I happened across a blog posting that I thought was brilliant and so on target. The blog is called Views from the Couch, written by the Queen of the Couch. The topic for her post this particular day was called "You Didn’t Thank Me for Punching You in the Face". As you can imagine, that caught my attention so I read the blog and all I could say was, “Yes! Way to go!” What a brilliant way to discuss the concept of how we talk to our young children about abusive behaviors.
This blog was about how, as little girls, many of us were taught that when young boys pull our hair, hit or tease us, their behavior is excused because it means “he likes you”.
The blogger shares an experience of her daughter having her bracelets physically stolen off of her arm by a classmate. She went to the school to address the incident with the teacher. The teacher responded by smiling and explaining it away to her daughter by saying “he probably has a crush on you”.
When we teach our children that this type of behavior is acceptable and a form of flattery, we are setting our children up to fail, both boys and girls. We need to teach our children that when we like someone, we show them that in respectful ways, not verbally and physically abusive ways.
When abusive behaviors are considered forms of flattery, we perpetuate the notion that violence, whether verbal or physical, is okay, teaching long standing patterns of behavior that are destructive to children and adults. How do you go from learning the behavior is flattery as a young child, to knowing as an adult that it isn’t flattery, but abuse? You don’t without a great deal of difficulty.
As I have said many times before, the only way we are going to stop abuse is to break the cycle with our children by teaching appropriate behavior and boundaries. If a boy doesn’t know how to show a girl he likes her, then let’s teach him the right ways rather than condoning abusive behaviors and setting up long term inappropriate patterns of behavior.
If you want to read the entire blog post I mentioned earlier, you can read it here. ALERT: This blog contains a great deal of cursing, if you are opposed to this type of language, I would urge you not to read this blog.