glass house

I have written a lot about glass houses. Maybe because I despise those who judge. Perhaps because I just might find myself behind those very same glass walls  from time to time. As a parent, I have had my share of stellar moments and I have had my share of not so stellar times. When I was growing up, I had a pretty decent childhood. I never saw my parents fight. I never heard them talk about finances and never had to worry about their bills.

I did however, know that my dad had “a drinking problems” he had to wine and dine clients in his line of work and my mom made the mistake of unloading her worries on me at a very young age. I am not blaming her. She did not realize that she was rocking my solid childhood to smitherings at the time. She threw me wonderful birthday parties and baked with me, she read stories to me and built me wonderful doll houses. She was defintely where my artistic and creative side comes from and she taught me about Jesus.  My dad was the one who I hung out with on the weekends, if he had a project, I was his wingman, tagging along to the hardware store or the barbershop. He took me school  clothes shopping every year and encouraged my writing.  I remember some amazing talks with both of them. But even though I am a “talker” I never felt that I could talk to my dad about his drinking.

worried little girl

When you are a kid and the one person who is your hero, who makes everything better, could make everything come tumbling down as well, it kind of shakes a kid’s whole being. You feel out of control and yet you really don’t understand any of it while it is happening. Years later, I studied Psychology. I worked in a private Psychiatric department at a hospital in my twenties. I even considered a profession in it. The whole thing fascinates me. I started out working with adolscents and that was about the time when the insurance  companies started screwing around with coverages and adults and geriactrics had better coverage so slowly over the years that I was there, I was moved to the adults.  It really frustrated me because it IS all about where we come from. We need to start with the kids and give them the tools in their adulthood. I know now that as I look back at the damage done in my own young life that I could have used some kind of an explanation why I felt so odd, scrambling to find my own control in my so called perfectly imperfect world. Kids are great in following the lead and pretending that everything is okay when it is not.

fighting

When my kids were young, I tried to never say bad things about their dad or burden them with too much. But I know they heard our fighting. I know I made a whole set of other mistakes and no matter how hard I tried to protect them, their childhood damaged them in someway. We are never going to give our kids the perfect childhood. But we do need to make an effort to protect them. As I look back through my own journey and education. I think that the thing that made me so frustrated with the switch from adolescent and not want to continue with working with adults… is because adults are so darn selfish. We say we put our kids before ourselves but we need to consider them more. What are they hearing? How much do they really know? Are you really protecting them? Or…Are you fooling yourself? How much do your kids know about your problems? Think about it for more than a minute.

I don’t mean to judge. I see my own glass walls perfectly clear and realize I have shared too much with my kids even though I set out to never do that. They are both adults now and I stand at my glass wall and look out at the world that I have created for me and them and think that now that I have some perspective, I want to share my message…. If you are reading this and have young children, I’m not judging you… I am imploring you to stop and really look at what you may be doing. I am trying to help you not make the same mistakes that I have come from…  The whole point of my blog… heck, the whole point of all of our lives…  is to learn from our mistakes.  And I am here to tell you that your children and mine really don’t need nor want to know our every waking thought. And for some reason, I feel the need to share the message TODAY

Please STOP robbing your children of their right to be children.

Jesus loving the children

I mean, I get that we can shelter them to the point of them not being able to handle real problems when it is time for them to go out and live their own lives. But I am not talking about that…  We just need to stop in our tracks when we are going through a moment of crisis and consider who else is in the room… And if your children are nearby…save that break down for another time behind closed doors  and…. for heaven sakes… let them have their childhood!

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32 thoughts on “They are precious in HIS sight

  1. Sorry my good friend, I was not here for long. but now I’m satisfaction of all – your posts are great – I like your post and with great pleasure that I read!

  2. Now I got this right….I am wise enough to answer any question she may have. Being that this is the information age, its best that things come from me. She is seven years old, so the question aren’t too adult; but she does know about drugs, how babies are made, peer pressure, bullying, and that adults will debate to resolve their problems. All topics that come up on the Disney channel, which I sit and watch with her. What is normal???? everybody has a story and most of us understand our upbringing better when we are raising our own children. My childhood was trying but I was also surrounded by worst. I am grown and though i sought through the hard times….I cherish the excellent job my mother did in raising four boys to Men. I am a product of my past but I can use the present to produce a greater future. Parenting is trial and error….but holding on to the errors will be trying. Remember the smile and change the horrors when raising our own children. That’s the only way to correct the past….

  3. Very insightful and important message Diane. Our Pastor just shared a sermon on the importance of making Godly choices, and he placed great emphasis on the role of parents in the exact context of what you’ve stated. We make a choice today (positive or negative), and sometimes the result or consequence of that decision doesn’t show up until years later. This doesn’t mean we should try to be some unrealistic version of “perfect” parents, fearing the outcomes of what may or may not happen, but with my daughter and whatever other children God blesses us with, we will do our very best with the help of the Lord to raise her in the way they should go, and trust in Him for their minds, hearts, and souls to be protected along the way.

    1. Also, being a child of divorce, I appreciate you mentioning that you did your best to not bad-mouth your children’s father in front of them. I’ve seen the damage that’s done in my husband’s life, and I’m so, so, thankful that even amid her many imperfections and things I wish she’d done differently, my mom always held her tongue. (Thank you to my mom – http://wp.me/p2uDC0-oJ) I’m sure yours are also able to see the big picture, and are thankful for all you did…and tried to do for them!!

  4. Hola, muy buenos días.
    Debo agradecer tu paso por mi blog.
    Deseo para ti y familia un lindo Fin de Año y un Año Nuevo 2013 que gratifique tu corazón y te haga muy feliz.
    Un fuerte abrazo.

  5. We all made our mistakes Di. There aren’t any proven handbooks for raising children. It’s pretty much an “on-the-job training” sort of thing. I think that today’s generation though, is turning blind eyes to the dangers that children are being exposed to in the way of games/TV/books, not to mention needlessly witnessing parental arguments and fights. Growing up in this type of environment it isn’t surprising to have events like Columbine, Newton, and others. We have permitted our children to become desensitized to anger, meanness, and violence. These are things that will only change when parents become interested enough to take responsibility for the childhood teachings of their children and give them a full and wholesome foundation to build their lives on. (ok! Ya got me started with this one!
    I’ll get off my soapbox now). Happy New Year darlin’ girl.
    Paul

    1. Paul,
      Happy New Year to you!!! I look forward to reading your beautiful words in the coming year! Such as these… you are so right on all counts! And my friend, I am glad I got you started! Wise words that need saying!
      😉

  6. Wonderful insight definitely shared through the world of experience. Our kids are grown and gone now with kids of their own. Circumstances in life created moments of anxiety resulting in harsh words and later ending with forgiveness. But, too often the damage was done when we didn’t even realize the children were in earshot. Great advice to take it away from the open into privacy behind closed doors but beware of the paper thin walls.

    1. I agree. Hind sight is 20/20! Looking back… the paper thin walls and knowing my kids could hear… sometimes didn’t trump my rage at the time. I feel horrible now remembering the times I didn’t stop to think harder.
      Maybe it is easier to judge myself now in order to judge the young parents I now can only shake my heads at. Recently, I witnessed someone having a melt down… when I asked her where her kids were she said… “They can’t hear me”… And all I could do was think… “Don’t bet on it.” We cry about our own childhoods and how abused we feel we were… as we step over our own children and pretend we are better than where we came from.

  7. this is so true… Excellent write also. I’m sure I made my own inordinate number of mistakes raising my children, but I never ever said anything ugly about their dads because they were part of them as well as part of me. Kids don’t usually understand when they’re told that the other parent is “bad”, because they tend to turn that on themselves and often feel like they must be bad too since it was their other parent… 50-50. They can figure out which is which when they get older and do it all by themselves…. at least my kids did. People couldn’t understand why I never put them in jail if /when they didn’t pay child support….. Well, how are they gonna get $ from jail, and How in the world do you think they’d feel about me if they knew I put they’re dad in jail… I just couldn’t do that… I just got an extra job…
    😀

    1. Keli, You and I are so much alike! I too, made it a point to never say anything bad about my ex. Maybe cuz I still loved him just a bit. Though he was incredibly generous at times. There were others when he missed a few child support payments and I was told the same thing… DEAD BEAT DADS go to jail. Well not the father of my kids. He died a few years ago and asked for my forgiveness on his death bed. I am glad that we remained friends for the sake of the kids. But don’t get me wrong, I have made numerous mistakes since. My poor current hubby has reaped the rewards of my unresolved broken heart and my kids got to hear a lot of it. I am not proud but I can see the error of my ways and if my story might help one mom STOP. I will be glad I shared my dirty laundry.

  8. I don’t have any children … but I think the best thing is to let kids to have freedom under responsibility and that we have explain the choices they have and what the consequences will be for each choice – then they should chose. Treat them with respect, teach them the difference between rights or wrongs – to show respect for others – property and lives. To treat everybody equally . It’s a tough job being a parent and that’s why I haven’t taken it on.

    1. Viv, I think you would make a fine parent! But I agree, it is a tough job. Full of mistakes and joys. I look back on my life and don’t regret much because I know that from it all, the good and the bad, I am who I am. But when it comes to my parenting. I do have some regrets. Even though I always felt that I put my kids first, I feel that it really is all about the kids and I’m not sure I always remembered that every single time. Even if we don’t have kids, we can reflect upon our own lives and see where it could have been done a lot differently. Maybe if we had really understood the difference before we had kids… we could actually put them first! You have a head start over all of us just knowing!

  9. I am so hoping that my past, the alcoholic, hasn’t affected my kids too badly. I really appreciate your post and it has given me some food for thought.
    Thank you
    Wayne

    1. Oh Dear Wayne,
      Thank you for reading! We are only accountable for what we know. But once we know it… we should embrace and try to do better. If our mistakes can teach others that is half the victory! If this inspires anyone to open up the communication about our mistakes as parents, then wonderful! I know that if my dad had talked to me and validated my pain, it would have been better than a ton of gold! Perhaps if anyone reading this feels led to reach out to their children and let them know it is okay to talk about their pain, quite possibly you can start to build a wonderful bridge!

  10. Even tho I knew better, I often treated my children as if they were just tiny adults. And now that they are quite grown, I think sometimes I treat them as if they were big children. Wonder if i will get it “right” some day?

    1. Alice,
      You guys are just getting better and better! (I just got home from work and started reading all the replies here, from the top to the bottom so saved yours for last)THAT was so insightful! You inspire me! I loved what you said…. As parents…. I too think I treated my kids like tiny adults. Especially my daughter. And now… how pefectly stated….we treat our adult children like big kids! I wonder if I will ever get it right as well Alice. I am right there with you! Maybe if they just knew that we were aware of what we were doing, that would give them hope. Ya think? 😉

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