On hurting your child for the entertainment of others.

So there’s that video going around about parents telling their kids that they ate all the Halloween candy. It’s supposed to be funny and I find it so very cruel. Why?

Kids have very little control over their lives. They don’t work and earn money and support themselves. They are at the mercy of their parents/guardians and only have as much control as their parents let them/they are developmentally ready to handle.

When they feel like they have something that they earned (in this case, by going door to door and receiving such gifts of candy) and that gets taken away from them, for no actual good reason, I am not surprised that they react badly. Their parent’s have violated their trust.

NOW add on top of that, it is just a joke for the benefit of some cable late night show, and I’m sickened.  A couple of the kids are fine with it, and that’s great. They have been raised to have skills to adapt to this change of expectation. Those skills are outside the norm for the age group represented. YES I get that for an adult it’s like, “ha ha, just kidding here is your candy!” but it doesn’t seem to me like these are just dramatic reactions. These children and genuinely hurt and upset. The parents in these clips either don’t know their children well enough to understand that they will not handle this prank well, or just don’t care because they want to get on tv. What the fuck? What the ACTUAL fuck?

This is not parenting with care. This is not creating a safe and trusting environment for children. These are people who are learning how to grow up and be well-adjusted in society and what does this teach them? Does this teach them anything other than to be distrustful of the people who should be the MOST invested in creating healthy relationships with them?

On this day:

In 2009 – ouf
In 2007 – all the jobs I’d had up until that point.
In 2006 – when I have PMS and can’t have the food I want, I cry and cry and cry
In 2005 – I love steak


15 Comments on “On hurting your child for the entertainment of others.”

  1. Whocares? says:

    Says the person who published on twitter / her blog / facebook that her ex husband raped her multiple times.

    Is that creating a safe and trusting environment for Bobby and Molly? What if they read that one day? What if they’re out and they walk by somebody who calls their dad a rapist?

    You’re whole life is a walking contradiction

    • Dude if you are trying to seem less like an abuser, this didn’t do it.

      The comparison is transparently incidental, so your pretense of calling out hypocrisy seems itself a little hypocritical when you write the kids’ names in an incendiary accusation.

      Not that I doubted Tiana before, but this hostile public attempt to discredit her and make ominous remarks about the kids just emphasizes the truth of the experiences she’s shared.

      If you were concerned that somebody might tell those kids their father is a bad person you maybe could have taken more care to NOT ACTUALLY BE A PIECE OF SHIT. Don’t try to pass that responsibility on down the road now. You did what you did, it’s YOUR responsibility that that can hurt the people close to you.

      Get scarce dude. Disappear. Be gone.

    • Bitchin' Kitten says:

      From personal experience I can tell you that it’s rough as child coming to terms with the fact that your parent is a sex offender. I’m sure that if and when she chooses to disclose that information about “him”, she will do so in a thoughtful and well-intentioned manner. Honestly, telling your children can be helpful because it shows them they don’t need to be secretive or feel ashamed if someone hurts them, even if it’s a relative or another person they trust. Daddy can cry the world a river because her being straight with them (should she choose to do so) isn’t damaging their trust, daddy choosing to sexually assault their mom is.

      Dismissing her concerns about a mean-spirited comedy trend because you don’t like how she has handled her own experience of sexual assault is ridiculous.

      I’m sure these candy-pranking parents don’t mean any harm, but who gets a laugh from upsetting their child by taking away (even temporarily) something they’ve been looking forward to for a long time and have invested their time and energy in? 😦

    • bellejarblog says:

      Who cares? Apparently you, since you took the time to leave a nasty comment!

      If you are so invested in creating a safe and trusting environment for your kids, probably publicly attacking their mother/primary caregiver in a public forum isn’t the way to do it. This faux concern for your kids is shitty and manipulative; you’re not concerned about them, you’re concerned about YOURSELF.

      Anyway. You seem like a total dick and I’m glad you’re no longer in T’s life. This comment just confirms that feeling.

    • Maggie says:

      Wow, you are an awful, awful person.

      Aside from this atrocious use of your children to try and silence Tiana….

      Regarding abuse and assault, Tiana unfortunately can’t let the kids be blindly trusting of anyone, and you’re one reaaaally good reason why. Disgusting creeps such as yourself can be lurking anywhere. It would be lovely if they didn’t ever know their father was a rapist, but that could only be if he wasn’t one. If you do horrible things, everyone around you has to deal with it.

    • CE says:

      What the hell, guy? Way to derail this post entirely. This isn’t your space to continue your cycle of abuse and manipulation; it is Tiana’s blog where she can write about her own life. Your tactics are so transparent–this message screams “abuser” to me, so good luck trying to convince anyone otherwise.

      Tiana has every right to express her feelings regarding her experiences with abuse in whatever way she wants. Furthermore, you need to realise that your children will have to learn about your reprehensible behaviour at some point in their lives; that’s what real trust and safety looks like in this situation. Your attempt to censor this through manipulation is cowardly and dangerous. Shame on you.

      Once again, this is not your space. You don’t have to be here and your presence is toxic. Get lost.

    • wecare says:

      Hi whocares,

      Let’s say Bobby and Molly read all of that one day.

      Now does your concern stem from being unable to convince those kids, when they are mature enough, that the rape didn’t happen? Perhaps because you’re not very convinced about your innocence in the first place?

      Also, are you perhaps, in this case, trying to dismiss her MEMORIES by weirdly comparing it to an OPINION that she had about some thing she saw on TV?

      These questions don’t need to be answered to us, because I’m assuming you already know we think about them. But try and take some time and sit down and think about what you were trying to achieve. And, the kind of person you are now. And, the kind of person you want to be when Bobby and Molly finally come across those posts.

    • Wait, what? says:

      This is a post about parents who play mean jokes on their kids. I’m not really sure how this comment is at all relevant to this post.

      You might want to find the “My children’s father raped me multiple times” post.

      Oh, wait, there’s not one…sorry, friend.

      Perhaps you should be more concerned about why you think this is a reference to a marital relationship she had than worrying about the imaginary network of people on the street who will randomly shout out to these kids that their dad is a rapist. You know?

  2. ariddles says:

    I think if anything in the news in the past ten days has taught us anything it is that the more people speak up against rapists and sexual predators in our midsts the better. I would want like to see a safe environment where nobody could possibly harm children or anyone else, but if there was a threat or if a child (or any person) heard that one of their friends was subject to a threat, they would know that coming forward is met with the desire to stop the threat, not a series of impediments to stopping the rapist.

    I don’t find a single thing contradictory in anything Tiana writes or says. Some people seem to think that worse than rape is a child hearing an accusation of rape being made. That is pretty messed up.

  3. That girl says:

    So let me get this straight. You can rape but she can’t talk about it? Or about how she feels about… well, basically anything apparently, because I can’t see what this has to do with the Hallowe’en candy video. I mean, if the blogger writes the next entry about her preference for sad movies over cartoons, can you try to make that all about you too?
    Seriously, that “what if they walk out one day” is so manipulative. You’re mad – you. Don’t make it about them. No one will EVER walk by them and call their dad anything – this isn’t “Little House on the Prairie.” That doesn’t happen in the real world.

  4. Cyclerina Shouts says:

    Dear Ex-Husband,

    This is not the venue to attack T, or ever really to attack her. It sounds like you need to talk to someone about your anger/shame in being called a rapist, and maybe that’s something you should look into. You have the responsibility to NOT harm someone who has spoken out about assault, and actually give them space.

    You need to look into yourself and see what happened in you to disregard her, and insult her (on her blog?!) and to emotionally manipulate her and guilt trip her into feeling bad for speaking out about you assaulting her.Shaming her for giving a name to what you did is not okay, and you really need to reflect on the space (physical and metaphorical) that you feel entitled to take.

    Please take this comment, and go meditate on it, write about it, think about what comes up for you when you think about the way you treated Tiana, but do not harass her on her blog, or anywhere else.

    Hope you are able to hear my message.

  5. TheAboutFace says:

    A safe environment is one where parents are open and honest, where they teach their children about consent, respect, and truth. This is what T is doing.

    Yeah, one day hearing that your parent did a shitbag thing might be hard. Teaching your kids that hiding abuse is “safer” is worse. I know this from personal experience.

    If you actually care about your kids, safety, whocares? (Oh, the irony): Reflect on your actions. Recognize your own hypocrisy. Do what you can to fix your fuck ups.

  6. Melissa | @refashionista says:

    Gaslighting is a common emotionally abusive technique used to undermine victims.

    Taking something that is not at all about sexual assault, personalizing it, and using it as an opportunity to deflect blame and attack someone’s credibility and parenting is invasive, unsupportive, and abusive.

  7. Kate says:

    Jimmy Kimmel is only doing what all parents do at Christmas, Easter and when they lose teeth. OH Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy….Shame on you for a little entertainment at Halloween too!!! That is a relationship built on trust for sure. Parents lie to their kids for years but that’s ok because it’s innocent.

    • Tiana says:

      Kate, I dont really see it entirely the same as having a mystical story telling abiut non-real beings the bestow gifts. That’s not done as a way to make children feel badly for public entertainment.

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