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CNN expert withholds judgment on dad forcing 4 year-old son to run ahead of car

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football trainingThe video of a 4-year-old boy being forced to run alongside and then ahead of a vehicle driven by his father has gone viral, but the reaction by a CNN expert could be more egregious that the act itself.

On Monday’s edition of CNN’s “New Day,” parenting expert, psychotherapist and author Dr. Robi Ludwig was asked to comment on the video, which has resulted in the father receiving a firestorm of criticism, to include death threats.

“When I saw the video, it did not look as harsh to me,” Ludwig said. “The child did not seem upset. The child was not crying.”

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As seen in the video, the father films his son while shouting “run or I’m going to run your ass over.” At one point, the child stops and clutches his abdomen, and appears to say “it hurts,” but the father exclaims, “I don’t want to hear about no excuses. Run!”

The father, Brandon Yates, dismissed the incident as “just a playful moment between a father and a son.” In an interview with the local CBS affiliate KHOU, he said he was teaching his son, Clay, a lesson for repeatedly unbuckling his car seat, which turned into pretend football training.

But Ludwig did take umbrage with the reaction many have had to the incident, saying “the people who are most harsh tend to be homicidal, or direct this real aggressive rage towards parents.”

“When it comes to parenting, many people are very judgmental, and we know that parenting is a gray area,” she added. “There is no definitive right.”


Of course, had the 4-year-old stumbled and fell while the father was focused on filming the speedometer, CNN might have had a legal expert on commenting on what charges the father might expect for killing his son.

Tom Tillison


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