Discipline vs. Child Abuse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Discipline vs. Child Abuse

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - It's the question that is being asked all across the country tonight - including right here in Iowa.  When it comes to disciplining our children, how far is too far? It took a major NFL star to be indicted on child abuse charges to renew the conversation.

The pictures tell the story - a four year old - beaten with a switch. Cuts and bruises to his back, buttocks, ankles, legs, scrotum - and defensive wounds to his hand.

His father, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, admits he gave his son a whooping, but says he is not a child abuser.

Bob Boezinger, a therapist in cedar falls, emphatically disagrees. "I consider that physical abuse. I saw pictures of the boys backside. There are open sores."

For the first time since being indicted, Peterson opened up about the incident, tweeting "I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen."

"Unfortunately these days, many parents say well I was beaten as a kid and I turned out fine. I think it sends the wrongs message to kids. It's very aggressive behavior, it's violent and abusive," said Boezinger.

Peterson is back at practice this week - the Vikings said it's not up to them to decide his fate - it's up to the courts.

Former Vikings great Chris Carter says that's not good enough - and he didn't hold back.  

"You can't beat a kid to make them do what you want them to do. We're in a climate right now, I don't care what it is, take him off the dang field. Because you know what, as a man, that's the only thngs wthings respect. We don't respect no women, we don't respect no kids, the only thing roger and them do, take them off the field cause they respect that,"said Carter.

As for what happens in our own homes - there's a line boezinger says should not be crossed - ever.

"Discipline is more of teaching behavior, child abuse is harming physically and emotionally," said Boezinger. 

Perhaps our past - should be left in the past.  

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