Parents are pushed to the limit by work and school schedules and most are running late and it’s only noon.
There are too many stories of child abuse on the TV news and in newspapers that stop us in our tracks; just what would drive a parent do something like that to their own flesh and blood? What pushes a parent to step over the line?
When I think about it I remember back to a time when I was having a very difficult time. I was essentially a single parent since my first husband was working a third-shift job. I worked all day in a discount store and then came home to laundry, cooking supper, getting kids to do their homework, taking care of the pets and everything else.
My daughter, Emily, was seven and at the time and it seemed as if she purposely pushed over the birdcage. My blood boiled and I could feel my head pounding. All I could think about was all the work I had yet to do that night and now I had the birdseed, water and bird poops to clean up. I snapped — and it was the beginning of the end.
That’s how many parents make the news without even thinking.
What about you? What would it take for you to lose it with your kids? Are you tired? Keeping a tight schedule and running late? Your child asks for a glass of milk to go with the cookies, and then spills it – it runs down into the drawer, the cabinets and into the floor. You are supposed to leave in five minutes…
How are you going to handle that? Can you step back and take a deep breath to calm down? When your heart starts to race do you know it is anger and frustration and not your child?
When you’re having a bad day, before you lose your cool, call a helpline and talk it over with a trained volunteer before…
One Spill Away | Edited and reprinted from May 30, 2012 by request.