When Teasing Kids Looks More Like Terror: Parents, Can You Tell the Difference? by Marianne Clyde
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! It was a video on YouTube where a father stormed into his child’s room, demanding to see a report from school. He was not happy with what he saw. The father got angry with the child, telling him he was going to teach him a lesson.
Leaving the room, the father went into a nearby room and got a hammer and angrily stormed back into the boy’s bedroom with a hammer in his hand. The little boy started crying and screaming. Then, the dad grabbed a video game system and started pounding it with the hammer. After it was knocked to the floor, he kept hitting it and pounding it while the child watched and screamed and cried. The video, then, showed the father cracking up laughing as he moved into the hallway.
Mind you, this whole event was being videotaped by an older brother. So the dad enlisted the help from another kid, causing that kid to be a victim of his sick comedy as well. Shortly thereafter, the dad went back into his kid’s room and told him it wasn’t really his game system that had been destroyed. He showed the boy his game system and said he was trying just fooling with him to teach him a lesson. The kid was devastated that the father would think that’s funny.
What father, in his right mind, would expect a 6-year-old kid to understand that it was a joke!?
The definition of trauma is when a child thinks his life is in danger. So, if you see your big angry father storm into your room with a hammer, what would you think? A traumatized child can experience:
- sleep problems
- mood regulation problems
- difficulty with impulsive behavior
- difficulty with trust
The anxiety caused by trauma can induce stomachaches and headaches, and other physical symptoms. These symptoms can be very subtle, but can be buried in the child’s subconscious causing self defeating patterns later on in life.
This is not funny. Sure, you may like to tease your kids. Sure, it’s fun when they develop a sense of humor and you can joke around with them. But there is nothing funny about inflicting purposeful trauma on your child so you can get a lot of likes on YouTube. That only increases the humiliation for your kid. Parents, yes, play with your kids; enjoy your kids; but think first. Is it worth making your kid hate you and cause debilitating effects later? There are better ways to parent.