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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Cut The Damned Cord

I love my kids.  I temper that love with common sense.  I do not believe that they are the most magnificent things in the universe, perfect and unique little snowflakes that can do no wrong.  No, I am a parent who can entertain the idea that my child is not an icon of perfect behavior.  I mean, I should know, right?  I'm the one who got to spank them or stick them in a corner as the crime warranted.  Besides, I never saw criticism of them a reflection on me, so I never took it personally.  My children are individuals, completely separate from me.  They are their own persons.

This morning I read this article, and I realized that others found my aversion to other parents logical. The school principal is correct, parents ruin everything kids do.  Everything. I've experienced this through pre-school, school, Little League, Girl Scouts, PTA and even the Marine Corps.  Evidently, now even emotionally crippled kids can take Mommy to boot camp with them to intervene with the DI in the event they screw up and have to do 100 push ups.

I think I may vomit.

When my eldest was in ninth grade he threatened to punch his algebra teacher.  His father and I went down to the school where we spoke with the principals and counselors and were told our son would have to spend six weeks in an Alternative Education Program, which is like school prison.  It was strict and if you got in trouble there, the former DI who taught the class figured you needed to run it out.  And he was famous for running kids until they puked.  But they all went back to the classroom and settled into their traces and got to school work.  I never asked my son if he really did it.  I knew he was fully capable of it and he never denied it.  I never railed at the school administrators for my son's lack of self-control and bad manners.  No, that was entirely on him.  He'd been taught better and chose to break the rules.  ALL ON HIM.  Because it is correct that you have to decide to make the RIGHT CHOICE.  Choosing not to decide is still making a choice.  I don't care what Liberals say.  They are wrong on nearly everything they think they believe. 

I have a friend whose father was a pedophile.  She grappled with who he was.  She's thankful she didn't grow up around him, but found it hard to live with how he chose to live his life.  We were discussing her philosophy class one day and I explained to her that she could try all the psychobabble there was but it still came down to making a choice.  She tried the "but maybe he was molested as a child" argument, which I shot down.  Unfortunately many children are molested every year and they make the decision to never, ever put anyone in that situation ever, because they know how it feels and would never perpetrate that horror on another because they know it's wrong.  Her father made a conscious decision to do the wrong thing.  He alone made that decision based on his own psyche.  In essence he chose evil over good because he was an evil person.  I don't think anyone involved with the man would dismiss my assessment.  She struggled with that, but in the end she saw the logic of it.  It wasn't familial or genetic.  One man made a decision to do wrong and it had nothing at all to do with her.

As parents we MUST accept that our children are separate from us.  We can love them, adore them, enjoy them.  However, we must submit that they are their own people and almost nothing we say or do can change them from the people they decide they wish to be. They have entire lives that don't include us, especially after about age 9 or so.  They have friends, they have activities and we cannot sit on them 24/7.  We must allow them to grow and be who they will be, whether we like the person they become or not.

Here is the one thing I've never, ever understood.  Why adult people with working brains decide they want to be known as somebody's mommy or daddy and not a person, in and of themselves.  It's disconcerting to me to see these people who have no identity outside being something to someone else.  Really, my mind balks. Untether yourself and be a person in your own right, with your own wants and needs that have nothing to do with your child.  I'm not saying ignore your spawn, I'm saying have some time where you are YOU and not Johnny's mommy or someone's wife, daughter, sister, whatever.

And while you're at it, let your kid be who they are, and accept that they are not you and you are not them.  Trust me, you'll thank me when they manage to escape in adulthood.

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