Tuesday, April 15, 2014


     I hope that I don't anger any of you with what I'm about to say, but I need a soapbox moment.

     Mothers & fathers, can we please stop yanking our precious babies around by the arm, tiny wrist, collar, etc?  If your child is about to run out in traffic - yank, about to stick their arm in the tiger cage at the zoo - yank away, about to walk into the campfire - yank the crap out of them.  But reaching for a counter to touch it ... Really?  Touching the window on the subway car (while inside) ... Necessary? Touching a chair in the food court at the mall ... Why?  All these and more I've seen in the last two days.
     I don't believe in corporal punishment for children.  I'm sure some of you out there will say, but Heather, spare the rod and spoil the child.  To which I say, tuna fish sandwiches spoil, not children. Ah, but you'll say look at example A-Z of spoiled children.  And I will tell you that yanking a child hard or smacking a child doesn't teach the child to not do "x".  It teaches a child that bigger people can push littler people around.  It teaches a child to live with fear or to desire to perpetuate it.  My mother never put a finger on me; she did everything through guilt.  My greatest fear as a teenager was in disappointing her ... It was far more effective.
     I understand being frustrated after you've told someone not to touch something 12 times.  My children frustrate me too, at times.  But if your words aren't working, look at the way you're saying it, look at the child ... hungry, tired, over/under stimulated and parental inconsistency are the top choices in our house.  
     (I say all this with the caveat that if you have a special needs child, I have no idea what I'm talking about.  God bless you, and may comfort and peace be upon you.  You have a much harder job, filled with countless blessings.  And you don't need one more person's unknowing opinion.)
     But as for the rest of us, I ask that we watch the way we yank these precious babies to and fro.  Maybe it's the grown ups that need a time out.

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