Shifting the Blame

October 28, 2009 at 8:51 pm 1 comment

I was reading a post over at http://iambarkingmad.com and I found myself absolutely incensed and flabbergasted as this mother.  Not only is she using the internet to air dirty laundry (which admittedly, even I have done, see the post below), but she is calling out her daughter’s friends and saying exactly why they are irresponsible teenagers/young adults and shouldn’t be allowed to hang around her children.

“Meaghan is an adult now and can and pretty much does whatever she wants, so my sphere of influence over her isn’t the same as it is with Gaby.  To that end I only want the best influences in Gaby’s life.  I’m fighting for my own life right now and trying, desperately to get my own shit together.  I don’t need people who aren’t making the wisest decisions having any influence over her at all.”

In just two sentences, her daughters go from smart responsible young women to totally incapable of encountering negative influences.  The world is not a perfect place and often – bad things happen.  People make mistakes, especially teenagers, that is part of growing up.  You also cannot control every aspect of your child’s life, down to their friends, because not only is that doing them a disservice of not giving them the chance to make mistakes and learn and grow from them – it isn’t realistic.  By coddling and sheltering your child, you are not giving them the tools to handle things on their own.

“You sold Meaghan a car that you knew had more wrong with it than just bad brakes and issues with the fuel line.  When she took it into a reputable shop to have the brakes repaired they wouldn’t even give it back to her because it is, “A death trap with a list so long of things wrong with it that there was no way whoever sold this to her, couldn’t have known about!”

If your daughter is buying her first car and isn’t the world’s youngest mechanic, perhaps you should go with her and appraise the vehicle before she purchases it.  You cannot blame someone else for your daughter purchasing said car without doing any research.  Again, this is a mistake she made and she will learn from it.  She will not, however, learn from her mistake if you blame this person that sold her the car.  Or have you not heard of the phrase caveat emptor. Buyer beware.

“As for You, you took something entirely personally when it had nothing to do with you, yet everything to do with Gareth and I, as parents, responding to something Meaghan did that we weren’t pleased with.  It didn’t affect you in any way.  As a result, you totally ignored a child, nay, a three year old, who went out of her mind with excitement when she saw you – all because you were pissed of at me, for making a decision which has absolutely ZERO to do with you.  You upset a child who loves you and treats you like an older brother.  Gaby was gutted that you acted that way and she thought she had done something wrong. “

So, basically teenagers/young adults should never be moody or not in the mood to see a three-year old? Really? Overlooking the fact that teenagers have racing hormones that adds to their moody and sullen behaviour, not everyone wants to be around children all the time and they shouldn’t have to fake it.  Three-year olds are also pretty resilient, your daughter will never remember what happened unless you dwell on it and post it on the internet where it will stay forever.  Oh right. You already did that.

“It’s really hard for me to sit back and read some of your status updates on Facebook, knowing you’re either shitfaced, hungover, or about to be.   I’m 99% certain you’d never come over and watch Gaby while you were under the influence of anything, but in the end, I want to be 100% certain… Despite it being tres chic to drink when you’re still underage, it’s a huge HELL NO! in my book.   I need to foster responsible behavior around Gaby.  I also need those who are around her to do the same.  And in the end, I’m just not that interested in reading about you getting drunk.  I’d like to remain in my blissful little bubble of ignorance that you are this perfect college sophomore who would never think of doing anything potentially dangerous.”

This really really gets me.  Not only do most college students drink, they typically drink as soon as they get to college.  It does not make them bad people, especially not when you consider the fact that the rest of the world has a significantly younger drinking age than the United States.  People who drink underage (and are college SOPHOMORES) are typically old enough to understand when drinking is appropriate and when it is not.  Drinking underage also does not mean that you automatically become an irresponsible person in every aspect of your life.

I started drinking at the age of 18, after I graduated from high school.  I was never drunk until I got to college, but over the summer prior to my freshman year, I would have one or two at a party.  I have never driven drunk. I have never shown up drunk to work and I have never ever assumed that just because someone has alcohol before the legal drinking age that it makes them a horrible person in every aspect of their personality and their life. I never did any of those things because it’s irresponsible.  It really is none of your business what someone does outside of the hours they are in contact with you unless it directly affects you.  Basically, you just don’t want to know how the real world works and assume the worst about everyone.

I’d love to hear what your daughter thinks about this  – I’m guessing she’s absolutely mortified that you went on the internet and publicly shamed her friends.  Did you ask her permission before you posted this diatribe condemning young adults for being just that – young adults?  Was it worth it to air your grievances at the expense of your daughter’s respect and those of her future friends?  I know I would never want to be friends with a girl whose mother thinks it’s appropriate to berate me on her website instead of being the adult she supposedly is and talking about it face to face.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Success  |  October 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Oh dear, it sounds as if you are also upset. It will only bring more upset.

    Reply

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