In my ongoing quest to learn everything there is to know about becoming a parent (I know it is a futile gesture, but it makes me THINK I am being productive.) I decided to take a parenting quiz.
I figured that testing my newly acquired parenting knowledge could give me some feedback as to my “readiness” for this part of my life. As I read the some of the questions and the answer choices I noticed something…one or more of the answers is complete child abuse – either mental or physical or both. You don’t believe me? Look at this question:
|5. It’s a Saturday and you’re going out with your little boy. You watch from a bench as he runs up and down the slide and plays with his friends. Then you watch him walk up to a man sitting on the bench across from you.|
|*Run after him and give your son a re-run of the “Don’t talk to strangers” lecture.|
|*Watch cautiously and wait until your son has stopped talking to him and continues playing. There are many people around. He wouldn’t do anything right?|
|*Walk casually up to your son and ask him a question or divert his attention (tell him that you are going to take him out for icecream or challenge him to go on the big slide, etc.) so that he would walk away from the stranger and sit down and talk to him about the safety rules that come into play whenever we go out.|
|*Walk up to him quickly and hold him by the ear as you drag him away, then yell at him, take him home, and promise never to take him anywhere ever again because he is stupid and he never listens.|
Please note answer #4. Here is the summary: Drag him by the ear while yelling ,because you just reduced his ability to hear by 1/2 by destroying the ear you are pulling on, at him about how stupid he is.
Does this really happen so much that it is a viable answer choice? This pattern was repeated over and over in the quiz allowing you to resort to violence and child abuse OR suffer a mental breakdown for yourself. Want an example? Here ya go…
|13. Today, after school, you went to your child’s school to pick him up. You showed up a bit early, so you are just watching the class as they are packing up their things and getting ready to go home. On the side, you can see your son and two of his friends playing with one of the class toys, a green dinosaur, and then you see that your son has pushed one of the other boys to the ground and took the toy from him. What would you do?|
|*Hold him by the ear and yell at him until you reach the car.|
|*Ask him why he did it, and explain that there is no good reason to hit anyone. Then make him apologize.|
|*Make him apologize and tell him that he is grounded and he cannot play any of his games for a week.|
|*Hit your head against the wall and cry because the world is ending.|
This question dosen’t LIMIT you to auditory canal child abuse (#1) it allows you to have the choice of a mental breakdown(#4). How thoughtful. I am sure that the kid in question appreciates that consideration.
I WANT to believe that these horrible choices are meant to be so SHOCKING that the quiz taker will never pick them and maybe remember this quiz when the impulse to destroy the child ear leaps into their mind when the “good china” gets broken. However, I can’t help believe there are parents who resort to violence when a child disobeys, smarts off, or commits any infraction what so ever.
OK, I admit I know some parents that do leap to physical punishment over a more communicative and less painful method of compliance assurance. Admit it, you know them to, maybe not the same people, but the same type of people. I think they are lazy parents and need to be more concerned with the development of the child rather than the 10 minutes of silence the physical abuse yields them or they want to be OBEYED that they will make sure that happens at any cost.
I have never SAID anything to any of them when they “disciplined” their child in front of me because:
1) I had no kids of my own.
2) I don’t know what’s led up to this instance.
None the less, I knew that exchange between parent and child was wrong and I am positive my face reflected that. Yet, I have never said anything. So, I apologize to all the kids who have been disciplined in front of me in an inappropriate manner. My silence is inexcusable. I am typing this apology because I know you couldn’t hear me…due to the ear pulling and yelling.
I am going to try to not ever do anything to my child that hinders trust, fosters fear, or causes them physical pain in any way. I know that people’s definition of abuse, discipline, corporal punishment differ. However, I think that most impartial observers can tell when it goes too far.
Parenting is going to be hard but not hard on my kid.