An Opinionated Vent - you have been warned!

Today's vent is about something I am going to call the "PID" syndrome - Parents In Denial. I am sure you have heard of them. They have perfect little angels as children, and anyone who disagrees is a hater, jealous, or wrong.

PID puts children at risk - their own and others as well. And what they don't realize is that they are doing a far greater injustice to their children with their own behavior than anything anyone could ever think or say about their kids.

There are many kinds of PID:
the ones that think they know it all, they know better than anyone else (including medical professionals, schools, psychologists, etc),
the ones that are too afraid to find out the truth because they are cowards so it is easier to live in denial,
the ones that know deep down but choose to ignore it and act like nothing is wrong,
the ones that are more worried about keeping up appearances,
the ones that think they are better than everyone else,
the ones that think the rest of us are lying,
the ignorant - because closing your mind and feelings to truth and not educating yourself is ignorant
the ones that don't really care - because their own selfish lives are more important
the ones that don't have the time because they are too busy (working, cleaning, cooking, doing errands, etc)

And it is their children that suffer. Because they do not get the help they need to become healthy, normal, well behaved members of society. Because their parents let them get away with their behaviors and then point fingers to blame everyone else. Or worse, victimize the victim(s). And then there are PID that even have the audacity to say "we had no idea". What the heck are these parents doing that they have no idea? Why are they not monitoring their child(rens) texts, emails, Facebook accounts, friends, social life, and anything else that would "clue" them in?

So what do you do if you are a PID too? For starters, get involved in your children's lives. They are more important than your friends, than any recreational activity. They are your top and foremost priority. Talk to them, listen to them, ask questions. And create a safe environment where they feel loved, respected, included and trusted - and can trust. And reach out for help if you need it, and educate yourself. There is no shame in doing so. And if you have to, resort to sneakier ways of finding out what they are up to. Talk to their friends too, get to know them.

When I sit outside on the doorstep every day to watch the kids play and talk to the moms, it is not because I like it. But I do it for Kerri. The moms and the kids now all come to me, to my doorstep. We talk about anything and everything. You would be surprised how much I have learned from the kids - things they have not told their own parents. And what a difference a caring ear makes. If it makes a positive difference, no matter how small, then it is worth every moment. And the kids now know better than to misbehave, because we are all watching. It takes a village to raise a child. Become part of that village.

So for all of you PID out there, stop. Think. Honestly ask yourself if you are in denial. Listen. Look around you. Then take a small brave step and start doing something different. It could make all the difference: in your child, in your neighborhood, in your schools. And it could save a life.

And if you are short on patience, walk away and breathe. Think about what you are about to do or say. And bullying your kid, or any kind of abuse (mental, physical, etc), is not the answer. It just teaches your kid to be just like you. They are watching and listening.

Life with Kerri will not apologize if this post offends anyone. If you are offended, you need to take a closer look at yourself.