Interesting reading

As is often the case, I spent the early part of my Sunday morning reading Saturday's NY Times, specifically  The Jihadist Next Door.

As I read this I kept asking myself: how much influence do parents really have on their children and their decision making? I think this could never happen to my kids - or should I rephrase that to - my kids would never do this. But of course, it could and they might. Maybe not the Muslim extremist part - but a series of life altering series (bad) decisions, that in my opinion, ruin their lives. 

What if it does? Where is the "What to expect when you're expecting" book for parents of adult kids who make awful mistakes or become the kinds of people that the parents didn't want them to be? What then?

Not in my neighborhood??? Think again! Maybe people I've spoken to are right. Maybe it is more important for you to be an important part of your kids life when they are in High School than when they are in grade school? The first thing they say about the BRHS bomb threat was that the parents travel for weeks on end abroad while the kids are home alone. Or maybe it just doesn't matter what parents do. Kids become the people they are going to become and our influence means little.

Then I have to think again. I'm still thinking about "what did those parents do to make their kid turn out this way?" The judgmental competitive Mom bullshit again! (I.e. "My kids won't turn out that way because I am such a good mother!" You know who thinks like that in your life!) Maybe it has NOTHING to do with the parents. Maybe it was an external influence? Maybe it was drugs? But what if....

I think that is exactly the stuff this kid's parents are torturing themselves -and as indicated by the arguments mentioned in the article - each other.

Finger pointing....  I wish I knew now that everything will turn out OK with my kids. They will avoid drug abuse, violence, weird fanaticism, plane crashes, dropping out of school, cancer... and everything else awful they could face. But take that logic one step further. If one of them becomes a Nobel Prize winning President, Head of the UN, or um.. Bono, do I get to take credit for it?

These thoughts go hand in hand. Take the criticism, take the praise. It's hard to be an insecure Mom in an insecure world.

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