Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

Abuse of Parents by Toddlers

on December 23, 2013

You know, you hear about child abuse and spousal abuse a lot.  And don’t get me wrong, those are serious issues and important to talk about.  But you never seem to hear about abuse of parents by their children.  Not nearly-grown-up children, little children.  Specifically, toddlers.

They don’t tell you this when you’re considering having children, but toddlers can be vicious little creatures.  I don’t think it’s out of malice.  They just don’t understand their own strength, or the concept that others feel pain too, or any other way to deal with emotional upset.  But the fact is, they can do a lot of damage.  My toddler is generally very good tempered, but she kicks, occasionally hits, bites, scratches and pulls hair (I HATE that).  Sometimes in the midst of a tantrum, sometimes in the course of normal investigations and sometimes just because I haven’t cut her nails lately (because that’s a fun job in itself).  Sometimes she hurts me bad enough to make me cry.  Sometimes Daddy or I have to leave the room because we’ve got very angry with her for it.  It’s no fun being hurt.

And we don’t really have it that bad.  Some toddlers actually do enough damage for their parents to have to go to hospital.  Imagine going to the A&E (ER in US) and telling them your toddler beat you up.  And then having to convince them that, no, you aren’t covering for your spouse.

As if the pain wasn’t enough, you also have the worry.  That it’s not that they haven’t developed empathy yet, but that they won’t.  That you have a junior psychopath on your hands.  Them smiling when they’ve hurt you doesn’t help with this.

Parenting.  It’s great, isn’t it?

[On the upside, my daughter has just been discharged from premature baby clinic aged not-quite-2 because she’s doing fine.  They commented on her excellent leg muscles.  Yeah, I know about those…]

Useful links:
My toddler hits me – Net Doctor
Does your toddler hurt you? – Mothering
My 2 year old hurts me when he’s mad – Circle of Moms
How can I get my toddler to stop hitting me? – Baby Center

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