There has been a lot of talk today about parenting on social media, and the discussions have been heated and polarizing. The discussions stem from a video that has been widely shared showing a woman accosting a young man in Baltimore. The woman is alleged to be the young man's mother, and the young man appears to have been participating in the Baltimore uprising surrounding yet another unarmed young black man losing his life while in the custody of the police.
This woman is seen on video shouting obscenities at this young man, presumed to be her son, and she is wailing on him. It's hard to hear what she's saying because most of it is bleeped out, but we can hear her say, "Get the ____ over here!" The young man is (understandably) trying to get away from her. The video ends, and we really do not know what came before or followed this brief glimpse into their lives.
Much of the discussion has to do with folks either praising her for her responsible parenting or condemning her for her violent parenting.
I'm one of those folks who has a different perspective. If this is the boy's mother (and, really, for all we know she could be his drug dealer and he may owe her money...but, let's go with the popular assumption that she's his mom), I see a woman who is frightened, and that is very understandable. Remember, the riots are stemming for a young man who lost his life while in police custody. What mother wouldn't be fearful for her son meeting a similar fate? So, my assumption (and, that's all I got right now) is that this is a mother who is fearful for her son and who has probably long lost influence with him. How? Well, this is probably not the first time she hit him, swore at him, and humiliated him in public. Parents who do that lose influence with their children. And, they find they have to resort to ever-increasingly intense ways of gaining influence. But those ways are flawed and ineffectual. Because, once out of Mom's sight, a child does as he pleases. And, that child is subject to the influence of people who may not have his best interests at heart.
So, what is the solution, then? BETTER PARENTING SKILLS. Peaceful parenting is a learned skill. Some folks learned it from their parents, but most of us were raised by people who were raised by people who did not know about peaceful parenting. It takes intention to make the shift to peaceful parenting.
This month, April, has been Child Abuse Prevention month, and I have been doing whatever I could do to help people make the shift to peaceful parenting in the name of child abuse prevention. To that end, I have been conducting classes, Making the Shift to Peaceful Parenting. I have a couple classes starting in early May, but if you register and pay for a class before the end of April, I will honor the 10% Child Abuse Prevention Month offer. If you'd like to take advantage of the 10% discount, register now! There's a class starting Saturday morning, May 2nd, and a class starting Wednesday evening, May 6.
If you have read this far, I thank you. And, I would ask you to please share this far and wide. Child abuse prevention cannot happen without a huge effort. Please join me. Thank you.