Recently I experienced a parenting struggle that sent me straight to Google; a true testament of love for my children and the desire to be a good parent. Regardless of what anyone says, parenting doesn’t come naturally or with any instinctual attributes. It’s learn as you go, grin and bare it, and look it up on Google.
I was faced with what is known as playing the victim. We all know this game. We all play this game. “I can’t…”. “It’s too hard.”. “It takes too long…”. And on and on. We don’t want to take on a responsibility for some reason or other, so we avoid it by playing the victim.
Well this nailed my parenting struggle. Some girls (not mine) or boys will try to get out of (math, or vocabulary, or history) homework by saying: “It’s too hard.” “I’m too stupid.” “The teacher doesn’t explain it.” Meanwhile, the goodie-two-shoes parent (not me) becomes sidetracked and flustered. Not fun!
But it gets interesting. Reading on about this tactic, I learned about a scientific study done on prisoners that determined most inmates never learned accountability as children. As you can imagine, many of them had undesirable childhood situations. The common factor amongst the majority was that they felt justified to commit whatever crime it was that landed them in prison. Even as adults, they believed their plot in life was to blame for their prison predicament and not the crime. In other words, they played the victim. Lack of money, empathy, and morals elicited social implications, but a victimized mentality was the culprit that culminated to dangerous (illegal) behavior.
I can’t help but assimilate this to our society’s favorite phrase, “I’m too busy”. A catchall idiom used by many, playing the busy-ness victim surfaces as the top excuse for not contributing fully to life. Never a fan of this tactic, I recognize my rank to others in a social setting. Worse, however, is the overall demise of relationships, food quality, childish play, religion, exercise, volunteerism, and any other soul growing activity that nourishes the body, mind, and spirit.
With that in mind, we as a people can do better than “I’m too busy”. Take some accountability for being a great person and being needed in the world. Being locked in your busy-ness prison cell will get you nowhere.
the not-too-busy Barbie