The Last Angry Child

We all want perfect, happy children who  get good grades, have winning personalities and loads of friends, graduate from the best colleges, earn huge salaries, marry wonderful people and have wonderful children, and on and on. If they do well for themselves, we’re pleased as punch. If they don’t, and are sad, we’re sad, too. There’s a saying, “You’re only as happy as your saddest child.”

Shirley, such a swell little girl

I saw a riveting movie called “Beautiful Boy” today on Pay Per View, about a couple in a strained marriage whose only child commits a heinous crime, then kills himself. The movie takes us through the way they process his death and the crime, as well as the reaction of their friends, neighbors, co-workers and families.  Needless to say, they go through a period of intense self-doubt, when they blame themselves and each other for their son’s violence.

Are we somewhat, overwhelmingly or not at all responsible if our children turn into marvels or monsters? Are  monster parents who have marvelous offspring just plain lucky, while marvelous parents with monster kids drew the short straw? Is it okay to dislike your child if he turns out to be a monster?

Our parents raised us differently than their parents raised them; we raised our children differently than our parents raised us, and now our kids are raising their kids differently than they were raised by us.

Every generation is certain it’s unlocked the secret to perfect parenting. So how come so many imperfect people continue to inhabit the earth?

4 Responses to “The Last Angry Child”

  1. Maci says:

    If you think your children are perfect, that level of medication is dangerous!

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  2. Patricia C. says:

    Wow, this topic is like fire. When do we stop being responsible for our children? I have five children all grown up. My youngest is 19, she is beautiful, so smart, and she breaks my heart. I just want her to be happy, but sometimes the choices she makes are not the best. I stand by, always, ready to hopefully fix whatever is wrong. I can’t stop doing this. All of my kids are good, decent, kind people, and I am so grateful for that. And yes, maybe I just got lucky, but I also know I did do a good job as a mom. Thanks for the title of the movie, I will certainly watch it. I can’t even imagine losing a child, and I know this movie will stir up all kinds of emotions.

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    • Geri says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Now that my children are 30 and almost 33, I’ve finally learned (sort of) that no matter how hard we try, we can’t fix their mistakes any more than our parents could fix ours (although I hardly made any mistakes LOL)

      But I still try to “fix” them, and probably will till the day I die.

      Fondly, Geri

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  3. Kate Line Snider says:

    I have four grown sons and a grown stepson,(whom I helped raise) plus five grandchildren and a step-grandchild. Fortunately, nobody has any really serious problems, but in a family this size, SOMEBODY is always unhappy. That is just the way we roll.

    I have had to learn to stop berating myself when my adult offspring make mistakes, and to let them raise their own children their own way.It’s not easy; I get criticism from all sides no matter what I do (or don’t do)! Like our parents, we all do the best we can with our own circumstances.

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