Can we discipline our children?

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A big story the past few weeks has been the megachurch Pastor Creflo Dollar fight with his 15-year-old daughter.

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Allegedly the daughter wanted to go to a party at 1 in the morning and of course like any responsible parent, Rev. Dollar said no. At first I thought it was 1 p.m. so I had to read it again. It was 1 a.m.

Come on now, a 15-year-old wanting to go to a party at 1 in the morning. Most responsible parents would have a problem with their 15-year-old being at a party at 1 a.m., let alone just going to one that is just starting at 1 a.m. What time would she be back home, 4 or 5 in the morning?

Another thing that concerns me is that the media and authorities’ only concern is with his laying of hands on her, but no one is questioning why in the world would a 15-year-old be demanding to go out at that time in the morning.

This brings the issue back into the spotlight of what rights do parents have in disciplining their children.

The left says there’s no reason to touch your child, while the right says spare the rod spoil the child. In this case I agree with the right. If the parents don’t discipline the child, the police and court system will. The rod should be the last resort, but after you’ve asked, then told, then it’s time for the laying on of hands.

What does a parent do when they order or ask politely the child to go to his or her room because they had been misbehaving, or did something wrong and the child looks them in the face and says no? Most kids will do what their parents tell them to do, but many will not.

In the old days that would lead to a belt, or shoe, but these days it leads to the parent pleading with the child, because if you touch them it’s child abuse.

There has to be an in between, or should we call it a moderate. There are a lot of abusive parents in this world that need to be kept in check, but what happens to the child who is not disciplined, or who cannot be disciplined with words?

In the real world, you break a society rule and you are punished. The police officer is not going to plead with you to please not speed, or stop at the stop sign or red light, and if you break the law you go to jail. So what are the consequences when a child simply ignores the rules set down by parents. Such as no parties at all or you have to be in the house at a certain time?

Reverend Dollar probably snapped after he told her she wasn’t going to any party that late and she made the decision that yes she was. When she decided to walk out the door with him standing there all hell broke loose. Just how can you restrain a 15-year-old moving past you without putting your hands on them.

He says he didn’t touch her, I find that hard to believe. He like any responsible parent laid hands on her. In this case a shoe.

Why not just be a man and say, yes I laid a shoe one her and will again if she decides she’s going to do what she wants in my house. And if anyone has a problem with that then maybe she should move in with them.

I got very few whippings in my childhood, mainly because I respected my elders and didn’t like pain. But I can say one thing, I deserved the whippings I got and probably should have received more, and if there were no punishments I’m afraid to even think of what would have happened to most of us. But maybe that’s why kids are so bad today.

Most of us who have raised teenagers know that they will rule you if they are allowed. They are grown and know everything. Didn’t we at that age. Reverend Dollar has two, 15 and 19, so I feel sorry for the poor man.

It appears that the children have all kinds of rights these days, but what about the rights of parents? There’s no way anyone can justify a 15-year-old going to a party or anywhere outside of the house at 1 in the morning. And for that child to insist on it despite the objections of the parents has to lead to some kind of discipline.

So the question is can we discipline our children anymore, or do we have to ask somebody? Are we the heads of our own households or is Big Brother? Our kids are going wild in the streets and parents’ hands are being tied. Maybe it’s not only time for parents to step up and be heads of their households, but time to get rid of some of these laws stopping them from disciplining their children.

(Ulish Carter is managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)

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