Take your lumps. Suck it up. You know. Kids these days are coddled. What, with their Starbucks and iPads. Often I play good cop/bad cop by myself not just with James. And yes, I’m talking about parenting, not our bedroom secrets.
My parents raised me with respecting me as a person. Not the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ method. They respected us as individuals, people with independent thoughts and needs. There was little tolerance for any misbehaving. We were given expectations and we met them. But we were also nurtured and loved openly with affection, affirmation and freedom.
With that said, I try to incorporate that into the upbringing of my children.
But gosh darn, this day and age is making it really difficult. I’ve been clear before in posts that I don’t sugar coat my parenting much. Yes, my children have it good. They know this too. Which is what I think, eliminates them from being spoiled. I think ‘spoiled’ is when kids have it good, don’t appreciate they have it so good and are rude and disrespectful to those around them, misbehave and act entitled. This does not describe my children (most of the time). BUT every now and then, Ugly Mommy comes out. I will lose my temper, raise my voice and scream something like, “Get your little self up to bed before you really regret it!” or “Don’t make me take away your cell phone!”. “If you use that tone of voice with me, you will be sorry you were born!” Which is really a stupid thing to say since I brought them in to this world. I don’t think children need to be beholden to their parents for giving them life. They didn’t ask for it. You choose them (sort of), they don’t get to choose you.
Also, I am not afraid of saying no. There are a lot of books on this, articles on this and I can give you the 101 in two words. Say no.
Saying NO makes the YES that much sweeter. I say no when I think there’s any chance my child might get kidnapped or hit by a car. I say no when it doesn’t work out with the family’s plan, makes (too much) extra work for me, interferes with school, or is expensive.
Mom, can I go to the ice rink at 10 on a Friday night. No.
Mom, can I walk to Blockbuster with so-and-so. No.
Mom, can I go with so-and-so and her mom to the mall and help her pick out a new outfit. Yes.
Oh thank you, you’re the best.
Mom, I don’t like this zucchini, can I have carrots instead- YES. (I hate zucchini too)
Pick your battles.
So your daughter wants to wear a shirt that says, “I’m too pretty for homework”. Uhm, this is a NO. It falls in the ‘interferes with school’ category. She wants to color her hair with a streak of hot pink on the side. Sure. This isn’t permanent (tatt00 or piercing permanent), doesn’t cause harm, and isn’t that expensive. Pick your battles.
Wasn’t that easy?
Principles of lumping it:
If you are at Starbucks and the pastries in the case are not what you are looking forward to, i.e. lemon pound cake- you will not cry or whine. You choose something else, or do without.
If the XBOX game you got for Christmas is too hard to do without dad’s help- you will not whine and throw the controller into the couch. You will take a breath, take a break, and wait for daddy to come home from work to play it with you.
If your cell phone runs out of charge because you left it by your bedside to text your friends late at night, it is not your mom’s fault.
If the show you DVR’d on Nickelodeon or Discovery didn’t get recorded because of mommy’s recording of Whitney- we do not throw a fit.
It’s clear to everyone in this household that really, I am the only one who can throw fits. Usually about two days out of the month I go all ‘honey badger’ on the family. It’s not too bad really. It keeps them on their toes. I don’t like to yell. It tires me out and makes me feel awful. Especially when Owen gets tears in his eyes and looks at me like I kicked a puppy. He’s very sensitive and always tells me, ‘mom you don’t have to scream at me, just ask nicely’.
I hate it when they’re right.