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Adrian Peterson has been a headline favorite since he was brought up on child abuse charges for beating and injuring his 4-year-old son with a switch. After receiving much backlash, the Minnesota Vikings decided to deactivate the 29-year-old pending the outcome of the investigation. The Houston Chronicle recently spoke with Peterson’s mother, Bonita Jackson, who defended her son.

“I don’t care what anybody says, most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes,” explained Jackson. “But we were only trying to prepare them for the real world. When you whip those you love, it’s not about abuse, it’s about love. You want to make them understand that they did wrong.”

Jackson went on to confirm previous statements that both she and Adrian’s father, Nelson Peterson, were “big disciplinarians” when their children were small. She adds that she used her hands, belts and switches to discipline her children, but that she never injured them.

Jackson says that her son is now getting counseling to learn alternative methods to discipline his children, for example, having the child stand in the corner for five minutes. The mother of six argues that she would be “so angry with anybody who willfully hurt her grandbabies,” and that she does not believe this is what her son intended to do.

“It’s been a heartbreaking experience,” she expressed. “Words can’t explain it. I just stay prayerful and God will get the glory.”

“He is trying hard to be a good parent. He’s working at it. People are judging him for this one incident, but they don’t know his heart. It was never his intent to hurt his son.”

The saddest part of it all, Jackson says, is that both she and her son have been barred from all contact with the 4-year-old child, who currently lives with his mother in Minnesota.

“I feel nothing but love for her [the boy’s mother]. She’s so sweet,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, we want to protect our children. It happened and so now we as a family need to work things out and move forward.”

“But when we talk to her, we can hear him laughing and playing in the background. He sounds happy,” she said. “I know his mother has much respect for Adrian. She knows he’s a good father, no matter how much people attack his character, only God can judge us.”

Before concluding the interview, she quickly added: “But Adrian is good and does a good job. We live with the choices we make.”

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