As a parent you have two strong convictions the moment your child is born- the unconditional love you have for your child(ren) and the conviction that you will protect your child from harm by any means necessary. As your child develops into a young adult, your priorities change from giving unconditional love to them but at times having to “put them in their proper place” as a child. The latter is the most difficult because that means that many times you have to be the “bad guy” and punish them””nothing parents like to do. As a parent of a preteen, me and my husband have to scold, punish, discipline and even spank him for undesirable behavior but we always do it out of love.
No matter how furious he makes me, does me “training him up in love” contain, “charging, choking, slamming or beating him with a shoe”””that is cruelty to children.
On Friday morning Mega-church Pastor, Creflo Dollar, was arrested at his home in Fayette County, Georgia for simple battery and cruelty to children. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “the pastor and his 15 year old daughter were arguing over whether she could go to a party when Dollar got “˜physical’ with her, leaving her with “˜superficial injuries’. The AJC goes onto report that the lone witness to Friday morning’s altercation, Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter Alexandria, confirmed her sibling’s account, telling deputies their father “put both hands around her sister’s neck and choked her for about five seconds,” according to the incident report.
I have to admit that when I first heard this news as a parent of three, I relished in the news that Creflo Dollar forbade his 15 year old daughter to attend a party at 1:00am. What parent would allow their child to attend a party at in the wee hours of the morning? No parent with an ounce of “parenting sense” would allow that foolishness to go in their house. As a parent I would not even ENTERTAIN the talk to even allow my child to attend the party. However there is a boundary that Dollar crossed when you have to slam, choke and punch a child to get your point across. That wasn’t parenting””that was a wrestling match.
As I thought about the events that the police report detailed, I was appalled that people were praising him for basically having a WWE match with his minor child! Isn’t this the treatment that our ancestors endured in the hands of their slave masters and plantation overseers? Why then would we be happy to do it to a 15 year old child?
Yes, I am sure she deserved to be punished but as a parent we can not discipline out of anger””because it can scar our kids (emotionally) for life. Would we still be applauding these same actions if a woman got out of line with her husband and he wanted to “teach her a lesson”? No, we’d be reporting it as domestic abuse and call for justice. The only difference in this case is that Dollar is a 50 year old prominent pastor in the Atlanta area and his daughter is a 15 year old child.
As a child I was afraid of my mother. Her words alone made me quiver in my feet and I followed all of her instructions to a “tee”; however, there came a point as an adolescent were despite me fearing her I began to “test her boundaries”. I’d mumble things under my breath and many times she’d have to “slap some sense” into me. I’d straighten up but the humiliation of being slapped (in my face) stayed with me into adulthood. Even though I deserved to be disciplined, I could never understand a person who loves you hitting you like a stranger from the “street”.
As I began to have my own kids, my mom and I can now talk about it and she even admits that there was better ways to deal with my disrespect without humiliating me. So when I became a parent over a decade ago, I vowed to never humiliate or hit my children out of anger. Yes, I get angry (even pissed off) by their actions but if I get to that point I step away, calm myself down and either my husband disciplines them or I handle them at a later time. His father and I never hit him in his face, kick or slam him down out of anger. Some things are off limits. We don’t spare the rod but we never discipline them out of anger.
Parents instead of applauding Bishop Dollar and his actions, I say pray for peace between him and his daughter so that they can get past this incident and deal with disagreements differently in the future.
BMWK, do you spare the rod and abuse the child or abuse the child and spare the love?