Several readers have sent email messages regarding the article entitled: “What Happened to Accountability.” In one email, the writer, (she whom will not be named), referred to her children as “accidents.”
Disappointing, very disappointing, this calls for a “soapbox” moment. This reader apparently just did not get it. In the same email, she hurled outrageously offensive insults at her children. Her words were like darts. She called her youngest a little “bad-(you know what)” and her oldest much worse. (Clearly she was having a bad day.)
Reader, HOW DARE YOU! How dare you spew that word vomit about your own children? They already have to deal with name-calling from outsiders, that shouldn’t be a concern with their parents. Maybe you share in the blame as to why your son is a “bad-(you know what)”. Ever think about that? He probably is a little monster, but stop talking trash and start looking in the mirror. Check yourself and your parenting skills. Maybe you can help turn him around like a good mommy. Put a little more effort in your job and maybe you can help him become a good person. Do you set limits? Do you teach values?
Secondly, there are no accidents. It’s a bit irresponsible to refer to your children as accidents, as not only the reader but several parents tend to do. If you were not forced, you are not a victim. If you were careless, you are not a victim. Your pregnancy is the result of your own careless behavior. You’re responsible for the hand you were dealt. Don’t blame your children for your bad behavior.
In most cases, people make a conscious decision to have children. In fact, the reader wrote about how she and her husband tried for years to conceive. How can the products of that work be described as accidental? So now that the fruit of your labor is before you, and they aren’t perfect, you want to trade them in? This isn’t lay-away. This is life. Nothing and no one is perfect. Not even you.
Remember the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” That saying is a load of crap. Names hurt worse than sticks and stones. You can heal from sticks and stones but some names hurt to the bone.
As parents, it’s our responsibility to uplift our children, support and encourage them… be their cheerleaders and number one fans. They look to us for that. They look to us for approval. It is a basic need. And if they don’t get it at home, they will look for it somewhere else, guaranteed. That’s something you don’t want. So, think about that the next time you are about to refer to your child as an “accident”. Put yourself in their shoes. We don’t do that enough. This might be the digital age, but the drama is the same from generation to generation. We had similar problems growing up… peer pressure, boyfriend/girlfriend bull crap, butting heads with mom or dad, teachers, the pressures of school, fitting in, academics… our kids are going through the same things. So, think back on your adolescent life and try to be a little understanding. You needed support and encouragement, and hopefully you got it from your parents or grandparents, or aunts/uncles… or some other adult who was instrumental in molding your life. Your child needs the same grooming.
Another reader, John wrote: “Regina, I loved your article on accountability. Being a dad is the hardest job I’ve ever had. I can’t wait for it to be over.” Well, here’s the bad news John… it’s never over. It’s your job for life. But it’s a great job, filled with some sorrow but lots of good times.
John is not alone. So many parents are just counting down the days. They believe they’ll receive their “freedom flag” once their kids turn 18. It doesn’t work like that. If you’ve given birth to a child or adopted a child, you will always be a parent, somebody’s mom or dad until the day you die. It’s a choice you made and it’s a choice you have to live with. It’s a huge responsibility that too many of us take lightly. Children will always need something whether it’s advice, a shoulder to cry on, reassurance, or just someone in their corner. And it is our responsibility to be what they need, no matter how old they get. It’s called love and children never grow out of love. (Don’t forget money… they’ll need that too for awhile and possibly a home. But there comes a time when the chick has to leave the nest and the money train eventually has to come to a stop— let’s be real.)
Another reader wrote, “I’m so grateful my daughter chose me to be her mother.” Angela went on to say that she believes children pick their parents. That’s a nice notion to have. Not trying to burst Angela’s bubble, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there are countless children who unfortunately are growing up in abusive homes and surely feel like they drew the short stick when it came to their parents. And thus our purpose: to help the folks with the short sticks and each other.
We so enjoy your feedback. Happy reading.