In the song “In the House of the Rising Sun” there’s a line that says, “Mothers, tell your children, not to do what I have done.”
When I heard this line yesterday while listening to the song, I couldn’t help but think about abusive parents.
Honestly, kids are not going to not do what you tell them not to do in most cases. Kids learn from parents and other adults for the most part. Yea, they get peer pressured and have bad judgment as children.
But I’d be more inclined to tell mothers and fathers to lead by example and don’t do yourself, what you don’t want them to do.
Most importantly, don’t abuse or neglect them. Abused and neglected kids grow up to feel inadequate and will turn to those things you tell them not to do, in order to ease the pain of that unworthy feeling. It numbs, and takes away the issues, if only for a few hours. And someone in this kind of pain will chase that numbness once they get a taste of the relief it provides.
Verbal communication is important but your actions speak much louder and the tone of voice you use does too.
Our bodies physically react to abuse and neglect, and it also harms our brain, which effects our judgment all through life, which drives our decisions, which forms our days, months, years, which adds up to a life.
People say, “Don’t you tell me how to raise my kids. How dare you. Mind your own business.”
Well, abuse is everyone’s business and not everything that happens at home should stay at home.
I haven’t personally experienced someone telling me not to tell them how to raise their kids, as far as I can remember. But I’ve heard people say it about someone else. There certainly is a line and I suppose it can get confusing, because discipline is necessary for kids. But there’s a line to that too. And I understand that there may be children being taken from their parents when they don’t deserve it. I’m not talking about them in this post.
Children as well as adults deserve respect. They are human beings who are influenced and effected easily.
If you want to have adult children…
Who grow up lost and confused about relationships, about life in general, about who they are…
Who grow up to be afraid of the reactions of others
Who grow up without thoughts and opinions of their own
Who grow up raging and taking their anger out on those who don’t deserve it
Who grow up to marry an abusive partner
Who grow up to hate themselves
Who grow up to develop eating disorders, addictions and toxic friends
Who grow up to sever ties and never speak to you again
Who end up dependent on someone else
…then abuse your kids.
But my advice will always be to parents: Do not do what my parents did, because the odds of your kids ending up like me or possibly worse, is really high.