Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

If your 11 yr old was found to be involving themselves in gang activity...would you do as these people did?? What would you do?

Asked by Cruiser (34984 points ) April 8th, 2014

If you lived in a gang infested neighborhood and found out your 11 year old was now hanging with gangbangers,would you video tape a belt whupping of this lad and post it on his Facebook homepage as these people did? Should outsiders intervene in private parental disciplinary moments? Should these adults be adjudicated for their actions or should this be a private matter handled by this boys mom?

How would you handle this situation with your child better than these people did?

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36 Answers

pleiades's avatar

I grew up in a pretty moderate gang banging neighborhood. Probably an occassional drive by every 5 years in the 90s but only with gang to gang contact nothing too senseless… With that being said racism runs rampant with gang members a really great football teammate died randomly at a bus stop because he was black and the passer by’s randomly targeted him because he was black. I’d say that neighborhood I lived in at the time was 25% white 25% Asian 25% black 25% Mexican fairly even…

Point is to answer your question, with my personal experience I don’t want to raise my son in that environment. I think it’s best to let him grow up in a world where gang member lifestyle is a myth. I really want him to be involved in the science world with an imaginative approach… Is this my dream passed onto my son? Maybe. Can I help myself that it is a dream of mine? No not really… My views are shaped on my experiences and I can’t help it if I w ant my son raised in a different world than I was. The stress of having to have the street smarts and knowing the ins and outs with ghetto people has to go a very specific way. I’m lucky to realize this and I had to fit in, luckily for me I had a black eye birth mark my whole life so when I ever met tough people they were always like, “Oh fuck this guy got down already, I want to know his story.” It was never “Oh fuck I’ma whoop this guys ass some more…” I think it’s human nature that when we see someone wounded we sort of take a step back and assess the situation differently.

Now I’m going off on a tangent. Great question got me to thinking about my sons future :D

Coloma's avatar

No. I’d drag his little gang banging ass off to a remote country place and let him do some real cockfighting with the roosters and hens he’d be taking care of. I would have sold my soul to the devil to get my child out of a gang environment. I didn’t even want to raise my daughter in a decent suburban environment. We moved to the country when she was not quite 4 years old and while the kids were still having their pre-teen moments in middle school, sex, pot smoking , there was zero concern about gangs.

When you live a mile down a gravel road and 10 miles to the nearest town hub, well…if you don’t take your kids to town, they don’t go. haha
Score one giant leap for child development with bohemian mom Coloma. lol

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t watch the video, because I don’t think I can see something like that right now. I would guess if they live in a gang infested neighborhood and they think whipping their kid is ok, that they can not easily move or send him to boarding school. I would move, but I have the financial resources to do it.

I would guess the gang thing can be very tricky, especially in neighborhoods where gangs are everywhere.

I think hitting children is horrible, but every so often I can understand it as a last resort. Did the parents try to talk to the child and explain the dangers of gangs? Does he want to be in a gang because his parents are a piece of shit? Gangs give members a sense of belonging and they feel safer sometimes than not being affiliate with any group. I think it is hard from the outside looking in to necessarily understand the whole dynamic in neighborhoods that are full of gangs.

rojo's avatar

no, probably not.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I didn’t see any child abuse in that video. I saw a boy, seeming to be disciplined by his elders, as boys have been since the beginning of time.

If the boy had to endure that punishment (and I have no idea how hard he was being spanked) on a regular basis, and his body bore scars that never healed, or bruises that never healed, or showed emotional trauma indicative of child abuse, then I’d consider that child abuse. But this doesn’t seem to be a regular event based upon parental dysfunction. This just seems like discipline to me.

And no, I was never disciplined in such a way. I can’t say if I would discipline my sons that way unless I was in the same situation as that family. I don’t know what I would do to scare my child away from gang membership.

But then again, any parent who is stupid enough to publish such a video probably deserves to spend a few nights in the pokey. Get smart real fast in there.

Coloma's avatar

I dunno….from the looks of the whole family, well…clearly they are not ideal reproductive candidates. So what else is new? Pffft!

Smitha's avatar

Spanking is ok for boys and girls (till age 10 or 11) only on the backside and not in front of every one or by using belt or publishing such videos. It does not mean we are abusing our child. It just lets them know that we do it just when they are not listening to us.
There are a lot of actions to take before spanking. At this age they are very young the more you forbid something, the more he may want to do it. All we can do in such situation is to tell them firmly but without anger the consequences involved in joining such groups. Make it clear that if he is still going to continue this then that is a choice and if he chooses to break the rules and be disrespectful then as a parent you will be forced to employ consequences he might not like.

anniereborn's avatar

Not being a parent, I am not sure what I would do. However, I KNOW that I would not put anything up on Facebook like that. That is major shaming and emotional abuse. And I do agree that being hit 50 times is more than a little excessive.

longgone's avatar

No wonder he’s in a gang.

ragingloli's avatar

Of course not. I am above such barbarism.
The correct response is relocaton and intense family/psychological counselling

FlyingWolf's avatar

@Coloma I believe that it is safe to conclude that this family does not have the resources to move to the country where the only thing the little guy will be exposed to is sex and dope.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies how on earth can you deduce that this is not a regular event? The truth is you can’t. When we add to the mix that the parents thought it was a good idea to post this on Facebook, I think we get a clearer picture of what kind of parenting strategies these folks employ.

@Smitha it kind of sounds like you are asserting that it is ok to hit kids until they are big enough to fight back (10 or 11). It isn’t ok to hit kids at any age. One does not instill respect by employing disrespect.

I would not have decided to beat the crap out of my kid in an attempt to keep them out of a gang. From what I have read, it is a need for belonging and acceptance that drives kids towards gangs. It seems to me that treating a child like that is only going to serve to alienate him further from his family and have the exact opposite of the desired effect. Fortunately I have not had to deal with trying to keep my kids out of gangs so I don’t have a sure fire remedy. I like @ragingloli‘s thoughts, plus maybe some diversions; perhaps membership at the local Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA.

Smitha's avatar

@FlyingWolf I am not supporting spanking. I was spanked as a child and it has had no negative affect on me. I still love and respect my parents. Obviously there are extremes and I don’t support severe physical abuse or beatings.

longgone's avatar

@Smitha “I am not supporting spanking.” Did you mean to say that? Because it doesn’t go with the remainder of your post.

Smitha's avatar

I don’t think striking a child’s buttocks with an open hand can be harmful. I just don’t support harsh ways of spanking using stick or belt.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@FlyingWolf “how on earth can you deduce that this is not a regular event?”

That’s not how the law works friend. The law works on positives, not negatives. Evidence is required to claim it IS a “regular” event. Evidence is NOT required to claim it is NOT a regular event.

The real question is how can anyone deduce that it IS a regular event, when there is no evidence to suggest such a thing. The evidence can only claim that this is a one time event.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, my friend the law enforcement officers who saw the video seem to be claiming it is an issue and likely a regular event, as evidenced by the fact that they arrested the mother.

@Smitha, I am afraid there is
ample evidence that any kind of hitting is harmful to a child.

longgone's avatar

I’d consider this abuse even if it was a one-time-event. Kudos to the parents for managing to abuse this kid physically and emotionally at the same time.

As to alternative measures: How about a loving environment so he doesn’t go out to seek a sense of belonging his family fails to provide him with?

“Should outsiders intervene in private parental disciplinary moments?” Absolutely. I’m glad the boy is in custody.

JLeslie's avatar

@Smitha What you wrote proves that conversations about spanking need all sorts of qualifiers and explanations or there is miscommunication. This is a little off topic, but to me using a stick, belt, fist or even a slap across the face is not a spanking.

Symbeline's avatar

I hate it these days that openly and publicly using FaceBook to humiliate one’s child now passes off as constructive punishment.

JLeslie's avatar

@Symbeline Many people are proud of their corporal punishment and feel it proves they are good parents.

Coloma's avatar

@FlyingWolf I agree, financial restraints are, most likely, a road block to relocation. OTOH where there is a will, there is a way.
People lack creativity more than resources.
Several families could find work and shared housing in a more savory environment.

Smitha's avatar

I agree to the fact that hitting a kid is definitely wrong, but mild one is not an offense. They need to be told you do it because you care, I don’t believe in the fact that a kid would hate his parents or become aggressive just because we spank them. I believe my parents did it for my own good. I do not hate my parents for that and still I do have a strong bond with my family. Some kids may become aggressive some may improve. In India parents are more stricter and believe it’s what helps their kids become more disciplined. There it’s not a big issue. There won’t be a single Indian kid who has not got a mild spank for their parents. My daughter is now ten years and she might have got just two or three spanks till now. As far as I know mild spanking is almost globally accepted as a normal parenting technique. Some parents do some may not.

JLeslie's avatar

@Smitha It’s not accepted as a parenting technique in countries where it is outlawed. True it is legal still in the majority of the world in the home, but the countries that abolished it don’t have uncivilized children running around. Most of the countries are in western Europe, a few on other continents. Plus, there you go using the word spanking, and I have no idea what you mean? Is that an open hand on the butt for this conversation?

hominid's avatar

@Smitha: “They need to be told you do it because you care”

Now there’s a lesson we should all learn. People hit you because they care.

@Smitha: “As far as I know mild spanking is almost globally accepted as a normal parenting technique.”

Not on the coasts of the U.S. Not any medical organization. Are you referring to the bible belt and the middle east?

Smitha's avatar

@hominid So your parents never spanked you as a kid?
@JLeslie Yes open hand on butt.

hominid's avatar

@Smitha: ”@hominid So your parents never spanked you as a kid?”

No. They did not. And I will never hit my kids.

Smitha's avatar

I thought as per US law you can spank your child on his butt with your hand. that is how you legally spank.

hominid's avatar

@Smitha: “I thought as per US law you can spank your child on his butt with your hand. that is how you legally spank.”

What is legal != what is healthy and right. The medical community is opposed to corporal punishment, but we needn’t go through all that literature again (we did recently here in another thread). The logic of hitting to teach your kids not to hit, or to hit your kids to teach your kids that you would never hurt them, or to hit your kids so that they know that it is wrong to lie or steal requires justification that just isn’t there. We’d have to ignore all we understand about human development and ethics. The only reason it persists in some areas of the world (and terrifying areas of the U.S.) is simply tradition and ignorance.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@Smitha I would have a very hard time telling my children that I am allowed to hit them – when they are being told constantly not to hit – because I care. That is incredibly inconsistent and makes the parents sound hypocritical. In case you are wondering, my parents hit me on the regular as a kid. I am not convinced it did anything for me except cause me to flinch when someone raises a hand near me and make me promise myself never to hit my own kids. Nearly 16 years into motherhood I have kept that promise.

@Coloma I think there might be a bit of magical thinking going on in order to believe that if folks who live, if not in crushing poverty, then paycheck to paycheck, in a gang infested area just have to will it to be so and with a bit of creativity they can break a generations long cycle. I am fairly certain that if that was the case there would be no gang infested areas.

Symbeline's avatar

Hitting someone you love is never okay, period.

Coloma's avatar

@FlyingWolf Don’t misunderstand me, I too have experienced poverty, and I am not coming from a bourgeois place in my sharings. I agree it is easier said than done, however, there are many people that find a way to rise above their circumstance.
I’m starting over for the second time in my adult life at age 54 after enjoying many years of comfort on all levels.
All I am saying is race, age, poverty issues aside, to make significant changes one must have an out of the box outlook, something many do not possess.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@FlyingWolf ”...officers who saw the video seem to be claiming it is an issue and likely a regular event, as evidenced by the fact that they arrested the mother.”

Evidence of an arrest is not evidence of a crime.

Where is the evidence of this being a regular event? Just because officers “seem to be claiming” that it’s “likely a regular event” doesn’t mean that it is.

Smitha's avatar

@hominid @FlyingWolf @JLeslie
I know there is no point in arguing further. I am not a cruel or heartless Mom and I don’t go around saying corporal punishment is the sole way to prove we are good parents. Different people have different views or methods regarding discipline. I used to lightly smack my daughter’s butt when she deliberately disobeyed something. But this was not the sole method of punishment or was never administered harshly.

but the countries that abolished it don’t have uncivilized children running around
Even if you don’t beat your child or hurt them they turn out to be uncivilized people. I personally know a lady who used to tell everyone she has never hit her kid. But one day in front of me, I saw the kid (who is now a teenager) hurl a plate of curry at her face!

Anyway thanks to everyone for sharing their views.

JLeslie's avatar

@Smitha I never thought you were cruel. I would just offer that if kids turn out ok with or without spanking, why not opt for the one that isn’t hitting? My dad spanked me twice I think. I remember one time and I think there was a time before. He decided that it was ridiculous. I have no idea what I was spanked for, so I am not sure I would say I learned a lesson from it. I remember being afraid and very upset. I don’t remember feeling bad about what I did. I do remember feeling badly when my mom explained to me why she was dissappointed with my behavior, and when it made sense to me why my behavior was unnacceptable. Corporal punishment from what I can tell stops behavior in the moment. It doesn’t seem to help teach a child conscience. Kids who wind up with a strong conscience anyway, I don’t think they learned it from being spanked, but rather they learned it because their parents also used other techniques like modeling good behavior and explaining why things are right and wrong and consequences.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie “I would just offer that if kids turn out ok with or without spanking, why not opt for the one that isn’t hitting?”

That supposes that all children (or people) react the same to equal pressure. My experience suggests they don’t.

I have two sons. I consider one of them as a “wild child”. He requires more swats AND more cuddles than his brother ever did.

hominid's avatar

@JLeslie: “I would just offer that if kids turn out ok with or without spanking, why not opt for the one that isn’t hitting?”

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies: “That supposes that all children (or people) react the same to equal pressure.”

It supposes no such thing.

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