Cambridge Parents Weigh in on Spanking Debate - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cambridge Parents Weigh in on Spanking Debate

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CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Photos showing the damage caused by Adrian Peterson allegedly hitting his son with a switch have started a national conversation about what counts as discipline, and what as abuse.

Mindy Jones of Church Creek says while spanking is something many parents do, the parent has to be sure they aren't taking it too far.

"I know you should definitely discipline your child.  You should never spank your child when you are angry.  Sit down and explain to them what they did wrong and this is your punishment, even though I still debate back and forth whether it's right or wrong," Jones said.

She said there is a definite line that can be crossed.

"If you start to show anger and you feel like you need a belt or a switch, that's abuse."

Although Kathy Condon of Cambridge's kids are all grown, she echoes Jones' sentiments.

"Anything other than say a flat hand and not really that hard, I just don't see the point in it.  Not with a switch or a spoon or anything, I just don't believe in it," said Condon.

We sat down with Sherri Hitchcock at Corsica River mental health services in Cambridge to see what the long terms of abuse can be, as opposed to discipline.

"It damages the framework of their self esteem for the rest of their lives.  A lot of times they are riddled with self doubt, and oftentimes aren't able to make very good decisions for themselves because they believe that they don't deserve to be happy in life," said Hitchcock. 

She says that while discipline is very important when it comes to raising a child, crossing the line into abuse can damage that child for the rest of their lives, making them more prone to abusive relationships in the future.

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