Dealing With A Problem Parent

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This week, a video made its way around the Internet of a Texas judge hitting his 16-year-old with a belt. While the video is difficult to watch for some, I feel like it re-ignites an important and ongoing debate in our culture: whether or not we should publicly flog stupid parents.

Now, this debate has many sides. There are some that say that stupid parents should never be flogged, especially in full view of the public, and at the hands of some kind of town disciplinarian. Others say that the children of those parents who have grown into adulthood have the right to discipline their parents as they please. After all, their parents did something stupid, and the children say that stupid parents need to know the consequences of their actions; otherwise, they may just do the same stupid crap again.

Some people are against publicly flogging their own aged parents for all their ridiculously unthinking actions, but say if another person wants to see their parents publicly flogged, and perhaps dunked in tar and covered in feathers, that’s really their choice, and such choices should remain in the family.

In the case of the Texas judge, this parent made a statement about not regretting his actions, which does lend weight to the public flogging side. As they say in Texas, “Spare the flog and spoil the parent.”

I say, let’s not be too hasty. Sometimes stupid parents can learn their lesson from a good time-out, in which you don’t call them for a while, and begin taking away their nursing home funds. Or, sometimes, having a talk with them about how idiotic and harmful their actions were and what effect it had can teach them some amount of empathy.

It’s hard to make universal rules for this, because each parent is different. The mistake might be to do nothing. Talk with your siblings and friends about the most appropriate and caring way to deal with stupid parents, and then act swiftly. After all, those parents aren’t going to publicly flog themselves anytime soon, and you don’t want them to grow up to be any worse.

Just My Thoughts,
Dr. Matt

Dr. Matt

Dr. Matt* gives advice on relationships, life, death, half-life, pet ownership, sexuality, asexuality, proto-sexuality, and mustache growing. * Dr. Matt is not a real doctor.

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