I can cope with bad behaviour.
I can cope with a certain amount of verbal abuse.
I can cope with tantrums, screaming, shouting, slamming doors.
I can even live with PDA's (public displays of anger).
But, being spoken to like I am something that has been scraped off the bottom of a shoe, I can not stand. It is the one thing about being a parent that I really struggle with.
This whole parenting lark is a bit of a roller coaster, I get that. One minute you are riding high and everything is wonderful, exciting, thrilling. The next minute you are speeding downwards and you lose control. Things can definitely get messy.
I don't particularly like the tantrums, the bad behaviour and all that comes with it, but as a parent, you expect a certain amount. I like to consider it part of the process to producing good adults. Children have to be naughty in order to learn how to be better, to be good. As parents, our job is to guide them through those murky waters of the terrible twos, threes, thirteens into a calm and fruitful and happy adulthood.
All good as long as they don't do the tone thing. I'm sure you know that tone. I call it utter contempt. It is sneering and mocking and telling me that in spite of them being much smaller and many years younger than you, it is OK to talk to you like you are nothing; less than nothing and I can't stand it.
I went through it with O; my eldest son. I still get it from him now but to a much lesser degree; usually when he's tired or stressed. The reigning champion of utter contempt is L. Aged seven, this boy has disdain down to a fine art I can tell you.
The problem with that 'tone' is that it immediately gets my back up and I have a tendency to overreact. I can't help it. It just makes me so cross.
The way I see it is that I do my job as a parent quite well. I am not perfect. I get cross sometimes. I get stressed sometimes, but I do not deserve to be spoken to like that. It's not fair. I don't speak to the children like that.
L is going through a particularly challenging period at the moment; which I will write about it more detail another time, but when he gets into the 'tone zone' as I like to fondly describe it, the more you tell him off, the more contemptuous the tone becomes. I have had to back off a few times to let him calm down or I think we might be at loggerheads for a very long time.
Unfortunately, it isn't just me either. He uses the 'tone' everywhere; school, football, the childminders, Beavers, he doesn't discriminate. I am constantly trying to explain to home that it is not a good way to talk and I am making a great effort to talk softly and nicely to him in an attempt to stop it. Failing that I may inadvertently tell him that it is against the law (he has a very irrational fear of the police), but that would be very mean ... wouldn't it?