He drew back his hand to hit, but hesitated when he saw the fear in his son's eyes
June 3, 2002

Hi Mr. Riak:

First, let me say "thank you" for all of the materials you recently sent for my parenting workshop. I had an opportunity to speak to eighty-eight parents (forty-four couples) at an intense weekend workshop. Of course, many were shocked that I would even suggest not spanking children, but, with much prayer and my deep conviction, I think I really impressed/convinced the vast majority. The post workshop comments were quite encouraging.

There were many professional in the group, one of which was a lawyer who really tried to challenge me during the workshop. His wife spoke to me immediately after the workshop, thanking me profusely for speaking on the "spanking" topic. She indicated that it was a problem/conflict in their household. The day after the workshop, the husband phoned me to say that as he had drawn back his hand to strike his one-year old that morning. My words came to his mind and he could not do it. In his moment of hesitation, he said that he could see so much fear in his young son's eyes that it not only cause him not to hit his son, but, made him (the father) break down and weep. He stated that his father had always beat him and all of his siblings and that was all he knew to do regarding disciplining. He thanked me for giving him some alternatives.

I had the feeling that if I'd only reached that one person, who had such strong feelings about spanking, etc., all of my efforts (and yours) had been worth it.

I also had a child psychologist in the group, to whom I gave your web address. She said she wanted to get some of your materials to distribute to the parents with whom she works.

Secondly, thanks for all of the related papers, positions, articles, etc., that you continue to send. The story about the judge who found it acceptable to bite a child was most disgusting. As my father use to say, "Seems like some of us, regardless of education and position, are going out of the world backwards."

You take care. I read the "Old Woman in a Shoe," to everyone that I'm with over five minutes. (smile) I love it!

Evonne Blakey


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