Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Parents & children

Parent (while beating the child): „This hurts me more than it does you”.
Child: „You've got to be kidding! Or stupid. Kids don't buy that garbage. I know what you feel when you're beating up on me. You're feeling angry and frustrated because you have such a poor idea of what it means to raise kids, and you project your self-hatred onto me, and beat up on me just because you're an incompetent parent. I know I make mistakes, but is that any excuse to go knocking me around? You call it a spanking. To me it's a beating, because that's what it feels like. Look, when you make a mistake does someone beat up on you? Any dumb parent can start beating a child, but it takes a concerned parent to go to the library to check out a few books on child rearing. If you spent as much time studying how to be a good parent as you do watching TV, you might learn how some punishment just makes me resentful and rebellious, and how I unconsciously decide to punish you in some way, by doing something really bad.”

I just can’t help remembering John Chrisostom’s words on anger. He pointed at how forgetful children are after they got rebuked and maybe spanked or even beaten by their parents. How fully they seem to forgive. And how full of resentments and hostility grownups are, as it seems impossible for them to let go of hatred and envy and fury...A child’s innocence and purity and readiness to forgive should be - and many a time is – a necessary medicine which help parents redeem the time and eventually transform into more patient, understanding and...sensible people.

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