The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: On kicking your child out of the house

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On kicking your child out of the house

It seems I've met more than my fair share of reject parents this week.  Yesterday, while waiting in the chiropractor's office, one woman chatted with the receptionist after I explained that I had just returned from a lovely trip to visit my newest granddaughter.  Here is that woman's story...

She said that her grandchildren used to live with her.  I commented how nice that must be since mine are in two different states.  She proceeded to say that she just kicked them and their mother out of her house last week.  The older one, age 5, apparently told her teacher that they "get to" live in a motel now.  The younger child is 3 and stays in the motel room with mom during the day.  I thought, gee that sounds like tons of fun for an active child.  So, then the woman said that her daughter walked in the door this morning, dumped a load of laundry on the floor, and asked (no - told) her mother to get it done by the time she has to pick up her son from kindergarten. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  The lady in the waiting room, told her daughter, "Sure, after I go get X-rays done, see the chiropractor, and visit your brother in jail."  WHAT?  The picture became very clear.  Apparently the mother did everything for those kids while they were growing up, including telling them when to wipe their behinds, apparently, so when they grew up, they were unable to think or do anything for themselves.

And don't get me started about kicking a child out of the house.  Too often, I "rescued" my children's friends whose parents kicked them out as teenagers! Where do you think those kids would go? Certainly not to the honor student's house.  Each was headed to a known drug user when I intercepted the intentions.  Some stayed at my house for a few weeks, others for a few days, until the parents realized that the best place for their children was at home.  You think?

Lesson learned here, folks:  Help your children to achieve independence by encouraging them to do as much as they can for themselves.  Kids can do their own laundry around age twelve.  They can keep their own rooms clean.  They can help with household chores.... all without benefit of an allowance.  They should cooperate because they are members of the close family and happy to share the burden.  Another way to encourage independence is to offer choices.  How often have I mentioned that in my blog? Only about a bazillion times!  When kids can make little choices as little people, they can make life-threatening choices as big people.  It's a very simple, balanced equation. 

If you want more information on raising independent, self-sufficient children, read
Raising a Self-Disciplined Child: Help Your Child Become More Responsible, Confident, and Resilient  You'll be glad you did! (PS - It's not my book, but I wish I had written what's in there!)

Happy Parenting!

2 comments:

  1. You are so right on this.

    I was adopted at 13 by my grade 7 teacher. Turned out his wife (my new adoptive mom) was narcissistic.

    Not only did I get exposed to her pedophile brother, but my friend and my new adoptive cousin were molested by this guy all within the first summer I spent there.

    At 16, I got kicked out, for whatever reason I dont know why at all it was so trivial I cant even remember. I stayed at a friends house who's mom was a social worker and eventually brokered me to get back in there by Christmas after a nearly 3 month stay.

    At 17, I got kicked out again. Again the reason was forgettable. She claims it was because she wanted me to mow the lawn on Friday right when she told me at 5pm after work and I was already set to go camping for the weekend. I got home on Sunday, was going to mow the lawn Monday (summer) and I was booted out by 6 oclock.

    I went to social services. Social services told me they had to call my mother to see if I could come back home. Narcissistic evil mom told them I could come home anytime. I went there and had an awkward dinner, because I was greeted with a hug and the words, "Its so much better now that you dont live here anymore". This was repeated 5 times until I gave up.

    I couldn't complete high school because of all of this, luckily my friend's dad let me stay with him until I turned 19 and got a job capable of supporting myself with.

    She even openly bragged to her friend about the welfare runaround - said she was going to "teach me a lesson".

    I was never in trouble with the police. Smoked a bit of pot but I was no drug addict. Never got into fights. I enjoyed camping and the wilderness, mostly to get away from that environment. I skipped sometimes but by and large went to school.

    Being kicked out at 17 and falling off the track at school with my peers was a devastating experience. It was totally depressing. I lived in a tent trailer behind my friend's dad's house for two years through the winter even.

    Despite this wicked woman's idea of childrearing an adopted kid, I managed to make it, I work in investment banking now as an adult, I have a family and a sail boat.

    Getting kicked out at that age taught me nothing but what a horrible person she was.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I can see that although you experienced an abusive childhood, you appear to be a strong, mature, caring adult. Enjoy that sail boat!

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