Sometimes we are our own worst enemy….and sometimes we can be our kids worst enemy. We sabotage their success and our relationship with them. How do we do that? And…does that offend you when I say that?
I get you. I really do. We as parents try so hard to do all the right things for our kids so when someone who doesn’t even know us challenges us it can offend us. But guess what? Sometimes when we get offended there in an element of truth to what the other person is saying and that’s why it bugs us.
I just want you to know I’m in this parenting arena with you. It’s hard. Some days are much worse than others, so the last thing I want to do is hurt you when you’re trying so hard. But let me ask you something. What if something I said made some of the struggles you’re having with your kids go away or at least get easier? Would you want to know? Of course you would!
So let’s sum this up with one sentence”
OUR KIDS HATE IT WHEN WE TREAT THEM LIKE KIDS AND EXPECT THEM TO ACT LIKE ADULTS!
There, I said it. So what forms does this come in?
Well, the first one is micromanaging. This is so easy to do, but it really is insidious. It is frustrating to the one on the receiving end. It is insulting because it sends the message that your child is not smart enough to figure “it” out, whatever “it” is.
But then guess what happens? We get mad when they do something “stupid” because they should know better. Why? They’ve been told how to think and now when they get to make a decision no one else made for them and they get it wrong we get mad. Do you see the mess this creates?
When we “rescue” them from natural consequences we prevent them from learning. Some examples of this might be:
- reminding them to make a lunch
- taking that forgotten lunch to them
- taking them their forgotten homework
- talking to a teacher about a problem they are having
- reminding them to clean up after themselves
- not holding them responsible for their mistakes
- being way to easy on them
Listen, our kids are capable of so much more than we realize and the reason we don’t know that is because we KEEP SAVING THEM!
Now lets look at the flip side of the same coin.
I can’t tell you how many parents I see that are super disrespectful to their kids but yet expect them to be respectful to them. That only goes on for so long. There WILL come a point when your child says, “Enough!” They will get old enough to move out and say adios to the people who have done nothing but make them feel like nothing.
People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou said something to this effect and she’s exactly right. Stop and think about 3 people and pay attention. What feeling comes to you when you think about each one of them?
What would your kids say when they’re asked to think about you?
Teachers and administrators aren’t off the hook here either. They are often the worst offenders. Kids go to school to be treated pretty awful. I have to say I’m not impressed with the massive controlling behavior of middle and high schools. Instead of getting less controlling so these kids “learn” they get more and more controlling and more and more disrespectful. And we wonder why kids drop out. We wonder why they don’t like school. We wonder why they aren’t getting good grades. And we wonder why their stress level is up there right along with WWII soldiers. We wonder why we have school shootings! Can you tell I’m mad about this?
Do you have something to say about this when it happens to your kids? Do you have high expectations of those who so greatly impact your kids? Do you empower them to call B.S. on an adult who mistreats them? Do you tell them you have their back if they respectfully call out an adult at school in an appropriate way? Have you taught them how to do that?
So much disrespect is going around whether it’s from parents to kids, kids to parents, kids to kids, teachers, administrators, coaches to kids and visa versa. It needs to stop starting with us.
LIFE IS CAUGHT, NOT TAUGHT
You will not teach someone to be respectful by forcing it on them with disrespect. You might argue that fact, but listen to the logic. Do you want a person to grit their teeth and speak respectful to you or do you want that person to “feel” respect for you and treat you accordingly? The military might be okay with that and that’s cool, but we’re parents who are trying to raise amazing people who are mentally and emotionally healthy. It might sound cliche but treat them the way you would want to be treated.
We have to walk the walk. We’re not fooling anyone especially teenagers who have the most well-tuned hypocrite meter!
Natural consequences creates responsible people who are accountable for their actions. When you add respect on there like whip cream and a cherry you get really great people!