When did we decide it was OK to hit a child with a stick? I’m tired of hearing all about the famous football player spanking his child with a tree branch or some sort of stick-like device causing bruising, cuts, and bleeding, then hearing that there are actually people out there who think that’s OK. We have other football players coming to his defense, even going so far as to say that nobody is going to tell them how to discipline their kids, and that how you discipline your children is your business, not anyone else’s. I do think it becomes someone else’s business if the discipline you are dishing out is causing marks, scars, and bleeding.
First of all, this isn’t discipline. Where on earth do we send our children and allow them to get hit, spanked, or beaten? I can’t think of any parent who would send their child off somewhere and allow them to be hit, so why would it be OK for that parent to do it in his own home? If someone else can’t spank your kid, why should you be able to do it?
Our children are human beings. Even though we are their parents, we do not own them. They are not possessions. They have feelings. I think if a child is hit by his parent it sends the wrong message and not the clear message we truly want to send. We teach our children not to hit other kids, they are punished if they do, but then we send them mixed messages by disciplining them with spankings. How is that going to teach them right from wrong?
I don’t think spanking really solves the problem. I don’t agree with it. That’s not to say I’ve never been completely frustrated and wacked one of my kids on the butt a few times. I’ve done it. I’ve smacked both of my children on the butt at least a couple times in their lives. It was a stupid way to handle their behavior, and it was lazy parenting at best. At worst, it was me showing my children that I was bigger, I was stronger, I was in charge, and if they didn’t do as they were told, they would feel pain. I’m ashamed I did it, and I wouldn’t ever do it again.
I simply don’t think using corporal punishment works. Kids don’t learn anything from it, and I doubt it stops them from misbehaving again after they forget about the spanking in a few days or weeks; unless it’s done repeatedly and over and over again until it’s impossible for them to forget. And if that’s the case, well, that’s a problem.
We’ve got a famous basketball player telling people that it’s completely normal for people “in the south” to beat their children with objects. My guess is that the majority of the people living in the south would disagree with his assessment. I can’t imagine that everybody down in Alabama or New Orleans is spanking their children with branches.
I rolled my eyes reading the statement made by the aforementioned football player/stick beating man when he said that after speaking with a psychologist he now realizes there are other ways to discipline a child. Hmmmmm… So, you didn’t realize that before? You really thought, prior to your session with a medical professional, that the only way to reprimand your child was to hit him? OK dude. Whatevs.
From what I understand, the kid was four-years-old. Here’s what I’ve come to know, as a mother of two boys…
For just about any four-year-old kid I know, a time out works just fine. Ok, maybe you’ve got a real stinker on your hands, so we’ll throw out the time out and bring in the taking away of favorite things. That almost always gets those little villains. If that doesn’t work, you could try an earlier bedtime, no Sesame Street or Dora, or even no dessert after dinner for an entire week. That alone would have thrown my younger son into a complete meltdown and you better believe the kid would have shaped up right then and there. I know the no dessert punishment is cruel, but I think it’s better, and probably more effective, than the beatings.
I know not everyone will agree with my opinions here, but since it’s my blog, I’m going to write about what I believe.
What I believe is this…
The world would be a better place if we stop hitting kids, stop beating woman, stop abusing men, stop mistreating animals, and learn to be kinder to our fellow living beings.
One day every year it happens, I wake up that morning and I’m another year older. Birthdays were fun back when I was a child or in my twenties. I didn’t even mind them in my thirties. Then came my fortieth, and I cried all day. I’m not proud of it, and I hate to admit it. I wish I would have been one of those people who embraced the age of forty with gusto; felt like forty was the new twenty. But I didn’t. I cried, bawled, really, for hours. It was truly pathetic.
I’m forty-four years old now. I’ve given birth to two children; two very large children, as a matter of fact. Birthing the gigantic babies has changed my body in several different ways, and whenever one of my darling children point out my less than flat stomach, I make sure to blame them for the expansion of my waistline. I’m pretty sure the blame lies on the children and not my strong love for all carbohydrates; at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
I noticed things going downhill once I entered the dreaded forties. Every so often, I wake up in the morning, and my hips hurt. What is up with that? Why the hips? I would understand my neck or back if I happened to sleep in a strange position, but the hips make no sense to me. My hips never hurt before. I’m going to blame the huge children for that, as well.
I used to be able to sleep for an entire eight hours without having to pee. That is very seldom the case now. Sometimes I can make it until about 4:30 am, but usually never the entire night. There’s not much worse than having to pee in the middle of the night when you are dead asleep and you can barely open your eyes wide enough to find the bathroom. I just want to stay in my comfy, warm bed!
Speaking of pee (and those of you who are adverse to a little bit of “TMI” should just stop reading right now), don’t even get me started sneezing, coughing or laughing too hard. All I can say about that is WTF?? Who is punishing me with this appalling occurrence and why? I just want to hold in all the pee when I cough, or jog, or do jumping jacks, or wrestle with my kids. No pee should be trickling out. That can’t be normal.
There are wrinkles (deep ones), on my forehead. I tried growing bangs once, to cover up the craters, but I looked awful, so now I just walk around with huge wrinkles all over my head. I have thought about Botox, but I’m too afraid I will be that very rare person who experiences a forehead the size of a basketball after the first injection. There’s just something about injecting poison into my skull that I can’t stomach.
I can only drink about two glasses of wine nowadays; anymore will throw me over to the dark side. I get a headache and a bad case of heartburn if I drink more than two glasses of any alcoholic beverage. I was never a very big drinker, but the fact that I get sick if I drink too much just makes me angry. If I want to be drunk, I should be able to be drunk, gosh darn it! (I try not to use foul language, as well, as to not offend the aforementioned children). They just suck the fun out of everything, don’t they?
Many times while watching a movie or a television show with my son, he will point out that I have some gray hairs. He offers to pluck them for me, and seems to enjoy pulling the wild and unbecoming hairs out of my head. I told him he’d better stop doing this because very soon I will have no hair left. At that point I will be bald, have wrinkles, a potbelly, I will limp (the sore hips), while walking, and then pee might trickle out. This is certainly something to look forward to. How much longer before I’m going to have to wear the Depends undergarment?
I can no longer eat anything I want. I want to have a milkshake every day. I do. I would love that, but I do not do it. In fact, I probably only have a milkshake once or twice per year. I would like to eat a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch every day, but I simply cannot do it. If I did, I would weigh seven hundred pounds. I remember being able to eat anything I wanted when I was in my twenties. I was never skinny or thin, but I was happily a size eight eating my grilled cheese at least four times per week. That was the life!
I have a child who wears a size eleven and a half men’s shoe, who is growing facial hair, and who knows more about technology than I have ever or will ever know. How is it possible I’ve gotten this old? How can this be the last year I have a son in elementary school? What am I supposed to do with myself when my boys are both in middle school and they no longer need room mothers, class party chair people, and volunteers to read with their classmates? I suppose I am going to have to work on flattening that potbelly and dying the gray hairs. I suppose a few Kegel exercises wouldn’t hurt, either.
And there’s heartburn now. This is a brand new and completely horrendous experience. If I eat a tiny morsel of food that was once a staple of my diet but now refuses to agree with my digestive system, I lie in bed at night experiencing a searing pain in my chest that has got to resemble swallowing a lit piece of charcoal. Why does my body hate me now? Why are these foods turning on me?
I really should sit down and think about all the things I’m grateful for that my forties have brought to me. I am smarter and stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m not as afraid to take risks or start something new. I certainly do not care as much about what others think of me, and I’m confident enough to go out on a limb every once in a while and say or do things that shake things up a bit. I love being a mom to two healthy, happy, and growing boys, and am grateful I’m healthy enough to be able to enjoy spending time and playing with them.
My forties have also introduced me to a new appreciation for the wonderful relationships I have with my girlfriends; fellow mothers who are experiencing many of the same ailments, feelings, and emotions I am. I have always treasured the relationships I’ve had with my friends, but I feel much more appreciative of them now that I’m older.
I suppose being forty-four isn’t the worst thing to happen. The good most definitely outweighs the bad. However, I am not going to promise that I won’t have a bit of an emotional breakdown when I turn fifty. I’m just warning everyone now. Prepare yourselves.
What is it with these people on the House Hunters show? How do they not know that when they have a small budget they are NOT going to get a five thousand square foot home with the kitchen the size of a basketball court? I used to love watching that show, but I don’t think I can sit through many more episodes.
Who moves to a foreign country and doesn’t do any research? I’m always amazed by the folks who travel to Paris to buy a new home and do not realize the bathrooms are going to be tiny, and you have to pay an excessive amount of money to afford anything within the city limits. And everyone wants to live within the city limits.
Do these people not have the Internet? Do they not own computers? Are they unable to order travel books on Amazon? I would think that if I were going to leave the country to relocate, I would do my research first. Maybe that’s what makes some people want to watch the show. It just makes me think the individuals on the show are dumb.
And then there are the mean people; the ones who hate everything. I am pretty sure they hate their realtor, too. I’m always uncomfortable watching them tear into the poor realtor, berating the guy because he had the audacity to show them a house that had carpet in the half bath. For Christ’s sake, people, just rip it out!
I hate it when the couples don’t get along. One of them wants a modern, clean, airy (they use that word A LOT), loft apartment in the city, and the other wants a good old Victorian far away from civilization. That’s just a recipe for disaster, right there. Maybe this makes for better TV, but it just makes it clear to me that they are heading straight for divorce court. I’m silently saying, “Do not buy a home together. You will never make it as a couple! Run away now!”
Maybe it’s just Reality TV in general that makes me uncomfortable. I can’t stand the Bachelor shows. I really can’t believe that a whole group of women would put themselves on a television show and compete for some dude who, in the end, never turns out to be as wonderful as he was portrayed at the beginning of the show. The women fight, they talk badly about each other, they seem to find every opportunity to walk around half naked, and I hate it.
What about the Real Housewives shows? Those women are so mean to each other. They claim to be friends, but every chance they get; they’re fighting with each other, whining about each other, and complaining about each other. I hate those shows, too. I just can’t fight with my friends. It’s not normal. If you are friends with someone, be friends. There should not be fighting. If you do not like someone, do not socialize with that person. How is this not understood by all?
I keep thinking about how bored people would be if my friends and I were characters on a Real Housewives show. People would get to see us drive our kids to school and to various sporting events and practices. They’d watch me make dinners that my kids won’t eat and then clean it up afterwards. The exciting times would be watching my co-PTA volunteers pop and bag popcorn on Popcorn Day and plan class parties. I guess that’s why I don’t have a reality television show of my own. I’m too boring.
I have to admit that I am a bit intrigued by the show with the naked people who are afraid and out in the wilderness forced to survive. There is not enough money in the world for me to strip naked in front of a stranger and live out in some varmint infested cesspool of misery for even one day. I truly don’t see how those people do it. I’m not sure if they’re brave or stupid.
Of course those reality television shows are very popular, so I think there must be something there I don’t see. Many people would think I’m nuts because I love horror movies, and most of them contain the worst script writing that has ever existed.
I guess we all have our guilty pleasures, and if I’m going to lie in bed at night watching some awful thriller, maybe I should give Reality TV one more chance.
Or maybe I’ll just go read a good book. I think that’s the better choice.