My partner recently brought something to my attention. I’m honestly baffled that he noticed it before I did… That it bothered him so much that he was ANGRY by the time he filled me in…
He didn’t like the way some people talked to our kid, not one bit. And, neither did I when I realized that he wasn’t being dramatic but that I was subconsciously trying to brush it off & “not make a big deal out of it”… (Confrontation kind of sucks most times)
It wasn’t kind. It was necessary. It wasn’t respectful.
Can I just ask a question? Well, I’m going to either way so, bear with me as I foresee a bit of a rant coming on…
Why is it okay to talk to children in a manner that we would never talk to other adults in?!?
Yeah. Exactly. It’s NOT okay.
Now, let me be clear. This is coming from a less than perfect mom. Have you seen that sponsored post on your newsfeed with the tee that says “world’s okayest mom?” Well, feel free to send one my way cause’ I truly believe it depicts me best. What I’m trying to say is, I still slip & use baby talk sometimes. I still lose my shit sometimes (more than I’d like to admit.) I sound super annoying when I’m trying to find a way to make sense of or show my toddler something & then realize he knows better than I do… Just to remind you that we’re all on a level playing field here…
While I totally remind myself on a very regular basis that talking to my son like he is less than, owes me anything or isn’t well, human? Isn’t okay, I need to remember this. Because I know how easy it is to underestimate him without intentionally doing so or forget that being his parent doesn’t mean using authority to control him… But, he understands, he feels, he hears, he is involved in the conversations… Just like WE ARE – Us adults, us fellow humans standing right in front of them.
The problem is. Other people forget. Family, friends, even total strangers. And, I haven’t quite mastered how to gently point that out or umm… Ask them to STOP %&$#?@! talking to my kid like that?!?
It happens a lot now that I’ve taken notice. The moms who step in to referee every 2 seconds at the playground, the family member who never has anything all that nice to say or the friends, who goodness do we love them but just because they have 5 more kids than we do, don’t need to include our son in their commandment round up…
Can we all just agree to stop parenting each other’s kids? If so, that’d make my life a whole lot easier since I want to scream at you but instead I wait until you’re gone & get all crazy about it to my boyfriend when I get home…
When our children are playing gleefully at the playground & yours gets a little too rough with mine, I can just about promise you that I’ll wait it out a minute or ten. Cause’ chances are they will either realize they were just being a little over zealous with the sand or get over it. If that’s not the case, they might say something to each other… Yeah, they might just work it out, talk about their feelings & *gasp* say sorry without being coached to do so. And, if all else fails, they’ll likely come running up to one or both of us, to which I’ll reply to my son, “please don’t tattle on your friend. As long as you’re not hurt or in danger, I don’t want to hear it. Respect his body & ask him to please respect yours. Now go back to playing.”
BUT, when my son gets a little too rough with your kid, as they do… and you try to CONTROL the situation like you have some magical super powers that turn children into little puppets that do whatever you tell them… And well, you take it upon yourself to tell my son what he can & cannot do, it upsets me.
Now, you might have a slightly different way of doing things & that is A OKAY. I am seriously the best advocate for saying, “What works for one may not work for all…”
But since we can all be so different & I feel different things, I must tell you how I feel… It upsets me when you accuse him of something he didn’t do, when you uninvitedly offer assistance when he is fully capable, when you tell him he is something he is not or even when you yell or raise your voice at him for hitting your kid.
Sometimes my kid is wrong. He does naughty things. He acts out. He says inappropriate words. He throws toys & tantrums and he even intentionally hurts other people at times.
He is learning to express himself – with our guidance.
Our guidance means, we are typically not too far away when these things happen & believe it or not, we are fully capable of taking action when needed. So, if I don’t jump to my feet to reprimand the situation as soon as the first shriek leaves one child’s mouth than don’t panic. If my eyes are glued to my cellphone instead of on my kid (which happens to all of us) than do me a solid & yell my way, not his. If you think my son did something you’d like to know about, ask him a simple question rather than interrogating him.
Our children are human.
They deserve respect, kindness, empathy, forgiveness, faith, grace & all the things that we deserve & expect as adults.
Can we all do a better job of offering this kind of exchange to our own children & in turn, not trying to parent anyone else’s?
PS: You know you were just waiting for someone else to say this so, you didn’t have to. I know how you feel… So, go ahead, click the share button & let my boldness do the confronting for you. You’re welcome 😉