A long time ago (sounds like I’m about to tell a story about fairies in la-la-land), I had an elderly female neighbour that I really liked and she was also into me like a daughter. Our relationship was so cordial there was nothing I couldn’t share with her. She was so caring towards me and my kids who were born practically in her presence. My children love her so much too and call her grandma. There was nothing I couldn’t do for her but when it comes to being partial or unfair, I could never sacrifice objectivity on the altar of friendship. I am not critical of people; I am just the type that views issues from 100D perspective. Even when I goof, I stare at myself in the mirror and take responsibility.
She had an altercation with someone and just because I didn’t agree with her point of view, she got extremely angry and started dishing about me round the neighbourhood. She also started avoiding my little kids. Of course being children, they will call and call after her till she answered and this made me really angry. Hypocrisy isn’t my style, so I stopped acknowledging her.
The way our car park was, we always passed by her door to get to my car and each time we passed, the children will naturally want to stop at her door to say hello before going to school or chit chat with her when they return from school. To avoid this, I took my car around to pick the children so as to cut off the contact between them.
On a certain day, I took the usual awkward route to drop the kids before going to park the car and as they were alighting, my eldest son, who was 6 years then said “you don’t want us to greet grandma again today, right?” This shocked me because my younger girl piped up too “Mommy is not happy with grandma”. As they climbed the flight of stairs to our flat, I was afraid of what I was teaching my children through my attitude. I asked myself “what moral justification will I have to tell my kids to stop keeping malice if they learnt it from me?” I may not have been wrong by telling her the truth but keeping malice was wrong. Dragging my young kids into it was worse!
Most parents have a way of dragging their children into their mess. We are the mirror that our children look at, their number one role models. They emulate what we do. So, if we enjoy telling “white” lies, they will tell lies too. If we are ungrateful, they most likely will turn out ungrateful. If they see us gossiping, they feel it is all right to do so too. Therefore, we need to model the right attitude to our children through our actions. Don’t force your children to take sides with you, especially in a fight, it is wrong.
Lest I forget to conclude my story, we made up eventually. One evening she was just coming out of her house when I drove in with the kids. The kids ran to her and hugged her. She froze and struggled to greet them cheerfully. Meanwhile, I sat back in the car and held my peace (lol). After that day, I allow the children to chat with her while I kept my distance still. A couple of days later, I was about entering the gate when she stopped me, flared up and started crying. She apologised to me, but rather than feel triumphant I felt very bad. I went on my knees and apologised to her but I still didn’t feel good. There is no reason to bring tears to anybody’s eyes just to prove a point. I had to go out of my way to do things right and gradually, our relationship improved.
Have you dragged your children into a situation you shouldn’t have? Care to share the experience? Go ahead and share at the comment section.