Toya Graham, a single mother of six, was caught on video cursing and repeatedly smacking her frightened 16-year-old son after she caught him participating in an anti-police riot in Baltimore. Graham is being hailed as a hero, with media outlets describing her as “Mom of The Year”, and the Baltimore police commissioner even praising her parenting.
The mother’s reaction was understandable and maybe even reasonable given the highly charged circumstances, but it was far from heroic. Her parenting was not ideal.
We should not judge Graham as a person. She told CBS News that her intention was to protect her son. It seems that she did what she thought she had to do to remove her son from a very dangerous riot. But in the process, she repeatedly slapped, hit, cursed and shouted at him to “Get the f— over here” and “take that mother f-----g mask off!”
Extensive research shows that using harsh verbal discipline and physical hostility is counterproductive to good parenting. It increases the risk of delinquency, fighting, misbehavior and belligerence in teens. Science Daily reported that “harsh verbal discipline may actually aggravate” problematic behavior in teens. Shouting and insulting teens just doesn’t work long term. You are more likely to positively modify teen misbehavior by calmly and maturely discussing the consequences of the misbehavior.
Let us forget she is a single mother but a mother trying to save her son who was doing something that could have had repercussions which could have injured him or to being set on the path of criminality.
Now the so called experts say one should never disciple the child because any form of reaction from the parent is counterproductive. I say nonsense. Those who think that codling a child and letting them run the home and doing what ever they desire is beneficial.
Yes the woman used harsh words but in the situation she was trying to prevent her child from doing evil. Those of us who have raised children understand that not all situations require the same effort but remember a child at home may act different than when influenced by other circumstances.
No one is calling for beating up the child and I realize this thread will bring those who will scream that if you look at your child that is abuse. They will wax on about their parenting style if they had children lor stayed with the woman after they got her pregnant. There will be those who will tell us how their children are model citizens while they are serving time in juvenile lockup.
You will get the parent who blames everything his or her child does on others so their cute bundle of joy is not guilty of any mischief because it is always someone elses fault.
**It takes a firm hand to raise a child not a parent who does not care.
**Bottom line this woman was trying to avert a situation where even the crowd could have decided to go after her.