February 22, 2012

The sooner you accept your kid isn't perfect the better...





El Rant.  Let me tell you friends, I'm sick.  Sick and tired of hearing about OTHER PEOPLE’S ”bad kids" all over the blogosphere lately. Usually the post starts out by explaining an exchange of dialogue, passed along by a 4-10 year old mind you, and how the blogger's kid on the other side of the exchange was an absolute angel in the face of someone calling him/her a poo-poo head.  Whatever.  What chaps me is the blogger feels they have free reign to rail on that child, their behavior and their parents.  After post number three filtered through my reader, I sat down to write this little tirade.  Am I talking to you?  Do you think your child does no wrong but you judge every other child's behavior and parent around you and you feel its okay to trash talk a 5 year old?  Then yes, probably you.

Long ago I when I just had one little neurotypical princess that was as sweet as sweet could be, I scoffed, I judged, I thought, hmmm, I would never allow that behavior as I watched other children and parents around me.  I was lucky to have an easy going kid; I thought I was a great parent.   I'm just being honest.  Then I had number two, and Autism aside, add another to the mix and you go from teaching manners to survival mode and refereeing.  It changes the dynamic more than you know.  Your little princess will not always be priority number one and attention shifts, nothing is balanced or fair.  


“When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.”

- Bernard Bailey


There are no bad kids.  There are bad parents, yes.  There are kids who never get hugged.  There are kids who never hear, "I love you".  There are kids who will not have a proper breakfast, lunch or dinner.  There are kids who are ignored.  There are kids who will never be heard and are spoken to with harsh words.  There are kids who raise themselves.  When a child misbehaves, most often it is for attention.  So hey village, why don't you get off your high horse and help?  Why not become part of the solution instead of ignoring the problem or acting like you're five years old yourself?  {Reference quote above again, please}  Why are we holding these insane expectations that a 5 year old should in any way speak as eloquently as some of these dear bloggers I mentioned?  I say a lot of dumb crap, all the time, I'm not in denial.  But who doesn't?  Of course I should watch my words, but the thought that one ridiculous thing coming out of my mouth would brand me a moron for life; well I might give up blogging, and speaking.  Besides, I think I'm halfway there anyway.


So maybe, just maybe we don't know the whole story.  Who reading this would like to make a judgment about what I go through any given day just based on these few paragraphs here?  My guess is nobody {although I may be wrong}.   My life is no more or less hard than anyone else's; just different.  We make judgments based upon comparisons in our own lives.  Comparisons with in our belief system, our values and lifestyles.  That being said, how could we dare to even judge until facts present themselves to unfold the whole story?

I've already blogged about how devastating a diagnosis of Autism is.  You have to come to terms with the fact that your child may not be, or have the ability to do everything you dream for them.  But they can still do amazing, wonderful, world changing things; you have to shift your perception.  So long ago, I stopped giving a rip about how people stared at me in public when my son had a meltdown, how they judged my emotionless face as I ignore a tantrum, but I do have to finish the grocery shopping.  Sorry shoppers, but I'm a single mom, leaving the cart isn't an option because nobody is going to watch Junior for me later.  That is my reality, and I'm not asking for sympathy, just stating fact.  I have it easier than many, many others and that is also fact. 

I also made a conscious decision long ago not to make "excuses", for lack of a better word, for my son's behavior.  What may seem to others as acting out  or behavior issues, may be because he has no way to communicate that someone walked by with a perfume that he can't handle, or a light is flickering, or the music is too loud or irritating.  If you are looking at me with judgment in your eyes, I won't give in by saying, "oh, he has Autism" to dismiss it.  Don't get me wrong, he can be downright naughty too, it's not always Autism, he's just five.  The only time you'll hear me tell you my son has Autism is if you say something ignorant about how I should spank him on the spot, or you offer some stupid parenting advice you heard on Dr. Phil.   Perhaps I should be telling everyone I know, but the word Autism comes with its own set of judgments. 


My daughter is 7; she is a kind-hearted, sweet, loving, sassy, sasstastic drama queen; oh and sassy.  As great of a kid as she may be, she is no angel. There does come a point in time where we need to take off the rose colored glasses and say, okay my kid can be a brat.  I question the child who doesn't misbehave.  Do I let my kid's run the house and act like it's a free for all I can't control?  Never and never.  I don't allow bad behavior, but it still happens.  We have strict rules, but we also have a lot of fun.  Kids test boundaries, that's how they learn.  My point is that we do what we can, we teach and correct and send them out into the world and pray to God they aren't licking another kid's face {yep, my son} or refusing to paint in art class just because they don't feel like it {my daughter}.  We can't be with them 24/7.  And it isn't the end of the world. 

 When the realization comes that your kid isn't perfect and they might act in public like they act at home; it's hard, I get that.  For the overwhelming majority of your child's life the biggest battle you will face is accepting and nurturing who they really are, and letting go of who you want them to be, or who you might think they already are at the tender age of 5.  My goodness, I wasn't the same person 5 years ago I am today, cut them some slack.


So bloggers, so parents; let's stop writing about how fired up you are about what another 5 year old said to your kid and how your kid is the model of angelic. They are 5.  Are we seriously ranting about what a 5 year old said?  I'm not dismissing obvious threats of abuse or harassment, which is never acceptable.  But if nana-na-boo-boo is ruffling your feathers, knock it off.  Besides, your kid just called my kid a booger-head, but I'm not going to blog about it and I’ll still think you're a good parent.   

I understand it's a parent’s biggest fear to even think their kid might be the bad kid.  But I'm here to tell you, my kid is the bad kid and he can't even help it sometimes; so don't sweat it.  Accept your child, every child for who they are: good, bad, indifferent.  Show them kindness and compassion despite the snake eye you really want to give.  You might be the only person the entire day to take notice of them, and they will always take notice of how you treat them.

Image Detail
Let's just leave the kids out of it.
Our responsibility as human beings is to care for everyone, not see how quickly we can bring others down, how quickly we can widen the divide between "good and bad", or what strategy we can use to one-up each other.  Let the 5 years olds duke it out for themselves, chances are whatever got them so upset in the first place is already forgotten about; maybe we can learn a little from them.  

*My rant on blogging ethically without lying, cheating, falsely accusing, name calling and pre-mediated drama and the like is in my drafts, I don't want to go there, but it's there. Sure, sure mad angry, controversial throw people under the bus type posts get page views {wait}, let's just try to blog more ethically and move on. *


I want to go out on a positive note here.  These are two posts that really inspired me this week. They made me look at life from our child's point of view, and how sometimes our expectations are so outrageous, we just forget they are kids.  Please give them a read, you won't regret it.  Salt In Suburbia: Words Come Second  and Daddy Knows Less: Walk A Mile.

20 comments:

  1. The weird thing is that parents are so quick to blame others in situations where they weren't even present. It is part of parenting I think. When they're born everyone thinks their babies are supermodel pretty and then when they get bigger everyone thinks theyre angelic geniuses. I'm past both now. Part of being a kid is being a kid. Not everything they do means something ie the bratty neighbor isnt destined to be a serial killer. The blog posts about it are insane, though and btw not really entertaining.

    Great post. I agree on the pageviews. Gonna either write one on selling ones soul for pvs or one hit wonders when the rest of the blog sucks.

    Also, I think you just messaged you were making a hat out of cheese.

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    1. Yes, I did say that about the hat of cheese, for the carrot and I might post about it. I love my kids, I want to think they do no wrong, but I see how they act when I'm making dinner, so I have no doubt they pull that junk in public, despite my best intentions. At what point do we draw the line and say, "I'm not reading that post, because they is what the blogger intended". The internet is not a free for all to lie and bash whomever we please, but then act surprised when people fight back. If you're gonna go there, be prepared to defend yourself peeps. I will email you my ethics post and you can use whatever you want. Poor kids, that's all I have to say.

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  2. Love it. Once I discovered that my kid is no angel, I started trying to judge other parents less harshly. I'm a pretty good parent, I think, but my kid has his things--and I'll bet those things get on other parents' nerves sometimes. (I'm only talking about my preschooler now; my toddler is still in the blame-it-solely-on-his-age phase, in my opinion. We'll see where he lands in about a year!)

    BTW, my triberr stream is showing NOTHING--I saw this on twitter. But I'm going to retweet Christina's tweet, and hopefully I'll start seeing posts again soon!

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    1. Oh thanks, yes, Triberr is jacked up. We can actually read tweets that don't say via so and so. I think it's total parental instinct to blame age or what not, most of the time that is exactly what it is. And that's my point, kids are kids. We are all doing the best we can to raise our kids the way we see fit; I just wish parents were more supportive in those tough moments. I blame a lot of stuff I do on me being 36, still works.

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  3. As you know from my recent post, there are often two sides to the story, one of which may go unspoken. Like I said in my post, it doesn't make bad behavior right. But as a mom, I am constantly trying to figure out what my kids are thinking. We have to relate and understand them to find most effective ways to correct them.

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  4. Exactly. Your post this week was one of my all time faves, and really put things into perspective. I do admire that so much about you, that you calmly try to figure out what is going on in those kiddos little brain. You are an amazing Mom!

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    1. ...And I should say, thanks for the shout-out. I didn't even notice it the first time I read the post (reading tiny text on an iPod has it's disadvantages!). I have to give "Daddy knows less..." a read later at lunch today.

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    2. Oh, your welcome:-) Well deserved, my friend.

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  5. Great post chick! I couldn't agree more. My girl is a beautiful angel, but she is also a beautiful RED-headed angel and most certainly has the temper to match the hair. You always hope that your kid will hold off, or that you can distract them from, the temper tantrum you can see brewing. At least until you can get home. Not always the case. Does it make me a bad parent that I am a single mom and have to haul my littles sick cookies up to the store to get her medicine......no. As parents, single, married, partnered, we have to remember that our kids grow up differently than anyone elses kids. I can't imagine dealing with some of the things that you have to deal with every day, and most don't know what I or anyone else goes through. Parenting isn't a contest, or a sport to be judged. We do our best to raise good, self-aware, confident children, and hold on to the lifeboat for dear life on the days when everything feels like it's crumbling and you don't know how you will survive three more minutes of the screaming. But you do, and you go to bed and do it again the next day, because that's part of being a parent.

    This comment got huge long, sorry. Again, great post!!

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    1. Thanks, Angel. You are a great Mom! It's true, nobody navigates the troubled waters of parenting like it's a breeze. Well all have crappy days and it's not because we are bad parents, it's life. Hands down it is the hardest thing I've done in my life so far, and will probably ever do. That being said, I'm certain that all parents have moments of feeling defeated, or stressed, or the pressure of raising a kid who will be successful (in any capacity). Why are we so darn hard on each other? Don't get that. I hope your little sweetie is on the mend!

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  6. Here here!! Kids are kids...

    Great and amazing kids act out, scream, throw fits and acted possessed on occasion. They bounce back... and the adults should to.

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  7. Right on! We can't always be the perfect role model, but doesn't excuse being a bad one. My kids are terrors, on occasion, but it will make for great stories in the biography for the future President. Hopefully she give her brother a cabinet position.

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  8. Every time I come over here, I am immersed in your wisdom and just plain fabulous common sense. Seriously.

    I'll never forget the day my middle girl, now 17, had a raging 2 year old tantrum in the checkout line because I wouldn't let her have candy. It was one of those that could go down in the history books of outrageous tantrums. She has always been a fierce creature, usually for the good, doing everything 200%. But in her day, she could rage like no one else. For the rest of my life, I will never forget the harsh judgmental looks I got as I tried to calm her, sweat pouring down my face.

    I try to never judge. No one's shoes fit the same.

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    1. Thanks Joann:) I used to take my daughter to a little community ed playgroup thing, it was educational and the Moms/Dads/Kids got to socialize. Once they made us write down what we thought our kid's worst traits were, I know! But it was a great exercise because people who are stubborn will make great leaders, opinionated children will have the ideas of the future. I don't know, nice to see the flip side; on the other hand, they could've just been trying to keep us all away from turning to the bottle. That's probably it.

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  9. Wow! Great post! I couldn't agree more. I know quite a few parents who truly believe that their kids are perfect and do no wrong. They need to see and hear their children when they aren't around. lol

    They are constantly talking about how horrible these children are while their own kids are the secret ring leaders.

    I also know that all three of my children have broken the "perfect" model once they realized they can walk on their own. Ha!

    Tantrums are a regular thing at my house and even in the local stores with my four year old and sometimes my Princess gets into the act too. As far as my Big Guy, he has his moments as well.

    My take on the whole thing is that they will grow out of these behaviors as time goes by. I have learned to just stay calm and be there to either comfort my kids or hand them consequences when they are done having their fits.

    I know my kids aren't perfect and I am glad to see that I am not alone. :)

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    1. Thanks, Steve. I'm not sure kids ever do grow out of tantruming. I have them frequently, see above post. Things just get easier to justify as adults. I think parents would have an easier time accepting their kids aren't perfect if they didn't think it was always a direct reflection on them. Kids need discipline, but they need a lot of love too; give them both and they'll turn out okay, unless they don't.:)

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  10. Word. Amen. Agreed. Love. Good job. I think that about covers it!

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