I’m not proud to admit it, but my husband and I have argued in front of our young daughter before. There are times when adult-level emotions get the best of a couple and you feel you must get everything off of your chest right then–no matter what little ears are listening.
Life is hard as a parent, not just the parenting part, but life in general. Things are stressful–finances, jobs, health, relatives and everything else factored in on a daily basis. It wears you down and you make poor decisions. Sometimes you forget that your words said in anger aren’t meant to be taken literally. However, that’s exactly how kids take them.
I recently read a heartbreaking article about a little girl from India who committed suicide to save her dad and brother from their diseases. You see, the girl’s family was very poor and this little 12-year-old, named Mumpy, overheard the parents talking about how much it would cost for her father to have an eye surgery to save his vision and for her brother to have a kidney transplant. Her father would go blind without the surgery and her brother would probably die without the transplant.
The little girl then did what she thought was best–from a 12-year-old perspective. She committed suicide and left a note for her family to take the organs they needed for transplants. However, the family didn’t find the note until the little girl had already been cremated.
Even though this story appeared in several large news feeds in India, there is some discussion about the authenticity of it. (Sidenote: My research found no evidence that this story was untrue.) True or not, I could easily see how something like this could happen. Little kids take what they hear to heart–often feeling like something is their fault or that they need to fix it, even if it has nothing to do with them.
I think about it now, how my daughter heard us argue and what it may have done to her–how scary it must be for a small child that doesn’t understand and takes everything literally. So, the next time you’re talking about “adult things” look around to see what little ears are listening. It might just make the world of difference.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/WritRamsSockMonkeyHat.jpg
[/author_image] [author_info]About the Author
Jacqueline Wilson is a prime parent who is a wife, mother, published author and freelance writer. She writes here, on Prime Parents’ Club, and on her observational parenting humor blog, WritRams.com: Writer Ramblings on Parenting Imperfectly. Follow her on Twitter as @WritRams or on Facebook.[/author_info]