Language seems to make up a lot of parenting. Words really do have meaning when we talk to our children and can leave lasting impressions. Especially the ones we choose when we are angry or try to discipline them. It seems only logical to consider the way we speak to our children and the words we use when we do.
As we spent a fortnight in Turkey, I got to witness other people's parenting in actions, and overheard a lot of parent-child talk.
I must say that French parenting conversations are really mindblowing. The things francophone parents say to their children have yet to find a translation in English.
Here are some of the things I have overheard:
"If you put your hands down, I swear I will push your head under and not let you up again." By a mother tryng to teach her child to swim.
Other things I frequently heard was parents calling their kids "vilain", "mechant", "con" (nasty, bad and stupid, but the way I feel it, in French it is much worse).
Another great episode of parenting was when a father saw his daughter playbiting another kid, he dragged her through the little pool by the hair, screaming at her: "Oh, you're biting? Maybe I should bite you then, how would you like that?"
Other things said to kids were phrases like "Tu m'enerves, tu me fais chier..." (You're getting on my nerves, you are pissing me off - again, it sounds so much more harsh in French).
As a little side note: I don't speak Turkish or Russian, so I don't know what these parents say to their children. And seemingly Flemish parents aren't that much better, if I can base my assupmtions on the way my friend treats his daughter (You're annoying me/ If you keep whining about how your hand hurts, I'll cut it off...).
Is that the way mainstream parents speak to their children? Seriously? And everyone is ok with that? And still we want to harrass women for breastfeeding in public, but we stay quiet when shit like this happens.
And people still wonder why people do turn out obnoxious and nasty? People wonder why children 'talk back'? We just can't figure out why people don't allow each other the light of day...
Image: Bhumi Finding Herself on Flickr