Monday, January 24, 2005

On the outside looking in ...

Sometimes when you are outside a situation, just looking in on it and not participating in it, you can see things that the participants do not notice. I feel like I can do this with my family (mom, dad, siblings). My siblings are much younger than me - so they are still at home with mom and dad (both in middle school).
As much as I love my family, and as hard as it is to say this, their home life sucks: lots of fighting, lots of stomping, door slamming, name calling, a lot of unpleasantness in general. Typical you might think of 2 kids in junior high. The problem is, however, it is not limited to the kids. It is the kids AND adults.
Today my mom mentioned that she doesn't know why my siblings fight so much. I saw this as my chance to jump in with my opinion - with my views from the outside. And so I told her (and my dad) that of course the kids fight and name call simply because that is what their parents do. I even cited a recent example of when my dad called one of the kids a dumb@ss, and how I have heard, with my own ears, names like stupid, retarded, idiot, etc thrown out all the time by my parents (which of course are some of the exact same things the kids say to each other).
Unfortunately, my parents disagreed, immediately got defensive and started giving out excuses. I had hoped that instead they would take a moment to think about it and possibly make the same connection that I had.
My mom told me if my sisters got along she wouldn't have to call them names. What I heard was "I, as the adult, can NOT control my frustration when your sisters fight, HOWEVER, I expect them, as middle school students to be able to do it." I think I'm the only one who heard it like that though ...
I then asked my dad if L wanted to date someone and my dad heard the guy call her a dumb@ss, would he let her date him ... of course he said No way! So I asked why it was okay for him to call her that. He shouldn't, in my opinion, call them names he wouldn't let other people call them. He said it was different because he was her dad. I told him the only difference was that it hurt more coming from your dad than from some boy your own age. Well, he didn't have anything to respond to that - so maybe it did get him to think about it.

I just feel bad. If you talk to any of them - parents, kids - I believe they would all tell you that life there on the whole isn't all that great, that they don't get along all that well, and want it to improve. The problem is that the kids are waiting for the parents to do it first, but the parents are waiting for the kids to do it first.
I suggested to my parents that they sit my sisters down tonight and tell them that they should all try together.
I don't expect that it will actually happen tonight. But I do pray and hope that maybe it will happen soon. Something has got to give because I have a feeling any day, one of them will snap ... and I fear it won't look pretty at all.

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