The recipients of my ire today are a Irvine, California mother and father (terms used loosely), who decided they needed to discipline their 15 year old son.  The possible infraction they suspected him of being smoking.  Their proof, they found a lighter in his clothing.  The method of discipline they chose, turning their child over to a 39 year old member of their church congregation who is known as their enforcer.

 The accused beater is named Paul Kim. The crime he is charged with is willful cruelty against a child.  He performed this willful cruelty at the behest of the aforementioned Piss Poor Parents.  He delivered his message of strict compliance to your parental units with enthusiasm and discharged this discipline with a 1 inch diameter metal rod to the tune of 12 strokes to the child’s legs.  The child was left with bruising so severe that a particularly observant school official noticed it and reported the abuse to the authorities.  Hats off to the school official for demonstrating the bravery to report this offense and begin the process of getting this child into a place he can feel safe.  Officials have not released the names of the parents or the child at this time and it is undetermined what, if anything the parents will be charged with.

As a proud parent of a teenager son, not much younger than this child, I can attest to the many, many moments over the last couple years he has left us scratching our heads at his many WTF moments.  As a former teenage boy (many, many, many years ago), i can remember trying my best and usually failing to get away with everything I possibly could, including smoking.  I was caught, I was punished, and I continued to smoke for many years into my 20s.  I have my wife and future family to thank for helping me see the light in regards to that particular health risk.  The key point is here, my parents did the discipline, they never pawned me off to the church enforcer.

I am man enough to admit that we occasionally need some outside assistance in helping us understand the mind of a teenage boy.  We have taken advantage of legitimate services to help us become better parents and to give our son an outlet to help him understand himself a little better.  I understand that sometimes children and other circumstances leave parents at the edge sometimes and in order to bring a little peace to the home sometimes you have to reach out and get a little assistance and that can come in many flavors: counseling, either medical or faith based, outreach programs, sports programs, classes, volunteer work.

The possibilities are endless, and in very extreme circumstances occasionally a parent may need to reach out to a government agency and place their children into their care.  This is extreme, but in the end, if the child actually recovers from and learns from the experience, they will be better for it and the family can move on and grow.  This is particularly the case when families consist of more than one child and the other children and the rest of the family cannot live their lives normally due to the actions of the child.  It could not possibly be easy, but a greater good scenario is what we have in this case.

I can only hope the so-called parents of this child are punished as well as the enforcer.  After all, Paul Kim dished out his torture with the consent of these “parents”.  I cannot find any information at this time as to whether or not the teen confessed to actually smoking or not, but I would bet he did somewhere around the 12th hit with the rod.  That is usually what happens when enough pain is inflicted in a short period of time, you confess to whatever is being said in order to make it stop.  Even if this child did smoke at this point, it is moot, the punishment did not fit the crime.

If you are having trouble with your child and the people you are seeking counsel from turn you over to the group enforcer as a means to straighten your children out, you are definitely gulping down the wrong flavor of kool-aid on this one.  As a matter of fact if you are presented with this type of solution, that means whoever you are seeking counsel from has recommended this course of action before and gotten “positive” results from it; if you do nothing to stop it, you have become part of the problem as well.

Love your children and discipline them as you see fit, but make that discipline applicable and serve to teach a lesson.  If it is out of your ability seek the guidance needed to make all better.  Never put your child’s physical well being into someone else’s hands to teach a lesson you are incapable of.

  1. […] views here).  The only time I have addressed anything remotely religious in nature was in my Spare the Rod posting back in December.  This particular topic has two of the three taboo drinking topics; […]


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