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Father Arrested for Abuse Because of His Harsh Discipline Style. Some Say His Punishments Are Just Old-School

James Kidwell
Rockcastle County Detention Center

Authorities have charged James Kidwell with child abuse, but some parents say it’s closer to old-school discipline.

As WKYT News reports, the father from Mount Vernon, Kentucky, was arrested on Monday for using strenuous physical activity and other abusive acts as punishments for his children. The alleged abuse occurred between Jan. 24 and Jan. 28.

Kidwell reportedly made his 11-year-old and 13-year-old children do pushups for 30 minutes, resulting in rug burns for one of the children. In addition, Kidwell made the kids stand about two steps from the wall and then lean forward with their forehead against the wall. They would have to hold this position for up to 30 minutes.

There were other punishments as well. Kidwell allegedly forced the children to eat soap, and one child has a sore in his mouth because of that soap. One child also has a bruise on his chest, which police say occurred when Kidwell punched the child.

The punishments were given to the children for talking back and breaking house rules.

However, the idea that all of these punishments were abusive was criticized on Facebook. Multiple people weighed in to say that pushups, even for 30 minutes, shouldn’t be part of a child abuse charge.

Screenshot/Facebook
Screenshot/Facebook
Screenshot/Facebook
While they agreed that punching a child was out of bounds, many commenters saw few issues with the other punishments Kidwell employed.

Screenshot/Facebook
Screenshot/Facebook
Screenshot/Facebook
However, there were those who saw all of Kidwell’s actions as cruel.

Screenshot/Facebook
Screenshot/Facebook
Screenshot/Facebook
Kidwell is currently being held on $10,000 bond.

What do you think?

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  1. I’m In the “Belief” of Ole’ School Discipline, However I Do Not Believe Any Child Should EVER BE PUNCHED SLAPPED & or “Have Their Hair Cut Off (which was my Mother’s way) To Discipline Me, I Might Add I Most Definitely “Needed To Be Disciplined @ The Time!!! My *Mother Had Been Recently Widowed & We Were All Suffering Frm The Loss Of My Dad (Stepfather) My Mom Was Widowed While 6 Months Pregnant With Me on Xmas Eve & She Was Originally from Detroit. My Grandfather Made A Remark about “As Soon As This Baby Is Born YOU’LL Be Back In The Fields Picking Cotton!!! Well Mama Called Her Mother (in Detroit, Mi) & Told Her What Was Going On & My Grandmother Was In Clarksville Within A Matter Of *Days*…I Was Raised To Respect Not Only My Elders But Everyone, I Was Raised By 2 Ppl I Loved That Were Heavy Drinkers. Actually I “Would Call Them Functional Alcholics” Mama Had 4 Of Us Children Frm My Biological Father & 3 From My Stepfather (however STEP was Never Allowed to Be Used Around Daddy.I’m a 64 Yr Old Mother Of 1 Son & Yes I Too Became An Alcoholic, I Realized I “Had A Serious Problem with Drinking” & I Chose To Change *Our Sons Life & My Husbands* So I Went Into A Treatment Center & Received the Help I Soo Desperately Needed (for Myself 1st) & Foremost I “Knew My Little Family Of Us 3 Would Reep The Benefits, I Was 1 Of The Few Lucky 1’s. Statics say 3 Out Of 5 Wouldn’t Make It….I Was 1 That Did, I Now Realize “I’m Not Actually Writing About The Father, I’m Writing About Myself & With Good Reason As You See I Slapped My Son Across The Face While I Was Drunk & To This Day While *Our Son Forgives Me*..I Still Can’t or Won’t Forgive Myself. I’m Sorry for This Being About Me, I’m Unloading & It Feels So Good. I’ve Been Sober For Almost 22yrs, Our Son Is Doing Wounderful Raising His Own 2 Daughters & No He’s Not A Drinker, Never Has nor Will Be (Good Lord Willing & The Creek Don’t Rise) My Husband & I Just Celebrated Our 32nd Anniversary & We’re Doing *Great* However Because of the Verbal & Physical Alterations @ The Hands Of His Mother (Me) He Chooses Never To Drink & I’m So Happy For Him Yet Will Not/Can NOT EVER FORGIVE MYSELF, I WILL NEVER PICK UP ANOTHER DRINK AGAIN!!!!! THANKYOU FOR Allowing Me To Just To “Dump It All In Someone Else’s Lap” God Bless & I Absolutely Love & Appreciate Your Videos

  2. This child abuse. There I are other ways of punishing your child. Why did he wait so long to even punish them. Why weren’t they properly raised and taught how to behave. They obviously haven’t had proper attention if they are misbehaving anyway. Yes he should be punished why would a man his size even think about punching a child

  3. The father went too far. I agree with dong push ups for punishment, but not to where you get an abrasion. Forcing the children to eat soap was unacceptable. Is the father in the military or did he used to be in the military?

  4. We all agree punching a child is unacceptable. However, standing and exercise are NOT abuse. It’s ridiculous to even try and argue that for the older child. For the 3 year old, no way they can do a push-up as for the soap, it’s non toxic. There’s a line between punishment and abuse and there’s a line between safety and overreacting.

  5. Think of the parents who took their 13 year old’s phone away as punishment. Then he leaves the house on a cold night and is found dead a mile and a half away. Charge them with manslaughter for excessive punishment?

  6. How much old-school punishment does he need? Would being shackled to the wall for a month in a school’s basement be enough?

  7. I wonder where the love and kindness is in this Father. Some people can’t relate to our loving Heavenly Father because of our hateful, mean, cruel earthly father

  8. 30 minute push ups? I can’t do push ups for 30 seconds. That’s crazy. Why don’t he just whoop their butts, that always worked for me.

  9. Okay so, would I punch my daughter? No way in hell. Would I make her do exercise for punishment? Yea why not? It’s not called punishment if you don’t suffer to some extent. I was raised in the late 80s early 90s and I was BAD. like all parents worst nightmare bad. And every single time I did something I got in trouble and had my ass handed to me. I was no stranger to an ass whooping or soap in the mouth. My mom would fill my mouth with dawn. But now as a functional 31 year old I feel like I was raised completely normal. Had they not punished me I would have tried to take over the house probably. I have no anger issues. Don’t hit my kids and have a very calm demeanor so to say I was abused today would be facts lol. But it was normal and I don’t hate them for it at all. I’d do anything for them. Kids now and days are soo soft. Got forbid these kids join the military. They won’t make it through boot camp.

  10. sure, these were tactics used 4 decades ago but we’ve learned along the way, and it’s called ‘knowledge’ that these actions result in long term problems. We now, in todays world, have better alternatives to showing youngsters how to be a positive part of the family. Seriously, you may find this astounding, but there are many, many families in this country with young children and teens who have respect for one another, work together as a team to help(without paying them), and see the family unit in a positive perspective..all without lifting a hand, punching, slapping or doing military exercizes. You want more kids going to schools with AK 15’s…then use the latter as your so-called parenting techniques…I think this guy needs to be re-programmed about child rearing.

  11. I don’t see anything wrong the way he punishes children because God gave them to him and he rather punish his own children to have the police or the justice system do it

    • I agree!!! Children these days get away with way too much. I bet these kids learned their lesson and will THINK TWICE before talking back, disrespecting, or breaking any rules again. I bet this father loves his children which is why he punoshed them. If he didn’t care for his children, he would let them continue on the path of disrespect and breaking rules. Ponder on that all you who think what he did is/was wrong before you condemn him.

  12. I’m so very sick and tired of the DCBS Witch-hunt. DCBS removed our two teenage girls from our home because I raised my voice. They left our two young girls in our care though. They took us to court and found my wife guilty of neglect and abuse simply because she is still with me. I have never laid a hand on any of my girls or my wife in anger. It was VERY literally based on me raising my voice. There were other lies told in the beginning which were quickly unsubstantiated but I never dreamed that they would take them because of raising your voice. People in this country need to take a stand before it is too late.

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