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My youngest daughter and I read an article about a girl who video-taped her parents form of discipline and then saved the video for 7 years before releasing it the day after her father reduced her funding and took away the Mercedes she had been allowed to drive. The headlines were all about an eight minute video which recorded a beating with a belt she had received when she was 16 years old from her Father and Mother. The comments were Mostly about outrage that anyone, let alone a Judge, would use that form of punishment on their child. It seems that if the statute of limitations had not already run out on this event, that the Judge might have been brought up on assault charges.
While I would agree that disciplining while you are angry (which the Father certainly was) is unhealthy, and unwise (but who of us with children have not at some point been guilty of that?) I had to take a step back and think this one through. This is the same form of discipline that many of us grew up with, and we did Not complain that it was abuse. It was largely the norm for discipline through several decades of the 20th Century at least.
When I was a child/teenager, I distinctly remember thinking at least once that I would prefer the long hard spanking that was my Father’s tool, or even the “go out in the yard and get me a switch” routine that my Mother employed, to some of the other loss of privilege options that might have been used for discipline.
A spanking (even the long hard ones) are over after a bit (maybe you can’t sit for half an hour after, because it burns). Even the switch marks (because you chose a skinny little green branch thinking it would hurt less than a thicker branch) will go away after a couple of days; but a loss of privilege usually lasts a lot longer. In our household, there weren’t many privileges, and those we had were shared among many siblings. A loss of privilege left you with precious little to do.

The girl had apparently been downloading some things which she should not have been downloading.  Illegal file sharing…. tut, tut, tut.  I’m sure she knew better.  This activity would also put her parents in a bad position, hence, their anger.
My youngest daughter thought that maybe the Judge should have taken her computer away for a couple of months, and wiped the hard drive instead.
I agreed that that would certainly have been an appropriate response, but mentioned that this girl seemed to have a distinct dislike for loss of privileges. If given a choice between the two at the time, she probably would have picked the whipping. Who knows…. maybe she was given the choice, which is why she had time to turn on the camera. Then she saved it…..
She must not have felt all that tortured or she would have revealed it to her teachers in school at the time. And she must not have felt all that tortured after that while she was at home either, because she still didn’t reveal it to anyone. Not until she was out of the house, having been granted the privilege of going to college (no doubt paid for by her parents), and driving one of their cars, and being given additional support for this effort, did she reveal it. She claims it was Not a revenge move in response to having her funds reduced and the car taken away after she dropped out of school.
All in all, I think it was a pretty ignorant move by the girl. She is not likely to have access to those privileges again, especially now that her father’s income will get reduced as well, in response to the criticism he is now receiving.

When one complains about what life dishes out, one should keep in mind what the options were, including your own part in it.

hope she likes her new lifestyle. She is likely to be enjoying it for some time to come.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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One Comment

  1. Just to clarify… I do think the Father was a bit over the top on this. Perhaps there was a better way to handle it, but he couldn’t think of it at the time…… His mind may have been too wrapped up in the implications of what he might have to pay for……


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