A child asleep is sometimes painful for a parent to look at, because it argues with everything that happened that day. As you look and stare, you think how sweet and beautiful and perfect they are – whether they are 1 or 17. However, during the day, the countless amount of horrible events, with your child, makes you cry and weep and wonder what you are doing wrong.
We try so hard with kids, when they are rude and disrespectful and also polite and sweet. Sometimes it feels like you have lost – if you do – and lost – if you don’t. It is like the meat variety available on the market – it’s hard to know which meat is really better for you to eat (pork or beef!) – advertisers just tell you what suits them or their pocket, it’s not really the best way. Parenting is as complex, there are many choices, and the right one is just a gamble. Some experts say this and others say that, I think it is a combination of a few ideas and what works for you, in align with your core values.
The media also makes it hard with stories about parents losing their kids in custody battles, like the current Sally Faulkner case, or reporting kids dying in an accident or through illness. Are these reasons, enough of a reason to give-in to your horribly behaved because they are tired or upset or one of the many others excuses available! I think we need to give kids the best chance at life and if they never have to accept responsibility for their actions, they won’t ever be that real, sweet, honest, respectful child and they will not be able to shine as adults.
I told my daughter this morning I wouldn’t go to her sporting event because of her disrespectfulness and rudeness towards me. Communicating respectfully is one of my values (the other two are safety and trying your best). She had a chance to say sorry, however, this attempt also failed. The sorry came later, but is that enough? Well, this time it wasn’t and it hurt me as much as my daughter, but as the parent I try and teach her a lesson even though I don’t know if the lesson will be taught.
But, what makes me persist? Knowing that if I give in and don’t be tough, I will be raising a brat of a child. The pain that I feel now, with rudeness, on and off, throughout a typical day, is nothing like the future pain, if I do nothing now. There is doubt, not because I really believe I have made the wrong choice, but because I wanted to go and show my support and love. Instead I have to show it by not going and I can honestly say, it is very tough. I can see why so many parents give in because it is hard not to, but I have always had a strong sense of discipline in-built and it hurts too much to not go with my instinct and years of research and experiments!
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