Is it always good to avoid confrontation?

Today I had to make a tough decision.

I had to decide whether to avoid confrontation with the Daughter by pretending everything was okay or address a situation and express my difference of opinion.

I chose to do the latter.

Confrontation is never easy.

For the most part, some of us decide it’s not worth the heartache or the angst.

Nevertheless, there are times when we realize that in choosing to ignore what’s troubling us, we also pave the way for problems to fester; to escalate.

It’s been two weeks since the Daughter last called.

Some mothers may not think this is a big deal.

I’m not one of those mothers.

I remember the first time I heard the song, “Cats in the cradle.”

I must have been twelve years old at the time.

I recall thinking that in the song, the reason the son turned into his father was because it was what he learned; his father’s lack of attention taught him to be an absent son.

Even at that young age, I knew that when the time came for me to have children, I did not want to be like the father in the song.

And true to my word, I have been a dedicated mother who has always put her children first.

It is for this very reason that I refuse to be put in a corner.

I refuse to be ignored, dismissed, put on hold.

I have certain expectations of my children, even if they are adults.

This morning, I took a deep breath before answering the Daughter’s phone call.

After saying hello, I told her in a calm but emphatic manner how she cannot ignore her mother; how a mother deserves more than just left over time.

I told her it’s not okay to take life for granted and think that I will be alive and well to take her call whenever.

I mentioned that while life can leave us feeling exhausted and drained, we have to make time for the people we love.

This weekend my mother informed me that a friend of the family died in a car crash.

He drove to the bakery to buy bread and coffee and on his way home, experienced low blood sugar and slammed into a tree.

He died three hours later from internal injuries.

Indeed, life is short.

We don’t know how long we have to live.

We don’t know if today will be our last.

It’s because of this that I refuse to allow the Daughter to wait two weeks before she calls; before
I hear her voice and she hears mine.

Yes, today I chose confrontation.

Because sometimes a mother has to be tough.

Because at times a mother has to create awareness before it’s too late.

And because I was never like the father in the song.

The rule of reciprocity will be put in effect because some day the Daughter will also be a mother who wants to hear her child’s voice.

Because some day she too will ache to hear her child ask, “How are you, mom?”

Today I could have chosen to act like nothing was wrong; to justify her absence for lack of time; but I didn’t.

And while this morning’s telephone conversation may have resulted in a bit of upset, it also served to establish the importance of communication.

I want to believe that today’s conversation was more than my “filing a complaint.”

It was my way of reminding the Daughter to be the thoughtful and caring woman I’ve always known her to be.

Do you avoid confrontation or do you face what’s troubling you head on?

Note: Roxy’s photo has nothing to do with today’s post. However, I did want to start off your week with a little Roxy love.

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70 thoughts on “Is it always good to avoid confrontation?

  1. It depends on who I am talking to. With my family, husband and kid, no way…I am like right in there saying what bothers me. I have to practice waiting to bring up my concerns. With everyone else, I pretty much let stuff roll. I try and keep things real with my immediate family because we’re not about pretending. My daughter and I are very close, she can tell me what is upsetting her and I do the same for her. It’s my job to not let her turn into an entitled goober who uses tearing down her mother to create the illusion she is growing up.

    If I am feeling resentful toward someone I am close to and hope to remain close to, I will usually find a way to let them know something is bugging me. I’ve found if I don’t let others know what is bothering me over time the anger erodes the relationship and ultimately their is no relationship.

    Your daughter knows where you stand. What a gift you give her, she knows what is on your mind. She doesn’t have to wonder…I admire your directness with her. It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about you letting her know who you are and how you would like to be treated.

    1. Patrice, reading your words is like rubbing a soothing balsam over my soul. Thank you for your honesty. I loved reading about your distinctive approach with the different situations you encounter in life. I’m completely in agreement that sometimes, even though it may be a bit patronizing, we have to give our children a reality check. Sadly, there are too many self entitled human beings running around and methinks this could have been avoided if mothers had checked attitude and unacceptable behavior at the door. I want to believe that in verbalizing how I feel, she too will one day use the same tactic to make sure her children know they have to prioritize. I hope she can appreciate this down the road. :)

  2. Wow. I admire that. I probably would have told her I understand how busy life gets. I would have taken the route where I wouldn’t want her to feel guilty. I too remember hearing this song at about the same age as you, and thinking how sad and I would never be that kind of parent. And I’m not, but I could totally see how I would excuse the lack of phone calls from a grown child. You really made me think about this. To reevaluate. Thank, Bella. As always, a thought-provoking post!

    1. Michael Ann, when I spoke to her, I made sure to voice my dissatisfaction in a matter of fact tone. My children have to come to understand my “mom means business” voice as, “no, there are no excuses, hold yourself accountable.” She knows I’m always very direct and when I’m serious, I don’t sugar coat things. Hopefully, this will serve to remind her that no matter how busy life gets, we have to make time for those who love us; who worry about us. I’m delighted that you like the post. When I wrote it, I thought, I hope this subject gets people thinking. I’m glad you feel that it accomplished this. Thank you! :)

  3. Parenting is never easy. It often involves taking the more difficult path, the more challenging conversation. It’s easy to avoid confrontation and to just make it all seem nice. But being honest, without insulting, often makes all the difference.

    1. Mamawolfe, I’m with you. I’ve never been the kind of mother who wants to be “best buds” with her children. I say, they have enough friends. I’m their mother. Nevertheless, my children have always been treated with respect since it’s what I expect from them. It’s vital that as parents we model the behavior we want our children to exhibit. I’m glad to be able to openly discuss what bothers me even if this means she will not agree or become a bit upset. I want to believe that in the long run, she’ll appreciate my broaching this type of situation in a direct and honest way.

  4. I cannot stress enough how correct you are Bella! My daughter who teaches in Korea was just in Canada for 2 weeks, has just left to go to Scotland for 3 weeks (her boyfriend’s parents live there) and then they will be going to visit India together for 9 weeks before returning to teach in Korea. Initially Ashley thought she would only be in Canada for a week but her flight got delayed a week. She spent a day with her dad and offered to spend a day with me before going to spend five days with her sister in Toronto, where no doubt there would be lots of drinking and partying. I said to her that if one day was all she could spare me out of 13 weeks (knowing also it would probably amount to a few hours), she should just keep going. Yes, it broke my heart, but respect is number one in my book, and as she had chosen alcohol and partying with her sister first I passed on seeing her. Some of my friends felt I was wrong and should clutch at any straw kind of thing, but that’s not the way I operate. Thanks for sharing here Bella.

    1. Elizabeth, I can relate. It’s hard being a parent, isn’t it? When we have our children, we have the best intentions of raising them to be kind, compassionate, productive citizens of society. What we don’t count on are the variables we can’t control. The socialization process at times does more harm than good and as a result, many times our children do not prioritize the way they should. I can totally understand your reason for feeling the way you did in regard to your daughter’s actions and respect your decision. I find that if faced with your situation, I too would have acted in a similar fashion. It’s not about inducing guilt. It’s about reminding these children of ours that we deserve consideration and respect. After all, if we fail at teaching these values, how can we complain when we’re treated in an unacceptable manner? I won’t have it. It’s not about being an authoritarian parent. It’s about loving our children enough to point out when their actions are unkind and inconsiderate. Thank you for sharing your story, friend.

  5. Wait, where is Roxy’s photo? I’m not seeing it. In other news, you did the right thing. There are times when confrontation just isn’t worth it. But, sometimes confrontation is, especially when it’s about our children. We know better and we don’t want them to live with the regret that they didn’t call more often. I’m so sorry about your family friend. That is one of my biggest fears. To suddenly leave this earth without having the chance to say goodbye. How sad. I hope your daughter took to heart what you told her. I hope it made you feel better, too.

    1. Monica, thank you. Our family friend’s death is a tragedy. It makes me sad to realize he never got to say goodbye to his family and friends. But sadly, sometimes that’s the way it is. That’s why I’m a firm believer that we have to live life like today’s our last day on the planet. No regrets, that’s what I say. My decision to speak out about this situation with the Daughter stemmed from exactly what you point out, not wanting her to live with regret. Guilt can destroy a person and sadly, it’s what some feel when they recognize they didn’t do enough for those they love. I want to believe that one of the heirs to my debt took to heart what I said. I really do. I can assure you that I felt like a weight had been lifted when I was able to share how unhappy I was about her prolonged absence. Little Roxy’s photo is MIA? Oh, oh! :)

  6. Me again. So strange, at first the photo of Roxy wasn’t showing up for me!! But now I see it and she looks like an angel. Oh I just want to hug Miss Thing. So precious, napping in the sun. Love it!

    1. Monica, don’t you wish we could trade lives with our pets sometimes? I wish I could nap in the sun all day long, not worrying about anything other than when I’m going out for walks or when I’m going to eat! hee hee! Roxy thanks you for your kind words. Do share it with Sir Henry! :)

  7. If I think that in this particular situation voicing out my concerns might improve something, I’ll do it; if I think that it would bring more harm than good, or that it wouldn’t really help anything, I stay silent and let the things roll. More often than not, things sort themselves out, one way or another.

    1. Ivana, I like your practical approach to solving things. And at times, I too have adopted this strategy. Sadly, this isn’t always the best way to deal with parental issues. There are times when children, or in this case, young adults, need to hear the facts in black and white. I thought this was one of those times since it’s not the first time that it’s happened. Thanks for chiming in, lady! :)

  8. You sound like a very dedicated and smart mother! Your daughter is fortunate to have a mother who loves her enough to voice her concerns about a widening crevice before it becomes a river. And your post reminds the rest of us not to take anyone we care about for granted. Nice.

    1. Renee, thank you! I’m tickled pink that you approve. I love how you say, “…voice her concerns about a widening crevice before it becomes a river.” How right you are, friend, since this is what often happens when we sweep things under the rug. We circle the issue but never really address it and before we know it, it’s grown to gargantuan proportions. No, it’s best to nip things in the bud. And yes, this comment is filled with clichés but they’re fitting, don’t you think? :)

  9. Well done, Bella! I prefer to avoid confrontation, too, but as I’ve – um – matured, I’ve realized it’s sometimes warranted, and have learned to use it judiciously.

    I went through a phase during which I could go weeks and weeks without talking to my Mom. I cringe to think of it.

    I hope you both got what you needed. xoxo

    1. Ellen, we did. I think the Daughter, even though she tried to steer the conversation away (no, I didn’t let her) finally came to the realization that I was truly hurt by her detachment. I think it’s best to let our children know when their actions affect us and not expect them to guess what’s troubling us. Thanks for your support, lady! :)

  10. Choosing confrontation is a matter of choosing those battles that are well worth it. You did what a mother was supposed to do, Bella. While it may have caused distress, kids live in that ‘me’ world and have to be brought out of that. This is another phase of raising our children. Have to verbally snatch’em up sometimes.

    1. Totsy, thank you for your words. You’re so right–kids are extremely egocentric and it’s high time we brought them back to the land of the living, where other folks also live! Like you mention, it’s important to create awareness by speaking directly about what ails us. I’m glad to have your approval, Tots. :)

  11. I’m sorry to hear about your family friend. As for confrontation, I think I have chosen that option a little more as I get older and more confident. Though, still trying to find the balance of when it is the right situation. I don’t think we are entitled to always “speak our mind” – I do think there are other factors to consider. But I can tell you that my mom would always tell me if I better call her more, she wouldn’t care about other “factors” :)

    1. Caryn, I love how your mom couldn’t care less about other factors! Yep, that’s a mom for you! hee hee! I’m glad that you mention that we do have to consider different aspects before throwing ourselves into full confrontational mode. I quite agree. This method doesn’t work with everyone and for all situations. We really have to choose to do this only if we feel it’s best to voice what’s causing us discomfort or hurt. Thanks for adding to the discussion, lady! :)

  12. You absolutely did the right thing. I remember that song very well and always thought it was so sad. My husband and I also did not raise our boys that way. We have always been very close and hands on and “there”. Boys can be very bad at calling their mother, though. But I have given them similar talks that you gave your daughter. We usually call each other every Sunday. And now that they are both married with families, the daughters-in-law call me quite often. Sometimes it takes age to realize how important this is. My own mother lives 3 miles away and I call her at least once a day.
    As always, great post!
    Nina
    http://over50andhappy.com

    1. Nina, I’m so pleased you liked the post! You are one lucky woman to have sons and daughters in law call! But then you are a special lady, so I expect no less! It’s wonderful that you have a schedule too. I think this might be a good idea–to set a specific day to call. I think I will suggest this to the Daughter and see if she likes the idea. I’m open all week now it only depends on when she’s free! And for the record, my mom lives on another continent and I have to hear her voice at least every other day. It’s the only way I can feel at ease given her age. Thanks for commenting, lady! :)

  13. Good for you, Bella — much better to lay it all out on the table and clear the air, rather than let upset feelings fester! My sister has turned the cold shoulder on my mom countless times, going for lots longer than two weeks without communication, then suddenly calls and acts as if nothing’s wrong. I say, Let her have it! Nobody knows how long anybody else will be around, and you can’t simply treat people (especially family, especially moms!) as if they’re dispensable. And Miss Roxy is just stunning as she’s sunning!

    1. Debbie, your words allow me to breathe a sigh of relief. I’m thankful that I’m not alone in thinking this way. Like you mention, you can’t treat people, especially family members and above all, a mother, like they’re expendable. No siree! And that’s another thing–what makes these adult children feel like they don’t have to apologize after such a prolonged absence and initiate convesrsations as if nothing? Unacceptable, I tell you. Miss Roxy is tickled pink at your kind words. She’s preparing for the sunnier months ahead, as you can see. :)

  14. Good girl, Bella! My family are experts at the passive-aggressive, say-nothing-but-imply-everything tribe. The perfect recipe for ulcers. You did just the right thing! (ahem, I took your advice, too… Hello new blog post. =) )

    1. Lori, my mother can be passive-aggressive at times too. She insinuates what she wants, but never completely comes out and states it, all the while fanning herself and saying, “Some day this will be accomplished. Argh! A recipe for ulcers indeed! hee hee! I am delighted that you’ve got a new post! I’m rushing over to read it as soon as I post this comment! Yipee! :)

  15. I may be the odd one in the group, but I guess I’ve had a lifetime of people making me feel guilty for what (in their eyes) I haven’t done correctly. If I had a difference of opinion, I was to stifle it. I know that my kids do things that I am not always fond of, but it is their life. They are adults and I had my shot at teaching them my set of values and beliefs and then they went out into the world solo. If they don’t want to see or talk with me, then so be it. I will always be here for them and my door is always open. I sometimes think that kids don’t get it until they have their own children. I know I didn’t.

    Bella, I can tell you are an incredible mother. There must have been a good reason that you brought the situation to a head. You do not strike me as someone who thrives on drama so you felt the conflict warranted your response. I’m sure you are right…and I’m confident you will be hearing from your daughter again soon.

    I am also sorry to hear about your family friend. A sad reminder that life is precious and very short…which makes it that much more important to mend fences with the people we love.

    1. Annie, you’re back! I have missed your intelligent and wise comments on my wee blog! I understand your point and I respect it. However, it was not my intention to make the daughter feel guilty when I broached the subject. This is not the first time the heiress to my debt has gone missing in action. As of late, it’s turned into a pattern of behavior I don’t like. Furthermore, not only do I miss knowing she’s safe and well, the Son is also quite affected. Nevertheless, I agree with you that we have to “live and let live.” And there are times that I too have thought that it defeats the purpose to force myself on my kids. At one time I even wondered if it was my ego getting in the way. Yet, after much pondering, I came to the conclusion that I would not assume the passive role of declaring, it is what it is. The way I see it, I’m their mother and I will be treated with consideration and respect. If, however, they don’t want to be a part of my life, then that’s a different story but then they have to make that clear. What I won’t tolerate is apathy; the, “I only call when I need you,” business. And of course, you’re right–they won’t get it till they have their own kids. Thank you for your kind words, lady. I think my children would beg to differ with you regarding the drama bit. hee hee! But in all honesty, I am very transparent and don’t engage in drama or mind games. I hope you’re right and that next time around the Daughter won’t wait this long to get back to us. Thank you for your support. Our family friend will be buried tomorrow and most definitely, his death serves to remind us of how we can’t take life for granted.

  16. I’m so upset…I just wrote you a huge comment and something happened with my browser. That serves me right for doing this at the office. Ughh…I will try again at home! Sorry you’re going through this, Bella :/ and sorry about me taking forever to read your latest post!

    1. Oh no! Nate, I’m sorry! I hate when that happens. That’s why I use Lazarus recovery. It saves whatever you’re typing. Thank you for your support! And no worries about the blog post reading. Visit me when you have time! :)

  17. –Parenting is the HARDEST job we will EVER do…and we get little credit for it.

    I mean, we are molding the next leaders of the freaking free world, man!

    You are doing the right thing, Bella. Your daughter will be stronger and healthier because you have communicted w/ her ….. rather than behaving as if everything is alright.

    She loves you. Love endures FOEVER.

    And you are an awesome mama.

    Love the photo of Roxy. What a dollllll. Xxxxx Many many kises.

    1. Kim, thank you for the reassurance. You have no idea how much it helps to read your comments and that of all the attentive readers. I know you’re right. And really, why is it that we’re not appreciated as we should be by our children at times? Not cool. Not cool at all. Roxy loves that you love her photo. Many hugs and kisses for you from the both of us! :)

  18. Bella, this touches my heart! And that song “Cats in the cradle” has always spoken to me. I’d much rather be taught how to live by artistic renditions of truth than sermons. This song set my standard for motherhood, being fully present for the children while they were in my nest.

    Did you know that Harry Chapin died in a plane crash? Talk about life being short! What a genius! But at least he didn’t die with his music still within.

    Tough love is needed sometimes. You followed your convictions when you confronted your daughter, and I promise that you won’t ever regret it. Right now I have a 16 year old still in the nest, and when she leaves this house I tell her to call me whenever she reaches her destination. Always call me and let me know you arrived safely. That’s not too much to ask, for our children to touch base and let us know how they are. I’m passing this message along to everyone I know.

    1. Debra, I did not know that Harry Chapin died in a plane crash! Thank goodness we weren’t deprived of this song. I love it so much! And like you, it did serve to set the standards for motherhood. I knew the first time I heard it that I did not want to be like the father in the song. Incredible, since I was a child at the time, yet that’s the kind of impact the song had on me. I’m glad that you agree with my decision to exercise sincerity with the Daughter. Believe it or not, I still use the same strategy with the Son that you use with your girl. We wouldn’t be mothers if we didn’t worry about our children’s safety. Thank you so much for tweeting this post, lady. I’m grateful! :)

  19. Bella, Kudos to you for picking confrontation. You selected an important issue to act. Our kids need to be reminded often that we need to communicate and love as much as possible, whether they like it or not. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. That Harry Chapin song always makes me beyond sad.

    On the topic of confrontation, it is incredibly hard to do. It does not come easy to me, but for the last few years I was in a professional situation that forced me to confront on issues every week (the environment itself was very confrontational). It never became easier, but I found that over time I gained more respect for standing up for myself. I think when we avoid confrontation, we often fade into the background and it can elicit negative feeling s about ourselves and feelings of regret.

    1. Lisa, you’ve hit the nail on the head–repressing our true thoughts and feelings by avoiding confrontation does serve to make us feel bad about ourselves. I think it’s healthier to vent negative feelings and differences of opinion. As long as it’s done in a respectful manner, the person on the other end should not be made to feel on the defensive or angry. I totally agree with you that the present is a gift. I just wish more people realized it. Thanks for adding to the mix, lady! :)

  20. So, I don’t talk about my family often on the blog, but I wanted you to know this. My mom and I have not been seeing eye to eye for years now. I guess you can say it started after I got married. My mom can’t seem to accept that I have my own opinions and that I am smart enough to think for myself. But that’s not the point. The point is, because we have our contentions, it’s extremely hard for me to open up to her when talking on the phone. Though that’s the case, I try to call every weekend, even though almost every conversation results in my feeling like crap.

    You’re right, though, life is so short, and we must face what we have to face and tell other people how we feel and want to be treated. I love my mom and have nothing but utmost respect for her. Thanks for the reminder, Bella.

    1. Laura, I am touched that you’ve shared your story. Thank you for doing that! I believe the difficulties with your mother may be culturally related. I know this is the case with my mom as well. She’s from a conservative and traditional Spanish way of thinking and at times she doesn’t accept my more Americanized way of thinking. Our mothers were raised in a different generation with different traditions and values and unfortunately, they don’t seem to comprehend why we can’t always adopt and carry out their ways. Perhaps your mom is not a phone conversation type of person. I know my in-laws certainly aren’t and it’s easier to talk to them in person. However, if this isn’t possible, you might shift the conversation to things going on in her life. Ask open-ended questions to try to get the dialogue going. Whatever happens, don’t feel like crap. The important thing is that you touch base with her and keep her abreast of what goes on in your life. And I’m certain she values that. Most mothers do even if they don’t tell you so. But more importantly, mothers love to hear that they are loved. Try it next time and see what happens! :)

  21. Dear Bella, you’ve me made feel guilty and now I’m going to phone call my mom to talk as we usually do. Life is short to waste any opportunity to enjoy people who love me and I love!
    besos
    (I’ve remebered a ‘Gilmore Girls’ commercial that says “Life is short, talk fast”)

    1. Mrs. Allnut, I remember that Gilmore Girls’ ad! My mother complains I talk too fast! I tell her that she listens too slow! hee hee! I’m glad you phoned your mom. I’m sure she was delighted to hear your voice! Kudos to you for spreading love, amiga! :)

  22. I reckon the reason why I decide for or against direct confrontation is important and influences my decision. I usually try to keep everything peaceful and quiet, because you can always find a way to calmly express your anger about something (or at least you can try to). But some things just ask for confrontation.
    I have been debating over this matter lately because I’m in a situation where I constantly wonder whether I should confront my brother about something. It’s a long and complicated story, but bottomline is that I know for sure that there is something he doesn’t tell me about although it concerns the whole family and will be an issue in the near future. So what do I do? Do I tell him I know about all this already, confront him directly and tell him my opinion? In doing that, I would certainly provoke an argument and maybe worse because our relationship is already a little complicated lately…
    However, if I don’t let him know that I know he will never tell me about it – and that would eventually lead to a super-GAU in our relationship, that’s for sure. So I guess in the end there will be an argument of some sort anyway. Yep. That was my “confrontation or not” story.

    Bella, I’m sure your daughter will appreciate that you reminded her to get back in touch with your more frequently.

    @Señora allnut: I remember that ‘Gilmore Girls’ ad! And gosh, they did talk fast on that series!

    1. Sabrina, of course you much make your own decision but life has taught me that at times people are relieved when you broach a situation they’ve been avoiding. This sounds very much like what you’re going through. Yes, perhaps an argument will ensue but you will also have the opportunity to clear the air and let him know that you are aware of whatever it is he’s doing. He might even feel relieved that it’s out in the open. However, only you can determine the best course of action. Thank you for sharing this with us. It helps to read about the different type of situations that can result in confrontation. Good luck, lady! :)

  23. Unfortunately, I come from a long familial line of ‘obtuse and avoidance’. None of us can handle confrontation. Thus, we have always been the peacekeepers in any situation. And oh, how I wish, sometimes, that I was just the opposite! There are certainly times when a little snap and polish is exactly what is needed. We make up for our lack by talking, talking, talking. And constantly reiterating to our children the importance of consideration. It seems to be working . . .

    1. Diane, I’m glad it’s working for you! When I try to reiterate, I’m met with rolling of the eyeballs, deep sighs and comments such as, “Are we back to this?” Sigh. I try not to be too confrontational but when necessary, I find it’s best to “grab the bull by the horns.” :)

  24. I think you picked the right battle here. It’s hard to confront and easier to just brush it aside. But when you take a respectful stand with loved ones, they usually respect it and you more. :)

    And I don’t think expecting a call more often is too much. When I lived away from my parents, I tried to call a couple times a week. Even if it’s just a quick hey, I’m alive and miss you too.

    1. Kourtney, thank you! Your comment means a lot to me. I agree with you–we don’t always have to make long winded conversation. At times, a quick hello and I love you suffice. In the end, all a mother really wants is to know her child is safe. I’m grateful for your support, lady! :)

    2. Bella, you are very welcome! Every kid (myself included) took her mom for granted at some time. Not because we didn’t love her, but we got self-absorbed. That’s when mom’s should call us on it and remind us that nothing is guaranteed in life. Good job!

    3. Kourtney, I’ll be honest and admit that I did the same thing when I was that age but my mother never actually talked to my sisters and I about it and instead, played on our guilt. That said, she did constantly remind us that life is short and that we had to make the most of every moment. Thank you for the feedback! :)

  25. Good for you – if there’s one area in life it always pays to be proactive it’s in the relationships with the people you love. I’ve definitely learned that the pain of avoiding confrontation far outweighs the pain of just engaging when it needs to be done, as much as I dislike it, for sure.

    1. Tatty, hello! I totally concur–we should be proactive in these type of situations. I too dislike confrontation but sometimes, it’s inevitable. A mother has to do what a mother has to do! Thank you for your input, lady! :)

  26. It depends confrontation with who?
    If it’s with someone who will listen (not necessarily agree but just listen), yes I would confront. If I will end up beaten in any case, I just shut up and save my energy for something else.

    1. Nikky, I like that you pick your battles! Yes, most definitely, if there’s a risk of suffering any type of bodily harm, we should not engage in confrontation. I strongly agree! :)

    2. Nikky, I should confess that I never feel guilty when I confront someone. However, confrontation is not something I do for every situation. When I elect to confront someone, I’ve really given the circumstances serious consideration and decided it’s the best course of action. Hence, I’m guilt free. But of course, it’s different for everyone, friend.

    3. I agree with you. when I mentioned guilt here, I meant guilt towards myself not the other person. Like why to put myself in a situation where I know I will only get hurt, but again it always depend on the situation :(

    4. Nikky, it’s hard deciding when we should or should not place ourselves in such a situation. However, you should never feel guilty for standing up for what you believe to be right. I’m sorry you’ve felt like this in the past. I really am.

  27. Confrontation on matters like that can be difficult. I have two adult sons, only one of which lives away from home. We speak on the phone about once a week. Often the call is mine – more often it’s his.

    I don’t worry about how long it’s been or who needs to make the next call because I figure that if either one of us has something to share, we’ll pick up the phone. I also figure my best time to get him to understand the importance of keeping in touch was while raising him but there’s no doubt that process continues in many ways once they’re adults.

    My other son? I suspect he’ll be more of a challenge. He always has been. This parenting gig.. it’s a fun ride, isn’t it? ;)

    1. Hillary, you’re right–the best time to get children to understand how important this is should take place when they’re being raised. I see this “wake up” call more of a reminder of values that have been previously instilled. Sometimes, young adults lose sight of what they were taught and I feel that as parents, we have the right to help them remember. You’re lucky that your son calls you out of his own volition. If I waited for the Daughter to call when she has something to share, I’d wait for months. Every conversation is punctuated by her telling me, “There’s nothing new going on. Everything’s the same.” At times, it’s like pulling teeth. I kid you not. However, I’m more at the stage where I want to hear her voice; know that she’s safe and healthy. I’d say the parenting gig at times is like a roller coaster and other times it’s like waiting in line for the fun attraction! :)

    1. Hi Lisa! I would have to agree that in my case it’s the same. My mother and daughter almost always know and hear what I’m thinking! :)

  28. First of all, I love that song. Harry Chapin’s music is so inspiring. That is always a tough one, isn’t it? I think you did the right thing considering it is your daughter. I was in a similar situation recently where I was contemplating confronting someone about a situation or just letting it go. For this particular situation, I chose to let it go. But I had to consider the source of the issue, how much I wanted to keep this relationship intact and what it was worth to me. If it were family, I would have chosen to talk to them. But with this situation, it was not worth the effort. For you, I think you did the right thing!

    1. Leah, thank you for reassuring me. For mothers, it’s always hard to take a course of action and then not worry if we did the right thing. Young adults are quite complex and you never know how they are going to react and what long-term effects words can have on them. I think your decision to consider a source is a wise one. Sometimes words are wasted on those who are not open or receptive to what we have to say. Thank you for your support! :)

  29. There is no right answer for every one–each relationship stands or falls on its own. What each person brings is personal and sacred–not to be judged by those outside. I too watched certain things about my mother and adjusted my own parenting accordingly…including my relationship with my daughter. But it has not been a clear path…as parenting is always fraught with imperfections and nebulous signposts along the way. I succeed, I fail…but always, I love.

    1. Britton, too right, sister. As mothers, we love unconditionally. We truly do. I think that’s why it hurts so much when our actions are not returned in the same fashion. Parenting is trial and error and we can only hope that what we do is right. Thanks for adding to the mix, lady! :)

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