Being a parent to littles can be hard and underappreciated work. Especially when you likely work a full-time job, must run errands, and do chores. You end up with very little time for yourself. It can be frustrating and annoying, and every single parent will make some mistakes. I certainly made my fair share of parenting errors, which is why I can speak from some experience.

However, I'm asking you to stop making one mistake in particular: talking down to your children, using mean sarcasm, and treating them like garbage in public. I've seen it a lot in Lubbock lately, and it's time to do better. Of course, any of these things are terrible in private, too, but in public, you are also humiliating your child- and yourself. Experts agree, it's absolutely toxic for children:

[Embarassing] punishment can lead to problems such as anxiety, depression and aggression in children in the future. Embarrassing punishments can also negatively affect the parent-child relationship and lead to a cycle of bad behavior

Case in point: I was recently at a resale clothing store with my daughter. I heard a woman loudly talking down to her child, who appeared to be 7 or 8. I'm paraphrasing, but there was a bunch of this type of talk:

If you don't pick out any f***** shoes, I don't give a f*** if you look stupid as s*** at school.

Photo by A n v e s h on Unsplash
Photo by A n v e s h on Unsplash

I'm a casual curser myself, but those were weirdly hostile and angry words to use for a really simple problem. There was also plenty of language used that wasn't directly calling the child "Stupid" but was close enough that I know they felt it and possibly internalized it. It was disrespectful and embarrassing and almost certainly harmful to the child.

Maybe that's just their relationship? Just how they talk to each other? Possibly. I did hear the girl give some back just as good as she got. This makes me think that the child likely talks to a lot of adults like this. That is not setting her up for success in school or for work in future.

Instead, the parent could have pulled the child aside and explained that there was either no time or funds or whatever and that they needed to get shoes there in order to have any. Or the parent could have made time to look somewhere else. .There's more than one resale store in town and shoes frequently go on clearance sales in traditional stores. Or heck, even just picked out the shoes herself if the child was unwilling to, clearly, there were a million other solutions available.

Trust me, I don't want to judge your parenting choices, but when you make them loud and public, I'm going to think my thoughts. And I'm completely befuddled as to why this seems to be a trend now in Lubbock. The best way to teach respect is to show respect- for our children, for ourselves, and for the people around us.

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