Whenever I speak on the level of toxicity, aggression and plain wickedness most parents dish out to their children and domestic staff in the name of discipline, some people jump on it to justify such wickedness. Shallow reasoning and trying to justify evil is our bane.
I was raised by two strong parents. I remember my father only hit me once in my entire life. He would throw his car key at you while you are running away from him after you must have done something wrong and that was it. But one day, in the middle of the night he woke me up and flogged the hell out of me. I remember exactly what I did and when I saw the look on his face earlier I knew I was in for a shocker. I was probably 13-years-old at the time. It was the first and the last time my father ever hit me.
My father was neither physically nor emotionally abusive and he always has his way with us because he listens more, corrects you and communicates his expectations. When it was bed time and our father was not home yet, We literally hybernate waiting for his return.
Once he’s home, everywhere will become alive and bubbling again. We would vibe to our family’s sing along songs till we finally start to fall asleep in the sitting room. He would carry us to our beds, tuck us in to sleep. He was and is still our best friend. There’s nothing we don’t discuss with our father. We argue sometimes because he can stand his grounds but after listening to our reasons he would cave.
My mother on the other hand was not abusive but a disciplinarian to the core. She would hit once or twice as you misbehave. She never hits to injure or make you feel less human, she flogs to correct you. 3 or 4 strokes and we are shouting down the house. She will order you to shut up, go to your room and sleep or do your chores. You sleep, wake up or finish your chores and come give her a hug. She would call you by your pet name, then ask you what you would like to eat. It was her own way of saying “You know I love you regardless!” Most times she communicates with us just merely starring at us. I’m not sure my mother hit me once as a teenager till I left home, although I was a calm child.
I think about my parents and all I remember was the amazing childhood they gave me and my siblings. The same cannot be said for many children around us then whose parents were nothing but plain toxic, abusive, aggressive with every wickedness that accompanies it.
Most times, we would sit with our parents to discuss certain things we observed our neighbors dish out to their children or house helps in the name of discipline.
Fellow nigerians, toxicity and its relatives are transferable. People inherit toxicity like they inherit properties from their parents. It is the reason a woman would use hot iron on a domestic staff body, starve them for days and not feel pity. It is the reason you would readily believe that your child is possessed and is the cause of your misfortune.
This is evident in the manner our law enforcement officials treat us. And those in leadership positions do as they wish and would readily silent any opposition. You cannot grow in the midst of toxicity be it from your parents, community or government and be normal. No! It is almost impossible. You must display a sign or more at some point until you have totally healed. You would most likely even justify toxic behavior sometimes if not all the time, comparing it with what you endured with your own parents.
When your child(ren) who have been at the receiving end of your toxicity snaps, you get a shocking reaction. You can call them possessed if you like, but they are acting out something they are unable to discuss with you. Of course, their reaction will not be normal, they are broken from the inside, so they cannot be normal when they react. If your child has anger issues, something is behind It. It’s their reaction to something you are doing and not willing to talk about. You can still argue this if you like, but I will tell us all the truth, listen and talk with your children.
When you discipline your children, avoid the use of too much force. Don’t be a bully! Desist from verbally abusing and comparing them with their peers, it does a lot of damage to their self esteem. Your children should not be afraid of you, fear will expire one day. A child that respects you is for a life time. You endured your parents/guardians abuse in the name of discipline and in your own defense you turned out good. Going forward, do not practice such abuse on your children, they would most likely break you.
This generation does not believe in the culture of emotional blackmail and silence, they will treat your mistakes to your faces and it shall be well with them in life because no curse you lay on them can ever work. Being a parent is about understanding that your child deserves better than bullying in the name of discipline.