Ok, time to get real. I love my kids.
That’s why I have decided to stop relying on yours.
Don’t get me wrong—I use the word “your” collectively. I’m talking to all of you. The kids of the single mom. The kids of the single dad. The big happy family. The kids with two moms or two dads. The guardians and caregivers, or the foster parents (thank you—you’re amazing). I simply can’t rely on your child. Or any of them, for that matter.
Why? Because it is MY job to make sure my children are respectful, mind their P’s and Q’s, and practice behavior that aligns with the character development that I have set before them.
Where do your kids come in? Glad you asked. They are YOUR kids. I am responsible for mine. You’ve got yours. Your kids are awesome. They make my heart happy. They have beautiful smiles and say funny things. A 7 year old told me an awesome joke yesterday. She wasn’t my kid, but she was really cool. Your kids bring joy to the people around them. They have after-school activities and homework. They request waffles for breakfast, then decide they want eggs as soon as the Eggo’s pop out of the toaster. They’re pretty kick-ass.
I have decided that I am going to stop trying to change the world by relying on other people’s kids to set examples for mine. I am doing the best I can do, day by day. My kids are a direct reflection of ME. When people see my family in public and one of the kids starts acting crazy, people are looking at ME.
It’s up to me to make sure that they are upstanding citizens, take instruction, stand up for themselves, and know right from wrong. Sure, there are other influences in their lives, but as their mother, I feel responsible.
I understand that that my children could be molded through their peers.
No matter to what extent they are molded, it is still up to me to make sure that I am with them every step of the way, guiding and helping. Their character development happens in everyday life. At the breakfast table. In classes at the gym. While holding doors open for their elders.
Even though I can’t rely on your kids, I do know one thing:
You are doing the same thing I am.
You’re making sure your kids are living life at their highest potential. And you know what? You’ve got this. We’ve got this.
And here’s the thing: I don’t expect you to rely on my kids either.
You’ve got enough going on.