Human Interest, Inspiration, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Even Tweens Need a Little Hug

Did you ever have a moment when you want to sit down and ponder what just happened? How did my teenage or pre-teen daughter get so mean? I know she has real kindness in there? I’ve seen it with me. I felt the hugs. I know the love exists and yet somehow when this beautiful little girl turned thirteen, hormones changed my angel?

You’re not alone.  There’s numerous articles about this very topic!  Sometimes the impulsivity is just too much for their little minds and bodies to control. One thing I do is remind myself that if they were functioning adults and capable of determining what they should or shouldn’t do at any given moment I wouldn’t have to parent them.  Kids will of course be kids, and that’s okay.

Dr. Dobson says that kids have the right to test us, and we have the right not to allow them to get away with doing it inappropriately.  So when my little tester says things such as, “I hate you!” I simply look at her adoringly and remind her that no matter what she says or does my love is all enduring and will continue without condition.  Then of course I redirect more respectful communication because there is a line.

What I want to encourage is that line is movable.  Find out what battle has to be won and go with that. Everything else chalk up to the guilt she’ll feel once she has her own child and realizes how she’s treated you. Just know that’s coming. Honestly, it will.  So for now just hold steadfast in knowing that she doesn’t need you to be a friend no matter how interesting she’s becoming. She needs a strong and strict mom to set rules, determine justice and to keep the building of character/character/character.  That’s all you can do and the rest will work it’s way out.

Most of all, BREATHE!  Find other moms who are in the same boat and lean on them.  Have  your 10 minute rants and be done with it.  Finalize that to resolution and get back at it. They’re your precious babies even if they’ve grown into sarcastic and outspoken disrespectful tyrants from time to time. It’s their job to break the status quo.  It’s your job to reel them back in.  Also remember to HUG even if they don’t want it. Mom, they NEED it. So don’t feel the push back, just do it.

Have a cocktail with me tonight and as I clink the ever present imaginary wine glass (mine is stemless) I lift and salute a great mom who’s doing the best she can!  May every day make you feel as included and loved as possible, and may your children some day call you blessed.  Amen.

Human Interest, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Don’t Let Doubt be the Guide

You know I ask myself all the time, “you have a 154 IQ and for some reason you can’t seem to make sense of why children don’t obey the rules?” I don’t come by this conundrum because I don’t understand that children lie; I come to it at the end of a very frustrated trial and error approach. You see, I mean what I say. There are immediate consequences for not following the rules. Yet every time I enforce consequences or they have a naturally, kids are shocked? Exasperated? As if they have no understanding at all that they can control whether or not they are in trouble!? How does this happen?

It takes me back to the Bill Cosby show days when his wife would get completely unwound because of the intense disrespect and blatant defiance. I am reminded that I am not alone and that we all share one common bond. That is that we have a unique and loving perspective. Kids will lie, they will manipulate, They will defy and they will ultimately test you way beyond we ever thought we could be pushed!

With this enlightenment, I have to then ask myself why do I even try to enforce rules? Is it just kids being kids? And then I look at other parents who seemingly have this innate ability to raise these perfectly compliant children and I wonder is the denominator me? I wonder if my hard approach to my rules not being an option, is actually causing the conflict? I think the answer is yes and no. Children can be horrible for no other reason just don’t know how to process how they feel or how they want to act in any given situation because they’re kids. Taking responsibility is taught. Thankfulness is taught! Accountability is taught. These are the tenants for happy extended and well respected life.

So how do I get them there? I guess I have to decipher when they need control, when they feel control and when they’re trying to get control more then they should have control. That’s easier said than done. Innovative approaches can often come from girlfriends. Asking a child who repeatedly offends, what you can do to help them succeed might actually set us up for future manipulation? I think the answer is in the rules.

If the rules revolve around character, they’re nonnegotiable. If they were revolve around participation in the family, they’re nonnegotiable. If they revolve around how they treat others, that’s nonnegotiable. Finding ways to help them understand their responsibility in those matters is our responsibility.

I guess there it is? What it all boils down to it it’s all about personal responsibility and having the audacity to be tenacious enough to enforce what we think is right. Standing over a child while he or she brushes their teeth because they refused to do it on their own is not going to harm the child. It’s going to teach them that this is the rule in their best interest that is nonnegotiable.

Forcing a child to put down his or her cell phone during dinner time and having the wherewithal to sit and have dinner with them shows them that we are willing to take accountability for our actions as well. That alone will send a powerful message. We may not be the most likable person in our house in that moment, but when our child is grown and fits easily into a world that has no tolerance for anything other than these tenants and they fit in and bonus; are happy, we will be the most likable person.

Just a moment to remember they have friends, is it our job to be their friend while they are growing up, and if we do our job well, we will have a lifelong friend once they are grown.