A Child’s Torment and Pain vs. a Stubbed Toe
Have you ever stubbed your toe really hard? The pain is so severe it shoots up through your body and you lose all dignity bouncing around on one foot screaming obscenities while your face is turning red with a combination of anger and hurt. Sometimes it hurts so bad you get really angry and hit the wall. The pain that pierces your arm is nowhere near the pain you are still feeling in the toe. Sometimes, your toe nail breaks and the toe gushes with blood, leaving you in pain for a few weeks. As bad as that pain can be, it’s nothing compared to the type of pain a child feels when they’re told they’re no good.
When an adult says demeaning things to a child such as, “You’re dumb.” The pain the child feels is actually minimal at first. It’s something that thumps their heart for a second but then goes away. The problem is, when a child is told this on a regular basis, it’s the equivalency of torture. A child that gets put down regularly feels similar to a person who is being plucked in the same exact spot 35 times in a single day.
The first time may be a small, uncomfortable feeling, probably similar to a hiccup. However, when they are put down constantly, the feeling is in the same exact location over and over again. It’s like jabbing a bruise. Eventually, the pain will become intolerable and then numb. The child will feel this in their heart until it affects their spirit. Soon the child will become infected with it. I’ve seen this first hand. Unlike stubbing a toe that will eventually heal, a child, one who is supposedly resilient, will become distorted by negative words aimed at them. These words can set the standard for the child’s future.
Negativity will penetrate a child so deeply that they literally become the words that parents say to them. If a child hears that they are no good, they will be no good. If a child hears how dumb they are, they will feel they are dumb- causing them to do dumb things. If a child who looks ugly by society’s standards is told how beautiful they are, that child will walk with confidence and feel beautiful. If a beautiful child is told they are ugly, they will walk with their head down and feel ugly.
Please consider this the next time you correct your child. Focus on the positives and they will be positive- a stubbed toe will heal. However, if you focus on the negatives, the child will be scarred for life.