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You Just Broke Your Child. Congratulations.

Young Child Looking Sad

Dads. Stop breaking your children. Please.

I feel a need to write this post after what I witnessed at Costco yesterday. Forgive me for another post written in desperation and anger. Please read all the way to the end. I know it’s long, but this is something that needs to be said. It’s something that needs to be heard. It’s something that needs to be shared.

As Noah and I stood in line to make a return, I watched as a little boy (he couldn’t have been older than six) looked up at his dad and asked very timidly if they could buy some ice cream when they were done. The father glared him down, and through clenched teeth, growled at the boy to “leave him alone and be quiet”. The boy quickly cowered to the wall where he stood motionless and hurt for some time.

The line slowly progressed and the child eventually shuffled back to his father as he quietly hummed a childish tune, seemingly having forgotten the anger his father had just shown. The father again turned and scolded the boy for making too much noise. The boy again shrunk back and cowered against the wall, wilted.

I was agitated. I was confused. How could this man not see what I see? How could this man not see what a beautiful spirit stood in his shadow? How could this man be so quick to stub out all happiness in his own boy? How could this man not cherish the only time he’ll ever have to be everything to this boy? To be the person that matters most to this boy?

We were three from the front now, and the boy started to come towards his dad yet again. His dad immediately stepped out of the line, jammed his fingers into his son’s collar bones until he winced in pain, and threatened him. “If you so much as make a sound or come off of that wall again, I promise you’re going to get it when we get home.” The boy again cowered against the wall. This time, he didn’t move. He didn’t make a sound. His beautiful face pointed down, locked to the floor and expressionless. He had been broken. And that’s how his father wanted it. He didn’t want to deal with him, and breaking him was the easiest way.

And we wonder why so many of our kids grow up to be screwed up.

I’m going to be blunt. People see my relationship with Noah, and quite often put me up on a pedestal or sing my praises for loving him more than most dads love their own kids.

Damn it. I don’t understand that, and I’ll never understand that. Loving my son, building my son, touching my son, playing with my son, being with my son… these aren’t tasks that only super dads can perform. These are tasks that every dad should perform. Always. Without fail. There is nothing special about me. I am a dad who loves his son and would literally do anything for his well-being, safety, and health. I would gladly take a rake in the face or a jackhammer to my feet before I cut my own son down or make him feel small.

[sigh] I am far from a perfect dad. And I always will be. But I’m a damn good dad, and my son will always feel bigger than anything life can throw at him. Why? Because I get it. I get the power a dad has in a child’s life, and in a child’s level of self-belief. I get that everything I ever do and ever say to my son will be absorbed, for good or for bad. What I don’t get is how some dads don’t get it…

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13555 comments
Misty
Misty

My husband is an amazing Dad, not just to our 8 year old, but to my 5kids I had when we married. He has shown them what their Dad could not. I have never respected a Man more. Everyone is now out of the house, ( except the 8 yr old, we will let him grow a bit more) and they have done things, that a regular Dad would of been more then upset about! They love him and respect him!  As for the Dad you saw, not sure of the situation .... but saying to him, "I am a Dad, and you look like a Dad that is having a rough day".... he might of opened up and you could of talked. 

Sarah
Sarah

You have no idea what the father has been through or what has gone on with his child earlier in the day etc. Sometimes as much as you love your kids, they can be very testing and i have been known to give my son the 'behave of i'm going to loose my shit' look after several tantrums in several placed during the day. Doesn't mean that dad is a bad dad. Maybe he just had a bad day. Who are you to cast judgment on someone elses parenting. How about you and all other parents focus on their own parenting and just mind their own business. I'm sick to death of people crucifying people over how they chose to parent.

I'm sure people would have comments on your parenting too.

SueSue63
SueSue63

Hi to all

I wanted to say that now that my children are all grown up I have witnessed first hand of the affects of their upbringing.

I came from a family that believed in spankings so this in turn is how I raised my children

I feel that only now seeing life from another angle do I realize that there are alternate ways of rearing a child . I myself am  a prime example..of one way it was done wrong.

Only now that I have worked very hard to find myself worth at 50.. Now I see the mistakes I made as a parent. But strive to be a great grandparent

But fortunately my children are so very strong and have self worth because I told them every day that they were loved.And some how even though I know that there were a lot of mistakes made in their upbringing they turned out to be a great contribution to society

I encourage parents to look into ways to uplift their beautiful children for they are future and our very gift from God.

ColleenGilham
ColleenGilham

my son is a great dad. he is a very hands on dad to his children and I am so very proud of him. in fact he is the one that posted this article for others to read.i really enjoyed this ariticle. ty for writing it

Karen
Karen

Pain like this sadly continues into each generation.  In the spirit of compassion, how can we help the family and not look at ways to tear them further apart. Many might say that at a certain age a person should know right from wrong.  How about people who weren't nurtured themselves. For each wrong we see, I would like to see how observers can make a right..

AngryinBrampton
AngryinBrampton

Myself, when I witness something like that I haven't hesitated to intervene and threaten the parent with CAS and police.  I typically record it on my phone too.  Someone has to stand up for these children.  Why not you?

Amelia Presti
Amelia Presti

I feel very sorry for every child that is broken, but it's not only the Dads that break them, I've also witnessed Moms doing the very same thing.  There is no excuse for anyone mistreating a child verbally, mentally or physically.  Children are a special present from God and should always be treated with Love and Respect!!!


GloriaCorder
GloriaCorder

My eyes filled with tears and my heart absolutely broke upon reading your description of the young child at Costco. I have seen far too many children like this. Broken, not only at the hands of Dads, but at the hands of their overstressed Mothers also.


As the mother of a man who is now being a single father to his young son (five years old), I watch how my son interacts to his son and I couldn't be more proud of him. There is never a question that my young grandson may ask, that goes unanswered. My son makes time to play games with my grandson and makes the time to go on outings to explore the world to expand my young grandson's horizons.


I am fortunate to have a son who views his child as a gift, not a burden. That's how my son was raised. I viewed everyone of my four children as a gift and am now seeing those children view their own as gifts. And that's where it has to start, doesn't it? Parents showing and passing down those lessons in life that allow their children to be the best parents that they can be. But unfortunately that is not the case for every child in this world. Children get 'broken' by their parents and then when they have children of their own, they break their own children and the cycle continues......unless one child can overcome or break that cycle.


Just this morning I read in my local news of a seven year old boy's Dad whose trial was set to start. This 'Dad' beat his young beautiful son to death for imagined wrongs and because the child never cried, the need to break the child became overwhelming to this 'Dad'. The father succeeded in breaking his child, to the ultimate point. I cannot imagine the horrors that this young seven year old boy suffered during his short life. And I certainly cannot even begin to fathom how the one person that was to protect this child ended up being the monster who was intent on trying (and succeeding) to break his spirit and ultimately his life.


Like I said, I am one of the lucky ones who have children (both male and female) who look upon their children as gifts that are to be nourished and cherished. But I do not believe that I could have stood in that line at Costco and witnessing that interaction between 'Dad' and son without saying at least something. If not to the father, at least saying something kind to the son. Not that I am blaming you for not saying something, but when we are silent witnesses to acts of bullying (even when it occurs between parent and child), we are sending a very strong message to the child that is enduring that act of bullying. Just something to think about in case you ever find yourself in this situation again.


But you wrote a very powerful piece here and I am hopeful that it will not only be read but shared with parents everywhere. Thank you for writing this piece.

Proud dad
Proud dad

Dear Dan,


What a great article you have posted.  I can honestly say that as i read through your article i noticed that i too have fallen on occasions in the pitfalls of society and the pressure that society has placed on us.  I found myself nodding to many of the examples you mentioned in relation to what society calls disciplining our children.  I can honestly say that prior to reading your article i too noticed that one day after a frustrating rant i stole the happiness from my son, the look of disappointment and hurt could and still can't be washed from my mind and the guilt that comes with this is like a life sentence.  I still live with this to this day, but this served to force me into action, to rethink my behaviours, my actions, my interaction with my son.  Was the the father i wanted to be or did i want to be the father that he had when he was a baby until the age of 5?  The fun loving dad that didn't criticise but encouraged him.  I chose the later, i also invested in the book the 5 love languages of children that opened my eyes evermore and allowed me to obtain a better understanding of my child and his needs.


Dont get me wrong, i have enjoyed every minute with my son and despite being a little too strict at times there are numerous examples that i can remember and share that i have been an excellent dad.  I even had my own father comment that "I'm a far better father with my son than he was with me".  he was referring to the amount of time, dedication, involvement and fun i had with my son compared to what i experienced with him.  I don't blame my father for anything as times were different back then and he grew up in a different society and lost his father at the age of 15.  I could not imagine the horror and pain that this situation could inflict on a child, nevertheless he still grew up to be a really honest and decent man and one that i love dearly.


A few years ago I learnt that my interaction and relationship with my son will ultimately pave the way to how he interacts and behaves with his children and peers. Therefore it was at this time that i decided to be a better person, to not break him, but to build hi up to be the best he can. I admit i still do fall down on occasions, but i have developed a strategy with my son that we implement to this day with great effectiveness.  I have advised him that if i ever go off on a rant and it is uncalled for that he is to come and give me a hug and not ay anything, because as yo have clearly pointed out that the hug or touch of another human being is an incredible thing that no one can describe.  The power that this simple action has to make all feelings become clear is incredible and unexplainable.  The changes in behaviour and ones state of emotion changes 360 degrees when your son hugs you or places his cheek on yours.


My son also purchased me a little clay sculpture of a father kneeling down and placing his arm around his sons waist whilst the son places his arm around the fathers shoulder and their heads are touching for fathers day this year.  It was the best gift (apart from my sons birth) that i have ever received, i place this on my desk and i look at it whilst i do my work. It reminds me just what my son means to me and how much i love him.  


I know that my son will make mistakes, break items, hurt himself etc, etc but these are all part of growing up and living experiences that he needs to go through to learn, that is why i am encouraging him to try new activities, and make errors as he will learn from them.  


Thanks for the read and reflection.

myza1177
myza1177

You need to not assume that because of one situation that occurred, and you happen to witness it, is how all Dads are. For starters there are plenty of Fantastic Dads out there. Just because in your opinion the son asked for the ice cream he didn't get what he wanted, doesn't mean that Dad was a "Bad Dad"  . You don't know all of the information about this Dad and his son. Perhaps something happened and the Dad was still upset by it. Or maybe they were going to dinner and the Dad didn't want having ice cream to spoil the boys appetite.  It's not for you or me to sit here and criticize another's parenting. I appreciate my parents not giving in to everything I asked for, ice cream, a new toy, the latest  movie etc. They were firm with me at times, and if I didn't get what I asked for, I was disappointed. I still was and still a happy person. My parents are as well, they didn't sugar coat things. They were very straight forward with me.  I think that  before going on a tangent of condemning this Dad, and putting your opinion to what you think  needed to happen for this child. To say to yourself, I don't know all the facts and to not just start jumping to all kinds of conclusions. Just because this Dad said No, to ice cream, makes him a bad person? Heck, as parent now, If I just give into everything my kids want me to buy them, they would become over indulged and very spoiled and not appreciate much.  I think that saying No at times is perfectly fine, and it doesn't make you a bad parent. Or in this case a Horrible Dad. Being firm in responses is ok. It doesn't mean that you don't like your child. I'm sure there was a valid reason. Yes its our responsibility to play an active roll in our children's lives, and being their Father "DAD". Its also our responsibility to teach them that just because you see something doesn't mean we always get what we want. We have to work hard for things, to earn them. Life isn't always about getting what you want. Your assuming that because this father said No, that he is a "Horrible Dad" and he doesn't play an active roll in his sons life. Just because the son didn't get ice cream. How can you even begin to accuse this man of being a Bad Dad when your only basing all of this on the Dad saying No? Being firm about it. What you do with your son is your business. That's the great thing about being a parent you get to pick and choose what you want to teach your children and what things you don't.

Its not up to me or you to sit here and say he was a bad dad, and basing it on this situation alone. Perhaps he does all the things that you mentioned in your rant. In the future perhaps step back, and look at the full picture. Before coming to the judgment that this Dad and all Dads that are out there, that parent differently that you do are Bad. Its a tough world we live in, who better than this boys  Father be the one to teach him. Rather than everyone else in the world to teach. Bottom line take a back seat on jumping to conclusions and lumping all Dads and this Dad into the 'Bad Dad" status.

az03
az03

I grew up in a single parent home with my Dad, who was for the most part, a good Dad.  He was never physically abusive, but his way of "teaching" me was to tell me to do something, and let me know that if it wasn't done on time or correctly, I would be in trouble.  So yes, I tried to please my Dad because I was afraid of him and afraid of getting in trouble.  Although I consider myself a pretty good Dad, I do tend to use that same method with my own kids, who are 3 & 7.  I adore them and am extremely grateful to have them, but I can't honestly say that I think they know that.  They know their Dad loves them, but only because I say it, not through my actions.  


This may sound cheesy and bit exaggerated, but this read is literally going to change how I am with my kids.  I'm going to make a conscious effort to tell myself to be a "Super Dad" before walking into our house from work EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I'm going to teach my kids through positive actions and love.  I'm going to have more patience with them and understand that they are going to make mistakes and have issues, but it's my job to be there to help them and support them, no matter what.  


My wife forwarded this post to me.  I'm pretty sure she wanted me to read this because, even though she sees me as a good Dad, she knows that I'm overly stern with the kids at times, and she's always wanted me to be a little more understanding and loving with them.  While reading this, I initially kept saying  saying to myself "I'm not 'that Dad,' I'm a good Dad."  Which is true, but sometimes "good" isn't good enough.  Kids need GREAT. EXCEPTIONAL.  Hopefully any other "good" Dad that read this have a bit of an open mind and heart and accept that they can be better.  Even the best Dads can be a little better.....


Thank you so much for this read.  It's such a great reminder on how the way we treat our kids today can effect the adults they turn out to be.  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REMINDER!

cake man
cake man

Why did you just stand there and let the kid get abused like that. What kind of example did you set for your kid, that it is better to stand and watch another get verbally beat into a wall and go home and BLOG about it, than it is to stand up like a real humanitarian and approach the situation in a calm way and request that the offending party think about what their actions are doing to the young child. You in my opinion sir are as bad as the dad you wrote about.

tiffymum04
tiffymum04

I absolutely loved reading this. Had to read it out to my partner.

I have 4 beautiful children myself 2 girls 2 boys. My oldest daughter and son, 11yrs and 8yrs, aren't my partners but we have been together for 7 years and he took on my children like they were his own. They don't see or talk to their own dad's. Even after we had out first child together (little girl 4 years) he never changed his attitude towards my 2. We now also have a 6 month old son.

I truly love this man with all my heart and soul and want to spend the rest of my life with him..

BUT.. one man I truly cherish a million times more for different reasons would be my own father.

I have a sister who is 3 years younger than me. Our 'mum' walked out on us when we were 3 and 6 years old because she wanted to start a whole new life.

So.... my poor dad had to raise 2 little girls and work.

To make it harder for him, me and my sister weren't the easiest teenagers to raise either.

Growing up with just ya dad can be a little awkward at times for a girl.

I got pregnant with my daughter at a young age and to come home with a newborn and having literally no idea on what to do, was a struggle for me and so much for my dad. But one thing my 'mum' taught me, was How to be the best mum to my own child.

To grow up without her was messed up and maybe a reason why me n my sister acted up badly and started having children at a young age..

I could never imagine ever walking out on my children, as I know the hurt and pain you suffer. I still to this day can't get my head around, How Any parent ( mum or dad) could ever just wake up one day and think to themselves, I don't want these kids anymore, might just pack my crap and walk away.

What hurt more was the fact she had 2 little kids and a partner who worked nights flat out to be the best husband and father and it still wasn't good enough, and that she left to be with someone else and to go and have another child and spoilt the absolute crap out of him and even now it's all she talks about..

So now I've told everyone my half sob half happy life story, I want to thankyou Dan for sharing your post as it realli hit me but I loved it and will be sharing for all my family and friends to read.

You sound like a realli good man and you aren't afraid to show or tell people How a real true man/father should treat their children, biological or step.

But also agree with some people's comments that not just father's should read and take it in. This goes out to all the mother's father's aunts uncle's nanas poppas etc who are raising their own step, grandchildren etc..

Some people were born to have a happy loving family and some people should have just been born without certain parts to have children.

U have realli just made my morning..

Thanku Thanku Thanku xx

Judy Shapiro Hurwitz
Judy Shapiro Hurwitz

I think my kids were very lucky with their dad, for the short time they had him.  He passed away when they were 11 and 14.  We always believed in the power of touch and play.  One time really sticks in my mind.  We were at his mother's house, and my husband and I were on the floor, rough-housing with the kids.  My mother-in-law looked at us and said "We (she and my father-in-law) never did THAT with the children (my husband and his brother)." 

Well, maybe they should have.  For whatever reason and someone smiling down, my husband was the warmest and most loving person I had ever met.  He loved being with the kids, was the biggest mush in the world when it came to them.

Having said all that, I can relate in some ways to the dad in the article.  Unfortunately, due to a lot of issues and psychological problems, including PMS and PMMD), there were times when I was like that dad.  I can only apologize to my kids for the ways I hurt them (thank G-d not physically). 

But we must have done something right, because my daughter is the loving, amazing mom to my grandson, and my son will be another amazing dad when he meets the right one. 

TessaFerard
TessaFerard

Dan,


I understand you wrote this about fathers, but so many mothers are the same way. I am a very lucky woman as my children have an amazing father. My husband and I have our moments and he drives me crazy sometimes but I can thankfully say it's never about our children. He really is an amazing man just because of his love for his boys. He would do anything for them as would I. I sit here reading your post and I was able to say yes he does to all the things you mentioned that a good father should do. The rake in the face and the jackhammer to the toes he would gladly take for his sons. I get to tell him all the time that no matter what he will never ever be able to be called anything but a good dad. I will forever LOVE him even if only for that.(I do love him for much more though). I am an only daughter with five (yes five) brothers (I am the oldest) and came into four step-sister in my early teenage years. I have seen it all and done it all in my short thirty years on this earth. I have a brother that would make an amazing father and because of what he went through in Iraq cannot have a biological child of his own. I have a brother with a son that he had to and continues to fight tooth and nail for (his mom is one of those mothers) he has a step daughter that you would think was his own he too is an amazing man. He would die for his two children. Then I have a brother who has kids out there that he doesn't know or take care of but doesn't know if they are even his and could care less to find out. I've tried so hard to make him understand but think he never will. Then comes the last two. They are twins and they may never have children because with there mental disabilities due to premature birth are technically by mental standings children themselves. I am writing this because I am sure you're told all the time by many readers how amazing you are. I have lived both sides. A father who could care less and a step father I don't consider step. For what its worth he might as well be my biological father. He is my everything. So with this being said Just by your words you are a deep soul and an amazing person. Thank you for sharing your stories and for what its worth you should not be bearing any guilt by not saying or doing something for that child. Some people are lost and will never find there way, that father is probably one that will never return. You would have said something and the scene could have turned ugly and you had your little angel with you and what would something like that have showed him. Maybe to stand up for what you believe in and yes you always should but if that man is so willing to publicly kill his own flesh and bloods spirit, I can only imagine what he would have tried to do to someone he has no recognition for. You did the right thing and then you shared your story and hopefully someone who knows this man will read your story and can mention it to him. Maybe he will realize that he was the father in the store crushing his child's everything and that will trigger. One can only hope for the best when it's out of their hands. Continue to be the wonderful father you are. That is your payment. You will know when you leave that you raised a child to be an adult. We have so few of those left. All my heart for you and thank you for sharing.

Larry Ripley
Larry Ripley

I no longer stand silently by the wayside....if you are going to be a motherfucker to your children in my public space I will return the favor with as much vile spite as possible.  Our children are no longer loved or safe in most homes because they are being raised by ignorant racist assholes.  Stand up people....when folks shame their children in public spaces they are inviting a return of the favor...and I dare you to touch me....I will OWN you and at least then my staff of attorneys can get your kids away from you.

Nony
Nony

This article is amazing!!! It angers me to see so many ignorant, cold hearted, cruel parents put there. And it angers me even more to see the damage it causes their children and how their children grow up to be. I grew up in he same situation as the children you're speaking of, only I'm a woman and my mother was the one who did those things to me. I can testify that the expressions you look at your children with what you say, and how you treat them can really affect children. As a woman, I looked up to my mother for guidance, but I was very emotionally abused by my mother my whole life and now I resent her so much for it. I don't like being around her, and the damage she did to me I'm still struggling to repair. And it's true what you said that children become what you say they are. My mother called me and treated me like a whole bunch of bad things and, even though I was always a good kid, by my teenage years I was so tired of it and so used to being so "bad" no matter what that I started becoming every single thing she said I was and I became everything she treated me as. It wasn't until I started going to church that things started to really change. Now I'm struggling to forgive her for everything, and although I still love her and and wish I could have a normal relationship with her, and although it pains me that we have such a strained relationship, I struggle to let go of the fears and resentment that I still feel towards her. Parents, please open up your eyes and be careful. None of us are perfect, and we don't have to be, but we have to try to raise our children with love and respect while teaching them to grow into respectful, caring, successful adults.

larrytheguest
larrytheguest

Every man should read this post. Or women, if your man's not a reader, read this to him. I can unfortunately answer in the affirmative to the writer's, "have you ever" questions. Just over a year ago today I lost my daughter to a stupid, senseless, random act of an unknown assailant. Not a day has gone by that I haven't reflected on the times that I fell short in word or deeed and could've done better with the small things. I don't think I could've held back had I been in the poster's place. Noah's blessed to have him for his father.

joyfuss
joyfuss

Thank you for posting this letter I only wish the man at Costco is reading it.  My husband works 2 jobs and still found the time to take dance with my daughter in a dad's class and coach my son in little league and football. he went many days without sleep to be with his children they have always been first with both of us.  We were blessed to have our children and until 2 yrs. ago never took a vacation without them.  My daughter is 26 and getting married to a wonder man.  My son is 19 goes to school full time and has a part time job. they are the joy in our life and nothing comes before then now or ever.  Thank you again

JeremySawyer
JeremySawyer

I just shared this on Facebook with the following post. Thanks!


"I would ask to exchange pics, but I think i'd rather see each other, u can see the real thing on my cam... u want to?" This was from an unsolicited Skype troll.

I know things don't always turn out the way we would like and there are a huge number of mitigating factors that life throws our way. But, I am involved in my daughter's life, because I love her more than anything and I want her to have a much better shot than this woman has apparently had.

dumky
dumky

Thanks for sharing this story. It's heartwrenching.
It makes me wonder why such people chose to have children in the first place. Or why their spouse chose to have children with them. Or what are other people in their lives doing about this situation.
Imagine from the kids perspective if other adults to even speak up when they see this treatment. Think about the hypocrisy that represents in a society that claims to put children as a priority.
Parenting is a very touchy subject, and it is probably not possible for a stranger (like you in this situation) do intervene and do any good. But bringing the topic up is still an important step.

One small nitpick: I'm not sure why you are addressing dads in particular. In terms of data (for instance on spanking), it is not clear that moms treat their kids better than dads.

konamom
konamom

This was beautifully written, full of passion, and love for children. What I took from this was to not be afraid to be a voice for that child you see being broken by an adult. You have the power to change that child's life. Be brave, say something, do something. There is no time to wait, that child needs help. Please be a voice for that child, there is a valuable teachable moment for your child to witness their parent taking a stand for what is right.

Thank you for writing this and reminding people that not all children are loved and nurtured.

Caroline
Caroline

Dude, we can only believe half of what we see, and nothing of what we hear.Yes there is good and evil in this world.We should never judge.No one knows the whole story, no less post it… Don’t get me wrong, KUDOS for talking about this topic.I just wanted to stir up the pot…Give you another view…

I have two handicapped children and two.  Noble was our vision, but as soon as the parenting job began, sometimes, it is just about surviving.  Yes, all of our actions can be miss perceived. Parents are responsible for their children, 100%, and that does mean; learning how to act in a public arena too. Unless you want to send/give them to the state institution in 16 years, prison or juvie?

Or if you don’t discipline the child with love, and responsibility, you might as well condemn them in this world, today. Each one is their own individual person? With their own needs.  This is coming from a mom, who has taught her 16 yr old son, how to bathe everyday since he was able to sit in the tub at about 7 mons old.  The same, considered a genius who also, poops in his pants three times a day, however, confusing this might be to strangers, to watch me control him, during the beginning phases when we were guiding him to opening up his mind, to simple skills, like…
“he can’t remember how to brush his teeth, hair, or put on clean clothes…” but destroy a professional gamers league, cleaning up and winning…  another full game system,  well, the JOKE was on us.

The day HALO came out, after an average three to four hours of just waiting for it… Mind you I don’t know about the gamers crap or even care about the games… but I still remember that night “Halo” came out,  at 4 am, without ever playing it, he watched his older brother play for about 15 mins, then beat three other genius’s in Japan, all adults! …

We nearly passed out, this was when he was three years old, and didn’t speak a word, labeled MR, autistic, and well…  That’s when I realized our parenting would never be the same.  We used his love for video games, and playing as a crutch for his life skills. We learned how to manipulate him.  We did a lot of unconventional parenting, but…

It worked, I have since worked with many of handicapped kids, whom like my son, their parents refuse to drug them up, and lock them away, we do unconventional treatments to get results. 

I wasn’t there, to witness what you did, I’m sure you’re an awesome parent.  However, my simple point is don’t judge, we really don’t know the whole story.  Unless, it is blatant child abuse, punching, hitting, biting…. Then grab the child and 911.  I admire you for coming out strong with your opinion, I just thought you might like to know another view? About the other children…

AKmotorider
AKmotorider

Five words, mainly from anger, frustration, and absolute ridicule, were blurted out of my mouth when I read these comments: 



What a bunch of wimps. 



Look, people. Abuse is wrong. But I swear on the face of this Holy Bible that if I here one more mother fucker spout their politically correct bullshit about how we should all just put on a smiley face for our kids and preach to them the ever-lasting wonders of their perfection because they think they will turn out better that way, I will personally smack them upside the head, at which point they'll remark, "Wow, pain! I didn't know _pain_ fucking existed!"


Fools. Absolute fools.



I have met one too many a parent that tells me anger is detrimental to a child's health, one too many a parent that I have seen gently caress their child 24/7 without anything more than a mild scolding when he throws ice cream at the mailman. 


You can take your "educational violence" and shove it up my ass.



I have had enough.





Love is essential to a child's upbringing. Without love, your child will fail as a human being. Humans without love are nothing more than animals. But it seems as if today's society has also completely failed at identifying what love is. Love is not always making your child feel better about himself. It is not always telling them how great they are or telling him to simply "try harder, darling" when he fails miserably at something he should not have.



Love is rough. As a parent, your ultimate goal is to shape your child into a respectable, honest, humble, and hard-working individual with a solid understanding of the world and it's capabilities. We do not live in Disney World. 



As an only child with a single mother, I have witnessed the unbelievable struggles my mother went through to raise me. Her relentless perseverance in the face of such extreme adversity was a true sight to behold. She didn't believe in daycare and ensured that she had a formal, high-level education before even conceiving me, and it payed off when she was afforded the option of working from home. She valued one-on-one time with me tremendously. In doing so, she did many things: showered me with affection, encouraged creativity, pushed me to try new things, and when I got older, took that even further with the idea that happiness can only be achieved through being content with what you have and not giving in to greed. 


But above all that, she taught me one of the most valuable things that a parent can ever teach their child: respect.


When she was mad, you can bet your ass I knew it. She never sugar-coat a thing, and she never apologized for getting mad - ever. If she was mad, there was a reason for it, and it was absolutely justifiable. I don't blame her. She didn't simply tell me what I had done wrong with her words, she engraved it in my skull with her tone.



When all is said and done, your child must learn respect. They must learn to listen to you. I dare you to never raise your voice at your child and see just how much of an "angel" they turn out to be. You may just be surprised to see the horror that you've have created. 




TiffanyCramer
TiffanyCramer

I had to walk away from this for a bit. My intent was to go through everyone of this author's personal replies to his readers and just give it to him lol! I stopped because each time I saw yet one more cursory reply to his readers, I became more and more agitated. 

My agitation started with the Costco example, and I thought I could stymie that by looking at it from this perspective: Even in the most innocuous of circumstances, there is always opportunity to show a child, that above all us, they reside in the center of the parent's heart.

Using the Costco event to exemplify such opportunity would have been perfect! However, this is not what the Costco event was used to exemplify.

It is all too glaringly apparent, through the stance that this author holds on personal mantras, philosophies and proposed parenting styles, that he feels the child should rue the roost. It is very difficult to discern through the absolutes to even be able to give implied meaning a fighting chance. 

My recommendation is that if the author chooses to continue publishing works on parental advice, that a more balanced, objective, practical approach be presented. It may also be prudent that when referring to how a particular person may have approached a parental decision, quantifying remark should be given as to not alienate potential consumers. 

On basic premise as to why one choses to take pen to paper for profit, sales and message top the list. In order to illicit sales, one has to be delivering a pretty sound message. In order to illicit sales outside of the small base of those that you just reinforce parenting advice, you need to have a message that SOUNDS to others as a viable alternative. 

Holding the mantra, "I am not important. My son is important", while noble, is preposterous. The most important thing to a child is their parents, and by placing parental importance under that of child, you run the risk of rearing a self-centered, self-important, spoiled-brat. 

In the end, thank you Costco Dad for not buying your child an ice-cream cone, Perhaps if the child stood by the wall as he was asked of in the first place, Dad would have purchased that all important ice cream cone. Kids do need ice cream cones, just not bad listeners. 

Quickly, as to Costco Dad poking the child, not so much a fan of that. He should have waited until he got to the car and spanked the child. The next day, when the child behaved properly, the Dad could have rewarded any good behavior with an ice-cream cone. If you don't like the spanking, then the Dad should have gotten HIMSELF two ice cream cones, and eaten both in front of child. Do not confuse breaking your child with breaking bad behaviors.

Some Person
Some Person

Everyone talking about judgments are only worried for their own actions, that they now feel judged for and that isn't what this article is about. Maybe everyone should take whats important from this and stop worrying about their own egos. Like... Love? 

Also in case it really needs to be actually SAID I doubt the writer is singling out just men and any thoughtful reader can include women/mothers into the mix. My mother was defiantly no saint. 


Have a nice day.

Monkeypaws
Monkeypaws

@AngryinBrampton  Then you're deluding yourself. Neither the CAS or the police can do anything about it.  It's a parent's right to discipline their child/children in such a manner without repercussion.  I'm not saying it's right, only that the patriotic leotards and cape you portray yourself to be wearing are sort of faded and worn full of holes.  The reason you don't stand up for these children is because it's none of your business and you don't know the entirety of the situation.  I'd never treat my own son in such a manner, but not all children are as fortunate as he.

Monkeypaws
Monkeypaws

@myza1177  Bravo, you make solid points!  It's nice to see a voice of reason in a sea of bleeding hearts.  We don't know the situation, we don't know what transpired before.  I seriously doubt that the father was "finger punching" his son in the collar bone as violently as the author makes it out to seem for dramatic effect.  You're going to receive a lot of criticism here because you're speaking up for what the author makes out as "demon dad" with his supposed violence issues and desire to see the little boy broken spirited or shackled to a cinderblock wall.  I occasionally give my son a stern word or look when he's been out of line.  I don't physically abuse him, but I'll take him by the arm or shoulder firmly when I need to convey the gravity of a point that an energetic little boy might not otherwise pay attention to.  Keep speaking up, most the people responding suffer from tragically broken ideals or cry over Sarah McLachlan commercials.  Don't lose your voice, it's needed.

JasmineDodson
JasmineDodson

@myza1177 I am not real sure you totaly got what this guy was trying to say. Saying no to your kid is not all this dad did. If just saying no to the boy was all that happend Im sure no parent would object. I think it was the continued way this father acted with harshness even when the boy excepted the NO responce to his question. 


ZStone
ZStone

@myza1177 The ice cream wasn't the point - it was the interaction. I agree with DocJWatson on the discipline vs. punishment standpoint. If they were going home to have dinner, the father could have just said that "no ice cream until after dinner" is a lot more proactive than scaring the crap out of the kid. And getting upset for humming? Geez - the kid didn't have anyone else to talk to, obviously, so he was singing to himself. The dad in the story might not be a bad dad, but he wasn't letting the best of himself show through to the kid and wasn't showing the kid how to handle frustration/bad day/whatever in the best way.  Maybe he went home and felt badly about it and apologized. Who knows? But, wouldn't it be better to have attention be brought to things like this so we can, in our own lives, not put ourselves in that predicament to begin with?

DocJWatson
DocJWatson

@myza1177 Did you miss the part where he used his fingers as a painful tool to get the boy to stand back against the wall?  Pressure behind the collarbone is painful, it is not to be used as discipline for something as mild as a child not minding leaning up against the wall.  The author doesn't really have to 'reflect' on the dialogue he heard.  It's one thing to say "You aren't behaving, you're going to be grounded when we get home" vs "I promise you're going to get it when we get home".  The first would've been better, because the child understands the terms of his parents grounding system.  The second is obtuse and honestly meant to instill fear of what is to come when they are out of public sight.  Call me judgemental, but instilling dread of punishment in someone that young is not productive.

LoveIsNotEnough
LoveIsNotEnough

@cake man I do understand where you're coming from cake man. But, that the dad had no qualms about speaking so harshly to his son in the supermarket, I believe this was just a minimal snapshot of how he could possibly treat his son at home. To call him on his behaviour, and point out the intimidated demeanor of his child, would embarrass this guy - and the kid may cop it at home for it. I have intervened when I've seen parents mistreating their children, and then one day heard the mother literally tell their child as she sulked off, that he (the kid) would pay for that when they got home. It broke my heart. One act of what we think is saving the child from humiliation or even physical abuse is not going to change the damaged parent's treatment of them. It may make them worse. So now, in the case of physical violence, I call security and if able, document their car registration details and report to the child abuse hotline, so at least there is a record of some sort should that family come to the attention of authorities. *Yes, it means following along carefully to see where they parked. But if it's verbal abuse (which IS just as damaging), I now most times, do not involve myself - and walk away feeling terrible guilt. "Why would you speak that way to your child?" is something I have thrown out there since reducing my reaction for the sake of the kid/s involved. But again, we have to consider what is being said and HOW it is being said, as to whether we may make that little child's life worse for having butted in. The Dad that witnessed the incident he wrote about, may have caused more damage by speaking up. He may also have shocked that bully of a father into taking a look at himself - but I doubt it. So, we should err on the side of causing the least damage. I hope that little boy grows up to be everything it sounds like his father isn't. I understand perfectly why he did not say anything - and was brought to tears by the whole story. It's called EMPATHY, for those of you reading the blog calling ppl that agree 'bleeding hearts'. And myza1177 completely missed the point, which is indicative of the whole problem.

discerning thought
discerning thought

@Larry Ripley The problem with this is that it is usually going to be the child that bares the repercussions from your actions.  If a parent believes they are teaching their child respect and proper behavior by being seen but not heard and the fact that the parent was trying to enforce this incited a reaction from another adult would not make that parent reflect on what they did wrong, but would make them think that the child caused that situation.  I am not sure why race was brought into this, one has nothing to do with the other.  If you are truly thinking about the child then don't do something that would put them further into harms way.

Nony
Nony

Don't get me wrong, I still love my mother to death and would do anything for her, but the damage she did was big and it really hurts me that our relationship always was and is the way it is. It doesn't mean don't discipline your children, it doesn't don't teach them respect. Discipline and actual abuse are not the same thing and a lot of things that some parents do are actually very damaging to children.

dumky
dumky

Oops, I had a typo in my comment: "Imagine from the kids perspective if other adults *don't* even speak up..."

stacey1
stacey1

@konamom  I would say or do anything till I knew the whole story .  one does not want to get child welfare involved unless one is sure about the whole story.  of course telling a parent what you think is not getting child welfare involved but I would keep my mouth shut unless I saw sexual or I know there is no no way to pinpoint what this is but heavy emotional or physical abuse going on

joyfuss
joyfuss

Caroline,

I understand where you are coming from my only thought is the knowledge that mental abuse can be just as hard as physical abuse but the scars do not show.

TiffanyCramer
TiffanyCramer

@Caroline That was a wonderful story to share! 

I volunteer at the school with the special needs classrooms. One of the boys is mute, autistic, and has to wear depends. On the outside, this little boy looks like a mini Michael Jordan...only more handsome. This child looks like an angel delivered straight from Heaven. He is always impeccable in dress, meticulously groomed, and unless you knew otherwise, you would think he was the exact same as any boy his age.

Not the case at all. He is extremely strong, and he does not know his own strength. We were on an outing at the mall, and I was assigned to take him to a particular store (Xmas shopping for family). The ONLY way to keep him safe was to put a belt-like thing around his waist, and hold on to the "leash-like" end! Once this was removed, he was like a bat out of hell, and it was UNSAFE for him, and anyone around him that he might tackle. He tackled b/c that is how he showed his love...he was a very loving little boy!

I knew I was going to get "the looks", but never expected the horrible comments. Whatever, I am sure you can only imagine what they were (and I will toss in that I am white, and he is black...only because many of the comments even made disparaging comments surrounding that!). A few of the comments I did respond to, because while the little boy is autistic, he is not stupid. I do not know if he understood what people were saying, all I know is that I did, and it hurt me to think that this little boy might have felt the same way as I did. 

I loved him, and in so, I kept him safe. To the outside word it probably appeared as if I were walking a human dog. People just do not know what they do not know, and I don't pass fault over that, but this excerpt from this book irritates me because I could just as easily have been found in one of his "examples". 

AKmotorider
AKmotorider

@AKmotorider Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this way, and that some of you actually took the time to read my relatively long comment. 


Oh, and I was totally unaware the paragraphs were so spaced out. Not sure how that happened.

alavay
alavay

@AKmotorider amen!

TiffanyCramer
TiffanyCramer

@AKmotorider Your response was so perfect that I wanted to cry!  I am so glad there are people like you! I am afraid to say EXACTLY what I want to say, because I am indeed..a wimp lol! I suppose it takes both the wimps and the strong, like you, to impart similar messages!

DavidZabrocki
DavidZabrocki

@TiffanyCramer You really miss the point.  The discussion was less about "ice cream"  than about an over reaction to the request.  But it appears that, for you, the issue is about instant and absolute obedience.  Adults don't get paid well for that anymore. The jobs that require doing what you are told and only what you are told without comment or complaint are pretty much capped at minimum wage.  I think we can all agree that if we want our children to succeed as adults, we need to give them the skills that they will need.  That means teaching them how to ask for what they want and how to pursue getting it.  For the parent that means not punishing a child for asking and also not giving in to every request.  It means making the child work at getting what they want.  For me, it would be very easy to bark "no" and "stop bothering me" or "never bring that up again".  Of course it would also teach my child that asking for anything is bad or even dangerous.  As an adult, he will need to ask for a lot of things, everything in fact.  I would like him to know how to ask, I would like him to hear "no" only as the signal to ask someone else or to ask the same person again later.   Breaking your child to the harness is just not going to lead them to as good a life as they could have had if you allowed their spirit to thrive.

stacey1
stacey1

@Some Person  some person you did not get to choose your mother but your dealings with her definitely had input on the person you are today for better or worse  parents are impt to you for more than one reason other than turning you into a perfect person there is no such thing

TiffanyCramer
TiffanyCramer

@Some Person  The intended audience for this book is men. The book is titled, "The Real Dad Rules". The book uses parenting choices that show what does not constitute "LOVE" in the author's mind. 

Parents that chose to raise their children to listen, behave, respect, obey, etc., are not very pleased when failure to concede to a child, or failure to pander to a child is viewed as wrong. 

I love my child just as much as the next parent loves their child, I find no fault in another parent whom choses to "talk" to their child, often times with enough skill to rival the best hostage negotiator, or one that choses to tell their child to go stand by the wall until it is time to leave. 

The voice of dissent in these comments does not feel guilty of their actions, they just want to call out the author for passing perilous intent on the Costco Dad, and rightfully so. The author had no clue as to the surroundings that led up to what he witnessed in the 2 minute "snapshot". What the author perceived to be the case was influenced by the mindset he was in. 

He upset a lot of people for using his perception/judgment to condemn someone in which he knew nothing about. The easiest way to tell when you have missed the mark completely is when dissenting voice sides with the proposed perpetrator of offense. 


my2cents
my2cents

@discerning thought @Larry Ripley I would second the reply by 'discerning thought', unless of course you were witness to the child in real physical harm. I really love this article, and as a Dad, I strive to be everything good this article talks about. However, it can be very messy to interfere with a Dad that is trying to be a parent. Personally, if some 'stranger in line' was to pipe up and start telling me how to raise my child, or the question decisions I make... especially in a public place... there is a good chance that stranger would get much more than they bargained for. Who knows, this little boy/girl could have been acting horribly all day, and this was just the straw that broke him. I would suggest a very useful, non confrontational technique that has worked for me. Simply make eye contact with such a person. Lets them know you SEE them and how they are acting, and they will think twice about what they are doing. Dads are parents, and children must have respect for their parents, listen and obey, generally for the safety of the child. There are lots of ways to gain respect, but fear is not one of them, which goes for any good relationship. While 'Dads' are stereotyped as this article talks about, we are not all negligent. As well, I have seen Moms go ballistic on their kids in a store, and know many adults who are really messed up because of the way the mother has treated them as a child. This world is far from perfect, but if we could all remember to put LOVE first, it could be a whole lot better. my2cents. 

Caroline
Caroline

@TiffanyCramer I will save this for later, sorry, life is happening right now, will keep this, and talk later, stay strong sweet soul, you heart is in the right place.  We are there, many of us, just know, like I am sure you do, that all is well, and ignore those a wholes!!! Please call or write anytime, if you need me I am there, gots to go to the kids, now remember, as long as you know you are doing the right thing, let your soul rest.  Love your strength and courage, hope to gab more later! Caroline

Caroline
Caroline

@TiffanyCramer Sweet girl, I don't believe there was any intention of harm, just people who don't understand.  There will always be ignorant people.  I admire your passion and determination, to stand up for this man, it is so about us, we can't ever change another.  I have read a lot of your posts, why waste your time?  Sharing & Caring is great, but you are an amazing soul, point yourself to your own north star. Action speaks louder than words, and as us woman know, we "know" true knowing.  I believe a woman, with your passion, commitment and spirit, you are a force that has a destiny beyond reasoning, for all the greater good.  I know, I don't know you, but I am an open spiritual vessel/person, I am asking you to find your own path, pursue it, and be the light this world needs. You are a blessing. I don't know why I ended up here, but I pray you enjoy all the blessings being present bestows! Thank you, don't freak out about what I said, let it settle, mull it over, and throw it away, if you like, just LIVE, hell with the jerks! Love Caroline 

stacey1
stacey1

@DavidZabrocki @TiffanyCramer  good point tiffany it is a good idea in theory to teach your child how to get the things they want and that asking for things is not selfish and they should never be fearful to ask for things.  All of your points are good in theory  but parenting in real life is not a theory as I tell my son you get the parents you get in life you really don't get to choose us nor do we choose you you get what you get and you have to learn how to deal with the parents you get in life its that simple

stacey1
stacey1

@TiffanyCramer @Some Person  this really is a lot of intellectual thought for someone who just saw something and made a judgement call  but I guess that's what blogs are all about   its really rashamon th e only thing that really matters is the judgement that kid made and how thatkid dealt with it   your parents are supposed to break you that's what the reflections of midlife are all about  who wants a life where everything comes out balanced perfect with fake smiles all the time.  The point is is how you get fixed how you get fixed once your parents break you

TiffanyCramer
TiffanyCramer

@Caroline  @TiffanyCramer NOT freaked out at all. In fact, it is kind of spooky that you just wrote that.

I spend a lot of time commenting on a variety of internet forums (I am disabled and can't leave my house so much anymore. This is a way for me to stay connected to society!). Anyways, I was commenting on a super-charged issue, and there was one particular gentleman that was of dissenting voice, and he was just hammering everyone with disparaging comments. I couldn't understand what had him so upset, so I PM him on FB. Ended up talking with him for a few days, and nobody would ever have guessed it was the same person. He shared with me why he was so upset, even how I said something he felt should have been directed to the whole and not just him, and he was right. Blah, blah, not more than 6 hours ago, I sent him a reply that mirrors what you sent to me almost word for word!

Not only do I appreciate what you wrote and said to me, but it solidified my belief that the message that I sent to the gentleman earlier this evening was the right thing to do!

I used to have a place (lol), I taught in local colleges and Universities. ! I miss it. I am searching for my new place in life. 

Thank you for everything you said, and I am going to take your advice and head on out to find a new topic to share and care about (I liked that!). Lots of love, Tiffany!!!

Caroline
Caroline

@TiffanyCramer Believe me; your door is opening, just allow it to.  You deserve it, JUMP! love& blessings to your future! C