Over the past few days the “hot” topic of discussion has been abuse…domestic and child abuse among NFL players.
People are blaming the NFL for not doing enough to solve the problems. They probably haven’t…
But do you know what they have done?
They’ve shined a bright light on the abuse problem…not just in the NFL..but in everyday life too.
Domestic abuse is more widespread than most of us would even want to fathom.
Myself, I’ve seen it first hand…
As a child, I witnessed my biological father be a violent womanizing drunk. I was never sure why or he could do the things he would.
Oh sure he was a Vietnam veteran, that was always the excuse used for his actions. He witnessed horrible things in the war.
Things that no person should ever endure…True.
The things I saw him do…no child should endure
He would beat the shit out of my mom…slap her around, pull her hair, call her names…
Honestly I’m not sure how he didn’t kill her. Leaving her crying , bloody and bruised…not just physically but emotionally.
He would try to make it better…saying he wouldn’t do it again and that he loved her.
Lies…that was to make himself feel better…not her.
My mom may have not have been strong enough physically to fight back…but she became strong enough mentally.
She took EVERYTHING away from him…kids, house, credit, job…
What kind of person does that to a woman…mother…wife?
And to do those things in front his kids…it left a stain in my brain…
I can still see him fighting to get through the front door of our house as all 100lbs of my mom trying to stop him by crushing the door onto him all the while he’s screaming profanities at her…and the cops coming afterwards.
It scared me then…and it still scares me now.
His father, also a war veteran…and a womanizing drunk,. Although I never saw his violent side I heard about it.
I truly believe they were a product of their environment…
But that’s not an excuse to change it!
I didn’t want to be that person…that man…that husband…that father.
When I met my wife…I told her the stories…they worried her.
What if I became…violent…a drunk…a womanizer?
How could I prove to her that I wasn’t going to become a product of my environment?
By the time I met my wife I had become estranged from my biological father…that was a start.
I made the decision for myself that I didn’t want to be like that…I evolved from that environment…not a product of.
Everyday I still have to prove that I’m evolving in my environment…I’m not saying I’m ever going to be the perfect husband, but I’m never going to stop trying.
That same way of thinking continued when we started a family…
That was how I was raised…
Love your parents…fear your parents…respect your parents.
Love and respect…those seem mutual together.
Can’t have one without the other…but if I got in trouble…
Fear…is what I got.
Fear can be many things to a kid when it comes to parents…usually discipline…and it came in many forms when I was a kid.
Yelling…grounding…spank, smacked, or hit with something…there was actually a belt in the house…a white leather disco belt that had “This belt is specifically for spanking Tedd (my brother) & James Craven” written on it.
I’m not going to bad mouth my mom & dad (technically step-dad but he raised me…he earned the title) and their discipline methods. It was how they were disciplined as children… And so what was good enough for them…by God it was good enough for us…
After all they turned out alright…Right?
Yelling and groundings I could deal with…I would get smacked, spanked or hit because I hit my brother or vice versa when I thought he wronged me or me him…huh…
Where did I learn that from?
My environment of discipline…
Now I’m not saying as a parent I’ve never spanked my kids…I have…a swat on the butt never hurt…wrong…
The old saying “This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you” is true..I hated myself for doing it.
I made my own kid cry…I’m supposed to be their protector…not the one hurting them.
What am I doing as parent?
I had to get myself out of the mind set of spanking…
I had to evolve myself…and the environment my kids were being raised in.
Love and respect…without the fear.
Open communication… Being held responsible for their actions…the two biggest things in discipline…
I’m not saying I’m a perfect father…I’ve made some mistakes…I’m saying I’m evolving as I raise my kids.
Life is about evolving your environment… If you think it can’t get any better…it always can….life has a way.