Monday, 30 July 2012

Focus on the Family to Christians wishing to foster a child: Don't tell the social worker you beat your kids.

As I posted previously, I am exploring adoption and fostering a child.  The first site to come up when I searched adoption on Google is Focus on the Family's Waiting to Belong. In the section on Public Adoption I found this warning to Christian parents especially enlightening:
"Christian families who wish to foster and adopt children from the public system need to be aware that spanking is not permitted. In fact, in some Canadian jurisdictions, telling a social worker that you would spank a child will result in the home study being turned down. Parents should consider other means of discipline to provide boundaries for their children. Traditional methods of parenting which may have served parents well in raising their birth children are often not effective techniques for adopted children." 

It's a little ironic that in a Christian household it could very well be that the birth children will get beaten by their parents while the fostered children are spared the rod.  Wait a minute - Actually, the whole idea sounds ridiculous to me - How long do you think parents who are otherwise convinced that spanking is a necessary component for raising a good kid will hold back from hitting the sponsor child?  Months? Days? Hours?

What's with Christians beating their kids?  I'll likely cover this in a future post.  I'm also likely to inform the local fostering organization Batshaw about this paragraph.  They may be interested in what this implies.

The organization that runs the site is Focus on the Family.  Wikipedia:
Focus on the Family opposes abortion, divorce, gambling, gay rights, pornography, pre-marital sex, and use of recreational drugs. It supports abstinence, adoption by Christians, corporal punishment, creationism, school prayer, and strong gender roles. In its activism for these views, the organization has used scientific research extensively, but has been accused repeatedly of misrepresenting these studies.
The main Focus on the Family site includes a whole section on disciplining a child that includes corporal punishment, which is most effective for children 2 - 6 years old.  I cannot imagine striking a two year old.  Back to the original quote:
Parents should consider other means of discipline to provide boundaries for their children.  Traditional methods of parenting which may have served parents well in raising their birth children are often not effective techniques for adopted children.
Oh okay.  For a minute there I thought the site was basically telling parents to lie to the social worker.  It seems sort of like that to me.  Lying by omission ... yep that seems to fit the bill to me.

It also seems a little unrealistic to expect parents to continue beating their own kids while using some new-fangled method on this kid that's not even their own.  Especially after James Dobson's Focus on the Family has been insisting for so long that spanking is a necessary and even Biblical!  I wonder what really goes on behind the doors.

This video with Sean Faircloth should fill in some blanks about Dobson's views on corporal punishment.



And if these alternative discipline techniques are effective for adopted children then I don't see why they wouldn't also be sufficient for biological children as well.  I mean, which child is more likely to have behavioural problems and issues with authority?  It all seems a little fishy to me.  Something doesn't add up here.

Editors note:  I now see that the original quote says "would spank", not "spank."  I still think it's fishy enough to more or less suggest to parents that deception is the only way to go.


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