Why One Father Beat His Child

January 23, 2015

childI heard an interesting story about a young boy who was biking down a steep hill. Freedom and joy filled his senses as he began to tear down the hill. However, as he approached the bottom he became painfully aware of the fact that he would not be able to stop under his own power. To his absolute terror he was heading directly at a parked car. A split second later both himself and his little red bike made impact with the passenger side door.
His father was less than one block away and had seen the entire event unfold. A few seconds later the father arrived at the scene, and stared down at his son who lay in a heap of wreckage. He observed tears streaming down his sons face and watched as he struggled to free himself from the handlebars that were wrapped around his left leg. The father suddenly snapped into a state of rage. He bent over this fragile child and began to repeatedly punch his son in the face screaming for him to stop crying.
Now, the question is why?
I believe that everything in the soul of that father wanted to take his sons pain away. I believe that he wanted nothing more than to be able to nurture him, pick him up and make him feel better. However, this father had no idea how to reach that place within. Men are supposed to fix things, but he lacked the tools to comfort his son because he was never taught. All that he knew was that this young boy was making him feel an emotion that he hated. He hated feeling helpless, sad, and confused. The father believed that the only way for him to stop feeling these emotions was to make his son stop crying.
Yesterday, I was speaking to a friend who shared a similar experience from her own childhood. She described how her father would repeatedly beat her motionless. If she even made a peep then the beatings continued. The message in the house was clear: Don’t cry.
To understand the fathers reaction one really needs to understand anger. Anger is a secondary emotion, and the question always becomes what drives it? As demonstrated above, this answer is revealed.
I have written about this before but I am going to say it again. I am certainly not justifying these mens’ actions, but when we respond to these situations with nothing but anger, we are not moving in the right direction. When we see a soul who is also in pain, and respond with some compassion, then we have the ability to move forward. We need to bring this pain to the light, and light will always break through the dark. This is the kind of story that allows us to better understand the actions of those around us.

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