This post might make some of you parents angry with me and for that I apologize but I have to get this off of my chest. Recently, I've had two separate conversations with two different people about the same subject. Kids, and people who have kids and think you have to be a parent to understand what it is like to raise a kid. I don't have to walk through fire to know that it is hot and burns.
It does not take a rocket scientist to know what the right thing is and the wrong thing is to tell a child. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what's healthy for a child and what's not. There are many many psychologists and therapists that have great insight on the subject and have never given birth to a child.
I don't have a child of my own but I am fully aware of how strong a parent's love is for their child. I totally get that you would walk through fire and give your own life for your child, I get that. I truly do. Do not tell me just because I don't have a child I don't understand how difficult it is to raise a child. Hello! Do I live in a vacuum? I know what the cost of living is. I know the cost of clothing and feeding and sheltering a child. I know how it may be difficult to scrap together extra funds for the all important extra curricular activities that are so important to the development of every child. I get that. I also know how hard it is for you when your child is bratty, belligerent, and confrontational. You try your best to understand why this child is acting this way and attempt to figure out how to best get through to them. I understand how difficult this is.
I understand how hard it is for you when you do all you think you could have done for the child and they still end up being a real shit or even strung out on drugs. I understand how hard it is for you to execute a little tough love when needed and force the child to straighten up by making them stand on their own two feet without you as a safety net. I know how hard that is and for some of you I know it is impossible. I get it.
What's really great from my perspective is that I am totally unbiased in the situation which is great when it comes to trying to figure out the best solution for a really tough situation. Parents are often so weighed down by emotion that they can not see to do what is the best for a given situation or be completely objective. I can. Let me give you an example, your 19 year old child has been on drugs for the last 8 years. You've tried everything you can to get through to them but nothing has worked. You've forced them into rehab but to no avail. They can not hold down a job and is stealing from you to support their habit. Your parental instinct is to keep trying and hoping that maybe they will straighten up because you love them so much and that is your baby. You know in your heart that you are enabling them but you can't bring yourself to put the child out in order to make them accountable for their own actions. I know how hard that is but that tough love is necessary. You are not doing them any favors by allowing them to continue this behavior. As long as you keep supporting them they have no reason to change. Think about it, you supply their food and shelter and cash from the sale of the stolen goods from your house or purse. What possible reason do they have for wanting to change that behavior?
I don't have to be a parent to know that when you are divorced it is NEVER OK to talk bad about the other parent in front of that child. Never. No matter how difficult it is, you should always hold your tongue and allow the child to develop his or her own relationship with that parent. They will figure out who their mother or father is all on their own.
So please parents, do not discard someone by saying "Oh you don't have a child so you don't understand." because that won't fly anymore. It does not take a genius to know just how difficult it is to raise a child. After all, we've all been children ourselves.