Monday, December 10, 2012

How NOT to Talk to Your Kids

Yesterday my family and I patronized a fairly family-friendly fast-food chain, and as we walked in I heard the following exchange between a father and his tween daughter:

Her:  So, I thought it would be really fun if--
Him:  EXCUSE ME?  WHAT DID YOU SAY?
Her:  (cowering a bit) I said, I thought it would be fun if--
Him:  I thought you said "funner."  And "funner" is NOT a word.

Oy.

I'll admit, my darlings are really trying lately (probably because I'm almost 26 weeks pregnant, Cat has turned back into Angry Teething Baby, and Bug is busy screaming at me every time he doesn't get his way), and I haven't been the kindest, gentlest parent.  But man oh man, when I heard that exchange I just cringed.  That poor girl was just trying to communicate with her father, and all he could do was criticize her for something that he misheard.

My kids have been driving me crazy, and I keep having to take a step back and resist my own impulses to ignore the whining and the crying and try and meet their needs, as well as explain what is acceptable and what isn't without losing my temper.  And it's hard work, y'all.  No question.  Do I mess up?  Oh, yes.  Won't lie.  But Jon has told me over and over again that one of the reasons he's so glad I'm his wife is because of how patient and loving I am with the kids...and so a lot of times I resist the impulse to lose my cool and scream at them when I remember his statement.

Listening to that dad made me sad, and made me vow to not talk to my children like that, ever.  I know I fail at times, which is why I apologize when I do something wrong.  But I don't want to be spoken to like that, and I'm pretty sure that dad wouldn't like it if someone talked down to him like that, either?  So why on earth would you treat someone in the polar opposite way from which you want to be treated?

1 comment:

  1. I try not to judge parents because I'm not one yet, but there are times when I am just horrified by them. The other day I was at Trader Joe's and this kid (probably about 4 years old) was jumping and running around the store (most likely because he was bored out of his mind and his mom wasn't paying one bit of attention to him). At one point, he bumped into me while flailing around. It was no big deal- he's a kid. Well, his mom FREAKED OUT on him. She was yelling, "What is wrong with you, Steven?! I told you to sit here and stop messing around. You are really pissing me off today!" I felt so bad for him. He's a little kid. And if that's how she speaks to him in public, I hate to see how it is at home. So, I decided to say something to make her realize how mean she was. I said, "It's no problem. He's just a kid." She shot daggers at me. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything, but I couldn't help it. I'm not saying she didn't need to address it, but I would've thought calmly asking him to apologize would've been the appropriate course of action. I understand kids can be frustrating, but saying something like that to a 4 year old just seems cruel.

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