KC has just gone to London. I said my goodbyes reluctantly and eventually let him go through immigration when I couldn't hold him back any longer. He left excited to be visiting Grandma and his Cousins, waving emphatically with a big gorgeous smile.
I went into the bathroom and shed a little tear. This dialogue before his departure made me smile instead of feeling sorry for myself - my Snugglebug.
KC: Mama, are you ugly?
Me: Are you ugly (in between fits of laughter)?
Me: Are you cute?
KC: No I am handsome.
Me: Am I ugly?
KC: No you're beautiful.
I relish in his confidence and the fact that kids say exactly what they see or what they think. My question is: At what age is saying exactly what you think to your parents, lacking in manners and unacceptable?
I encourage KC to be frank and say what he feels. To express himself, but to do so with common courtesy. Please and Thank You are essential and I don't give him ANYTHING without hearing these words. I know many that are not as anal about teaching their children to make those simple but meaningful gestures of respect. Each to their own, but there is nothing sweeter than a child with manners.
Back to my question. I ask this as I got word that a family member in expressing their thoughts to one of their parents, does so in a way that is disrespectful, undermining, rude, and down right unacceptable in my opinion. Worst of all, doing so while living under their parent's roof. Are you kidding me?
I would give a Brown belt (yes I am a brown belt) karate kick right in KC's behind if I ever had such an interaction with him. Perhaps it is the way I was raised, but parents, in fact elders in general, should be treated with respect.
I in no way advocate accepting abuse from parents or adults. Assuming that parents are generally good people....I do believe that we should hold them in high esteem. Hearing children being mean and rude to their parents makes my blood boil.
I also feel that as long as we are not disabled, we should position ourselves in life to help our parents as they get older. When I see parasitic behaviour - kids of age who live at home with their parents, freeloading, not contributing in any way they can, not getting themselves together, I find it diabolical (living with them and helping is not an issue). When these kids do this and have the audacity to not show their parents basic respect, that is intolerable.
I am trying to show KC how to take care of himself from now. Cleaning up after himself, good hygiene, taking care and showing consideration of others. No he is not perfect, and I do have to withhold his juice in anticipation of a thank you at times, but generally he demonstrates good manners for a 5 year old.
For me, being a good mother and providing for KC is chief in importance. Being a good daughter is equally significant to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't profess to being perfect but if I have said anything that was not appreciated by my Mother there was no malice intended, apologies were genuine and it will not be repeated.
I endeavour to do anything to see my Mum well, happy and healthy. I judge not those that can be childish, and expect their parents to look after them forever. That just doesn't float my boat. I have too much pride.
One of my favourite Michael Jackson songs is Man In The Mirror - I always look within before looking without. It really works for me. To those of us who could do better and look within, the chorus is music to ones ears:
I'm Starting With The Man In
I'm Asking Him To Change
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
One thing I do believe in, is Karma! Fundamentally, in my experience, what goes around, comes around. So for those of us that disrespect others (worst of all our parents) - Karma's gonna get you.....