Spanking Ain’t Cool: A Southern Black Mom Speaks

There seems to be so much hype and controversy over the Adrian Peterson child abuse case that as a Black gentle parent, I only felt compelled to write this piece.  The following words are entirely in my opinion and aren’t meant to offend anyone. 


Photo Credit: Google Images

I’m a young Black woman and I’m from the South so the news of Adrian Peterson spanking or “whooping” (as we say here in the South) his four-year old son isn’t something new to me. Our culture has (sadly) embraced the theory that spanking a child helps them become better people in our society when in fact they couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that, “the use of physical punishment to discipline children has been linked to a range of mental health problems” not only that but experts on the Psych Central blog tell us that “it can damage a child’s self-esteem, affect their learning ability and teach them that violence solves problems” among many other things.

My husband and I agreed early on in our marriage that we wanted to break several traditions when it came down to the way we would parent our kids. Spanking was number one on our list; it got us strange looks from our parents but its our ultimate decision and that’s all that matters.

As a young child, I didn’t receive many spankings but remember being very confused as to why I received them when I did. Around the age of twelve, I started to receive verbal abuse from an uncle and once physically fought my mom. After our fight, my mom took on a more relaxed approach to her parenting style because she realized that hitting a child doesn’t work. Never has and never will.

I know a great deal of my peers who received “whoopings” and only rebelled worst against their parents; it’s human instinct to react in this way however the vicious cycle continued. These same peers suffer from severe emotional instability in their adulthood and some treat their kids the same way. Again, the vicious cycle continues.

I feel bad for Adrian and ultimately his son because 1) the parent is unaware of alternative and effective methods of discipline and 2) the child can’t fully comprehend why he was treated the way he was. Parenthood in no form or fashion is easy and there aren’t any shortcuts to making it easier.

As a Black mom of two, my goal is to break the vicious cycle that I was once apart of. It’s challenging being a gentle parent but as far as I’m concerned, it’s worth it.




About blackzenmama

I'm a proud zen mama with an insatiable taste for journaling, comfy clothes, triphop music and Mexican food. Currently awaiting the arrival of my second child (due late July 2014). Smiles & hugs!
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4 Responses to Spanking Ain’t Cool: A Southern Black Mom Speaks

  1. So very true. I have always believed you can’t teach a child that violence is wrong by hitting them. Great words thank you


    • blackzenmama says:

      Thank you so much for reading! Kids can’t learn if they are afraid to do so. Hitting children teaches them to suppress their emotions and to fear the “bigger” person. Those children that don’t know how to effectively communicate how they feel only end up repeating the cycle when they become adults.



  2. I got so many “correasos” (belt lashings) growing up that after a while (around the same age as you) it wasnt effective anymore. Another thing was that I have 4 siblings. When one of us got a whooping, the other 4 cried…everytime….When i was 16, i punched my mom dead in her face…do i regret it, sometimes…would I change it? Nope! After that, we were able to communicate and talk through some things (sort of), and my siblings no longer got hit either. It’s so much more effective to communicate with your kids and express what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior and give them consequences for those actions…

    Liked by 1 person

    • blackzenmama says:

      Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it comes to a point where the child realizes that they don’t have to take the shit anymore and fights back. After all, its what we were being taught all along: to hit others when we feel angry.

      I’ve even heard of friends that have siblings say that if one received a spanking that ALL of them received one as well. Now THAT really makes no sense to me. Parents that believe in corporal punishment just don’t understand how much they send the wrong type of messages to their kids.



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