If my kid called his mother a “bitch,” I’d knock the teeth straight out of his mouth. That’s the way I was raised.

Not so fast!

This video got one of my Facebook friends all riled up today. It was the usual yarn about “no child of mine is gonna call me a bitch and still have teeth in his mouth, blah blah blah.” In came the requisite “echo chamber” of friends who agreed that this little monster needed some instant “hood justice,” and soon, their righteous indignation had been abated, allowing them to go back to their normal day.

The thing is, I didn’t think young Jayden is such a bad little guy.

Though I don’t know this child or his mother, I strongly suspect he’s somewhere on the Autism/Aspergers/developmental disorder spectrums. As the father of one Autistic son and the stepfather of another, I know a classic “meltdown” situation when I see one. It typically follows a patter of the child expecting some type of routine, the routine gets broken or disrupted, and the child is unable to cope with the sudden change to his/her routine, which is extremely important to them.

When this happens, it’s not uncommon for the child to yell and shout. Flailing limbs is also a part of this behavior, and this is often mistaken for punching and/or kicking at a parent.  (Jayden’s so-called punches and kicks were thrown lazily and without much conviction.) His mother did what many parents of Autistic children do during these situations: restrain them and talk them down from their distressed state. (I’ve done the very same thing a handful of times.)

Naturally, this discussion got me thinking about how grossly misunderstood Autistic people are. It also reminded me how easy it is for adults to fly into a near-murderous rage.

Apparently the act of shooting a child out of one’s vagina is an instant candidate for sainthood. I say this because I’ve seen and experienced kids getting damn near killed for back-talking their mothers. So who’s the child and who’s the adult here? News flash: there’s nothing intrinsically noble about the act of becoming a mother. (Unwed teenagers do it every day!) And when people decide to become parents, they should expect that their child will misbehave from time to time. It comes with the territory, but it’s far from a killing offense.

And what would beating the shit out Jayden really teach him? If he is Autistic (or has a similar disorder), the beating would traumatize him and scar him for life. If he’s not Autistic, then he’d likely go the way of most adults who are in prison for violent crimes. Most if not all of them were beaten and mistreated as children, and they grow up to do the same thing (or worse) to people who bother/insult/annoy them.

Funny thing about that: society – and the criminal justice system – have some very different ideas about this kind of behavior.

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Comments
  1. You’ve brought up some valid points here. Thanks for sharing!

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