For those of you unaware, there has been a trend on social media over the last few years using the hashtag ‘assholeparent.’ For the most part, this involves parents taking pictures of their children while they are upset/crying/having a tantrum, posting it on social media with a caption, usually in a mocking way, explaining why their child is upset which therefore makes them an asshole parent. And I just don’t get it. Why??
As a parent of 2 young children myself, I totally understand that parenting can be really hard and kids can be really challenging in ways that are difficult for adults to understand. I also know that we do need to let off some steam and talk these things out regularly, but that should be done with your closest friend over
coffee wine or with your spouse at the end of the day after the kids finally go to sleep, not with thousands of people on the internet.
If you don’t see the problem, then just put yourself in their place. How would you feel if the person who you love more than anyone in this world took your picture while you were visibly upset and plastered it on the internet for thousands of people to laugh at? Not good, right? Our children deserve more respect than that.
Children, after all, are not just adults-in-the-making. They are people whose current needs and rights and experiences must be taken seriously. -Alfie Kohn
It may seem harmless in the moment to laugh or roll our eyes in commiseration with other parents who have certainly been there, but there is definitely a risk. We risk losing empathy and compassion for our most vulnerable members of society and perpetuating the conception that children are less deserving of respect than adults. Yes, children are small, dependent on adults and still learning how to navigate this world but those are the exact reasons why we should be more careful with how we speak to and about them. After all, one day they will be the adults.
So, the next time your child is completely losing her mind because you wouldn’t let her eat dog food, instead of telling her to stop being silly or taking a picture to get some sympathy from other parents, just stop. Stop, breathe and put yourself in her place. Get down on her level and empathize, hug her, cuddle her and treat her like the already perfect human that she is. Let her know that you will always be there for her and will always love her no matter what. Show her that life can be tough sometimes but she always has a trusted parent from which to seek comfort.
My message is very simple. Love your kids. Just love them. Love, appreciate, show that you value them, remind them of their greatness, encourage them, respect, honor, trust, and treat them with dignity. -Eric D Greene
Thank you for reading and please comment with your thoughts. I’d love to hear your view on this!
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