I stumbled upon a show on one of the learning channels the other day, when I was just flipping through, trying to find something decent to watch. I don’t think it was discovery health channel, but whatever,…the channel is not that important. It was one of those shows documenting families’ struggles with rebellious teenagers and parents at their wits end. I believe the show was called, “Help! My teen’s a Nightmare.” I knew in my gut that I would end up pissed off watching this show, but I watched it anyway, as I may be a closet sadist.
This family was a somewhat middle class single parent British family, consisting of a mother, and three children ages 13, 11 and 9.The show reminded me of Keeping up with the Kardashians, without the money and ass references,..oh yeah and with accents. Pure dysfunction. What happens on this show, is that a parent or parents write in to the show’s producers and asks them to help discipline their kid. The producers then send television cameras to the house to monitor the occupants’ behaviour. The parent/parents, then move out of the house, unbeknownst to the unsuspecting child-psycho and then they send in a ‘Super Nanny”type saviour/project manager/counsellor, to stand in and get them to stop being little assholes, and become respectful, responsible children.
The problem child in question in this house, was a 13 year old girl, who smoked, swore at her mother and occasionally slapped her mother, when she could not get her way. The two smaller children a girl and a boy were emulating their big sister’s behaviour, and were ripe little assholes as well, but not quite as bad as dear ole sis. The mother figured if she could fix the older sister, she would fix the situation. I stood frozen in front of my television, as I watched this mother cry and say things like,
“She doesn’t listen to me…”
“She is abusive to me…”
“If she asks me for money and I say no, she slaps or kicks me…”
“She steals from me…”
“She doesn’t help around the house…”
This woman was crying like a baby. Strangely enough, I didn’t really feel sorry for her, but if it was possible, I would’ve smacked the dog-shit outta her myself. I was practically yelling at the tv.
“Come on lady. Are you friggin’ serious?”
The kid was 5 feet tall and 13 years old. If I did any combination of 2 things on that list, I wouldn’t have been alive today to be blogging. I KNOW for certain my mother would have gripped my neck tightly and squeezed every breath out of my body. I think any West Indian parent as a matter of fact, would have done that. Actually, let me clarify. Any ‘Old School’ West Indian parent would have felt justified, in squeezing the life out of a child, that was undeniably ‘the spawn of Satan’. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little about the choking thing, but maybe not. 🙂
I grew up in a time and a place where everybody could whip your ass. If you got out of line and the neighbour saw you, they would whip you, call your parents and tell them what you did, that they whipped you and you would still get another ass whipping on top of what you already got. I could not speak to my mother in the same volume or tone that she spoke to me in. As I got older, I was given more leeway with expression, but if she felt disrespected, I would immediately have to take it down a few notches. I just couldn’t understand how this woman lost control to the point, that her 13 year old would smoke in front of her, smack her in the face and went wherever she pleased. This woman had to secretly love getting her ass kicked by her own kid. There was just no other explanation in regards to her accepting that type of behaviour.
I would like to consider myself to be a good parent. Regardless of whatever else I achieve or try to in my life, this will still be the toughest and most important. Parenting is definitely not easy, sometimes it’s overwhelming and you feel like you wanna run away.. (at least that’s how I feel) yet it can be so amazing and rewarding.
For me, I think that a small part of parenting involves fear. I think your kids should know you love them unconditionally, and that you will do your best for them always, but you should also let them think that you possess a crazy streak, where if they royally f*^k up, you could possibly kill them or embarrass them so badly, that they may wanna kill themselves. It is that fear of death and embarrassment, lol 😀 that may keep them on the straight and narrow. Keep in mind, I don’t mean Carrie’s mom’s kind of crazy parenting,
Those are extreme cases of psychotic parenting. A little psychotic is good, but those are just off the Richter. 😀
I remember instances of mothers coming to get their daughters out of parties, while wearing their old see-through nightgowns, rollers in their hair and grabbing them by the hand and taking them home, because it was past curfew. Or they would have an announcement made over the PA system for all to hear, to have their wayward child meet them pronto at the exit gate, or face even further embarrassment or a near fatal beating in public. Aaahhh, the memories. 🙂
It all seemed so cruel in the moment. Our parent’s need for what seemed at that time, like a ridiculous level of respect and punishment that just never ended, was just too much. How would we survive under that type of dictatorship? Hind sight is 20/20 though. I get it now. I do. We survived.
A Small Issue
I told my daughter to do something the other day and she choopsed at me. I don’t even know what happened, as it was all so quick, but I snatched her little ass by the backed of her t-shirt, and I grabbed her shoulders, spun her around and I was like,
“Have you lost your damn mind?”
I was soo up in her face that our eye balls almost touched. Needless to say I scared the crap out of her, without raising my hand. I sent her to her room and went into mine to catch my breath. I hate punishing them. About an hour after, she came to me and apologized for choopsing at me, and I hugged her and told her I loved her. We were cool after that.
If she feels that she can disrespect me, then I believe she will feel it’s ok to disrespect anyone. That is the last thing I want. I am a lot more diplomatic with my parenting than my mother was, but I try not to stray too far from my mother’s methods. My daughter knows obedience is her best way to survive and she knows that it is not a free ride, meaning she is not going to coast through without having to do chores. She has to clean her room, every now and again, she has to do the dishes, and I try to mold her so she doesn’t become one of those freak people on ‘Hoarders’, which is another show that pisses me off, but I can’t stop watching it.
My son, he’s another story. I don’t know if it’s a boy thing, or a second child thing, but he is such a handful. He questions everything, and if I spank him, (yes I am a proud spanker), he asks me why. I then have to go into this long explanation as what he did that caused the spanking in the first place. This is then followed by dramatic tears, then him asking to go to his room. My mother would’ve been like,
“Sit ya lil ass right there on the floor and stare at your fingers”.
Going to your room was a privilege to her. Even though I take many pages from her book of crazy, I bend on others. If they wanna go to their room and be miserable, it’s fine by me. At least I don’t have to see their little pushed up mugs looking all sad and shit. 😀 I try to have balance with the punishment. I however, will never be the ‘time out’ parent. To me it’s bullshit. Maybe it works for some parents and each child and circumstance is different, but that time out shit is not for my house.
I know the spanking issue is a very touchy subject these days. Some people are adamantly against it, saying it teaches kids to hit, blah blah blah, but I am adamantly for it saying it teaches them to straighten the f*^k up.
I went to the supermarket the other day with the kids. I hate doing this, because it takes twice as long with them, for all kinds of random reasons. To keep some kind of control, I put my son in the cart, so he can’t run around like a madman and grab shit I can’t afford to buy, should he break or ruin them. When we get to the check out counter, he reaches over and starts grabbing at the candy bars on the display case. I kept saying,
“No baby don’t do that”,
trying to be all cute, but he was getting annoying. The cashier gave me one of those, “you got one of those bad kids look” and I was like F*^k That!
He grabbed at another candy bar and I said,
“Don’t f*^kin’ touch that shit again!”
I’m joking. I didn’t say that. I wanted to, but I said,
“I’m not gonna say it again. Don’t touch it! “
The cute lil American white girl voice was gone. Like I said before, when I am uncomfortable or in uncomfortable situations, strange accents come out of my mouth, from nowhere. Please see post below for reference.
I made sure to maintain proper English, but the pissed of Antiguan/Jamaican accent was very present, and I didn’t speak to him timidly either. Now most parents don’t want to have their child hollering and screaming in public places, especially places where the noise level is to a tepid hush, and only happy bursts of laughter or hellos are allowed to be louder, as that is socially acceptable code for banks, supermarkets and places as such. People will look at you as if you’re some kind of a freak, if your child is acting a fool, and they don’t care why your child is acting a fool, they just want you to make them shut the hell up. You begin to get the evil eye, and you’re a bad parent judgement stares. That shit is not fun. He didn’t listen. He decided to test the crazy person.
In my mind I’m thinking “kid, why you gonna f*^k with me? Why you doin’ this to ya mother?
I grabbed the candy bars from him, pinched him on his shoulder, hard. Then this happens.
Me min feel kina shame, lol 😀 but, I cannot have him testing me, because he knows I try and be all lady like in public. At home, he would’ve listened
the first time, by the third time. I was already on to my 6th or 7th don’t touch it.
The thing with children is, that they need guidance, and they will test you. If they don’t want to fall in line, sometimes you gotta yank them, even if it hurts a little. I would rather be their parent than their friend. Plenty of time for friendship when I have successfully raised them into adults. Then we can be friends and I can still pull rank and kick their ass even then, if they get stupid and forget who their mother is. If we don’t force them to fall in line sometimes, we end up putting some hoodlums, thieves, rapists, robbers, con men and outright jerks into society, who end up hurting other people and the kids they tried to raise right. What we do as parents is not only for our family and our child, but society as well.
It’s kinda funny though, that society is now trying to dictate discipline, by telling you not to spank, don’t yell at them, don’t this don’t that, yet when we send the little monsters out into society, they wonder what to do with them. They won’t respect the teachers, if they don’t respect their parents, they won’t respect the law, if they never respected their parents’ rules. The only solution society has for these little monsters is
Parenting is not something to enter into lightly! Keep rubbers handy, until you are ready to take on the responsibility of molding another human being.
Now the kid I was talking about in the beginning, was still an asshole by the end of the hour-long show. She was just more diplomatic about it. Instead of yelling at her mother that she was going out, she would calmly tell her she was going out. The stand in parent suggested to the mother, that when her daughter got really angry, and she needed to leave the house, to just let her go, so that she could calm down. A lot of the physical fights they used to have, was when the mother would try to restrain her daughter, and keep her in the house. The kid still pretty much did what she wanted. The difference now was that she sometimes made her bed and she didn’t yell as much.
Big long dutty choops
That stand in parent was full of shit, but the mother seemed happier and was somewhat pleased with the results, so go figure.
Like Rick James would say,
“F*^k their couches.”