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Hypothetically Speaking

You are a recent widow after having survived a 15 year mentally and physically abusive marriage.

You have two children. A son, age 15, and daughter three years younger. For pretty much their entire lives they witnessed their father place his hands on their mother. Until one day you woke up and decided enough was enough. The last thing in the world that you ever wanted to do was break up your family. But, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, you could no longer take it.

So, mind made up, you packed your bags, took the kids and hauled ass.

Shortly thereafter your heartbroken husband died in an automobile accident. Drinking while driving, the news reported. His friends and family immediately blamed you for his bout with depression and subsequent  tragic death. Due to not wanting to cause an inevitable scene, you skipped the funeral service, never allowing the children to find any closure.

In fact, neither one of you never spoke with his family members since the day you left.

Everyone says your son reminds them so much of his father. Tall, muscular, extremely short-tempered. In order to derail his aggressive nature, you encouraged him to become involved in sports activities. He obliged. Your daughter is more like you - petite, quiet and reserved. She accepts much anguish before complete breakdown.

Saturday morning, while headed into the kitchen, you overheard what sounds like a confrontation between your son and daughter. You quietly walk up and witness your son intimidating his younger sister. Her head gripped, into a headlock. You scream for him to let her go. He obliges.

Then, while  visibly angered, you ask him how he'd feel if you were to physically abuse him. You warn him, "If you do it again I am going to go upside your head."

Your son stares coldly at you.

Then, in total disbelief, he runs up to you, raises his fist and tells you to go for it.

Question: what would you do if this happened to you?


  1. I would knock the mess outta my son and then enlist him in boot camp or send him to stay with a positive male role model.

  2. Well I'm a man that found your blog through Don. Answering for my wife, she better beat him down. We have three boys and 1 girl. My 13 year old is 50 pounds heavier and my 12 year old is eye to eye with her, so she is having to get tougher with both, just in case one day I'm not around to slap the taste out of their mouth and their children's mouths. If she does the right thing the 5 year old will learn from their beat down.


  3. Don..I'd be in jail. PERIOD. Whoop his ass..and keep it moving.

  4. I am not sure whether hitting him would teach him a lesson, violence be-gets violence. Its hard because I know that would be my first instinct. Parenting is so hard, the most difficult job in the world, if he wants a fair chance at life, he needs a good man to look up to.

  5. That is a serious hypothetical situation! I'd like to think I'd use the same method of discipline I use now: 1) speak very quietly so that they have to pay attention, 2) Use short, direct sentences like, "Stand down. Now." and 3) Turn on my heel and walk out until everyone can talk like civilized adults. Of course, I might just take him to the mat and be done with it once and for all.

  6. As much as this situation calls for something physical, I don't believe it's in the best interest of the mother or child to take it there.

    A hug and the opportunity for him to shed some much needed tears would probably be a wise choice.

  7. Short answer is I'd got to jail... and I don't have any more intelligent answer than that. I'm getting pissed just thinking about it.

  8. What would I do? Do you mean after I got out of jail?

    As much as I would like to think that I would make some sensible, reasonable statement that would diffuse the situation and provide an opening for some meaningful communication....the REALITY is that I would prolly lose my damn mind if my child raised his hand to me.

    And I would end up in jail.

  9. I would be in the tank with the rest of you. I have to daughters and one is already bigger than me and a 4th degree black belt. I would have to take her down!~ Then after I get out of jail there would be a lot of counseling for us all. I think the beat down would come to show several things. Do not put your hands on a woman, mom will beat your ass no matter how big and bad you are and last I love you enough to stop you before it gets out of hand. That was deep!


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