Isn’t it interesting that when a child misbehaves on a continual basis people are always quick to blame it on bad parenting? Something that was reported in the media this week got me thinking about how difficult it is to discipline children today.
There was a non-issue in the media this week where Bob Knight, a college basketball coach popped a player in the chin when he was yelling at him because the player’s eyes fell. He popped his chin to bring the players eyes back up. Now Bob Knight certainly is no saint. Coach Knight has a history of questionable physical behavior when it comes to his coaching style. Needless to say, Bob Knight is a very intense, passionate, hard nose coach who steps over the line at times, so when ever something like this happens, the media is all over it like flies on sh*t. At the end of the day even the parents of the player said that they didn’t have a problem with Knights’ behavior towards their son. This incident will go away fast just like most “issues” the media covers.
I was listening to ESPN Radio this morning where Mike & Mike where talking about this non issue. They were interviewing another basketball coach who felt that Knight did nothing wrong. He also said that incidents like this would be a non issue if the media wouldn't be so aggressive in their pursuit for a story. The problem was that it is becoming increasingly difficult to coach and discipline players when cameramen and reporters are at every turn looking for their Pulitzer. Now, I’m not condoning punching, hitting or throwing a kid a across the court to get your point across, all I’m saying is actions such as the above incident should not be a story.
What’s my point? Getting back to my first sentence “Isn’t it interesting that when a child misbehaves on a continual basis people are always quick to blame it on bad parenting?”. It seems that technology today allows for information to circle the globe in the matter of seconds where years ago it would take hours and/or days, and that’s only if the information was worthy of being shared. All you need to do now is click send. If you want to play it safe and hold on to your children, practice no contact parenting because if you don’t the consequences are a bitch.
Parents today are hesitant to discipline (put the kid over their knee) their children for the fear that someone including their kids will report them to CYS (Child Youth Services) or some other organization that is charged with keeping a watchful eye on our children. If your child is at the make-up counter in your local department store taking a tube of lipstick and applying it to a $2,500 Armani coat, make sure not to discipline the child with a tap on the bottom because you might find yourself being interrogated. Remember, there are cameras everywhere, especially at the mall. Society has put the fear of god into parents. They are constantly reminded through public service ads, literature, the news, their superintendent and their physician that they stand the chance of being reported if they discipline their kid. If your kid has a couple of bruises on his leg, I can assure you that you will be getting a phone call from his school or questioned by the physician if noticed. No parent wants this or needs the headache so they just decide to abandon discipline and hope that putting little Tommy in “time out” will do the job. Oh by the way, little Tommy is all grown up now and lives in a BIG HOUSE where he eats 3 square meals a day, gets free cable TV, enjoys pumping iron 4 hours a day and gets to wear these very fashionable orange jumpsuits.
Beating a kid is wrong and should not go unnoticed, but giving your child a smack on the bottom should be perfectly acceptable as long as it doesn’t happen daily. Bill Cosby used to say that his father used to come home and announce “Let the Beatings Begin”. That’s probably a bad thing.
Technology advances (Video, Internet, the speed of how fast information travels) along with these much needed organizations (we truly do need them) who have inadvertently tied the parent’s hands behind their back (no pun intended) are also to blame for the unfortunate disregard that today’s youth has for society.