What too much TV does to me.

Let me begin this by saying I know I’m not a perfect mom.  I am far from being perfect.  I don’t even strive for perfection because I am that far away from it…I aspire to be a good mom and mostly not to do irreversible damage.

Abuse, in any way, is something I am very passionate about.  NO ONE should have to live in fear of another human being.  No person has the right to hurt or harm anyone else in ANY way.  Something I’ve seen recently is parents becoming so frustrated with their children that they resort to using methods to shape behavior that inflicts pain.

I saw parents who put soap in their child’s mouth, made them hold hot sauce in their mouths, and even made them stand under a freezing cold stream of water as a punishment.   ANYTHING that a parent intentionally does that causes pain to their child is ABUSE.  To hear these children cries of pain is torture.

I hope and believe this is the exception and not the rule.  However, we all have an ugly side of ourselves as parents and if we don’t look at the extremes then we can’t look inside ourselves to identify the abuse we put on our children.  And make no mistake, every parent abuses their child in some way.

Last week we were driving home.  Josh kept asking the same question over and over after I had asked him to stop.  I was tired.  I was stressed.  Finn started kicking my seat.  I screamed at him to stop.  As soon as the words had left my mouth, I cringed.  I work very hard to not get to that point with Finn, unless it is a dangerous situation (such as screaming at him to stop if heads out to the street or reaches up to put his hand on a burning stove).

We were only blocks away from home.  I overreacted and I took it out on Finn, whose actions hadn’t warranted my reaction.  I simply could have asked him to stop kicking my seat and he most likely would have stopped.  He just picked a bad moment.  I don’t want him to live in fear of knowing the smallest action is going to set me off.  One day it’s one thing and the next day it’s something different.  It’s like trying to avoid stepping on a land mine while walking across a field.

My heart hurt.  As soon as we got home I got him out of the car and I squatted down so I was at his level and I told him that I didn’t like what he did but I was sorry that I yelled at him.  I told him it was not ok or kind of me to yell.

I expect Finn to apologize and admit his mistake when he makes one.  The very least I can do as his mother is to practice what I preach.  It’s one of the very valuable gifts my mother gave me…knowing that even parents aren’t perfect.  This has not been the only instance that I have been ashamed of my actions as a mother.  If anyone says they haven’t made any mistakes, (and their child is older than 4 hours) they are lying.  However, I attempt to make less and less mistakes each day and overall I feel very proud of the mother I am.

The severity and kind of abuse is on a sliding scale.  It’s human.  If we don’t get to where we’re uncomfortable and shaken, then we can’t truly assess our actions as parents in a true way.  Too many actions are swept under the rug and regarded as “harmless.”

Only when we are shocked, honest, and aware can we look inside ourselves to see our demons.

Only with true honesty can we change.

There is no worse bully than a parent who bullies their child.

When consequences become about punishment more than teaching, the line is crossed.  As parents we have to be vigilant about how we teach our kids and what we are teaching our kids.  We made the choice to have kids and so we are responsible for making them into the best version of themselves.

I don’t understand why people don’t get that if they are intentionally inflicting pain onto their child, it’s abuse.  PERIOD.  END OF THE STORY.  What does abuse teach kids?  I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume these kids learn to deal with their anger by being physically aggressive at school.

Here is a video of one of the shows I watched.  I was really torn about putting it on here or not, I certainly don’t want to publicize this.  It is SO difficult to watch.  I can’t watch it…I have to take it in small doses and I have a high tolerance.  I forced myself to watch it before I put it on here…I’m not exaggerating when I say I can’t watch the entire video without stopping and taking breaks.  Just wanted to give you fair warning, if you can NOT watch it, I really encourage you not to.  Be prepared before you press play.

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6 Responses to What too much TV does to me.

  1. BLOGitse says:

    That woman is not normal.
    This is pure abuse.
    Horrible.
    Fear is one of the best weapons we humans use against each others.
    But how any adult can be this cruel to her own child…sick!

    Fear is one of the best weapons we humans use against each other…how true.
    :) Kate
    BLOGitse recently posted..from Helsinki to Casablanca…My Profile

  2. Mama Zen says:

    I had to stop the video.

    How can anyone think that that is normal or okay or even human?

    Blows my mind. NOT normal. NOT ok. NOT human.
    :) Kate
    Mama Zen recently posted..Kiss The CookMy Profile

  3. I had to stop watching the video as well. It just broke my heart right from the beginning :(

    I couldn’t believe it.
    :) Kate
    Constructive Attitude recently posted..If you havent met Chuckle- then heres your introductionMy Profile

  4. nelson says:

    OMG. How can a parent do that to her own child? Was she thinking that she’s doing her son a favor, so he’ll learn from his mistakes? My heart just broke too. That mother really needs some counselling otherwise her actions and words will destroy her son. I have a son too and whenever there were times that he tests my temper, I close my eyes and pray to God to guide me in choosing the right words to tell him. And I will never hurt him. That was a promise I made in one my posts –
    http://digitalcatharsis.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/a-letter-to-my-baby/

    I read the letter you wrote to your son. It was beautiful and you were so right on with expressing the feelings of soon-to-be-parents. It’s a treasure and one I know your son will value greatly when he reads it.

    :) Kate
    nelson recently posted..How Do I Stay FocusedMy Profile

  5. Juana says:

    I had to stop at the shower. Please tell me this child was taken away from her….Please tell he was taken away!!! Oh, GOD…this is heartbreaking, my stomach has turned.
    Why are these children given in adoption to parents like that? Why? Why? Why!!!
    I am so mad I wish I could put the hot sauce in her mouth, and make her swallow the whole bottle, and shove her in the shower, and whatever else she has done to that child…I know that’s wrong too…and I would probably take her straight for help, but
    RIGHT NOW I don’t know what I would do if I had her in front of me….This has
    disturbed me too much…it’s going to haunt me.
    This is a tough post, but one that should be read by everyone. It can’t all be fun and laughter in life…
    Thank you

    It’s a really hard thing. That’s for sure. Interesting fact –this boy was a twin and he and his brother had had been adopted from Russia. So yes, I had to pick up my jaw from the floor. This isn’t even her son. I don’t know where the family is right now, but at the end of the show they planned to get her lots of support (obviously very needed), but he was going to stay with the family. What makes this story even more heartbreaking is that this boy has very serious disorders which his “mother” knew which means that she was torturing him when she knew he couldn’t really choose different behavior.

    To me that’s equivalent to putting hot sauce in an infant’s mouth because he peed in his diaper…or put him under freezing cold water.

    My favorite part of the show (wasn’t shown in this clip) was when a person said that the “mother” was a liar and was so upset about the boy lying. She pointed out that by adopting him she promised to care for him, love him, and protect him. Obviously those promises weren’t being followed through on…so it would stand to reason that she deserves her consequences.

    Another part that greatly disturbed me about this (even though I hope this isn’t normal…because she is seriously sick) is that as a teacher I would use tools where I knew the kids would be getting in trouble at home (not anything like this…I assumed privileges were removed or they would go into time-out). I used kids parents if it would motivate the kids to behave. I would be so sick if I knew that what I told the parents or the communication I sent home was used to justify actions such as these…acts of hatred against a child. I don’t know who his teacher is…but if she saw this…it must have broken her heart. I am not saying the teacher is at fault here…I’m sure the “mother” would have found other excuses to use this abuse…but still, knowing you had a part in it…I don’t know how you live with that.

    :) Kate

  6. maggie says:

    My mum definitely never apologized to me for yelling at me when the situation didn’t really warrant yelling… She definitely did some borderline questionable things. I don’t think I turned out to bad for the regular spankings, but I definitely grew up with a lot of fear.

    Couldn’t watch the video (literally, doesn’t work), but judging from the comments I don’t think I really wanted to :(

    You didn’t turn out bad at all…if there was research that said regular spankings and yelling produced children like you…I will get on that band wagon!!
    :) Kate

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