Monday, November 26, 2012

Knowing Better and Teaching Boundaries

Yay I feel better.  Apparently I just needed food...and probably vitamins, since I didn't take any yesterday.

Over the summer, we went to my husband's family reunion, and I saw something that annoyed the crap out of me.  So, being my usual self, it's still on my mind.

Okay, so there was a little girl that was pestering that crap out of this toy dog.  He growled and everything at her.  And the parents and adults around this scene, instead of telling her to stop, or warning her, they egged her on, because it was just so cute!  When the dog snapped at her--a warning snap--didn't actually bite her--she was babied and the dog was punished.


I voiced my concerns and was treated like an idiot.  They said, it's a dog, it should know to not bite a human.

So it's okay to not defend yourself?  It's okay to teach your children to keep on bugging an animal, and to ignore the warning signs...because it's an animal and you're a human?  The animal should know better?

I think my IQ dropped.

Okay, I'm one of those people who holds that alpha-subordinate mindset when it comes to dogs, because that's natural, it's instinctive for dogs to follow suit.  I'm alpha, you don't challenge me.  If you do, I'll make you submit.  If you don't, you're out of this house.  But at the same time, I think any animal has a right to defend itself, be it from a obnoxious child who doesn't know better or an abusive adult who does know better.  (or at least they oughta, right?)

And one would think that you'd educate your child on such things like, not petting an animal too hard, to not hit the animal for no reason, to back off when an animal bars its teeth, hisses, or growls, and not to run from an strange dog; but I guess things are different with my husband's family. You know, because it's an animal, it should know better.

A couple weeks ago, my BIL was over and they have a really submissive docile dog, who let's the kid do whatever to her.  The parents do too.  Whatever, it's just a dog.  They're all the same.  It's okay to hit the dog, especially when it's not doing what you want it to do.  Or because it's funny.  The parent's aren't going to correct it, so it's cool, right?  Hahaha, look how much fun our son is having at our dog's expense.  It's so cute. 

So my nephew was eating or something and our dog is well trained.  He's not going to eat your food if you leave it unattended.  Yet my nephew kept scarfing down his food when our dog even got close.  This kid even smacked our dog when he got too close.  Bear let it go.  I was pissed off, because the parents didn't tell him that wasn't okay, and neither did my husband.

So my nephew, who's 2 by the way, was loving on his dad, laughing and whatnot, and Bear got excited, because my BIL used to own him.  Bear wanted to play too; and my BIL was playing back with both him and his son.  My nephew hit Bear and my dog gave a warning snap, which pissed my nephew off and he hit Bear harder.  Bear growled and gave another warning snap.  My husband yelled at Bear, instead of his nephew!

What the fuck?

I looked at my husband and asked if he was serious.  He said that it doesn't matter because Bear shouldn't have done that.  I said, "He should'n't have defended himself?  He didn't do anything wrong.  He was playing and Justin smacked him for no reason; got pissed off and hit him harder.  And Bear's in the wrong?  Not your nephew?"

It's different if the kid wasn't doing anything at all, and Bear growled or snapped at him, but no this kid hit my dog twice, because in his house that's okay to hit the dog.  Hit the dog because you're mad, hit the dog because it's not doing what you want it to do, hit the dog because it's fun and it's not going to do anything back.

What great lessons to teach your child!  Let's treat all dogs--all animals--violently because they're all the same!  If they bite you, even if you hit em, it's okay it hit em harder and to punish them!  If they defend themselves, they're in the wrong. 

What the flying fuck?  Did I step into the Twilight Zone??!?!?!?

I don't understand this mindset that my husband's family has, then again, I have way more experience with animal nature than they do.  Not to mention, my family, even for as redneck and hilljack as they can be, taught me better.  They taught us better.  You don't pet the animal too hard, otherwise it's going to defend itself.  You don't hit an animal just because you're mad.  You leave the animal alone when they hiss or growl at you.  If they bite you after the warning signs are given, it's your fault, not theirs; did you learn your lesson? 

I don't get it, but I know that I'm teaching our children better, because that's not just fucked up, BUT it's also stupid and irresponsible!  How fuckin ignorant can you be to raise your child with that idea, and think it's okay to apply it to other people's pets?!?!  Hell, any animal for that matter!  Like this kid, when my ferret didn't give him attention that he wanted, shook Marsden's cage.  You damn straight I yelled at him...then his parents and my husband made me the bad guy, because he wasn't hurting the ferret.

It's about boundaries.  You gotta teach em to your kids, people!  I don't care if he wasn't harming my ferret physically, but he was stressing my ferret out mentally, who did nothing wrong!  I don't care that your son is a fucking toddler, even infants and 1-year-olds can be taught about boundaries!  I don't care if he does it at his house, this isn't his house, he ain't doing it here.  Teach your children better!

It's called respect.  If that makes me the bad guy and the mean aunt, because I'm doing your job in my house, so be it.  Someone needs to.   If you think it's okay for your child to act like a fucking brat in someone else house and touch whatever they want and terrorize their pets without care, you need to be educated.  It may be okay in your other friend's homes, but it ain't okay here.  I will say something about it (and I have, to both the child and the parents).

What do you in your house is whatever, I don't care, but you best be ready to teach him some fucking manners when visiting other people's houses, even if it's something as small as how to treat other people's pets!

I've said it time and time again, my BIL is a great role model for what not to do.  And not just for me.  My SIL uses him as a model too, and is teaching her 1-year-old twins better (seeing them is how I know it's possible to teach your young kids - and without spanking, mind you).  Kids are still going to be kids, they're young, they're going to test you to see just how far they can go (and not all are the same).  They're also going to have days where they're cranky and stubborn, but it's like training a dog, you have to be consistent and instill something, some form of education and respect in them.  You have to, it's one of your many jobs as a parent!  I know it's not always easy and I know it takes work, like I said, it's like animal training, consistency and patience are major components in most lessons!

Who ever said that being a parent was easy?

I've had this talk many times with my husband, to the point where he's actually said something to his brother about it.  I don't wanna tell you how to raise your kids--apparently I don't have any experience in that field, yet.  I'm just asking that you teach them respect in my home, at least.  If this makes me a whiny bitch who doesn't know shit about children, so be it.  But I've seen time and time again that's fucking possible to teach your unruly kids about respect.  It's best to do it when they're young, and yes you can do it in a positive fashion!  Positive reinforcement!  Teaching them to not do something doesn't need to be something negative, and I don't think they understand that. 

By the way, I'm not the only bad guy, so's grandma because she doesn't just let him do whatever the fuck he wants at anyone's house, not even his own.  And that mindset of "oh, he's a toddler, they're impossible" doesn't phase her.  She's raised 4 kids.  She's a little meaner than I am.  I just yell or stop him by getting his attention with a stern voice.  She yells and spanks (on the hand), whereas it's not my place to spank someone else's kids.

So these are just the things that've been on my mind--things that I'm going to teach my children better about, or at least try.  At least TRY.   T-R-Y, BIL.  I just wanna know how he's going to react when his son takes this thought of "it's okay to hit" out on his sister when she annoys him (or other kids)?  What, egg him on?  Reward him, but punish her?  Am I pushing it a bit?  Yeah, but think if it from your kids point of view.  It's gotta be confusing.  Or maybe he should just know better because he's a human and humans, like animals, are just born with those instincts. 

Maybe my BIL's right, maybe I am just a whiny bitch who doesn't know shit about parenting and therefore should keep my mouth shut, especially when it comes to what his kids can do in my house and to my pets?   Hm.



  1. Bluntly: FUCK THAT. I agree with you 100%.

    My son learned to NOT mess with dogs or any other animals. We're the humans. WE are supposed to know better. We should be the ones teaching our children compassion and how to treat an animal.

    My son tormented a friend's dog once. My son was about... 2 at the time, I think. The dog growled. I told my son, "No. Do not mess with the dog." My son booped the dog in the face. The dog snapped and grazed my son's hand with his teeth.

    My son cried, and I said, "I told you NOT to mess with the dog. THIS is how you treat a dog", and I petted the dog.

    My son sure as hell knew better, because we had 2 dogs and 3-5 cats. So, yeah, I didn't get mad at either the dog or my son, but the one who got scolded/lectured? My son.

    In my home, it's not OK to hit animals or humans. *I* don't even hit or spank, because I think it's weird to enforce the "no hitting" rule by, uh, hitting my kid.

    Hm, if having common sense = whiny bitch who doesn't know shit about parenting, then count me as a whiny bitch who doesn't know shit about parenting either.

    Guess I have a lot to learn after 10 years of parenting. Maybe your BIL can teach me something, because he apparently knows better than me or you.

  2. Oh, and I'm not a yeller...

    But I'd have a serious fucking knee-jerk reaction and probably yell like a banshee if some kid shook my parrot's cage because they want my bird to pay attention to them.

    So, yeah, I think you're in the right. Stick by your guns, go with your instincts. You are going to be a great mom!