Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Setting Boundaries

I have never met children quite like the children in Nashville. The Adults, however are no picnic and they are the reason the children and schools are so dysfunctional.

When I learned about Enmeshment Theory it made sense as poverty and generational systemic racism and classicism with the extra special touch of Jesus it has enabled families to operate at a higher level of dysfunction than I am accustomed to.  There is the strong Martyr Complex and in turn the resignation that it has always been this way.

Americans are freaking out over Immigrants and they too have difficulty assimilating into the "American Way" which means speaking English, integrated into society by becoming Christian, White and Conservative.  That will not happen but then what happens is that are the beards, the front people for the same group that exploit and use them to defend their insanely xenophobic rationale and racist policies.   Trust me when I see those faces of color disparage each other I think how sad that you have more in common that different but hey just act white and base all hate on skin color and we are good to go!

The South prefers its divisions to be of class and race - two races - no more as they really don't have time to get into all the others as this Civil War is running over a 100 years now and we need to get it right so adding other brown shades only mucks it up so just go away!  Or go North as that worked the last time... oh wait.

The endless hysteria over all things here never end.  A young high school kid was targeted and killed in his car and the fraternal order of some society that mentor youth are demanding the NAACP, Black Lives Matter and the Urban League to come to protest his death. They may have a point as another face of color just 14 committed suicide last week.  Well that my friends is Survival of the Fittest and this is the home of the Scopes Trial so go figure.  Black Lives Matter regardless of how they are taken.

I think we in the North tried hard to resolve the differences and we failed but we wore shirts, had pins, bracelets and actually tried.  Again we failed so don't look to me to resolve these issues as they never will be.   We can stop shooting black men in the street and incarcerating them for a joint but until they are properly educated and enabled to access the same jobs their white counterparts have then nope.  But then make way for Africans, Asians, Latinos, Women, LGBQT and those of Middle Eastern descent it makes it crowded out here to find parity.   So no, not going to happen.

So as we all struggle to find our place we have to set boundaries, set clear lines and expectations that enable people to know the rules and thereby follow if not play by them.  Maybe that is why Sports are so popular in the South it is the one truly level playing field.

But the children here seem utterly clueless, the lack of empathy and compassion have been fully eradicated and that is somewhat due  from modern life but much of it is learned and taught via modeling.  They exhibit little of that here and again that explains the state of the schools.  But  we all come from some shit and that is the reality we have now established, my pain is bigger than your pain so fuck you.   It is why when I meet many of the Arabic speaking population here I have little to say or even to connect to.  It used to be the African diaspora in Seattle as many American black people had such challenges they refused to be called African American.  Schools had hard times teaching the kids simple toiletry rules and the Girls that I met from Africa were so without boundaries and self discipline I assumed it was the confusion of how to integrate the two cultures to fit somewhere in between.   I finally gave up and rarely if ever engaged with them as they now remind me so much of Southern girls, the bating, the unkindness and the rudeness that I finally realized it is sexual issue and the lack of education and expectation for women here much like Muslim countries that explain it.  Women' have such intense boundaries they take it out on other women and the men have no sense of their place or role here so that may explain the whole terrorism thing.  Again like their white counterpart you seize on that which makes you feel powerful.   Guns usually work.  But cars, swords, bombs are all seemingly a part of this manhood that is less about issues and more about the self that led to it.

I also want to mention that this may explain the confusion about sex and sexuality as many men seem to think porn is the source of education and information about how to treat women. And that many men placed into early adulthood with single moms even have less boundaries and more confusion as their male role models are largely sporting figures (note the NFL of late) or some type of Priest or Boy Scout dude.  Wow there is a pair to draw two on. 

I spent the day the other day in a Pre K classroom.  This was not by my choosing as I was to do ELL (English Language Learners) in an elementary school.  I have done it before and I enjoy it as it is a smaller group, easy to manage and kind of fun.   But the Pre K teacher who is quitting in two weeks took another sick day.  My aide was an Egyptian woman whose qualifications consist of having the job.  I did not like her nor dislike her as I had no connections and by the end of the day I was exhausted, angry and furious that this woman is teaching a vulnerable group and should not be.  As she will be when the Teacher leaves.  And if this woman is stupid enough to believe that all the classroom tools and other means to assist will be remaining behind when she goes she clearly does not know Teachers.  The reality is that Teachers buy most if not all of it so I suspect what will be left will be a rude awakening.  And when the aide asked me if I wanted a long term sub job I was furious and said I want nothing to do with this and I am on medical leave in January so no.   I finally excused myself to return to the classroom I started it, left a brief note and walked out a whopping 15 minutes before end of day. They are obsessed with that here that you are stay regardless as if an hour or so makes that much when classes are done.  I refuse to do any duties as I am not paid and not recognized as a Teacher so fuck you.  Dock that 11 dollars.

I have been working on finding positive to counter the negative so my new plan is to read one article in the New York Times then read a positive one.  Not easy but you try.

But today ask yourself if you can set a boundary with your family, your co-workers, the people whom you encounter and in turn more importantly with Children.   There is a confusion about this and when the rich do it it is "Helicopter Parenting."  When the poor do it is Enmeshment.  Neither are good, healthy nor ways to raise functional children. It may explain Millennial's as they seem perpetually hung up on remaining Children.  Note the scooter phase of late.

I found this essay and I think it hits all the right nails and they should be placed in one's head frankly.

Moms with no boundaries will raise kids with no respect

Apr 24, 2011 The Southern Illinoisan

A journalist recently began an interview with me with this question: "What is the biggest problem in American parenting today? Is it sex, drugs, alcohol, cell phones, the Internet, what?"

I answered, "Those are problems, but the biggest problem in American parenting today is the lack of a physical or emotional boundary between parent and child, and especially mother and child."

A physical boundary between people is essential to respect. To use a crass, but illustrative, example: Some men may like it that certain women establish no boundaries in male-female relationships, but those men have absolutely no respect for those women.

I'm a member of the last generation of American children to grow up with mothers who clearly defined to us when we could and could not be in their "space." Furthermore, their inviolate space expanded and contracted with their moods. One day, you could play in the house; the next day, your mom banished you to the outdoors until suppertime. Back in those days, it was clear to the child that "mother" was a part-time job. Furthermore, the mother, not the child, determined when she punched the clock.

From all that I hear, I'm also a member of the last generation of American children to truly respect their mothers. We obeyed them. We gave them wide berth. We did not demand things of them. We did not take them for granted.

And we never, ever yelled at them, called them names or hit them. I am painfully aware that most of today's moms are being disrespected in one or more of those ways by their kids - and on a regular basis. Furthermore, when this disrespect occurs, lots of moms ask themselves, "What did I do wrong?"

This is dangerous stuff, when children, especially male children, can disrespect the most important female in their lives and said female acts powerless and even deserving. If this isn't corrected, it's going to come back to haunt us all.

Before a mother can freely establish a physical boundary between herself and her child, however, she must establish an emotional boundary. This is the crux of the matter. For all too many of today's moms, their children's distress is their distress, their children's problems are their problems, their children's failures are their failures, their children's successes are their successes, and so on. This is very destructive to both mother and child. It is a perfect model of co-dependency, and as such it results in a tremendous amount of enabling _ of solving problems for children that they are capable of solving for themselves. And if they don't solve all of their problems, so be it. Have you? Are you nonetheless okay?

The lack of emotional boundary also causes a mother to experience the raising of children as the most stressful, anxiety-ridden, physically and emotionally exhausting thing she's ever done. Parenting has become bad for the mental health of women not because of some feature that is inherent to the process, but because women aren't taking good care of themselves.

When a mother complains to me, as many do, that her children won't leave her alone, she is hoping I can give her some clever, behavior-modification-based method she can "perform" on them that will cause them to stop constantly intruding on her. What I tell her is that her children are not the problem. She is. Therefore, she holds the solution in her very hands. It's learning to use the word no.

JOHN ROSEMOND is a psychologist, family therapist and nationally known authority on parenting issues.

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