Although, I quote a great deal of cliché’s because they do ring true, who ever came up with,”Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” had to be one callous human being or had no reality based idea just how often verbal abuse can and does destroy relationships for life.
The greatest tragedy of all is that painful words used amongst children are often the number one cause of suicide amongst our young people. What children are doing to children with the use of derogatory words on their computers,cell phones,the school bus and the playground across America has risen to a new level of hate. That adults would stoop to the level of children when using the same words against their own children or others should sicken us all.
I’m always amazed when I hear mothers firing back words like”little Bitch” to their daughters or you “little bastard” to their sons and forgetting they are supposed to be the adult. Calling our daughters and sons names when it is our job to eliminate the name calling is a tragedy in more ways than one.
Even in the best of situations (if we can call it that) name calling is the one thing that women or children will never forget.When parents call their daughters little whore or slut or equally disturbing words there is never any taking the words back. The more childish we behave as adults with the name calling the more we are destroying the ability for a loved one to like us and the more damage we are doing to Society as a whole. Too often these words are being learned from parents and passed on to children.
Just as adults when the men we love or care about or our family members label us with name calling or claim we are worthless, it hurts, even when we are older. When abusers think we are just using the milder of names, there is no such thing, because under moments of high stress, if we are in the habit of name calling the worse of the worse will slip out. Words are like brands on cattle we can never take them back or remove them. All apologies will ring hollow in the ears of the verbally abused, for a lifetime.
Too many people seem to be clueless to the fact that loving each other is not the problem. Liking each other is a real struggle. The more we use words in the form of name calling or in other derogatory forms to try to end an argument the more we set ourselves up to destroy our relationships for life. Not only do we need to stop acting like children and quit using name calling as a response mechanism; our children need to be punished with cell phone or Wii removal for a period of time, or something that will cause a hardship in their lives the first time we hear the words of disrespect come out of their mouths. We can not expect our children to respect us or others, if we never teach respect.
If we are calling names ourselves then it is going to be tough for them to have any respect for us if we do it and punish them for it.”Do as I say not as I do,” has never worked and we only fool ourselves by thinking or saying,”this is my home and I can do anything I want,” or “as long as you live under my roof you will do as you are told.” Both phrases only convince them that we are either a bully or think they are stupid.
They know we not only have a moral obligation to raise our children to adulthood but a legal one as well. If our children are still living at home after they are old enough to be on their own it only tells them that we will never force them out anyway, regardless of how they speak to us.
Verbal abuse is one of the hardest forms of abuse to defend against. When we allow ourselves to stoop to the level of children by name calling we destroy the respect of our children many times for life.No different than husbands and wives do when they do the same thing.
We give to and sacrifice for our children because we love them and want to give to them,in many cases, but another well-worn phrase that means nothing to our children is,”after all the things that I have done for you.” Children are about as manipulative as they come and they get smarter every year. They also understand that if they tell us that such and such has and I don’t have…..a great deal of what we will buy for them, is many times purchased to stop the child from whining,to gain our children’s love,to make ourselves look good,to compete with our friends, or simply that they won when they got what they wanted because we were too stupid (in their minds) to know we were being played by them.
Too many people just form the idea that our children are rebelling and do not bother to do anything about it. Yes if we have done our jobs and taught them to be self-sufficient and then turn around and treat them like babies or if we haven’t done our jobs, teenagers will rebel. What too many parents do not understand is there is almost always a reason for those bad moods as well. We need to get to the bottom of why the outbursts are becoming more and more frequent. Parents who withdraw during this time of their children’s’ life thinking what ever it is they are just going to have to work it out for themselves because they are adults now, can make or break the difference in the lives of their child.
“Our children need to know we trust them,” is the most ridiculous response we can give to rebellion.What they really need to know is they have a parent in their life who gives a damn if they do make a mistake. Many times they are going through the worse struggles of their lifetimes and there will never be any time in their lives that they will need their parents more than during this time. They need our ability to guide them when they are in doubt or do not have the capacity to work themselves out of the mess they may have gotten themselves into,still often after they leave home, but definitely while they are still at home.
We must make them know we are approachable and welcome them in our lives. If we offer both a refrigerator filled with Coke or Pepsi and a private place for them to gather they will many times make our homes their “crash Pads”(sorry that is an old 60′s phrase). Other times if we are up when they come home they many times will want to talk if they know we are accessible and we are playing the adult role expected of parents.
They all have friends what they really need are parents.I do understand the difficulty of getting them to talk, sometimes is like trying to have a conversation with a porcupine, but reaching out to them at this time in their lives will often spell the difference between success or failure in their lives.If we are ever going to be the grown ups it is never more important than this time of their lives.
If we are childish enough to call them names or go after them on attack they will be at their friends houses getting the advice, many times, that will be the last thing we want them to be getting. Like for instance,” have another beer or do you want a smoke before you leave?” Our children only bring their nicest friends around to meet us. Those that they know we will never approve of but who have the connections to the”good times” are the ones we never meet.
We parents need to reach out and offer understanding during the teen years as well as be on our toes full-time as to where they are hanging out and who they are spending time with. When we do find out we need to ask questions in regards to what their thoughts are in how they plan on handling a situation and ask them if we can offer a little imput to the situation. When we go in with all barrels drawn on the attack and stinging them with name calling we will never be part of this important time of their lives.
I repeat that both children and sometimes adults, become what we say they are. The more positive you/we are towards our/your children and wives the more positive they will be in return and it works the same with negativity. Call your daughters or wife a whore and they will often prove you correct, regardless of what age they are.For all of us adults who do not already know and understand this, many times it is the person who is having the affair that yells foul the fastest and the loudest.
If we refuse to grow up our children will do the same. They are faced with so many mixed emotions as in one way they cannot wait until they leave home and in another they wouldn’t mind being a child for a lifetime if we have been generous to them while they were growing up. We have already had our chance and now its time we be the grown up who guides the family through the storm. When we guide them through the toughest parts of adolescence and their young adult years so they become the people they were meant to be,it will be the best journey we ever take when the grandchildren are placed in our arms.
(If this subject matter sounds familiar it is because I have written on it several times in the past. I will continue doing so until I quit hearing Parents say,”What can we do? They are teenagers,” Next to the new-born stages they are the most important years of our child’s development, in my opinion. Good Luck and enjoy the humbling experience they teach us all.)