As parents of RAD or attachment challenged children, or with mental illness, or other special needs that causes us to cringe when we take them out in public due to their incredibly rude and uncontrollable behavior (that’s NOT due to bad parenting), we (I) might be super-sensitive to every word my kid says that could be taken as rude or offensive. I focus on my kid. Recently I’ve been noticing “other people’s kids”. Kids called normal. Kids called nuerotypical. Kids without trauma, kids born without drugs and alcohol in their system, kids who have been raised in a stable environment by the parents who birthed them, parents who feed them, clothe them, and in general, are decent parents. And those kids are still rude, obnoxious and overall disrespectful to adults, much to the chagrin and angst of the parents. In fact, a lot of the times, they act like our kids!
This got me to thinking. I remember my parents talking about how “my” generation was so disrespectful and rude, and I’m sure their parents said the same thing, and so on. And we are saying it about the generations coming after us. Could it be that the “collective dna” of humans are still fighting against authority and the inner cave man is still trying to get free? I don’t know, it’s a thought.
But the reason I ask, is because of this: Are we asking too much of our kids, kids with trauma, kids with a real reason to be disrespectful to adults in general, and distrust them, to ask them to be Beaver Cleaver, when all around them, literally everyone else, from kindergartners on up, are twerking, calling each other bitches, and arguing with adults and asserting their “own” authority as if they know everything already? I’m not suggesting let our kids be little assholes – there’s enough of those in the world – but it is making me realize that my kids have a lot more to overcome than just their past. They also have to overcome their environment and their peers in a way I never had to. I mean, in my day, “crap” was a bad word. I clearly remember my parents being angry with me for using the word “man” in a sentence inappropriately, as in, “Hey, man, whatcha doing?” I laugh at that now, because today, the f* bomb is going off everywhere. In our nice neighborhood elementary school, the kindergartners are twerking at recess. Trying to buy my 3 yr old a pair of shorts that or a dress that ain’t hootchie momma is extremely difficult.
So maybe it’s not just “my kids”. If I really watch and compare, in those situations, frequently my kids are cleaner mouthed and better behaved when adults are nearby than other kids who were raised well from birth and have no issues. Maybe I would be less stressed if I take a step back and realize that my kids are fighting their environment, too, and I need to teach them the right way, the proper way, to be, so that they can be successful in life, but that I don’t need to be so anxious and upset about it in the moment, or freaked out, because it really is around them constantly. Not just from birth, or their bio parents and a bad environment, but from the nice neighborhood school, from the well-dressed twins down the street with the mom who drives a Lexus and wears Prada. And maybe instead of fearing my kids are going to hell in a handbasket due to their potty mouths and disrespectful attitudes, realize that the whole generation is going together – and it’s not MY fault. Just hng in there!