5 YEAR OLD DIES WHEN DISCIPLINE GOES TOO FAR - A Tennessee couple is charged in the death of the man’s 5 year old daughter after she died at the hospital as a result of ingesting more than 2 liters of liquid that included grape soda and water. Randall Lee Vaughn, the girl’s father, and his wife Mary told authorities that his daughter was forced to drink the fluids as punishment for taking a grape soda without asking.
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Meebal.com Reader Dee says
What a shame that this young child died as a result of what was thought to be “a punishment fit for the crime.” If she had been older this may have been seen as appropriate, but being only 5 years of age, most parents would have withheld any future sodas as punishment.
Image Above – Left: Randall Lee Vaughn | Right: Mary Vaughn
The average adult stomach can hold 1.5 liters of liquid and when drank at one sitting will make you very uncomfortable. This young girl was obviously in distress and nothing was done about it until it was too late. I wonder at what point this couple became concerned enough to panic and take her to the hospital.
Our news covers too many stories of negligent parents and then there are the occasional stories like this, where discipline goes too far. It has been said over and over again, that today’s parents have no clue what they are doing.
Where have we gone wrong? There is no denying that the family unit has all but disappeared; there are few homes that have both parents married and living together under the same roof. More often than not, children are being raised in single parent homes without a father and no family support.
Mixed families, non-traditional families, working parents and no structured activities often leaves children pretty much raising themselves, trying to stay out of their parent’s way and under the radar.
When conflict arises, what is the appropriate discipline? Having been raised by parents with a firm hand, I was taught not to question my parents discipline and to take it quietly. Today, much of their discipline would be seen as abuse.
My generation worked on giving children a voice; allowing them the opportunity to explain themselves and then fitting the punishment accordingly using grounding; prohibiting activities or privileges and occasionally spanking.
Today’s parents fall into two camps; the first believe that ignoring a child will show them that they will not get their way and they are easy to recognize. Visit any nearby market and you will be treated to the relentless whining, begging or crying of a child whose parent appears to be deaf.
The second parent tries diligently to “explain” to the child why or why not things are being done. Using a high pitched, sing songy voice, this parent wants to give the appearance of being in control and yet understanding and attentive to their child’s every need.
Both are extreme and you wind up with frustrated parents shouting or worse at the child for not complying.
Parenting is hard and with society watching every move, consistent and appropriate discipline is even harder. Add to the mix the fact that schools no longer back the parent and vice a versa and we are raising a generation of children who have been allowed to do as they please.
What happened in Tennessee is an outrage and should never have happened. Until a full investigation is complete we may never know if this was a way of life or an isolated incident gone terribly wrong.
From now until then, this father has lost his little girl and nothing can take away the grief he is feeling. Whether this was was meant to be an intentionally extreme punishment to get their point across or a true lapse in judgment, we can only hope that others reading or hearing this story will share it with others as a warning.
To suffer the loss of an innocent life because of reckless parenting is a judgment on society and the cruelest form of punishment on us all.