January 22, 2013 | Back to: News

Gabby Allen: Being held accountable, by our kids

The other day, I was told a story that I found rather fascinating. A friend of mine (who I will call Alpha Mom) is the mother of an adorable little girl (who I will call Daughter Wolf). Daughter Wolf has her adorable little self involved in all sorts of activities.

A few days ago, Alpha Mom was faced with an unpleasant confrontation involving another mom. Basically, this woman yelled at her in front of a bunch of people for something that was just silly, petty and unnecessarily competitive.

After she calmed down (obviously she found the entire situation irritating), Alpha Mom took her daughter with her as she went to the other mom to apologize. Alpha Mom was hoping her daughter would learn something from the situation. Turns out she did.

When they were back in their car, Daughter Wolf said, “Mommy, you apologized to her, but she didn’t apologize to you.”

This girl is soon to be 6, and what she said kind of blew my mind. Not only was she attentively listening, she was thinking critically and determining what she found wrong about the situation.

Out of genuine curiosity, I asked Alpha Mom if she’d have apologized to this woman had her daughter not witnessed the exchange.

“Well, I don’t know if I would have apologized,” she said. “But as a mother I have a higher calling, even higher perhaps than being a wife - to be a good role model for my daughter.”

I think it admirable that Alpha Mom was able to confront an unpleasant situation for the sake of her daughter. Knowing me, my kid probably just would have had a really inappropriate vocabulary lesson if someone yelled at me like that.

I think often times we as parents forgot just how spongy our little sponges are. My son is only 6 months old, but he is still always watching. There is no way for me to know at which point he will began to replicate my behavior, so I might as well clean up my act now.

I’ve often witnessed parents having very adult conversations with their kids present. It’s almost like they think, “If I don’t see you, you can’t see me." Then they get all embarrassed when their kid loudly announces, “My mom’s constipated!” in the middle of the checkout line at the grocery store.

When you think about it, our kids are the ones who hold us accountable. Even with my youngin’ being so young, there are a few things I would still be doing were he not around, and most of those things aren’t good.

One of these days, I’m sure my son will readily share with the world that Daddy’s preferred attire is socks and boxers, and that Mommy watches way too much Dr. Phil. Hopefully, he will also share that we have OKish table manners and usually brush our teeth before bed.

Gabby Allen is married with one son. Read her Tuesdays on Douglas County Moms.

When you think about it, our kids are the ones who hold us accountable. Even with my youngin’ being so young, there are a few things I would still be doing were he not around, and most of those things aren’t good.

Gabby Allen


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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:28PM Published Jan 31, 2013 08:18AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.