And when your small child reaches in his nappy to explore his own excrement and wipe it on the sofa, well bleach is really only thing for it.
Because the non-violent lessons I have taught her meant that I neglected the most important one. The one about respecting your own boundaries and protecting your own body. Instead I apparently encouraged my daughter to be a good cog in the kindergarten system, to report it to an adult and in doing so taught her to go against her instincts and passively accept violence on her body. She became a victim, because I taught her it was the right thing to do.
When I’ve said this in the past, there has always been a follow up question. ‘So you, who believe in honesty… do you lie to your children? Do you expose them to the harsh realities of life?’
My way, would be natural I’d decided (with not a little smirk of superiority). A water birth, maybe with a kick of gas and air to get me laughing like Uncle Benny in Lethal Weapon.
Then the Iraqi war comes. And with it Americans and British soldiers with their feet on naked men wearing hoods over their faces.
If there’s one thing abusive parents have in common, it’s an inability to control their stress levels. Don’t be that parent.
No matter how much organic produce you buy or exciting names you invent for vegetables, there are some things your child will not eat… although this long list is cut in half if you drown them in ketchup.
It takes a steel heart to stand up to that amount of pressure from people you care about, even if you believe in vaccines.
Many people don’t think it through before they have kids. Indeed such a level of forethought is not possible. And besides, having kids is something you do usually as a matter of course in our society. Its part of the relationship escalator.