Dear Aunt B,
Subject: Query!! I hope you can help!!
I come from a rather traditional semi-religious family; where one listens to ones elder. I've always offered and provided guidance to my younger cousins. Over the past 3 years, they have gone against all morals I hold dear and have disrespected me on several occasions due to my rather traditional beliefs; I feel hatred and utter disappointment. The anger is mostly due to the disrespect I've receive from them. However the disappointment is not that they chose a different path to the advice I offered them, it's that I told them in explicit terms where I went wrong in life, what my regrets were and that such endeavors only cascade into such disastrous results; so I offered them advice on how to avoid those types of incidents. I was never guided by my older cousins, much because there was a larger age gap between us and a loss of communication. So had someone offered me that advice, I would have at least considered it before doing said activity. When they went above and beyond what I did, to achieve a more disastrous failure, I found it very disappointing. I understand that its their decision, but it was just very frustrating to see someone have a chance to do better than you, and they instead chose to do a lot worse.
But the disappointment is not half as bad as my hate for their behavior towards me. I cannot bear speaking with them, let alone be in the same vicinity as them. Their parents offer no solace, rather they find it becoming (which is odd, since they're both hypocrites; e.g. one used to tell me when I was a pre-teen "My daughter will never speak like a gangsta!" when in fact, her daughter, now a teenager, engages in far more "gangsta" like termnology, (whatever that's suppose to mean) than I did when I was her age; e.g. the other would tell me "Why are you dressed like that? It's inappropriate!!!" when I used to wear tight t-shirts, whereas his daughter wears far less "decent" clothes and that seems to be okay).
My question is, how can I stop myself from caring? They are about 10 years younger than I am, so I've watched them grow up and I'm finding it a bit difficult. But I have never surrounded myself around others that have a blatant disregard for my beliefs and I have no intention of starting to. How can I keep them away from me, without causing an upheaval/rippling effect across the family? Apparently, their parents and they themselves don't care, so I really don't know why I'm letting it bother me so much. I just, can't keep associating with them.
Any thoughts or comments are most appreciated.
I am in a similar funk myself so I can really relate. My dilemma/frustration is with my grandkids. I try to counsel, I try to coach, I basically try to save them from harms way. I also have to wonder why they do not listen when I tell them, the proverbial, "Hey, if you touch that stove when it's on, you are going to get burned." But they touch it.
This, our same situation, has been going on for a long long time. What I mean is that you and I are not the first to come across the young and cocky know it all brats and we won't be the last. And yes, it is quite disparaging not to mention beyond frustrating.
Unfortunately, our Nations moral compass has gone wacky. What I mean is that today's children/teens and even the adults have little common courtesy much less civility. We are going to hell in a hand basket, are we not?
It's my personal opinion/commentary that the blame lies squarely upon the shoulders of the Mothers across this United States. Now, that's a broad statement and it would be lengthy to explain my inner feelings, the very mechanics of the statement but suffice it to say that in our fight for equality, especially in the workplace, we surely bit off more than we can chew. And and and our children suffer for it.
I don't give a diddly damn what any one says in retort; "You can not be and do everything, wear all the many hats a woman must don and be successful in all areas, i.e., work, mothering, being a good wife, etc." No siree Bob something is gonna suffer...and it's usually our children. There's just not enough time in the day to teach, preach, mentor, to instruct, to show and live by example if you must work, keep the house clean, drive little Bobby to soccer, yada yada yada.
That dilemma, "Women & Working" is almost a whole other subject in and of itself and I could sure get on the soap box and go on and on but I shall spare you. But there in lies the answer to what, where and why things have become so backasswards in regards to our children's behavior in today's world.
The only answer, from where I stand might be for you to begin to put things into perspective for yourself. You'll have to remember back in the day, when you, yourself were told not to do something and did it anyway. You'll have to reach back into the recesses of your mind and remember why you chose not to follow the rules.
Try to remember why you made those decisions that you, yourself admitted, "where I went wrong in life."
The target here is for you to gain a foothold on and a sense of understanding as to why some of us tend be stubborn and stupid with tendencies to learning all things the hard way. I happen to be one of the dumb asses that did it all even though I was told not to. Yes, read THIS, it explains a bit.
I think if you are able to remember some of the things that you did yourself, even though you were warned not to, if nothing else it will give you some semblance of an answer. If nothing else you might be able to relax your way of thinking and hopefully "Let go and let God."
I'm right there with ya Sister; I have no time for the dumb shit these days. I am a control freak and I tend to want everybody to do things my way. Hell, my way of doing it has been tried and they're true. But it sure as shit doesn't go down that way.
Just as well, I also want to protect my brood and their offspring from self-destruction. But the biggest lesson for me was to, "teach not preach" and there's a huge difference. Make note of your own inflection and intonation when dealing with these kids.
What I mean is to not have an attitude, "it's my way or the highway," but rather have an awareness of how you are presenting the message. Start over with this awareness, if that's possible and come at them from a place of "Yes, I've been there, done that and I know how you feel" as well as "Yes, I see your point but be careful how you proceed because"...
and as I said before, "Let go and let God."
Keeping It Real,