I was out earlier today with my little guy hanging outside eating, playing, enjoying the beautiful day, and one another. We happened to be near another dad and his two beautiful little girls and had the unfortunate experience of listening to a parent bully their children. As all children do, the girls, as well as my little guy, were doing things that they at times needed to be redirected from doing. The typical climbing where they shouldn’t, running a little farther than is comfortable for a parent, and yelling to loudly, to name a few. In my opinion, all part of the fun of being a child and the experience of being a parent.

What I witnessed made my heart simply break as I listened to the little girls being yelled at and commanded each time they “stepped out of line.” Statements such as “you do what I tell you and you don’t ever question me” and “who do you think you are? You are a child and I don’t want to hear a word out of your mouth ever unless I ask for one” were drilled into the girls. I watched as these beautiful little human beings drew inward, their spirit and happiness draining a little bit each time they were yelled at.

At one point my son came over to me and asked me why that daddy was being so mean to his kids and that it was making him sad. I let him know that it was making me sad and that I wasn’t sure why that daddy was treating his girls that way. I wish I had the answer and I wish that I could somehow have fixed the situation and every other parent-bullying situation in the world. These beautiful little beings are nothing but pure love, expecting nothing other than love and kindness from the world around them, especially their parents. I simply can not understand why any adult would think that this type of behavior toward a child is in any way effective.

When we speak to our children they deserve our respect, first and foremost. Our jobs as their parent include us loving, protecting, guiding, and supporting them. We do this by teaching them, but most importantly we show them this through our behaviors and the examples that we set for them. We all have bad days and find ourselves frustrated and at our last rope, but our special little beings do not deserve to be on the receiving end of our frustrations and hardships. Let’s all make an effort to love our children and effectively parent them in a way that makes them compassionate and kind individuals who will enter the world inspiring others to do the same.