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on raising children with violence

Having had strong maternal instincts all my life – instincts that I have doubted and repressed at time for reasons I will maybe explain in future posts – I have an interest in child education. It is not the professional kind, just the type of interest that would help you raise emotionally and intellectually sane children that become emotionally and intellectually sane adults.

As I was growing up, in my home country – Romania, it was a very common thing (and still is) to educate and discipline your children by means of violence. As a child, you would not really speak of it, it was something shameful; as a parent, not so shameful. In some horrendous cases, on the contrary, it was something you could/would boast about. I remember I never understood it as a child, and I still don’t understand it as an adult. I know there are millions of ways to rationalize this behaviour, but none of them are good enough for me. I am not trying to antagonise parents here, I am simply trying to raise awareness that there are always alternatives to spanking/smacking/hitting children. Parents who are doing that should be helped, talked to, shown there are other ways and ultimately, they should try to heal themselves.

Parents who are abusing children, were most likely abused themselves. It’s the only way they can explain it to themselves and deal with what has happened to them “I was raised like that, and I am perfectly functioning adult” they say. What I would like to say to them is “Do you not think there could be another way? You do not smack your best friend on the mouth when they have said something inappropriate in public, why would you hit your little one?”

Of course, abuse is not just physical, there are in my opinion worse types of abuse, especially because they’re silent, but the signs of the physical one we can recognise around us, we can extend a friendly hand to a child and tell them they are loved and they deserve to be caressed, we can extend the same hand to the parent and say the exact same, because they need it to, just as much as the child needs it.

I would like to end this by adding a quote very dear to my heart.

“This is the way the world changes; good people raising their babies right.” – Catherine Avery, Grey’s Anatomy

P.S.

This article was inspired by a post on a Romanian blog, discussing the statement made by Katie Ivens, an advocate for Campaign for Real Education.

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