I know why my kids are acting up. I’ve made mistakes I hope I can rectify those mistakes in the next 4 to five years.
See I can change me….I can’t force my kids to change… but I can show them.. the rest.. its up to them.
There’s a reason the state calls itself “Parens Patraie” or the father of its nations children… and I’m talking about myself here… I’ve sat back and allowed myself to become “friends” with my kids, abdicating my role as a parent.
A good lesson to keep in mind and one I have allowed myself to forget – perhaps most of us have.
The government is not our friend – neither should we be our children’s friend. We are there to provide food, shelter, education be it a scholarly education, teach our children how to behave in public and in social situations, not like monkeys in a zoo throwing shit at passersby. To practice self-control and restrain by practicing it ourselves. To teach our children the value of work through chores – and that often the work we do comes at no pay other than room/board and meals & to be grateful – Because there will be time that employment will be scarce and they can’t be too good to work for food, a bath and a roof over their heads. Being humble is important.
Children grow like weeds, but that doesn’t mean they just grow themselves. Sometimes I wish they would… grow themselves… That said, I think that after 15 years (of growing) there are some things that I shouldn’t have to yell any more – like “Please for the love of god don’t throw your used blood tampon in the floor”… “Roll that bloody bastard up and throw it in the trash can”… “Yes in the trashcan”… “This is not a truck stop bathroom you idgit!”
MY children know details about my life that others don’t and have offered me more unconditional love than I’ve ever experienced.
In the last four and a half years my kids fought to comprehend what the hell is going on… I divorced, took over my parents care, used my kids as support as many single parents make the mistake of doing. Kids bounce back as we’re so fond of saying and they do – bounce back. They understood the divorce. They’ve never liked me taking care of my parents and that’s reasonable – You can’t tell people you don’t like them and then be offended that they don’t like you and abhor your presence in their lives. The mistake came in when I began leaning on them for my emotional support. When I cried because of my exhaustion I used their shoulders to lean on. When I wondered how I should handle my day, I asked my 10 and 12-year-old to help me plan my day and manage my money – I had just gotten back on track in the past 6 years with myself and here I was on my second rodeo with my parents. Taking care of two adults, making sure my brother was being taking care of taking care of my two kids – I was mentally exhausted.
They’ve totally flouted my rules when I try to punish them… after all now… in their yes we’re equals. They have ignored my requests – And that was my first mistake – I requested – I didn’t require – and I requested as one would do with a friend – an equal – a peer.
And of COURSE they rebelled against me when I’ve been trying to get them to help out with chores or adhere to household rules…. Me in a nutshell –
I’m MOM, not their buddy… and I’ve allowed that intimacy to become my strongest source of support and encouragement – and in doing so I have made a huge burden on my children.
So no wonder they rebel so much… Against who they perceive as a friend… in their eyes I’m no better than a bully… I’m just bigger after all they see me as a “peer” and “equal”. Because I’ve made my kids my friends – and I have… I really have ….Friends never remind you that there’s homework to do, or dishes, or anything else that might feel unpleasant (like taking out the trash and picking up dirty pads and tampons – I mean who do they think does that to keep the bathroom STANK ASS free? The Bloody Tampon Fairy?). And because I have taken on a “we’re equals” approach to parenting, I’ve created a situation where my child expects me to act like their buddy.
And the moment I don’t—because I’m asking them to do something or holding them answerable with clear approaches to correction and punishment – I’m the bully, I’m the bad guy… this is when they go off on a tangent, throwing hissy fits and getting wild hairs up their asses and honestly half of that is clearly my fault and I’m to blame – I’m supposed to be friendly, but I’m not supposed to be their BEST FRIEND –
Best friends don’t pay for the outfit they lust for at Rue21 for their end of the year 8th grade trip that they wouldn’t pay for themselves (even if they had the money). Best friends don’t pay for them to hang out at the park with friends. Best friends don’t remind them how they carried them in their body and gave them life, and sometimes made them vomit the whole nine months along with swollen feet! Best friends don’t still keep choosing you when it would just be so much easier to terminate their relationship with you and walk away in moments you have cut them to the bone with hateful words. In the end Moms won’t be your friend, but she will always be your mom – she may not like how you act, what you say or what you do – she may not love any of those things – but she loves you. Best friends don’t tell you that you should listen to them about their life experience tales and look out for those signs in your life experience and try to avoid those same mistakes and that as long as you don’t pay rent and live in their house their word is law and you just live there.
The last year has had a lot of ups and downs. A lot of that has been because the order and structure of my life has went out the window. I thrive on order – My kids have thrived on the order that I have often, though haphazardly provided to the best of my ability.
But it’s getting better – I am learning that instead of throwing my hands in the air and saying that I don’t know what to do – I really do KNOW what to do. I always did.
Say no. I am your mother. I am responsible for you. Then walk away.
I’m avoiding rewards – rewards and allowances are for when you go above and beyond the call of duty. And rewards/allowances don’t have to be in place for chores and responsibilities to be learned and done. Additionally, it gives me time to converse and spend time with my kids and help boost their self-esteem/confidence in healthy positive ways – Instead of trying to buy them off with materialistic things. Just to avoid dealing with teenage drama and hormones.
I know I can be a little extreme – But that’s the price you pay when your kids – as little people in their own right make their own choices on being responsible – case in point – My 15-year-old ran me ragged as “water girl” for the football team one year. She forgot, left, needed everything. I was literally “gophering” every thing she didn’t take responsibility for until I blew my bat shit crazy lid.
Then it dawned on me – I did this to myself. I could have easily said no. Sure I would have been the mean mommy. The mommy that didn’t care. The cruel mommy.
Here’s the thing.. I come from neglected stock – as some of us do and I know how gossipy we can be – I mean aren’t we all at times? Come on no shame – we are. I didn’t want to be looked at like I have looked at other moms and I judge them based on how I take care of my kids – what I do for mine… how far I am willing to go, what I am willing to put up with – and trust me – Parenting is a full-time job.. a lot of parents TERMINATE AND BAIL.
We all know them, some of us have been married to them, some of them have been our family – and we’re determined – do or die to be better – to do better.
At the same time we’ve become socially conditioned to believe that our children can’t mentally/emotionally handle disappointment from their own choices – not ours – theirs. We’re parents – Not Gods – Not Super Powers – Not Saints – No matter how old we get or our kids get we’ll still be making mistakes Hopefully we’ll just not be making shit ass choices just for spite like our kids do…
Our kids have textbook info – what they don’t have is practical information and they comprehend plenty – just not in a practical applicable manner..
We run ourselves ragged keeping them “entertained” constantly in every imaginable activity – Why? And it’s not because we have disposable income, hell nearly everyone one of us are stretching our limits as it is, dipping into our rainy day fund to keep us going when things might otherwise go ass up. I think we think that we must keep our kids entertained or else they wont be able to survive.. whatever happened to learning to get used to themselves, learning to be responsible all day for just yourself?
I’m glad none of my kids made the team for any of this extra curricular activity bullshit thru the summer. I can’t afford it and I’m not running a chauffeur service.
I’ve begun to realize that my grandma was right – She wouldn’t cater to my wants very often and I’m applying that logic to my own kids –
if I keep making sure they get everything they want without any giving on their part, they will expect the world outside of mommas house to treat them the same and we all know it’s not gonna happen. When they grow up and head out on their own, that sting of harsh reality will stop them in their tracks, they’ll wonder why I didn’t prepare them.
Because essentially that’s my job.I set the standard.
People who won’t cave in to the hissy fits, or teachers at high school or college who can’t be coerced into being lenient with inadequate coursework because “Well, I know she is capable, but she is so polite and pretty”. My home is Basic Training for the world beyond these walls. The rules and expectations I demand set the stage for how well my kids behave and how well they will adjust to expectations outside of mine when things don’t go their way.
As Parents peace at any cost isn’t peace.
With a good, solid adult friendships with women I trust, I’ve been able to thrive as both a parent and as an individual – I want to say thank you. All three of you. You are helping me be a better mom.
You know who you are
1. Falling in Love
Now don’t get me wrong, falling in love is arguably the end goal of any budding relationship. It’s one of the few, truly important experiences in this world, and it’s the only surefire way of ending your loneliness and, possibly, of making sense of the human condition. Yet, by falling in love and saying “I love you,” you’re making yourself immensely vulnerable and setting up a possibly unequal dynamic if your significant other doesn’t feel the same way. A couple falling in love is a beautiful thing, it just becomes infinitely trickier — and potentially catastrophic — when one falls in love far before the other is ready. That’s not to say don’t fall in love, just communicate honestly, and, if your significant other is as much of a gem as you had hoped, they’ll be honest back. Whether they’re ready to commit to you as…
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