Parent is not a synonym for abuser

Noelle Pennyman

When does discipline become abuse? One teaches respect. The other permanently wounds and scars someone.

ABC News reported a father in Oregon used a 10,000-volt stun gun repeatedly on his 18-month-old baby.

It took the mother of the baby three weeks to report the incident to police.

Hitting children is necessary to discipline them. Without that kind of discipline, a child will not know when he or she is doing something wrong. A mere raise of the voice is not enough.

Disciplining children by hitting them is completely different than punching (or stun-gunning) them.

If a parent explains to their children the reason for hitting them, the children can understand the consequences of their actions. However, if a parent continues to hit a child repeatedly without explanation, it becomes abuse. The parent is not giving them a chance to correct their actions.

The reason for hitting a child can also be the difference between abuse and discipline. Hitting a child because he/she stole something is necessary. Hitting a child because he/she ate the last of your favorite ice cream is ridiculous.

Parents need to be aware of their temper at all times. I’m not saying a person has to remain calm 24-7. Remaining calm is impossible when a person has a child. However, there is a difference between being angry and losing your mind. reported police found a toddler frozen to death Sunday. Her father, William Lorenzo Page, knocked her unconscious because he was angry when she wouldn’t go to bed. He then took her to a playground 10 minutes away wrapped in a blanket. Nyia Miangel Page was found two days later wearing only a sweater and diaper.

I understand that a parent gets frustrated, but he or she needs to realize that these are children, not adults. It’s not fair that they can’t hit you back.

How can a person have a child — a child who didn’t ask to be born in the first place — and cause harm to them?

People who are capable of beating children should be banned from having kids. Even if it might violate human rights, they should not be allowed to bring life onto this earth.

I would rather give my child up for adoption if I had any inclination that I would cause the child harm. But, some people don’t agree, and children are left to suffer the consequences.

According to’s national child abuse statistics, four children die every day as a result of child abuse and three out of four of these victims are younger than 4 years old.

You can’t call yourself a parent if you send your child to school covered in bruises caused by you.

Not only does abusing a child cause physical pain, it causes even more emotional pain.

The Web site reported “80 percent of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at the age of 21 (including depression, anxiety, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder).”

By abusing a child, the crime is further perpetuated because one-third of abuse and neglected children will later abuse their own children, according to the national child abuse statistics.

A person can’t look only at the visual consequences of hitting a child. They must also take into account the long-time scarring the victim must endure.

Noelle Pennyman is a junior public relations major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].