If I only knew what my mom knew. Yes, you get to an age when you actually say it and believe it. My mom had a way of raising kids and handling the trials and tribulations that go along with it, confidently and with ease. She knew when to get involved in our problems, when to butt out because it was really no use, and she knew when to call in reinforcements. (Just maybe there was some word on the street in our tight knit cul-de-sac she could tap into) When your child is upset, you want to fix what is upsetting them. My mom knew the only way out of it sometimes was with a hug and some time alone to figure it out. When your child is fighting with a friend or boyfriend, the first instinct is to play meditator and offer up suggestions to help work through it. My mom knew that communication skills were built best when kids find their own style and have the opportunity to see if the relationship is really of value. (If I recall, I had a few that really weren't)
A true lessoned learned for me was when Hayley was being bullied by some mean girls. The funny thing about bullies, is the denial by the parents. You will hear such phrases as "Kids will be kids" "Let them work it out" and the like. Parents of bullies are really no parents at all. I mean, really. Your kid is a total creep and you have no idea? Or, do you ignore their creepiness because it's just easier for YOU to get through the day? When Hayley was in elementary and middle school, she was picked on by a pack of bullies. Thugs in Roxy-Wear. My mom would have stayed out of this one, but she raised me to stand up and speak out and that's what I did. One day after school Hayley got into the car and was crying because a girl called her a vicious name. There was no way I was going to take it for another minute. I marched right over to that mini-van, knowing that this was a teachable moment and found the devil child with her mom sitting together in their pathetic-ness. I mentioned oh so sweetly that one of her girls called my daughter a name that was totally unacceptable. True story: The mom looked and me and said matter of fact-ish "...and your point is?" Hello. This was a life changing moment. Clarity. Understanding. It was as though the seas had parted and I found the way. Crappy parent, crappy kid. PERIOD. This mom (and I use that term loosely) could not have cared less about this little ditty. She could not have cared less about the thousands of crappy things this kid did. She was a sucky parent and my mom probably would have smelled it a mile away and not wasted her time. I do recall hearing that the mom and daughter did bond on the kids 18th birthday by getting matching tattoos. Happy my mom and I found better ways to bond, and happier yet that Hayley has grown into a beautiful young woman that made her grandma so proud.