Who’s the Boss? Your Kids or You?
It’s summertime. The absence of the school routine can be a huge blessing…and it can also be a huge challenge!
If you’re feeling tired or pushed around by your kids and their demands lately, huddle in. Let’s get together moms and encourage one another with these essential parenting principles. These “do’s and don’ts” will bring more peace and order to your home:
Don’t ask your children to do things; tell them. Listen to how you communicate with your children. Are you asking them to make their beds? Put their dishes away? Read a book? Stop asking. Instead tell them in short, firm sentences. “Make your bed.” “Put away your dish.” “It’s time for reading now for 15 minutes.” Change your communication style and improve your results.
Don’t tack “Okay?” to the end of your sentences. I’ve found myself saying things like, “It’s time to go, okay?” Well, what if your children thinks it’s not okay? That little “okay” at the end of the sentence signals your child that whatever your are saying is optional.
Don’t give in to whining, kicking, screaming, or crying. These are the handy tools your children whip out when they want their way. They easily resort to these terrible tears and tantrums because they seem to work. Don’t. Let. Them. Work. Let your child whine, scream, kick, and cry as much as they want. All that huffing and puffing should not make you change your mind, give in, or reward them for bad behavior. If you are in public, then leave as soon as you can to protect the eardrums of the innocent public.
Do stand up straight. Let your posture be one of leadership. If you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing as a parent, fake it until you make up. Stand up straight. Read parenting books. Ask older parents for advice. Be humble and teachable. Pray about your children. Act as the leader of your children and day after day, you will be become one.
Do take pride in being a “mean mom.” I doubt any of you are acting like Miss Hannigan in Annie. You’re not cruel or malicious to your child. You want the best for your son or daughter. So when they say, “You’re a mean mom!” you can put yourself on the back. You’re doing the tough job of saying this like:
“No, you cannot wear that bikini to the beach.”
“No, we cannot get Call of Duty. It is too violent.”
“No, you may not spend the night at that friend’s house. I know it would not be good for you.”
It’s the mean mom who sets life saving boundaries for her child. At the time, most children don’t rise up and say “Wow mom, thanks so much for loving me enough to keep me from doing stupid things.”
But give it time.
Your child later in life will be ever-so-grateful that he or she had a “mean mom.”
Take heart mom…you are the boss, not your kids.