This was submitted by one of my students as the script for a podcast. Sadly, it's not often that I get work of this caliber and with such as strong message, so I was motivated to ask her permission to post it. I'm glad she said "yes", because it's a message worth sharing.
I don’t understand why people have children. Sure, I get the whole ‘keep the human race going’, but if you’re going to abandon or abuse your kids, why even bother?
You see toddlers in restaurants crying, as toddlers do. What’s the right thing to do? Take them home. Call the waitress for the check and take the kid home for a nap. But what do we see going on? We see their parents raising their hands, or their voices; posing threats.
Kids cry. Kids throw fits. Kids are kids. It’s what they do. But there is absolutely no excuse for an adult, a parent to start throwing tantrums, slamming doors, and breaking dishes. Grow up.
All parents complain about their children needing to grow up. Their 9, 10, 11 year old children need to grow up. But what about your 40 some-odd year-old self? Get a hold on your temper. Get a hold on your drug problem, your alcohol problem, your various addictions.
If you can’t take care of yourself, what ever made you think you could take care of a child?
I understand that accidental pregnancy is, sadly, more common these days. Get an abortion. Many are dead set against it, but if you’re a mess who’s selling more than their used jewelry to make a profit, then you need to rethink your plan.
What is the most bothersome is when parents put on ‘the act’ around their guests. Sure, you can fool a few people... But what happens when the doors close?
You hear your own parents say things like, “if I stood up for myself, I got the belt. It was awful. I would be bruised and bleeding for weeks.” Then why do you do it to your own kids? Have you no shame? No empathy?
A big, psychological issue with parents is they act exactly like their parents did. If your dad took a thin leather belt with a solid steel buckle to your back and behind, and you still cringe at the thought of the pain that shot through your spine, then why do it to your child?
Discipline. I’m all for disciplining your child; if not, they’ll grow up to be jerks. But I believe physical ‘discipline’ should be a last and final resort. Talk to the kid. Look them in the eye and take their hand, tell them what they did wrong and why. “Because I said so” is not a reason, by the way. If they keep doing whatever is that they’re doing wrong, then remind them. Kids have small attention spans! They don’t always realize that they just repeated what they did two minutes ago. Remind them a few times. If they do it deliberately to annoy you, then give them a time out. No, that doesn’t mean lock them in a small room for twenty minutes. It means make them sit and be quiet for 3 minutes, sit with them, and let them soak in what’s wrong about their actions or words. If they still don’t get it, add a minute or two. Patience is virtue. There is actually no need to ever get physically aggressive with your child. If you really find it’s the final resort, then just give them a small tap. Don’t take the nearest solid object and thrash it against their back. I will tell you this: in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, they will not remember what they did wrong; they will only remember that mommy or daddy has a powerful arm and they have to be forever afraid of you.
Respect or fear? “My kid respects me because I beat him until he cried when he was 5 years old.” No, your kid fears you because you beat him until he cried when he was 5 years old. Respect has to be earned. “Respect your elders” is something that I greatly disagree with. You respect people because they earn your respect. You do not respect someone because they’re older than you.
There are so many broken families out there. Then again, there are many families that need to be broken up. Abusive, hostile families that are leading the kids through a future of traumatizing memories. All those times daddy hit mommy. All those times daddy took you aside and told you how much of a mental case your completely sane mother is. What good can possibly come from an environment like that? You’ll become stronger and more aware of people like that? Yes, sure, if you get help and realize those people are the bad people in the world.
If you look at people who are used and abused in relationships, and then you see the relationship they had with their parents, or the relationship their parents had, I guarantee you will find a pattern.
Generally, a man will treat his wife exactly how he treats his mother. And generally, a woman will look for a man that has father-figure qualities.
Before you start a family with someone, think about your childhood. Think about your family. Unless you’re willing to get some sort of counselling to figure out how to control the way you are, you may want to reconsider. Yes, it may be selfish not to have a child in some perspective, but it’s even more selfish to have a child when their life is doomed to be unpleasant.
If you have a drug problem, or you are an alcoholic, go through an intervention and get rid of it from your system and from your mind forever. If you have anger management issues, or if you’ve ever been told that you do, then get a professional to help you gain some self awareness and control.
Children are born innocent. Humans are not naturally vicious creatures. Behaviour is learned. Don’t blame kids for their actions, habits, or words. You taught them how to walk, talk, and be. If you can’t support yourself, you can’t support a child. If you can’t take care of yourself, you damn right can’t take care of a child.