Thursday, March 15, 2007

You're Only Dumb if You Think You're Dumb

Friday, January 05, 2007

This question was sent to Aunt B via email...

My Question,
If someone was called a dummy all of its life from childhood through adulthood. What effect do you think it will have on that person?

Aunt B said...

Dear D,

This is a very broad question. The variables, the environment and so on, can make or break this situation and this life.
I truly believe, that we should have to take psychological tests to determine if we are fit to parent. Of course, that will never happen but it is sure wishful thinking, isn't it?
As a parent we must be responsible, more responsible than we are, concerning what we say and our actions concerning our children. You should never discipline your children in the heat of anger or in rage. Send them to their room till you calm. This has a two-fold effect; it gives the child time to think on the issue at hand and more importantly, it gives you time to think on how to handle the dilemma and to squash a tendency to act out inappropriately. As parents, we don't realize, till it's too late, that what we say to our children, they often take literally. To be a parent is a huge responsibility that we take too lightly. We are given children, actually as a gift from the Big Guy, to shape and mold into productive people. We must show, by example, good stewardship, good citizenry and basic good qualities as a human being. We have actually fallen short on this one, haven't we?
I don't know if you are asking me this because this happened to you or maybe a spouse has been doing this to one of your own children but yes, it will effect that child. The question is, will that child choose to rise above the criticism and put things into perspective for themselves? The other question is will you be able to forgive the parent or person that said these derogatory things to you?
As children, if we take things as literally as they are often presented, we will perish emotionally. We must learn to be like an onion. We must have a thick skin, with many layers that can and will be peeled off before they get to the core of your being. You must also learn to put things into perspective. Always look at what is said, own what you must, improve what you can and shove the rest into the garbage. I'm quite sure that you are not dumb but I'm quite sure that whomever continually spoke these words, must've been someone that you respected, loved or tried to care for? You tend to take everything literally when a parent or someone of importance, tells you things. A child is so impressionable. Just in example is the Santa Claus effect. Now really, we believed as children that a fat dude, slipped down our chimney with a sack that carried toys for all children, the world over and he arrived there on a sleigh, through the air, pulled by reindeer. Now, if that's not a crock of shit, nothing is but we believe our parents, don't we? I did, you probably did, we all did, right? We also tend to believe them we they tell us we are fat, stupid, dumb, ugly, nasty, retarded and the list goes on.
As parents, we need to be held accountable and I believe when we go to heaven, we will be but why not take a long hard look at what we do say to our children and be responsible, taking our "job" as parent more seriously?
In answer to your question, yes a person can be mortally wounded by words, especially those spoken in anger. Hopefully, that child will rise above it and realize that they are not dumb or whatever and will grow from it instead of being stunted. You can become a better person from your trials and tribulations in life and acquire the ability to always look in the mirror, keeping yourself in check, not repeating the cycle of abusive language, with a realization that words are a double edged sword; they cut both ways.
D, I'm telling you that you are not dumb and you must forgive whomever it is that said this. Animosity and anger are the angst that will do you in. They only harm you. There is empowerment in taking charge of what you allow to offend you. You can choose to rise above this and you can choose not to allow anything that is said to hurt you. Make that choice, take control and forgive. I will look forward to hearing from you, after you have practiced this empowerment. You look in the mirror and repeat after me...
I am all that and a box of Godiva!

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