Little did I realize that I would receive confirmation of yesterday’s post so quickly!
On my favorite radio program, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” one of today’s topics was the Adrian Peterson situation regarding spanking and physical punishment that allegedly has been raised to the level of abuse.
- Following the initial reporting of the incident, Peterson’s spokesperson, lawyer Rusty Harden, responded, “He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.”
- Earlier, Peterson himself had said, “I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man.”
I think there is a logical problem with his argument that is a separate one from Peterson’s specific act with his son. It seems to me that the great running back is missing the point, for one simple reason I attempted to point out in a short tweet to ESPN radio’s show and its host:
- If spanking is so great and creates discipline…why didn’t it work for Adrian Peterson’s dad, who ended up in prison?
In other words, (and the point is pretty obvious from my perspective) that the same discipline that Peterson’s dad received when he was young didn’t prevent him from committing the crimes that landed him in jail.
- Peterson implied that the reason for his success was, in part, because of the spankings he received. Yet, if that was so fundamental…why did that same form of punishment not work in the case of his father?
Look, I know of too many parents who view spanking as the preferred — and sometimes solitary — method of administering discipline.
The point of this was NOT to say that no parent should ever spank — it WAS to indicate that spanking is not a panacea to solve all discipline problems of kids. If it was…it would’ve worked as surely for Peterson’s father as it worked on the star NFL running back.
While we may — or may not — disagree with spanking…and we all are aghast at child abuse…the simple point here was to try to get people to THINK about what they assume to be true about the issue.
So…release the trolls!
(Thanks to my friend, @MikeCane, for being an island of sanity, there!)
And, here’s the one that may be the most egregious:
What? This discussion could just as easily been about a family from my small hometown of Crothersville, Indiana as it is about the Peterson’s. I don’t get how race has ANYTHING to do with it — but, just as we discussed yesterday, some people are just waiting to be outraged.
Note that not ONE person suggested they may not understand my view — no, “Scott, are you saying you’re against spanking, or what?” There wasn’t a response that I would consider to be a reasonable disagreement: “Perhaps Peterson’s father was trying to instill a discipline in his son that the dad didn’t possess.” Instead, accusations ranging from racial profiling to being a “stupid libtard” (which is SOOOOO far from true, I hope) — once again displaying that we are addicted to being outraged — and name calling — rather than engaging in a respectful and reasonable discussion.
- What does this mean to your business?
This is the kind of outrageous crap that your employees may be hearing from customers who disagree with your policy and approaches on a daily basis. You need to be certain that they — and you — are prepared to deal with it…while continuing to create distinction and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®” to those terrific clients and prospects who are choosing to spend their time and money with you in a manner that is positive and productive for all.
- One more little story…
And — for the record, and just so it doesn’t seem that I’m skirting the issue, I was spanked as a kid. But, there was a difference between “spanking” and “whipping.” I knew classmates who were whipped — much like Peterson allegedly did to his son — in a manner that today we would agree was abusive. I don’t think it did anything to assist in their growth and development — and, in almost every case, was detrimental. However, I would suggest that the COMBINATION of love, standards, penalties such as grounding and extra chores, along with an infrequent swat to the posterior was the essential aspect that my parents seemed to get right.
My worst spanking was when I was a sophomore in high school. I had only had my driver’s license for a few months, and was assigned an early and specific time I was supposed to be home after a basketball game. I was very late — remember, this is well before cell phones to touch base at home — and, as “call waiting” wasn’t around yet either, the one time that I did try to call, I received a busy signal and didn’t try again.
A band named Crepe Soul was playing the dance after the game…so, I stayed and stayed…hanging out with the singer in the band, a young guy named Mellencamp. When I got home, my Mom gave me the biggest spanking I ever received — both for being so late…and for hanging out with the band, made up of guys older than me that she didn’t know. (Ironic, since my Dad wasn’t home because he played in a band every weekend.)
Mom got her way. I never hung out with that Mellencamp kid ever again. I wonder what happened to him?