Have you ever hurt your child on purpose?How does it make you feel to even read those words? Offended? Defensive? Self-doubting?
Would you ever hurt your child on purpose?Of course not. I wonder if any parent really wants to hurt their child. I mean in the realm of normalcy. Whatever that is. My therapist likes to quote that "Normal" is a setting on a washer. When you see a parent demean a child verbally, or let them live in squalor. I know of one mom who put cola in her infant's bottle. Do you assume she was cruel? or ignorant? I saw one mom who was berating her child at a public park as she was reviewing spelling homework with her daughter. It was in a neighborhood where you wouldn't find many 'burb moms and their squeaky-weakies. On the one hand, I had to admire her for working on the homework and caring so much. On the other hand, you could see the spirit in her daughter being stomped. Was she wanting to be cruel? or was she ignorant?
A friend of mine and I were discussing a tough decision they have to make. She said they vowed never to let their work get ahead of their children. I'd never doubt that for a milli-second. She's a new friend to me, but I know in the depth of my being that she and her husband are loving, kind, wise. And yet, when she told me about what they were considering? I was shocked. Because in my book, that's more risk than I'd ever take with my child. I have experience and research to back me up. Of course in my book, I'm right.
I think back on the days when Boo was an infant. Those days were crazy. I was crazy. I was given crazy advice. I was crazy stubborn. Sleep. Boo wouldn't. And. And. I did the wrong thing; used the wrong methodology. Back then, I felt like I had to take that route or I'd be committed. No - commit myself. As in bedroom doors with locks on the outside. I did the best I could, the best advice I could find, with the consent and cooperation of my husband. But looking back? I think I did him emotional harm. Was I - am I - any better than those other moms? That mom only had a $1.oo to buy soda. That other mom wanted to drill those spelling words into her child's head. Me? I wanted that kid to SLEEP! I wanted some sleep.
Didn't I want to do my best? Didn't I do what I thought was best? And my friends, aren't they going to do their very best to make the wisest choice? And yet, might they fail? like we all do? Rich, poor, white, tan, black, Christian, atheist, Jew? I've often heard "Oh, kids are resilient." I have to wonder if that's to ease their guilt? or to give themselves permission to slack off. Yes, kids are resilient, but I'm still not going to take chances I don't have to.
None of us want to hurt our children, but we do. Because when we're in the trenches, in the thick of thing, when the forces and influences are upon us, and a deadline looms, application ain't so easy.
How about you? When have you done your very best, only to find you had done the wrong thing?