So today, my thirteen year-old son (DSI) was treated badly by one of his friends. It wasn’t an overt action of meanness or exclusion like we hear about in parenting blogs. Those ones are easier to illustate how to stand up for oneself. It was simply disrespect of his time and feelings. Because he can’t drive, I am responsible for getting him to his social obligations. It was also then disrespect of MY time and feelings. How do you handle it when a thirteen year-old boy who doesn’t belong to you pisses you off?
I totally buy into the village raising a kid thing. And I expect when I’m not around my kids that any adults who are, would be looking out for their well-being. I do the same when my kids have their friends over – I make sure everyone stays alive and I expect everyone to be friendly and respectful. I’m in a community where I think we all do. So I don’t know how to react when the slight is nuanced enough that the other parent either doesn’t see it or notice it – or maybe even care.
My modus-operandi for most negative feelings is to hold onto them forever and let them fester in my head while I think up pithy comebacks or oratories that would work the next time something exactly like this happens. But that requires the exact same people and the exact same situation and I never seem to encounter the exact same details in anything. Even in a load of laundry there is always a different pair of underwear or single sock than the last time you thought you washed that exact same load of laundry.
In other words, my holding on to these feelings never really works out for me. So we’re back to my control issues and allowing my kids to fight their own battles and when to know they are not yet mature enough to handle a particular battle on their own.
And you know what really chaps my hide?! I bet DSI doesn’t even know he was treated badly. I can’t wait to explain it to him and make him feel bad about it.
Oh – maybe I get it now.