So what is the line between discipline and child abuse?

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged for whipping his kid with a tree branch. That’s a clear case of discipline going over the line.

The Adrian Peterson case does not mean that corporal punishment is illegal, but it seems to be a perfect example of how things can go too far.

“Parents are allowed to use corporal punishment in disciplining their children,” said Lancaster City Police Captain Jarrad Berkihison. “Where that line gets crossed is when the parent starts doing physical injury to the child.”

Berkhison says that is when there are large marks or bruises or when the skin is broken and the child is bleeding. But something that appears to be criminal is not always taken to prosecution. It could be just a matter of education.

“Part of that disposition of whatever investigation could be sending them to parenting classes and things like that with Children & Youth Services,” he said.

A lot of us were spanked or hit as children, but have chosen not to do that to our own kids. We talked to two moms who do not believe in corporal punishment.

“Basically because I don’t think at that age they have the developmental capability to understand why they’re being hit,” said Kelly Ball of New Cumberland.

“Growing up, my parents did believe in corporal punishment and I really don’t think that made a difference in the type of person I turned out to be,” said Brenda Watson of Harrisburg.

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