Broken Tooth Psychology: When the Parent Cannot Outgrow Their Own Abusive Behavior

It is sad when children are abused. It is sad for others if they know about the abuse. But, then again, there is nothing quite like going through it, surviving, and living with the consequences. Some choose to fight abuse head-on and go on talk shows and discuss it, expose it, and try to ensure that it will never happen again. But, even those actions do not stop abuse. It grows like an evil fungus and infects anyone that it can touch.

It is also sad when the children grow up, get away from the abuse, and yet those tentacles of evil still attempt to find their way back to these grown adults, to harm them over again (and again). I’m not sure if that is sad or a cause for anger or both. It certainly garners the ingredients of all of those feelings, as well as a commonality with the word, “pathetic.”

The Positive Journey

I have enjoyed the journey of learning about psychology. When I first started this site (and registered the domain), I was asking myself what it is that could be learned about living a life that focuses on the positive. The idea was to see the positive and think on that. I still believe the same today.

I also wanted to share things that I was learning about psychology. (I have since learned, from one of my professors, that I have am a “natural” and that the concepts of psychology come to me even without the studying.) At the time that this blog was born, I did not feel that I had the “right” to talk about psychology.

A lot has happened since then. Now I have my Masters in Psychology and I am on the final stretches (though possibly loooooong stretch) of becoming a psychologist. I have paid my dues to at least reference the concept of psychology, wouldn’t you say?

Broken Tooth Psychology

With that, step into my makeshift, brief lecture room (as in studying, not lecturing.. that wouldn’t be any fun!)… Let’s take a look at a picture together and what I am calling “Broken Tooth Psychology.”

If it is easier, you can look at the same picture at the very top of this page. It is probably easier to see the text that way.

First of all, it is a simple snapshot, complete with what looks like imperfections or splotches (maybe not) and whatever else makes its way on a snapshot from decades ago. It is what it is, right?

How much detail can you make out of this snapshot? Ok, so it is a trailer or something behind the young girl. The young girl looks to be around two. She looks to be concerned about something, with the look on her face. She is snuggling the doll in a protective way. It isn’t too tight (squishing the doll) and it isn’t so loose that the doll will fall. The hold on the doll is enough to let the doll know that she is safe. Granted, either the little girl is not going to be growing up to be a hair stylist or this doll has had a few travels before arriving in this little girl’s lap.

Quite simply, it is a picture of a little girl, with curly hair, holding a doll and sitting in a rocking chair.

However, that doesn’t seem to be enough for the viewers on Facebook. Instead, there is a comment that isn’t seen, above the “Parent” comment that initiates a comment about the little girl’s teeth.

Really? Can you see her teeth well enough to start a conversation? If you could, would you? And, if you did start a conversation like that, wouldn’t it cross your mind that it might hurt the adult woman to see that she is being discussed in that manner? Would you feel good about yourself picking on the current young woman and more so, would you feel good about yourself picking on a little girl like that?

Who does that?

Ok, so someone starts a conversation. Now, the parents respond and this is where we are really taking a lesson in psychology. The idea is to break apart the grammar and identify what is going on in the text. If it helps, compare it to what you would say if you were a parent (or are a parent). Oh, you wouldn’t say it?! Yes, I’d have to agree.

But, we will examine this text to see what is going on in the response:
“It was actually a buggy she fell out of – she refused to sit down, stood up at the end of her buggy when Mom wasn’t looking, upset the buggy and hit her mouth on the handle of the buggy, chipping the tooth!”

First of all (and the third party response says it all!), what was the parent doing?! I mean, I am a parent and one of my kids was a little climber. It is what he loved to do. At no point did I ever think it was some direct attack against me, his mother (who thinks like that?!). However, whose job was it to ensure my little climber didn’t climb where he wasn’t supposed to go? It was my job, as his mother! Wouldn’t it also be the case with this little girl, that the mother has some responsibility to ensure her safety? I guess, in this monther’s case, that is not the case. But, then, with that logic, I guess the little girl should know how to drive the car and fry up her own eggs for breakfast, eh?

Ok, back to the verbiage.

It was actually a buggy she fell out of” –> See the previous point about access TO fall out of that buggy…

– she refused to sit down,” –> Like I said, I’m a parent. I’m not sure that the word I would use for my little climber would be “refused.” He was a little climber and in his development at that age, he wasn’t thinking about refusals. He was only thinking about climbing! He had no desire to hurt my feelings or even “disobey.” He just saw the world as a place for adventure!

stood up at the end of her buggy when Mom wasn’t looking,” –> This line REALLY gets me. So, not only should this little girl be able to fry her own eggs for breakfast, after driving the car and dropping off her siblings at school, but she needs to have the mental development to sit there and think…”Ok, I want to climb. Now, Mommy said I can’t do that. So, the only way I can have my way is to do it if she isn’t looking. How do I get Mommy to not look? Oh, look at that, Mommy looks away once in a while. Oh, Mommy is looking at that dress over there. Mommy is touching the dress. Oh, it is going to take Mommy 5.6 seconds to touch the dress. Oh, 5.6 seconds is just the right amount of time to do what I want to do and get my way!”

Excuse me. The child is about 18 months and not psychologically developed to that point yet. It’s a fact.

upset the buggy and hit her mouth on the handle of the buggy, chipping the tooth!” –> If we haven’t made the point yet, then maybe this psychology stuff is too deep. Or, the idea of a child being mistreated to this level is too much (in which case, I’ve made my point). The next thing that I want to point out is how the story stops at the chipped tooth. Has anyone thought of the consequences of a child hitting her head on a shopping center (i.e. concrete) floor? Has anyone thought of the long term consequences?

Apparently not the parent who wrote in this Facebook comment. In this case, all that mattered was 1) a child didn’t do what she wanted; 2) the child is no longer looking perfect because she chipped a tooth; 3) the child has embarrassed the mother.

And, yet, you may wonder why there is this far-off look on the little girl’s face as she holds her dolly close? I don’t wonder. It appears that this “Broken Tooth Psychology” explains it all.

6 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  Twitter (ID only. No links or "@" symbols)

CommentLuv badge