The Danger of Parenting-in-Place
Parenting is hard. Maybe it’s easier if you don’t have 4 kids, like me. I love my kids, but sometimes they drive me f*****g CRAZY! Any parents feel me out there? Yeah you do.
Before the pandemic, I would get reprieves throughout the day–when my kids went to school, or a friend’s house, or after school stuff, or sports. But now they are with me. All. The. Time.
I love it, but at the same time, I don’t. Let’s be real, OK? Kids can be great, but they also really suck sometimes.
Parenting is great when kids…
- say “I love you” for no reason other than they just had to say it
- make stuff for you
- show you how proud they are of stuff they did at school
- when they get into the kind of stuff their dad likes (my younger kid loves soccer and always wants me to play with him)
- grow and learn right in front of you
Parenting isn’t so great when kids…
- say “I hate you” for, like, no reason at all
- make a mess and refuse to clean it up
- spit everywhere
- throw a fit and accidentally kick dad in the nuts
- fight with each other
The pandemic is causing lots of extra stress for adults, but the kids are feeling it to. Sometimes at the hands of the adults.
The guys from Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered shared a PBS article, “Why child welfare experts fear a spike of abuse during COVID-19”, on their social media recently. As a parent I’ve felt the same rage directed at my kids that I would normally direct at bad drivers, referees of any sport, people who don’t follow social distancing protocol at the store, etc. But I haven’t taken to physically abusing my kids. I might’ve had little flashes in my mind of If this was a grown person talking to me like this, I’d kick em in the zipper. But, luckily, I don’t have that bad of a rage problem, and my kids haven’t had to deal with a grown up trying to beat the hell out of them.
But, in these times especially, that’s not always the case. In the article the guys shared, Dr. Jamye Coffman, medical director of the Cook Children’s Center for Prevention and Child Abuse and Neglect, said, “Any time there’s increased stress increases the risk of abuse on children.”
Now, I don’t want to bum you out with the statistics–you can see them for yourself in the article, if you choose–so I’ll just leave it at this: people are beating kids, to death in some instances, more than what is regularly reported.
If you’re reading this thinking, “Damn, I don’t want to hurt the kids anymore; I need help,” or you know someone who needs this kind of help (friend/relative/neighbor) then GOOD NEWS! There’s help out there–lots of it:
- National Parent Helpline — 1-855-4A-PARENT (1-855-427-2736)
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline — 1800-4ACHILD
- SAMHSA distress helpline — 800-985-5990 or text “talk with us” to 66746
- National Suicide Hotline — 211
- Crisis Textline — Text “Connect” to 741741
- National Alliance of Mental Illness — 1-800-950-6264 (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Panic Disorder Information Hotline: 1-800-64-PANIC (72642)
Now, whether you’re at risk or not, you have to keep your perspective during all of this. It wouldn’t hurt to practice mindfulness, either. If you’re just bored out of your friggin minds, peep this: “10 Cool Things to Do While Sheltering in Place”.
And finally, check out Threads’ sponsor, BetterHelp.com, because they’re offering a 10% discount on teletherapy. Talk to a licensed therapist anytime, anywhere.
I hope you all make it through this better, stronger people. Good luck. Stay safe. Check on your friends and family. Read fun stuff from time to time, like this other article the guys shared, “Everyday Items We’ve Been Using Wrong The Whole Time”. It’ll blow your mind (in a good way).
Christopher Tallon writes, plays guitar, and tries his best to make things out of wood. Follow his journeys: FaceBook | Instagram | Twitter | Website