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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Hana Williams Trial Verdict: Guilty


Yesterday, Larry and Carri Williams were found guilty of manslaughter in the 2011 death of their daughter, Hana. Larry was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and Carri was found guilty of both manslaughter and homicide by abuse. Janet Heimlich sums up Hana's story as follows: I first learned about the case when Larry and Carri Williams were arrested in September of 2011. I happened to be in Seattle, about an hour away from the couple’s gated-community suburb of Sedro-Woolley, where I was … [Read more...]

Spanking Tears

head in hands

I've written a lot about spanking in the past, but one thing that is difficult is that, for my family, it's not really the past. I am the oldest in a family of over a dozen; many of my siblings are still minors, living at home. My parents still spank. This can make visiting home painful. I keep trying to write about this but I'm having trouble doing it it in my normal fashion. So instead, I give you a series of vignettes---short scenes or conversations from recent visits … [Read more...]