Adrian Peterson was arrested and indicted on charges of child abuse this past Friday after he spanked his 4-year-old son with a tree branch. The Minnesota ‘Vikings’ player reportedly “whooped” his son because he scratched his 5-year-old sister in the face.
Although arrested and charged, Adrian remained adamant that his actions were not on extreme. “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right,” said the star in a text message to the child’s mother.
Peterson’s son allegedly had bruises on his legs and hands that were still bleeding when his mother picked him up from the NFL star’s house. The 4-year-old gave a gruesome description of the experience to law enforcement telling them, “There are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet” that are used on him when he gets a spanking. Adrian’s son also told police that his father hit him in the face with the tree branch and placed leaves in his mouth while spanking him.
Whether or not the little one is fabricating portions of the story is not the issue. Spanking has long been a method that parents use to discipline their children when unacceptable behavior is displayed. From the father who uses the belt to get his kids back on the right path to the mother who taps her child on the back end to encourage better manners in the grocery store, North American parents often use physical force when rearing their children. But is it effective? Dr. Alan Kazdin says no.
“Physical punishment is extremely common for young children. It’s very common in the United States,” says the professional. “You don’t need spanking to change behavior. It is not effective at all. It increases aggression in children, has emotional consequences.”
Is the doctor right? Does spanking foster violent behavior in kids? Share your thoughts below!