James Dobson and Adrian Peterson

Two days ago, Focus on the Family's Jared Pingleton condemned Adrian Peterson's abuse of his son but defended corporal punishment. Yesterday I explained that the words Pingleton used to justify "appropriate" corporal punishment are the same words abusers use to justify their abuse. In the comments on that post, a reader pointed out, using quotes, that in the punishment he delivered Peterson was simply following the advice of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson himself. I looked up the qu … [Read more...]


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From Humiliation to Cooperation

Yesterday, I wrote about an article in Time Magazine's online parenting section written by Focus on the Family's Jared Pingleton. In that article Pingleton addressed the Adrian Peterson child abuse controversy. My main argument in my own post was that by misunderstanding the dynamics of abuse, Pingleton both erased abusers and reinforced abusers' justifications for their actions.Today I want to address the rest of Pingleton's article---namely, his advice on how to properly apply corporal … [Read more...]


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Failing to Understand the Dynamics of Abuse: Focus on the Family on Adrian Peterson and Corporal Punishment

Yesterday, Time Magazine's parenting section featured an article by Focus on the Family's Jared Pingleton. The article, titled "Spanking Can Be an Appropriate Form of Discipline," addresses the controversy surrounding Adrian Peterson's suspension from the Minnesota Vikings on pending child abuse charges after leaving open lacerations on his son. In his article, Pingleton makes a case for corporal punishment while clearly calling Peterson's actions abuse.Pingleton begins his article with this … [Read more...]


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Did Adrian Peterson “Spank” His Son?

Yesterday WORLD Magazine weighed in on Adrian Peterson's arrest for child abuse. A grand jury in Texas indicted star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and a warrant for his arrest was issued Friday by the Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office for “reckless or negligent injury to a child” for the way he spanked his son. Notice that last bit---Peterson was arrested "for the way he spanked his son." Not for abusing his son. Not for leaving his son's body covered with bleeding lac … [Read more...]


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Groundbreaking New Spanking Study

I recently came upon an article in the Scientific American discussing a fascinating new study just out in the Journal of Family Psychology. The study is titled "Eavesdropping on the family: A pilot investigation of corporal punishment in the home." As the report explains:We used audio recordings to investigate how parents use corporal punishment (CP). This is a prime topic to study because the extensive literature on the topic relies almost exclusively on self-reports. As the report goes on … [Read more...]


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A Picture of Pain

Sean and I and the kids occasionally go for visits to my parents' house. Sally and Bobby love their grandparents, and I enjoy the time with my siblings. My parents live in the country, so weekends at their house can be fun getaways. The last time we were there, though, I was stopped in my tracks.It was a picture displayed prominently on the fridge. It was my mother, standing proudly in a jean jumper, pregnant with one of my many siblings. The picture was taken years ago, and it was the … [Read more...]


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The Twisted Evil

I write a lot here on the blog about Debi Pearl's Created To Be His Help Meet and Michael Pearl's To Train Up A Child. I think it's important to remember that there are people who wholeheartedly believe and follow both books. This isn't some abstract thing. For these individuals and families, this is real life. And the things the Pearls say---things that are, I might add, actually quite widespread in fundamentalist Christian circles far beyond the Pearls themselves---shape the directions of p … [Read more...]


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