Let 's NOT raise a bunch of Ray Rice's and Chris Brown's

And how about we don't raise a bunch of Rihanna's and Janay Rice's?

I'm talking about the parental role that is a major factor in whether your kid grows up to be a hitter and a stayer.

Let me set a very common scene on the playground for you.

My 2 girls are playing on the playground.  Climbing up stairs, sliding down slides, swinging on swings and chasing other kids in a game of hide and seek.

In come THA BOOOOYYYSSS.  And I'm using BOYS here, because I've never in my whole parent, playdate  life ever seen a girl hit or be aggressive towards my girls. Ever.

So, in come the boys.  They're playing superheroes - someone is pretend shooting the other - air kicks are thrown, complete with sound effects - hiiiiyyyaaaa!!!  BAM! pow pow powkkkkK!!!

Totally normal, boy, rough and tumble, superhero play.


One boy is trying to climb up to the slide platform, and pushes my little girl out of the way and slides down in front of her.  Another little boy pulls my other daughter from climbing ropes so that she falls.

What the fuuucckk?

I look around for the parents of these little fuckers.

They are doing one of two things.

Parent A is completely oblivious to the situation.  Either on the iPhone or chatting it up with other parents, paying no attention to their kids inflicting bodily harm.

Parent B sees the violence - and calls their kid over and says, "Johnny, if you do that again, we're going to have to go home. Okkkaaayyy?? Alright, go back and play nice."

Play nice bitch?

Your kid just almost gave my kid a concussion.

How about you take your fucking violent kid home NOW?  As in right NOW.  Show them right NOW that hitting, pushing, whatever is completely unacceptable.

Parents - telling your violently aggressive kids to not hit/push/kick again, does NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT qualify as dealing with the problem and/or discipline.

You have to deal with it right now.  Right when it happens.  And if that means your precious park playdate is ruined - so be it.  Your kid could be ruined.  Or worse, turn out to be a hitter.  Because the message you are sending them - is that it's essentially okay to hit.  You are not actively giving your kid the proper consequences.  

Take your kid home.  Remove your kid from the situation.  For your own kid's sake - and the safety of others.

Or wait, my favorite form of discipline for a 'hitting child' (besides the above lazy parenting), is to hit your child for hitting.  That's reeeeaallllyyy fucking smart.  You just told your kid NOT to hit, and his/her consequence is to get hit.  Think about that.  Clearly your 'hitting child' - is learning their bad behavior from YOU!  

Physical play is different than aggressive play.  Rough-housing, pretending to shoot guns and fight bad guys is completely normal.  Little boys getting mad, upset and and throwing tantrums is normal.  But acting out in a deliberately abusive manner is NOT normal.  And shouldn't be tolerated on any level.

My theory is that either Ray Rice saw possible abuse in his own childhood home, or he was violent as a boy - and never given consequences.  Either way, he's a monster, who thinks it's okay to hit girls and drag their unconscious bodies out of elevators.  He should be in jail for what he did to his fiance, now wife Janay Rice.

The numbers don't lie.  Women are the victims of abuse in disproportionate numbers in comparison to men.

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Speaking of Janay Rice.  She stayed.  Now, I'm not going to sit here and judge her for that.  Anyone who has experienced abuse by a significant other - knows why she's staying with her abuser.

My story is not uncommon - I've been hit, pushed, threatened, manipulated and in some very near rape situations.  All by men.  Mostly, by one fucked up high school 'sweetheart'- the rest by other douchebags in college.  The feeling is the same - FEAR.  Terrified.  You are scared for your life.  If it's someone you actually fell in love with before the abuse started - then it's more than fear.  It's the love you have for that person.  It's the manipulative power the abuser has over you.  It's the disbelief/denial that the abuse is actually happening, like, I thought he loved me? Is he really hurting me?  It's the insecurities - Maybe that push/hit/smack wasn't really that bad, I mean, I don't have any marks?

The feelings get even more complicated when you are financially dependent on your abuser, have kids with your abuser, etc.

Your chances of being involved in these abusive situations is even higher if you've experienced abuse or witnessed abuse in your childhood.  By default anyone that is exposed to this type of violence in their childhood, especially in their own home - has no way of knowing what a healthy, loving relationship looks like...or feels like.

So, I know why Janay Rice married her abuser and is still with him.

I for one, am going to try everything in my power, to not raise a stayer.

My girls will hopefully never be in an abusive situation - but the numbers are sobering reminders that they probably will.

Let's go back to our playground scenario.  What do I DO, as the mother, of the child that is getting hit?  Do I just tell my kid to stay away from the 'hitting child'?

Ummm, no.  I actively parent.  I grab my kid, if they're not already crying on my lap - and tell them right then and there - that it's wrong to hit.  That we need to go home now because we need to keep ourselves safe and away from children who hit.  I don't send my child back to the playground for more abuse.  That would be telling them that a) I don't care that they just got abused and b) just suck it up.

There is nothing I can do to change or control the other child.  I can only control my situation and control what happens to my girls.  Yelling at the kid, or their parent would be pointless. 

When your kid is getting hurt repeatedly - be it at the playground, or at home by a sibling, by a family member, you remove your abused child from the situation and explain that it IS terrible.  You sit with your hurt kid and explain that anytime they feel abused or threatened, they need to get an adult or run for their life to a safe place.  (Obviously edit your wording based on the age of the child you are dealing with).

It's not dramatic.  

My reaction is not an over-reaction.  

I'm sick to death of it.  Not because of my own violent experiences.  Because of what I see - like I did with the Ray Rice or Rihanna/Chris Brown abuse.  Those could be my girls.  My girls getting punched in the face unconscious.  I could be watching a video of my girl getting laid out like an insignificant sack of bones.  My girl's picture splattered on every newscast- bruised, bloodied and deformed.  That could be my girl's life.

Abused people should not have to feel like they need to be quiet about their abuse, ashamed, apologetic, or polite.  They shouldn't feel like they're going to disrupt the peace.  They should feel heard, validated and empowered.

Let's actively parent our kids, not turn a blind eye when there is a critical learning moment and empower them to deal appropriately with their emotions.

Let's not raise hitters and stayers.  Let's raise lovers and leavers.

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