First off, don’t go getting your knickers in a twist because you’re downward facing dog over the word ‘warrior’ and thinking, ‘That’s what’s wrong with the world! Too much aggression!’
At ease soldier.
Parenting is all guts and very little glory.
If you can’t wrap your head around this simple wisdom you’re probably between the third scheduled after-school activity of the day and fake-smiling in the rear view mirror as you dig in your purse for another Xanax.
All is not lost.
We can train you to be all you can be.
I speak of this today because I know a young mother who is terrified of her children.
She’s so committed to being ‘open-minded’ that her brains have fallen out.
What this REALLY is, is that she’s afraid they won’t ‘like’ her (And if she keeps up the wussy parenting she’ll be right).
First, let’s all agree on at least one thing:
We love our children so completely that we’re usually the idiots.
The problem IS that we are A-C-T-U-A-L-L-Y supposed to know what’s-up- Our kids are counting on it (They don’t know you don’t know what the hell you’re doing).
So, you do YOU but if your hair is going prematurely gray, ya’ might want to consider a few rules in basic training:
Don’t explain everything. You’re trying to reason with a toddler. A T-O-D-D-L-E-R for christsake.
Don’t use big, complicated, sophisticated words before your child is potty trained. Words are age appropriate. No 4 year old needs to refer to her who-ha as a vagina or her father as a dead-beat.
Use your ‘power’ over the television, computer, cell phone- whatever they value. Yes, I believe in the power of positive reinforcement but I’m certain of the power of being the Grand Puba.
Which brings me to: No means nada. Zilch. Kaput. Awesome life lesson. ‘No’ is a word all happy people are not offended by. They just try harder.
Exercise the concept of Rules with Consequences. You don’t need a whole slew of ‘rules’ but you should have a few, like: work hard, love hard, play hard. And table manners. Let’s not forget those.
It helps if your children feel they’re part of a ‘team’, that they’re not the center of the universe. No child wants that kind of responsibility. Adulthood comes quick enough.
Don’t forget that your child is SUPPOSED to rail against you (How else would they learn to survive?) and even when it feels like they hate you, you’re still the parent- and they don’t.
Weigh the ‘battles’. Is it really worth the angst to rage over a toaster pancake vs. a stone ground bulgar wheat smoothie? I know you’re trying to exercise clean eating standards but you need to be more clever- like sneaking a dollop of wheat grass into the jam. In fact, the less they directly know about what you’re trying to do FOR them, the better. You’re a parent now. Think of yourself as a master of cold war spying tactics.
Which brings me to ‘spying’. Have at it. It’s your house. You’re rules. Nothing is off limits. At the very least you’ll create an environment by which they have to be more clever, which is a character trait you’re trying to develop in them anyways. Society calls it ‘Creativity.’ I call it ‘being pro-active’.
It goes something like this:
“Mom, you have to respect my privacy!”
“I don’t HAVE to do anything- except make it very difficult for you to screw-up.”
“Why don’t you trust me?”
“I do trust you. I think you’re wonderful. But surviving your (insert age) takes a village. And I’m the Mayor.”
“Why can’t I wear it?”
“Because you will give the impression that you are able to handle something you are not ready to take responsibility for.”
“But everyone is doing it!”
“I don’t give a crap about ‘everyone’. Only you.”
“I hate you! We’ll never be friends!”
“You will have a bucket-full of friends in life. They will come and go. You will only have one mother. I will be here no matter what. Guess which one I’m aiming for?”
Don’t make life more difficult then it already is for you and your spawn.
Stick to your guns, and if you’re on time…