Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Abusive or Protective?

On a Sunday when my children were young, Kris was a newborn baby, so this would be about 22 years ago, I had to take Kris to the back of the church because he began to cry and that is just what you have to do when you have a newborn baby.

I had four other children sitting in a row of chairs. Sometimes one of them would glance back when they were misbehaving, as kids will do. That was my cue. I would stop walking Baby Kris then give them my sternest frown and raise my eyebrows as I quietly asked if they wanted one or two. This was the quiet, gentle warning. If that did not work, the next time they informed me that they were misbehaving I would firmly hold up one finger. They all knew that meant one spanking when church was over.

A friend at church, Ken Hughes once walked over to me after the service and commented how he got a kick out of how my kids behaved even though I was at the back of the church with the baby. Every other week I was a single Mom while Doug worked on the North Slope back then. With him being away so much of the time I had to teach these kids to help me out by giving them this system of order.

Later, it became apparent that I was not carrying out the intended spankings because while returning home from Anchorage one day the kids were misbehaving in the back of the van. I calmly turned around, gave the stern look and went back to visiting with Doug who was driving. They cooperated for a short time then they resumed getting noisier and noisier. Soon my driver was becoming irritated. I turned around, made eye contact with the offenders then lifted my hand and showed one finger. By the time we were almost home I had to give two or three fingers to which Marie defiantly said, "You never remember anyway."

I was stunned. Did I hear that right? Did she just say what I thought she said?

Slowly I turned my head and looked at her. I calmly said, "Okay Marie, if I forget to give you your spanking, then you go and get the paddle and bring it to me and remind me. If you don't, then when I remember I will add another spanking, OK?"

That was the beginning of our kids bringing the paddle to us whenever we got home from outings. I never did forget to give out their just rewards after that! "Thanks Marie!!!!" That's what all the kids said to her, and not too kindly I might add. [hehehe]

There is recent news here in Alaska about abusive parents with five adopted children. The children claim to be mistreated and have accused their adoptive parents of abusing them in many ways.

Sherry Kelley denies having been abusive. Sherry and Patrick (her husband) have spent two years in jail. However in the world did this couple end up with these children, and so many?

Why does anyone adopt troubled children if they can't handle it all properly? Where were their hearts in all of this? Did they mean well but lost control? Perhaps I don't understand the whole story and that's why I don't understand why anyone would agree to keep kids that they had to resort to extreme measures to control. Sherry is now facing six additional years, if proven to have been abusive rather than protective in her actions.

I've always thought that when becoming an adoptive family one has to meet very stiff inspections by the State beforehand. Maybe I am wrong, since this is not the first time I've read of adoptive parents abusing their children.


Constance said...

I LOVE that picture of the kids! I am a firm believer in spankings! My mom wore out many a wooden spoons on my behind!

Once when I had Jacey-Beth with me and she misbehaved. I swatted her on the rear and this young *25ish year old woman who was preganant and had a toddler actually had the nerve to say to me,
"Do you really think that works?"

I replied,
"I KNOW it works! I've raised 4 kids to be well-behaved, productive members of society and they knew better than to sass me. I was more concerned with being their parent than being their friend. The friendship comes once they're grown. Don't talk to me like I'm your peer when I have a duaghter older than you are!"

Needless to say, she left me alone!

akeskileut said...

I like the picture of the kids,look so young :-)
I believe in spanking my kids too. I admire how you took your kids to church even when you hubby was not at home,good job.

Connie Marie said...

Thanks Millie da model!

Connie, you are brave to spank your grandbabies. I am hesitant to do that with some grandchhildren more than others.

I can see having to enter into the grandchildren discipline arena when life makes raising our grandchildren part of our daily lives, otherwise, I use the... "I'm gonna tell your Momma on you" way to control misbehavior for, hopefully, only a few hours.

Sometimes our own kids don't adopt the same way to discipline that we always found effective.

But, that is okay, "Grammaloo" prays too!

Marie VW said...

I would just like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to my siblings for my atrocious lack of judgement. I should have held my tongue.

Anonymous said...

We should never raise our hands or our voices to our children. Children learn from adults how to be with other people. If we are kind and patient with them, they will be this way with others. A grandmother should know this.