THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DISCIPLINE, CHILD ABUSE
By Kathy Hubbard
There were seven of us sitting on the floor of my cousin’s bedroom playing Monopoly. I must have been around 6. I’m sure we were all making a lot of noise. That’s what kids do. All of a sudden my uncle burst into the room, obviously angry. He grabbed my 7-year-old cousin Mel and started yelling at him. He slapped and punched him several times and then violently threw him into the closet and slammed the door.
“Don’t come out of there until I tell you to,” my uncle roared. I was terrified. I suspect we all were. Not a peep came from the closet. About 15 minutes later, my uncle came back into the room, pulled Mel out of the closet, smacked him again in the face and demanded that he behave. I have no idea what egregious crime Mel committed that deserved such punishment.
According to LegalMatch.com, “There has been a huge controversy between what is defined as being child discipline and child abuse. Many people do not understand the difference between the two and face criminal charges of child abuse when disciplining their children.
“Child abuse is defined as when an individual harms an individual physically, sexually, emotionally. This abuse is behavior by a parent who beats, spanks, smacks a child or does an act that emotionally tortures or harms the child.”