Saturday, November 27, 2010

Notes From an Imperfect Mother

Sometimes I'd like to think I am the perfect mom and that I have perfect children who only listen and obey and treat each other with love and kindness, always. But, I'm not, and they don't. And I know that is not realistic anyway. I also know that life lessons are mostly learned through experience and that part of the learning process occurs through our mistakes of living our not-so-perfectly-perfect lives.

That being said, it still doesn't bring me comfort when one of my children is not nice to another. I am used to kids picking at each other or antagonizing each other once in a while. I am sure I participated in that sort of behavior plenty of times on my own while growing up. Overall, my kids are good kids and get along well and don't do stuff like this all the time (although enough for me to know they are definitely siblings!).

But recently, one of them did do something to another that was more than just irritating or agitating. It was just plain mean. This really affected me, and I cry just thinking about it. First of all I was shocked that this child would do that. Second of all, I was saddened because I could see the potential harm it could have caused. This could have had serious life-long-lasting effects. And there still may be a little backlash. The action was done with a "spirit of revenge". This is probably what upset me the most. We are not a family of "revenge". I don't condone seeking revenge. If someone harms me, 90% of the time I can just let it go. 9% of the time, I cry about it and then let it go. And probably 1% of the time I vent about it, then cry about it and then let it go. But I am not one who likes confrontation. In fact, just the thought of it sends me into anxiety mode. So it is easier for me to let it go.

I can't figure out why my child would take something to the extreme like this. But, I have to remind myself something my counselor told me once. Our brains are not fully developed until approximately age 25, and therefore we do not have complete rational thinking until about then. So, in reality when someone says, "I was young and stupid", they are in essence correct.

Ok. So, I get all of that. The struggle I am having is how to DEAL with this sort of behavior. I definitely don't condone a spirit of revenge. I try to teach Christ-like principles, including "Turn the other cheek". I have to admit, this whole episode has sort of left me feeling like I have fallen a bit short as a mother.

Have any of you ever dealt with your kids who weren't always nice to each other? What did you do? How did you handle it? Did they ever grow out of it?


okeydokeyifine said...

Is there a possibility of the revenger to do something to correct or make right the action done? If not, then have a replacement thing done. Like if something was broken or destroyed get another one to replace it. If it is a broken bone, then do all the housework that would have been done by that individual. If nothing can be done to correct the situation, then talk to the revenger and explain that Nothing can be done to replace or correct the situation and that it will be a weight on their shoulders the rest of their life and they will always cringe when they remember it... and the Will remember it. And hopefully use it as a tool to Never do something like that again. All that and a huge apology.
Sometimes the Acting Out is a cry for attention or for help. Search out the underlying problem. Hope some of that helps.

Puphigirl said...

ooh, he's gonna get it!

Sure, while I may plot revenge, I normally do not carry it out. There are times that I would LOVE to get even with someone that has wronged me, but mostly it is not worth the consequences that I would face.

Rob said...

My sister and I engaged in a horrible who could be meaner to each other type competiton for years.

But once an older kid tried to take my paper route money and my little sister broke his nose. She always was the butch enforcer to my Ghandi shyness.

When push came to shove, and someone was picking on her older brother my baby sister always turned into Mike tyson for me.

We were mean to each other but there was love there.

Anyway I have been busy for a while so I am now taking the time to catch up on all your posts.

I love your stuff!!!!!

Susie said...

I have never experienced this type of thing before but I do know what it feels like to be disappointed in one of my kids (or more). Like you have to remind yourself that they are only kids and trying to learn what works. Make sure that the revenge doesn't work.

The Blonde Duck said...

My dogs aren't nice to each other.

The Willeyes said...

I wish i had words of usual, I think your mother has hit it right on the head. Aren't moms the best? Good Luck! Call if you need an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on or someone to come referee :) Love ya! You'll handle it just fine, I have faith in you.