Parenting in Zambia

Okay, so as a Valentine's gift I sent Kelly overnight to a beautiful area called Gwabi with Tim and Derek from our team for some relaxing man time away from the kids. Mostly I wanted him to get a good night's sleep and time with dudes. He is working really hard and I know he needs a break.

Anyway, the kids were up first thing in the morning and immediately they were off and running. Lucas especially was up to his usual shenanigans but even more so. Maybe because daddy was away, or who knows why, he decided that today would be the day that he would challenge and defy EVERY single thing I said to him. I would say that today was the most defiant and disobedient day of his short life.

Fortunately since the adoption I have been reading a lot of parenting books and have felt very fresh and prepared in the way I respond to his disobedience. I was trying to be consistent. For those of you who are anti-spanking out there, well, I sympathize, but this little man was getting some spankings today. And I'll tell you, he makes a lot of noise but shortly after a spanking you can see that he is just planning his next move. He asks for forgiveness and promptly "returns to his vomit" just like that dog I'm always hearing about.

Okay, so as if trying to train up your children in the way of the Lord isn't hard enough. My house-helper was obviously filled with disapproval. I know she thinks that I am far too strict with the kids (which is funny to me because I know a lot of Americans who would think I am too permissive). And she definitely seems to disapprove of spanking. So, to top my very difficult day off, she says to me, "I think that you should leave him alone. You are going to give him a fever from the crying."

Now, aside from the fact that this comment didn't make any sense to me, it also filled me with dread. I was immediately thinking paranoid thoughts that she is so disappointed in my parenting that she would complain to social welfare to have the girls taken away from us. I told her not to worry, that he was just fine.

Certainly I think Americans are just as good at giving unsolicited parenting advice, but today, I really didn't need to hear it. Now if I can just make until Kelly gets back tomorrow afternoon...


Rikki said…
oh tricia! i just said a prayer for you and lucas and the girls, that the Lord would bless you with strength and endurance, and that he would grant Lucas peace in his soul. i was just thinking today about how much it wears me out just trying to be consistent in disciplining my kids (even in the seemingly small things), so i'm sure when you introduce so many other factors of new adopted siblings, still a relatively new environment, etc, it must feel like a really big challenge. keep up the hard work!!!