10 February 2011

Asking for Help.

A mom was having difficulty disciplining her son. Nothing seemed to work for him. She's pretty smart, has had some children before and knows what she is doing, or at least that must have seemed the case to the folks who allowed her to adopt her son. But finally she has found herself becoming more and more unable to maintain control. She shows Dr. Phil and all of America a video of what life is really like.

We all know these shows take advantage of desperate people for the edutainment of others. I'm very sorry for this mother, though obviously sending the video in yourself hardly entitles you to victim status when people find out what's going on and start calling child welfare on you.

I've heard of other parents giving hot sauce to their children, and I didn't understand why that was considered bad until I saw the video. My older children love hot sauce and eat it with their meals. I couldn't see POURING the stuff down the kid's throat, though. We're not even talking about a dab on the tongue.

Is anyone else here old enough to remember what it was like to get your mouth washed out with soap? I still feel vomit-y thinking about it. Yet I personally can't imagine calling social services because of it. I'm NOT saying it's ideal, mind you; I'm not. I just think of the kids out there that are getting sexually molested, beaten and inadequately fed and/or neglected each day, and think this family is probably not where we want to concentrate resources. I still felt my heart drop watching the video.

And there just *has* to be another choice besides going to the state or appearing on Dr. Phil. Even a cheap-o counsellor could tell the family to act nice and just "stop it" so the state wouldn't have to get involved. Right?? Only $5 for the first five minutes, and most clients don't need more than that.

In all seriousness, there really should be something, somewhere, given all the specialty clinics that are out there in this world.

6 comments:

  1. Being a counsellor myself in the process of establishing myself here and deciding on fees--I had a laugh about $5 for five minutes and that's all it takes. Thanks for that! Even if you are serious it made me laugh. I saw this on the news last week and did feel sorry for the family. What made me feel a bit better was they were indicating then that the state and a Russian ambassador (or political minister of some kind) had determined the child wasn't any real danger. And they felt the mother's desire to get help was authentic. I totally remember my mouth being washed out with soap--all it did was make me more careful about cussing in front of my Mom. I would never do that to my kids, but I would not want the state investigating this as child abuse when we have 12 year old prostitutes walking the streets here. There are bigger and badder abusers out there--sad to say. It is really hard to believe though that this woman didn't have any one to help her before she sent in a video to Dr. Phil.

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  2. I think this is a really, really sad home life for the children. To have Mom make one video tape her 'correcting' another one horrified me. It brought back memories of my own Mother threatening and picking up the metal pole to her old vacuum cleaner and preparing to 'correct' my older brother with it, making me watch so I'd know what I was in for if I was going to give her a hard time. I was about 4, my brother was 6. I remember screaming over and over again in fear and finally saying I would run away to Grandma's to get help for Jason. Mom stopped, she didn't hit him, she swung the pole around like a mad woman screaming and ranting. It was hours before Dad was home.Sometimes watching the craziness can be as bad as living it. My own Mom was crazy, once tying my brother to the support beam in our basement and leaving him there until he fell asleep standing there. I had to watch that, too.She didn't 'hurt' him by today's standards, but I remember feeling frozen and helpless, terrified that I, too, would be shut downstairs in the dark with the spiders and noises. She should have had her rear end jacked up over her shoulders for treating little kids like that.

    On the other hand, this Mom's tool was hot sauce. Yes, some kid's like it, mine love it. But these Mom's who wash out mouths with vinegar, and forcibly make the children drink hot sauce as punishment should gargle some boiling water. I've seen first hand 2 children brought into my old office who possibly had ulcers from the vinegar/hot sauce type punishments. That's not funny. A little person's system isn't meant to digest acids like that, nor that amount of capsaicin. The acid can erode tooth enamel as well. It's strange though, that's not illegal to do to a child. Not worthy of a call to CPS....however we were mandated to report if a child was brought in without a winter coat if the temperature was too low. Hmmm....

    The Mom also should have known the circus that would ensue on a show like Dr. Phil. He's drama/hype/ratings. If she needed advice she could have gone to her local social services for parenting advice or suggestions. Joined a local MOPS type group, or heck GOOGLED discipline/parenting advice.

    Things like this bother me beyond belief. I actually read this earlier today and it brought so much back I had to walk away and let my mind settle, in order to come back tonight and reply.

    Some women just shouldn't have kids.

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  3. OO, Bonnie, I love your new avatar! Yeah, click on that last link - the $5 counselling thing is a comedy act. :)

    Blondee, those old vacuum tubes could seriously kill some little kid. I just don't know what to say.

    I had thought that the hot sauce thing was a taste, like a dot on the tongue when things are really bad. Preferrable to a spanking. But she's pouring it down the kid's throat - I never would have imagined from people describing "hot sauce" that that is what they were doing. If it's done enough I could see ulcers and bad stuff happening because it's not eaten WITH a meal and a drink.

    I have to wonder though if there ARE people who can help parents (I mean besides general advice) when they are "stuck" and not sure what to do next. You know, like a hotline where they don't take your kid, but they can talk you down into "OK. You can do something like take away his game system for a week. It's ok if he acts like he doesn't care; remember you are the adult and when you act calmly you are actually WINNING for both of you."

    You know? Shouldn't there be a hotline like that, or a counselling group or clinic that can do stuff like that?

    I'm really sad tonight because Emperor just lost his DS for a whole month for screaming and sassing and CONTINUAL nastiness. So sad for him it came to that, and I warned him so many times.

    Now he is angry in his room and hates us. I am angry and sad that he didn't listen... I know it's his fault, what he did, and we needed to give a MEGA consequence. Times like this I want to cry and don't feel I could judge anybody.

    Which is so sorry. We're talking a game system here. Still. So sad. :(

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  4. I feel for your Happy Elf Mom. I know with the girly, mega consequences seem to be endless and overwhelming for her. Even though she definitely deserves it, her over reaction and heartbreak to the situation makes me feel awful for her.

    That's a Mom's heart, though, isn't it?

    It's the Mom's who don't have that reaction that scare me. Our county does have a hotline number to talk down parents who need to take a step back. They even run commercials to advertise it. It's run by volunteers, the commercials showing a frazzled Mom with a screaming baby who is tempted to heave the child into his crib, then debates shaking him to make him stop. Suddenly scared of her own thoughts she leaves him in his crib and calls the number. The baby can be heard crying in the background, but a reassuring voice on the other end tells the Mom that she needs to step back and count to ten. Let the baby cry, craying won't hurt him-but her anger will. It's a nice idea, and isn't just for Mom's with babies.....but I don't know how many in a moment of anger would honestly call.

    Parenting classes should be mandatory for all first time parents. Offered through OB's the way lamaze class is....but then there is the nost of big Brother poking into our pregnant lives. *Sigh*

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  5. they pulled the video...my kids actually will eat soap on their own. they get into it...to eat it...and get in trouble for doing it. i'm not sure it would be an efficient form of discipline in this house, lol

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  6. I'm late to this post, since I haven't been here for over a week. I'm a little concerned that this mother who has raised children before, does not stop to think that maybe she's losing control because the child himself has problems. Maybe he's on the autism spectrum somewhere and he needs help. Well, they'd both need help.
    Unless I'm mistaken and this hot sauce bullying method is how she normally raises kids? Which gives me chills. That's no way to treat children.

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