Parents are infallible. That’s a false belief. A fallacy.
With all due respect to the Catholic Church, such a delusional view is a result of the fifth commandment, “Honor thy father and mother” — its wrongful and erroneous interpretation and application.
How come no commandment says, “Honor thy children,” eh?
What about the Golden Rule, “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you”? How can children be expected to be still respectful or loving towards their parents when the children have been treated by the parents with less regard and disrespectfully — and in other cases, in my case, with repeated abuse?
If children are expected by society to honor, love, and respect their parents, and are duty-bound to do so, why can that expectation and obligation not apply to the parents?
When mothers are negligent, unkind, disrespectful, even abusive towards their children, society enables the abusive behavior by brushing aside the mother’s harmful treatment with the default belief that, “Mother knows best.”
Ahhhhh, no. Not all the time.
Some even cover up the wrongdoing with the argument and justification that, “She didn’t mean it. Maybe she was just in a bad mood. We all have bad moods.” I, for one, hid behind those words all the years — decades — that my mother had hurt me repeatedly.
Abuse by the Parents –— An Abuse of the Authority Given by God
“As Paul explains, ‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’ [Eph 6:4]. God has given parents authority over their children; however, to mistreat one’s children is to abuse the authority God has given. Parents are given to children for their instruction and protection, particularly to train them in the commands of God [Deut 6:7]. Any behavior that contradicts this God-given role is an abuse of authority and a corruption of what God intended to be for the good of children and society in general. It is wise to listen to parents’ good counsel for our own well-being [Prov 1:8].”
It is clear. God gave the parents the duty, responsibility, and authority over their children. God blessed and gifted the parents with children and placed them under their care — for the children’s protection.
When parents are neglectful towards their children, when they are abusive towards them such that the children’s safety, well-being, and sanity are at risk, the neglect and abuse is an abuse of the authority that God gave them.
Children are told to listen to and follow their parents’ good counsel — only the good counsel, but NOT ALL counsel — because parents are not flawless. They can also be misled and misguided. They may also be ill-advised.
Parents’ mistaken teachings, when followed blindly by the children and only because of the pressure from society or the Church, may even later lead to the children’s destructive and wayward ways; they will be led “off” the path. I am sure that wasn’t The Creator’s intention.
Parents are also flawed individuals. Parents even lose their connection to The Source. Parents also make unwise decisions. Parents, like children, also “fall from Grace.”
And when they do and cause harm towards their children, even if unintentional and unconsciously done, they must be accountable for their failed responsibilities — not only to society but to the Almighty.
And it is every child’s responsibility also to keep their parents in check — that when they are at the receiving end of their parents’ maltreatments and destructive behaviors, including and especially abusive, the children must not be an enabler.
Society must not enable the children to be enablers. Society must learn to applaud the children who muster the courage and are not afraid and refuse to tolerate abusive parents.
Putting up with harmful behaviors is not a show of respect for the parents. Putting up with it is a show of disrespect to God, as well as the children themselves.
As Baugh writes, “to mistreat one’s children is to abuse the authority God has given.”
Simply put, abuse of any kind — physical, verbal, mental, emotional, or sexual — is intolerable, and regardless who is guilty of it.
Social Welfare Systems
When there is child abuse or neglect, doesn’t society come to the rescue and defense of the child by protecting the abused and neglected child? Isn’t the abused or neglected child brought under the care of the government’s social welfare system? Isn’t that what foster care homes are for?
Aren’t child welfare agencies set up to remove the abused or neglected child from the unhealthy — and dangerous — environment?
Why can the government decide that for the child? But when the abused and neglected child has grown up to a full-functioning adult, when the adult child, after years of therapy and counseling, self-evaluation and self-reflection, has come to know for themselves that they were raised in a severely dysfunctional and abusive home and family environment, why is it that society frowns upon the adult child who decides to remove themselves from the abusive and toxic environment?
What is the difference? Where does the difference lie?
What if it was determined and proven by the abused adult child that there is no chance for any change in the parents’ behavior because the concerned parent/s refuse to acknowledge their harmful behaviors?
Why will society not support the abused adult child’s decision to stay away from the abusive home and family — and keep away — because that is what’s best for their mental and emotional health and well-being?
Why is there an inconsistency? Why the discrimination?
Abuse Isn’t Only Physical. Abuse is Emotional, Mental, and Sexual.
Often, and sadly, though, abuse is readily detected or accepted when it is through physical means. Even that is also subject to being misconstrued. There are still those who subscribe to corporal punishment as a form of discipline. Emotional and mental abuse is harder to prove. The burden of proof is on the abused child — sadly.
Hence, the lack of support from society for a daughter — like me — who has chosen no-contact because subjecting herself to more emotional and mental abuse and neglect from her mother will cost her sanity and more harm to her mental and emotional health.
Yet manipulation from a parent — from a mother, in my case — is the very behavior that can be the most mentally and emotionally damaging to the child. It can lead to mental instability. Anxiety and depression. Suicide.
Perhaps, that is also why there is an increase in suicidal rates amongst teenagers nowadays. Probably because physical abuse is no longer as tolerable as before, mental and emotional abuse has taken its place as the parent’s outlet of their unresolved inner conflicts and unhealed wounds.
And neglect and withholding love [such as praises and compliments] are only some of the ways of not providing emotional support — which is a form of emotional abuse.
Narcissistic mothers — like mine — can be such crazy-makers! Daughters are bound to lose their sanity and mental and emotional stability — unless they get out of the toxic environment.
Whatever form abuse takes, though, abuse from a parent is simply and clearly a manifestation of the individual’s psychological unsoundness and unfitness for parenthood.
And no society — that is in its right mind — can claim otherwise. No society must be allowed to claim otherwise.
We must not allow society to contribute to the prevalence of abuse by giving excuses and allowances for harmful behaviors — just because “she is the mother.” Mothers must not be extended such a privilege because that only perpetuates the abuse.
A mother may be someone who has carried the baby in her womb and given birth to the child, but that’s only the beginning of what motherhood is. That’s only one — a tiny — aspect of what it means to be a mother. And there are numerous ways of becoming a mother other than the traditional birthing of a child.
And some women may have birthed a child, children even, but do not possess emotional, mental, and psychological preparedness for motherhood. Their lack of readiness, coupled with the mother’s unresolved inner conflicts and unhealed childhood wounds, lead her to mistreat and abuse her children — as had been my experience with my mother.
When an adult child of a dysfunctional family and abusive home chooses no-contact with a mother or birth family, such a decision must be honored. It must be accorded the same level of honor and respect that is given to parents — because there is no exception when it comes to abuse.
No abuse must be tolerated — not even and not especially when coming from parents.
“To mistreat one’s children is to abuse the authority God has given.”
Parents and children, mothers and daughters, fathers, and sons alike deserve EQUAL treatments. They must enjoy the same fundamental and universal human right to live with dignity, honor, and respect.
We must not only honor our mothers and fathers; we must also honor our sons and daughters, as well as EVERY human being, and any and every form of creation.
And that is Divine Law.