Another day and another viral video of toddler. Only this one has been dissected across online platforms over “is this how parenting is done in this house.” Little Mateo and his mommy, Linda Beltran must be wondering how did their innocent video upload on YouTube evolve into this parenting monster.
First casual look at the video, you see what’s obvious. Mateo does what kid’s his age do best. When Mom says no, ask Grandma or anyone who is a softy. Nothing wrong, nothing outrageous. You might even do a “Awww” while watching it for the first time. But then take a look again.
Here’s Huffington Post highlighting an issue.
In the midst of Mateo’s monologue, he tells us that “It’s gonna burn [my] butt.” And his mom says, “You and Kevin don’t listen, so I have to give both of you guys pow-pows on your butt.” That’s a mother and son talking about spanking, one of the more controversial disciplinary actions. That’s a mother and son talking about spanking, one of the more controversial disciplinary actions.
Former HuffPost Senior Columnist, Lisa Belkin, argues that the spanking “debate” shouldn’t exist, because there aren’t two sides — decades of research shows that spanking is ineffective and psychologically harmful. But still, news outlets and other parenting blogs discuss the practice often. The real news here is that the Internet is choosing to ignore that part this time, for no clear reason.
Yet, the fact remains that spanking exists making parental discipline a divisive topic. Babble’s Selena Mae offers a somewhat rational take that mirrors my own.
My mind boggles at how a not-so-typical, cute kid has a bunch of adults arguing like out-of-control children themselves. Perhaps if the lens was turned on each of us, some of our own imperfection would be glaringly apparent and we’d quit trashing each other’s parenting.
Kids need to be taught right and wrong, right? But at the moment in my mind, I am not clear what punishment — in any form — can be an effective answer. This topic needs some more brainpicking at my end. If children don’t learn that society has rules of conduct and consequences for bad behavior, what will they be like as grown ups?
Mateo’s mommy Linda gives her side in this explanation:
“In an effort to raise independent young adults, we let our children have a voice. I’m a new parent and I’m learning as much from my kids as they are learning from me. The arguing started way before Mateo could talk — he would let us know he didn’t like certain shoes or clothes with his baby blabber.”
I’m using Selena’s words below and urging to ‘parenting critics’ to give us mommy’s some space. Okay?
I see a very precocious, smart young man who needs to be taught a thing or two about how to debate respectfully when the time calls for it and listen to his mama (and eventually peers, colleagues and other loved ones in life), when the time calls for it. And to be able to discern the difference. No easy task, teaching these things to our children. You bet it starts during the toddler years. I see a mom who is engaging her child and not shutting her son down, while not backing down either. I think we could all do well to be less judgmental of different parenting styles. This child is THREE.