I don't usually have a physical reaction to a news story. But you don't read that a mom was charged with assault and battery for allegedly punching her 10-year-old daughter in the face and not grab at your own nose, am I right? Literally, I grabbed my nose, folks.
The feeling that flooded through me was one of sympathetic pain, but there was something else mixed in there. Shame maybe? Humility?
The mom in Massachusetts is trying to use the old "I have the right to discipline my child" excuse. Yeah, if regular old discipline includes walking into the neighbor's house where your kid is playing, dragging her out by the hair, then dragging her up the stairs by her leg, and THEN punching her in the face.
But I'm willing to bet this is one of those rare points where the spanking parents and the non-spanking parents tend to come together and shake hands. Don't worry, I'm not looking to sound the war cry here and start another mommy war. You can review the thousands of debates on what happens when you put a hand on a kid's tuchus elsewhere.
But you'll have to cross rivers and mountains to find many parents who think it's appropriate to hit a kid in the face. I think we can all agree that an assault and battery charge is appropriate when a 10-year-old has blood gushing out of her nose. Unlike the hiney, which our kids sit on, the face is full of delicate parts, and it's the part of the body they present to the world.
There's just something about striking a child's face that seems at best disrespectful, at worst outright degrading. That old cliche "it was like a slap in the face" didn't come from nowhere, y'all.
So what do you think: is punching your kid in the face a police matter or just regular old discipline?
Image via chefranden/Flickr