The other day, I was walking towards my car, after getting some groceries with my daughter. I was keeping her close and reciting our getting in the car routine: “Get in and strap yourself quickly. Remember we’re on the street and Daddy could need to start the car fast“ I don’t want to create more fears that I have to, but we live in difficult times, and I must protect my most precious gifts. But I digress…
As we walked, we heard someone arguing and cursing out loud.
Do you remember a few days ago when you suddenly heard someone cursing nearby?
That was the woman we heard. Boy, was she loud. Even though I tried ignoring her, her conversation was as if she were yelling right beside me, so I could not escape it.
Apparently, her boy said some bad word, while inside the supermarket. The mother, got so embarrassed that she felt the need to curse at the boy, while grabbing his arm and shaking him like a “maraca”.
I considered saying something to her. My heart started pumping adrenaline. Could I control myself, if she barked at me in reply? I looked at the troubled look on my daughter’s eyes, and decided to take her away from all that instead.
Setting an example
As we stepped in our car, I wondered: How will the boy learn, he shouldn’t talk like that when his mother doesn’t speak any other way? My daughter, reading my mind as usual, asked: “Daddy, why was that Mommy saying all those awful things to that boy?” I started saying: “She was upset because he said a bad word…”. She interrupted me and asked again: “But why was she saying those bad words?” “She was giving him a bad example, wasn’t she?” I replied.
Something’s are better left unheard
That day, my daughter learned a new vocabulary. Words she had never heard from us in our home. Words no one should speak. Especially to a kid, who needs guidance and love to grow up. Being a deep thinker, my Princess kept quiet for most of the trip back home. When approaching our house, she begged: “Daddy, I don’t want you to talk to me like that mother”. I assured her that is a language that does not exist for us and that we do not like. I reminded her that when I correct her, I use only proper language, and told her that is the only kind of language she should accept when someone talks to her.
Putting two and two together
After a while, I remembered that boy. I could still hear his mother cursing at him and wondered how is it, that she could treat her child like garbage. Was it because that’s how she was used to getting treated? Was it because she really didn’t love her son? Was it because he was supposed to be a “tough man”, and “real men” get treated like that? I don’t know. It saddened me deeply. I thought of all those bad people we hear from in the news every day and wondered if they got treated like that when they were children. Was that the reason behind most of the violence that goes on every day? Could a loving parent, be the solution to some of our criminals? Maybe I’m taking a giant leap and jumping to conclusions. Maybe not. Made me remember the boy and the free sneakers.
Man in the mirror
Can we give love instead of hate? Don’t we loathe receiving hatred? Don’t we prefer an “I love you” over an “I hate you”? Is there a way we can teach without giving the wrong lesson? I think we all know the answers to these questions. A big: YES! We need to become our children’s mirror. Convert ourselves into what we want them to be like. Behave like we want them to behave. Say what we wish they say. Lead by example.
While I keep trying to answer all of my questions, Can you offer any thoughts?
Ivelisse Arroyo says
I did my psychology practice en a low income projects area (without setting stereotypes, cuz this happens in all areas) were the principal (God help her) had to deal with parents like this every single day. I had to treat some in therapy, but without the authorization of parents couldnt start any type of therapy. And it was heartbreaking how many kids I couldnt help because the parents just didnt want to come and sign the papers; when present they assumed the kids did something wrong and started yelling just like this lady at them, cursing.
Sadly just a few parents were interested enough to get help for their children, but my heart stills breaks with those I couldnt help because the parents just didnt care. Most of these parents, as u explain, complain on the bad behavior of their children but they just don’t realize their just mirrors of their parents. 🙁 Great post, thanks!
I Know what you mean. It kills me that I didn’t stop her or helped the kid somehow. But I didn’t want to involve my daughter in a situation I knew would worsen if I stepped in.
Thanks for reading and the kind words!
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Raul Colon says
I went to get gas for my car before the storm (just in case).
While I was walking towards my car I hear this person scolding her kid because she choose the wrong footwear.
In my case, being a military instructor keeps me in the habit of looking at everyone else around me to see what they have on. While the lady was complaining I really thought it was the Lady’s fault for not checking her daughter not sure why she was blaming her.
As I get into my car I take a look and I realize the poor 5-6 year old had a “dubby” in her hair. Which made me wonder that for sure an adult had to have created the Dubby.
Overall I see how in many occasions parents blame their kids for the mistakes. It looks like the Lady did know internally that the kid talking that way was her fault.
Ivelisse Arroyo says
I think u made the right decision not to get involved, these days u never know how people are going to react with so much violence spread all over, but it’s certainly frustrating.
In the other hand, I always think that more can be done to prevent these situations. I believe the key is prevention and education, but the effort has to be collectively and massive in joint collaboration.
The thing is a lot of people complaint about things but don’t take action towards change and the few trying aren’t enough; that’s frustrating. I know exactly how you felt!
Julio M. Rivera says
i hope the big yes does not apply to the 2nd and 3rd questions. =P
Duly noted. Thanks for the heads-up. I already corrected the mistake. Thanks for noticing!