As a parent, I had a lot of ideas of how I would raise my son. Then reality set in. I have shouted more than I wanted to, ranted, been rude, unkind, and have used time-out chairs when I know in my heart that just doesn’t feel right for us. I have done these things and tried to convince myself that it was okay because it was teaching him discipline. But with the summer heat approaching, and my patience growing thinner by the day with other people’s nonsense and unsolicited parenting advice, I have to call BULLSHIT on my mistakes in parenting. I also have to call bullshit on the argument that hitting children creates well-behaved individuals. It. Does. Not. I do not agree with inflicting pain to produce positive results. I do not care what justification you have, or who you think you are helping, or whether or not you think you “turned out fine and [you] got spanked as a child”. Are you fine? Are you really? Allow me to be be blunt: You are far from fine!
If you walk around mad at the world, you are not fine. If you think everyone in the world should do what you say or else you are going to get angry, shut them out, disappear for a few days to your mama’s house because she is currently overseas (wink, wink) YOU ARE NOT FINE. Sweet cheese and crackers, how could a person behave in such a hateful manner and claim to be fine? Claim to have been raised in a loving home? You sound like you were raised by wolves!
It is not okay to hit your children, and as sure as the sun sets in the west – it is not okay to hit MY CHILDREN. If anyone has an issue with Rock and Sky – it seems so crazy to see these words in front of me, to even suggest that a grown ass person could have an issue with a 5- or 2-year old child to the point they have to hit them – come see about me. Try to hit me, and see how far you get. Better yet, if you cannot figure out how to manage two small children for the brief time you spend with them without using your hands, or abusing your size – STAY AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN.
I have made my own share of mistakes, but I will be damned if my children learn that hitting is the answer to your problems. When Sky gets on her brother’s nerves, most of the time he talks it out with her, but sometimes he hits or shoves. I do not encourage that. So what do I do, shout in his face? Tell him he is a bad boy? Or maybe, just maybe, I can address him like I would a close friend – with compassion, kindness, and understanding. And I know what some people are thinking, because I used to think the same thing, “Parents are not here to be their children’s friends”. We aren’t? Then what are we here to be? The asshole overseer of their misery and dysfunction, who sits high and looks low? The person charged with raising functioning adults, who decides instead that because they got their ass beat, they have the right, or worse the duty, to do the same to their children? How do we expect our children to learn patience and to grow into adults who can handle tough times without becoming complete assholes, if abuse (physical, verbal, emotional, mental) is still the go-to? The best I can offer my son and daughter is a better version of me. And it is not easy, but nothing worthy ever is!
I have to tell myself daily, “You can be mad as you like, but do not take your bullshit out on your children”. That is what bathrooms are for (close the door behind you, lock it if you must). If you are mad, go in the toilet and cry, shout, breathe, hide, or take a pee to relieve your issues. Do not hit a defenseless child. We all know children are not going to hit us back, they may kick, scream, or cry, but when in the history of the world has a small child ever fought back…and won? You ain’t correcting shit, you are being a bully. And I refuse to accept your rhetoric as a justified response to assault a 2-year old who is learning who she is in this great big world, or a 5-year old who is still navigating through emotions, familial changes, and the adventure that is life as a human being.
If you have time to rant at your child for 10 minutes, you have time to work toward a peaceful solution. If you have the energy to shop for material things as a means of showing love to your children, you have energy to hug them and discuss with them the things they do that are not suitable or productive. This teaches effective problem solving, and conflict resolution. (Do you want little Tim to go around hitting everyone that gets on his nerves when he is big and grown? Be careful the seeds you plant.) This teaches them that you care, that you love them and that you respect them. Yes, I said respect. Because children are people after all.
Do not hit my children. And if you see me raising my voice, please step in, or better yet, offer support. And in the name of all things sparkly and fabulous: do not tell me to calm down. That is just dumb. Because never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down by being told to calm down. A hug on the other hand, does wonders.
If you made it to the end of this post, bless your heart. How you feel about it, well, that’s up to you. If you are offended, good. That means your sorry ass needs to do better. And if you think I am rude, that’s alright – because sometimes I am. When it comes to my Littles, and all the precious babies of the world, I have seen enough to know that cycles always continue until they are consciously broken. We have been asleep for too long, and it is time to WAKE UP. Don’t press snooze.