“I didn’t hurt my daughter…”

I am sure most of you have seen the video of the woman using the hose on her 2yr old because of a tantrum. There was a follow up video on MSN where the mom was defending her actions. What got me was that she said that she didn’t hurt her daughter. That she took off the girl’s wet clothes and wrapped her in a towel and hugged and kissed her…I took her tone to mean that because she didn’t beat her kid, that she hugged and kissed her, that she didn’t “hurt” her.

I beg to differ.

People, there are MANY forms of abuse. Just because you aren’t beating your kids, just because they don’t have marks on them…doesn’t mean you aren’t hurting them mentally. Did this woman make a bad decision? Probably. She is a single mom…I know that is hard. However, that doesn’t change the fact that spraying her kid with a high pressure hose “to calm her down” (??) could have some serious repercussions.

Ok, the girl was throwing a tantrum. I understand that. I have a 3yr old. We are well acquainted with tantrums. Our strategy…he has to go into time out until he stops. If he is in the car…well…we just deal with it until we get where we are going. The girl was 2 years old. TWO. She is going to throw tantrums because she is trying to learn how to navigate the world around her. This is how she finds out what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t.

However, to me anyway, spraying the girl with the hose is more of a cruel and unusual punishment, not a way to calm a child down. I saw the first video…she kept on spraying this poor child…this child is going to be afraid of her mom now…and may always interpret fear with love since mom “hugged her & kissed her” afterwards. Just because you show your kid love after a bad parenting decision doesn’t mean that you didn’t so something wrong. You have to realize you did make a wrong decision and take action to correct yourself.

Parents and adults have to realize that children are LEARNING. They don’t know how to do the things we all take for granted, and often they will forget when you told them 10 times yesterday. They are kids…not mini adults. They don’t automatically know what is the right and wrong way to behave, they only learn by repetition. However, if you teach your child through fear they won’t really learn what you are trying to teach and only learn to fear. They won’t learn the why’s of behavior, only that they need to fear retribution from an adult. This fear can carry over into adulthood and create mental issues that may prevent them from being anything from just plain happy to being constructive members of society.

My goal as a mom isn’t to scare my kids to death. It isn’t to make them fear my wrath. It is to teach them how the world works. It takes a tremendous amount of patience…sometimes I have to dig real deep for it. But I can say, I try very hard to pay attention to what I do and say to my son (and my future daughter)…I had a mom that scarred me mentally…and I am working hard not to do the same to my kids. I know that something a simple as how you phrase something can have a huge impact for years and years.

Does the above mom deserve to have her kid taken away? Not really. I do believe she thought she was doing the right thing. I feel that she needs parenting classes for sure…and learn how to correct and discipline her child in a constructive way that doesn’t involve high pressure hoses. I also think she probably needs a little help to take care of her kid. There is a reason it takes two to have a baby…because you need two people to raise them. When one gets burned out, the other takes over for a while. Single parents often don’t have this.

I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt…but she has to realize that she did, in fact, overreact…and that if she continues the same kind of behavior towards her child it could be detrimental…she must also be willing to get help and change to make things better for her and her daughter in the long run.

I am not a parenting expert. I don’t want anyone to think I am trying to be. But I know how I was treated when I was a kid. I suffered mental abuse, however subtle, at the hands of my mother. I know how small things can end up big problems for adult children. I am still struggling with a lot of issues that I had acquired as a child. I just hope that I can help some people understand this and maybe help keep some kids from having the same emotional problems I have as an adult.

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2 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Family, Kids

2 responses to ““I didn’t hurt my daughter…”

  1. It certainly seems kind of extreme to me. I’m not yet a parent (soon will be, though!) but I can understand how frustrating it must be for parents with very young kids who are playing up. However, I very much doubt that turning a high-pressure water spray on a child as a way to “calm her down” is the first “great idea” that springs to mind! I really hope that this young mother will seriously think about her parenting skills and do something to improve on them, because clearly, she has some very odd ideas about how to keep a child in line!

  2. I agree with you, Sandy. She needs some help with her parenting skills, and she likely needs a break every once in a while. Single parenting is the hardest job on earth. I was never technically a single parent until after my husband died when my son was 14), but at the same time I was effectively a single parent for many years before that, because my husband was too ill to help me in any way, with our son, with our house, or with anything. It was more along the lines of my having an additional child.

    Hopefully this woman will realize that spraying a child with a high-pressure hose is not effective parenting, and hopefully the negative attention she has gotten will stop her from going on to even more destructive parenting patterns.