Kids Making Their Parents Look Bad

My kid was an a******. There. I said it.

What I am grateful for is the fact that my kid grew up in a time when kids had the freedom to be a******, and then get over it.

Now? Forget it. So much is in place to be sure that EVERYONE in the world knows that your kid is the a*******. Forget that it could be their kids, or that it is often their kids. For now those holier than thou mothers have some kind of proof that its  your kid. Oh, and by proof, I mean, their kids told them.

We have come so far in terms of recognizing bullying and how it can affect our kids. We have come so far in understanding that victims deserve to be heard and believed. But there is no balance. Where is the balance?

Years ago, too many years ago, I wrote about a father calling me to apologize because he went out and his son raided the liquor cabinet. My son had actually made an excuse and escaped Dodge. It was probably the one time in his life that he avoided trouble, but that father apologized to me as if going out and having liquor in his house was a crime.

I sympathized with that father because I remembered my own teenage years. I knew some of the the things I had done. And no parent should ever be a prisoner in his/her home because they have a bottle of wine, a six pack, or even a fully stocked liquor cabinet.

Also, I was realistic. I knew that kids were going to try to find ways around the rules and do things that they shouldn’t do, things we, as parents, tried to protect them from. Still, I knew that there were going to be things I could never prevent. And I said silent prayers that my kids would come through the other side of it and be ok.

It was not always an easy road. One out of three of my kids gave me a run for my money. There were sleepless nights, a lot of cursing, more cursing, legal fees, and most importantly, a lot of love, unconditional love, even when it was tough love.

What I am grateful for is that my kids escaped the “social media” years. They were teens right before the smart phone and social media explosion. Oh, my, God, am I grateful for that because I’m reasonably sure that even my smartest most centered kid would have done something stupid on social media or something that would have been social media-worthy. Oh, and that means they would have drawn the attention of some parent who was oblivious to the fact that their own little Jane or Johnny was capable of the same behavior.

So I don’t write about my kid being an a******** because I have this great desire to out my kid. I write it because I know a lot of parents with kids who are going through some of the things I went through. The difference is they are doing it now with smart phones and social media, and parents who are, well, a********.

So parents and potential parents, please remember what you did as a kid. You were perfect? Ok, I’ve stopped laughing hysterically. If you were perfect, have some compassion. For the rest of you who had normal teenage years, where you did stupid things, but didn’t have to worry that colleges and jobs were stalking your social media, you know, when you posted your stupidity, please have a little patience, some understanding, and maybe show some generosity towards those who are human, who have behaved in a human way.

My kid was an a******* but how I love him. He has great things in him, but even if he didn’t, I still love him, just like you love your kid.

I promise not to judge yours if you promise not to judge mine. And I promise to help yours through whatever stage he’s going through if you promise the same.

I’m a mother. That’s what we do. That’s what we all should do.

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