As the mother of 3 boys, and having had my hand in raising a few other pretty awesome people, one might think I had the “not raising a crappy person” thing figured out. I mean, I have 2 adult children and nieces who are text-book examples of not a crappy person. So the 3rd boy should easy peazzy….right?
One would think.
Bu kids are all different. I’m sure you have heard the saying you can’t put your foot in the same river twice? Yeah well, that applies to kids also.
Back to boy 3.
He’s a smart kid. He has been known to convince me to do some crazy things using his well articulated, heart-felt, ability to communicate. So you understand when I say to this brilliant boy of mine: “tell me 3 things you are grateful for today” and he replies “I don’t know.” It left me a little confused.
Hummmm, let me think about this….we have done this about 1000 times in your life, I am pretty sure you do know.
But I play along. I list several things he could be grateful for and say again: “tell me 3 things you are grateful for.”
Again…..”I don’t know.”
He will not answer. What he does communicate very effectively is this: he is not being forced to take part in this gratitude practice. He is not mad or upset or emotional. He just point-blank will not engage in the conversation.
D@mn this kid!
After some serious soul-searching: I had an epiphany. I was doing exactly what I hate to see other parents do.
I was trying to make him me.
I cringe when I see parents engaging in this. Be it sports, academics, looks, talents: whatever it is: I watch these poor kids squirm under their parent’s expectations. Always striving to meet the expectations set for them. Or, as boy 3 did, they completely refuse to participate.
I was sitting on my spiritual high horse, doing exactly what I judge other parents for doing.
D@mn,the kid ain’t the problem, it’s me!
I was making this parenting gig harder than it is. He doesn’t have to grow up to be Gandhi or Eckhart Tolle. My deepest desire for the children I love is for them to acquire one thing: happiness.
And accomplish one goal:
Don’t be a crappy person.
Examples of crappy people? Think ISIS, Nazi’s, Westboro Baptist Church, child molesters: all the obvious ones. Then the less obvious, the one making fun of the gay kid, or chubby kid, really anyone that is making fun of another is pretty much a crappy person.
You may also quality as crappy if you witness someone being harmed and do nothing. We can’t stop all the bullies of the world: but we can make sure their victims do not have to stand alone.
I am slightly overly judgmental on this one; but, if the shoe fits,……….those who litter, crappy people.
My sister used to say “You can tell all you need to know about a person that litters: they are self-absorbed and lazy.” I would change it to “they are self-absorbed, lazy, and pretty much a crappy person.”
So how, boy 3, are you not to turn into a crappy person?
I have a few simple suggestions.
Cause no harm. Even if it is a spider on the sidewalk: it is not right to kill something just because you are afraid of it. Now, if that spider is in your bathtub, different story. It invaded your space and we all have to have safe spaces.
Realize you are no more, or less, important than anyone else. Unless there is a tree branch impaled in your body or a bone protruding from your leg: your needs and wants are no more important than everyone else’s. Don’t get me wrong, your needs and wants should be taken into account, but no more than anyone else.
Be the one that says “no more” when a crappy person is spewing their crappiness on others. Even if you feel scared and your voice is shaking. Speak up. Being afraid, and doing what’s right anyways, means you are brave and the ultimate not crappy person! If you get suspended, punched in the face, or something equally horrible for being a brave and not crappy person: I will take you to Disney World. I promise
Pick the kid that never gets picked. Pick her because you know she sucks at sports or can’t spell worth a lick. She needs it more than you need to win that spelling bee or soccer game. Trust me on this, she needs it!
Give of your time, talents, or treasures. Give till it hurts, then sit back and learn the joy of giving. Few things in life can make you feel that good!
Put down your phone and talk to your grandparents. You will miss them when they are gone.
Help the pregnant woman, with the 3 screaming kids, that everyone is avoiding like the plague, load her groceries. You might be the reminder she needs that this parenting crap is hard, but it will be worth it in the end. You also might help her be more kind and patient with her children because you cared enough to help.
Don’t tolerate gossip. Small minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas. Brilliant ,not crappy minds, discuss Harry Potter. 🙂
Say please and thank you, with sincerity, especially to the person being paid to help you. Working with the public is hard work with little pay. Plus, crappy people tend to make service workers lives hell. Eat your burger with the unwanted ketchup on it, it won’t kill you, I promise. Or don’t eat it, you won’t starve to death. That little 16-year-old up there with 5 people in line, one crappy person yelling at her, and 3 others impatiently waiting: really needs you to not complain about the ketchup.
Show up when you say you will. You are only as good as your word.
Enjoy differences in people, recognizing, deep down, we are all the same. When you are in the company of someone who you cannot tell their gender, or they are covered in tattoos, or they have a red dot on their forehead, or wearing a burka, or their hair is shaven, or it’s bright purple and down to their feet:
Please for the love of all things holy: nod, say hello, and move on. It is none of your business.
Don’t complain. There are 2 acceptable reasons for complaints to people outside of your family. (Even to your family do so sparingly.) 1. The person you are talking with is paid to fix what is ailing you. 2. You have a solution for your complaint, and you are willing to invest your time and effort into fixing the problem. If your complaint doesn’t fall into these two categories: shut it up buttercup.
*of course the branch impaled in your body, broken bone, or similar, scenarios, null and voids this suggestion.
Be kind. if you employed this one thing in your every action and conversations, it would make you not a crappy person. You wouldn’t even need all the other suggestions.
Take responsibilities for your mistakes. If you screwed it up, say so, learn the lesson, move on. Please, please, please, boy number 3, don’t be the person who misses the football and blames the quarterback, even if it WAS a bad throw. Your Momma is begging you! Own it. I missed the ball. I didn’t study for the test. I misjudged the situation. I spoke about something I didn’t understand. I was lazy and didn’t show up. JUST OWN IT!
Listen Hear what people are saying. Stop, look them in the eye, see them and hear them. They are sharing their story with you because they trust you with it. Be deserving of that trust.
Last but not least.
Once you proof you are dealing with a crappy person, give them one more chance. They may have had a hard day, or month, or life. Second time, walk away. Period. No explanation needed.
Because dear, sweet, boy: when you mess with crap, you end up smelling like sh!t!
Thank you for reading my words, it humbles me. If you enjoyed shares and likes are appreciated, never expected.
Sending you love and prayers for peace,