The urge to lash out is human. It is the reaction of someone in pain, whether it be in self-defense or pure retaliation for perceived or actual wrongs.
Although the act of lashing out comes naturally to humans, society discourages such behavior. The civilizing process begins or should begin soon after the birth of a child. The task of instilling proper behavior falls on the parents because children are born uncivilized. If parents shirk their responsibility, they and everyone who comes in contact with their uncouth urchins will suffer.
One indicator of lax or inconsistent parenting are children who exhibit The Terrible Twos far longer than the two-year age limit. Unrestrained tantrums annoy adults, and probably the toddler who puts on the show as well.
Tantrums are exhausting to deliver or endure. Unfortunately, parenting does not come with a handbook. Imagine how much easier life would be if a manual existed. Whenever the child does X, you could turn to the proper page and find the perfect solution.
One example may not appear in any handbook. The young daughter pitched a fit because she did not like the dress her mother stayed up all night sewing. It seems the child hit the one last nearly shredded nerve mommy had.
The solution? Sometimes mom cut a switch and applied it where it would do the most good or at least get the message across. Remember, this was in ancient times when parents, on occasion, disciplined their children with corporal punishment. Now, such parenting methods are frowned upon, resulting in uncivilized children and adults.
On this particular occasion, mom emptied a pitcher of water in the little girl’s face. The child calmed down and carried on. When our daughter tried to step over the line of unacceptable behavior, this writer grabbed her by the waist, held her over the sink, and splashed water in her face. It was a logical choice because moping up spilled water was undesirable.
As any parent will tell you, a tantrum or misbehavior is a call for attention. What the child in question may not calculate correctly is the type of attention he or she will get.
While dining in a restaurant with the Grands, a child at a nearby table called for attention by her uninterrupted shrieking. The mother and her friend ignored the child. How they managed to keep their hearing intact was a mystery.
After casting several pointed evil glares at the mother, she finally took the child out of the highchair. The silence was deafening.
Never underestimate the power of a good glare.
If children are not civilized, they will become tantrum-throwing adults, which is not a pretty sight. Countless examples of uncivilized adults are on display every day in rush hour traffic.
Whether the cause is a bad mood or a general grumpy personality, drivers become enraged by what some might consider rude behavior or because they want to act like the horse’s patootie. Speeding up to keep you from entering the flow of traffic is one of many cardinal sins that some drivers will not forgive.
In the case of this writer, calling a company and becoming mired in phone-tree hell will set her off. Answering a million robotic questions will send her over the edge. “I want to talk to a human,” she shouts, and miraculously the robot complies.
The thing about civilized behavior is that it is more difficult to instill then it is to throw off.
For example, if the parents did their job, their little rugrats will grow up and behave in a manner acceptable to society. Although, tales abound of supposedly adult bosses who scream at their subordinates because they can.
For various reasons, people put up with the screaming bosses and all the other annoyances life throws their way. But as they age, the veneer of civilized behavior sloughs off their shoulders like so much dandruff. At some point, folks do not give a damn what other people think.
Besides, lashing out is cathartic.