Stop Talking ABOUT Them and Start Talking TO Them

I didn’t know how I would word this blog but the topic has been weighing heavily on my heart for quite some time now.  Recently I encountered a woman who has a teenage great-niece, a mere 13 yrs old.  Well, this child rubs this 65 yr old woman the wrong way.

The woman and I have enjoyed many pleasant conversations over the phone since our first meeting, but I noticed that every time the topic of girls came up, she would quickly mention this great-niece of hers.  She would start on this rant about how the child was “too grown” for her liking and how she didn’t even care to be in the child’s presence.  It really started to concern me that she was so fiercely “against” this 13 yr old child.

She told me the story about how each time she visits her moms house, the 13 yr old great- niece is quite often there, along with her 15 yr old brother.  She also shared that she doesn’t speak to the child, never looks in the child’s direction, and even brings the older brother gifts without ever bringing anything for this 13 yr old girl.  The straw that finally broke the camel’s back that I was riding, was when she told me that the 13 yr old great-niece had the audacity to tell someone else that she felt great-aunt didn’t like her, and her response when she finished relaying this sentence to me was, “And I don’t like her!”  Yep, that must have been a really heavy straw because this camel fell flat to the ground.

In my obviously very annoyed tone, I said to this 65 yr old woman, “I can’t believe that you feel so much hatred towards a child.” She then said to me, “I didn’t say I hated her, I just don’t fool with her!”  In my mind I was thinking, “Well lady, I’m smart enough to know from your language, your tone and your stance in regards to this child, that “hate” would be a most appropriate word”, but instead I said, “You really didn’t have to…it shows.”

In the midst of her trying to defend herself against my assertion that she didn’t like the child, I interrupted her and simply asked if she would allow me to share a little story with her.  As if I could see through the phone her waving her hand as if she was giving me the floor, I heard her huffily say, “You go right ahead.”

This was the little story I shared:  “You know, quite often we see kids that are different from our own.  We see them do things that in our minds, our own children would never do.  We hear them speak in such adult-like manners that it’s hard for us to believe that they are even children and because of this, we look down on them, we turn away from them, and every chance we get, even to perfect strangers, we speak ill of them.

Since becoming a mom, I have experienced many young girls such as the kind I’ve mentioned above.  Most were from troubled, broken, single-parent homes, and the others were from homes where proper parenting was not a priority at all.  Before I became a mom (in my younger years), it was very easy for me to feel the same as this 65-yr old woman in regards to these “kinds” of girls.  Then, I became a nurturing, loving, caring and extremely understanding MOTHER to all.

I used to be the one who shared in the whispers about the girls who were like this woman’s great-niece.  I own that.  But since becoming a mom, and mostly making the decision to grow up, not just in years but in the mind, I came to realize that these girls didn’t need my behind-their-backs whispers, they needed me to sit them down and have a conversation with them.

I then came to realize, that most often when you see girls behaving in the manner described above, they’re missing some things, and the main thing being, a mom to steer them in the right and proper direction.  They don’t need our whispers and our looks of disdain, they need our love and our guidance.  And since I am one who truly believes that it does still take a village to raise a child, the world’s children all belong to me.”

I don’t think my story moved this woman in any way because it was obvious she had a heart made of steel.  But it did my heart some good sharing with her the story that I had.  It’s hard for me to be in the company of anyone who feels such a strong hatred and loathing for a child, so I have chosen to discontinue my new friendship with this woman.

And now I’m  pleading with you…should you ever be blessed with the opportunity to help a child (especially a young girl) who in her poor behavior is showing you that she needs some guidance and love, please stop and take the time to give it.  I have said so many times before that children don’t need to be borne of our womb to be our children.  We just need to have a heart big enough to allow the additional one or two, or even the masses, in.

Love a child today, including one who’s not really your own.

Have you ever encountered anyone who felt this way about a child?  Let me hear from you in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Stop Talking ABOUT Them and Start Talking TO Them

  1. I had problems stemming from a blended family. A husband who was MIA in his own daughter’s life which affected me and my son’s relationship to her. She acted out by leaving my son in a Greyhound bus station for six hours before someone came to pick him up. Needless to say I was beside myself with anger. It was never addressed until recently when I confronted her and reminded her that I will forgive but never forget what she did. Jealousy is a very destructive force. I had to find a way to forgive her so I could get past the anger otherwise it would have consumed me. So different situations call for different solutions but all of it stems from a child who has been neglected and only an outsider can see it sometimes.

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  2. Thank you for bringing this topic up. I have been lucky that I haven’t had to deal with anyone like this. My daughter told me a bout a young girl in my granddaughter’s school who was “different”. My granddaughter told her that some kids were mean to her or teased her. My daughter told her that they may not know what her situation is and that she (my granddaughter) should never tease or be mean to someone who is different.

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    • Exactly what I’ve taught both my daughters. Actually, they tend to reach out to the kids who are not as socially accepted as some are, or the ones who tend to be left behind in the shuffle of peer pressure. Great job, Kath!

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  3. My grandmother took a special shining to one of my sisters and ignored the rest of us, which ended up being more amusing than hurtful. That is the closest I have come to witnessing this with children, but I have seen this behavior evidenced in adult exchanges such that I can easily imagine it bent passed to kids as well. This makes my heart ache. I wish I could find that great-niece and share a little love with her; that is so much more positively transforming than are by products of hateful, judgmental silences and unevenly distributed gifts.

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