Your Children Don't Deserve You Speaking To Them Like That - Sarah Mae
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Your Children Don’t Deserve You Speaking To Them Like That

I went to the grocery store to pick up a movie and as I was walking in I heard a dad yelling at his kids in the backseat. “You’re dead when we get home! You don’t F___ing do that…”

I felt a mix of sadness and anger. I wanted to go to the man and say, “how dare you speak to your children like that? They are children, they deserve kindess and respect. They are not trash, but you’re treating them like they are.”

I went in the store holding back my tears, and came out and started crying in my car. I hate when parents treat their children like dirt; when they talk to them as though they are worthless.

They are not worthless.

Your children are precious to God, and they are growing and becoming and the word arrows you throw wound deep. Please stop.

I know what it feels like to get shot and let me tell you what it does to a child. It makes their insides tighten up and they feel sick, and they feel confused, and their stomach is in knots. They feel like they have to tip toe around you and not make you mad. It’s a terrible way to live, always feeling nervous and tense.

Children need gentleness and affirmation and welcoming arms. They need your grace.

If you struggle with speaking harshly to your children, or yelling at them too much, or you find yourself losing control when you get angry, please get on your knees and choose to change. Be willing to let God change you. Be vulnerable, and don’t give up when the change doesn’t happen immediately. Ask your children to forgive you, and tell them you are a mess and Jesus is working to make you beautiful. Be honest with them, give them the respect that you would want. And above all, don’t get discouraged that you will never change – that is lie straight from the enemy. You can change, you do have control over your anger, and the Holy Spirit will help you if you ask.

Persevere.

I’ll be right there with you, persevering, practicing my tone and daily leaning into the throne of grace for help.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 NIV

Love, SM

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  • Lisa Mather

    Thank you for this.  I needed it.

    • Tammy

      I was at the drive in movie tonight and the car beside ours had a dad and a little boy arguing over silly bands. The dad called his son a g–d—m idiot and told him he was going to punch his f—– ing face off if he did not give him the f—-ing silly bands.  A few minutes later the same little boy told his older brother that he was going to punch him in the face. It is so sad but this little boy will more than likely grow up to be just like his father.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1229981321 Brooke McConnell Adametz

    So beautifully written! What an encouraging message =)

  • http://twitter.com/LivingOneHanded Ryan Haack

    Oofda.  Thanks, Sarah.

  • http://twitter.com/pastoralmusings pastoralmusings

    So very true.

  • http://ramblingsofamommy-sahm.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    This is such an important reminder, I never realized how much I can struggle with anger until I had kids. But you’re right, the only way we can ever change is by relying on God’s grace.

  • Mamayearwood

    So good!  Love doesn’t speak like that.

  • Kristina

    I really needed this. Others always say how together I appear and how great my kids are but I feel like I am always scolding or yelling at them. It tough to create the balance of the disciplinarian who institutes consequence and the giver of grace as my Father gives me! Thank you for perspective!

  • Brad and Whitney McConnell

    Thank you.

  • http://www.MomKaboodle.com Stephanie (MomKaboodle)

    Words piercing straight to my heart….I needed to hear this.  I’ve been speaking in anger WAY to often lately, and it has GOT to stop.   Thanks for the encouragement, Sarah!

  • Butterflybug150

    I just feel horrible for yelling at my child lord forgive me I need patience thank u for sharing

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XFVEICIRHSLDSS4DSBIZJ7KYBU Jamie

    What hurts worse is when you have to listen to one parent talk like that and you cant “stick up” for the child, because you would be challenging the fathers authority and sending a bad example. So you have to sit there and cringe with the child. The sadness that you see in their eyes rips your heart out, but there isn’t anything you can do about it but pray.

    • Carol

      Respectfully disagree. People knew my father sexually abused me and nobody stepped in or challenged his “authority” to do this, the above example of sitting and just “cringing” while a father heaps foul abuse on any child is the reason why so many children grow up distanced from their earthly father, and then that carries over to trusting their heavenly Father. Stop sitting and cringing and start protecting, God will cover you, and “submitting” to the authority of an abusive parent is never ever in God’s plan for us. Oops, guess I did not come off quite “respectful”…so much for me reading that it hurts “worse” for you just to sit there???  No, I don’t think it compares to the pain of your child. 

    • http://aboverubies.net/ Jasmine Mansfield

      Jamie, I respectfully disagree. If your husband is abusive, then I encourage you to pray hard and protect your child. 

      • Crystal

        I think many men forget that they are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Women are commanded to respect husbands but husbands are commanded to love their wives. its a 50/50 thing. 

        • http://aboverubies.net/ Jasmine Mansfield

          Yes, Crystal. I agree. 

    • Dawn

      and this is why I am in the midle of a divorce. I started sticking up or my children. I do not regret it one bit. It was satans lie that I was to hold my tounge and let it continue.

    • Penny Dumelie

      May I suggest, women are stronger than that. While we are to be led by our husbands, we are also made to nuture our family. We are to be our husband’s helpmeet. Part of that is to gently guide them when they go astray. 

      That doesn’t mean a wife has to correct him, or say anything to him in front of the child(ren) but she could interrupt him to send the child to their room calmly. And then once the child is gone, to talk to the father. 
      If there is a specific problem with disobedience with a child (something they do repeatedly, knowing it is wrong) it can help to decide beforehand how you will handle it when it happens. This gives both parents something to turn to instead of “how many times have I told you…” or poor word choices.Mom can also talk to the child about good and bad ways to express ourselves and how not even adults always do this well. And pray together for the father.If there is fear to do even this, then the wife needs to ask herself why. Is she avoiding a confrontation or is there a greater fear? If the answer is fear, then perhaps talking to someone professional might be a good idea.

      I don’t say this in judgement, only to try and help. It is horrible to live in your own home and have fear to speak or that you will do ‘something’ wrong. I hope that anyone in this environment will be pro-active about making changes for the better. I dont have to know you to know that, if you are a woman, you are strong. You are so very, very strong. Be brave and protect your family and your babies.

    • Jes

      Jamie,

      I hope you’ll read this, and that you’ll hear my heart…

      You are not absolved. You have a responsibility when your children are being verbally abused, and if you don’t speak up, you are just as responsible as is their father.

      God is SERIOUS about defending the defenseless. Yes, you are to submit to your husband…but not when doing so means that he is heaping his sin upon the children.

      I grew up with an abusive father and a passively-aggressive mother.

      I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time that I heard my father tell my mother to “Shut the F up!” or for every time that he’d scream at me and tell me what a piece of sh#t I was.

      My Mother’s response? NOTHING!

      If she ever did respond, it was by leaving the room and I was left alone with him.

      THIS IS NOT GOD’S IDEA OF SUBMISSION!

      Today, my parents are not a part of my life at all. Yes, they’ve been forgiven, but I have children of my own now and it’s my job to protect them from abusers.

      I suspect that you are afraid of your husband, otherwise you’d be speaking up.

      Trust God. Imitate Jesus…He did not tolerate bullies hurting other people…

      The Lord will give you the words that you need in order to protect the hearts of your children. Ask Him. Seek Him. Obey Him.

      By keeping silent you are only perpetuating the problem and are giving your husband the impression that his behavior is acceptable.

    • Sarah

      I think you are right to pray, pray, but talk to your children as well.  Let them know that you know your husband is not right in his actions towards them, but that that does not absolve them of the wrongs they have done either.  Look at how many woman here are being honest and saying that they have problems with anger, I know I have as well.  Does that make your husband a horrible person?  I’m sure there are many good things about him.  It may be that God needs to work through his family to help him become a better person. 

      So I would disagree with some of the responses to you, having a husband who is quick to anger does not mean you should leave your husband, and I do not think you should object while your children are witness.  That is as long as there is no physical violence or sexual abuse(this does not include spankings as to some that is a just punishment).

      I would pray to ask God what He needs you to do to help your husband.  Maybe it is to stand up and say that you think he is to harsh.  Maybe it is to back down in other areas, maybe your husband is feeling disrespected and hurt and is taking it out on the children.  Maybe it is to teach the children to be more respectful of their dad.  Whatever it is, pray for the answer. Maybe he is like many of us and trying to be better, but it isn’t always easy.  Maybe it is the same way he was raised.  Maybe he feels like the only way his children will respect him is if he is the way he is.  And maybe he is trying to be the best man he can be.  It isn’t fair of anyone to judge this husband when we don’t know what else is happening here. 

       In the mean time talk to your babies, tell them that you understand their pain, that they are just in feeling that way.  Use it as a teaching moment for them.  That none of us are free from sin.   Tell them there daddy is a good man but like all of us has his problems.  And that you love them and so does he.   I will pray for your family

    • Jaci

       Girls…I think she is speaking in regards to Sarah not saying anything to the father she heard yelling at the store. This just happened to fall in place after the previous poster wrote about her husband’s angry words.

      • http://aboverubies.net/ Jasmine Mansfield

        Jaci, wow – if you’re right and you might just well be, my sincere apologies to Jaime.  

  • http://tgmagazine.wordpress.com/ Heather

    I was going to post a comment on FB, but too many people I know would have had the opportunity to see it. This post hits very close to home. My children have experienced this; and it’s one of the reasons my husband and I are divorcing. Most of his anger and harsh/abusive language was reserved for me, but he did it around my children. Then one day my daughter asked him a question while he was angry at me. He responded to her by saying, “Because your mother is an a**hole!” I pray that one day my children will truly know how God intended a husband to speak to his wife; and a father to his children.

    • Penny Dumelie

      Prayers for strength and healing for you and your whole family. Be proud of yourself! It can be hard to do what needs to be done.

      • Guest

        Be proud that you are protecting your children. But we should never be proud of divorce. Divorce is always destructive. God hates divorce. Instead we should be counseling one another on how to avoid divorce and heal marriages. 

      • http://tgmagazine.wordpress.com/ Heather

         Thank you, Penny. I appreciate the prayers! While I am not proud of divorce; I am grateful for the strength God has given me to do what needs to be done. As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom becoming a single mom is scary. But I believe that God will take care of me and my children. And while I don’t like any of this, I am at peace with it.

    • http://notesfromahilltop.typepad.com/my-blog/ Mrs. B.

       Heather,

      My parents divorced when I was a teenager and though they are friends now, I grew up in an environment of insults like that being thrown back and forth and those words being said to me.

      I am going to pray for you and your children and have faith. Hugs & Blessings.

      • http://tgmagazine.wordpress.com/ Heather

         Thank you, Mrs. B. I appreciate all the prayers! We are keeping the faith and surrounding ourselves with Godly people. Hugs & Blessing to you as well 🙂

    • Karen

      Heather,

      I know what you are going through! Please don’t give up! God made it clear in His Word that divorce is not His will. It won’t solve anything, your children will still be spending time with a father with anger issues, in fact after the divorce he will probably be angrier. And his abusive language will not disappear. The divorce may give him more “reason” to speak negatively about you to your children. I am not saying stay and endure abuse. Perhaps a separation while your husband resolves his anger issues would be a possible solution. It may take years, but I firmly believe that God is faithful. 

      Like I said, I am experiencing a similar situation. Most of the time my husband is patient, but when his anger flares up, it is bad. There is no physical abuse but like you said he is abusive to me in his words and language in front of our small children. He takes the opportunity to tell the kids that it is my fault and how terrible I am. He says it is my fault because I make him so angry. Sometimes I can’t believe that I am married to “that guy”. He wasn’t like this when we first married, but past verbal abuse from his parents plus their continued abuse that has gradually worsened over the years have caused him to build up a lot of anger. Anger can be such a destructive force. It must be dealt with.

      But I know that God has given me this marriage and I will not throw out all of my hopes and dreams for the future just because my husband has unresolved issues. I do not allow him to abuse the kids and I will tell him to relocate if need be. But I KNOW that God is faithful even if my husband is not. I have faith in God above all else, in spite of my circumstances. What else is there? If I cannot trust God to heal my husband and my marriage then I have to say that God is a liar and abandon my faith. God is not a man that He should lie!! Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” That’s a promise for us, Heather. You’ve got to hang on! Hang on to God and don’t let go!!!

      • http://tgmagazine.wordpress.com/ Heather

         I hope that you requested to receive replies; in fact, I wish that I could contact you personally. However, I cannot so this will have to do.

        I truly appreciate what you are saying and am sad to hear that you are experiencing some of the same things I am. I will remember you in prayer this evening.

        I thank you for your concern for me, my marriage, and my children. BUT, I have only told a small part of my story here; as only part of it is relevant to this post. There is more; oh, so much more, that has been done and is ongoing.  Suffice it to say, he has moved out and has already started a new life for himself.

        I am in counseling with a Godly woman; who agrees that God hates divorce, but understands that it is sometimes necessary for the well-being of the wife and children. This was not my choice, but his. I followed a Biblical plan. I took my problem to him. It didn’t work. I took my problem to the Church. It didn’t work. However, my pastor supports me fully – he knows the whole story. That does not make me believe in any way that God lies. He has most certainly not. In fact, if it weren’t for my faith in Him, I would be in a much worse situation. Like the story told in Footprints, Jesus has walked alongside me and carried me when necessary.

        I’ve heard it said that when you make decisions that are based in God, there is a feeling of peace that accompanies them. I am at peace with this. I feel a peace that the children and I are on the right path now. I even feel at peace that God will place a Godly man in our lives so that my children will finally learn what His plan for marriage really is; that they will finally learn what it means to be a Godly husband and father. I have no way of teaching them that; as I can only be the wife and mother. They will have that chance now. God is taking care of us. He will make it good.

  • Samusomom

    I heard a mom at Target the other day say to her 2-3 year old, “are you mental!?” It was kind of shocking to hear. I was like-he has no idea what you are saying, so why “word” it that way, you know!? She seemed extremely stressed out! 

  • jimmie lee

    I often feel like I am constantly fighting with my 11 yo. I yell, a lot. (I never use curse words but I yell) When he doesn’t do what i asked after the 15th time ( i am not exaggerating) I lose my patience. I have never been really all that great at discipline and I am paying for it a little now. He’s a good kid but he doesn’t always listen the first, second third or fourth time 😉 
    Struggling.
    I am trying to practice speaking to him calmly even when he is pushing buttons and being combative/argumentative. 
    Lord help me through these teenage years! 

  • Jkstilwell

    After leaving the hospital, one time following a miscarriage,  my husband and I heard a Mom say to her child (approx. age 4 or 5), “I wish you had never been born.”  I burst into tears right in front of the mom and said, “How can you say that?” as my husband led me weeping away.  

  • http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com/ Traci Michele

    Oh I’ve heard people talk to their children like this in public and it makes me get #1 angry and want to confront them and then go cry in my car.  It also humbles me, not because I’ve talked to my children with those horrible words, but I have talked to them harshly, and it makes me cringe to think I’ve made their little insides tighten up.  What a great visual!  Thanks Sarah Mae.  I really appreciate this post.  Love, Traci Michele

  • BAdams

     Thank you for sharing, this was a good message!  The one that convicted me, was saying, “you’re making me so frustrated!”   I thought it sounded better, than “you’re making me so angry!” – but the truth I realized one day, is that they do not have the power to “make” me anything.  I may have an emotional reaction to them, but it’s because of my thinking/attitudes.  And then if I dwell on it, and continue to ‘feel’ it, that’s on me.  I choose to be frustrated, I choose to be angry. 
    What a burden, and also an unhealthy power, to place on a child. 

  • Deb

    Exactly what i needed to hear!! Thank you, thank you for sharing this. Great encouragement! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/corinne.wojczakmaier Corinne Wojczak Maier

    I went to Confession today to talk to the Priest about this very thing, what a confirmation!  Thank you, his advice was very similar to yours

  • http://www.facebook.com/daphneboyd1 Daphne Rodriguez Boyd

    Thank you for that. I grew up in a household with parents that let their emotions flow out of their mouth, and as a mother that is something I have been very careful and cautious about. I’m not perfect, but I really try to make sure that the words I speak to my children (even in anger/frustration) are ones that are helpful and not hurtful, building and not destroying. “Son! You know these answers, you are smart.”

  • Martha Huber

    Wow…this is so incredibly convicting.  I do yell at my children and get enraged and full of anger and spew like a volcano at times.  I feel like I am on this roller coaster…one day great, the next day horrible, and over and over again.  And I have confessed multiple times and have begged God to help me in this area. 

  • Tina Blankenship

    Great post!  I have reacted the same way you did, tears and grief for a poor child who will grow up never knowing their real worth.

  • Cfussell

    Just finished reading a great book about anger that was recommended by my therapist. It’s “Anger: Handling a powerful motion in a healthy way.”. It’s written by Dr. Gary Chapman.

  • http://twitter.com/Missindeedy Missindeedy

    “And above all, don’t get discouraged that you will never change – that is lie straight from the enemy. You can change, you do have control over your anger, and the Holy Spirit will help you if you ask.”

    That was a beautiful Truth that I so needed to hear.  Although it doesn’t apply necessarily, in my case, to this topic, it surely does to many others.  Thank you!

    And thank you for such a fantastic turn of the phrase “practicing my tone”.  I think I may have needed the reminder more than I realized that ‘practice makes (almost) perfect’.

    I’m a new fan and was really touched by this post.

  • http://yestheyareallours.com/ Elizabeth

    I totally agree with this!  Like you, I get so upset over how people speak to their kids in public!  I always figure they are speaking/treating the kids even WORSE at home!!!!!!!!  It really grieves my heart!

  • Vicki Hale

     I guess I don’t understand why parents take small children grocery shopping in the first place.  If you plan your grocery trip in advance, surely you can arrange for one parent, or a grandparent, to watch the kids while you’re at the store? I’m guessing they are running out to get some items they forgot, or they don’t bother to make lists or get their grocery shopping organized in the first place.

    What I find equally shocking is how many parents think it’s okay to drop their kids off at the public library and leave. A library is not a day care center. Librarians can’t watch your kids.  We have hundreds of patrons coming through the door each day. We are hired to run the library, not watch your kids for you. If a child is at the library at closing time and the parent has not picked them up, we are required to call the police and report an abandoned child. That child is then put into the foster care system. If you want to keep your kids, don’t send them to the library alone!!

    Also, speaking as a certified teacher (I don’t work in the schools, but my certificate is still valid and active), if I see anyone abusing a child, anywhere, not just a kid showing up at school with a bloody nose, I have to call it in.  Teachers (and others) are what’s called  “mandatory reporters”. If I see a guy at the grocery store smacking his kid, I’m required by law to call the police, even if I wish I had not seen that, and even if I wish I could just go to the store in peace and not see that kind of thing.

    People, you never know who is watching you. Many educators and social service workers are required to report you, regardless where we see you do this kind of thing. Even if we see it on our days off and we’re not even at work. So, if you want to keep your kids, you MUST behave yourself in public, and accompany your children at all times in the public library.

    Thank you.

    • Jennifer

      You either have the most ideal family situation or you don’t have children. Being able to leave my children with a babysitter whenever I go to the grocery store ( and yes, I am organized and plan in advance) would be impossible. In fact, I nearly laughed out loud when I read that. Besides, it’s fun (most of the time) to take your kids to the store with you. It’s a great opportunity to teach them about food and eating healthy.

    • Crystal

      I have 5 children – and I take them ALL to the grocery store with me – when they were 2 months, 2 months, 2, 3, and 5….we all packed up and went to the grocery store. Part of my joy in being their mother comes from showing them how we behave out in public. Sometimes we’ve had to leave our cart and go out to the car, and then come back into the store. But I would respectfully as that you please not automatically judge the parents who bring their children to the grocery store. Not all families are blessed to have grandparents living close by, or even others (we are in this situation) might have a child that has a life threatening illness and it’s always best for that child to be with momma whenever possible. =)

      Blessings.

      • Crystal

        I just took a dbl take at your response, bc I’m crystal, mothe of 5, also. Lol….I thought I’d responded and didn’t realize it. The ages let me know you were a different mother. Mine are 6,4,4,2,6 months. Great response.

    • Beth

      Vicki,
      I’m guessing you don’t have any children of your own, do you? 🙂

  • Ruthaw_1974

    I could not agree more.  I am not saying that I never lose my temper with my children, but by the grace of God, I have never gone to this extreme and I never shall. I have worked hard to speak the correct way to my daughter, and it does upset me when others do not treat their kids the right way.

  • http://notesfromahilltop.typepad.com/my-blog/ Mrs. B.

    Sarah, this makes me so sad as well. I am not a mother but I love children so much and can’t imagine what this does to a child. I can only imagine the frustration that a parent may feel sometimes but there is no reason to do this to a child. 

  • Jerryandheathermilburn

    And seek counseling when all else fails.  I have struggled with this MUCH and a decade of praying alone did nothing.  God IS healing me… but through extensive therapy.

    Some of us are having to break cycles and survive and don’t even realize it.  I think parents need to seek God AND professional help before its too late or another harsh word is said.

  • Lori

    I have been struggling with this also.  I am so stressed right now especially with my husband’s lay off and financial issues that I explode at the people that I love the most and I hate it.  I remember the feeling I had when my dad yelled at me and it makes me sick that I get frustrated so easily with my children.  Thanks for this message.

  • Crystal

    Sarah Mae, thank you. Thanks for being a very present gift of Truth for me this morning. Your encouragement , coupled with my husband correcting me, was like a FedEx from God this morning, on my harshness with my kids. I don’t curse at my children or call them names, but I’m conscious to measure myself with God’s litmus of righteousness. Harsh words scriptures are my meat and bread , to kill this thing that too often has been rising up in me. Blessings to you…..

  • Lyn Clements

    I had a similar experience last week .. we were at the indoor pool with the Boy Scouts taking a swimming test prior to camp.  I was sitting outside on the deck away from most everyone.  A woman came storming out holding a boy by the hand – you could tell she was mad by the way she was stomping.   The boy was about 10 or 11.  She stormed past me pulling him along – stopped about 30 feet from me, slapped him full in the face and said “You told yourself before you ever tried that you couldn’t do it, didn’t you!”   Walked a bit farther away ( I think she saw me staring at her), slapped him in the face again, and said “you are a quitter!”  he said something to her that I couldn’t hear, and she repeated even louder “you are a quitter!”.  I got up by this time and walked toward them.  She grabbed him by the hand and stormed past me.  I said to her ” how could you talk to this child like that?”   no reply.  I said “if this is how you treat him in public, what goes on in your home?!!”  no reply – kept walking.   I followed her in   and spoke to the scoutmaster (who I know personally) and took him aside and asked him to take it easy with this kid because his mother had just taken him out and slapped him in the face and called him a quitter.  The Scoutmaster didn’t say much …. I found out why later.  The kid was the assistant Scoutmasters’ son!!! I am still sick to my stomach thinking about it.  This kid doesn’t attend our school or I would go and talk to the principal about it.  Hopefully the Scoutmaster will say something to the other Scoutmaster about it but I’m not holding my breath.  I’m praying for them all.

    • Beth

      Lyn,
      Good for you for saying something to that woman! That is so horrible to think of the humiliation that poor child suffered. Like you said, I can’t imagine what he must endure at home. I pray that your words will help the woman to realize that she needs some serious help!

  • BRD

    My husband of 12 years talks like this to my two young children and I all the time. We are Christians, although we don’t attend church regularly. He knows it’s wrong and he always promises to change but it never happens. The level of anger and frustration he has in his head is crazy. I can’t leave him, however, and I cry and get upset over this all the time. I love him so bery much. I’m going to forward this to him and maybe he will read it. But it’s doubtful. Sigh….

    • Heather

       BRD I’ll be praying that you and your husband get involved in a Bible believing church where you are encouraged in your walk with God. I think it is so important for our  Christ-following families to be in church regularly – soaking in the Word of God and learning from it, then taking that into the week.  If we are not hungering after the Word of God on a daily basis, are we really tapping into the power of God to change us? This daily walk with Christ is hard –  we need to be obedient to the Word of God to make any headway against the ‘sin that so easily ensnares us’.  Find a strong Bible believing church that will come along side you and your husband and help you with this – I’ll be praying that the Lord will not leave you alone until you do!

  • Sharon O

    Oh I know that feeling all too well. words do hurt. words do cut to the core of a spirit. they can build and they can break down the heart of a child. I would cry too. For all the children young and old who never were valued or believed in you just want to say to the parent, “do you have a clue what you sound like?” perhaps they don’t care.
    It is extremely sad.

  • Chara

    A fantastic book that helps with many of these issues is “Good and Angry, Exchanging frustration for character in you and your kids” by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller!!! It changed a lot of things about my parenting- still have a ways to go, but I highly recommend this one!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cheryl-Hackett/736161552 Cheryl Hackett

    I wholeheartedly agree with the content of your post, and I, too, know what it felt like to be spoken to in a horrible way as a child. I am working hard to not repeat it with my kiddos.
    As a former broadcast journalist (news anchor) before having kids, one thing I learned was to be careful writing in “you” and “your” because, depending on the content of what is about to be said, it can come off too accusatory to your audience. Just a little something to keep in mind for us writers 🙂 

  • Sommer

    Thank you! My prayer for the past couple of months is that I stop wounding my kids with my words. It feels just as you described-I can remember it from childhood but I revert back to that in the heat of anger and frustration. I have been allowing the Holy Spirit to renew me in this area slowly but surely. I am choosing to believe God that I can and WILL change in this area!

  • Randi

    I needed to hear this today, this week, this year, the last 5 years. Thanks

  • Pam leding

    Well written, Sarah!! A very important topic to ponder and think deeply about!!

  • http://doshaughnessy.blogspot.com/ donna oshaughnessy

    :0(…I *should* have been the one to treat my kids this way since I heard it an awful lot as a child. I will not say I have never yelled at my children. having 4 7 and under made for some stressful days. But I have never used ugly, hurtful, intimidating words and that is ONLY because of God’s incredible grace and His enduring faithfulness to a mother that begged Him to change her and not let her repeat a vicious cycle that  could be traced back 4 generations. On our knees is the ONLY place to be as parents. Thanks for sharing…though is it very sad :0(.

  • Becky

    I feel like a complete failure when it comes to speaking to my children…Actually, my 3.5 year old son.  I feel sick daily, I feel like I yell at him way too much.  I clinch my teeth a lot and actually put myself in a lot of pain because I get so angry at him.  I don’t want to take anything out on him, but I feel overwhelmed and he doesn’t sleep well, whines often, and is probably a typical 3 year old.   He is an angel for others, but for me he is frequently disobedient and throws things at me.  No one outside of our home would ever know.  My husband doesn’t have much patience for him either and I feel as though he justifies it when he yells at him.  We have such a difficult time handling all the whining.  I really think it is because my son doesn’t sleep well and really refuses to sleep.  When he is fully rested which is hardly ever he is such a little angel.  He is sweet and sensitive.  Oh, Lord help us.  I don’t cuss at him, and I don’t try to say anything out of line, but I yell.  It’s so exhusting. It just makes me cry on a daily basis.

  • amymatthews

    Thanks!

  • Disciple

    This is exactly where I am, on my knees and allowing the Lord to change me. It is so difficult not to yell as raising children can be very frustrating. Thank you for your words and encouragement for all of us parents who desperately need it.

  • Saidah Washington

    I’m a mom of 4 and took raising one child to adulthood to realize that I
    expected way to much from her in some of the earlier years. That being
    said, God has taught me so many lessons in Grace. I’ve come to realize that many of the things I corrected/lectured in my oldest I don’t sweat in my three youngest. For parents who yell, it’s not right and you’ll never bring out the best on your children by yelling.

  • Jaci

    Thank you, Sarah, for posting this hard truth that we all need to hear. It was very convicting for me but I desperately needed to hear it!

  • Crystal

    I needed to hear this. I used to explain everything to my son, let him know in kind words what he needed to know and I have lost that over the years. I just expect that he know how to act and what to say now that he is 10. He still needs love and compassion. I don’t curse at him but I use words like ” WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” or “DO YOU LIKE GETTING IN TROUBLE?”. What is that teaching him…. I am making that choice to change with Gods help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your message.

  • Disney

    Oh how sad! I’ll bet that father heard the same words from his own. Heartbreaking.

  • http://twitter.com/SimplyBetterLF Leslie

    This makes me so sad.  Our children are precious and need to hear words that edify.  A few months ago I heard a harsh grandmother (nothing like what you heard) but it still affected me for days and I wrote about it : http://simplybetterhomemaking.blogspot.com/2012/05/tone-of-voice.html

  • tjack

    🙁

  • Alicegotshot

    I don’t believe in christianity but i do agree with talking to children humbly and not being a jerk. I would cry too if I saw a parent say that to a child. When I grow up and have kids in going to make sure I become what my parents weren’t. I’m going to get MARRIED and love my children. Not demanding respect like in some goddess. That’s why I don’t respect my mother now, and I never will. Most parents (98%) don’t deserve kids at all. Demanding respect from innocent blood, you gotta be psychopathic.

  • Cori

    I’m so glad you brought this up because almost everyone talks about how children need to respect their parents but no one talks about how parents should treat their children to get respect. Parents have to lead by example but unfortunately most parents are hypocrites.

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