I never knew there was such a concept as that of being a parent bully, but as I researched more and traced my first experiences with my son, I realized that once upon a time I was a bully.
I remember that the minute they placed my son in my arms, I knew that I would put into practice all the parenting advice that I had witnessed and had been given.
As the months passed and as my little one grew, I found myself shouting and saying the word “NO” most of the time. I used to like saying “no” because it made me feel like I was letting him know who’s the boss. Yes, I was that ignorant. Why couldn’t I understand that he was a curious little bug who wanted to explore.
I also spanked him as little as a year and a half old, which I’m really ashamed of because at that age he’s just a little explorer and I didn’t understand his need to explore everything. Subconsciously it seemed easier to spank him for something that was “wrong” or dangerous in my eyes which forcefully got him to stop, however, it was an unfair response in my part. Hitting worked in my eyes, but I didn’t realize that I was hitting out of convenience.
I’m ashamed to admit that I liked to see the look of fear in his face when I told him “NO” or when I was going to physically discipline him. To me, the look of fear represented respect. I was extremely ignorant.
I remember feeling a sense of relief when I hit him and later I came to realize that I used my son and his “disobedience” to unleash a bit of my anger that I had inside.
Yes, I did all these things and one of the last times that I ever spanked my son God confronted me and I felt in my heart that it was not the way to treat a child who is new at this thing called life. I broke down and asked for forgiveness.
That’s when God opened my eyes and He began to reveal his purpose with my life.
I used to hit because it was the quickest way to get a response that I wanted to see. Often times I shamed him and screamed in his face simply because his reply to me was “No!”
I noticed that he became an angry little boy at only two years of age and it was entirely my fault. Yes, I had to take responsibility for him being angry because I’m the one who was with him 24/7, I’m the one that yelled at him, and I knew he was imitating me. That’s what our little one’s do. They will reflect the good and the bad in us.
As I write this I have tears running down my face because I was so cruel and unemphatic to his feelings as well as his needs as a child. I was a bully seeking to break his will so that he can fulfill my wishes, and I was basically pushing him around both physically and emotionally.
How do you know if you’re a bully?
- Do you hit your kids simply because they didn’t do what you asked them to?
- Did you hit them and feel a sense of satisfaction after doing so?
- Have you witnessed or experienced verbal or physical violence when you were younger?
- Do you have a short fuse and find yourself screaming in your toddler’s face?
- Do you lack self-control?
- Do you look down at your child when you speak to them without bending or crouching down to their level?
- Do you expect them to behave the way that you want them to behave and if they don’t they get smacked for “disobedience?”
- Do you try to make your child feel excluded or ignored?
- Do you show little concern for your child’s feelings?
- Do you expect your children to meet your wishes?
Think about those questions and if you’ve answered yes to most of them then for the sake of your children and their overall development, you owe it to them to begin and modify your parenting style to be one that is helpful, encouraging, compassionate and filled with love.
The key to loving our children is loving them with the love of God, which is empathetic, it does not seek to do evil onto others, it’s patient and it’s kind.
Parenting is all about looking within, healing from the past and begin a road of self-growth and development. It’s time to reach for transformation and raise children that spend their life thriving rather than recovering.
Become teachers of all of life’s secrets and wonders. After all, life is a huge adventure especially the first 5 years of life. So, have fun and patience. The more you love your children with God’s love, the more patience you will develop.
Discipline with love and walk side by side with your children and show them the way they should go while making sure that you are their safe place and place of refuge.
Let’s change the world one child at a time!
Many Blessings 🙂 Thank you for reading as I share my journey with you.