I was horrified to see a young mother punishing her child for misbehaving in school and then lying about it by making him ingest hot sauce and then forcing him into a cold shower for lying.
I’m no angel. I’m a human being and I’m sure that my children aren’t completely thrilled with some of my shenanigans sometimes. Like I tend to “eye rolling” when I’m not happy with them and that is inappropriate because I’m the adult and I have no right to act out. If I’m unhappy with something my kids do then I am responsible to correct them and not make them feel ashamed or embarrassed about their behavior. They are the children and I’m the adult. But it’s hard to control your emotions and your anxieties- sometimes it’s near impossible.
To be absolutely frank I grew up with a parent that took frustrations out on kids. I’d like to forget the many acts of humiliation that I was forced to perform for minor infractions. Many people say that if you were abused as a child you will turn into an abuser as an adult. I hope that isn’t true in my case. I hope that my past abuse has made me a better parent. I believe that it has but like I said already there have been times where I’ve felt like I can’t take the stress and I want to act just like someone acted towards me- fortunately that single thought is like a siren that goes off in my head and warns me to back off and go cool down.
But when I watched Jessica Beagley making her little boy swallow some hot sauce and then strip and get into an icy shower I felt enraged. The good news is that today Jessica has received notice that she will be going to trial for abusing her child. Her lawyer says giving a child hot sauce isn’t a crime, but Alaska’s District Attorney thinks otherwise.
Hitting children, pushing children, screaming at children, and shaming children all count as abuse to me.
Telling children no one cares about them is abusive. Telling children they are a waste of time and space is abuse. Trying to make a child feel worthless and lazy is abuse. Attacking a child is abuse. Ignoring a child is abuse.
I think all of those things are abusive when adults do them to one another too, but too often we do it to children because they can’t say a thing!