There has been a slew of news material since the start of the year about the parenting and child care choices of our sometimes questionable ‘celebrities.’ We’ve had the octo-mom and her welfare lifestyle even prior to giving birth to the human version of a litter. All of the possible exploitation of her kids and trying to secure a reality TV show and other possible ways of raising her pack of future voters when she decides to run for mayor.
Then there’s the countless adoptions of Angelina Jolie and the new births of kids named Apple, Martini, Dewdrop, Lollygag, and whatever else the Hollywood folk can deem to punish their unwitting children before they learn to speak.
But what perhaps is the biggest mockery of the celebrities and their somewhat questionable habits is one that isn’t questionable at all. Kate Gosselin, from the first successful venture in a real life Brady Bunch family setting, Jon and Kate Plus Eight, was caught on camera spanking one of her kids by the paparazzi. The child was blowing a whistle while her mother was on the phone and was asked to stop, but continued anyway. Doing what parents have been doing up until recently when children began to receive more rights than educated, well-meaning adults, she disciplined the child. There is a saying: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
Most children these days are spoiled beyond belief, and it’s largely due to the media’s desperation for anything that resembles news to report on. Its almost reached the point where any discipline whatsoever is frowned upon, including timeouts and scolding.
So how are any parents supposed to discipline an unruly child these days?
It seems the answers are Sesame Street and Nickelodeon. TV has become a more effective parent than those responsible for feeding, clothing, and providing shelter for a child. Parents’ hands are tied behind their backs, chained to the ceiling, with a hood over their heads, suspended over flaming coals.
Psychologists will argue that spanking can cause psychological trauma. Sorry. Psychology as a field started when Freud decided that boys want to have sex with their mothers, known as the Oedipus complex, just prior to 1900. As far as a medical science is concerned, psychology is theory. Theories are guesses. Look into history and take into consideration how long physical discipline has been in practice and then determine how detrimental to society it was when it was widely accepted as the standard of punishment for a disobedient child.
There is a limit to spanking, and that’s when it starts to become abuse. Broken bones, lacerations, and strikes to the face are all pretty commonly understood as excessive. There is a line between losing your temper and abusing a child, and what is considered proper discipline.
Timeout is something middle and upper class citizens created when they were either unwilling to strike a child, too lazy, feared breaking a nail or getting their hands dirty, or now the societal repercussions. Try putting a 17-year-old in ‘timeout’ or grounding them. It’s impossible to ground a teen in today’s world because of how much of their education is dependent on that as their sole source of contact to the outside world. Lets face it, kids today are deprived of the things they need like parents and friends.
Kids come home to watch TV, or play World of Warcraft. Parents are afraid to interact with their children, or are simply unwilling to. Journalism as a whole has slid from respectable reporting to thriving on the gossip of private lives, and as the hedonists we are, we soak up every little juicy tabloid garbage story.
Kate Gosselin spanking her child is just the latest story in the ongoing cycle of tabloids opting the way of Hulu advertising: to turn our brains into a jello-like pudding.