It's time for the annual/monthly/every blue moon time for a tremendous MamaBear Rant! (oh, and the doormat you see on this post – it's from http://cocomatsnmore.com ).
This time, allow MamaBear to sit back, down 27 cups of coffee and muse on one of the biggest plagues of modern civilization:
Doormat children and adults!
Hardly anything except perhaps teasing or sibling rivalry or disrespect or lack of self-confidence or forgetting one's chores or blaming the teacher instead of taking ownership or my computer failing to auto-heat my coffee…..will cause such an outflow of utter annoyance and downright snarliness.
If your kids let their friends walk all over them, and then "promise" better behavior by retaining their friendship…my gosh, there's only one word I can spell out to describe your child.
And it's this.
Now, you might ask yourself, "Gee MamaBear, how on earth can you be sooo judgmental?"
Let me tell you, gentle reader, it's obvious….because back in her childhood, MamaBear was so doormatly that she would be grateful for *any* positive word from any peer, no matter how abused she was.
So yep, I have *earned* my right and ability to tell it like it is.
And doormat kids and adults are….big huge losers indeed.
I was reminded of this God-awful fact a few weeks ago. Let me take you back, back back…
(cue dreamy nostalgic music here!)
A good friend of mine had gone traveling about for a week, and was experiencing some challenges with her friends and business adventures.
I, as is my trademark, made sure to design some 'feel good' images that I could send to her phone, and also configured my server so email messages would be received as:
(if you own your own server, it's easy to do the above…I might not own the domain names in question, but I can configure my site to send out emails as though they originated *from* those domains. It's really neat, actually!)
It turns out what what I had thought would be amusing and uplifting, was received more negatively than baby seals spying a club on the horizon.
In a word…wah.
My wonderful intentions fell flat but even worse…damaged our friendship.
We did end up working it out, mind you, but afterwards, I took a humungous look at what I had been doing for my friend over the past few months and realized:
"My gosh, I'm being such a doormat!"
Why on earth should I continuously be there for my friend when it's valued less than coffee minus caffeine?
Answer: I shouldn't.
I always tell my cubs (and myself, for that matter), that when you give, it should be from an open heart and you should never expect anything in return.
It's hell when you can't follow your own advice, aye?
I solved my own problem by deleting every good image I had made for my friend (action always rocks!) and then removing Gtalk from one particular account (the only reason why gtalk was available for that persona was solely so my friend could reach me; day in, day out, I'd be there if needed. Well, f*ck* that smelly formula-based poop-loaded diaper, I'll simply keep open a gmail window instead).
I still do love and value my friend, mind you, but I've decided to be a mirror and simply reflect back how she treats me.
Which brings me to the point of this post!
Do your kids have user friends more scummy than the Black Lagoon?
You know, those kids who promise to be nice to your children, or who say they'll hang out with your kids, or tell your kids that they'll refuse to like them unless they do their homework for them etc.?
If so, you simply *have* to nip that in the bud!
That path leads to the, not quite Dark Side, as the Dark Side requires confidence to abuse, but perhaps instead to the decayed-ivory-shade-of-ancient-wallpaper-color Side.
Listen, and listen good:
You are doing your children a superbly colossal dis-service if you let your kids continue to maintain such a one-sided relationship.
HD2 once had that problem, you know….she would always want to give gifts and presents to people so they'd want to spend time with her (did I mention yet how much like me HD2 is? This was 6 years ago, mind you).
And when I found out about that, I calmly and gently read her a bedtime story riot act.
HD2 (like us all) is a *gift*.
- You're a gift.
- Your children are a gift.
- I'm a gift.
In other words, when your child decides to spend time with people, that's something said people should treasure and appreciate…and not take for granted.
And you need to figuratively beat into your kids….
"If someone is treating you poorly and making you do things to keep their friendship, they are more worthless than chewed up sour gum sticking on the bottom of their concert band dress shoes."
What I said.
To help your kids value themselves, you can have them:
- Write down their good qualities
- Draw pictures of their good qualities
- Look into the mirror and tell their reflection, I deserve to be treated as great as I treat others!
Keep in mind that it takes a towering amount of time to instill this fact into their inner-spirit!
It might require constant repetition and even then (witness MamaBear!), there might be times the doormattyness returns.
But wow, when you teach your kids how *not* to be a pathetic doormat, you're giving them the gift of self-confidence and ensuring that their future friendship are healthy indeed.
And that, of course, can only be described as a Very Good Thing.
Wouldn't you agree? 🙂
Thanks for this wonderful advice. I will say I was a doormat as well when I was a kid so I hear you loud and clear. And now, in middle school, I see my DS waivering on doormateyness and it bothers me because he is such a good kid, he should not be treated that way.
I am going to take your advice and definitely put it into action. Thanks for this post.
My pleasure, Katie…it really is tough to instill the self-confidence necessary for a great life. But we just have to stay at it…our kids deserve it.