worst in someone else, and you believe those who tell you the same. You spend a lifetime creating opportunities for apologies, which are delicious to you. You attract bullies and people who like or love you with conditions. ”

    Thank you. This is so very, very true. I have never been able to put this into words before.

    • “I have never been able to put this into words before.”

      Exactly what I was thinking at the end of this.

      Thank you OP.

  7. Thank you.
    My mother is one of my closest friends but I remember regular beatings so that I wouldn’t “get out of line.” I remember looking up from the floor at the woman I’d always want to be & feeling hatred.
    Thank you, I thought I was alone in loving & forgiving someone who could do this to me.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. I too became teary eyed reading this and remembering my own “kitchen floor” moments as an adolescent (and there were quite a few between my mother and stepfather although the kitchen never was the actual scene) and remembering the way it was only acceptable to tell these stories in faux nostalgia or for laughs. I remember going to my pastors for help (actually three time) and being told that’s the way it is in black households, the way the bible says it should be, and that I should stop telling these stories before someone heard and got the “wrong” idea.

    One thing that definitely stuck out for me, was that better parenting methods exist but require effort to pursue and enact. As a young mother myself, I admit that at times it feels all too easy to revert back to “the way mom did it”. But, I don’t want to. In times of frustration, I feel myself drawing upon experience in order to determine a way to discipline my son. Being torn between fear of being an ineffective parent, the pressure from the other parents to nip unwanted behaviors in the bud lest my child end up the next statistic for criminality in minority communities and the knowledge that physical discipline (spanking) really doesn’t work. I want to change before it get to the point of us screaming ugly words at each other, or worse engaging in a physical battle over control. Do you have any suggestions for place where I can begin my research?

    • Thank you for commenting. I’m also a parent of a young and willful child, and I’m trying to figure out a better way. There’s actually a book called “There’s Got to Be a Better Way: DIscipline That Works” by Dr. Becky Bailey that was really helpful for me. There is also a whole series of “Positive Discipline” books for every age group. Although the positive discipline series and the Bailey books are about setting boundaries without punishment, there are other theories about children’s discipline that advocate consequences/ punishment, just not physical punishment. The Super Nanny advice book comes to mind. Other resources are your pediatrician and your son’s teachers. Since corporal punishment was taken out of schools, teachers have had to be trained with paradigms other than the ones with which they were raised. You may want to ask them to direct you to resources that they use to be effective in the classroom setting. I hope this is helpful and that you know that you’ve got lots of communities of parents trying to figure it out just like you.

  9. Is there space here for an alternate narrative? At risk of possibly being perceived as minimizing your truth (which is not the impact I wish to have), I would like to share my own.

  10. The paragraph that starts with “I want to tell you what happens when you survive the kitchen floor”…is..umm…was…ehhh….unlike you I’m not that gifted with words. So take these “THANK YOU”!!!

    • Yes. That entire paragraph. I copied and saved that to look at again, it gave such a perfect encapsulation of what it’s like, almost frighteningly so — so much detail that I didn’t realize was more universal. Thank you.

  11. While I shed the proverbial tear over the pain caused by the beating in this story, I could not, in all honestly, feel sorry. I agree with kmhtest in that the home is the first stop on discipline. Using all the reasons stated above, no 15 year old child of mine with bad grades will be attending a party starting at 1am (or later). And bad grades or not, no chid of mine will walk out my front door after midnight. Period! Did this situation truly warrant a physical altercation, well, we have to assume that the child’s part of the story still is not clear because all loving parents I know always hestitate to beat/spank/admonish their own child unless truly warranted. Seriously, how many times have you thought twice before disciplining your own child? How many times have thought 3-4 times before beating a child even though the acting out by the child was truly severe enough to warrant that unforseen arm swing or shoe throw?? Point blank, the home is where it begins and ends and what is allowed in the home will eventually spill out onto the streets and if the lessons aren’t taught in an environment where love and understanding are the basis – they are taught with anger and malices and circumstances neither party really wants. And this coming from a woman with a mother that put the fear of God in me so bad through words that when the actions came, my PRIDE was hurt waaaaaay worse than my behind because of all the people I pissed off and/or disappointed, it was the one woman that picked me up everytime I fell down when I thought I was grown up enough to do what I wanted and sufferend the consequences of life

    • Got it. You demand 100% obedience and though it’s actually pretty typical of teenagers to try to test limits and rebel, yours will do so under the threat of serious physical harm or else. We have to assume the child’s store is “not clear” – because hey, children lie about these things. All the time. Same as women and rape, am I right? ::nudge::

      Please re-read what you wrote. Actually feel the meaning behind the words you type and their implications when you do.

      • Thank you Christina. I wasn’t going to reply. I was trying to figure out why CB chose this forum to advance his discipline agenda.

      • You’re welcome! I’m back reading this after the initial reading – I couldn’t comment on the actual post at the time through my tears. But this one comment was just unreal.

        And like everyone else has said, thank you so much for these words.

    • However, what is being said brings up an even better question. Why is it that a black girl is often seen as a liar when telling her story? I don’t give a damn what happened. There is no justification for a grown man putting his hands on his CHILD in such a manner. PERIOD. There is no justification for ANY parent to abuse their child in such a manner. What’s even sadder about this is the fact that we’ve become so used to this behavior, we can laugh about it as though we were cracking jokes on Pookie an’ dem.

      The fact of the matter is many parents that have been described in the stories here take out their own demons of abuse on us.

      • Boy, this is triggering a lot of issues with me—me and my mother get along today, but for a good close to 4 out of the last 7 years, we didn’t speak after she threw me out of her house (I had been living there for 3 years and helping her with the bills when I worked–I had just been laid off at the time) in the dead of night when she got pissed off at me because I told her to leave me alone–she was nagging me about the smell from the dinner I’d just warmed up in the microwave, and I just wanted to be left the hell alone. To make a long story short, she was already pissed off earlier because I didn’t go downstairs and spray the whole damn basement because one mosquito flew down there and she was scared of it. She snapped and hit me hard as hell across my head. I got mad and screamed, because that **** hurt. We ended up in a fight with her doing all the swinging on me because I didn’t want her to call the cops on me. I didn’t ONCE lay a hand on her. After she beat the hell out of me with a shoe and threatened to bash my head in with a bat while I kept screaming at her to get the hell off of me, she threw me out of the house in the dead of early with no coat,no money,and no place to go. Looking back, I should have called the cops on HER and gotten her locked the hell up. BTW, I was a grown woman in my 30′s when this happened. I didn’t do ANYTHING to deserve that **** and she knows it, so **** her. I don’t give a **** about what she thinks any damn more.

        I was homeless for a year and a half, went through some hell and then some, doing okay now. The very few times I talked to my mother, I cursed her the hell out at least twice over the phone. She ended up getting me in even WORSE trouble once again because she blew a little thing ALL up out of proportion ONCE again. We didn’t speak for another 3 years after that. By that time, neither my brother or my sister were speaking to her—yep,they had issues with her,too–no big surprise there. We had only started talking again when she pissed me off about some stupid **** again (all I did was scream at her because I got tired of her criticizing me for being somewhat fat–I know that sounds crazy, but she’s crazy as hell) and she called the cops on me. Once again, we didn’t speak for yet ANOTHER year after that. Only one of us was speaking to her by then (it wasn’t me) and I guess the guilt finally kicked in, since I heard through my sister that she wanted to reconnect with me, but she was afraid I’d curse her the hell out again–which I ended up doing after we had a good long re-connecting talk. That was because she didn’t think what she’d done to me was any big deal, even though it was a major setback for me in so many ways, and I STILL hated her guts for it. Anyway, this time she actually called ME back and said she still wanted to talk. We’re been cool since then, but I still haven’t forgiven her for what she did, and I never will—she can forget that. Plus she still pisses me the hell off, but we are who we are, and ain’t neither one of us changing for each other at this point in our lives—I sure the hell am not. Besides, we’re both getting too old for this BS.

        Anyway, that’s what this subject triggered for me—clearly I still need to let go of the anger, but yeah, I also think young black parents in particular are too quick to smack their kids upside the head, and that’s usually because they don’t have the patience (or maturity) to deal with their children just being children. I usually think that they shouldn’t have had kids in the first damn place then
        it’s like that,then. And,yes there are other alternatives to spanking–my mother even tried it for a while with “time-outs”, which were a hell of a lot preferable to spankings any day of the week. I don’t think it’s funny when people joke about how they used to get whipped—that **** wasn’t funny when it was happening—but then, it also depends on what the situation was. Last but not least, I do believe in spanking—I got my behind whipped when I was little—I just don’t think black parents should rely on that as the ONLY form of discipline—I can understand it as a last resort, but whipping your child for EVERY little thing just because you’re stressed out or mad at something else IS borderline child abuse—one needs to check one self at that point and get help, or send the child away where they’re not around you for a while. Sorry this took so long, and I didn’t mean to type all of this, but this subject definitely struck a nerve.

  12. Thank you for this very important and powerful telling of a familiar tale.
    It can get better – and it is okay to say – my parents did me wrong and my love for them is not unconditional.
    And, sometimes it is necessary to let yourself not love them anymore because of how they hurt you, indeed, sometimes that is necessary to free yourself from the pain – child abuse (which hitting your child is) is painful and if someone inflicts pain on you, you don’t have to continue loving them.
    One of the foremost experts on child abuse (and how to heal from it), Alice Miller, has made this point over and over again in her writings, helping many people: http://www.alice-miller.com/index_en.php – and she also talks about the way in which the violence gets passed down generations… and how to stop that.
    … and maybe then, when (or if) the pain has faded, you can begin to repair your relationship with the abuser… or not. And that’s okay!

  13. While I wasn’t abused by my parents, I was abused by my first “long-term” boyfriend, and I was sexually abused by family members. The boyfriend hurt me physically, emotionally, psychically for four years until I forced myself to get away. The statement you make about searching out bullies and people to validate you. YES. It hit my heart. It’s still vibrating. I just dissolved a 20 year friendship with someone I considered a sister because she came with conditions. It was all about her, and if I was having a bad day and didn’t want to listen to her issues, I was the bad one. I wasn’t the “true” friend. I gave up on another “friendship” two years before that with a bully. Again, with conditions. It’s taken me over 10 years from my last instance of abuse to be able to hold my head up and say NO. You will not do this to me. I see that I attracted these kinds of people, and the ones I had before the abuse, but I kept them around because they validated me. I’ve spent more than half my adult life in school striving for acceptance from teachers and other students. To be liked, admired, raised to the status of “equal”.
    I haven’t talked about it because I couldn’t put it into words, and you’ve done it so eloquently, in a way I never could. Thank you.

  14. I believe that there are NO circumstances in which phyiscal abuse of children is either necessary
    or warranted. It is a cowardly act for any adult to phsically abuse a child no matter what the circumstances. I can fully understand the diffculty and the frustration of dealing with an incorrigible teenager; however despite the fact the child in question fails to recognize and respect the authority of the parent, that child is still not an adult and is unequal to the parent with no power over that parent. We must always strive to use means other than abuse and violence to induce our children to respect our authority and our decisions. Too many times we react without the realization that this process may yield a broken body, a broken spirit, and a broken will; forevering altering if not killing that child and the life direction and journey of that child. Let us remember the words of Solomon, “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.” DCM

  15. This will sound naive of me but I never realized before why people laugh about the beatings they got as children. I always thought maybe other people had some kind of magic that made it not hurt them as much as it did me.

    Whenever people say “that’s just how black families are” or “that’s tradition,” I always ask “but why?” It’s weird how that question seems to make people defensive instead of introspective.

    • The reason why people laugh about the trouble they got into as children is because they deserved the consequences. I am amazed at the number of you people who dont see the difference between abuse and punishment. “beatings” is a term to describe physical correction, most times not to be taken literal. Baseball bats, rubber hoses, and crow bars are not used. People get defensive because you are trying to insinuate a level of violence that didnt exist. Beatings or woopings were not the result of all transgressions, only for the really severe acts. Ex: asking for something and being told “no” then you respond with muffled grumbling doesnt earn a wooping. Asking for something, being told “no” then you go steal it. That gets a wooping. You talk about how much it hurt to get a spanking, did it hurt you enough to prevent your behavior in the future? Did it work for me? Sometimes it did sometimes it didnt, but there wasnt any doubt that I knew what the right course of action was.

      • Stop telling people how badly they were or weren’t hit, what it was or wasn’t for, and whether or not they deserved it.

        Your own experience doesn’t give you the right to speak for other people, or decide for them that they were only hit for “really severe acts.” It should take only the bare minimum of research for you to confirm that for many people that is not true.

  16. Now is abusive sweetie, there is a big difference between discipline and and being abused. I’m sorry that happened to you no one deserve that kind of punishment.

  17. “She deserved respect and confused it with fear. And who was supposed to teach her the difference?”

    *sob* Thank you for this whole post.

  18. A brilliantly written blog.

    I was disgusted to hear that people were supporting his actions. This is a testament to how this society treats women in this country. Women of color in particular always seem to “deserve” any kind of abuse they get. Sadly, some of this abuse comes from their own homes and communities. It’s a troubling truth.

    By the way, my name’s Brothawolf.

  19. Thank you so much for this. It definitely triggered me and put words to what I have been feeling for years. As the mother of an extremely spirited daughter, I never wanted to spank her or do to her what was done to me, but I have. And the guilt that I feel about that is immense. I never want her to experience what I have experienced – physically, emotionally, mentally. Anyway, thank you for this brilliance.

  20. I know this won’t be popular, but I am not jumping to be on any side. I think some people forget that none of us were in the house to witness the incident when it happened and our opinions are just that. If you choose to discipline your children physically, there is a clear line between discipline and abuse and if he crossed that line, then so be it. He deserves whatever he gets. Although my parents spanked me (rarely, maybe 4 times?), I never felt the need to seek out situations where I would need to be validated. And unlike some other blogs and articles Ive read today have suggested, I also was never violent towards others or ended up in an abusive relationship. I think this is because there was a constant dialogue in my house about what my parents expected of me. Because these were never my experiences, most of the consequences/effects of this kind of “punishment” never occcurred to me. So I appreciate the information and I’m sorry for those horrific experiences.
    I would like to share some experiences about why I’m not so quick to jump right to the daughter’s side. I’ve heard teenage girls bragging about how if they dont get their way (get to go somewhere, dont get the new cell phone or new flat scrren, have a boy in their room, etc) they will threaten the parents with calling Child Protective Services. I’ve seen teenage girls become completely indignant knowing their parents are paralyzed with fear of having police and social workers in their home. My neice actually told me she lied to the police on purpose to “teach her father a lesson” after he restrained her. Only when it affected where she was allowed to live, did she have regrets which I suspect had more to do with the number of Christmas gifts she received. I took my 13 yr old cousins to an amusement park last summer and one of their friends came along. When she didn’t like the ride I decided was next, she became very disrepectful and it escalated to her calling me words I (at almost 30) still don’t use in front of my parents. When she got in my face and said she could hit me but I couldnt touch her because she was under 18, I grabbed her wrists to protect myself and show her I was not going to be controled by a child. I bring this up to illustrate that teenagers don’t always tell the truth. Our kids are smart and some (not all) will exploit the system as a means for revenge or to get their way because they know how seriously these accusations will be taken.
    But then again, I wasn’t in the room when the incident occurred so I don’t know what to think.

    • It’s one thing to doubt something or withhold judgment because that specific person has given you reason to doubt their credibility. Your husband, whom you’ve caught cheating before, tells you he was just working late on a stressful project. Your friend, whom you’ve caught lying about her relationships before, swears that this time she’s not sleeping with a married man. It is another entirely to do so based on your personal perception of all children in general. As I told another poster – people say the same thing when women say they are raped. Like rape is just SO RARE and like women lie more about sexual assault than who are actually assaulted. It’s the same deal with child abuse – there are some people who are always going to lead the chorus of doubt and immediately try to impugn the reliability and trustworthiness of the accuser. When your first response is to doubt, I think that is a personal problem that, in the end, ends up supporting and enabling abuse.

      No one ever believed me when I told them that my mom had tried to kill me. No matter how many times it happened. No matter how many people I told – counselors, doctors, teachers – I practically lived in the school nurse’s office. To see people immediately try to cast doubt on the credibility of someone whom they DON’T EVEN KNOW regarding a situation sickens me, to be perfectly honest. Do you not see how your claims of knowing x y and z children who will purposefully threaten their parents with calling the authorities, so clearly because some children do lie – we should doubt all children – is literally no different from those who always want to doubt women who say they are raped, because there are SOME women who have lied about it?

      More children are abused than who make it up. Fact. More women are raped than who lie about it. Fact. So why do some people give the extreme minority of liars enough influence to cast doubt on anyone and everyone who claims that something that occurs routinely – be it child abuse or rape – actually happened? That impulse to doubt the accuser, like I said, only serves to contribute to a culture that ultimately continues to enable abuse. Why would you want to support that?

      And if you withhold judgment, that’s your right. But nothing is stopping you from not judging this specific situation and ALSO saying “BUT if it is true, then it is WRONG.” Instead, you withhold judgment and try to say in a roundabout way that you are doing so because you think it is a significant possibility that the girl is lying, and point to your anecdotal experience to support your position. That leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

    • “show her I was not going to be controled by a child. ”

      Really?? REALLY?? You argued back with the same teenage logic she was using on you? You’re playing the same power games and one upmanship as a teen? Are you really that insecure? She’s a kid! She *can’t* actually threaten you’re station as an adult. That’s ridiculous. Unless you *let* her.

      She probably only brought it up, too, because you’d threatened her physically, first.

      You don’t really sound like the most reliable narrator on teenage behavior, really. Just trying to “win” by their teenage rules still.

  21. I have no idea what happened in the preacher’s home and honestly, I didn’t even hear about it on the news. However, I am completely appalled that anyone thinks kicking or punching a child is “discipline.” I was also kicked, choked and beaten an inch of my life. This is a mentally UNSTABLE way to raise another human being and the adult who has suffered this ABUSE as a child needs counseling so they stop defending these actions as appropriate and labeling it as “love”.

    The point of parenting is to prepare a young person for life in the real world. When you act crazy on a job, there are consequences, but no one kicks you in the stomach. When you don’t pay your rent, there are consequences, but your landlord will not come to your apartment and choke you. Physically abusing a child teaches one thing: Those who should be protecting them are not trustworthy.

    I understand our homes of origin seem normal when we are young, but as we get older and expand our experiences, hopefully we realize differently and don’t repeat the actions with the next generation. Many years of counseling and prayer has helped me get past my fears, anger and inferiority issues due to the physical and mental abuse I suffered as a child. If minority parents are demonized, it’s because of these very attitudes that this is acceptable parenting. It is not.

    • Oh my God, I couldn’t agree with you more. I was also disciplined (abused) with kicks, punches, choking. After getting whooped with a belt I had welts on my butt and legs so bad that I couldn’t sit down. I learned early that turtlenecks cover scratches and bruises from choking. I wore long sleeves and pants in the summer time.

      And yes, this leaves life long emotional scars. I am STILL dealing with these issues at the age of 27. Unfortunately, my parents still believe they did nothing wrong and that they had the right to do all of those things. Worse yet, they think that they helped me. The unfortunate truth is that they hurt me so much that I probably do need counseling to deal with the lasting emotional effects. But coming to terms with and accepting that something is wrong with me is something that I can’t quite do.

      Thank you for telling your story.

      • Hi Courtney,
        I pray you have the courage to seek out counseling. During counseling, I cried, raged, questioned and then ultimately forgave. But forgiveness means I am free. It does not mean I condone or lessen what was done to me or the effect it had on my life. And because the perpetrator (my grandmother, in my case) never changed and always had drama and negativity surrounding her life, I refused to have anything to do with her, no matter what anyone else tried to guilt me into doing. Sometimes the dynamics in a family are really awful when one of you decide to get help and to break the cycle. And people will make jokes about how it wasn’t so bad (you’re just a whiner), but you need to do whatever it is you need to do for yourself. At the end of the day, it’s about your healing. Blessings to you.

  22. I loved this because it is as complicated as the situation. You didn’t right something easy, simple, or complete. Thank you for this.

  23. Mine was the bedroom floor; I really enjoyed reading this, though it brought back memories, pleasant and very un-pleasant. The “the we have always done it” doesn’t work any more and for good reason. NO! Rev. Creflo “keep da money flowin’ in” Dollar should never had to go to this level to discipline his 15 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. And where the hell was First Lady Taffy when all this was going on? Was she even at home at the time? Sadly, it’s clear both Rev. Keep da Money Flowin’ in and First Lady Taffy, with her silence, both threw both their daughters under the bus to save face. :(

  24. Thank you! As the daughter of a minister who assumed the right to beat his daughters into submission, I feel so much pain for Creflo Dollar’s daughter. For me, though, calling the police didn’t work. My mom assisted with the beatings. And even my younger brother. I worry about what will happen to his potential future daughters. And I worry about this young girl. At least for her, attention has been drawn to the problem and hopefully it will bring about help. When I was 16 and my father demanded that I pull my pants down so he could “whoop” (beat) my bare behind and I refused, my mother held me down while he pulled my pants off. I didn’t have an older sister because I was the oldest. I am 27 now and I have a child of my own and this hurts like it happened yesterday. Hearing these stories hurts, but it makes me realize that I was not alone. I never have been alone. But oh my dear God, I felt alone. I still feel alone.

    Sorry for the rambling and such, I’m just emotional at the moment.

  25. If no one stopped your parent, you feel like you will always be by yourself. You think there is something inside you that will always bring out the worst in someone else, and you believe those who tell you the same. You spend a lifetime creating opportunities for apologies, which are delicious to you. You attract bullies and people who like or love you with conditions. ”

    Amen to this. Just how I felt and created.

  26. Thank you for this blog. It is so easy to be parent-centric on the matter of discipline without realising that discipline is a two-way deal between parent and child where the parent should have clear goals in terms of correction and the child can appreciate the reasons behind the stridency.

    There is no way throttling a child can be termed discipline, it is the parent taking out their frustration on the child just because they have the power to exact the strength and bully the child – it would never be corrective by any stretch of the imagination.

    I am also glad that you addressed the emotional fallout from such failed discipline encounters, something that never gets addressed in either the long or short-term.

    I also shared my views on the matter of parent-child relationships as it pertains to discipline in this blog http://www.akinblog.nl/2012/06/thought-picnic-under-my-roof.html

    Maybe when parents begin to realise the reality of your last sentence, “I don’t want to tell you what to do with your children, but I will teach your children how to tell what you did.” They might reflect on their age-old acts of discipline to do something that is corrective in love and wisdom with the maturity we always expect of our parents until they lose it.

  27. I’m different then crunkfeminist. I’ll never say my mother is my best friend, I’ll never say she’s my best guide, etc. There’s just emotional distance that I wrap around myself to protect it, coupled with the fact that I still do care for her. But can’t the way I could have.

    That’s just the way it is. I’m not even sure she realizes what is missing, even, and it wasn’t even all, or even mostly physical. Trust was broken. Hurt is hurt, and for me, I am not going to open myself up emotionally to more, sorry.

    I can understand where she comes from. That does not undo it. The trust is broken, she is not working on fixing it, might not even *realize* it is broken, and I do not trust enough to repair it either. Because *trust is gone.* It is not my responsibility to make myself vulnerable *again* without any evidence she’s seen what was wrong. It doesn’t require studying child development to realize when you’ve hurt your child, sorry. It doesn’t require studying child development to realize that you cannot require absolute obedience of another adult, just because she happens to still live in your house.

    So all of you who are making excuses for this kind of parent? Or decide it’s ok to be that kind of parent yourself? Maybe your child is very forgiving like crunkfeminist. Fine, you might get a second chance, you might still be trusted, you might still play an important role in your child’s life.

    But Maybe? Your kid will be like me. No unlimited second chances. No forgiveness without you making yourself forgivable, and none of THAT until you realize what was wrong, and first step there? No more excuses for other parents who abuse.

    If you want respect? If you want authority? EARN it. Manipulation, physical or emotional? Doesn’t count.

    • I am so in agreement with you jemand. So well said. Although in my case, it wasn’t my mother, but my grandmother (who I lived with), I had no desire to be a part of her life or allow her to be a part of mine. She ABUSED me. What the hell am I supposed to think of that woman? I didn’t even attend her funeral.

    • jemand, your statements about your mom echoes mine. Despite the regular pops in the mouth and emotional traumas, I do love and care for my mother. I grew up in church as well and she would always throw in my face “honor your parents”. So I finally figured out (well into adulthood) that I would be doing right by the Lord and her by “honoring her from a distance”. Thanks to months of professional counseling, I’ve figured out that I went through a mourning for the fact that I will may not ever have the kind of relationship I wanted with my mother. The only reason I would ever hold out any hope that there could be is because of the Lord. Also, I want to be able to sleep at night and stand before my maker and say I did right by my mother. I finally have the power and strength to remove myself when I perceive harm (harsh words, emotional attacks, etc.) I can say these things in peace, thanks to God.

      • Healed, the Bible also admonishes parents not to provoke their children. I read your post and just had to reply because it’s like your words were coming straight from my heart. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Crunkonia, I love you for bringing all those feelings back. I love you for bravely talking about the possibility of sabotaging all my relationships to see if some one any one will save me. If you were close I would wipe away my tears and give you the best hug you will ever know! I cannot tell you how much this means to me and how the universe made it so that I would over look the e-mail a few times in order to get me in the open and aware state to really hear, feel, and relive this with you. Thank you for not letting me go through this alone! Blessings to you my sister!

  29. Thank you. If I told my story is would be very similar to yours. Thank God for therapist.

  30. I am very close with my mother as well. We have had an opportunity to speak about her “discipline” and I have been able to explain to her the truth – I learned absolutely nothing about living life from being hit with hands, belts, extension cords, etc. It didn’t teach me how to behave, only how to hide what I was doing and not get caught. It taught me that the most important decision was not “is this right”, but “will I get away with this”.
    After a beating or “spanking” or whatever you want to call it – I never once got up feeling loved, I never once felt is was “necessary” for my survival or upbringing, or never felt it added to me as a person at all. It took me a long time after surviving the kitchen floor to learn how to live life in a positive way.
    I have never hit any of my 3 children. Are they perfect? No, but no one is. What I have found is that they reflect my behavior – they are my mirror. When I am calm, they are calm. When I am emotional – they are emotional. When I am distracted – they are distracted. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. When my mother was beating me, it was because I was her mirror. She had so many regrets in her life and here I was showing them back to her, right in her face. It takes an incomplete person to beat a child. It takes a damaged person to think that love equals violence. It takes a broken person to believe respect comes from the domination of someone less than half your size.
    I am now whole and see the wholeness in my children. I see that I am here to teach and guide, not be a slave master or a drill sergeant. Society doesn’t want me to put out on the streets an individual who only knows how to behave in an effort to avoid punishment and other consequences. I do the world no favors producing a child motivated to do the right thing only through fear.
    Being whole – it hasn’t been hard not to hit my children. Yes, raising children is hard, but not being violent is easy. Yes, my discipline takes more time. I takes my undivided attention. I must be an active participant in the lives of my children. My goal is to lead them and guide them “before” they get into trouble. I never had to spank the hand of my children to keep them from a hot stove – I kept them away from hot stoves until the fully understood the concept of “hot”. I never had to spank them for running into the street – we didn’t play near streets. I didn’t have to spank them for running off in a parking lot – I held their hands along the way.
    Now that they are older, they are more independent, but I still actively work to set them up for success. I do my best to ensure the situations they are in are ones in which their failure isn’t fatal. I can never protect them from everything, shit happens. But, I can do everything in my power to limit the shit that can happen.
    I let them test out independence in safe setting, giving them confidence in their success of making good choices. They are greatly rewarded when they do the right thing, and doing the wrong thing brings less independence as we relearn those lessons they may have forgotten.
    It takes a lot of time, but these are my kids and they are worth it. But, it takes a whole person to do that. In fact, it takes two whole people as my husband is just as active in our nonviolent parenting. It takes a person that doesn’t need massive amounts of “respect” from a child – when that respect really means admiration beyond that reasonably expected. Are my children disrespectful to me – no. However, I am not disrespectful to them either. Children are pretty good at giving you back exactly what you give them.
    From one “kitchen floor” survivor to another – great work.

    • Wow! That has to be one of the best things I’ve read! Have you heard of Gentle Christian Mothers? I don’t know if you are Christian but you would fit in great! If anyone needs help with discipline without spanking or wants to get to know other Christian moms who parent gently check out http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/community/

    • I want to commend all of the women who have told their stories of being abused by their parents.I am 55 years old. My mother was a single parent, and used to beat me quite severely in the name of discipline. I was a good student, quiet, responsible and taught not to talk back (I was afraid of the consequences anyway). Still, I was beaten because I was deemed “fresh” if I voiced any opinion. My mother did more cruel things to me than I can put in this space, and I never understood why she hated me so much. I went into therapy when I became a parent and felt I might treat my own children the same way. That, plus my relationship with God (not in a religious sense) helped to know that the abuse I suffered at her hands (physically, emotionally, and mentally) was wrong and it was okay for me to say so. I confronted my mother in 1999; today, we have no relationship and I couldn’t care less. I think the black community needs to deal with the issue of abuse vs. discipline, and this incident with Creflo Dollar is an opportunity for us to air our misguided beliefs about discipling our children. We need to stop being proud of beating our children and about being beaten. It’s sick.

      • Yes to everything you said. The abuse defended as “discipline” needs to stop and the black community needs to be taught better tools to use to bring up our children. Believe it our not there are capable, respectful, contribute to society adults out there who were never spanked.

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  35. I don’t know where to start. I’ve never had the tools to analyze and understand my own experience. Thank you. So incredibly much for your bravery and the bravery of the commenters who have added to the narrative. Thank you also to the commenter who listed resources for non-physical discipline. What you write and how you write it is life-giving.

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  37. Half the people interested in the Creflo incident are interested because of their abuse history. The other half are interested because of their prior awareness of Creflo and the church. Unbiased people are not clicking through to this website or commenting here because they are not interested. Creflo was in social services where restraining clients is part of the training. It sounds like a restraint gone wrong. They often go wrong. I’ve seen clients that require a six man restraint. It’s hard to pull off a one man restraint on kid that old. Creflo should send that kid to military school before she costs him his reputation.

    • It sound like she is a spoiled brat use to getting her way, this ain’t the first time she and the 19 year old have gotten out of hand and disrespected their parent, this time she caught her father at the wrong time! Creflo need to send her somewhere before she ruin his reputation and bring him down and later on she will be sorry! That’s what happen to my late father he spoiled my baby sister gave her every thing she wanted and once when he said no she turn on him and treated him like he was lower than a dog [call the police on him in his own house], it hurt him to the day he died, since he died she been catching hell every since, before she was a high maintenance princess.

  38. I’ve stopped reading comments about this story because the normalization of violence within (some aspects of) the Black community, especially against children, just makes me incredibly sad. I decided to de-lurk to offer this conversation that happened 10 minutes ago in the coffee shop where I am:

    The barista and a teenage girl (maybe 13/14) were having a conversation about carrying large sums of money around when the barista told the girl to be careful because she might get attacked for doing that. She said she wasn’t worried and he said she wouldn’t feel that way if she was being choked or ‘yoked up’ in the street. She maintained that she still wouldn’t be scared because her grandmother and father had already choked her up.The barista (unfazed) said ‘really? But have you ever been laid out?’ She said ‘of course, by my father’.

    I just want all the ‘discipline’/'spare the rod’/'it helped me’ crowd to recognize that we’ve created an environment where a teenage girl is not afraid of being attacked. Why? Because she’s already experienced similar violence in her home.

    • It always amaze me how all of you’ll want to throw a pity party about some well meaning parent whipping there unruly children and not consider %75 of young black people who are in prison today admit they never had much discipline [whippings] by their parents, If parents continue like you’ll they will have to double the number of prison in America! I will tell you like my old aunt told me “she said son you better whip your children when they need it because if you don’t the white man [system] will whip your children [meaning police whipping them or discipline them in prison] and you want like it and want be able to do anything about it, and I found that to be a true statement.

  39. I cried incontrollably as I read your article. The pain and humiliation inflicted upon me by my
    mother came from her trusted extension cord. We were “the only Chriastians in the neighbhood ” according to my parents and they swore by the scripture that said “beat him, he won’t die”. These were my parents words and after the beatings they bragged about it in church. She used harsh threatening words and threatened to kick me out of the house as early as eight years old. My mother was the only person to call me a n***** to my face how many kids can say that!! I’m still wounded from her treatment and my heart goes out to the Dollar children. The abuses our parents inflicted upon us is perhaps a reason some parents are reluctant to discipline today. There must be a happy medium but the center is always love. That’s how I raised my children. Spanking until the age of two and then a lot of talking, teaching and instruction. I would kill someone who harmed my children the way I was harmed thank you for letting me vent. I’m still healing from childhood wounds that may never go away

  40. You people need to do some sanely thought about this issue because in the end the African-American children suffer the most in this situation. The parents are in a dilemma whether to forgo disciplining their children or to leave it up to law enforcement. Should we be apathetic, lax or indifferent and let the courts send our unruly children to jail or should we as parents do our duty and appropriately discipline our children? These are the questions every parent is asking today

    • Why do you equate spanking with discipline – those two words are not synonyms. There are a number of ways to discipline a child that doesn’t involve hitting. I am sorry that you can’t think past an extension cor,d, belt, or switch from a tree – but not everyone has that problem. The goal of discipline is teaching and correction – all can be done without hitting. Did you hit your child to teach them to tie their shoes? Did you spank your child to teach them how to use the bathroom? Did you use a belt to teach them how to eat solid food? I’m not sure with the way you comment, but the same way you can teach a child how to read without hitting them you can teach a child anything without hitting them – including how to behave appropriately.
      I hope you realize your children (if you have them) are not circus animals that need to be trained with a whip; they a humans with a capacity to learn by using their brain. They don’t have to fear you to respect you and they don’t have to hurt to learn. In fact, they best way to teach your children how to behave is to behave appropriately yourself. If your children are that out of control – check your home.
      Do you lie? Are you disrespectful? Do you have an attitude problem? Do you speak to people inappropriately? Are you mean and bitter? Do you have a problem following directions? Are you callous and unloving? Your children don’t do what you “say”, they do what you “do” – so if your children are that wild they are learning it from living it.
      This fear of your children turning out to be criminals or living in an insane asylum if you don’t beat them half to death is not mentally healthy. Do you really have so little faith in your children that you feel without violence they will be no better than a thug on the street corner? Do you really think your children are one missed whipping away from being a drug dealer or a gang banger? Please tell me you don’t tell them such nonsense.

      • Spanking, whipping if need be,is essential to discipline as well as time out, spanking and whipping if need is not a bad word [if it will save their life or keep them out of prison] some unruly children need spanking or whipping some do not, parents must use what ever from of discipline with love that is necessary to raise up a good and productive citizen. As my old teacher would say “a hint to the wise is sufficient but a sermon to the dumb want work”.

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