We can do it

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Accusers Vs. Apologizers

On the playground you can find 2 different types of parents, usually. The apologizers and the accusers. 99% of the time I think first time parents land in category #2. Only children are very rarely to blame for anything. Those children are perfect and have never been naughty a day in their life. Not when they spit on your 2 year old, or bit your leg when caught them peeing in the corner. Nope.

Accuser parents are the ones that in any given situation will blame any other possible child within a semi reasonable distance. If their child HAS undeniably misbehaved it was because of something YOUR child did.

Apologizers, like me, are the parents who are just going to bend over and take it. Our first reaction tends to be, someone is crying, what did my kid do to cause it? Often these are parents of "strong willed" kids. Because chances are, our kids WERE involved in some way. And when someone blames one of our kids, we tend to take it at face value. Or if you are like me, you just smile and apologize and walk away feeling bitter that your kids was blamed...again.

What makes it so hard to stand up for our kids?? I think people like me, with "unique" kids feel so inadequate as parents at times, it feels wrong or unreasonable to stand up for them. It's so easy to blame kids like that. A pattern is set - these kids are bad news and can be the easy target.

It is amazing how quick a mother can become protective, even violent when a child's physical safety is jeopardy. Why do we let these little battles that eventually add up to a lifetime of hurt, just pass us by. A while ago it came to my attention, that my kids have an apologist mother. And it isn't fair to them. They don't need an accuser mother either. They need an advocate.

And I am working hard at not falling over myself with apologies about their behavior - which is often unruly or in need of correction. But instead, I am working on explaining the situation at hand. (Especially with Vincent) And then not apologizing for his behavior, but trying to see how we can change the matter. I'm not saying I don't make them apologize. It's just that seems to be my go to response. And why is that? They ARE good kids. Wild, creative, spicy, loud, funny, rambunctious kids. I don't want to make excuses for them. But sometimes, they need to be defended. They need to know that no matter what, mommy has their back. (Even if they don't always have mine and might actually jump on it when I am not looking).

GingersMom - the eternal work in progress.


mary said...

Excellent post, my dear. And I heartily agree. I specifically remember the day, a few years back, when it dawned on me that I was more likely to excuse ANOTHER kid/person/adult's behavior than my own child. Since then I've worked to bring both extremes into balance. Grace and correction have to hang close on the pendulum or else they turn into excuses and abuse. I want my kiddos to know that I will treat them fairly and with respect. And as you said--they're just KIDS!

Danifred said...

The accusers make me nuts. I don't understand why it is so hard for parents to accept responsibility for their parenting. Are some people just that shallow and unable to be insightful?

(And to answer your consignment question- the sale only happens twice a year and they having "opening night"... hence the madness!)

Lael said...

Spicy Kids,what a perfect term:)
I'm an apologizer,trying to let go of that here too!

Mike, Nicki, and the boys said...

Then there are show boat parenting parents.....the ones who remind their children to do the right thing not to be good parents but rather they can show everyone else what a fabulous job in parenting they do.....ie: Telling their 12 month old to say "thank you" and "excuse me" and "I'm sorry" or, "remember we share" "oh, sit on your bottom".....over and over and over again in a high pitched annoying voice. Oy vey. This may fall a little into the first time parent thing.

Caro said...

What an awesome post. Since I am the mom of two strong-willed children, you have given me a lot of food for thought.