Thursday, February 16, 2012

My rebuttal.

This has been going around Pinterest and Facebook for weeks and weeks now.

To each his own.  


But I feel compelled to offer up some different thoughts.

I know there are so many of us out there who don't feel this way at all.
I dedicate this to all of you.
To all of you, but most of all to the children.

(Click on it to enlarge.)


If you like this, I ask that you Pin it and/or post it to your Facebook page.

I think there needs to be another side to the story.


  1. I pinned this a while back but in honesty I guess I didn't read it closely enough because doing so now I feel pretty icky about it! haha
    I read it initially like "I am not your friend" meaning not like how a "friend" would stand by and let you do something that hurts because they don't have the relationship to you that allows them to step over those boundaries and ask "What the hell do you think you're doing?" when you try to drive drunk or something. Same with the "hunt you down when needed." I took it to mean, when you run away and shut everything out, I will find you and help you. I think we all read this from a personal perspective as well. I wish my parents had cared enough to hunt me down when I ran away, or guided me in a firm way. They kind of left me to flail and find my own way, which didn't feel secure/safe to me at all. You know I'm a free mama though, I definitely don't try and over-control my dudes, they're pretty free range. Hopefully I'll never need to decide whether to stalk my kids to try to save them from an ill-fated situation or not. *shudder*
    Anyway, thanks for bringing this perspective! It's one I relate too a lot more sincerely then the former!

  2. I don't know how to PIN or Facebook but I will certainly keep these words in my heart.
    I hope you and Roo know this is how I feel about both of you. No matter how old your children are they are still your children and I wish goodness and love for you all through the coming years.
    I think the Valentine in question is dreadful and not funny at all.

  3. Hear, hear. I thought this was creepy when I read it, too. What I got: "I know what's best for you and always will and nobody will ever love you as much as I do." Jeez, guilt trip much?

  4. This reminds me of something my old boss said about members of her congregation. She said that they're tough on their kids and spank them, but their kids know they are loved. It struck me as very, very odd, but I didn't know why until somewhat recently. Is it wise/good/wholesome for spanking and physical violence to be equated with love? What kind of life lesson is being taught?

    I suppose the same is potentially happening here. Love is stalking, flipping out, and lecturing according to the first.

    I much prefer your manifesto.

  5. Hils,

    I think you and I have discussed before that we could have used more parental guidance so I know what you're getting at. It's the control essence and language that is so disturbing to me. "Stalk/prey/flip out/drive you insane." I just LONG for people to think about the violence associated with these words that they're using with regard to children. I think that being a real friend and parent would include being firm with you when needed. I have some very, very true friends and they have been firm with me many times and I am so grateful for that. I'm glad you got something out of my thoughts on it. xoxoxo

    MerryMerry - No matter how old I am, I am always your little girl.

    Nan - Right? I think there's a book that some woman wrote and this is from that. UGH.

    NotSoAngry - Oh girl, don't get me started. How about the concept that you should always spank your children with a %&*$ instrument of some kind because "hands are for loving not for spanking." That is beyond disgusting to me. Physical violence = Love? I don't think so. Ever.

  6. Well, I *have* been known to hit the clubs with my kids on rare occasions. Karaoke once. (See photo of my drunk daughters at Dolce Vita).

    Re: spanking. My neighbor (also a single mom) had two horrible* boys, and from time to time in desperate anger would beat them "because they drove me to it." I explained to her my theory that (a) rather than demonstrating that she was in charge, or must be obeyed, or whatever, she was teaching them that if you get mad enough, it's OK to hit, and (b) anyway, you can only hit so hard ... what do you do when that doesn't work anymore?

    I took (and still take) very seriously my job as role-model and believe that kids learn from what they see much more than what they hear. Now that they're 25, I can relax and be a little less "perfect" in my example. Ha.

    By the way, those "horrible" boys seem to have both turned out to be pretty nice young men. So go figure.


  7. Nan - I hope to get down to some karoke with finn some day! hahah. By the time he's that age, it will probably be some futuristic chip implanted in my arm or something. haha. And, you know, I know kids who were beaten senseless as kids and they turned out fine. I knew kids who were never hit and they turned out fine. So, who the hell knows? I just know I can't hit another person and feel good about myself. Times change, thank goodness.

  8. I love your rebuttal so much Michele. And the thing is...sometimes, I am the flipping out Mama. Sometimes, I am. And then I apologize. And sometimes my girls are the flipping out children...Sometimes, they are. And then they apologize. But I think the thing that we strive for in our household, a household of big personalities and big energy, is the recognition that we are all perfectly imperfect. We love each other. And we know that flipping out is not the path. And so as you say we honestly try to do better. We don't justify it. We don't talk it into being okay. That is what this poster is saying to me. It is saying that because I'm your parent and I love you, I can treat you irresponsibly and disrespectfully. It is saying, I assume that you are not a responsible human being unless you prove differently. I prefer the assumption that my children are trustworthy so that they will live up to that expectation. Love ya. Nice post, Mama.

  9. Your manifesto is beautiful, Michele, as are you. :-)

  10. you are so right! it seems that the folks i know who have posted these words, would actually never do any of it. it's as if posting on facebook, or even uttering these words out loud make them better parents. thanks for the rebuttal, it makes me feel like there is still some sanity in the world!

  11. But ... I have *never* hit my kids with clubs!

  12. Well said, Mama! Hey, in order to pin it, it needs to be a picture type file, jpg or whatever. Feel like making one up? :)

  13. Oh my God, I needed to hear that today.

    Brava Lady - well said.

    (PS) - SOAP giveaway over at my blog. You gave me the idea, so go on over and enter!

  14. When I saw this making the FB rounds, it didn't sit well with me but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. (I think because the friends posting it aren't emotionally abusive, controlling parents.) You've helped me figure it out. Yes, I like your manifesto much better. Language matters. Always.

  15. You know, I actually shared this on my FB wall, not because I think it reflected some profound, imperious truth, but because it made me laugh. I have a 16 year old son, who has mucho freedom and much love and support, and who believes he is old enough to do what he wants when he wants, that his parents are idiots, and that he knows how to take care of himself. It does take a lot of energy and LOVE to enforce healthy boundaries and try to keep your kids from dropping out of school, getting wasted and hurting themselves or others, and so on and so forth.
    Mutual trust is great, but when the teens years kick in, you just may have to up the ante. Teenagers are not just big kids, or little adults, and they reason like neither. Many go through a period where they have seriously impaired reasoning and thought processes.
    So when I saw the original, it made me laugh about my own situation.
    So, I don't know. When you're in the middle of raising a formerly really cute, loving kid who is now teenager (and if you're not there yet and your kids are still sweet children, enjoy it - maybe you won't have these problems) it helps to have a good laugh about what it takes and what it sometimes feels like.
    No, I'm not my teenager's friend, nor would he want me to be.
    Do I hunt my son down? No. But when he didn't come home one night, I found a a way to hunt down the number of the person at whose house I believed he was and got ahold of him by phone. I guess you could call that stalking, too.
    Do I flip out on him? Sure, when I find out he and his friends took a bottle of hooch from the liquor cabinet and polished it off in one night or when he misses his make-up test at school for THE THIRD TIME because he was "toot tired" to get out of bed? Ya. I flip out.
    Sometimes we gotta' laugh a little about this parenting stuff and not take internet jokes too seriously. In an ideal world, I'm all about all the wonderful sentiments in the rebuttal, and of course, that' what we strive for.
    But in the real world, I get a good laugh out of sharing my role as the mom of an "interesting" teenager with other parents who also need a laugh.


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