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Wentzville Mom Spanked Kids With Belt, Wooden Paddle, Police Say

Police said a belt imprint was plainly visible three days after children were spanked by their 45-year-old mother, who is being charged with two counts of child abuse.

A Wentzville woman was charged with spanking her children with a belt and a wooden paddle, leaving bruises on their thighs.

Betty Gage, 45, of the 1300 block of Meadow Ridge in , was charged Aug. 10 with two counts of child abuse.

said in a report that Gage used a belt with a metal buckle and a hand-carved wooden paddle to spank the children on April 13, “causing significant injuries including bruising on the children’s thighs.”

Although three days lapsed between the incident and discovery of the injuries, “two children had a clear imprint of the belt used on their thighs,” police said in the report.

The children are ages 10, 7 and 5 years old.

Bond was set at $1,000.

Mark Ford August 26, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Good points Doug, but articles like this also give me an opportunity to enter a conversation that has been mostly one-sided in the public discourse. Thirty years ago the vast majority of parents spanked, but Dr Spock and others called out that vast majority and directly contradicted the Bible with their ideas. Ideas have consequences. Now, the masses have rejected Scripture and followed "the experts." Where has that gotten us? Still, I say again there is obviously a right and wrong way to spank and it sounds like the person in question was on the wrong side of that, but jail?
Matt C August 27, 2012 at 03:22 AM
I have to agree. If she was excessively spanking her kids, then arrest was warranted. However, based on this article, she was not excessive. Shame on the Wentzville police departmemt if this was a simple matter of a mother disciplining her children in her own home. The time out generation has gotten out of hand. These are the same brats that shoot up schools because they didn't have any friends. This world is teaching our children that there are no significant consequences for their actions.
Jenny Golz August 27, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Although three days lapsed between the incident and discovery of the injuries, “two children had a clear imprint of the belt used on their thighs,” police said in the report. 10,7 and 5. Babies. That isnt excessive? It scares me how anyone thinks that is ok. A spanking doesnt leave belt marks. So scary to be that young and have your mom hurt you like that. There are more methods other then hitting your kids to get them to be respectful and have good manners.
Mark Ford August 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I respect anyone's opinion, but 10, 7 and 5 are not babies by any definition. In fact, somewhere around 10 would be the age where I wouldn't spank a kid anymore. We spanked our kids a few times when they were probably 3-8. Granted, at 3 it was more of a tap on the behind, but still enough that the threat of it almost always stopped them in their tracks. As they got older the belt was required for it to be effective. I always tried to make it sting, never to actually do damage. Sure it was the hardest things I've ever done and sometimes I cried right along with them. Usually they would come to me afterward and we would hug each other and I would tell them how hard it was to do, but explain why it is necessary. If they didn't come to me, I went to them. After around 8 or so, no more spankings were needed. My kids probably got less then 6 or 7 spankings total. That's because spanking works. It's a heck of a lot better than yelling at them louder and louder while they continue to disobey. Let me ask this question... When they refuse to sit in time out, what do you do? Threaten another time out? Use emotional manipulation? Bribe them?I've seen these very things happen. Kids today disobey their parents to their face right in front of God and everyone and most (certainly not all) parents who don't spank basically have no clue what to do to stop it. The Bible says discipline is painful for a short season, but protects a child from worse pain later on.... Boy is that ever true.
Jenny Golz August 27, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Hi Mark. I think yelling and manipulation also do nothing. I take a different approach. I talk to them. I keep calm. I try to look at and for the real reason they are acting up. My kids are amazing (of course I am biased :) ) They have wonderful manners and are respectful. Teachers and parents compliment me all the time. Heck even the maintenance man did the other day. I work as a parent to try to see what causes the inner turmoil inside them. I let them talk..express themselves and we go from there. Sure, sometimes it takes a cooling off period to approach it with the right mind set. I show them respect. I cant tell you exactly why it has worked. I didnt follow a book, just what felt right to me. My kids are 13,10 and 8. I feel marks on a child..clearly defined marks after 3 days...is excessive...and scary. Just my opinion.
Mark Ford August 27, 2012 at 03:10 PM
No problem Jenny. Thanks for being respectful. I respect you, too. I'm glad to hear about your kids and like I said some parents do figure it out without spanking. I don't wish to argue any more with you about it. You have earned my respect since obviously my opinions probably are extremely hard for you to hear and yet you have not lashed out. God bless.
Amber Y August 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I agree with Jenny - horrific to do this to your children. There are many other options out there to teach your children right from wrong. I think sometimes it comes down the simple mindedness of the parent.. or doing to their child as they have had done to them. That doesn't make it right. Think beyond physical punishment. It takes intellect. It might be helpful to note that this mother was also in the Patch a few weeks back for stealing a TV or attempting to from Walmart. Safe to say she is not one the "spare the rod, spoil the child".. parents. She obviously has issues and they go deeper than beating her kids.
Mark Ford August 27, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Amber I must say I am far from simple minded and neither were my parents, nor was virtually the entire generation before us. As I said, do you really want to compare the parenting of today to the parenting of yesterday? You have a right to your opinion and you can parent as you wish. It's a free country. My point is that spanking in the proper way is NOT wrong and when the government can determine that a spanking was too hard, based on a belt mark, and on that basis arrest a mother, all of us should be very afraid. Why? Because it will be your view that is wrong tomorrow. Those of us who spank are tired of being told we "hit" our kids and that there are "more intelligent ways" and such utter nonsense. Where did these new philosophies come from and why should we believe them? As for me, I will take my cues from the Bible. Others can do as they wish, of course.
Child Advocate August 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM
If spanking works why did you have to move onto a belt? Gosh your post are so disturbing.
Doug Smith August 28, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Couldn't agree more Mark. Again, I don't know all the circumstances of this particular case, but we should all be alarmed by the utter abrogation of personal freedoms to the hands of the ever-increasing and powerful state. When we elect to allow the state to punish philosophies we view as "simple-minded" or "horrific", then we put in the crosshairs our own viewpoints which others may not find appealing. Thanks also Mark for keeping the tone of the conversation civil, despite receiving some base and unfounded remarks.
Doug Smith August 28, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Child Advocate, Mark is in no way a "sick person" nor does he "need help." I can also assure you that he certainly never has nor never would abuse his or anyone else's children. Your comments reek of ignorance and a judgmental tone unbecoming one who says s/he is educated. Additionally, the fact that you neither have the courage to use your name and are making fallacious generalizations about a person you do not even know suggests more about you than it does about Mark.
Ginger Scherrer August 28, 2012 at 05:46 AM
I totally agree. I'm 50 years old now and was whipped with a belt more than a few times as a child.Thinking back on it , I deserved it. Lite a fire in the middle of my grandmas living room floor, locked mt grandpa in the barn of which he wasn't missed for hours. Maybe my Dad was more than a bit extreme with these belt whippings but looking back I deserved it. I grew up to have total respect for people, but never used a belt on my girls. Yeah I spanked them a few times but they have grown up to be respectful,polite and great parents.Seems to me that the problem with lots of kids these days is the adults who don't take time to be parents. Supervision of our children goes along way.Too many parents think that being their kids friend is cool. I f you get what I mean.
Julie Worley August 28, 2012 at 03:19 PM
See Shocking Brutally Violent U.S. Public School Spanking/Corporal Punishment (Sexual Assault) Injuries to students Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade at YouTube Video Trailer for Documentary “The Board of Education” by Jared Abrams Corporal Punishment is Illegal in Schools in 31 U.S. States. Corporal Punishment is Prohibited by Federal Law for use against convicted Felons in ALL U.S. Prisons! See 2008 Report "A Violent Education" by Human Rights Watch and ACLU for disturbing facts such as 10yr old Tim paddled 2xs 3 days mom had to pull underwear off from dried blood genitals bruised & swollen States where school employees legally beat kids with wooden boards no safety standards no legal remedy for injuries AL AZ AR CO FL GA ID IN KS KY LA MS MO NC OK SC TN TX WY see dont hit students dot com
Mark Ford August 28, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Dear so-called "Child Advocate..." I will not respond in kind. Your personal attacks are hurtful and upsetting, of course, and I could certainly react with venom of my own, or defend myself and my wonderful older children, but I choose not to do so. I do need to point out that you are incorrect about your interpretation of the word "rod" in Scripture, as one of many verses I could quote should make clear. The Bible says, 13 Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them. 14 Physical discipline may well save them from death. Proverbs 23:13-14 (NLT) Feel free to read this in any translation and you'll get the same message. I am sorry that you do not like what the Bible teaches on this subject, but that does not change the fact. I realize most of America doesn't care what the Bible says these days. However, since you have claimed to be a Bible-believing Christian, I thought it would be good for you to know that, like it or not, the Bible most certainly encourages physical discipline. That is simply not debatable. I would add that spanking is much less damaging than the kind of emotional attack that you have demonstrated yourself to be capable of. To everyone else: Thanks for the open, honest and civil debate. I think I'll sign off at this point rather than to continue a fight that is going nowhere.
Mark Ford August 28, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Oh wait... heh heh... meant to mention in response to the "read something" admonition from "Child Advocate," that there are countless books, web articles, magazine articles, organizations and mounds of research that strongly support and advocate spanking. It is you who have not considered the other side of the issue, as is clear in your utter disbelief and shock at the thought that anyone out there still believes in spanking. Google up "Focus On the Family" for a stronger case than that which I have made.
Doug Smith August 28, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Julie, I'm sure you intended some point in this rambling mess of cut and paste links, but I really don't believe anyone here would advocate that a mother who would cause her child the type of injuries described in the second link was physically disciplining in love. We all recognize the dichotomy that exists in spanking for the purpose of correcting behavior so that a child grows to live a fulfilling life and beating a child. I'm taking it that you cannot conceive that many parents have the ability to parent according to biblical standards without delving into "beating kids with wooden boards". That you are forced to the extreme when searching for answers/arguments suggests an inability to discuss the issue on any intellectual platform.
Doug Smith August 28, 2012 at 09:37 PM
I think what troubles me most about this debate is what bothers me so much about the tenor of discourse in our society. So few people are actually willing to take a stand for something and argue and debate that stand intelligently and rationally. Rather, what mostly is derived from any public fora is a series of comments that tear down, gripe, complain, and find fault with the person/people who actually take a stand. I'm not sure if this issue is a matter of intellectual laziness, an inability to think beyond the pejorative, or simply the fact that those willing to take a stand rarely subject themselves to the vitriol and leave public fora mostly to folks who like to spout off politically correct or socially acceptable dogma without having a true basis for that belief.
Tamara Duncan August 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Patch welcomes your comments and respects everyone's right to their opinion, but please keep it civil. Our terms of use are available through the link at the bottom of the page.
Mark Ford August 29, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Just felt like late comers to this conversation should be made aware that the editor kindly chose to remove an offensive comment from one o the contributors. Some of my comments refer back to that comment so they may now seem confusing. Thx.
Kim August 30, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I don't spank. I've had my kid on a behavioral plan since his was 2 1/2 and it works just fine. There are so many tools available to train kids to be well behaved. I don't see the point of hitting them when I'd punish them for hitting someone else. If you're interested, I currently use the behavioral plan at www.threestarbehavioralplan.com
Liz Underhill September 05, 2012 at 09:07 PM
The old testament does say a lot of other things besides sparing the rod and spoiling the child...that we Christians don't do today....We have cherry picked what we follow. I believe that Jesus taught us a new way on a lot of issues. In the old testament they justified killing people. I believe that Jesus would have us model our own best behavior with regard to handling conflict with our spouses and friends so that our children see that and then to use one or more of the methods that we are taught child development classes to deal with our children. I never laid a hand on my daughter to spank....and it did take more time to use some of the other methods but I and a whole group of my friends used prayer, consistency, modeling good behavior and kindness ourselves and other discipline methods mentioned in most child behavior books and these methods worked beautifully. Our kids were not perfect, but they turned out better in most cases than people who were hit....Also, they didn't have their spirits broken or weren't inspired to hit their brothers or sisters as sometimes occurs in children being spanked....they think it's ok because their parents use hitting during a conflict. I respect that others may truly believe that it's ok to spank, and at least they are doing something, not letting their kids get by with no discipline, but I don't believe it's the best and most spiritually helpful.
Liz Underhill September 05, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Good for you Kim...it takes a lot more time and energy sometimes to use other behavioral plans, but it is so worth the effort. Also, the type of behavioral plan you are discussing isn't likely to turn children against God and church like folks who like to talk "Old Testament:" talk about sparing the rod and spoiling the child....More kids turn away from spiritual training because they can't conceive of how God would sanction hitting even if the child has does something wrong. I am glad to see that someone is putting a lot of thought and energy into something other than hitting their child as a deterrent. Whether spanking is a deterrent or not can be debated after looking at the research, but even if it is a deterrent to an action a parent didn't like spanking may be a deterrent to the child actually thinking through impulse control etc when they are angry themselves.
tressafree September 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Liz, not everyone who was spanked as a child was turned against God and church. It's not about hitting; it's about discipline and retraining the mind and spirit to behave in socially acceptable ways. Not every child responds to reasoning. Children who have ADD or ADHD sometimes do things that put themselves or others in physical danger - I know because I raised a son with ADHD - and, for him, a spanking helped to reset his behavior when it got out of control. If discipline, including spanking, is handled with the proper attitude and surrounded by teaching and love, it can help to shape behavior in ways that reasoning with a child who may not be emotionally mature enough for such methods cannot achieve. I've seen children who are disciplined with behavioral methods having screaming fits and temper tantrums in the store or a restaurant while Mom or Dad tries to "reason" with them. You're fortunate that you weren't blessed with a strong-willed child. As for me, my son is fortunate that his mother believed in spanking as part of a discipline plan; he is now an adult with good manners, a strong work ethic, and a respect for authority.
D'Aundray Lewis October 01, 2012 at 02:19 AM
And i knew her. She did use to tear them kids up
ESH1974 November 05, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I was just thinking... My dad did the same thing to me as a child (I'm 38 now), and he was far from being the only Dad around to do it. It was kind of the point, if I had done something bad enough to warrant the paddle to that degree, the bruises, and post paddling soreness were all part of the punishment. It definitely served its purpose, and stuck with me, and you can bet I thought twice before deliberately misbehaving. I didn't want to earn a punishment of that level again!
ESH1974 November 05, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Agreed, completely. Im also not a huge fan of spanking. I will do so, under certain circumstances. And quite honestly, not to the degree I received as a child. But that is due to my own cowardice, I simply can't bring myself to cause my children that level of discomfort. But, our rule is, when it comes to safety, if you disobey the rules, you will receive a paddling. Seems to be working well enough, although, I do have to agree. Children do not have the same level of respect for adults as we did when I was a child.
ESH1974 November 05, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Mark, you are obviously an intelligent man. I respect the way in which you have delivered your opinion. Yes, I happen to agree with you, for the most part. But even if I did not, I respect the calm and respectful manner in which you reply to other posts directed your way on this board. Thank you.
ESH1974 November 05, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I have to add in to this yet again. I'm a Christian, however I'm not a person who lives it as a large part of my daily life. My parents were Christian, however that is not why i was spanked. My parents did not pull out the paddle for my every infraction, only the more serious ones. And, often there was discussion as to whether or not it was truly a misbehavior worth corporal punishment. I personally detest paddling my children, but, if they have knowingly violated one of the more sacred rules I have set in place for them (the ones pertaining to their personal safety!) They know that if caught they will receive a paddling. It's also thankfully not a lesson I have had to repeat often in their lives -Thank goodness! My opinion that is, like many other things should be practiced in moderation, and the children should be fully well aware that a paddling is the punishment they are risking with their behaviors and actions.
ESH1974 November 05, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Well, then it sounds like her punishment was befitting... And as the gentlemen previously stated, it would be nice to see more detail in the originating article.
ESH1974 November 05, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Kim, thank you for posting the link, I'm going to look further into the plan. I like the sound of it from my initial scan of the site! :)

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