The Mother Who Hit Her Toddler For A Palette
Disclaimer: This is a subjective piece so please do not take it as fact. Having said that I have done my due diligent research on the situation.
Before, I get into the situation, here are my two cents about physical disciplining. Just as producing a child doesn't make someone a parent, not having a child doesn't make someone (me) incapable of being parental or understanding it. What are my qualification? I have worked with children for over twelve years now, currently being a school teacher. I am a sociologist who has studied different aspects of family dynamics and also psychology. And you know what my greatest qualification is? I am a child to a set of great parents, but they were not the easiest in some ways. I have experienced hurtful parenting, and some might even say emotionally abusive.
My parents never hit me with their hands, which I personally think is worse than even mental and emotional abuse alone. So I am extremely grateful for that, hands down. Why you may ask? Because when one is physically abused, they are simultaneously being both emotionally and mentally abused as well. One example: Why is mom so angry at me, I only came home five minutes late? You may think I am exaggerating, but boy I am not. I come from a culture where physical discipline is a norm. I grew up in an education system where teachers were allowed to implement physical discipline. I was slapped for being late to school, when the school bus was late. I suffered through corporal punishment, and to me that was abuse. I say this as a teacher myself. And my students are no more or no less disruptive than myself or my peers.
Anyhow, in the mother's eye, the spanking very well may mean ensuring that these minutes doesn't become one hour next time. But what if your child's ride was late? What if the situation was truly uncontrollable? My parents' didn't hit me, but I do feel a certain resentment for being forced into an abusive education system when I was born in North America and could have studied in US. On top of that, was that five minutes really worth a backhand?
Many parents in the east and even in the west are directly or indirectly responsible for their child's physical discipling at best and abuse at worst. Now when I try to talk to my parents about my issues with them that I had as a child all I get is deflection: 1. We spent so much money on you. 2. We were doing what we thought was best because we cared. 3. You are ungrateful. I am not denying the first two all I want is my hurts being validated by you saying that 'yes we made mistakes but we didn't mean to,' that's all I want.
I can't even imagine how humans feel who are or were beaten by their parents over a makeup product. And this where the crux of the story begins.
(Note: I think it is important to recognize what may be considered non-abusive by one child will very well may be considered abusive by a different child. Children experience and process the same parenting style differently. Again some may say one is too sensitive about physical discipline, and in reverse some may say one is too inept to do anything but lift their hand because it is easier to let go than to rein it in).
Michelle Grace hit/beat her two year toddler for ruining her makeup palette with ranch and windex. It was a limited edition/discontinued palette worth $52. I mention that because some people might think that is a valid reason to discipline a toddler.
Physical discipline for something like this is far more normal than you might think. Even in the western culture, it is. It is not right, but it i itself is not surprising. Just go look at a few family law cases involving children.
But what shocked me is this mother thought it was a good idea to post this online. Even avid physical discipline supporters are not going to post a video where their toddler is crying because they were hit. How is it appropriate to film a video when your child is crying because of you, let alone post it. That you can share something so private essentially is mind boggling. Good or bad parenting, parenting is private on the parents' part generally.
The other thing that shocked me more was when Michelle said her daughter found Windex. If her child can find Windex on her own, that tells me SHE not put her things away properly. And the problem in this situation is not that the child damaged the palette. The bigger issue is that the child could have easily ingested to pretty colours.
This woman wants to play with makeup. Well and good. She has a toddler, who is a female, the mother is a female, the child is going to follow the mother hen.
Also I heard that the daughter's father was sixteen and Michelle herself was nineteen/twenty when they conceived. If this is true, Michelle was most likely mentally not an adult when she had her daughter. Sixteen year old me was very different than a nineteen year old university student with a steady job.
Though when Michelle said that she treated her palettes like her children, I knew this woman needed help. My cellphone is everything, like everything. And yet I know if my hypothetical child broke my two grand phone, I know I would not be angry. You know why? Because I see toddlers using their parents's phone, and I gave it to my child. Lesson learned for next time. I also broke my parents' five hundred dollar tv in the 90s, I was three. My parents' did not hit me, you know why? They left in their bedroom on my own. Or it could be that I could have died, or so they say. I do not remember the incident.
Furthermore, this woman thinks her child is developed enough to purposely ruin her makeup. That she 'knows' what she did was wrong. Because I broke another tv when I was seven. In all seriousness, I was extremely clumsy and accident prone especially to myself. Injuries due to falling and bumping were way too regular with me as a child. Not a single tooth I broke naturally, every single milk tooth I lost, it was prematurely at my own hands falling on my feet on flat surface. At seven I knew things should not be broken, I was obsessed with watching television, so my parents knew I would never break the TV on purpose so they left it alone. But within a few months they recognized that something was off and they took me to doctors. I had a medical condition, and I still occasionally will suffer because of it. My parents' could have simply assumed I was being a bad child, or I was being destructive or naughty (a tomboy as someone suggested) due to changing countries and disciplined me the physical way. But they did what was needed, not what they felt in this situation. And I am very much appreciative of it.
It is hypocritical of parents' who discipline their children similarly to talk on this issue, it is understandable how parents' may see this case as a mirroring for them and learn from it. Let's hope such parents' don't forget their lesson.
I am not a clinical psychiatrist so I don't know exactly what is wrong with Michelle Grace, but there is something wrong. The important question is if her issues are fixable or not, because if the issues are treatable, the child will be better off with her mother despite this. The child is young enough to forget this, and hopefully she will. But if this is not fixable, what Michelle did to her daughter is just the tip of the iceberg as to what will happen as Michelle grows up. And if Michelle did this purposely hoping someone would take her daughter away from her, I don't even know what to say.