Monday, September 10, 2012

Am I Over-reacting here?

This morning I was horrified to read this post which showed up in my newsfeed on facebook. It was written by my old neighbor from Atlanta. I've told you about him before. He's the Quiverfull Calvinist fanatic with the seven, or possibly eight, kids, the one who sent the Christmas letter with the fetus picture that his clearly autistic, yet undiagnosed or properly treated, son drew. He posted this on the wall of his former room mate, another old neighbor of mine, who is in engineering of some kind and works at Georgia Tech as far as I know.

Here is what he asked, word for word, copied and pasted:

"I want to draw on your engineering expertise for a problem I have. The kids aren't really minding Mommy very well and I think it may be because her spankings are too light. But this is just a theory. The only way I could really prove this is if I had some little sensor I could attached to the spanking spoon that would give me a read out, maybe of maximum g forces or something, for each spanking. That way I could establish uniform force standards for paddling naughty behinds. Is there anything like this in existence? There must be."

I absolutely shit you not. Someone actually wrote this and believes this and thinks this way. I am just beyond upset about it. Thinking about those poor children being beaten with a spoon in the name of righteousness for the Lord or whatever those kinds of people say, just makes me want to vomit. And their father is blaming their mother for not beating them hard enough and wants a sensor for consistency?? I'm appalled and disgusted. How about stop having so many kids? How about not overwhelming your poor, submissive wife who is trying to home school all of them (when she's barely educated herself) while she keeps popping out more and more every year? Maybe the kids don't mind her because she's tired and outnumbered and because your antiquated, medieval disciplinary style is proven to NOT WORK and not only does it not work, it damages children and scars them for life. Case in point right here. Me. And I only endured two years of that crap from my stepmother. Imagine a whole life of getting beaten and guilt tripped and shamed in the name of some terrifying God. I'm ill.

The response is even better. Here's what his friend wrote back:

" I know some students that are doing a project this semester putting instruments on a tennis racket to measure the forces of hitting the ball. Let me think on this."

Because the genius minds at Georgie Tech are best put to use coming up with methods to measure how hard you beat your children.

Am I over-reacting here? Should I call CPS? I'm hesitant because they do nothing, especially in Atlanta where this is probably mild compared to what they hear about there every day.

22 comments:

FreeDragon said...

I suggest you tell them the only way to find out how much a spanking hurts is to have the husband bend over and let his wife whip his ass as hard as she can until she can't muster the strength for another smack. Then he'll know for sure if she's beating the children enough.

Anonymous said...

Call CPS, and possibly send them a screenshot of his FB. This guy is only going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

When did it stop being ok to spank your kids? I was spanked when I was naughty and actually deserved it. And, honestly I only remember one spanking.

I don't condone child abuse, but you're assuming that he is beating his children and not just using corporal punishment when they are bad.

It is suspicious that he wants to measure G-forces, I agree that should be reported. Corporal punishment should not be the only parenting done, as it sounds like he is only allowing his wife to use.

Saffron said...

I have been told, whether true or not, that more than one "spank" or by any method other than a bare hand is considered to be child abuse. I'd screenshot it and forward to CPS.

Headant said...

I wonder if he follows the Pearls and their parenting book.

Anonymous said...

I agree with FreeDragons' comments.
You've been triggered by reading this so I'd say cuddle your daughter, feel sad for these children, contact CPS and then be glad that you are a caring and empathetic person.
Marie

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope that he is joking around with his engineer friend. Please let it be a stupid, jerky joke.

mcgrimus said...

You can give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he doesn't want to hurt his kids, but he does want them disciplined, hence the need to know if the force is too great (i.e., abusive) or too light (i.e., ineffective). Of course, that's kinda crazy and won't work anyway. Hopefully his wife is not laying into the kids. I've spanked a few times, and it just made me feel horrible, so Ill never go down that road again. Who wants their kids scared of them?

Gina said...

You are NOT overreacting. That is insane. I mean full-blown, clinically INSANE. I'm not a proponent of spanking, either, but this goes FAR beyond spanking.

I would get a screencap of it before it's gone and send it to CPS immediately. I think I would also forward it to the supervisor/department of the guy who is "thinking on it."

Maggie said...

I thought he must be a follower of the Perls too. It's horrible and children have dies following their philosophies.

Tammy said...

Measuring pain during punishment? They are insane! Turn them in for sure.

I was spanked as a small child. Sometimes I deserved it. Most times I was given a hug and a talk after. It was discipline and I didn't question my parents love or motives.

Then my parents joined a holy roller church that was part of an anti-gov't movement (a/k/a "the cult") and became crazy fanatics. I was homeschooled, not allowed to play with non-church members, etc. Discipline changed. I was spanked with homemade paddles cut from 2x4's. Holes were drilled into the paddles to make the spanking hurt more. If you didn't hold still while bending over for the spanking, you were hit wherever the paddle landed! I was spanked harder if I screamed for help. And trust me, there were times I wanted an adult to interfere on my behalf.

Parents talked and compared punishments at our church - almost gleefully. It was abuse. Not about discipline or love. My last spanking was at 19-years-old and my dad talked about it openly at church.

FYI: I don't spank my children. My oldest is 20-years-old. I've never had discipline problems with them. They know they are loved and they know where I stand on certain issues because we communicate openly.

Anonymous said...

Call CPS so they have the information on file. I just read this the other day:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/spanking.aspx

JG

Jen said...

What an ass. I hope more than anything it's just a sick joke. (that's not at all funny)

I was spanked a lot by super religious parents and their favorite tools were wooden spoons, spatulas, paddles (with holes drilled in), etc. All spanking ever did to me was to make me angry and bitter.

JTN said...

I don't think its a joke. I've read No Longer Qivering for a while and many of these Quiverfull families aren't the joking kind when it comes to punishment. You could ask on their message boards from people who have been in the lifestyle if you want a more informed opinion. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/

What he is implying here is a two-fold problem. He is (somewhat) implying he does not believe his wife is submitting to his authority (not spanking the children hard enough or to his specifications to force correction) and he wants a way to measure that. Additionally, he wants to know just how hard to actually hit him. In another light, think about that future conversation: "I don't know what you are complaining about Johnny... it takes 6 pounds of force to break a collar bone and your mom only hit you with 5 pounds of force... suck it up kid."

The reality is that depending on bone density, flexibility, location, force, et cetera the force needed to inflict serious damage varies widely from person to person... trying to objectly create a scale to punish someone 'just hard enough' falls on that slippery slope towards abuse in my eyes.

Personally, I would report him. I fully expect nothing will be done... BUT it will be on record that there was either a call or an investigation. If they do send an investigator out, the fear of the government poking their nose in his family may be enough to scuttle this harebrained idea. Also, if one of his children is someday injured by one of his correction methods, there will be a previous report on file that may help that child escape further harm.

Heather said...

I don't honestly think I can contribute a comment better than the first one, but my take-away from this is more about the dangers of linear thinking -

"Hmm, my method isn't working, so I'll try to do it HARDER!"

Lateral thinking means you stop and evaluate whether or not your method is the right one at all, and if you should switch how you're addressing the problem.

You are very caring and kind and compassionate, we all love that about you. Instead of just CPS is there someone or some organization you can report them to, like a Quiver Watchdog group? A great-aunt living somewhere else? Sadly we all know how overwhelmed social workers are these days and as odious as hitting your kids to cause them pain on purpose is, it's still not as bad as not feeding them or raping them, which is where more attention gets focused.

(You could argue that is linear thinking too, because if you could focus attention on just marginally at risk families maybe you'd have a higher success rate but I digress)

Final thoughts: post it on Failbook.com, ho ho ho
and as an alternative try the video 1,2,3 Magic, I loved it and it makes so much more sense to me than what I was raised with.

Dawn said...

I would post this story for him since he's looking for suggestions. It's one of my favorites:

Never Violence
by Astrid Lindgren



When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me."

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery - one can raise children into violence.

Cassandra said...

Well quoted Dawn - that says what I think perfectly.

I go with "Hitting is hitting. It's not a smack or a spank you are hitting and it's wrong."

I have three kids and they are loving to me and each other. At 16, 12 & 8 they are all good together. I always said "We don't hit."

When in the rest of your life are you allowed to hit someone to get them to do what you want them to?

Heather Dearmon said...

God help those poor kids!!! ugh, punishment in the name of the Lord is such hypocrisy!!! go with your gut feeling, report it if you feel you should (i would) and let us all know what, if anything, comes of it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you should call CPS! If there are marks on those kids, they can take them away to somewhere safe where they will be properly cared for.

Anonymous said...

The husband probably beats the wife as well. Very sad. I say that they tie up the dad to a tree and let the kids and wife beat the shit out of him to see if it works enough.

Anonymous said...

Foolishness; the proper way to ensure consistent pain application to a child is via electric shock, such as a car battery or TASER; of course, you also need to recharge the battery on a regular basis, lest the disciplinary sessions lose effectiveness over time. Remember, the enemy of a well-behaved, Christian child is a stale battery. PRAISE THE LORD!

Rebecca said...

I would call CPS. Bringing to a public forum pretty much takes any right to privacy in the home.

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