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Going Parental: Mom forces son to kill hamster — seriously

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What? That’s not normal? Apparently, to Lynn Middlebrooks Geter, it is. She forced her son to kill his hamster as punishment for receiving poor grades in school. What happened to time outs? Or no Play Station for a week? Kill your hamster? Really? I wonder at what point Lynn’s head imploded and she thought to herself, “I know. I’ll make the little bastard kill his hamster with a hammer. That’ll teach him to fail social studies!”She is currently being held in jail and faces one charge each of animal cruelty, child cruelty and battery.

Can we all just take a moment and in unison say, “What. The. Fuck?!” Who does shit like this? How can any sane woman pick up a hammer, place it in her 12-year-old’s hand and say, “You got a D in Science? Go kill your hamster!”

Shit, I feel like a total douche when I give my daughter a three minute time out. And time outs in my house consist of putting her in her room — surrounded by toys and princesses and all sorts of fun shit — closing the door, and making her stay in there for three minutes while she thinks about what she did wrong — or plays dress-up, I’m not really sure what the hell goes on in there.

But I sure as hell know there isn’t a hammer in sight, nor is there a hamster, because really? Ew. Hamsters are gross. They’re rodents. Sorry to all you hamster lovers out there. I just don’t get you people. Unless it barks or meows, it’s not coming in my house.

This whole thing makes me wonder. Was Lynn the kind of parent that hit her son regularly? Never? Once in a blue moon? Was she generally a reserved parent that just snapped one day? I can’t help but wonder what could possibly have led to this event.

Discipline in general is such a gray and undefined area for parents today. Our parents had it so easy. They cracked wooden spoons over our asses, threw shoes at us, shouted at us in public and dragged us — kicking and screaming — out of stores… by our little, easily dis-locatable arms — and nobody had a thing to say about it. It was acceptable. And it worked. Kids were afraid of getting hit or humiliated in public because for one thing, getting hit fucking hurts. And getting hit or even yelled at in public or in front of your friends is even worse. It’s embarrassing.

But that was then.

Today everything has changed. Today, parents are so afraid to discipline their kids out of fear that they’ll be judged, or told on at school and find social services at their front door one day, that they often have no clue at all what to do. I’m not advocating hitting. Although, I won’t lie, there have been times when I’ve considered it — mostly other people’s kids though, not mine.

My friend Tara made an excellent point one day. I was jokingly discussing the idea of “bringing hitting back” and she said, “There are times I’ve wanted to, but am so glad I didn’t because then I could never say to my daughters, ‘We don’t hit. Does mommy ever hit? No!'” It’s an excellent point. If you truly believe that you lead by example, then there is no question. How can I tell my daughter we don’t hit and hitting is wrong if I’m smacking her around when she’s bad? I can’t. I won’t.

That’s why I just grab her arm really tight and squeeze it until she screams. It’s a trick my mom taught me. It’s called the grab. If you’re unfamiliar, you can read about it here.

Going Parental appears every Thursday. Lynn Middlebrooks Geter is due to appear before a judge any day now.

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9 Responses to “Going Parental: Mom forces son to kill hamster — seriously”

  1. I look forward to your post every Thursday. Keep up the wonderful work!

  2. I could’ve used that mother and her son on Tuesday, when a squirrel got in my fireplace. Long story.

    Anyway, I am seeing a problem with your logic. What happens when you tell your daughter, after she sneaks her first beer, years from now, “We don’t drink. Does Mommy ever drink?”

  3. That’s an easy one Scott. If she’s 21 at the time, I’ll give her the beer myself. But if she’s under age, well then the law just took care of that one for me! “Are you 21? I didn’t think so! No drinking until then!” It won’t work, but at least there’s an element of logic to it.

  4. “Because Mommy waited until she was 21.”

    I got it. You’re going to lie.

  5. I cannot believe people out there are that sick. You are struggling in school so hurt something you love. Wonderful lesson lady.

  6. Ok, this maybe a lil’ bit down-home for the urbanites in the crowd, but what that mom did wasn’t really that bad…

    When I was 9, I watched my best friend’s uncle kill a goat that had gone dry. It was hanging there in the tree by its feet, he walked up to it, took out his knife, and slit it’s throat as calm as you please. No hurry. No sudden rash movements. A methodical, almost quietly psychopathic, series of deft movements.

    After he’d made the cut, as the goat was bleeding out, he turned, and waved the blood-dripping knife nonchalantly at the two of us in a sweep.

    “Don’t neither of you forget, I can do the same to a boy.” was all he said in his slow, southern drawl.

    He stared at us for a second to underscore the point, then strolled off.

    That is the sort of lesson that sticks with you.

  7. On second thought…

    Yeah, what she did was that bad.

  8. Through my teeth Stein! For as long as she’s willing to buy it!

    Mike – you’re an interesting individual. Thanks for the laugh.

  9. Maybe this “Mother” is a fan of the television show “Dexter,” and after seeing her kid’s grades thought, “Well, he’s probably not going to make it into law school; might as well start his serial killing training now.”

    I don’t have any children or hamsters myself, and I am pretty happy about it.

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