You know the drill. You tell your children that they need to do such and such before practice, or before bed, or before dinner – and next thing you know – they are buried in their fancy technological gadgets. So you remind them. And they say, “Okay MOM – OMG, just let me finish this one thing!” Then, you being the busy parent that you are – forget all about it and two hours later….such and such is still not done.
Then you over react. You threaten to throw their Iphone in the trash, completely flip out on them – and then because they have the audacity to back talk – you pile on an extra chore or two. Of course, if they are like most tweens or teens (Oh Hell…CHILDREN in general), they will have to have the last word. Even if you tell them not to. Even if you shoosh them. They have to say something like, OKAYYYYYYYYY, or OMG, or WHATEVER. And they have to say these things while rolling their eyes. Anything to piss you off even more. So, not only are you pissed off that they didn’t do such and such (good luck remembering what such and such was) but you are beside yourself because they are talking back and smart mouthing when THEY are the ones that screwed up in the first place. Soap anyone?
It really is a vicious cycle. The worst part is that when you are in the over-reacting, screaming, finger pointing phase of the vicious cycle the kids are old enough to manipulate even that in their favor. “Why are you so mad?” “Do you hate me or something?” “What is the big deal, its just laundry?” Or, if they are really smart….”I have been at school all day long and am just trying to relax?” So, you are left feeling like a maniacal tyrant of a mother (or father) who has completely gone ape shit because your child didn’t do such and such two hours ago like you asked. And because you are a parent that is feeling guilty and is trying to justify your breakdown, you then begin telling them stories about the things YOU had to do when you were a kid, and then try to make them feel guilty by pointing out ALL of the things that you do for the brats.
If only they would listen. The first time. None of this would have to happen. Once you have had your tirade, and such is such is done – and everyone is mad at each other, you feel like a fool. Because after all, every parent worries that their child will hate them, or that they will grow up and only remember that mom went psycho every once in a while and made them clean the toilet with a toothbrush. (Never happened, just inserted for effect) So you play nice.
You might even try to get your kids to understand that you aren’t mad at them for texting their friends, or for sitting on the couch, or for relaxing – and explain that you are compassionate about their stressors in life. You tell them that you are mad because they didn’t listen. Plain and simple. You probably even explain to them that if they would have just done such and such two hours ago when you originally asked, which would have only taken them like 5 minutes, they wouldn’t have to see ‘crazy mom’ at all. After all, it sucks to feel like ‘crazy mom.’ If they would have listened, you would remain peaceful and happy, and content and might even cook brownies after dinner because you feel successful because your kids listened. (But that just ain't going to happen!)
Well, here’s the thing. Kids are brats. And they will always be able to manipulate you by pulling the bad parent card. If you are a parent, there are going to be days – and lots of them, where you lose your cool and go off on the children for not listening.
And it’s not your fault, it’s theirs.
It becomes YOUR fault if you don’t make your children respect you and do what they are told on a consistent basis. So try not to cave to the worries of being ‘crazy mom,’ and teach the kids that you really are boss. If you still feel guilty, then at least hide it for a while, until the kids have the compassion for you – to apologize. Because truth is, you deserve it. THEY did wrong by not listening. It’s of course okay to cook brownies, because brownies are good – but don’t worry that they will grow up needing counseling because you reacted to their lack of ability to follow instructions.
Wow, when you think about it – the family world would be a wonderful place if kids would listen. The first time. Every time.
Guest Article By: Stef Daniel
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