Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Role Reversal

I was witness to a disturbing role play between a mom and her 11 yr old son yesterday. She was describing how due to the breakdown of her current relationship with her boyfriend (not her son's father), she is in the midst of liquidating some assets to pay off debts.

Nothing really strange about that until her son piped up and started talking about the logistics of the sale of assets which got his mom started on how tiring and frustrating it has been and the son reminding her to breath and that it is ok to want to scream if it helps relieve the was the look on the boy's face that caught me. He was the adult then.

You could see just how upset her son was getting about the whole situation. Holy smokes, he is just 11 yrs old. I'm not sure it is that appropriate to have someone his age so emotionally involved like this. It takes away their childhood. Plus this type of stuff is best left for the adults to handle.

I agree with teaching kids how to manage allowance and learn to save but not what's going on above. I don't feel it is fair to them to take on such a burden. If the mom needs to talk to someone about it, I feel another adult/family member/girl friend/guy friend etc. would be more appropriate.


  1. I agree. Giving children a childhood is important. Children should learn to take responsibilities for themselves & help out with what they can at home but many other things can wait until they're older.


  2. I agree with you for the most part, but great things can come out of learning what reality is like early. Gandhi was married and running his own household at the tender age of 13! Not to say I think it's a good idea, I just think the strength and maturity of the individual should be taken into account. I was the child of a divirce, and being kept in the dark (or sheltered) was very painful, filled with self-blame and fear. This 11 year old may be given a heavy burden, but it may be the kindest thing to do as long as he has his own netowrk to lean on.

  3. PS, I am a big fan of what you are accomplishing! I hope to learn more as I read about your successes!

  4. Hi Sandra!

    Thanks for your comment. I'm excited to check out your blog!

    Hi Pol*!

    I worry about this particular boy because he looked like he was cracking under his mom's pressure. I'm not sure that his mom realizes how she has projected her anxieties on him.

    I too had to take on adult responsibilites when I was really young and it did change me. I feel more carefree now than I ever did as a child.

    I can definitely see how being too sheltered can be harmful as it makes one feel helpless, unable to do anything.

    Hopefully parents in these situations are able to gage just what their kids can handle so that they experience some realism to the extent they can handle without ruining their outlook on life.

    And thanks for your compliment!