Dear Self-Absorbed, Shitty Parent (SSP),
I know you're busy with your adultery and all, but do you think you could take a break from all that hard "work" you do every night til all hours and pay a little attention to your kid? Please? She's great; sweet, funny, smart, but most people can't tell, because she never does her homework and is usually in trouble around here. She's very busy acting out in order to draw attention to her home life, which is more than I can say for you; at least she's doing everything she can think of to help.
What does it mean when a middle school girl is working harder to fix things at home than her own mother is? I wouldn't say a word, SSP, if you weren't so full of excuses for why she doesn't get her work done. You keep asking us to understand her, but what she really needs is for you to act like a parent and get your self-absorbed ass to the kitchen table with the homework. She needs you to at least act like you care. Today, she told me you don't "really care" if she does her homework and that she just goes home and talks on the phone or hangs out on the computer until she falls asleep waiting for you to come home. That kind of flies in the face of the load you give me about how hard you try. (And yes, I do believe her over you, because she actually has more credibility than you do, I'm afraid.)
Do you know that your daughter can draw; that she really has talent? Do you know that she cries herself to sleep many nights, and that she has an on-line "boyfriend?" Do you know that in spite of everything, she loves you and thinks that you walk on water? You don't deserve it.
You really tick me off, you know that, SSP? Because while you are out screwing around and carelessly throwing your daughter's self-esteem in the trash, we are busting our tails to keep her out of it. For every message we send that she is intelligent, talented, and precious, your behavior sets up noisy interference. Would you PLEASE, just for a day, stop and think of your daughter?
Wow. That felt good. Too bad I can't really send it. This is a classic example of why I love working with students with behavioral disabilities. I think these kids are the heroes in their families much of the time, even though they are scapegoated; they are willing to sacrifice themselves to draw attention to their families, to get some help.
As a sidenote, I'm not saying that I think behind every juvenile delinquent is a crappy parent, but you cannot argue the fact that I have worked with at least a couple of hundred such kids and can count on two hands the number who turned out that way in spite of adequate parenting. I'm not talking about genetic, uncontrollable disabilities. I'm talking about the ones that came about because of neglect or abuse. And yes, I know...many of these parents are parenting the only way they know how; the way they themselves were parented, blah, blah,blah. It doesn't change my frustration.
Don't worry about me; I'm not freaking out or anything. I'll keep fighting the fight. It would just be nice once in a while if it was a fair one.