Push off, Pushy Mums!

Something that really sticks in my neck is when mothers get involved in their childrens disputes with other kids.  All parents will know how awkward it can be when their child has fallen out with their friend’s child.  We all find it easier to see the situation from our own child’s point of view and refuse to believe that our child is the one at fault . . . that our child could ever be capable of peevishness towards other kids.

It happens at school all the time and often, it gets really bitchy.  Not so much between the kids but more so between the over-zealous and downright meddlesome mothers!  I am consistently amazed at how heatedly involved some mothers become over their kids disputes . . . sometimes to the point where they are having heated arguments with each other, each one blaming the other persons child.  I even know of one mother who often talks very nastily about certain children to other parents.  This is just not on.  I sometimes chat with her and I am utterly shocked and dismayed at some of the most ridiculous statements she comes out with . . .  “well, that girl is just a bitch.”  “She uses my daughter.”  “She is a nasty piece of work.”  “I can’t stand that girl ”  And this woman is talking about ten-year-olds for goodness sake!  For sure, ten-year-old girls can be mean but sheesh, I wouldn’t dream of saying such nasty things about them.  They’re kids for goodness sake!  They’re growing, learning, developing.   They need guidance, not bitching.  We all know that our children  listen and pick things up from us and I’m sorry to say that this woman’s own daughter is learning all this because the woman is not at all discreet when she’s gossiping about other girls.

Anyway, this squabbling – it happens at home too.  It’s the school hols and after one week, the kids in the neighbourhood have had one or two squabbles.  The weather has been glorious, I’ve had no car so we’ve been home for the most part and my two youngest have played out all day long, almost until sundown.  Fab!  I love this.  I love it when they can play out with a whole bundle of friends, having themselves great adventures, hunting for fairies, make-believe stuff. Coming in starving, sweaty, dirty and glowing with health.  My daughter has learnt a million new dances with her friends and my son now has skateboarding skills that would make Bart Simpson ‘eat his shorts’.

But the long hours they are spending together can sometimes make them tetchy with each another.  And so, there has been some falling out.  Disputes have started . . .  the possessiveness, the refusal to play with such-and-such a person, the peevishness and so on.  It happens.  And I have to say, at the risk of being sexist, it’s predominantly a girl thing.

I know it’s heartbreaking when it’s your child that has come home from school, or away from her group of friends, crying her eyes out because . . .  “they’re all leaving me out“,  but here our children just need some comfort and kindly advice.  What they sure as hell don’t need is for us to embarrass the heck out of them by storming up to their group of friends and playing hell with them.  Or for us to go knocking on another mum’s door and shouting . . . “do you know your daughter has upset my child?”

Kids fall out – all the time.  Ten minutes later they’re best friends again. Unless it’s very serious, we really should be letting them sort out their own battles.  They will handle it if we let them.  Whenever mums get involved, it is the mum’s who are left with all the hangovers.  And really, it’s usually not that big a deal.  It’s us parents who turn it into a major issue. 

It’s our obligation as parents to guide our children in the ways of kindness and companionship.  It’s our duty to teach them to share and be fair.  We should encourage them to try and consider the other persons point of view.  Give them guidance on how to handle their disputes and control their tempers so they know how to avoid or patch up a conflict.  And they also need to learn to recognise when they are in the wrong, that it’s not such a bad thing to say sorry.  Remember, our own kids aren’t always perfect.  Sometimes we need to accept it’s not always the other kid’s fault.  Likewise, we should encourage our children to defend themselves when they believe they are in the right and to give them the confidence to stand up to others when it’s needed.

And the best way we can do this is by example. If they see us being tactful and sensitive, straight and fair, they will learn this behaviour.  If they see us getting upset and angry, marching over to the other mums with fingers wagging and snorting like a bull, they will learn this.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Oh God! I’m one of those Mums! I learnt my lesson last Summer by interfering, though. I have to tell my girls…”That’s just the way it goes, Sweetheart”

    I’d never interfere again. Firstly, it made me look like a fool and secondly, that’s life! 🙄


  2. A post full of wisdom and the real explanation for the problems we are encountering with the youth today. It is all a chain of unthought of circumstances by the parents who deem it wiser to back their offspring without trying to find out the actual position. It also happens with teachers and students when parents get involved in school dicipline on the side of their children. Children, generally speaking, grow in the conscience that they are ALWAYS right. From that to delinquency there is but a step.

    Human values must be taught at the early stages of our life.

    Let’s do our best so that they are not lost, on the contrary let’s try our best so that they are enhanced and we will have a better, understanding society.

    Thank you, Earthpal.


  3. Missy L, I just can’t imagine you getting bolshy with the other mums. Lol.


    Jose, thanks. You are so right. Wise words from you again.


  4. It wasn’t with a Mum…it was a Dad!


  5. Tee hee. (snigger)


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