Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Deepest Pain - Discipline

Most of us in Ontario have felt the pain of the community near Barrie, Ontario – where a young boy by the name of Brandon Crisp was found this week in a marsh of an open field. Deer Hunters found his body and it was confirmed yesterday that this was Brandon and that he may have passed away because of hypothermia. With a loss of body heat he simply lay down alone and went to sleep – forever. (Update...November 10, 2008- From the Post Mortem that was conducted - Brandon likely died from a fall from a tree...)

The reaction of police officers and the public in general, along with his school mates and teachers came an outpouring of grief and deepest emotions. Why?

It was the loss of a young boy’s life which is tragic to say the least. It was the loss of a son and a child and a brother and a grandson – all of these. It was the loss that all felt.

Yet something else has been digging at my thoughts. Dare I say it out loud? Dare I voice what many I believe are thinking? At this time of deep grief for parents that wish a million times over that it hadn’t gone the way that it did… dare anyone ask the question?

What about the discipline? It was all about a young boy that was out of control – addicted to a silly game that will be gone in a few years time… an “Xbox” that will be toast in a very few years with another gaming device ready to take its place. It is all about parents trying to get control of an out of control situation.

It is about discipline – reasonable discipline that all parents struggle with… And now that it is confirmed to be “over” with Brandon’s body being found – the horror of the discipline decision will live with the parents forever. My heart goes out to them.

On the other side it was mentioned that Brandon was having trouble at school. His gaming had taken full control of his life. Teachers were doing their job at school and with his failure/lack of attention – they were reporting what they saw. The parent/teacher team then reacts – the situation must be changed.

So – teachers played apart in this discipline as well. Thus… the reaction on their part of deep grief.

It was reported at one point that Microsoft Corporation had also contributed something to a reward money that would be offered to anyone that would help to bring Brandon get back home – with the possible idea that he had been abducted.

Microsoft also had a part in creating a game that they are now getting reports of the potential addiction. There is guilt here.

(But I need to point out here that the MS Game report about reward money story I heard was a “Press Pick Up” – and accuracy is not always 100% with that source.)

The Ultimate “WHY” is answered by a simple truth. Brandon was a child out of control. Discipline was an issue. No one was going to tell this young fellow what he should do. His anger was a driving force in his life. The very game that he played would allow any anger that a person has to be channeled in one severe direction and by doing so they become real good at the game.

Some may say that it helps the aggressive person to work out or vent the anger in a less harmful way.

I would suggest that the uncontrolled anger may well have been the final thing that kept the young boy walking out into an open field to “die peacefully” by himself. That my friend is not NORMAL!

Brandon was a kid out of control. Brandon’s parents did almost everything that they should to respond to the teachers at school and their report. They also did all that they could to provide Brandon a place to grow and develop into a contributing citizen.

BUT – and it is a BIG BUT – something went wrong. The discipline that was needed – wasn’t there. There was a critical moment of truth that Brandon started to – or continued to say “NO” I won’t do that your way… and then kept doing what he wanted to do… and the parents never heard or saw what happened.

Yes they took the Xbox away 20 times before. But that made little difference – he was still back into it again and again. Someone in that house gave him the Xbox back over and over again… to let him go deeper and deeper into a world that they knew nothing about. And the worst part is the anger that drove him away – was something they saw – but either didn’t know what to do with it – or chose to do nothing with it.

That part blows me away.

This week…
This week I had a new wife of a “Brandon Type” husband call me. The shaking in her voice as she described the horror that she has faced in the last months is a nightmare that I can hardly tell anyone about. You see the young husband is now threatening her. He asked her to “kill him” with a pair of scissors the other night. He curses and swears at her all the time. He threatens and raves at her all the time. He has threatened acts of potential, real violence is frightening.

This dude didn’t walk away from his parents and into an open field when he was young. He wiggled his way through those years. He came out angry and has stayed angry. He has now messed up a trail of people along the way with his angry ways.

He is a “Brandon Type” that has always got his Xbox back when he got the wiggle room. Now the pent up anger inside is destroying another life.

“Domestic Violence” is another nice way to say – “a grown up child that was never disciplined – or no one could ever get through to – or that no one could ever say “NO” to…” Now in the Domestic Violence situations we go to court with young moms that are bruised physically and emotionally.

Yes I am disturbed by the “Brandon Crisp” story. I am disturbed that there a whole lot more like him that parents can do nothing with.

Is that a new phenomena? Nope! I wish I could take you into the Federal Prison system and meet the hundreds upon hundreds of “Brandon Types” that threaten others around them with their pent up anger – trying to control fellow cell mates. And after you get used to the bars and the locks… you realize that with the pent up and destructive anger that they had killed a wife, a friend, a business partner or just anyone that got their %$#@& way.

The deepest pain anyone will face is not cancer or a heart attack – it is discipline.

God help us all!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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