Daughter: As I’m sure any parent would agree, we (parents) want to protect our children in every way possible. We set rules for our children with consequences if rules are broken. We are “unreasonable” because we require texts when they move from one destination to another while out with friends. We are “out of touch” when we sit them down to have a chat about the repercussions of posting too much and inappropriate things on social media. (I could talk for dayyyyys on that, but another time, another blog post!)
But what about protecting their hearts? When they are little this task isn’t as big as it is as they get older. Peers play a huge role in our children’s lives and we as parents need to keep a close eye on this. Living in an unfair world with mass bullying and peer rivalry, strong negative emotions can take hold of our children’s hearts making for a tough row to hoe. I’ve always been a firm believer of giving my girls “food for thought” and loads of encouragement. I am not as naive as to believe my girls tell me every little detail of a situation. So I take what they give me and look at it a few different ways. This gives them a few choices of perspective to deal with the situation to see what is actually taking place and to proceed from there.
I’m trying to teach my girls that a choice is being made when one gets their feelings hurt. In today’s world where everyone is offended by everything, people are making the choice to be offended. In each and every situation where these feelings arise, we need to take a minute and actually think it through before reacting. And to definitely consider the source from which it’s coming, this is a biggie in my opinion, lol! The majority of the time this is the only pertinent information needed!
Okay, now the hard question…..how do you proceed when it’s not a peer but a family member and an adult family member at that? Now let me say, I’m not totally convinced the differential treatment is intentional, actually I think my “little girl” has been caught in the cross fire of a family split. I do admit my first response is total rage, how dare someone that was very close to my “little girl” treat her differently. And I use the term “differently” because my other two “little girls” are not treated this way.
Over the course of a few years, I have made excuses for this “family member” to my “little girl” hoping to preserve any likely hood of the relationship being restored. But with each passing birthday and holiday filled with hurtful neglect, I think that ship has sailed. My “little girl” recently turned 21 years old and I can not convince her to wear my rose colored glasses anymore. One of the most upsetting aspects of the whole situation is, my other two “little girls” are watching this all unfold first hand and as they mature it is leaving quite an impression on them. Now enters “Actions speak soo much louder than words”!
So what is a momma to do? I face each situation as it presents itself. I’m a firm believer that children should not get caught up in adult drama if at all possible. But I do know that children are not always others first consideration. “Actions speak louder than words” is never an easy lesson to learn no matter what your age. But, it is a lesson that we all have to learn at some point. I continue to “try” to keep a positive mindset in all situations and hopefully when the time is right all will be right with the world once again!
Mother: As I always say, ” You can pick your nose, you can pick your seat, but you can’t pick your family”. Be they a family that you are born into, one that chose you or one you married into, sometimes you have family members who just suck!
I raised my children in a different time with different problems. But, no matter the problems, school, friends, dating etc., my children knew they could count on family, plain and simple! I choose to believe this person fully knows what she is doing. The side of the family this is coming from has always been involved in every aspect of the children’s’ lifes’, our children and their children, until there was a disagreement among the adults.
This adult family member has shunned any attempts at reconciliation. But why she has decided to involve children is anyone’s guess. Yes, our baby girl is 21, but that doesn’t make her heart hurt any less, and this last affront is one of many over the last three years. Daughter does keep a positive mind set about the situation, grandmother not so much. Has it been mentioned that mother and daughter parent differently?? I was a more call it like it is parent, daughter likes to look at all sides and “buffer” things. Neither way is right or wrong, and I would say it all depends on the situation and who is involved. My first thought is send a nasty email, lol, but in my heart of hearts I know that is not the answer. Plus you never want to put anything in writing that can come back and bite you!
Truth be told the only thing that can be done is to reassure our baby girl and let her know none of this is has anything to do with her. Daughter will handle the situation with style and grace as she always does with her girls, and grandmother will be muttering under her breath and making faces behind everyone’s back, because, in the end we are a united front.