Hi everyone. Please excuse my lack of posts since Mother’s Day. It’s been a busy past month. School begins its wind-down and the rush to last-minute paperwork on.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James
I was waiting in line at the food market the other day. A boy—maybe about 10 (?) years of age—was standing next to me. He was looking toward the back of the store, and appearing a hair uncertain.
A woman—perhaps his mother or grandmother (?)—approached him, glanced at the line, then at him.
“Why are you so dumb?” Her raised voice and annoyed tones conveyed her frustration—and turned the heads of anyone nearby.
(I’ll surmise the boy should have been keeping the woman’s place in line.)
The folks ahead of me must have thought the same. They offered to let the boy back in. No harm. No foul.
Someone must have commented about there being no problem. The woman, however, maintained her (mild) indignation, and her right to admonish the boy. “He has to learn.”
People, I had to bite my tongue. The woman might have been old-school. She had an accent, which suggests culture might have influenced the way she addressed the boy. She also might truly believe she was acting out of love.
As I wrote this, I had to wonder: If shaming that child in public was her way of “teaching” him, how does she deal with him behind closed doors?
I don’t consider myself an expert at anything, folks. I do, however, care deeply about how others feel, children in particular.
I suppose belittling and shaming, publicly or privately, might get a child’s attention. Will they “learn” from the experience?
Chances are, the child will remember feeling embarrassed more than s/he remembers the infraction.
But like everything else—in terms of action and reaction—shaming and belittling don’t lack for consequences.
We’ll pick this up next time.