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THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES

You may see things differently, but this is how I view my life.

9/17/2003

Spanking Part 2

Back in May, my kids were supposed to be cleaning their room. I checked on them several times to make sure that they were doing what they were supposed to be doing, and every time I checked on them, they were messing around and NOT picking up their mess. I warned them (after getting on them several times) that next time I come in, and they aren’t picking up their things, that I would spank them.

I waited about 15 minutes and went in their room to check on them. And whattaya know, they were messing around AGAIN. So I told them to follow me to the kitchen where I took out a wooden spoon and smacked them both once on the bottom. I didn’t smack my son very hard but I got my daughter harder than I meant to. I wanted to just leave a sting on their bottoms to get their attention and so they would know that I meant business.

After I swatted their butts, I took them in their room and explained why I spanked them so that they would understand. And I apologized to my daughter for hitting her harder than I meant to. I felt really, really bad about it because she is a very good girl most of the time and rarely needs any sort of discipline. This was the first time I had ever used anything other than my hand.

To me, spankings are the last resort. I don’t spank my kids hardly ever. I mean they get spanked MAYBE 1 or 2 times a year. And when I do spank them, it’s because I’ve given them several chances to change their behavior and they continue to not follow my directions and they are acting up. That saying “This is going to hurt me more than it will you” truly applies when I spank my kids.

Like I said, I was spanked with a homemade paddle when I was a kid. And my dad didn’t just swat my butt, he bent me over his knee and gave me 3 to 5 swats depending on how bad I was. When I spank my kids, it’s usually with an open hand on the bottom, which usually doesn’t even faze them. I would NEVER spank them any other place than right on the butt.

I know spanking is controversial and some parents my take it too far. But I was brought up this way, and most everyone I know that’s around my age was spanked. My parents were spanked with switches from trees in their backyards on the backs of their legs. I think my dad was punished pretty bad at times, but he doesn’t really talk about it much.

Like I stated earlier this happened sometime in May. 4 months ago. Apparently, my daughter has been carrying this around with her all this time and I didn’t know until my mom calls me on Monday telling me that a Sheriff had just came to talk to me about hitting her with a wooden spoon.

My daughter was really depressed one day and wrote a note to her teacher saying that she’s sad, has no life and that her parents are getting a divorce. That wasn’t exactly the note but something to that effect. The teacher sends her to the school counselor and my daughter tells the counselor that I had spanked her with a wooden spoon and that Jerry had put me up to it. So then the school counselor calls CPS (Child Protective Services), who then calls the Sheriff’s Dept. to investigate.

The Sheriff went to my mom’s house (because I use her address for my kid’s school) and interviews my mom. My mom called me as soon as he left to tell me what’s going on. Of course I’m in shock and can’t believe that this is happening. All kinds of bad things start filling my head like I’m going to lose custody of my kids because I spanked them. I talked to my boss about it, who then called her husband (because he’s a detective) to find out if It’s against the law to spank your child. He said no, and that I should have nothing to worry about.

The Sheriff called me while I was talking with my boss. He told me about his interview with my daughter and asked me questions about the incident. After I told him what happened that day, he told me that he had to make a report back to CPS and that I don’t have anything to worry about. He also said that every home needs to have guidelines set and consequences for crossing those lines and that kids need discipline in their lives otherwise they get out of control and will walk all over their parents.

I went to pick my kids up from my mom’s house and talked with my daughter. I explained to her again the reason why I spanked them and told her that Jerry didn’t put me up to it, I thought of it on my own because I know spanking them with my bare hand doesn’t get their attention and I wanted them to know that I was serious. I also told her that I love her and I want nothing more than for her to be happy and if she has something that is troubling her, I want her to be able to talk to me about. And whatever she had to say wouldn’t make me mad and she wouldn’t be in trouble. I also explained the seriousness of her telling someone that I spanked her with the wooden spoon. I told her that I could have been in a lot of trouble and they would have been taken away from me for a very long time.

Yesterday I called my daughters teacher and told her that if my daughter expresses any kind of sadness or behavioral problems or anything out of the ordinary, that I feel it’s important that she calls me first. I’m her mother and I had no idea what was going on with her until I get a call from my mom telling me that the Sheriff is investigating me for child abuse. I explained to her the incident and made it clear that this happened moths ago and was the last time I’ve spanked my kids.

So today, CPS came to my work and interviewed me. He spoke with my daughter yesterday and he said the first thing she said to him was “Me and my mom talked yesterday and everything is ok now.” I told the CPS guy about what happened with the spanking and about how we talked about it on Monday. He said that he would put in his report that he didn’t find any reason to believe that I abused my daughter and I have nothing to worry about.

I’ve been a complete wreck the past couple of days. I keep thinking about how my little girl is hurt over the divorce and I’m wondering if her dad is putting things in her head like it’s my fault that we’re not a family anymore because he still loves me and wants to be with me. Or if he’s telling her that Jerry is the reason why we’re not a family anymore. I’m totally speculating, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

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