When a kid does something wrong and a parent decides to discipline them by spanking/hitting them, screaming at them, putting them down, I want you to think about what that shows them.
Does it show them that when they do something that upsets their parents there will be a punishment? Yes
Does it show them that whatever they did was wrong? That’s open to debate
Does it show them that anger is an okay way to express themselves when they get upset? Very likely
Kids look up to their parents. They learn from them by watching how they interact in life. If a parent screams and throws things when they’re upset, the kid in turn will start to believe that’s the right way to handle a situation.
When a parent tells their kid enough times that they’re a loser, they start to believe it. When a parent hits or screams at their kid everytime they do something that upsets them, they start to believe that’s how those situations are handled.
None of us are perfect. I’m not standing on a milk crate, preaching about how great I am. I’m not saying that anyone who has ever disciplined their kids that way is a horrible person. I’m just saying that there are consequences to our actions. They may not be things that you see in your lifetime, but trust me they’re there. In most cases, actions speak louder than words.
My father was a good man, but he had a horrible temper. He hit me, screamed at me, and constantly put me down. I have been called a loser more times by my dad then any other person in my life. He told me I was a disappointment and an embarrassment, on numerous occasions. I now know he didn’t mean it and that he had no control over his temper. When he got pissed, he would go for the jugular. He would say the worse thing that came to his mind, without thinking twice about holding back. When he would finally calm down, many times, he would sit there and cry to me as he attempted to apologize. But the next time he got upset, he would do it again. He had many good qualities too, but his temper always tended to shine through. As he got older he mellowed out a lot, but that was my childhood in a nutshell.
I feel bad for my dad. He lived his life with so much pent up anger. He should’ve been in therapy and found another way to channel it, but he never did. He died a few years back. And he wasn’t a perfect man, but I did love him and I know that he loved me.
My mother told me years ago that the most unattractive feature a guy can have is a bad temper. Those words have stuck with me ever since. I don’t like being around people with bad tempers, so why would I expect someone else to?
My dad’s temper rubbed off on me. For years I would lose my temper, yell and scream, punch a wall, throw something, I’ve been in multiple fights and said some horrible things. It took some time, but I finally saw myself and I didn’t like it. I did what my father couldn’t do, I got myself into therapy. I talked through my issues. I found ways to calm down and to think before I acted. I’ve continued to grow as a person to the point where the angry person I was is almost unrecognizable to me.
I have a lot more growing to do. I still get upset. I make mistakes. I overthink many things in my life (sometimes to the degree where I overlook other meaningful things in the process). I can be spiteful and passive aggressive. And despite the ongoing battle to change this, I’m almost always late. I’m not trying to get down on myself, and I know that I’m only human. We all are.
I have a lot of love in my heart. I genuinely like to help people. I can spark up a conversation with almost anyone about anything and enjoy doing it. I’m a compassionate, loving guy and am lucky enough to have found someone whom I love that I’m building a life with.
It took a long time to realize it, but I know I’m not a loser or an embarrassment. I have grown so much and thrive to continue my journey. Nobody’s perfect, but I’m trying to do the best I can.
We are our parents’ kids. Some of us are lucky enough to continue to grow and learn from their mistakes, but some scars don’t fade away so easily. Please try to remember this the next time your kid breaks a lamp or stays out too late.