Friday, September 28, 2012

Should We Care What The Neighbors Think?

I’m often lecturing the kids with righteous statements like, “Be yourself.” and “You shouldn’t care about what others think of you.”

Just the other day, I forced the kids to help me pull weeds.  The front yard looked like Jurassic Park and we were having a party that weekend.  I picked through rotting flowers, ranting, “We look like white trash.  I can’t believe I let it get this bad.”

Wonderfully DysfunctionalThe Boy, who was sitting on the driveway happily procrastinating, suddenly came to life. “Mom! I thought you said we shouldn’t care what people think about us.”

I snapped back, “That’s true, but look at this place.  Aren’t you ashamed to live here?”

Sure that he found a way out of doing chores The Boy jumped to his feet and said, “I don’t care what people think about me and neither should you Mom.” 

The kids are genius at using my words against me. I’m in charge of teaching good core values, but there I was again…speechless. Why did I care what the house looked like?

In the article Why You shouldn’t Care What Others Think About You, Michael Miles states, “We didn’t want to be singled out by the crowd for being different…” and goes on to call this “the drug of approval and importance.”

School kids feel the pressure to fit in more than ever.  So where do we draw the line of having a healthy need for acceptance?  And why must I have such a smart-ass kid?

After a brief fight with myself, I stood up and proclaimed, “I don’t care what others think.  I want the house to look nice for ME. Now hurry and help me finish before the neighbors see me wearing these dirty jeans."

How are you driven to fit in?

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