I am encouraging my two beautiful daughters to value themselves and to choose healthy relationships in their lives. Toxic people are everywhere and the older I become the more I am aware of the importance of making a conscious choice to allow someone into my life or to remove them. I would do anything to pass this gift onto my children through osmosis.
I was raised in a strict household where respect was a huge character trait. Although relationships in general are complicated it was never acceptable to be verbally abusive to anyone. My daughter recently started “talking” again to a young man. Over the years, I have found their relationship to be tumultuous ending with him becoming verbally abusive to her. And yet why do I find my daughter attracted to him and continually making excuses for this young man’s behavior? I’m a firm believer in we teach people how to treat us. So, all of this negative behavior just does not sit well with me. Seriously who has raised this boy! I don’t know what his parents are doing but I’ve been molding my daughter into a young woman.
However, regardless of the relationship, I am more concerned on her being able to evaluate, utilizing her brain not her heart, this person’s value in her life. Questions like, does he strengthen you? Is he a positive person? Is the relationship/friendship more one sided? The heart should be a beautiful gift we give people who are deserving of our love. It is not meant to be abused or manipulated for other intentions. I’ve shared my concerns with my sixteen year old daughter. Some of which she understands and other aspects where she is clearly too young to fully grasp. Yikes! Why is parenting so hard!?
I was told raising boys is very different than raising girls. However, why is it different when it comes to displaying respect? Human beings should all respect one another. Yet through my own interactions, I find that many adults will make excuses for poor behavior in boys and consider it a phase in our society. I believe this behavior is the norm because it’s easier than parents addressing the real issue- their lack of respect towards another human being or perhaps their poor parenting skills. May it is a flaw in their character. An early sign to run for the hills!
I’m making a conscious choice to raise a strong woman; those that recognize an unhealthy relationship and make a choice not to have it in their life. It’s a known fact that men who verbally abuse their partner exhibit this behavior in a marriage. Although relationships are often complicated, arguments do not need to be condescending and disrespectful. Having positive relationships fosters strength and promotes success. If I can teach her this skill I’ve guided her in the right direction in life.
After all, who wants their daughter to take a chance on a young man who speaks to them with little worth? A road that I would prefer my daughter left untraveled.
Laura Bartlett lives in Parkland, Florida with her husband and two daughters. She works as an insurance agent alongside her husband of 21 years. She earned a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from Florida Atlantic University and can be found on Facebook at http:www.facebook.com/laura.zollobartlett