The weight of words

It must be hella hard to be a parent.

Not only do you have to worry about making sure that your children are physically provided for, but you have to try your best to make sure they are psychologically stable. You might think you are doing a great job along the way…until you find out your son is an axe murder.

I over exaggerate a little (and I do believe that can be a combination of nature and nurture) but I do think people think they are doing a great job until they learn their child is mal-adjusted.

Parents are the FIRST people who let a child know who they are. Parents instill a moral compass, and help their children to find and latch onto a sense of self. The ways that a parent encourages a child, the thing that they allow or disallow, or the way the child is criticised.  Of the three, I think the criticisms can stand out the most. That’s not to say that children don’t remember the moments their parents were proudest of them, but criticism can cut to the bone.

I know someone who speaks to her child and every OTHER word is a curse. My ears bleed when I hear her talk to her child…but that’s how she talks to everyone. Her daughter, in an effort at self-preservation and as a result of the life she has seen, is WELL on her way to developing that same tough skin and the same attitude. She is hella sassy for a 9-year-old…but she every once in a while she still displays the innocence I expect from a 9 year old. Still, I have a hard time not mentally fast-forwarding a few years down the road when her mouth is causing daily phone calls for calling someone a “dumb #ss @4ng 52W#$*@( @#(*# and a stupid #@()$*)@)(#”.

I like to think that children are  like sponges. They soak up the good things AND the bad things. If you make fun of the way your child talks, that will hurt 6000 more times than some random stranger in the street. If you make fun on the way your child looks -even if it is something as seemingly insignificant as a hairstyle- you child might suffer from low self-esteem for the rest of his or her life. What you say to them later in life to try to assuage that pain might not help him or her see a different person in the mirror if that criticism was given early enough or often enough, even if it was in jest.

I’ve heard it said that the people whom we love the most or the people who have the capacity to hurt us the most. Any woman who has been searching for the love she never got from her father through her physical love of other men can agree with that. Any man who treats women in a disrespectful way because his mother allowed herself to be disrespected by her personifies that.

Letting anger rules our tongues when it comes to children can start a cycle of hate that we can pass on to our children and our children’s children.




One thought on “The weight of words

  1. From a different angle I always cringe when I hear parents short talk or baby talk kids or substitute words. I really feel like it stunts a child’s vocabulary and ability to effectively communicate when parents or adults in general use “baby talk” i think there is a HUGE difference between explaining something so a child can understand and dumbing the child down. Its part of the reason I believe young white kids are more articulate than those from other cultures…thats another comment/post for another day.

    Long comment short..I totally agree that kids are sponges for the good and the bad…why not let them here us reading the paper, watching the news, listening to classical and jazz instead of cursing, offensive music, and reality tv.


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