Children are not born with original sin. They are not born with the instinct to misbehave. And, whatever else you say about them, and whatever else it is, it is not their fault. It’s yours.
“All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. ― Erma Bombeck
Parental influence is very strong during a child’s early life. In a perfect world, this influence wanes over time. This is evident when children become rebellious hellions – around the age of, what, 12? But, passive influence, as it is called, is more powerful than most people recognize. In fact, it is this lack of recognition that is responsible for much of the suffering in the developed world. Have you ever heard someone say that, when they have children, they will not make the same mistakes that their parents made? Well, they are wrong. they make those same mistakes, blindly, and without being encumbered by the thought process. Why? Because it isn’t easy to see. In fact, it is virtually impossible to see.
Why does a child grow up acting as though they are entitled to anything they see and want? Why are some children bullies, and others aren’t? Why do some steal? Why do some cheat? Throw tantrums? Are these kids born with the innate propensity to misbehave? Is there a “bad” gene? Are children original sinners? In a word, no. You create your children, not only in the physical sense, but emotionally. And many of you are doing a piss-poor job. But, don’t blame yourselves. Blame your parents. Then get your ass to a good therapist, become self-aware, and stop the cycle. Your kids are suffering. It isn’t difficult to see that a bully is only a child who was bullied at home, right? It must also be clear to all that tantrums are a result of a parent who never gives their child anything that they want, no matter how insignificant, yes? Apparently not. And, do teachers help? Not often. Behavior problems are reported, they aren’t fixed. Most people do not see that they, not the kids, are the problem. And others are afraid to take action.
Not too long ago, in dog years, I was in the supermarket and, as I rounded the cereal aisle, I saw a little girl on the floor. She was about three years old and she was playing with the cereal boxes on the bottom shelf. She wasn’t being loud, and she had disturbed too many of the boxes. But that didn’t matter to her mother. She grabbed the child up by the arm, and screamed at her.
“Wait ’til your father hears about this!
The little girl was not misbehaving. She wasn’t being loud, or disruptive. She hadn’t even moved any of the boxes off the shelf. She was doing what little kids do. And, she was terrified.
I wanted to grab this woman and scream at her. I wanted to publicly, loudly, angrily, explain to this woman that she was behaving like an ass, not her kid. I wanted to grab this sorry excuse for a mother by her arm, and scream in her face.
Wait ’til Child Protective Services hears about this!
But I didn’t have the balls. All I could do was walk past slowly, and give this little girl a knowing, and what I had hoped was a reassuring, smile. I hoped that I was saying with my eyes, what I could not bring myself to say out loud, “You are right and your mother is wrong.” But there is little chance of that.
You have all heard the complaint that a license is required to drive a car, but not to have children. But do you really understand what that means? It means that, before you procreate, be prepared to examine your psyche. Learn how to control a little kid without putting the fear of God, or dad, or a beating, into them.
These ignoramus’s behavior, their mis-behavior, has serious consequences. Parents are turning their kids into clones of themselves – monsters, bullies, parents.
There is no perfect parent, of course. Nor is there a perfect child. But life is difficult enough. Why make it harder? Why not break the cycle? Why not recognize that you play the larger role in the struggle?
Become self-aware. You will raise happier children.