Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dear Abby is Full of...

This morning’s paper had a Dear Abby column that I couldn’t let get by without doing some kind of comment. You see, sometimes she’s absolutely full of…well whatever she’s full of.

Today’s Dear Abby featured a parent with a problem. You see, she feels guilty because she doesn’t like her son. She says she loves him but just doesn’t really like him. Yeah, so?

I don’t know where I came across this, but sometime in my past I’m sure I read an article or something that has stayed with me. You have to love your kids. But you don’t necessarily have to like them. Especially when they do some of the dumbass things that kids do. Now, I have always loved my children and step-children. That’s part of the equation for being a parent and it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But, I guarantee you 100% that I have not always liked them nor have I always liked some of the things that they do (and I'm sure that the feeling is mutual).

I’ve liked them most of the time. I’ve liked them better at some times rather than others but hey, I’m a human being.

Good ole Dear Abby said that the writer should consult a psychologist or child psychiatrist either alone or with her son in order to get to the root of the issue and find ways to like her kid and/or to deal with the guilt. But, the reality is that at some point the one son might turn to the other son and quoting Tom Smothers to his brother Dick say, “Mom always liked you best.”

So, to the Mom who has a kid she doesn’t really like let me suggest that instead of relying on Dear Abby, you may wish to buy a copy of John Rosemond’s “Six Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children”. I’ll guarantee that he’s going to say that it’s all right to not always like your kid. If the Mom has a hard time ever liking her kid at all, then she’s definitely got a problem—but it’s HER problem, not her kid’s problem. She’s the adult and she needs to get over it, overcome it, and find things she likes about her kid or likes doing with her kid or whatever.

Kids aren’t always likeable (like when they crap their diaper at 2 a.m. or when you get a call from the police to come pick them up because they’ve been on the roof of the school getting into mischief). But, you just gotta love ‘em! They keep you young and make you prematurely grey at the same time.

I used to carry a quote around in my wallet. I don’t necessarily remember the exact wording but it went something like, “A friend is someone you can say anything to and who will put up with any dumbass thing you do. Because they’re your friend.” Basically it means that a true friend likes you in spite of your foibles as a person, in spite of your flaws as a human being because they see the you that you are. We’re all jackasses sometimes. A friend knows that. And is your friend anyway.

Well, with that in mind, my kids have always been my friends.

So, why do kids do stuff that is “unlikable” or try our ability to like them? Well, to quote MacCauley Culkin in “Uncle Buck” after he had asked about 16 consecutive questions: “I’m a kid. That’s my job.”

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