The news often has stories of children misbehaving and many people respond that it is the parent’s fault for not disciplining the child. Then there is the story about a parent punishing their child and getting arrested. Currently, former Oklahoma and current Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is being investigated for using too much force when disciplining his child. How is a parent supposed to know what the law allows?
Some information can be found here.
I have read that Adrian Peterson disciplined his child the way his parents disciplined him. I read that he initially verbally scolded the child, but the child repeated the behavior. I read that he then sat the child down and calmly explained that he was going to discipline the child. He then struck the child with a switch repeatedly. It appears the biggest reason why this is potentially a crime is the resulting injury is greater than some would feel appropriate. [I have not seen any photos and I do have not read any police reports, so I cannot comment specifically on this case. My statements here are based on news reports that are often inaccurate and incomplete.]
I can say that I want you to discipline your child. I want you to do it calmly and under control. You should explain to the child what you are about to do and why. The child should be clear about what s/he did wrong. The punishment should be no more than what is necessary to teach the lesson.