Compassionate Disciplinarian or Parental Bully?

“Discipline through intimidation” is no different than “correction by bullying.”meme parenting discipline

Don’t be a parental bully!

Not too long ago, I was eating at a local fast-food restaurant and couldn’t help but observe the interactions between a group of family members sitting only a few seats away.  Let’s just say that I was an unwilling participant in this family’s very public drama.

Anyway, it appeared that the father and daughter (who, I’m guessing was about 8  years-old) were at odds regarding something that had to do with the meal.  I’m not sure exactly what the issue was but it didn’t seem to be anything worthy of the father’s response.

I was literally shocked when I saw this father get into the face of his young daughter while basically taunting and challenging her.  The father escalated the situation in doing so, and clearly the mother didn’t seem to think this response from the father was out-of-the-ordinary as she basically went about her business of eating without any qualms.

This father was a bully.

I couldn’t help but wonder what went on behind closed doors at this poor family’s home.  If this father was willing to act the way he was in a public setting then imagine what he might be willing to do in private.

I wish I could remember the circumstances that led up to the over-reaction from the father…but as I recall, it was certainly not deserving of half his response.  It saddens me to think that there are so many children like this who are born to parents that simply never should have pro-created.  I understand that everyone has a right to do so…but these same people also have a responsibility to take on that role in a nurturing and dignified manner.  Children should be celebrated, despite their often challenging behavior.  These situations should be used to teach, not to bully.

Children do not deserve to be used as a emotional punching bags for parents that can’t control their own emotions or who have an unhealthy need to dominate or control others.  I can only hope that this was not “typical” behavior for this father…but something tells me that isn’t the case.

Be a compassionate disciplinarian, not a bully.

End rant.