The story of the Victorian child killer more widely known as the Wicked Boy, as told by Kate Summerscale in her award-winning book, has been on my mind for a while now. I smiled sadly with the story, clenched my hands, and ultimately learned that anyone can overcome their past if they want to. Here is why you need to want to.
The same patience we, as writers, apply to nurturing our writing into something excellent is the same thing we need to apply to teaching children. Make a difference. Be a cycle breaker!
The first thing to parenting is patience. Your baby will scream. Your four year-old will defy you. Your seven year-old will disobey you. Your ten year-old will make trouble. But if you meet these troubles with patience, your family will come out better for the wear. Learn how.
Parenting is an instinct you are born with. It tells you what to do with your child; it tells you to feed them after birth, to change their diapers, and care for them as they grow. You cannot learn to parent by taking a class because parenting is not a lesson you can learn through study.
Having a large family, especially since many farmers kept moving further West, solved the problem of falling short of labor. Children cost nothing but the food and clothes to sustain them, leaving parents with fives of children under their roofs. To keep them under control, mothers turned to spanking while fathers whipped in the infamous woodshed.
It is not that foster parents are unequipped to handle kids; foster parents are required to take parenting classes. The problem is that there are few people in the country who actually know how to be parents.
Foster children are twice as likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder then veterans of the war; there are over 400,000 children in the foster care system today.
The 50's, 60's, and 70's were known prevalent years for spanking. While acknowledging that many good things did arise from the progress of those times, the amount of spanking that occurred is one of the reasons I do not like them. And, in that dislike, I often forget there are stories within the millions. I forget there are people who stood against the common parenting practices of the day and did not give "little Billy the spanking he deserved".
Perhaps, being a minority, they are not thought of.
I think of them now.
Kelly Clarkson's advocacy of spanking made a huge splash during its time. While her Instagram is lathered in photos of happy family life, I doubt her reality is as sweet. Here is why.