Kids and sabotage are words I really don't like hearing in the same sentence. And although I am sure there are legions of Jen Hatmaker supporters who are ready to carry her banner and dismiss anyone who disagrees, I say that much of the behavior Ms. Hatmaker describes is a result of parental behaviors that focus far more on their own agendas and not early as much as they should on what kids really need at unsettling times of the year.
I choose the word unsettling for a reason. Holidays can be really rough for people. There is first of all the pace: who can keep up with the endless demands to do more, see more, post more, smile more, travel more, cook more - perfectly? And what if the holiday brings back hard memories, not just happy ones? Holidays should not be about schedules and stuff, they should be, as author Terra Trevor so beautifully says, about love.
It's exhausting. We adults get stressed, and our kids see it, feel it and act on it. This, I think, is what is at the root of a lot of the behavior Ms. Hatmaker discusses in her post. Not all, of course, so it is fair for parents to consider what else might be at the root of what they see as behavioral sabotage. We readers, those, shouldn't be privy to it.
Aselefech Negesso, adult adoptee founder of Ethopian Adoptees of the Diaspora, says it up perfectly. Too bad that as of this writing, Ms. Hatmaker has declined to make this important point of view public on her blog.
Perfect timing and really helpful piece but as an adult adoptee, I wish you were more protective of your child's struggles during this time of the year. Publicly exposing her struggles really diminished the strength of your argument.Back when I started writing, I occasionally posted about my kids. Not personal details, but everyday news. Once or twice I posted a photo. Over time as I reread those posts, I found that even the innocuous ones were inappropriate. The question I started asking myself was "Would I post this about my adult kids?" And the answer is almost always no.
I honor my kids best when I give them their privacy. They can speak for themselves, and don't need any adoptive parent - me included - speaking for them.