Unless you were hiding under a rock last weekend, you read the latest news to rock the NFL. Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse against his 4-year old son. The charges and photos were sickening and every weekend news program along with NFL pre-game talking heads had opinions on what should be done to Peterson. One thing not mentioned by those same talking heads were love and support of our children. Every focus was on what happened and how Peterson may have gone about it. There was hardly a highlight pointing out the positives of fatherhood and what can be done for positive reinforcement. The goal this weekend—ratings.
I have two children and I have never laid a hand on them in anger. I'm not in the anti-spanking camp and do believe that there are consequences for the actions of children. There are also rewards for positive behavior—specifically hugs. There isn't a day that I have been in the presence of my children that I haven't given them a hug and told them that I love them. Even in their teen and tween years I believe that a hug and loving words go much further than the threat of physical discipline. My response has always been positive. In fact, my teen usually gets his arms out quicker for a hug than I do. With all the negative in the world, the positive outreach of a hug makes the day so much better.
There is no doubt that we will be subjected to additional photos and stories about the Peterson case in the upcoming weeks. I am going to try and shelter myself from the negative and go with has worked for me as a parent—hugs and kind and encouraging words.
When is the last time you've hugged your children or close loved ones? If it's been a while, take a few seconds and start.