Understanding Another Mom's Children
Do you interfere with a different style of parenting, or let them be taught per parents' choice?
We all have that friend we adore. That friend who never returns your texts until 2 hours later, or just ignores the hell out of your calls, but calls later when something is wrong even though you said nothing of the relations.
We all have this friend who has a child or children, and especially if they are a single parent, is trying to be both mom and dad, but doesn't quite know how to balance in order to be both.
So, when you see this friend not doing things you agree with, or you believe truly that the way they are teaching their child/children is wrong what do you do?
What do you do when you have become so emotionally invested in another person's children? What do you do when you know your friend is hurting, and is struggling, but doesn't know it themselves? What do you do when these struggles are hurting their children and they feel they cannot go to anyone, not even you?
What do you do when YOU become like the second parent to the kids? Now, I know what a lot of people will say. The children are theirs, not yours. How they are taught, how they live, that is THEIR decision, NOT yours.
But, what modern day society fails to realize when they say these things are prime examples of a double standard. We are allowed to judge other countries traditions about how young their girls get married to MUCH older men. We have set rules in how a home should be maintained, how old the child should be before they are left home alone, how smart the child is based on grades, how they can't miss a certain amount of school days.
Everything we do is about control, so why society chooses to continue to stay in this mindset I have no clue. So, now that I have THAT specific point across, what do you DO?
When the child/children come to your home and they are in tears because they feel they can't come to an adult? What do you do when you feel helpless to help them and their parent? What do you do when you try and try and try to help them BOTH, and the parent won't listen because you have their genuine interest at heart?
Do you stop helping take care of their kids? Do you stop being there for the person, or enabling them or what you FEEL like is enabling? Do you try different methods? What happens when you feel you have exhausted all your options?
I suppose the answer is you just continue to try to be the best human being possible to the friend and the kids, but how do you know what boundaries are set and which are being crossed? I suppose we will never know the answer to these questions, I suppose we just continue to try and try and try until we are so emotionally drained we can't take it anymore. But, is it healthy for you? For the kids? For the friend and the friendship? Probably not.
So, again back to square one, asking... what is more important? The friendship and the friend and their kids and your fear of them learning what you consider "wrong" things, or is getting your point across to the parent so the kids can have a better life and be taught the "right" things.
I guess only time will tell, but also do you take a step back and risk losing the friendship, or do you just continue to enable what you consider "bad" habits?