Thursday, March 15, 2007

Top 5 things I will never say to my child

As a kid, I learned to be good under threat of grievous bodily harm. Dad's statements of consequences were more promises than threats, whereas Mom's statements were generally idle threats. But in the brain of a 7 year old, they elicited vivid images of the actions they described. I am deeply terrified that I will become my parents in this sense. I really don't want my child to fear me the way that I feared my parents. So I have compiled a short list of the statements I heard as a kid and promise never, ever, to say to my child.
  1. If you don't (fill in blank), I will break every bone in your body.
  2. Stop that crying, or I will give you something to cry about.
  3. Go get my belt.
  4. Just wait until your father gets home, then you will get it again.
  5. I beat you because I love you.
Never, ever, ever. This I promise you, Pooter.

21 comments:

Dino aka Katy said...

sounds like a good plan for me. My mom ignores us when we did/do something wrong. She would just not talk to you which for a kid is like the worst. - Sadly I do the same to Grumpy so chances are I will do it to my kids if I get that far

Aurelia said...

Oh Nicole...oh dear. I heard some of those things, and yes, they are hard to hear.

And even harder to break the habit of saying to your own kids in moments of great frustration. It can be done...with great effort. I'm glad you are starting now.

(And hey, if any of these ever slip out, accidentally, forgive yourself, apologize and take it back.)

Jenny F. Scientist said...

Excellent plan. But seriously, I do believe people aren't doomed to be our parents. I hope you can have faith in yourself. You're a strong, smart woman, and you're smart enough to realize you don't WANT to be like that.

My parents never made a threat they wouldn't follow through on. Fortunately for us, they were always "Stop or I'll take it away" rather than the more alarming kind you describe.

the waiting line said...

Oh I heard "don't cry or I'll give you something to cry about" quite a bit. As for fear of parents, alright I agree it's generally not good, but overall (if it's not abusive of course) I think a little fear is good for kids (yep, that's my assvice). I'm not sayin' beat them (OF COURSE NOT!), I'm just saying that a little bit of fear kept a brat LIKE ME and my little brother in check. ;-) There's got to be some balance, though.

BerryBird said...

(((Nicole)))

Dream Writer said...

We all have heard those words I think...and sometimes I think we've all said it to our own kids.

I never say "Wait until your father gets home." I deal with it myself.

My mom used to say that...but then nothing ever happened :)

I think there is a difference between "Talk" and "Action."

Kids CAN be very frustrating at times...and sometimes we say things out of "Frustration" more than anything...and I think that kids know that.

Unless there is abuse involved, well then that is a different story.

tipsymarie said...

Oh. 3 and 4 . . . .still a little bit of fear even now.

And honey, I am so sorry about 5, I had to stay home from swimming once because of 5.

theoneliner said...

oh. those are the WORST. good idea not to say them!!

and when they were saying "stop crying or i'll give you something to cry about" someone or THEM THEMSELVES had already given us something to cry about. Shessh!

terri s. said...

Oh dear. That's rough.

We do have free will, though, and become the people we strive to be. You are NOT sentenced to say these things to your children. Being aware of what you don't want to hear coming out of your mouth has already alerted you to that.

I think you become more like your parents in ways that are more subtle that you are not aware of. Not the big ticket items that make your skin crawl. Those you have control over. And your situation is unique and different than your parents already. Keep your head up. There is alot of love for the pooter.

Renee said...

I made a pretty similar promise to my child and have done a really good job at keeping it. I don't say anything like that to her.

I parent her totally different than my parents did me... I know that some folks think it's totally screwey but I Attachment Parent. And I know there are a lot of people out there who AP differently than I do. I think the biggest thing is to realize that our children are people too and that their abilities are not the same as an adult.
Just the other day there was a small child crying at the grocery store and I said "that child is done shopping." And at the post office today the lady behind me was letting her son do one thing and then decided that he probably shouldn't be doing that anymore...so she made him stop which of course got him upset.

It has worked for me...and I don't have a child who is in charge of me either (which isn't really what AP is about).

Adrienne said...

Yowza. Sounds like we had the same parents. For me, I would add to that list: "If you say/do that again, I will beat you so bad you won't be able to sit for a week."

Shortie said...

Hey girl, just checking in my fav preggo lady!!! Hugs. :)

Colette said...

(((((( hugs)))))) you will be a wonderful parent! Don't you worry about it! Things will be wonderful! We learn from the behaviors of others! Hugs

marlena rivers said...

great post. it's natural to think about how we were parented when we are preparing to be parents (i keep hearing and reading that.) i am just sorry you hears such awful things. for me the difficult stuff was being around my parents fighting with each other and my older brother. i was lucky that no one said really bad things to me directly but i was super sensitive and got very scared of being around the yelling, so i am hoping to be very careful not to yell in front of my little one...
how's everything going otherwise? are you in week 7 or 8?

Veronika said...

Nicole, I know you and your husband are going to be great parents to little Pooter.

jane said...

Nicole, You are going to be such a wonderful & loving mommy. Pooter is already a lucky little one.

Amanda said...

Yes...and even worse when they actually do carry out some of these threats. People like us often grow up to be pretty good parents...because we know exactly what NOT to do...

Susan said...

Oh, I'm sorry you had to hear those things as a kid, but I'm so happy you have the strength to vow never to say them to your own. Breaking the cycle is never an easy thing.
It makes me think of so many of the kids I work with, who have to hear this kind of thing every day.

Bumble said...

Yup, some of those are shockers alright. You will be a fantastic mother, I just know it. xxx

Molecular Turtle said...

I agree everything on your list should never be said to kids. Among the things I'll never say to my kids is that they can't succeed in thier choosen path.

Barbara said...

Don't worry, you won't.