Permit me a serious moment before I chicken out: An Open Letter to Family Members Who Treat Children Like Toys

(Disclaimer: Life is complicated as hell, but sometimes you have to protect the ones you love from other loved ones)

An Open Letter to Family Members Who Treat Children Like Toys

Dear You,

I understand that you have your own busy life. We often struggle to balance everything. Work, cleaning, events, rest: they’re not easy to keep in order.

You are my elder and because of that I respect you. And I respectfully wish to explain to you why you are no longer invited to my house, my children’s parties, or into their lives.

Children are not a convenience. They are loud. They are messy. They are irrational.

Their bodies and minds are constantly growing and because of that they need constant tending. They need structure. They crave stability. They deserve positive influences who support them.

Your inability to be consistent is the main issue. You cancel plans, stand us up on outings, and openly favor one child over the others. This creates conflict among family members, confidence issues, and false hope that maybe someday you will truly love them as they are.

They never feel good enough for you. They blame themselves when you break your promises. They love you more intensely than anyone and allow you to continue to hurt them.

But they are getting older every day. With each year, every missed opportunity, they question your commitment. They resent your excuses. They see through your lack of concern.

They are starting to see you for who you truly are.

You are the person who treats people like objects. You wish to take them off the shelf at your leisure, wind them up and watch them go. You have no intention of being there for them when they truly need you. All you care about is that they are there for you.

You don’t explain yourself to them. I don’t know if it’s because you feel they have no right to question your motives or that you honestly just don’t care, but it stops now.

I have to wipe away the tears you create. When they ask about you I have to explain the harsh reality of your behavior. When they ask “why?” I cannot give them the answer they seek.

I do not know why. I will never know why. I no longer wish to know.

I know you, that is enough for me. I’ve dealt with people like you all of my life. If I could help you to understand the pain you cause I would, but no amount of discussion or action has done anything. So I wish you all the best, but our best is too good for you. We plan to share it with caring individuals who understand the joys of mutual respect, decency, and love.


A mother who knows better

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