...to her son, a 12 year child mind you, after he allegedly opened a Christmas early at his grandmother's home. She said, when he was confronted and questioned about the missing present, her son denied knowledge of how it went missing or where it was hidden. Then she reportedly threatened him with her calling the police and he fessed up, said he took it, and returned it to her.
The mom then called the police anyhow, and she had them arrest her 12 year old son. Why did she do that? Well according to the report in this article: Mother Has 12-Year-Old Son Arrested for Opening Christmas Gift Early at FoxNews.com today,
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,234638,00.html, the mother said she did not know what else to do. She reportedly said the boy has had problems with shoplifting, stealing money from his mother, and that recently he hit a police officer at school. According to the article she also said this: "I'm trying to get him some kind of help".
Is this what Dr. Spock did to our country with his, in my opinion, namby pamby method of parenting that precluded any form of corporal punishment being inflicted by parents on their misbehaving children? Is this what the American Civil liberties Union has done to our country with their ridiculous law suits, it would not surprise me that they would have filed against the mother in favor of the child had she spanked him.
Now truth be told, I have a bit more information about this case. The boy is reported as having "...attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but that his medicine does not seem to help..." according to an article at CNN @: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/05/christmaspresent.arrest.ap/index.html.
Okay so the kid has the catch all childhood mental health disorder of the 20th and now 21st centuries, one that I believe to be a big cop-out (on the part of those who diagnose it). Telling the child to be good does not work, counseling probably would not work, medication reportedly has not worked (and I wonder why if the malady was actually diagnosed correctly or was it misdiagnosed as a cop-out, when maybe it is just that the child has never been correctly disciplined), and having the boy expelled from school will likely not help (and according to the CNN article he faces expulsion soon). Guess what else I would bet will not work - having the boy arrested and wasting the time of the local police department, prosecutor's office and courts.
I think I know what would help. I have a possible cure right here with me at this very moment. Maybe it will not cure attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but I am willing to bet it will cure some of the penchant toward bad behavior that this boy seems to have. I am talking about being able, through use of my own mind and willpower to be able punish this boy as a good parent. I am talking about being remanded to ones room, under lock and key every day after school, for a week or two. That is the child is restricted to his room, except to go to the bathroom, except to eat meals, except to go to school , and except to do assigned chores and so on. I am talking about no television for that same period. I am talking about no computer use for just as long. I am talking about no special or extra snacks for the same time - just regular meals. I am talking about the parent, sitting with the child each of those days, during some good portion of each, and discussing the problem with the child as a responsible adult should do. If all of that fails, I am talking about a good hand to the buttocks (bare skin against bare skin). For those of you who think that too sexually provocative, then a good hand to the thighs. I am talking about a belt or paddle if the hand does not work (not on bare skin but through jeans). I am talking about a size 12 to the arse (yes mine are size 12 in most shoes). No severe beatings please, just enough physical force to make them realize, ouch that hurts pretty bad. I am talking about the parent explaining to the child, after a good spanking, that changed behavior on the part of the child will result in privileges being restored.
Of course all of this could have happened already. Maybe the mother is at her wits end. Maybe she and the grandmother could figure out no other way. Yet, I doubt it to be the case that the mom did all of this, I think she is trying to push off the responsibility of taking charge of her son onto someone else like doctors, school officials, the grandmother, or the police. Now, maybe that is just my cynicism speaking, but it seems to be all too often the case with American parents nowadays. Too many of them seemingly slough off the responsibility of being a parent, and want others to take over large parts of that role for them. Too many child welfare workers and police officials would have the parent arrested if the parent actually acted responsibly and spanked, within reason, the child. Too many very confused psychologists, and confused social workers, advocate never spanking a child, or punishing them severely. As for me, I strongly advocate the old time Catholic school method of discipline. It worked on my parents, it worked on me, and even though my children did not attend Catholic schools, that same type of discipline seemingly has worked on them. They have had there problems, but the proper amount of punishment, including corporal punishment, doled out at the correct time, along with the proper rewards being given likewise in a timely manner, both appropriately based upon whatever behavior preceded them has worked well to date.
Neither of my children gets a spanking any longer. Heck, my son at 17, would probably beat me senseless if I tried it now. The point is though, all kidding aside, my daughter and son respect me and their mother. Sure they both can get rotten at times, but then we apply some punishment, just as we reward good behavior. That is all part of parenting. I don't need doctors, schools, or police doing that for me; although the help of grandparents, and other family members, is always welcome within reason. My kids stay out of trouble for the most part; yes my son has had a brush with the law over a pretty minor offense, but it taught him well; and I did not have my own son arrested, instead I talked to him about what he had done, and I punished him because of it after our talk. Our kids do what other teens and youngsters in their 20s will do, they don't always think about what they do, and this can get them into some bit of trouble. Yet, for the great part, they stay out of trouble because they learned long ago causing trouble is not the desirable, or best, way to get their parents' attention or love. They learned getting into trouble over a moment of thrills is not worth the risks of getting punished by their parents; or by the law, now that they are old enough. They learned to think before they act, and if they have a question about whether something is right or wrong, they had best not do it. They learned it is better to do things right because life is more rewarding and pleasant when you do so. They will turn into fine upstanding, responsible, and productive members of our society; heck my daughter and son are already there - where has the time gone!
Of course, as I said, maybe the mom tried all she could do, maybe she was at her wits end after having tried all the above. Maybe she did the best she could do. If so, well then my hat goes off to her for trying something radical. It is just that, all to often, parents don’t act a responsible parents, they all too often want to pass the buck of parenthood onto others who can do their jobs as parents for them. Parenting is hard, it is one of the most difficult things in life to get right. Heavens know I have screwed up many times at being a parent, but when it comes right down to it, the only people responsible for good parenting, and therefore for good children as a result, are the parents.
All the best,