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.