I used to be a bully

This is probably my most controversial post yet.  

I used to bully my children.  I wanted them to obey.  In the name of Christianity, I punished and yelled and spanked. 

I said things like, “you don’t know my kid” and “every family has to do what is right for them” and all the other statements to justify my actions. 

In the churches I attended most of my life, abortion was murder, it was wrong, it was a sin. Babies were fully human the second they had a heartbeat.  

Those growing, developing babies deserved every single right that a grown human has.

Once the child was born, however, it was a flawed, sinful, manipulative creature that we needed to break and mold- in the name of Jesus.

After a child is born, they lose the status of full person. We are encouraged to hit, bully and yell at them. 

 It is considered humorous to break their things, lie to them, to make them cry, and acceptable to record and share these moments. 

I can’t even. 

Kids are being hit because, Christianity. 
Kids are being bullied because, sin.

Kids are humiliated to “teach them”. 

If I wouldn’t say it to my husband, I won’t say it to my kids.  
I have been so hesitant to post about this because oh my goodness people get angry. I get it. I used to follow James dobson’s teachings. I was there. I was mean, I was unkind, I was not loving- and it was all in the name of raising good kids.  
If you read this, or posts like this and immediately feel defensive about your parenting- please take a minute to feel that instead of firing back in anger. I know that when I feel a huge rush of emotions, at the core of it all is a feeling that maybe I’m wrong.  

I can shout and scream, “you don’t know my life, my kids, my situation”, but it comes from a place of insecurity and fear.  
If you want to say, “different things work for different families”- I need you to hear me right now. 

Your children are people. Wonderful people. You invited them into your life. You insisted that they be given rights the second they had a heartbeat. You fought to protect their right to live. Fight for them today. Fight for that little heart to really live.

Stop bullying, shaming and humiliating your kids. Think for just a moment about how you would feel if that little person was you.  Honestly, that little person probably was you.

If you want to say, “well my parents did…and I turned out okay”, consider that maybe you are shooting for better than just okay, and if you are feeling defensive- maybe you don’t totally feel okay with those choices. 

Be kind to those precious gifts you have been given.  They are fully human and beautifully and wonderfully made. 

6 thoughts on “I used to be a bully

  1. This is beautiful, Rachel. Whenever I try to explain why spanking can be dangerous, I get lots of defensiveness from college students. Yet I know that academic research does not support spanking, and I know in my heart that it is unloving, no matter how lovingly intended.

  2. Hey, please please read Jesus the Gentle Parent! It shows how many of the words like ‘obey’, ‘train’, ‘child’ and ‘rod’ from the typical ‘spanking’ verses have been mis-translated. It reconciles it back to the loving God we know, and the Jesus who welcomed the little children. Clearly the God of love & grace wouldn’t endorse childism. And this book helps immensely in clarifying the issue! Xx

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