Turds of Endearment
You run into some of the most lovely parents in mall play areas, don’t you?*
I recall one particularly memorable dad and his toddler daughter from a few years ago, more for his words than his actions. To cut to the chase, on several occasions I heard him call his little girl a turd. Affectionately. As in “Oh, just look at you running around and playing you little turd.”
It’s the kind of thing you witness in simple disbelief. How can a parent think it’s right, okay, normal, or even funny to call his kid a name that, in a nutshell, means “s***?” To me that’s just telling your daughter “you know what, I really just wanted a son, so I’m going to start degrading you as a human being right now.”
With that kind of start, things can only possibly go one way… downhill:
“You graduated college, way to go you moronic half-wit!”
“You’re engaged? What’s the piece of crap’s name?!?”
“I love you so much, stupid!”
“I’m so happy to have you as my daughter, you %#^~¥@%# %#^£€%%#*£ing %##?!¥.”
It’s time to really start thinking about the language we are using towards our children and realizing that we’re messing with their lives, their selves and their futures. And this message isn’t just for the dad with the incredibly poor choice of verbiage when it comes to the “terms of endearment” he chooses for his child. All of us parents need to remember that our children are human beings and deserve to be treated as such. Not one of us is infallible, and every one of us has room to improve the way we treat and talk to our kids.
There is little doubt in my mind that turd-dad was once called degrading things by his own mother and/or father, and he has only learned to pass this on to his own child. Ignorance begets ignorance. Take a deep, self-reflective look at your own parenting style. What legacy are you passing on to your children?