At what point do you decide the friendship isn't worth it? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 08-24-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you be friends with someone who CIO's? Spanks? At what point do your ideals as a parent over ride your friendships?

 

I know, for me, it happens pretty fast. I mean if Jo and I are in the parking lot of Costco and Jo doesn't hold hands with his 5 year old I'm not letting the friendship go, but if Jo spanked on the daily and let the baby cry herself to sleep every night I would be looking else where for friendship.

 

What about you?


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#2 of 64 Old 08-24-2013, 11:39 AM
 
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I can't be friends with those who dislike their kids.

I have friends who CIO and spank but they truly like their kids. Just a different parenting style.They love being with their kids and don't treat their kids as a nuisance. I can deal with everything else but I can't stand being with someone who dislikes their kids.

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#3 of 64 Old 08-24-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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I can be "surface" friends with people who I know spank but the moment it happens in front of me I would be seriously backing off of that friendship.

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#4 of 64 Old 08-24-2013, 10:17 PM
 
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Really? Maybe maturity comes with age but at 38 and 5, almost 6 kids later, I have a pretty live and let live attitude. I have BTDT with pretty much everything. Who am I to judge? I don't have to parent the same as my friends to be friends. I am not co-parenting with them. It matters a lot more whether we laugh at the same things or like the same activities than whether they might spank their kid every now and again or whether they co-sleep or breastfeed. I have a good friend who slaps her toddlers hand sometimes when he grabs something she told him not to. She's a good mom, she's just young and inexperienced and was frustrated. I didn't judge her or say anything. One day she was venting to me about the fact that she was frustrated with him and nothing was working anymore. I told her some ideas and lent her a book that has been helpful to me. That moment never would have come had I decided that I couldn't be friends with her anymore. I have another friend who micro-manages her children's play. She yells to as they play in the park to do this, don't do that, be nice, slow down, don't run (in the park?!?!) etc. I can drive me nuts as park time = relax time for me. Let the kids run for heaven sakes! But its just a parenting difference, not a friendship deal-breaker. I guess the only exception is true abuse. I couldn't be friends with anyone who truly and maliciously hurt their children on purpose - physically or verbally. I haven't encountered that though. 


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#5 of 64 Old 08-24-2013, 10:32 PM
 
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I'm 38 and consider myself pretty mature. I just can't watch a child suffer. To me, it's abuse. They ARE inflicting pain on their child purposefully. I can't watch that and I don't want my child to see it either. It's not about judging them, I just don't want it around me or my family.

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#6 of 64 Old 08-24-2013, 10:37 PM
 
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I have a very rough time watching spanking/slapping. I don't feel like I'm watching a different parenting style, I feel like I'm watching someone hit and hurt someone smaller than them who they are supposed to love. I don't know if I'd break off a friendship for it. I'd probably have to say something.
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#7 of 64 Old 08-25-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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I used to think it would be a dealbreaker but my friend spanks her son and I had no idea for a long time because she just seemed so patient and connected to him (and still does eight years later). It is just not something I would allow to break up a friendship. I don't live in an area whether people punish kids in public though so that may also be part of why it just doesn't seem like an issue to consider in a friendship.
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#8 of 64 Old 08-25-2013, 06:56 PM
 
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Would you be friends with a man who hits his wife? I'm not talking about abuse, just a slap here and there.
Who are we to judge?
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#9 of 64 Old 08-25-2013, 08:55 PM
 
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Would you be friends with a man who hits his wife? I'm not talking about abuse, just a slap here and there.
Who are we to judge?

I'm not entirely sure if this is meant seriously, or to compare this situation to spanking, but no...I wouldn't be friends with that man.

 

For me it's kind of like grumpybear said...I can't be around someone who dislikes their kids. Spanking is very hard for me to be around, though...I probably couldn't hang out much with a friend who did it frequently. It's not really that I'm judging them, it's that it makes me physically ill to be around, so for my own sake I don't want to.


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#10 of 64 Old 08-25-2013, 09:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post

Would you be friends with a man who hits his wife? I'm not talking about abuse, just a slap here and there.
Who are we to judge?

I took this to mean that there really is no difference between hitting and adult and hitting a child, expect that the child is actually a lot more vulnerable. And the remark about just a slap here and there is pretty much the same as saying that spanking isn't really abuse. Actually, it is. Hitting is hitting. It's never right.

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#11 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 02:44 AM
 
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Would you be friends with a man who hits his wife? I'm not talking about abuse, just a slap here and there.
Who are we to judge?

See. I think this was a very valid post. Made me think. If a friend slapped, not spanked, but slapped her kid once or twice I wouldn't like it, but I would probably maintain the friendship. But if I saw a man slapping his wife, I would be disgusted and outraged and upset the whole day and not be friends, except trying to get the woman away from the man. Why the difference? Because children don't have rights, they are property? Or what? I am conflicted. 

 

FWIW any physical abuse, slapping, spanking... is illegal here, so never seen that in public, though I assume it still happens in private. I had one in my moms group who told me she really hd the urge to do it though when she was so worn out, tired and stressed. I told her I did too. When it happened I put my baby in the crib, screaming, walked out of the house and smoked a cigarette. I don't even smoke, but I did that probably 5 times when my youngest was a baby and I was beyond the end of my rope. Does that mean I practice CIO? NO, it means I was beyond the end of my rope and instead of smashing my baby through the window, which is exactly what I felt like, I left the house and took 10-15 minutes to myself to calm down. People are not perfect, and a lot to people judge harshly. I agree with the pp about live and let live. 

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#12 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 03:27 AM
 
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I took this to mean that there really is no difference between hitting and adult and hitting a child, expect that the child is actually a lot more vulnerable. And the remark about just a slap here and there is pretty much the same as saying that spanking isn't really abuse. Actually, it is. Hitting is hitting. It's never right.
That's what I meant. Hitting children is socially acceptable because they are not considered people. We just chalk up the practice as a different way to parent.
50 years ago maybe, if a man had hit his wife, no one would have interfered.
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#13 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 06:20 AM
 
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okay, here, to my mind , is the difference between a kid and an adult, and the difference between hitting an adult woman (or man) and a child.

 

An adult woman has options. 95% of the time, she can get out. Its hard-I've worked with women who have escaped violent partners, I am not underestimating how hard it is. But at least for a battered wife,as a legal adult, there are options. There are ways, there is legal, financial and emotional help. She needs enough of a restart to get her out. But its normally possible to say that a wife being hit is better off without her husband.

 

A kid doesn't have this option. A kid who is being hit cannot just generally just leave home. I'd go so far as to say that, if we are talking spanking, not extreme abuse, its rare that a child would be better off in the care system than with a parent who spanked. 

 

So for me, the priority needs to be to change the parents behaviour, since the child, unlike the woman, cannot get out and perhaps shouldn't.

 

I do not for a moment condone violence against anyone. But for me what matters really is trying to minimise violence, trying to minimise the effects of violence, and trying to preserve what is good in that relationship. Because, pragmatically, what other option is there?

 

If a friend hits, and you cut off your friendship, what happens? Will they realise the error of their ways, and stop hitting? Or, more likely, will they continue to hit, and dismiss your ideas out of hand. Will their kids have lost an important adult? Will they have lost a friend who could have acted as a safety value, while modelling alternative ways of dealing with difficult situations with the kids?

 

I think the most productive thing to do is to make clear that you do not condone hitting, that you consider there to be better ways to parent. That you know how hard parenting is. Or if you don't-if your friend has a tearaway 6 year old and you have a gentle 6 month old and a head full of parenting theories-just listen. I don't think condemning and isolation achieves anything beyond making the person standing in judgement feel better, and personally, I wouldn't be prepared to do that at the expense of a kit whose parents saw hitting as a good form of discipline.

 

My kids have been around when other adults have hit their kids. This is in the home education and alternative community, among people who practice gentle parenting and NVC as well as more mainstream friends. No community is immune and I think there is more going on behind closed doors than most of us think. They have been shocked and surprised but you know what? Its a good lesson in empathy and understanding. Its good for kids to see complexity, that that family who seems fun and chilled and where the dad does those amazing balloon tricks then goes into the tent and bawls their young kids out. I would not protect them from even seeing something like that at the expense of the kid actually being hit. 


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#14 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 09:43 AM
 
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I have friends who spank. To a person they love their kids. All of my friends who spank were themselves spanked --- and weren't traumatized by it. They look back on it now like just one of those difficult parts of childhood, not much different than how upset they were when they were scolded by a parent, and as parents themselves now, they treat spanking in EXACTLY the same way that I see other parents treating a time-out or whatever. I know because I've asked, because we're friends, and when I disagree with my friends I like to have a conversation about it instead of writing them off. Since their kids all seem happy and well adjusted I've decided that it's not my place to judge. 

 

I never intend to spank because I think on the whole it does more harm than good, but I WAS an abused child, and later an abused partner. My experiences were NOTHING AT ALL like the occasional spank that my friends describe from their childhoods, nor anything like the occasional spank my friends give THEIR kids now. Equating them is frankly offensive to me. 

 

ETA: I agree that hitting is never right. I just think doing something wrong =/= abuse. 

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#15 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 10:19 AM
 
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I just don't understand the difference between hitting a child and hitting an adult. Is it okay for a man to just "slap" a woman? For a boss to just "slap" and enployee? I don't doubt that these parents love their children, but I can't consider them well rounded when they are repeating the cycle with their own kids. Spanking destroyed me. It really did. To me, it's offensive not to consider it abuse.

It's not about judging them. There are many behaviors that I don't want to be around but I will gladly help those individuals in a healing setting, but I don't want it in my personal life. I have to keep my distance.
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#16 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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I guess its horses for courses.

I was spanked as a child. Honestly, it didn't bother me that much. Its not something that i see as ok and nor do my parents nowadays. The thing is, it was never accompanied by emotional abuse.

I have noticed among friends that some people seem to really struggle with having been hit as a child, and others don't much care. I do sometimes wonder why that should be, whether there are differences in experience or whether its a personality thing. Neither me nor my brother care, we recognise that our parents were under stress, that that is how they were brought up themselves, and that people are human and fallible.

Peopele are so complex. I don't hit my kids but my god, i do enough else wrong. Some of the best parents, the most inspirational parents, i know, have lost it and hit their kids. Generally, this has been because they are under a lot of stress, stress that I have largely escaped. For me there is not a line that separates those who have hit their kids and those who haven't. Almost all parents, ime, are trying to be the best they can. Not hitting does not always correlate to inspirational parenting either.

Actually i have to say, nowadays most of my friend are not my friends because we necessarily share parenting ideas-sometimes we do, but if not, thats ok. I don't tend to spend ages talking to friends about the kids unless someone is going through a tricky time.

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#17 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 06:04 PM
 
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I agree to this so much.  It isn't the same thing and it offends me to try and equate it.  Adults and children don't have equal partner relationships.  Adults are supposed to guide children and teach them right from wrong and while I don't like spanking or agree with it or believe it works, I think it's a social issue that divides people when we need to try harder to come closer together as a society.  A mom spanking her child thinks she is using it as a tool to teach her child right and wrong and one of her jobs is to teach that child right form wrong, she is just approaching it the wrong way.  A man's job is not to teach a woman right from wrong, he never has to use a tool, how ever misguided, to do that because it's not an appropriate role in an adult romantic relationship.

 

I agree with the moms who have said it depends on how the parent treats the child overall, if I see the love and the connection then I can probably over look it, I don't like it, but I don't feel all judge-y either.  Everyone has their own life to answer for and when I see someone trying to be a good mom/dad but they use spanking that is totally not a good enough reason for me.  I won't like it, it will frustrate me, it will anger me, but I don't have to like all of someone's choices to love them and see the good things they have to offer.

 

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#18 of 64 Old 08-26-2013, 07:00 PM
 
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The minute it comes up in conversation that they discipline their children, or if I see it or it is alluded to in any way.  The buck stops here.  DONE.

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#19 of 64 Old 08-27-2013, 04:11 AM
 
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I agree to this so much.  It isn't the same thing and it offends me to try and equate it.  Adults and children don't have equal partner relationships.  Adults are supposed to guide children and teach them right from wrong and while I don't like spanking or agree with it or believe it works, I think it's a social issue that divides people when we need to try harder to come closer together as a society.  A mom spanking her child thinks she is using it as a tool to teach her child right and wrong and one of her jobs is to teach that child right form wrong, she is just approaching it the wrong way.  A man's job is not to teach a woman right from wrong, he never has to use a tool, how ever misguided, to do that because it's not an appropriate role in an adult romantic relationship.

I agree with the moms who have said it depends on how the parent treats the child overall, if I see the love and the connection then I can probably over look it, I don't like it, but I don't feel all judge-y either.  Everyone has their own life to answer for and when I see someone trying to be a good mom/dad but they use spanking that is totally not a good enough reason for me.  I won't like it, it will frustrate me, it will anger me, but I don't have to like all of someone's choices to love them and see the good things they have to offer.

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But it IS the same thing. I know quite a few couples where the man hits his wife or girlfriend (again, I'm not talking about abuse) and I know they love their wives very much. And they honestly believe that hitting was provoked, or everyone does it, or that it helps keep the woman in line.

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#20 of 64 Old 08-27-2013, 04:15 AM
 
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okay, here, to my mind , is the difference between a kid and an adult, and the difference between hitting an adult woman (or man) and a child.

An adult woman has options. 95% of the time, she can get out. Its hard-I've worked with women who have escaped violent partners, I am not underestimating how hard it is. But at least for a battered wife,as a legal adult, there are options. There are ways, there is legal, financial and emotional help. She needs enough of a restart to get her out. But its normally possible to say that a wife being hit is better off without her husband.

A kid doesn't have this option. A kid who is being hit cannot just generally just leave home. I'd go so far as to say that, if we are talking spanking, not extreme abuse, its rare that a child would be better off in the care system than with a parent who spanked. 

So for me, the priority needs to be to change the parents behaviour, since the child, unlike the woman, cannot get out and perhaps shouldn't.

I do not for a moment condone violence against anyone. But for me what matters really is trying to minimise violence, trying to minimise the effects of violence, and trying to preserve what is good in that relationship. Because, pragmatically, what other option is there?

If a friend hits, and you cut off your friendship, what happens? Will they realise the error of their ways, and stop hitting? Or, more likely, will they continue to hit, and dismiss your ideas out of hand. Will their kids have lost an important adult? Will they have lost a friend who could have acted as a safety value, while modelling alternative ways of dealing with difficult situations with the kids?

I think the most productive thing to do is to make clear that you do not condone hitting, that you consider there to be better ways to parent. That you know how hard parenting is. Or if you don't-if your friend has a tearaway 6 year old and you have a gentle 6 month old and a head full of parenting theories-just listen. I don't think condemning and isolation achieves anything beyond making the person standing in judgement feel better, and personally, I wouldn't be prepared to do that at the expense of a kit whose parents saw hitting as a good form of discipline.

My kids have been around when other adults have hit their kids. This is in the home education and alternative community, among people who practice gentle parenting and NVC as well as more mainstream friends. No community is immune and I think there is more going on behind closed doors than most of us think. They have been shocked and surprised but you know what? Its a good lesson in empathy and understanding. Its good for kids to see complexity, that that family who seems fun and chilled and where the dad does those amazing balloon tricks then goes into the tent and bawls their young kids out. I would not protect them from even seeing something like that at the expense of the kid actually being hit. 
That's a very good point.

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#21 of 64 Old 08-27-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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I just don't see life in black and white like that. I know a lot of people who wouldn't want to be friends with a former drug addict either, but that's what I am. I know people who would t want to be friends with an ex-con, but my husband is. I know and love people who spank and I don't like it, I love the "sinner" not the "sin"
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#22 of 64 Old 08-27-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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I'm a former drug addict too and I volunteered at the local prison teaching writing. I wasn't allowed to know what they did but they were serious offenders and one of them was there for life. It was the best writing class and I learned a lot more from them than they ever did from me. I also worked as a social worker in a detention program for teenagers. We're talking attempted murderers and grand theft.

I really believe in redemption, and I would certainly be close friends with a former spanker who realized it wasn't right. But I don't want it in my personal life or my children's lives. I would certainly counsel those that did it in my professional life, though. Like I said, it's not about judgement. It's about the kind of energy I want in my personal life.

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#23 of 64 Old 08-27-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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When dh is watching a movie and its violent or excessive curse words. I immediately move my DS to another room. I'm not an angel I have hit my ds in the past and not one day goes by that I don't regret it or feel like a horrible person. Today thanks to talking to other moms and a therapist. I am able to not "go there" walk away if needed. I think you should help and set an example of how effective gentle discipline works vrs hitting.
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#24 of 64 Old 08-28-2013, 11:58 PM
 
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i really thought i wasnt a biased person until i became a mother.

 

i also discovered i was much more biased when dd was younger. biased not in the sense i wont be friends with that person, but it was painful for me. i just could not be around them. what they did was always present for me. at that time i had this idea that there was just one way to parent. a kind way. how can not get that your 2 year old does not get it. that they are not being malicious. 

 

as dd grew up i grew with her too. i was so surprised at myself that i could still be friends with a 180 degrees different parenting style where i felt it wasnt kind enough. it STILL didnt sit well with me - but i discovered i could still be friends with that mom and do playdates with her family. 

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#25 of 64 Old 08-29-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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I just don't see life in black and white like that. I know a lot of people who wouldn't want to be friends with a former drug addict either, but that's what I am. I know people who would t want to be friends with an ex-con, but my husband is. I know and love people who spank and I don't like it, I love the "sinner" not the "sin"

 

 

Yes. You said the essence of what I was trying to get at, but you said it much more eloquently.

 

I think I got sooooooo upset at this post because if you boil my core beliefs down to a nugget, it's that loving and loving and loving each other despite everything is pretty much the most important thing we can do in life. And so I really react to the idea that love might not be able to cross lines of belief.

 

We all do things that other parents think are wrong. I'm gonna vaccinate! Probably 90% of the people on this board think THAT'S wrong. But pulling that out and placing it in a vacuum and deciding to end a friendship over it . . . I'm hearing that it's not judgment, it's about what we want in our lives . . . and I guess on some level I get that . . . but on another level I'm puzzled as to how somehow spanking ends up as the clear line in the sand? Like, would any of us ditch a friendship if the person joined the army? But shooting people is OK and spanking isn't? How do we decide? Where does it end?

 

And if we keep cutting out and cutting out and cutting out the friends we disagree with or who have bad energy --- the ones who spank, the ones who CIO, the people who don't believe in gay marriage, the people who don't believe in global warming, the people who are 'materialistic,' the people who support GMOs, people who circumcise, the people who support war, any member of the armed forces, people who believe in the death penalty, people who don't own their privilege, etc., etc., etc . . . 

 

. . . who's left for us to love? What does it even mean to love at all if we can't love across lines of culture and class and belief? (on a lighter note, how can we expect Congress to put on their big-kid pants and reach across the aisle when we can't do it ourselves?)

 

And really, how many of us have lives that would stand to such scrutiny, in the end?

 

My life wouldn't. I can be a lazy, hypocritical, judgmental, whiny, complacent, self-indulgent, arrogant, prig. Thank GOD I have friends who forgive me and love me all the same. 

 

 

okay, pregnancy hormones going a little wild there. But yeah. That's how I feel. 

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#26 of 64 Old 08-29-2013, 01:12 PM
 
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D**n girl, you said it better than I did, for sure.  Way to speak from the heart!

 

At this place in my life, a place where I am much more happy and content, I live and let live for the most part.  I love the types of people you mentioned above in your post in my real life relationships.  My next door neighbor is a marine, he has deployed, he has been in war.  My mom is against gay marriage or gay people being in involved positions in her church.  My brother plays violent video games, I hate that.  My step-dad is a sex addict who has in the past been addicted to porn.  I mean the list goes on and on.  My cousin is in jail.  This is real life.  Both of my in laws are dead, dead, from being drug addicts.  My sister in law spanks, yells and trys her best to hang on.  Both of her kids are out of wed lock with different guys.  Same for my bf.

 

I've kind of moved on from judgements in my relationships, I don't have it like that to cloud up my life in that way.  But you love who you love.

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#27 of 64 Old 08-29-2013, 01:21 PM
 
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I just want to make it clear that I really do love everyone! But I also don't want toxic behavior in my life or my children's lives. I will defend people, especially the down trodden. I defend drug addicts and have thought about having a career in recovery someday. I believe most of the convicts I worked with were sex offenders. I still believed they deserved to be treated with respect and love, though I wouldn't want them in my personal life.

Not wanting someone's energy in your life is not the same as not loving them and its not the same as judging them. You can love someone from afar. You can also love someone and try and help them heal but keep them at a distance.

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#28 of 64 Old 08-29-2013, 02:32 PM
 
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i have to say though, one thing this thread reminded me of - is as a person i grow all the time.

 

i am not the same person at different periods of time.

 

overall i am a v. open person. fussing over little things imho is just too much trouble. i really dont care. so sometimes i am ok about something - not because i am great and awesome. its because i really dont have the time to make that an issue. sadly its not important. its a way of saying for instance i am pro gay marriage not because of equality or some other higher reason, but really people. running from pillar to post i now have to try and ignore gay people. that just does not make sense. what is the big deal there. kwim?  

 

so while i may be 'nice' overall - i have my own issues.

 

i try to work on them - if even i am aware of them. not just parenting but in life. sometimes some kind of crisis opens up my own challenges. and somehow something shows me the world through the other person's lives and its easy for me to understand their point of view. 

 

however coming from a community based culture in the east, it is still very hard for me to accept the isolating culture we have here. there are certain norms i take for granted that are shocking for some. 

 

so even though i think i am unbiased, i really am not. which is why i love the entrance of the Museum of Tolerance in LA, CA. 


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#29 of 64 Old 08-29-2013, 03:23 PM
 
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Put like that, it makes plenty of sense, dalia. . :-)
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#30 of 64 Old 08-29-2013, 05:05 PM
 
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So if spanking is abuse, is time out abandonment? I think that is extreme. I try not to be so black and white. If inflicting any degree of pain = abuse then lots of kids are actually abusing their moms. How many times on the GD board do moms talk about being hit, kicked, scratched, bit, hair pulled, etc? I have gotten punched dead in the face by a tantruming 4 yr old, breaking my sunglasses. Relationships are messy things, as much as we wish otherwise. All I ask of myself and my loved ones is that we are trying our best with abilities and information we have at the time. Sometimes moms have to go through ugly periods with their kids to realize that changes need to be made or that self-work is needed. Not many of us start out on this journey will all the tools we need to make it to the end unscathed.  

 

It seems that for some who were treated badly in childhood, seeing a child be disciplined harshly may trigger bad feelings and memories. I get that. And for that person being friends with someone who "triggers" them on a regular basis, that is probably not a good idea for their own personal well being.  I probably couldn't be friends with someone who smoked weed recreationally because of my family history of drug addiction and all that drama. Someone who looks too much like my abusive ex may be the nicest guy in the world but I'll avoid that person *shudder*. But I get that its *my* issue and nothing really about them. 

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