By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | October 21, 2015
I have asked myself this question a thousand times: “Could Parents Anonymous have helped my mother?”
My mother used to tell her friends about how bad I was. I didn’t do things correctly in the garden; there were weeds left and I did not till the soil as deeply as she wanted. I did not do as she expected in the house; there were greasy spots on pans, I did not fold laundry like she wanted and the living room carpet had footprints. My room never looked as neat as she expected; when I came home from school I would change quickly and forget to put my clothes away before going to feed the horse, ponies, bull and hog.
Yes, to my mother, I was a bad kid.
What if mom had a group of mothers that met with the exclusive purpose of talking about parenting issues? What could my mother have learned?
Perhaps other parents would ask my mother a few questions:
“What do you and Jackie do together for fun?”
“What do and Jackie talk about besides chores?”
“What kind of fun things does Jackie do?”
“How old is Jackie?”
“How does she do in school?”
Thinking about those few questions, my mother might begin to see me as the child that I was rather than the work that I could produce. My mother could have compared the other mother’s parenting to her own. With information from the other parents, I believe she could begin to see me as a child that needed more balance, regular time off from chores to develop friendships, activities and to learn.
My mother was a person that never stopped working; she could never relax. She was up early, dressed and already busy with her daily activities long before my brothers and I got up for school. She would “take a break to smoke a cigarette” and before she was finished, she would put it in the ashtray to do something else. Hard work is valued but she was in perpetual motion. The problem was that she expected everyone else to be like her as well – busy, busy, busy. My problem was that I was normal.
My mother once told me, long after I had Chelsey and Katie, that she never realized how well-behaved her children were until she heard about other people’s kids. She had been going on her own limited perspective that she had learned from her parents, a strict preacher and a mother that was clearly overworked with so many children to feed, clothe and care for. That was the pattern set for my mother; back in her time people did not talk about what went on behind closed doors. If my mother had sat down with other parents from around the county, I have no doubt that she would have made adjustments in her parenting. By getting and giving tips in a supportive environment, I believe my mother could have been less abusive with more parenting tools than a belt.
Over the years, it has been my personal experience, that if any parent attends the Parents Anonymous Support Groups with an open mind, they will make positive changes in their parenting methods. You can be sure their children will be happier and healthier. I know mine are happier than I was.
Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.
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