There's a lot of talk in the parenting community these days about parents who scream or yell at their children. In fact, right now the best-selling parenting book on Amazon is "Scream Free Parenting" by Hal Runkel. Of course we all acknowledge the inappropriateness and subsequent harm screaming does to children, but what about the simple unpleasant attitude that many parents have when they speak to their children in everyday situations.
"Mom, can I have a cookie?"…"No, I am not cooking dinner because I have nothing better to do…you will spoil your appetite!" Have you ever looked at a child's expression when he gets a response like that? He looks defeated. He feels exactly the way the comment was meant to make him feel…stupid and selfish.
And yet these same parents truly do love their children deeply. They put an enormous amount of energy every day into the well-being of their children. Many work two jobs just to provide the basic necessities. So, why then are they quick to snap at them in a simple conversation?
I was at a friend's house one day when her 10 yr old daughter asked her mother why she thought the terrorists attacked the Trade Center in New York. Her mother replied in a very sarcastic tone, "Because they are terrorists and that's what terrorists do!" I know if I had asked my friend the same question we would have had an in-depth conversation that involved sharing views and opinions, and yet she dismissed her daughter as if she had asked if she wanted two heads instead of one!
So, my question to you is this…why do some parents take the role of being a parent as a license to speak to their children in a disrespectful manner, using a tone of sheer annoyance that makes their children feel nothing but negativity?
Sure, parents are overworked, stressed and frustrated. Being a grandparent raising my two grandchildren, ages 14 & 15, I know how long the days can sometimes seem. But if the stress is manageable in order to speak civilly and pleasantly to others, can't the same effort be put forth when speaking to our children?
How do you speak to your friends and colleagues? When they ask you a question do you respond with a snippy short answer…questioning why they are asking you what they just asked you or do you pleasantly respond giving them the best answer you have?
Children learn from what they see their parents do. Long gone are the days of "Do as I say, not as I do!" and "Because I am an adult and you are a child!"
The words and manner in which parents choose to speak to their children will be the words and manner their children will one day speak back to them.
Don't your children deserve the same courtesy and respect that your friends and colleagues do?
Denny Hagel is a child advocate and parenting coaching, devoting over 25 years to the success and well being of all children. She is the published author of over 150 articles on parenting, several of which have attracted international attention.
Denny was blessed with forward thinking parents who raised her to live according to the principles of the law of attraction long before it became a household term. Subsequently she has purposefully studied and practiced the law of attraction for over fifteen years. Her formal education was in early childhood education, psychology, and substance abuse.
She is the founder of Awakened Parenting LLC, and created the Face Book group "Awakened Parenting Discussion Forum". She does on line coaching with parents and teachers who consult her on a regular basis. Denny collaborates with counselors, authors, coaches and others working with parenting and the law of attraction.
Denny Hagel is the author of "Mini-Me Syndrome", "The Missing Secret To Parenting", “Parenting Using the Law of Attraction” and “Becoming an Awakened Parent".