Friday, February 24, 2012

One of my worst nightmares happened...

I had an experience on Wednesday…no...not an experience...one of my worst nightmares happened is more accurate...and it really made me think…

I was in a public place (theme park). There were 10 of us in our group. We got distracted by some rain. We were in a small area but we kept sorta' moving from here to there in that area as we planned what to do with our time. We started off in one direction, hesitated, backed up, stood still, thought…

I did something around 5:20 I'd done continually throughout the day: I scanned our group and took note of everyone. Someone was missing. My 3-yr old was not viewable. That happened often thru the day with different people and I'd scan the crowd a few seconds more till I finally saw the person who was "missing".

This time…I was scanning for small blue pants with white dots on them. The younger kids were playing by a large green trash can that we were standing near and I thought she had to be behind it. I repositioned myself and she…was not there. I looked to the left. To the right. I couldn't see her. But, this had sorta' happened before where it took me a few seconds to "Find Waldo" in the crowd so I was telling myself that she was there I just wasn't seeing her. But, too many seconds were passing and I could not "find Waldo"... 

"Why can't I see Tori?" I asked. At first I was expecting someone to say, "Gosh. She's right there..." And, I'd be like, "Yeah, old age..."

The other grown-ups paused a little and looked around.

I kept looking and...was not...seeing her. And, no one was telling me I was being blonde and she was "right there" so I asked again in a more panicked tone, "Why can't I see Tori?"

Now, everyone's focus is on "where is Tori?" I'm thinking someone has to be able to see her and it's "just me" being "me" and I'm the only one. But…no one sees her. For real...no one sees her! 

I watch a lot of crime shows. If I can "learn" from a TV program about the human psyche I watch it. And, so, when my mind accepted that she was "missing"...my whole physiology changed as my brain doused me with fear chemicals. My 3-year old was gone. My 3-year old had been allowed to be separated from me by my own careless eyes that didn't watch her well enough. And, my overactive mind knew that there was a possibility that some sick serial killer-type had snagged her and was now heading to the parking lot with her will really bad plans...

I knew "this" feeling well. In 1998 I got a call that my husband had been in a car accident and had been taken to the local trauma center. That feeling of, "Oh, God...this only happens to other people but it's happening to me right now..." Other people's kids get taken. But, now...it was me. My kid was gone. It had happened to me. 

It's strange that people love horror movies so...when true horror is not fun at all... 

I ran to the nearest park employee at a concessions stand and told them, "My kid is lost. Can you call someone!" 

Right away the person phoned security and soon a security person was there with us asking us what she looked like and said, "We've never not found a lost kid here. This is the best place to be a lost kid. Don't worry."

That offered me no consolation. There are exceptions to everything.

I didn't know what exactly to do…part of me wanted to run to the front gate to intervene if someone was to be trying to get out of the park with her and yet, I didn't want to leave the area where I'd last seen her. Plus, I still had my 6 and 8 year olds with me and I had to still "watch them". 

My 14 and 24 year old daughters were frantically walking around everywhere calling her. I was calling her as loudly as I could about every 10 seconds. People were watching me, I could see in my peripheral vision that I had become "a spectacle", but I didn't care. I walked and called her thinking that if she had simply wandered off if I just got close enough to her and she heard my voice she'd come…

Some people came and offered to help…I heard them and responded almost like a robot, "Blue pants, white spots, 3-years old"...I of all people would you believe...when I'm under stress lose my ability to speak! 

I can't really describe how I felt because having lost all use of most of my brain at that time I'm sure I've forgotten most of it. I wish I could see it on video to see how long it happened and what I did. But, I remember after a while…feeling utterly hopeless and like what I was doing to find her was useless (which it actually was) and she was just…gone…

My 8-year old was following me around calling her, too…when someone called out to me that she'd been found…and I had to go to the place where they take the lost kids…

Go? 

I ran…

It was raining. My backpack was just flopping all over the place and I was afraid I'd slip in a puddle but I ran…almost not believing that I'd actually find her there that it had to be a dream...but as I approached the door of the place where she was supposed to be…it was glass…so I could see her standing there with some older lady…her head was down (which said she was scared)…and I started to bawl. Like, that kind of hyperventilating type of bawling. 

I entered the place and knelt down and just held her and cried. "Oh my God, Tori! I couldn't find you! I was so scared! I'm so sorry you were lost! I'm so sorry you were scared!" 

I don't even know if I spoke words…or what I said…but I know that's how I felt. 

The lady said that she wouldn't talk to them (that's what she does when scared I guess just like her mom) and that she had nothing on her (ID). UGH!!! Normally, I write on my kids (so they can't lose it!)…on some body part like a leg (under a skirt or dress) my name and cell #…but this time…I'd forgotten…

Oh God…

But, she was safe…I had her back…

Of course, after I had a chance to calm down...it got me thinking…specifically about 2 things…

The Bible says that everything about God is knowable thru the things He's made. Creation. I am part of that Creation. My hormones and response system to my own children are part of God's creation…

The Bible talks about being on the "right path"…"all My sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way in Isaiah 54"…and without all the quoting of verses...simply...we Christians are just all familiar with that terminology. A person who is right with God is "on a right path" or "walking" right. Right? A person who is NOT on a right path with God…has turned willingly onto a wrong path…and has become what? Lost. People who are "wrong" with God are…lost.

As the song says, "I once was lost...but now I am found...was blind but now I see..." (Amazing Grace)

Well…

There is that school of thinking that will try to tell you, "Turn! Or Burn!" Right?

That was me once, btw…

They'll tell you that God will just burn you up in a fiery pit of hell forever for getting…lost. Right?

Sometimes "getting lost" spiritually is described as a willful turning or a willful life of not following Jesus (which would be more like if Tori had willfully walked away and then gotten lost).

Sometimes "getting lost" spiritually is about being sort of accosted or kidnapped…or just tricked/deceived into following someone with ill intent (like if Tori had been tricked by her eyes to think that our group was going a certain direction and had started to follow someone who wasn't us...or if she'd just not paid attention and our group moved away from her...or...if someone had said, "here little girl want some candy"...). 

Right?

So…Tori was either "irresponsible" and wandered…or didn't follow us…OR…someone had taken her when I wasn't looking…

Either way...she was lost!

SO…

We think it's OK to think that God wants to sit on His throne, point an angry finger and then torture forever…those who wander, follow the wrong person, or are led astray. We think that's Biblical. We think that's why we "evangelize" 'cause God is out to smite all the lost.

Is that how God is?

According to Romans 1 the Creation is supposed to tell me how God is...and...

God is my Father. And, like that, I am Tori's mother. And, I am part of Creation. And, I know how I felt when this happened to my child. When everything shut down and I only felt the feelings that are built into me in that situation. I know how I felt... 

The LAST thing I felt I wanted to do to her…was punish her. It did not even cross my mind when it happened. The last thing I felt was any scolding thoughts toward her. I felt only…a desperation to get her back. A desperation that was so powerful...that had I not found her in a timely manner…I would not be sitting here typing. No. I'd be…somewhere…not…doing too well. I am convinced…that had she been "lost" permanently…I'd have died... 

God…is our Father. 
We…are His children.
We're lost.
He…isn't angry. He's desperately trying to "find us". 
And, He is our example of how to be a parent.
So...

When our kids wander from "the path" (be naughty) what are we to do about it? Punish them? Ground them? Shoot their computer?

No.

Love...covers a multitude of sins...not punishment...

When Tori spiritually or emotionally "wanders" from me...or "follows someone else" down a "wrong path"...the correct response is not to "harm" her or "cause her physical pain to understand what she's done wrong." The correct thing to do is built into us...the same thing that the father of the prodigal son did...run to his son. I ran to Tori. I embraced her. I rejoiced because she was found. 

There are ways to "seek out" and "run to" a naughty kid in situations throughout the day that can "save them" from their naughtiness. Hitting kids is never the way to get them back "on the right path" or inspire them to want to follow you.

That…was lesson #1...punishment is not God's way of parenting...

Lesson #2…was…about "God's Plan for your life"...

Christians…tend to…believe…things they don't believe...

Like…

Imagine…There are surely people out there…who would be inclined to believe…that this incident…was part of "God's plan" for us. Maybe I tend to be too "lax" with watching her…maybe she tends to be too "lax" in following me. Because I learned something from this, they believe, it means that the lesson was from God. All along it was just God teaching me something. So, God…orchestrated this…as part of His "perfect plan" to…teach me…to be more attentive to her so no one ever does take her.

Easy to believe stuff like that…when you are putting it into some obscure category where "His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are not our ways"…

Yeah…

BUT…we are made in His image…and Romans 1 says we can learn everything about Him from what He's made...

So…He's our Father…what if I…as Tori's mother…told you when she was lost that, "Well, she doesn't pay attention too well when we're in public. I always tell her to hold my hand or stay with the group so that she doesn't get lost! I let my 3-yr old get lost on purpose…I put her into this situation where she's utterly terrified right now for about 10 minutes so that that she would experience the fear of being lost…so she would learn…not do stray from my…loving side." (And, in this case I'd not be frantically seeking her out...I'd be casually waiting until "my timing" decided it was time to go retrieve her...no emotion...just "there now did you learn your lesson?")

Uh huh. Yeah. Right. Someone. Please. Call social services. Now. 

Right?

We attribute to God (in MANY areas not just this)…stuff that we would never accept as even slightly OK in a human. Stuff we'd immediately identify as "sin" in a human we believe somehow it's God being...high and lofty...and we deprive Him of His very essence: Love. God is love. And, to be the puppeteer mastermind behind everything as part of His "plan" to teach us things in which He must put us into situations of danger and fear makes Him very cold and very very twisted... 

No. God did not have some "perfect plan" for me and Tori at that moment to experience such fear and desperation. Fear...is of God? No. It's not of Him because God is love. Perfect love casts out fear. There is no fear in love. No fear.

Does God use these situations to teach us something? Of course! He's trying to use everything in Creation to teach us something. That's what Romans 1 means…

Did I learn something from this? Yes. Because…I do. I look at dandelions or leaves scattered across my driveway and learn something when I'm in the mood. I learn things because I'm open to learn them. Some people, unfortunately, only pay attention when something "slaps them in the face" (is traumatic) and then all of Christendom gets the simple-minded idea that God does or is the cause behind these atrocious things in order to get our attention. No. 

That was lesson #2…

I thought those were the only 2…but then something hit me…today…before I wrote…that no…there's more…

Lesson #3 is about something that I think we all have done...at some point...something normal in our culture in our "parenting"...

Tori…I have no idea how we got separated. I think back and there was a moment when we all "headed that way" and then stopped. Perhaps she continued? Perhaps she simply wandered from us when we were stationary. Perhaps…we wandered from her? It's hard to say. But, according to her no one "led her" away. Somehow she just suddenly realized that we…were gone and she couldn't find us and she was scared.

So…

How many people…drop their kids off in unfamiliar places like nursery at Church or "somewhere"…or at a new daycare…or…wherever…and then "sneak out" so their kid doesn't cry? What does that child experience? Do they have the same experience of suddenly realizing that the person they were with is gone? 

Do they…experience the same fear that Tori did? Is this why they freak out and cry? We tell the their mommy's coming back or whatever but...are they feeling the same feelings when that happens...that Tori did? 

And, what about kids who awaken in the middle of the night in the dark…and mom isn't there? They're all…alone. Do they cry at 3am to be…manipulative? Or…are they legitimately…afraid? 

I know I will never sneak out on my kids ever again...

That…was lesson #3…

Sometimes…I don't like school...



Sunday, February 19, 2012

"That was bad!"

I just observed something that happened between 2 of my kids that made me think…I looked on the surveillance camera for the pool and could see the 6 year old holding her finger up at the 3 year old and the 3 year old standing there with her head down. The other kids came in and told me that she was telling her that "she was bad". 

Where did she learn to do that? Where did she learn to get in someone's face who was bugging her (being naughty) and tell them they were being bad? 

Obviously, she learned it from me. :(
And, obvious to me seeing her do it is how wrong it is for me to have ever done it.

Everyone knows one thing...that you're supposed to tell your kids that what they did was bad and not that they were bad. Sure. But, I think that even even telling our kids that what they did was bad is…bad. 

Why is that…bad…and what should be done instead?

Here's an experience I had when I was about 5…

I had a kiddie pool in the yard. I had a very "cautious" mom who didn't want me to drown so she only put like 2 inches of water in the bottom. I wanted it to be fuller. I noticed that when I got in the water the water rose. "Hey! I know! I'll put ROCKS and PEBBLES and stuff in the water and that will make the water get deeper! Yes!!!"

So, that's what I did. But, rather than raising the level of that nice clean water it just made the water get all muddy and dirty! So, I realized that this was not working out and went and got my mom. And, when my mom saw it, I was in a heap of trouble. I was bad. I was told that what I did was bad. The pool was emptied and taken from me as punishment.

Was I bad? Was what I did "bad"? 
No. 

What I did was out of both ignorance and intelligence. I understood something about water displacement but was too immature to think past that. I wasn't bad. I was immature. What I did wasn't bad. It was immature. And, actually, it was good. It showed my brain was working. I'd detected a scientific principle, and attempted to use that knowledge to solve a "problem" I had. 

But, from my mom's perspective…she'd gotten me this nice clean new pool and put nice clean water in it and she came out and saw that it was all muddy and dirty and one big mess and added that all up and it =ed I was "being bad" and needed to "learn a lesson" (be punished). (And, ya can't hardly blame her! Did she have AP support back then? Did she have Facebook and tons of gentle parenting blogs to follow?)

What if my mom had come out and asked, "Um, what are you doing?" And, I'd have told her. She could have then explained that that's really neat that I noticed that. That it's called water displacement and I'd have nodded, "Uh huh water daplascezes, right" and she could have then asked me to observe how my experiment had turned out. She could have commended me for coming and getting her when I realized I'd made a mistake. She could have asked me why the water got all dirty and muddy. She could have asked me what we could do to fix this new problem? And, let me help clean out the pool and then maybe she could have given me a few more inches of water and walked off and thought, "My what a smart little girl I have." 

But, no. I was told that I was bad and that what I did was "bad". 

What's that mean to a little kid who is learning how to live? That means that the whole process I'd just gone thru in my mind was "bad". I was bad. And, the only thing she really taught me was to NOT take risks and experiment to try to solve my problems. And, she taught me that when I make a mistake I'm gonna get it…gonna get punished AND Mommy won't like me. Mommy will make that angry rejecting face at me if I mess up.

My mom basically observed my behavior and judged me, criticized me for it, inflicted pain on me (punishment), and separated herself from me. And, how many other times did that happened to me over the years...with more grown-ups than just my mom? How many times has it happened to all of us that someone in authority over us observed our behavior…judged it as "bad", criticized us for it, caused us pain or discomfort (punished us), and then they stomped off, unfriended us, or just wouldn't talk to us anymore? You know?   

And, what is the comment "you are bad" really, but, an insult. An attack. But, it's generally only how we speak to children. So, what does the comment "you are bad" or "what you did was bad" turn into when you're a grown-up and dealing with your husband? You dislike what he's just done or not done and if he was 5 you'd say, "You are bad! You've done something very bad!" but what you say to him is, "You're a jerk! I can't believe you did that! So stupid!"

Funny, right? We all know that it's not good, respectful or productive to treat another grown-up that way, but yet, that is how we treat our children who are still learning how to relate to others.

If it would be better for me to say to my husband, "That really hurts me when you do that. I wish you would not do that anymore." then...when my 6 year old draws on the wall or the carpet, rather than tell her how bad it is that she did that…it would be better for me to say to my child, "That really upsets me when you do that. I wish you would not do that anymore." If that is how we want them to grow up and treat others, we have to train them by example to do that from day one...(And, so that when they grow up and their kids think it's nifty to draw on the carpet that they will know how to handle that situation without shame.)

Realize that we are among the "others" that our kids will be someday relating to. If we want our kids to love us and not "rebel" against us and our household rules they have to be trained to look at our "behavior" and ask, "why", and to simply tell us, "I don't like that. It makes me feel ___". If we train them with the "you're bad" methods then then they don't like our rules, they're going to treat us the same way, except teenagers don't speak to grown-ups by telling them they're bad, that's the words we use for kids. For parents, teenagers will use different words inspired by the same philosophy of judging, insulting, hurting/causing discomfort, and separation...

Is it any wonder that teenagers always cry out, "You just don't know me!" Because we misjudge their behaviors and tell them they're bad every time they do something we don't like from day one.

Is it any wonder teenagers then reject us and "rebel"? They're simply doing what we've taught them. They react to our rules and expectations the same way we've looked at and reacted to their behavior their whole life.

And, how confusing of a lesson is it for little kids in a situation like this, "Now, you didn't even tell Miss Casey 'Thank-You' for that lollipop. That was bad!" We force them to do and say these certain things to "teach the respect" all the while we are disrespecting them and then we are so taken aback when they're older and they're disrespectful because yes, they did learn from us exactly what we taught them...

As the mirror is the best revealer of your physical flaws so is the mirror of our children's behavior the best revealer of what our parenting really looks like…

So, today I told my 6 year old that I learned something from her and that I'm not going to tell her "she's bad" or that what she did was bad ever again...



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Abortion Advertising


Advertising is important and effective. It's why companies paid $3.5 million for 30 second ads during the Super Bowl. Yep. 


Imagine this...there is a new restaurant in town. EVERYONE says it sucks. Waitresses are rude. The line is forever long. Food is not good. Food takes too long to come. Hostess has not got the mostest. The decor stinks. The seats are uncomfy. The tables are dirty. The air conditioning doesn't work so well so it's uncomfortable hot in there. And, the prices are really high! You get too little food for too much money! Forget it!

Do you want to go there?

What if you see a whole big long line of people holding signs telling you to go eat there...wanna go there?

What if the gov't passed a law requiring you to go there once a year?

Even tho' you've never been there before...you sure don't like that place, do you? You will likely even warn others not to go there.

Now, what if you get invited out to lunch and whadaya know? Everyone's meeting there? Oh geez. You don't wanna be rude, so you show up. How do you think all that advertising you heard will effect how you experience your lunch? Will you notice everything wrong with the place? Sure.

Do it the flip way...

New restaurant. EVERYONE is talking it up. Man is that the place to go! Whoo wee! Waitresses are SO nice! Food is excellent! Lots of it! Cheap! Hot! The atmosphere is incredible! Seating and tables are clean and awesome! The bathrooms are so clean and fancy you could eat off the floors! It's SOOOO awesome there!

Now what? You can't wait to go, right!?

What if there were people standing a mile long on the road one day holding signs telling you NOT to go there. You'd wonder what was wrong with those people, right? What if the gov't tried shutting that restaurant down? You might even write your Congressman and tell him about it, right?

OK...

Where am I going with this?

ABORTION. 

ABORTION...in my opinion...we do not have legalized abortion in our country because of liberals...leftists...Democrats...or anti-Christian beliefs...whatever the right wants to blame this on...

We have this problem because of...advertising. And, Christians are right there with the advertisers PROMOTING/SELLING abortions.

And, no...as far as advertising goes, I don't mean that Christians need to put more bumper stickers on their cars or wear more t-shirts. No. It doesn't matter how many petitions people sign...how many Facebook "likes" they put on unborn babies...how many pictures of their own ultrasounds they post...how many pamphlets they leave around...how many pro-life bumper stickers they display or if they have the "Choose Life" license plate...how many pro-life t-shirts they wear...how many pro-life organizations they volunteer for or give money to...how many pro-life politicians they vote for...because most Christians spend every day advertising, "Having a child will ruin your life!"

They do. I hear them all the time. I read the status updates. I talk to people. I overhear people. I see the looks on their faces when dealing with their kids. People think having kids ruins their lives.

I have heard "pro-life" Christians say things like:
"I don't know what I'd do if I had another kid! I can't HANDLE any more!"
"You have 8 kids? I only have 1 and I can't HANDLE them!"
"You have 8 kids? You must be a saint!"
"Toddlers are SO hard to handle!"
"Just wait till the TERRIBLE twos!"
"Ugh! You think this is hard wait till you have a teenager! They're the worst!"
"I never get any sleep!"
"My child drives me crazy!"
"I don't have the patience for kids!"
"I neeeeeeeeed a night away from my (2) kids!"
"Kids get in the way of doing ministry work!"
"If only we didn't have the kids we could do..."
"If only we didn't have the kids we could go..."
"Someday when the kids are grown we'll have money to do things..."
"When my kids are grown then I want to do (this fun thing)"
"Oh, that poor girl! She's totally ruined her life!" (said about a pregnant teenager)
"You definitely need to wait to have kids until you get a chance to live a little!" (have fun before all the misery begins)

It's why ladies follow, "Infant Management Programs" (Babywise) Because, "by golly, in the name of God I will not let this kid interrupt my life!"

I got pregnant when I was 17. No one said to me, "Wow! A baby! Your firstborn! How precious! Some people wait till very late in life to start families, but, you will be so young when your child is grown I bet they will be your best friend. Oh, having children is so wonderful. Kids are the best! Oh, you must be so excited!"

You know, those words would have been THE TRUTH.

No. I believed all the advertising. I believed that I had just ruined my life. Babies are smelly. Babies are messy. Babies cry. Babies are horrid selfish creatures that manipulate you to be held all the time and they end up taking all your time and money and leave you worn out and broke! Have a baby and you can never have any fun anymore unless you go broke paying a sitter! Work! Work! Work! That's all they are. A thankless job, at that! They have tantrums and they disrespect you all thru their childhoods and they're horrible when they're teenagers! And, worst yet I will have to miss out on all the partying and fun of college! Life as I had always dreamed of it was OVER! Wrecked! Ruined! Destroyed!

That belief I had was not based on any experience with babies, myself. I couldn't remember even ever holding one! The belief I had came from my culture. It came from hearing everything that everyone says about having babies.

The reason that in 2008, approximately 1.21 million abortions took place in the U.S is because those 1.21 million mothers were convinced that having a baby would ruin their life as they knew it. Ruin something. They didn't have enough money. They didn't have enough education. They didn't have enough time. They didn't have enough patience. Whatever it was having a baby was NOT better than whatever they chose to do instead. Working. Going to college. Anything was better than having a baby.

If any of you Christians out there hate abortion, you need to look at yourself and ask yourself what you think of having children. Do you love having them? No. Not do you love them in spite of the fact that they irritate you and are hard to "handle". No. Do you LOVE HAVING KIDS? Do you see each of your children as "something to handle" or do you see them like a $10 million dollar bill (aka something to be enjoyed)? Do you ENJOY having them as part of your life?

What believe about children is going to be what you advertise to the world every day with every word you speak about your children...

What are you advertising?
"Having a kid is the best most awesome thing in the world!"

or...are you advertising:
"Whatever you do DON'T HAVE KIDS!!!"

If every Christian in the world painted the picture that having kids was the awesomest funnest wonderfullest thing you could possibly ever do...that having a baby was better than getting a $10 million check...no one would WANT an abortion...

Voting pro-life won't fix the problem of abortion as long as Christians all think that having kids is a big pain in the butt and that kids are something to "handle"...this

If you care about the subject of abortion...it is as they say...you have to "be the change you want to see in the world"...





(There is another problem that Christians tend to have no respect for children either...and this too adds to the problem of abortion...but that will be another posting...)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love and Respect

I was thinking last night and this morning about respect...

Dictionary.com says:


re·spect

  [ri-spekt]  Show IPA
noun
1.
a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in ): todiffer in some respect.
2.
relation or reference: inquiries with respect to a route.
3.
esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of aperson, a personal quality or ability, or somethingconsidered as a manifestation of a personal quality orability: I have great respect for her judgment.
4.
deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, orsomeone or something considered to have certain rights orprivileges; proper acceptance or courtesy;acknowledgment: respect for a suspect's right to counsel; to showrespect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
5.
the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held inrespect.


(I bolded the ones that stuck out to me.)

I think most of the problems we have in this world is due to a lack of esteem for or sense of worth or excellence of others. A lack of respect.

Where would this come from? Why do we humans fail to see the worth of others and treat them accordingly? It's my opinion we're raised that way. Yes. Even tho' most parents force kids to "speak" respectfully to everyone with their, "Now say 'thank you' to Miss So-n-So" orders all the time...we teach our kids the value of others by the way we treat them.

The Bible says, "Train them up...and when they are old they won't depart from it." Right? More commonly it's simply put, "the apple don't fall far from the tree." Or, it could even be put, "What comes around goes around." Kids learn what they live...and then...they live what they learned...

Parents "today" seem to say the same thing parents always have, "Kids these days..." and then the answer for whatever seems to be ailing "kids these days" is more "discipline"...which most people have wrongly defined as more punishment and more control over kids.

I thought "the greatest if these was love?" I thought, "love never fails"? But, yet, parents think kids need more suffering and more control?!

So, recently in the "news" (internet) there have been 2 dads who have been shown "disciplining" their daughters. What I find most disturbing about the 2 videos is all of the comments approving of these dad's actions...saying, "this is what kids these days need..."

The first video is the one of the Texas judge beating his teenage daughter with a belt while cussing her out.
The 2nd video is the one of the cowboy-hat-clad dad with the pistol who shoots her laptop.

I think a lot of people who approve of the 2nd one but not the 1st, are failing to see that both videos show dad's with the same heart...a heart of disrespect toward their daughters. The only difference between the two dads is the way they chose to express their disrespect.

Both dads identified something "wrong" that their daughters had done. Both chose the modern-day idea of "discipline" to remedy this. They used humiliation and pain as the way to correct this wrong. One did it by cussing and hitting, the other did it by reading her words for everyone to read and then destroying her computer.

Some people have applauded one and not the other...some have applauded both, believe it or not. I have read so many comments praising these days for "stepping up" and "being involved in their daughter's lives" and for "caring" and for "teaching these naughty girls a lesson". (I normally avoid reading comments because it seems comment boxes attract the world's most confused people...with bad spelling...)

Hmmm. So! Today is Valentine's Day. The day dedicated to love and caring, right? So...who else would it be be termed "loving and caring" for these men...to humiliate and hurt? Who else would it be considered good acceptable for the dads to teach the same lessons to? Their wives? Their employees? Their friends? Their co-workers? Customers? Just who else would it be OK for those men to humiliate and hurt to teach them a lesson? Who else could those men destroy the property of to teach them a lesson and have that be OK?

So, what if the daughter in the 2nd video had not been the target of the video. Say it had been her mom. Say that girl had turned on her computer and seen that video posted on her mom's wall...and then realized she could hear her mom over in her room sniffling (crying) all alone while Dad sat smugly at the kitchen table sipping a cup of coffee and reading the paper? What if the daughter had that experience? What would you all say to her? Would you all tell her that her dad was just using "tough love" on his disrespectful wife and that it was all for the best, "Chin up!" Or, would you think that that lady needs to get herself out of that abusive situation, leave that man, and take her daughter with her asap? Would you see it as abusive for a man to do that to his wife? Then, why not the daughter? Why is it acceptable to treat the child that way and not the mother?

And, ya have to realize the extent of what the dad did. Go back 10 years...and what happened was...she wrote a note to one of her friends about how much she was mad at her parents. That kids' mom found it and gave it to her dad then, feeling concerned. Then, the dad grabbed some of her school books, some of her book reports that were soon due that she'd been working on, her encyclopedia set, all of her research books and her library card, all of her photo albums, all of her birthday cards and letters she'd received in the last few years, and all of her music CD's...and he put them out in the yard in front of the house and burned them while CNN International aired it. That is what that man did to his daughter.

Or, what if the father had not made this video...what if it had been this girl's boyfriend? What if her boyfriend had given her that computer and had done the same thing? What might her dad have said to her about that boy? Would he have been like, "That's a great future husband for you!" or might he have forbidden her from seeing that boy again after seeing how controlling and hurtful that boy was? Is that the kind of man that father wants for his daughter? He should realize that most girls marry someone just like their dads...


And, I don't even have to get into the guy with the cussing and the belt...anyone who really thinks that was OK is not worth even trying to reason with...

Basically, since we learn best by example, what did both of the girls get taught by their dads?

From the girls' perspectives, they saw their dads as they discovered that someone under their authority had done something wrong And, the way their dads taught their girls to handle a situation like that is that the proper way to deal with a subordinate's bad behavior is to either:

1. harm them physically with violence
2. harm them with words
3. destroy their personal property with violence

The dads taught their daughters that when you are in a position of authority over someone, and that person is weaker than you, and they do something which embarrasses you or disrespects you that the way to handle it is to hurt the person. Period. That is the lesson both dad's taught.

Sad.

For the girl whose dad just shot her computer, I can only imagine how she feels waking up this morning. And, if he were to come to her and try to give her a Valentine's card or something...I don't even know how I'd react to that double-standard of treatment. I don't know what I'd do with a dad who'd do that to me one day, violate me so, and then try to say, "I love you."

Sad sad world. That's what I was just thinking.


BTW...I know there is a lot of "stock" photography all over the internet...but I actually took this pic with my own camera and saw this cloud with my own eyes. It was in front of a Beall's store in DeBary, Florida in 2009...yep yep...and it was so quick...we all looked up and there it was...grabbed a camera...snap snap...then it was gone... :)















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