Dear kids : I got it wrong

Dear teens (small girl you’ve not really met pushy mum yet-she pops up around high school time!) 

I know I’m a pushy mum. I try to rein it in I promise but that pushy bossy control freak in me just slips out from time to time.
Especially with school. You all doing well at school has been the focus of my parenting since forever. You doing well at school has been a priority, I’ve focused on it hard. School is a privilege, I tell you that all the time don’t I? Never again in your life will so many people put so much effort into ensuring you do the best you can.

I still believe this.

I still want you to do well.

I will still push you.

Recently  though ,in the days of a post referendum UK, in a where I’ve read so much bile and vileness from all sides on social media. In a world where we terrifyingly have a President Trump who stands for everything I teach you is abhorrent I feel like my own priorities as a mum have been laid bare in front of me. They’re all wrong.

In the past few months of uncertain days when it feels as though hatred and nastiness is breeding and growing my thinking has been shaken up. Education is important, of course it is. A good solid education will give you choices, open doors.

That all counts for very little though if you can’t be a decent human being. I’m aware that some of the most successful people in the world are utter knobs. I didn’t raise them though.

As a single mum of four I am judged. There’s no point pretending any other way. I am judged and I feel judged. In my delusional head I always thought if we could just get through school and you all did well then I could prove to the judgers that I am an OK mum. That I didn’t ruin your lives by making us a single parent family.

That’s utter nonsense

I’ve been an idiot

I got it wrong

If you guys become adults who don’t care, who are unable to empathise, who look down on others, who refuse to listen to another persons point of view. That’s when I’ll have failed.

Our country feels a negative place right now. The referendum has brought so much anger to the forefront of our psyche as a nation. I’ve seen the words stupid and racist bandied about as though they are OK, casual words to use. I’ve read the concerns of terrified people dismissed as being a ‘sore loser’. In a post Trump world there is a lot of fear about what could happen next. None of it reflects very well on us adults.

So you four. Your generation has to do better. I believe you will. I’ve heard you chat about the aftermath of Brexit with more thought and clarity than many people who are old enough to vote.Even small girl will pass comment on Trump whilst watching Newsround and not at all favourably. You guys can see. 

So the important thing is this.

Be compassionate, always.

Be understanding of differing points of view, you don’t have to agree but you should listen.

Stand up and give a voice to those who don’t have one. That’s so important.

Be tolerant.

Be kind.

Those are the things that will continue to make me as proud as I already am of you, for you already possess these qualities, I’ve seen them in action. Don’t let adulthood knock these things out of you, don’t let hate and negativity creep in.

Kindness and empathy and tolerance are way more important than an A in GCSE Geography.

I’m sorry it’s taken so long for that to get through to my pushy mother brain.


My Facebook page is here

After the Playground

 

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16 thoughts on “Dear kids : I got it wrong

  1. Great post. I agree that compassion and tolerance are what’s important and when we lose these we’ve really lost our way. I really like your line about school tho – never again will so many people out such effort into you. Never thought of it it like that and it’s so true – you’re basically on your own after school !!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen to that! It’s remarkable how much understanding kids and teens have of the wider world around them, but sadly I also notice that teenage boys don’t see that the hatred out there isn’t so different from the nasty ‘banter’ that is the norm in classrooms. They want to think they’re good people, yet they’re nasty without batting an eyelid. Sadly it seems to be the culture of comprehensive schools and I hope that we’ve taught them well enough that they will leave it all behind when they leave school and go on to being the nice people we’ve raised them to be!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a good point. There does seem to be this horrible culture of being able to say whatever you like without limitations, no matter how it’ll make someone feel. Just hope they don’t then become numb to other people’s feelings and emotions

      Like

  3. Excellent. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I referenced a study in one of my older posts that polled students and asked them what they thought was most important to their parents. Getting good grades was above being a good person, which I thought was sad #teens,tweens,beyond

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Absolutely – this is all so true. I have been so impressed by the way my girls have completely engaged with the Brexit situation. I truly believe that this generation have the compassion and understanding to sort it out. We screwed the world up but let’s hope we raised people who can put it back together again. Thanks so much for linking up at #TweensTeensBeyond

    Like

  5. Human compassion and understanding cannot be taught, it is instilled from an early age by those close to us and it is great to read that these are values you hold dear. It is so easy to forget amidst all the emphasis on doing well and succeeding in life, when the reality is that true success depends on the presence of these moral values. Well said and thanks for joining us again. #TweensTeensBeyond

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d say you were doing the best job you can Kelly and that’s all we can do at the end of the day isn’t it. Sounds as though you are pushing them whilst recognising the ‘all roundnesses’ that makes them the lovely wholesome people that we want them to be. A little bit of everything makes the world go round. Thanks for joining us again at #tweensteensbeyond Nicky

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a good post. It really chimes with how I’ve felt post-referendum when I’ve found the most distressing thing the hatred and judgement that’s been stirred up. Respect and compassion have always been the watchwords in our family, even when it’s difficult to hold onto them. I’m glad we’re not alone x

    Liked by 1 person

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