Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Can't Imagine Doing This

So I've mentioned how my kids are both doing blogs now. I think it's a great way for them to express themselves, to work on their writing (please don't judge me on their writing skills!!! - I don't make them edit their blogs!!), and to share what life as an expat kid is like.

What I didn't expect is to have another mother trash talk me to my child.

Yes, I made her do a full day of work in running our home. Yes, initially I had planned on it being three days, but decided to waive 2/3 of the punishment as I felt she had learned her lesson. She was grateful and completely understood what I had been trying to teach her. She was repentant and has been more gracious and helpful since our little role-reversal.

But she's still 13. She still opted to vent about her punishment on her newly-found soapbox. Which is fine with me. I had read her post and felt it was a fair representation of how the day went. Yes, she was tired. Yes, she had a cold. Yes, her back was sore from lugging laundry around all day and working hard. Well, guess what - that's my day more often than not. That's what she was supposed to learn - that mom needs help and if we all pitch in together, none of us have to suffer.

So, I just want to drop a note to the woman who felt it was appropriate to reinforce an attitude of disrespect in my teenage daughter.

First of all, you weren't here. You don't know all the details. You didn't hear the tone in her voice and see all that had lead up to the event.

Secondly, you mention that you are a mom of three. I don't know their ages, but if any of them are teenagers and never complain about helping around the house, kudos to you. You are obviously a better mother than me. However, if you ever have issues where you feel you need to really make a radical impression on any of them, I hope that you remember this:

As an adult, as well as a mother, I would NEVER contradict a parent to their child. I may opt to say something to the parent if I have a concern for the child's well-being, but I would not ever denigrate a parent to a child. In some children, it could embolden them to rebel and embrace an attitude of disrespectfulness and resentment. In plain language, it's like hanging a millstone around someone's neck, just encouraging sinful attitudes.

Fortunately, my daughter and I have an excellent relationship. But had she been a child who was already struggling with her parental relationship, your comment could have added fuel to the fire.

Next time you have a comment on my parenting, take it up with me. She's got enough teenage friends to commiserate with.

(To everyone else, sorry for the rant. Back to normal programming next time.)


Tracye said...

Yeah, I saw that, and was a little surprised.

Didn't quite know how to follow a comment like that.

I think you made your point :)

Nancy M. said...

I don't think that was appropriate to do either. It would be different if she said it to you.

I, personally think sometimes you have to teach your kids lessons. If you don't how are they going to learn?

ValleyGirl said...

No kidding! Of course, I had to go and see which comment you were talking about. I can't even imagine telling someone else's kid that!!! Geez, talk about inappropriate!

Catherine said...

EEK! How inappropriate! Hope the rest of your family's blogging experience is more positive.


TJ said...

I completely agree with you! I had someone chew me out in a comment because we didn't wrap the Christmas presents "Santa" left. Called me lazy! Unfortunatley, some people need to think before they type.

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

See, that's the funny thing, TJ. I wouldn't have cared if she called me something here on my blog. After all, I had fully outlined the same situation here. And I would assume she found my daughter's blog through mine, since it was only like 3 days old and she didn't really have much of her own following yet. I expect people to offer up their opinions to me (although I think calling you lazy was ridiculous!), but do it to me - NOT to my daughter! YKWIM?

Mom To Six said...

Wow! That's pretty unbelievable. I, too, would never overstep another mother's boundaries, and if I did have a problem with it, it would be the mother that I'd speak to.

Ranee said...

I have a real problem with other people trying to undermine a child's parents.

When I was 16 one of my mom's friends told me that she knew my mom was uptight, so if I wanted to get on the pill, she'd take me to go get them. I just thought it was weird then. Now, I cannot imagine another mother going behind my back to do that to one of my children.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that person must have been from Doha. The other day, my 2 year old "shoplifted" from a store. Sure, she didn't really realize what she was doing but I wanted to make an impression that it was NOT ok to do that. So I marched her into the store with the necklace to return to the shop woman and to say "I'm sorry". (since she's only 2, I thought that was enough) The woman kept telling her "it's ok, no problem"... Aak! Please don't tell my child it's ok to shoplift... Sure, she's only 2 but if I don't teach her that now, will I have to wait until she calls me from jail?

~Tami said...

Hello. I am a mom of a son, almost 12, and a daughter, just turned 10. I am having problems with my daughter disrespecting and disobeying me. I have read your previous post on your daughter's punishment, and I am considering doing the same thing with my daughter. Thanks for sharing. THIS MOM APPRECIATES IT! A little hard work won't kill any child, even though my daughter acts like it!

melissa said...

Lori, I am in such total agreement with what you did. There are too many parents who don't take the time to teach their children. It was inappropriate for her to comment to your daughter. But she's a smart girl and has a great mom!

jennifer said...

i just stopped by after a couple days away, and i, too, am apalled at what that mom wrote! totally out of line- and as the mom, you have the final say on what you feel is best for YOUR child! (and just wanted to make sure you know it wasn't the jennifer from life's little adventures)!!!

Leeann said...

So of course I had to go back and see what the comment was....AND make sure it wasn't mine! lol

I think you made your point with Em and I think she got it. Anyone else's thoughts are just irrelevant.


Rachel said...

Hi Lori,

Don't let her get you down. Sounds like your daughter has a good head on her shoulders for 13. You are right - communication should ALWAYS be directed to the parent (and any parent should understand this) and not build more wedges between parents and their children.

I think this is just ugly comment week. I got a nasty one left on my blog last Saturday because I posted about how I wasn't going to see New Kids on the Block. The person who commented didn't even leave a link - very cowardly. At least if you're going to be nasty about something leave a way to get back in touch. :)

Anyway, have a great time in the USA!

runningtherace said...

It is so great that you have such a good relationship with your daughter that you can punish her, talk about different blog comments/posts, and help her start her own blog. There seems to be a great balance in your relationship of friendship and authority. It really sounds like you two are doing some things right!


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