What's the first feeling that comes to you when you read this title? Disgust, horror, fear, anger, sympathy? Perhaps all of those. What do we make of this situation? Let's get the first part out of the way. The parent, likely a full grown adult, intentionally brings physical harm to a little child. We can all agree that is just not acceptable. Now, let's get on to the fact that the child was adopted. Yes, this fact does make this situation seem even more reprehensible. Why? Well, for starters, these parents had kids the hard way. They had to participate in a lengthy homestudy assessment and a 27 hour parent education training course that is provincially standardized and mandated. So, after receiving all of that 'extra' information about parenting, one would think that they would have learned that spanking was not exactly a good disciplinary technique. 
Reasonable assumption? How did they miss that lesson?

Next, the fact that this little girl (and her brother) was adopted means she was already taken from a scary situation with her birth parents, then taken from a foster family and finally taken from (another scary situation) with her adoptive family. The message she has been consistently given is "you are not worthy of keeping or protecting." You don't have to be a social worker, psychologist or sooth sayer to predict this little girl's future. With all that fear and low self esteem that has been injected in to her, how in the world is she going to thrive? 

How do you feel now? You can say it. You feel angry. I feel angry.Could something have been done to prevent this parent's abusive behaviour? I can't say for sure, but I'd like to think so. In my parenting course, Changing Your Lenses, we focus on understanding your child and how this understanding leads to positive parental choices. When these parents refer to their daughter as 'manipulative', I get shivers. This is one of the key concepts that we look at. Why would a child be that way? How could a child think like that? What is the child's behaviour telling you? Ladies and gentleman, there's only one answer and it's...FEAR! And now, thanks to these parents, this child's whole being is filled with more of it.

Read the article, love your kids, and be brave enough to learn what may make the greatest difference for you and your children. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/spanked+daughter+black+blue+pleads+guilty+assault/8014659/story.html