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There is a huge difference between abuse and discipline. Huge. But of course not all parents agree on where to draw the line.

There’s another (I say another because this trend is getting out of hand) viral video floating around the internet of a father beating his 13-year-old daughter after he thought she was missing for three days.  The video was titled: Pops Wrong Or Needs To Be More Dads Like This? Father Whoops On His 13-Year-Old Daughter Dressed Like Beyonce After Missing For 3 Days…Thought She Was Off In The Woods Dead Somewhere! The little girl showed up on screen, after supposedly disappearing, wearing a little black dress that prompted her dad to hurl insults at her like “hoe” as he grabbed her weave and beat her with what appeared to be a belt.

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There’s a few issues here.

For starters: I’m not here for public videos showcasing fed up parents beating their children, no matter their offense. For a kid to understand the effectiveness of a spanking, there has to be a level of trust with the parent and after the child has gotten spanked, there should be a clear understanding of what they did wrong.  That would require having a chat with a child about their wrongdoings, at some point. Once the punishment becomes public social fodder, and humiliation is used, that trust between the parent and a child can easily be broken.

This 13-year-old girl, no matter what she did while she was away for three days, has trust issues with her father. Wherever she was, she felt like she wasn’t able to talk to her father. Many teenagers feel this way about their parents. It’s these pivotal adolescent years that change us. We go from bright-eyed bushy-tailed optimists to angry know-it-alls who finally see that our parents aren’t perfect. This realization manifests in different ways for different teens.

It’s fair to say that this particular 13-year-old girl was acting out. She needs her father. She needs guidance. She needs support. She needs love. I realize that this child’s self-esteem is very important and her father’s public beating (and let’s not forget the very vocal heckling during the beating) will not ever solve anything.  In fact, it’ll likely create more problems. This child might just call up whoever it is that she was with for those three days, just to feel like she has someone who cares about her.

If your 13-year-old disappeared for three days and reappeared in a skimp outfit–what would you do? I polled three fathers, each of them have daughters. Here’s what they had to say:

A 40-something father of one son and one daughter:

“You can’t raise a teenager and not give them any type of freedom because they will just rebel. You gotta give that girl a hug. She went out for three days, she’s obviously with a man or a boy. She’s dressed sexually provocative and that’s where she gets her value from because people say, ‘Oh you look hot…’ She’s in a vulnerable, bad place. She left home, so she doesn’t give a sh*t.

Somebody has a pull on her that her parents haven’t been able to replicate or respect. She was out looking for love. The first thing you can do to combat that, is give her a hug. If she knows she’s going to get her ass beat, then she was probably like, ‘Let me call my boyfriend, he’ll give me a hug.’ Somebody’s going to give the girl a hug. I’d rather it be man than the other man.

The easiest thing for a man to hear is when your girl calls you and says, ‘My father’s an asshole. I have to get out of here.’ Then he knows he’s got her. You don’t even have to take her anywhere. She’s just happy that you showed up for her at all.

I think there are misbehavior that justify ridiculous punishment and totally embarrass a parent because they’re at their wit’s end, but it doesn’t get you the result. It depends on the kid. Some kids are sensitive to getting beatings and it affects them. They respond to it.

If a kid goes bad, that’s my fault as a parent. How can you blame a 13-year-old? Who’s fault is that? We’ve all made mistakes. At some point your knowing better will kick in.

We don’t love our kids enough. We don’t listen to them enough.”

A 40-something father of two daughters:

“She was missing for three days. I would probably think about doing this, but I wouldn’t do it. I’d break a table, not her. It doesn’t help. It just pushes her away again. Beating her with a belt doesn’t help. She would never leave the house again. She’d be on lockdown.

He was trying to embarrass her. There’s a pattern of that happening now.”

A 40-something father of one daughter and one son:

“I thought the beating was excessive. If my daughter was missing for three days, I’d be angry, but I’d be more relieved she was alive. Clearly, if she felt she could leave for three days at that age, there’s something going on at home. He needs to beat himself because he lost control a long time ago.

I understand the whole public shaming now, but you’re really exposing yourself as a parent more than anything when you do that. As a father, I wouldn’t want people to see that my daughter was dressed like that. So you want to shame her and beat her, but what does that say about you? My first instinct is like, ‘Ok, she’s alive.’ I want to cover her up, bring her into the house and then I don’t know what I might do. Her mom might beat her ass, but he was too much.

That was disrespectful. She had no business being out of her house for three days. I’m not in the camp of don’t hit your kids, but you have to understand that once you do it, the less effective it is. I’ve hit my son once in 11 years and he knew when he got it that one time, he deserved it and he’s never done it again. Multiples times and it’s like, ‘Dad’s gonna beat me again.’”

Now it’s your turn to chime in.  Is a father spanking their daughter in this scenario appropriate? Do you think spanking is an effective way to teach a kid how to do the right thing? Let’s chat! @Rhapsodani

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Spare The Rod, Spoil The Child: Do Beatings Really Make Your Kids Behave Better?  was originally published on