In The News
Why Are Moms Behaving Badly?
I couldn't believe it. Well, sadly, actually I could, when I learned that a Long Island mom was recently arrested for allegedly sending a barrage of threatening letters to a Little League coach when her son did not make the traveling team. The woman, Janet Chiauzzi, 44 of East Meadow, New York, also threatened the coach's wife and children and sent letters to the school principal accusing the coach of sexual abuse.
I'm not sure where to start with this one, but let me say that this unfortunate incident speaks to the tremendous competitive pressure among moms. The one-upmanship starts at birth with baby weight, continues to preschool selection and spreads into every crevice of parenting, even sports.
I mean sports are competitive by definition, but when you add the mommy element on top--it's a powder keg situation that could blow at any time.
One of the things I lament about motherhood, is that many women lose themselves in mothering. That is, their children become not just their whole life, but their chance at a second life. Many times moms define themselves by their children, so their failures are your failures and if they didn't make the travel team then you didn't make the team. Cue painful high school flash back.
And in these moments, where moms are supposedly acting in their child's interest, are they really thinking about the behavior they are modeling for their children? This reminds me of a blog I recently wrote about a disturbing string of run-ins I had with what I call, "Gangsta Moms"--mothers displaying extremely bad behavior with no regret. The incidents I encountered were shocking.
In these situations, I was struck by how these moms, in a quest to take a stand for their children, forgot their biggest job is of role model and to actually display good behavior and good conflict resolution skills.
The last part of what this incident teaches me is that somehow, somewhere we have convinced ourselves that we have to shield our children from disappointment--when, in fact, some disappointment builds character, creates resilience and gives our children much-needed life skills for the real world. To try to foster a sterilized life for our kids, without any of the ups and downs that make life, life and builds the human spirit is a true disservice to our children.
And that would be the real crime.
photo credit: Nassau County Police