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"just little bits of history repeating"

Here's a small update for anyone who was wondering how Carolyn's cousin Jo was doing. Apparently she has decided that her ex, Augie, isn't the bad guy, it is her 12-year-old that is the root of the problem. She is trying to get the state to take her child away, to save the rest of her family, we are to assume. I guess she will later discover it is her now-6-year-old that is the problem and so on... anything to keep making excuses for herself and her ex. Meanwhile, last Tuesday, the police were called by the ex's mom and sister since he was choking the 12-year-old. And, given their history of excusing everything Augie does, it makes me wonder how extreme this situation must have been.

What a mess. Before she temporarily moved up here she said all the right things. She wanted to start over, start a new life. To get herself healthy so that she could have a healthy relationship. She wouldn't even think of a relationship for a year. She'd get her kids into a stable environment. She said she realized it wouldn't be easy, but that she was ready for it. blah blah blah. She comes up, faces very little difficulty, and decides it is too hard. When she told Carolyn she'd invited her ex up here to spend the night with us and to bring her back, she had a new set of crap she was trying on. This time she knew it was going to be hard to make the family work, that there were a lot of bumps in the road, but that they would work through them.

So, she's throwing her first-born over the side now, to save the sinking ship. She invites these kids into the world, screws up and screws up and screws up, and then blames them. She decided to get pregnant with him when she was 15 years old. That isn't some euphemism I'm using... she and then-14-year-old Augie actually decided that would be a good idea. She has been just as short-sighted and selfish ever since. And, of course, Jo's mother makes excuses for her to this day. When Jo screws up, her mom explains that it's Augie's fault... if it just weren't for Augie everything would be fine.

You can't raise a child that thinks of the future, that is willing to forgo a short-term pleasure to gain a long-term happiness, if you always make excuses for them. You let them pretend that the natural consequences of their short-term thinking is really someone else's fault. By pandering to them, by selling them a false contentment now, you deny them access to the feedback that would help them to choose the paths that would lead them towards actual contentment in the future. It doesn't matter what the reason is... it doesn't matter if you feel guilty for putting them in this situation or whatever. The point is that you aren't doing them, or yourself, any favors by making it harder for them tell healthy decisions from harmful ones.