People Frustrate Me!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by chrisdog01, May 15, 2008.

  1. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    I get so frustrated and mad when people say the reason kids act out, get in trouble, etc. is because of the parents. Obviously the people who say this all have easy child's, right?

    I belong to a message board for my area of town. Overall it's a great board with lots of community info, people just chatting, etc. Quite often people will ask about different situations such as vandalism, burglaries, etc., and 80% of the responses are that this is caused by teenagers who have parents that don't care about them. Usually I just let the whole thing go. But not today! Today there was a post about some kids that were detained by the police department during school hours for attempted burglary. Several people made comments about "where are the parents", "why haven't they done their job", "their parents probably don't care about them", etc. The one that really ****** me off today was that when kids get in legal trouble then the parents should be legally responsible and either get arrested or cited. WTF??

    So I guess when my 18 year old difficult child got arrested for receiving stolen property and auto theft while cutting school, my husband and I also should have been arrested? Gee, we just didn't raise him right, so we should suffer the consequences of his actions. Bummer for us. :furious:

    This is another reason why I love this board. All those yahoos elsewhere don't get us and our situations. (Boy, I'm in a really foul mood today.)
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Maybe they should arrest the teachers. They are in charge of the kids during school hours. (Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it??)
  3. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I totally agree, Chrisdog! You are so right--people always assume that a "bad" kid has parents who don't care or who are "bad" themselves. I remember telling parents when my difficult child 1 was in middle school and high school that my kid was the one other parents didn't want their kid to hang out with--she was a bad influence. I sort of got an evil satisfaction out of that because she did not come from the stereotypical "bad" family!

  4. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    Too funny, I've used the same line except to my mother. Whenever our son has gotten in trouble or done something wrong she says he needs to get away from his friends because they are a bad influence. And I have to remind her, no, N is the bad influence. Now that you mentioned it, it was kind of an evil satisfaction (even though it was my mother, but she isn't very supportive anyway).
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Don't even get me started with this. I could go on for hours...and hours...and hours! My all time pet peeve. Grrrrrr
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    A good response always for me has been -

    Well I THINK we should STONE THAT KID's PARENTS - Here - who will cast the first one? :confused:

    If any reply is made after that - then its good to add -

    Aren't you lucky that nothing bad in your children's life has ever affected anyone else where you were judged. WOW.
    Must be great to be you.

    When Dude was arraigned the detective called ALL the "victims" of the crime and asked them to show up in court. Only for MY son - not the other two. My son was the lookout for the home invasion/robberies - and the only one to fess up to his role. He was given a HUGE fine/stiff penalties and now is a convicted felon. We really had a lousy PD.

    My DF went to court and said the Sneers and stares and ugly looks from the victims were meant to shame Dude - if he had any shame. But no one EVER told those people that he was NOT EVER IN their houses - it was the other two children that went in, broke doors, windows and stole their stuff. And they were both on probation. Nothing EVER happened to them. The older of the 2 did spend about 10 days in Department of Juvenile Justice - my son spent 95.

    When it was going around the area that my kid was a thief - I told my son to tell people who were judgemental - "Must be nice to never have gotten caught at making a mistake in your entire life." A lot of people write themselves a ticket of exemption to judgement - not because they've never done a bad thing -but because they've been doing it for so long, never gotten caught - it's almost okay to continue doing it.

    I dont' want to be judged so I try not to judge. There are always exceptions - and there is a lot of wrong in the world today. I saw on a shirt one day - My biggest disability is YOUR ATTITUDE.

    Most times when people post stuff that is ugly or judgemental it's best just to sit back and thank our higher power for the ability to have compassion and understanding. Sometimes that has to be more than getting angry at ignorance.

  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    This sort of thing is so idiotic that you really don't want me to climb up on my soapbox about it. Heck, I thought it was stupid back when I was a teen. sheesh!

    We had a big debate about this topic in psychiatric class. Those holding this opinion got an earfull, let me tell you. lol And I noticed that those with this opinion tended to either still have very young children (so no experience) or were people that keep their head in the sand over their kids behavior. (benefit of small town, most of us know each other)
  8. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    Like a fool, today I read the message board that got me all started on this thread about people talking about raising kids. Someone responded that yes, I am correct that SOME parents help their kids, but it's not all of them. And then they went on to say that if I would spend more time trying to help my kids instead of complaining how are it is to be a parent, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, I'm sure you probably heard the sound of my head spinning around on my neck because I came unglued. Normally I don't get involved in debates like this or express my opinion to others that I don't know personally. But this time, whatch out! I replied that I was only making a point not to judge others until you know all the details of their situtation, I wasn't looking to be attached on my parenting skills. I also indicated that I have parented my child to the very best of my ability and taught him right from wrong, but in the end he is making poor choices. It's not an excuse, it just is what it is.

    I haven't read any replies since then, but am curious to see what comes next.

    The funny thing is that this is a nice community forum for our part of town. We talk about new restaurants, movies, television shows, school events, etc. Not sure what happened with this topic. Oh well.
  9. mary9461

    mary9461 trying to hang on

    I know what you mean. My difficult child's Step-Mother will not let him come to her home because she has a younger son (14). My difficult child's father won't stand up to her. I told my ex that I really hope his wife's son never gets into any trouble. This woman has been in my son's life since he was 4 years old he is now 20. I just want to apoligize to her for not being a perfect parent like her, but I did the best I could alone because she had my difficult child's father to help with her son. It's real easy for people to sit back a judge when they have no clue as to the life you have with a difficult child.
  10. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    Hi-Had to share this article from it really hits home.

    (This was written by John Clayton a member of the Bridge to Hope Family Support Group. The group meets 7 PM every Wednesday in the Donor Hall Conference Room at UPMC Passavant Hospital - all are welcome)

    It was just another Monday evening after a hard day at work. Dinner was over and it was time to take a look at today’s newspaper and spend a little quiet time in “decompression mode.” There were all the usual national headlines and stories, a piece on road construction and when we might get some relief from it, re-caps of yesterday’s sports events, the editorials, the comics and local news. It was the local news that caught my attention that evening.

    Yet another 19-year-old had been brutally murdered in his car in one of the more dangerous local neighborhoods. Police who were investigating the scene reported that numerous traces of drugs and paraphernalia were found in the vehicle and speculated to the reporter that the murder had all the earmarks of a drug deal gone bad or possibly that the victim had defaulted on a drug debt. In looking into the victim’s background, speaking with former classmates and neighbors, the reporter learned that the victim did indeed have a drug problem and it had been manifest since the age of fourteen.

    I remember saying to myself, “What a tragedy…..19 years old, and life is over for this poor soul. What pain must the victim have suffered during that 5-year period and what pain must have been felt by the family.” I also remember saying to myself, “Thank God it wasn’t my son who died.”

    After reading that jolting news and internalizing my reaction to it, I wrapped up my evening and went to bed and didn’t think much more about the story until a couple of days later, when in the “letters to the editor” section, there appeared a letter from a subscriber that was titled “Where Were The Parents?” The body of the letter took on an indignant but sincere tone as it expressed outrage and anger that the parents of this pitiful victim could have “let it happen,” the “it” being drug addiction. Although the letter’s primary question showed ignorance of the problem, it was a reasonable and understandable question to ask if the writer had never been confronted with the challenges of an addicted family member. As far as I know, no one ever responded to that rhetorical question. Here is the response I should have sent in to the paper:

    “Where were the parents?” you ask. Let me tell you from personal experience where the parents were and how they “let it happen.”

    They were both there in the delivery room that exciting day 19 years ago. Not only were the parents there, but also both sets of grandparents and a number of jubilant aunts, uncles and friends. The birth of that bouncing baby was heralded by the new parents as the high point of their lives as they rejoiced in the miracle that was that child.

    Where were the parents? They were there when the baby needed food and shelter. They were there when the baby needed love, attention and care. They were prepared to sacrifice anything to assure that their child had the necessities of life and more.

    They were there with camera in hand on the very first day of school. They were sad/happy as they watched their little tyke ascend the steps of the school bus and wave from inside. They were also there at the end of that day to greet their rapidly growing child and share the excitement and wonder of this new stage of life. This same enthusiasm for supporting their child/student continued throughout elementary and middle school. They were there to help with homework, to give advice on “pressing” social issues, to condemn disrespectful, violent and profane music and videos. They were there to celebrate successes and to counsel and coach in areas where help was needed. They shared the “heartbreak” of the first failed romance and provided positive reinforcement for every productive accomplishment. They encouraged independent thought and the questioning of things “as they are” as opposed to how they “might be.” Further, they exposed their child to music lessons, basketball camp, and other extra-curricular activities to enable discovery of any hidden or obvious talent. And yes, they spoiled their child too…by buying the “right” brand of clothes, the latest video system, the “best” games, a cool stereo system, a portable CD player….the “necessities” of teenage life. Yes, the parents were there for all of that.

    They were also there the day a little plastic bag with grains of marijuana in the bottom was discovered on the floor of their child’s room. There was an almost immediate denial of the obvious….this situation CAN’T be what it appears to be. Our child just wouldn’t do this. When the confrontation occurred, the child’s denial of any knowledge of how that bag got where it was found satisfied the parents because it confirmed their strong belief in their child. And then there was the next bag. And the bag after that. And then the pills. And then the alcohol. After each discovery, the truth became more ominous, the reality of the situation more undeniable and the resulting discipline more severe.

    The parents were there that day in the high school guidance counselor’s office when the first discussion of poor attendance and declining grades occurred. They were there to double their efforts helping their child to turn things around, to make a commitment to improvement and to get assurance from their child that changes would be made. All of the normal discipline was intensified….withholding privileges, removal of video games from the house, denial of use of the stereo, no TV, and “grounding.”

    The parents were also there at the school a few weeks later when it became clear that their efforts had been futile and that their child needed in-patient rehabilitation. The trip to the school that day to sign the withdrawal papers was as onerous and sad as attending a funeral, but it was necessary and critical to saving the child’s life. They expressed their contempt for the lifestyle their child had adopted but reinforced their love and hope as they traveled the 85 miles to the rehab facility…and traveled it again every weekend over the next four weeks for visits.

    Those four weeks of “clean time” and counseling really seemed to make a difference. The child came home with a fresh outlook and a determination to “get better.” Faithful attendance in night classes at the local community college, a resulting high score on the GED test, and the awarding of a state-certified high school diploma all added to the sense of direction and accomplishment. Narcotics Anonymous meetings, a sponsor, a job and a purpose all seemed to be converging to bring closure to this horrible chapter in the parents’ and the child’s lives. Love, hope, encouragement, support and celebration were the order of the day as things started to return to “normal.”

    The parents were also there when the relapses began. They were there to help their child attend weekly appointments with a psychologist. Although disappointed and yes, even discouraged, they were there with more support, love, and understanding, while never giving up or losing hope. In this stage of reinforcement of the principles that had been counseled in the rehabilitation center and by the psychologist, the clean time lasted nearly two years and it looked like the crisis might really be over this time.

    They were also there that day, after two years of relative peace, when once again money was missing from their home along with the home theater, digital camera, and jewelry. They were also there that day to observe the needle tracks on their child’s arms from heroin usage after rescuing him from a “crack” house. It seemed like the end of life itself.

    Where were the parents? They were there the entire time, doing what parents do. They went to work, went shopping, took an occasional vacation, pursued some of their own interests, but through it all, they NEVER lost sight of their primary responsibility: raising their child to be a responsible citizen. They supervised their child’s development as attentively and competently as anyone could expect, and they did it ungrudgingly; in fact, enthusiastically. Nonetheless, the addiction occurred, the consequences were paid, and the struggle continued.

    The next time you read about someone of any age, who was involved in a drug-related episode, please don’t immediately assume that there were negligent parents responsible for the outcome. Our son, who recently graduated from the Teen Challenge one-year faith-based substance abuse recovery program and who is about to turn 22, has given testimony in front of large crowds in churches all over the country, and to us directly, that it was NOT his parents’ fault…that the choices he made were his and his alone. Today, he is once again back on track, for which we are VERY thankful. But our vigilance in fulfilling our parental obligation is not over….it will be with us for as long as we live.

    The typical parent of an addict looks and acts just like the typical parent of a child without this problem, with hopes, dreams and aspirations and a commitment to help their child achieve his or her full potential in life. The parents of addicts are our friends, our neighbors, members of our church, colleagues at work and regular folks with whom we interact every day. They are no different than any other parent….except for the challenge they courageously face every day and the tenacity with which they confront it.

    Hang in there - you are not alone.
  11. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    Wow Nola, what a great article. It was so close to home and everything I ever wanted to say (and it made me cry).
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    So, if our child grows up to be a well respected judge who is happy at home and at work, we can say "That was entirely my doing. She had nothing whatsoever to do with it and I made all of her life choices." Right?

    Why do people think that the knife only cuts one way?
  13. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    That is just sheer stupidity on their part to make that kind of comment. Its nice to know some people in this world go to sleep in perfect peace and don't have to worry about what their kid will do next. Or beat them selves up every day asking "where did I go wrong?" or have to go to therapy themselves just to deal with all the trauma their kids have caused. why can't they take a minute and imagine what life is like in our shoes?