During the holidays we often see the best and worst of the human spirit and manners. Crowded malls and preoccupied parents often reveal exhausted children. Over the Thanksgiving holiday a friend was shopping with one of her Thanksgiving relatives and guests at a local grocery market in Delaware. The five-year old daughter of her guest purposely kicked a shelf where some food items were on a display in one of the stores where they were shopping. The child’s mother embarrassed and seemingly surprised by her daughter’s actions, reprimanded the child; ten minutes later the little girl again kicked the display this time forcing items from the shelf onto the floor. The mother began retrieving the items from the floor and apologized to the store associate. No items were damaged or broken. The mother then took the child now crying from the store by her hand to the parking lot and to my friend’s vehicle.
My friend waited for the butcher to complete the preparation of her order. As she left the store and began walking to her car in the the parking lot she could hear the screams of the little girl through the rolled up windows of her vehicle which was about 200 feet from the entrance of the store. The closer she got to her vehicle the more intense were the little girl’s screams. As my friend approached her car and opened the trunk of her vehicle to relieve herself of the items she had purchase, she could see the little girl lounging with railing arms at her mother. Simultaenously the little girls screams were piercing and gaining the attention of the drivers and passengers of cars parked nearby. My friend asked the mother if she had spanked the little girl and the mother said that she had not touched her and had only spoken to her in an effort to calm the child. It seemed to my friend that by her asking the mother if she had hit the child gave the child pause to increase the volume of her screams. My friend took the little girl by her hand and stood her outside of vehicle and tried to talk to her. The little girl screamed as though she was being tortured. My friend asked the little girl to hold out her hand and she gave the little girl a little slap on her open hand and guided her back to the vehicle as she yelled so loudly that she and the little girl’s mom thought that her little tonsils would just be expelled from her throat from the intense yelling.
Shortly after they arrived back at the home of my friend, the doorbell rang; it was the local police there to investigate a report of child abuse. The officer advised them that someone in the parking lot reported wrote down her tag number and reported that a child was being abused in the vehicle. In less than thirty minutes the police had located her through her vehicle registration.
From what I was told, I do not believe the actions of my friend or her relative were anything near child abuse. This five year old girl is extremely aggressive for her age and obviously the mother has no power or control of her. This is not the first time this girl has acted aggressively or with no regard for her mother’s discipline. It was the first time my friend had been witness to this behavior. I believe the child needs therapy not Ridlin. She is smart enough to manipulate her mother in public and has even threatened her mom with “I will call 911” if you hit me. I have a grown son and I spanked him during his childhood when I felt it was warranted. I did not have to spank him often because he was a good child but when he broke the rules I spanked his little black behind.
As a child in Florida, not only was I spanked but I had to go out in the yard and pick my own switch. I had to remove the leaves from the switch so that the sting of it would be more painful. I am grateful for those spankings that I received. They helped me to understand that there are consequences for my decisions. I am grateful for the welts on my butt and legs caused by my Mrs. Moore my favorite fifth grade teacher whose paddle board would wear out my behind if my name was turned in for breaking class rules. She made girls and boards line up and each of us would get a smack from her real wood board. I am grateful for Mrs. Gladden my music teacher who would hit me on my knuckle for each wrong note I played during my piano lessons and I am grateful for my favorite auntie who did not require any switch; her backhand was the closest thing to lightening that I would ever want to feel.
One of the problems with today’s children is that they have no respect for authority, rules or consequences. They are rewarded for bad behavior, grades and disrespect. They grow up to be adults with no respect for authority, no discipline, no manners, no boundaries and no sense of honor or responsibility. I wonder if those concerned citizens who called about child abuse would also call if fifteen years later they saw this young girl involved in a criminal act, I doubt it. I would rather have this young child spanked at five than incarcerated for life at 15. I don’t know if Dr. Spock had any children. Some of my own relatives raise their children by his instruction. The Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child, evidence of that reality is right in front of us in 2010.
Since I am venting let me also say, stop pushing those big behind children, sucking bottles at age 3 or 4 in strollers. Make their lazy little backsides get out of their strollers and walk. That simple step might also affect the ever increasing number of over weight toddlers and children and exercise is good for them.