Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where the Heck is the Village?

Usually when I read parenting posts that have a different viewpoint than my own I shrug them off and walk away. But once in awhile an article just hits that nerve and I have to at least speak up for those who can't aren't allowed to.

This article, written by a callous and inhumane man named LZ Granderson, is an article that everyone should read, as well as it's comments. It is a wake up call about the culture we live in and how we treat our pets better than our children. Don't believe me? Check out this clever little chart made by Vickie at Demand Euphoria:

Know what this chart tells me? It is really bad to hit my dog, that's animal cruelty. But it is perfectly ok for me to hit my own child, that's called discipline. Makes sense right?

Yet, in the article written, LZ states:
Spanking is not a cure, and should not be the first resort, but I don't think it should automatically be taken off the table when dealing with small kids. We're so preoccupied with protecting children from disappointment and discomfort that we're inadvertently excusing them from growing up.
Why can't people realize that kids are PEOPLE TOO!  If you would get fidgety and annoyed sitting at a boring dinner where people ignore you, why is it so hard to believe that your child feels the exact same way?! So your child complains about the situation and gets punished.... or worse yet, your child tries to have fun in a not-fun situation, and gets punished. I don't know about you, but it seems like a lose-lose situation to me.

I believe that we, as a whole, need to remember what it is like to be little, unable to express any emotion that may be perceived as disrespectful (aka: discontent, resistance, annoyance, stubbornness... really any emotion that is not quiet calmness), to not have any say in how the day went, what was served, where you went, when you slept. To be thirsty but not able to have a drink without going through all the hoops of getting an adult's attention, asking for a cup, asking for help to get the drink, and hoping that you will actually get to drink what you want to drink, remembering to say please or whatever word the adult wants to hear... personally it sounds exhausting!

The thing that bothered me the most about the article though was these two simple sentences:
I do not love your child.
The rest of the country does not love your child either.
When I read those two sentences I just sat back, stunned that someone can write such hate. Hate against someone that we are supposed to protect and care for because they cannot protect themselves. And then we wonder why children are the victims of violent crimes, why they grow up to be bullies, bring guns to school and take their own lives after their rage explodes.... Here are children that needed a hug instead of a slap, a kind word instead of a time out, and needed the adults in their world to love them.

Why can't we smile at a child who is making the best out of a situation? Lend a kind word to a harried parent who is just trying to make it through the day instead of giving a dirty look or a rude comment? Kids and parents have bad days and sometimes there are situations out of their control. Maybe we can stop expecting everyone to be perfect and realize that as long as society allows this hatred of childhood to continue, bullying and other hateful acts will also continue.

Want to read more posts regarding this article? Check out this one from Vickie and this one from Tiff.

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