redkitchenette

 
 
Oh Toddlerhood, how mixed are my feelings at your arrival...

   I try thinking back to those first few weeks as a mom and I wonder if I could have actually imagined getting frustrated with the little angel in my arms. I don't know that I was able to  picture the "watch me deliberately hit my head on this table/stuff a handful of toilet paper in my mouth/scream while trying to claw your eyes out because you won't let me stick my hand in your very hot coffee"-ness that could inhabit my fiery, spirited, strong-willed little girl. Oh yeah, she's going to be a handful. This is a journey that reminds me daily of how little control I have in this life, and how surprisingly beautiful that makes it. My need for lists and plans and knowing what comes next is not anything easily found in a 12 month old's world.  And that, my friends, is as it should be.

   I understand why parents struggle with finding an appropriate balance between allowing kids to be kids and maintaining the order they need to stay sane on a daily basis. It isn't always easy, and I only have one little one to corral (not to mention the magic weapons for tantrum ending underneath my shirt). I've seen, on more than one occasion, a frazzled mom give up and put the toy in the basket. I've seen the mom on the verge of tears while her kid screams and thrashes while other adults looks at her with contempt. I've seen moms abandon full grocery carts to take inconsolable children home after spending an hour or more just trying to buy food for their families. I always try and shoot them a sympathetic half smile, show them that sometimes there is empathy and solidarity with no judgment from another mama, because we all have our rough days.

  There are times, though, that some parents need to see the disapproval and judgment of the people around them.  I have on sadly numerous occasions seen stressed out, worn down moms hit unruly children to try and regain control over a situation. You can call it spanking, or swatting, or whatever you want. From where I stand, I see a grown-up physically attacking, as well as emotionally and mentally abusing, a child. I've heard the "I don't hit them hard enough to hurt them" argument. Well, if someone two, three, four, or more times my size was swinging a hand at me when it is presumably their job and their responsibility to love and nurture me, I think the damage being done would be much greater than just the immediate physical pain.

   Every mother is a mother by choice. There is (thankfully, rightfully) no law that says just because some guy managed to get his sperm in your egg, you have to become a mom. Regardless of how you feel about that, the option for a safe and legal way out is there. So when you choose to pop out a baby, and then you choose to keep that baby and raise it, you have an obligation to do the best you can for that little person.

   If someone's wife was acting in a manner that her husband found unacceptable and his response was to hit her to make her stop, would anyone say that it's okay?   Obviously, any sane person would say that it was abuse. Why do so many people think it's perfectly acceptable for an adult to perpetuate violence on a child but not on another adult? Children deserve to have their humanity respected just as much as adults do.

   What it boils down to is lazy parenting, in my opinion. Some people just can't be bothered to spend the energy to use consistency and exercise patience or to let go of their own desire for control enough to allow their children to behave like children. Let's stop, as a society, expecting children to act like adults and start expecting parents to do so. Let's stop giving our averted eyes, it's-none-of-my-business tacit approval to these adults' disrespectful, destructive assault their children's personhood.
 


Comments

Nice one info, thx

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01/28/2012 14:08

Good article bro

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03/23/2012 05:13

nice post

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03/24/2012 01:00

Great info, thx

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03/30/2012 20:00

Nice post bro

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07/16/2012 18:21

Fine article dude

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