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socks and cat

I want to be just like her

I watch Wife Swap mainly for how fascinating it is to see how every family is it's own culture. Every household is run so completely different and the values are different and the way the children treat people differently based on how they are raised. It's a living psychology experiment really. If you want to see what kind of people your kids will be when they are raised a certain way, all you have to do is watch this show.

Of course when you swap family members who have completely different values and cultures in their home, anything can happen. Today's episode swapped wives from one family that just let their 3 boys go crazy and have fun and do whatever they want (they had no respect for their parents) with a wife from a family with military style discipline where the 7 boys had to earn privileges by doing their chores, helping out and being well behaved.

Most of the time on these shows, when the cultural differences come out, there is often a lot of anger and frustration and sometimes the spouse's even argue and storm out. I think it's because no one can understand how anyone could live completely opposite of themselves. But in today's episode I saw something really amazing and rare. The swapped wife noticed that the husband/father of the family only gave one on one time to his 7 boys if they earned it as a privilege. Now normally we would think how horrible that is, even if we know that it's impossible for a working father to have one on one quality time with so many boys and still have time for his family. It still looks bad that you have to earn one on one time with your own father through chores and helping out and being well behaved.

But instead of getting angry and yelling at the dad and telling him what a horrible parent he is, the swapped mom did something really admirable. She began to ask him about his own experience with his father. It turned out he had no father, no one around at all. To this man, having no father at all was completely normal. So the swapped mom understood that to this man, having a father WAS a privilege and not an automatic right. When she realized this, she felt so bad for the father that she stood there and cried. I think she felt his pain.

Holy cow. If everyone did this, stopped to learn the other person's side instead of getting angry or attacking them, I think we would have no arguments, no feuds, no drama and no wars. I so admire that woman. I want to be EXACTLY like her.


Thanks for sharing that - a tiny bit of my faith in humanity has been restored.
What a nice story. :)

I only watched to God Warrior lady.
as an orphan/foster kid, that's been my life.
swapping in and out of families and having to re-adjust each time.

The other foster kids I've met over the years as adults always agree that they had to develop serious chameleon skills to survive.
I grew up with a father present in the house. He never took any part in raising me. He interfered and called "family conferences" when he "discovered" something about "the way my mother raised me" that he found "offensive" -- like the fact she bought me a sexy pair of shoes when I was 16, or the fact that she always knew when I had a boyfriend and he never found out until after we broke up. He was always "so proud" of all my accomplishments in school -- yet he NEVER CAME TO ANY OF MY PERFORMANCES. No football games, no concerts, no plays, no after school class meetings. NOTHING. He never gave me allowance. He never set rules or boundaries that MADE SENSE. He was a total and utter FAILURE as a parent.

The only thing his presence did was reinforce my mothers hope and my own personal will for me to NOT grow up to be yet another closed minded ignorant Southerner.

My mother and I would have been a LOT happier and things would have been a LOT easier had he not been around. He is incapable of sharing my mother with ANYONE without becoming totally insane. I'm 27 and haven't lived under their roof in 8 years, but even now I only go over to my parents house when I know my father isn't there, because if he is, or if he comes home while I'm there, he becomes a total asshole and gets pissy and twitchy and starts either trying to order me around, or gets so butthurt about not having my mother to himself that he retreats to his shop until I leave.