For every mean girl out there, I know that there are 100 really nice ones. This in and of itself gives me some peace of mind when sending my children out into the world. Especially because I know that my children are in the majority group on this one. I have complete confidence that when push comes to shove, they are fully capable of weeding out the good from the bad without needing their over protective mother to get involved and/or track these mean kids down and tell them in no uncertain terms where the bear shits in the woods.
My girls are eight and six. I know that this is only the beginning as far as “the drama days” go. Been there, done that. I am fully prepared for the shit storm that lies ahead. I know it’s coming and I know it will be ugly. I worry about it, but take extreme comfort in the fact that I know I have good kids. They know right from wrong and they are nice to people. Do I have some absurd belief that my children are perfect angels? No. My middle child alone provides enough evidence to contradict that statement on a daily basis.
Peer influence scares me. How do you prepare your children to prepare for it? At some point you have to trust that your parental efforts will somehow transfer over to the daily application of the values that you are teaching them to real life situations when it really matters.
I’m sure my parents had the same hopes.
I was young once. My parents enforced rules, made me take responsibility for my actions, encouraged good grades, took me to Sunday school, taught me the value of hard work at a very young age, and loved me unconditionally. Despite their efforts, I handled my teenage years and early twenties just shy of absolutely terrible. It was a train wreck.
For my parents, not me. I had fun.
It’s overwhelmingly frustrating yet slightly amusing how life plays little tricks on you when you least expect it. Just when you grow up enough to have really learned from your mistakes, you become a parent. An anxiety ridden, worry around the clock, control freak parent.
Not only do I have hindsight and karma against me now, but the foresight and knowledge that times have dramatically changed. There is shit that goes on with teenagers now that I would never have even dreamed existed twenty years ago. By the time my children are teenagers, it will be even worse. The crap I pulled during my adolescent years will make me look like a saint.
What can I do to get karma off my back? Repay my parents for all of the beer that I stole from their basement? Apologize to my older sister for blaming the beer stealing on her? Apologize to my younger sister for not letting her come with me? Apologize to my little brother for having absolutely no recollection of him during that time period in my life whatsoever (Seriously, where were you?).
Maybe I should confess to my children so that they too can learn from Mommy’s mistakes? That might work for my oldest child (she’s a people pleaser and just genuinely wants to be a “good girl”), but I can guarantee you that the wheels would start turning in my middle child’s head before I even finished my lecture. “That sounds like fun Mommy. I’m gonna do that when I grow up too. Where do you and Daddy hide the extra beer? Never mind. I found it.”
I imagine life will play out in one of two ways. I will either learn to relax and just roll with the punches as most realistic parents do, or I will play to my strengths and attempt to control every aspect of my family’s life until they either commit or disown me.
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Sorry kids.