It’s tough out there as we all know. It’s even harder when we see our kid suffering because we want to make it easier for them. We’d take the suffering before we’d allow them to experience it. But that doesn’t help them when the lessons come harshly by something they’ve done or not done. And that’s the way they learn about life.
But it’s not easy. I am a nagger. I nag my kids until we all hate to hear me, but it didn’t change anything until I got silent. That made all the difference in the world when I just stopped asking and begging and pleading and reminding them to do what I’d asked. I let the consequences fall as they fell.
Of course, I’m here to help to pick up the pieces, but I’m done shouldering their responsibilities anymore. It’s a hard lesson for me because I’m a fixer, but I had to stop. I felt like I was enabling them and I’m not raising kids who are entitled or so weak that they can’t deal with adversity. That I know for sure.
It’s been a bumpy ride for us all lately. But I’m standing firmly. They know that I’m here for them and to help them. But I refuse to nag anymore. I just don’t have it in me. When they make the assumption that I don’t know what I’m talking about, then the lesson is made more clearly.
Get a job. Clean your room. Those are all normal responsibilities. It’s the bigger picture, like their grades that they are solely responsible for and it’s all on them. I backed off and although they are hurting because of their decisions, that’s life. And by protecting them or enabling them so much, I wasn’t allowing them to learn the lessons.
I’ve never been one of those helicopter moms. Far from it. But apparently they are taking after their dad and having to learn the hard way because…wait for it…and I am going to write it….
Because they didn’t listen to me the first time.
I don’t mean to sound bratty, but it’s true. When I tell you a month ago to look for a summer job and you don’t and now you don’t have one because they’re all taken – well, it’s your fault. It’s not mine. I totally want to tell you I told you so, but I’m staying quiet for now. When I tell you that you need to study more to get good grades and you may be in danger of missing a scholarship by a few measly points, it’s not on me. It’s on you. When I tell you to drive carefully, but you don’t and get a ticket, that’s on you. So I’m not paying the ticket. You are. And when you have no money because you don’t have a job, then you’ll work it off here at home doing all the yucky jobs that I normally do. And maybe you’ll think of it as punishment. And maybe, with a sly smile, I will think of it that way too. Maybe. And with a small mom giggle because you’ll learn what keeping a house requires, then yes. And it feels good to me to watch you have to do what you don’t want to do or like to do. Because it’s not beneath you. It’s life. Sometimes you have to pick up the shit when it’s not yours (hypothetically of course), but that’s life. And it’s a good life lesson to learn.
We don’t all ride unicorns and sing cheery songs all day. Sure sometimes things are really great and we celebrate. But sometimes, we have to experience some distasteful lessons and that’s what makes us stronger.
I refuse to raise weaklings or entitled kids. Work hard. Play hard. Be a person who cares and who does their best no matter what the task is at hand and have pride in all that you do.
That’s just how I feel. Do you parent in the same way?