Sunday, July 02, 2006

Never Say Never

I never thought that I would be one of those moms who would say to a neighbor child that he / she was no longer welcome in my home. I have put up with a lot over the years to avoid just that. When the other neighborhood moms would ban their children from so and so for a brief time period all of the children would eventually show up at our house to play. They were long over whatever problem had caused their parents to intervene and after the parent calmed down the rule was ignored. I have always figured that kids will be kids. They will have their squabbles and they will get over them. When the neighbor kids are here I have always maintained our rules for behavior and seldom have I had to enforce any discipline but I have not been afraid to utilize time outs and a well place reprimand either.

unfortunately as the kids have gotten older things have gotten worse. I have always noticed that the more my children interact with others in sex segregated and age segregated peer groups the harder time they have interacting with each other. They pick up very easily that their friends don't like the opposite sex and that their friends do not like their families. Treating their families with respect and love and caring is not cool. Slamming on one another and being hurtful is. Parents and other adults are not respected or treated with respect. Another interesting attitude that has been picked up involves school. They happily do their school work each day and exhibit excitement and interest in what we are doing. But when they are around their friends they don't like school and tend to make negative comments. Why? Because their friends do not like school and have nothing positive to say about their educational experiences.

The more exposure my children have to these attitudes the more they pick them up and mimic them back. My son has the most difficult time with this and we have struggled repeatedly with how he handles peer frustrated . It has also affected his ability to interact respectfully with other adults and we are constantly dealing with some situation or another. So, when I told him and another boy to take their roughhousing outside and that other boy argued with me and then bad mouthed me under his breath all the way out the door and proceeded to leave in a huff, I had had it with him and I said the words I did not ever think I would say. "You are not welcome at our house anymore. "

I have had a few twinges of guilt. But at this point I would rather my child not have friends than to have friends who act like this. I wish I had done it a long time ago. Who we choose to spend time with has a dramatic impact on our lives as well as how we think and feel. I can't believe I said it but I won't take it back . Honestly my only regret is that I did not do it sooner. The difference between myself and the other moms is that I am not going to change my mind next week. I said it and I meant it.