Susanna Wesley on child rearing

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by freeatlast, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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  2. jaigner

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    ADHD is real, friend. It happens even when parents "train them up" well. You obviously haven't spent a lot of time around some of these children. Go volunteer some place where children are and then let me know.
     
  3. padredurand

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    There's a lot to digest in that letter. madre and I are in Round 2 of child rearing. Our 20 month old grandson constantly reminding us why folk should have their children when they are in their twenties...... :laugh:

    A few observations. They may have had maids and servants in the Wesley manse but we don't labor under that particular burden. Having Matilda clean the southbound end of a northbound child - not to mention their bath and bedtime - would change the atmosphere of the household immensely. I can't imagine what it would be like parenting with a battery of assistants.

    That said.....
    I am sure someone will see this as abuse. IMHO, it is much better to establish boundaries with a child in their youth than to suffer the consequences when they are older.
     
  4. annsni

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    I know that ADHD is real but I also think it's diagnosed when it is not truly there. Additionally, I believe the school system is not going to be helpful for those students who struggle with this and it is much better for them to be in a different environment. ADD (with inattention) is what drove us to homeschool my oldest daughter. The school couldn't manage it and wanted her on drugs. I brought her home, homeschooled her through 8th grade then when she went back to public school in 9th grade, she was mature enough to learn to manage her inattention and did very well.

    But then there are those kids who need discipline who are not - and they are labeled ADHD. There are those kids who are just more kinesthetic learners and who have natural children's energy who are labeled ADHD and instead, they should be taught in a different way and work with their natural inclination towards physical activity.
     
  5. mandym

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    ADHD is over diagnosed so that teachers do not have to deal with what they perceive to be problem children. The public school system only works well for the most ideal children. It fails for everyone else.
     
  6. annsni

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    While I don't agree with everything she wrote - and I think that the old style of writing may communicate more harshness than was really there, there are a few things that I fully agree with:

    Whenever a child is corrected, it must be conquered; and this will be nor hard matter to do if it be not grown headstrong by too much indulgence. And when the will of a child is totally subdued and it is brought to revere and stand in awe of the parents, then a great many childish follies and inadvertences style may be passed by. Some should be overlooked and taken no notice of, and others mildly reproved; but no willful transgression ought ever to be forgiven children without chastisement, less or more, as the nature and circumstances of the offense require.

    I have found this to be very true. When a child respects and obeys their parents, it is OK to allow some small things to pass by knowing that this is not the habit of the child. But if a child is still rebellious, even a little thing adds on to become a big thing because the foundational respect is not there. I've SO seen this in my kids!

    They were quickly made to understand they might have nothing they cried for and instructed to speak handsomely for what they wanted. They were not suffered to ask even the lowest servant for aught without saying, ‘Pray give me such a thing’; and the servant was chid if she ever let them omit that word.

    My children know that a cry or begging does not get any result in any way they wish and instead, it usually brings about my firm "NO" forever. But if they learn to appeal to me in a right way, I consider their request. Crying for something? Fuggetaboutit!

    It had been observed that cowardice and fear of punishment often led children into lying till they get a custom of it which they cannot leave. To prevent this, a law was made that whoever was charged with a fault of which they were guilty, if they would ingenuously confess it and promise to amend, should not be beaten.

    I do the same here at my home. Confession is good for the soul! Lie about a small thing and you will be severely punished. A person is known by how good his word is and so truthfulness in my kids was vital.

    That every signal act of obedience, especially when it crossed upon their own inclinations, should be always commended and frequently rewarded according to the merits of the cause.

    That if ever any child performed an act of obedience or did anything with an intention to please, though the performance was not well, yet the obedience and intention should be kindly accepted; and the child with sweetness directed how to do better for the future.


    She not only speaks of punishment but rewards. That's awesome!

    That no girl be taught to work till she can read very well; and then that she be kept to her work with the same application, and for the same time, that she was held to in reading. This rule also is much to be observed; for the putting children to learn sewing before they can read perfectly is the very reason why so few women can read fit to be heard and never to be well understood.

    This is awesome that she put a large emphasis on education over the "womanly arts" - even during a time that women were not at all encouraged to be educated!!
     
  7. annsni

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    Exactly. My daughter definitely did not succeed in first grade. *I* did all her work with her because she was too distracted in school. "She needs one-on-one attention but we can't give her that" was what I heard. When I mentioned homeschooling, you would have thought I said I was going to draw and quarter my child but that was the best thing I ever could have done for her. She was able to mature in a nurturing environment and learn some managing skills so that when she went back, she was able to deal with her inattention. She's now a senior in college - going for art education! She's going to be a teacher! LOL
     
  8. jaigner

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    I agree that schools are unable to personalize attention like many children need, although they are doing better.

    But there are a number of children who cannot settle their bodies or their minds. You can spank the crap out of them and it won't help, and it will only damage your relationship with your child. For some of these children, medications can be a helpful tool. In fact, medication has been shown to be the only really effective treatment of ADHD symptoms.

    It's foolish to think that we can just train or "beat" the ADHD out of one of these children. It's also abusive.

    And there are no doubt times when ADHD is misdiagnosed, but I think it is also missed a lot, because not every child has the hyperactive component. Children who are docile physically, but who cannot quiet their brains well-enough to learn may also benefit from medication.

    My opinion is that children shouldn't take meds they don't need, but it makes sense for them to be on meds that help them be successful.
     
  9. annsni

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    I don't believe anyone here says that we need to beat ADHD out of a child. Instead, we need to work with their bents and find the best way for them to learn. For some kids with ADHD, it might be having them do things orally while they are exercising. Or maybe give them something to hold and squeeze while they are working. Or for the inattentive child, I found classical music to be beneficial as was just a constant presence and coaching. But those are the things the schools just can't do. They literally put my daughter into a box - taped a large box to her desk so that she couldn't see anyone or interact with them during her work. This was in first grade. But then the box itself - or the paper - or the pencil would distract her. She was just easily distracted. Yes, I could have medicated her but I chose instead to work on her behavior instead. She's a B student in college now, having learned how to manage herself and she's done very well.
     
  10. jaigner

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    I agree with you for the most part, and it's beyond inappropriate to put a box around a child. All those other things you're talking about do help in a lot of cases. I'm never supportive of unnecessary medication, but some children need, need, need it, because their brain chemistry is out of whack.
     
  11. freeatlast

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    I don't agree. 100 years ago there was no such thing and some children just had to be disciplined more often. We have become a society that tries to train up children with drugs instead of how the bible teaches us.
     
  12. jaigner

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    100 years ago, they didn't know about brain chemistry. 100 years ago, they didn't know how to manufacture medications. 100 years ago, they just beat kids (which is NOT the Bible's way) into submission and used repressive tactics to keep kids out of the way. Nobody is saying you shouldn't discipline your kids, but ADHD kids are not bad kids, they need extra special attention and care.
     
    #12 jaigner, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  13. annsni

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    I wouldn't make "scientific truth" as gospel because their "truth" changes with so many things including popular culture.

    But I would really bet that a full 3/4 of the children who are currently diagnosed as "ADHD" or "ADD" are not at all. Many are the product of indulgence, "parent friends" and sin instead of a chemical imbalance.
     
    #13 annsni, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  14. Scarlett O.

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    ADD and ADHD are very, very real. Those who have no experience with children and don't believe that these conditions are genuine will never be convinced, so I won't bother trying here.

    Public schools fail everyone who isn't an ideal child? Again, I have no idea why some like to broadbrush us teachers as incompetent pagans. It's disheartening.

    Three years ago, I had three ADHD 6th graders out of 30. They were the worst cases that I ever had. You would have to see it to believe it. The constant tapping of the pencil against the head, the incessant biting of the lip, tearing of the notebooks, the inability to spit out a complete sentence, the incoherent writing, and extreme difficulty in self-management - of any kind. It's like sitting in a room with someone who is high as a kite on speed.

    The 6th grade boy's mother took him off of the meds because it was stunting his growth and they did not like the side effects. That's fine. I agreed with them and supported that decision.

    But then that put a strain on my already overtaxed responsibilities. But I did not fail that boy. I allowed him to get out of his seat and sharpen his pencil even when it did not need sharpening and I allowed him to get water when he needed it. He didn't need the water, but forcing him to sit still was cruel and I refused to do it. I found that allowing him to move when he needed to without distracting others helped.

    And he was quite bright. ADD and ADHD children typically are brighter than average. They just can't manage expressing their intellect because their thoughts are so helter-skelter.

    The 6th grade girl suffered a few unexpected seizures in September of that year and could not take ADHD meds and anti-seizure meds at the same time. So she was taken off the ADHD meds and it was a nightmare. That's the kindest way I know to put it.

    She enjoyed answering questions in class and could reason and rationalize very well, but to get an answer from her was painful to listen to and required much patience. Many times, she just gave up and said, "never m..m..mind". I would say, "Just try again and I'll start your answer and you finish it."

    It helped. I also did not fail her. I gave her tests in small sections and with the exception of reading tests, I or someone else read them aloud and she answered them.

    These children cannot organize easily - not their thoughts, their speech, their behaviors, nor their stuff.

    I dare you to find someone who has an ADD or ADHD child and spend some time talking to the family and to the child.

    Currently, I have 108 middle school students. Five of them are ADD or ADHD. It's tough. One of them has a processing disorder which makes it even worse. He literally cannot take a test without my explaining each and every problem to him over and over. But he can play the piano by ear brilliantly. He'll never learn to read music. And he is the kindest, most moral, and most amiable 14 year boy who looks like a young Grizzly Adams. I'm not failing him either.

    I've never considered my ADD'/ADHD children or any of my children with disabilities to be "non-ideal". The very notion of labeling them as such is offensive to me.

    Some of you need to get to know some of these "non-ideal" children. And some of you need to get to know the truth about many of our wonderful public schools.

    I'm not blanketly defending the public school system because some of them are truly flawed and I wouldn't send a dog there.

    But I am tired of those who blanketly trash what I do and what so many others just like me do every day. You have no clue the sacrifices we make to give ALL children a fighting chance.

    It's not a war zone nor a mission field. It's a school - with an academic setting and a character-building setting.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    One more thing -

    You want the truth about "failing" the "non-ideal" student? Talk to the private school and "Christian" schools in my area who won't take a child with a disability because they don't want to have to deal with them.

    My own choir director at my church whose daughter attends one of the Christian schools that I taught at several years ago and who serves on the board of that school said to me a few weeks ago, "You know, I resent the fact that my daughter has a special needs child in her class. I pay good money for tuition and my daughter shouldn't have to be around those kind of kids."

    My jaw hit the floor.

    He continued and said, "We are a private school and I am not in favor of taking those kids."

    My reply was, "But you are supposedly a Christian school. Does that mean anything to you?"

    He merely grunted.
     
    #14 Scarlett O., Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  15. annsni

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    Scarlett - Thank you so much for being willing to work with the students you have. My daughter's teachers were wonderful but with her really needing the one-on-one attention (and the fact that she was just 7 years old), the school really couldn't do that in a class with 20+ kids. It was much better for me to take her home and give her that attention.

    But many teachers aren't like you. Honestly, it makes me sad. Again, thank you for working in your student's strengths and weaknesses.
     
  16. Aaron

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    :thumbs::thumbs:. Would say a much greater ratio, but your point is taken.
     
  17. Scarlett O.

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    Thank you.

    The girl in question in my above post would have been more successful had she been homeschooled - at least through elementary school.

    But her parents were VERY stressed over her situation and also did not feel competent enough to do the job. She was very difficult to handle and the mother and father admitted that had they had to teach her AND raise her that they could not have done it successfully. I couldn't find fault with that. Not with the serverity of her condition.

    But we stayed in constant contact and I spoke to at least one of her parents daily when they picked her up.

    I've always admired competent homeschoolers, but these particular parents truly could not have done it.

     
  18. annsni

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    I can attest to how difficult it is but I'd not ever have done anything differently. My daughter needed the confidence before she went back to school (she went back in 9th grade) and it worked great for her. As I said, she's a senior in college now and she's doing really well - to become a teacher. :D
     
  19. jaigner

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    Why in the world would you think this? You've obviously never worked in a classroom. And it is radically undiagnosed in adults.
     
  20. Aaron

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    Don't tell my former students that.
     

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