Dad Arrested for Spanking His 6-Year-Old Son Too Hard (VIDEO)

Spanking is a controversial topic that has parents boldly divided. Some believe it's absolutely necessary to dole out spankings to unruly children lest they become absolute terrors. Others believe spanking only teaches children to solve problems by hitting. A father of a 6-year-old has been caught in the crossfire of differing opinion when he was arrested for spanking his son.

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Jeffrey Lamphear, 39, of Queensbury, New York, was arrested after the child's mother reportedly saw bruising and welts on her child's bottom and brought him to the emergency room.

While the child was not severely injured, the father was arrested on felony child abuse charges. The boy reportedly told police that his father had spanked him, and the man admitted he had disciplined his child and perhaps had hit him too hard.

The father was also reportedly ordered to have no contact with his son.

I personally am anti-spanking; however, I do not think that a somewhat firm but controlled spanking is cause for a prison sentence. I grew up with occasional spankings and frankly I don't recall them ever doing much to correct my behavior -- certainly not more so than being sent to my room or having TV privileges taken away would have -- but nor do I recall them scarring either my soul or my butt.

However, the idea that parents should be able to discipline as they see fit is an outdated one. I mean, parents used to hit kids with tree branches, sticks, rods, belts, and all other kinds of "discipline" that would now be considered abuse.

But it's also a slippery slope. Parents do need to be able to get physical with a child in emergencies -- if your child darts out into the middle of the street and you grab him and drag him back to the corner, and you leave a bruise on his arm, are you going to jail? What if she sticks something plastic in her mouth and threatens to swallow it? Are you not allowed to grab her jaw too roughly?

More from The Stir: 5 Reasons You Aren't 'Fine' if You Were Spanked as a Child

As for this dad, some parenting classes or a fine might be better suited to his crime than an arrest record that might make it difficult for him to get/keep a job and support his family. But he also needs to know that hitting a 6-year-old until he has bruising is not acceptable.

What do you think?

Image via WNYT

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