I don’t think there is a child in the land who wishes that their parent was stricter or who would request more rules being enforced in the home. The reality is however, that children need a world with clear guidelines and expectations. Without this, we are in danger of creating a generation of teenagers who think like this:
|Article courtesy of Facebook (not sure which newspaper originally!)|
When I read this, I actually wanted to ‘high-five’ the principal of Northland College, I could not have put it better myself! But are we as parents partly to blame for creating these lazy teenagers who reckon the world owes them something? And it’s not just teenagers either, there are plenty of adults who carry around this mentality too!
Only recently, one of my daughter’s classmates said to her “your mum scares me“! Whilst this is a little bit funny and we had a chuckle about me jumping out of a bush next time he’s walking past and shouting “boo!” I was also slightly offended. We all want to be liked don’t we? Who wants to be the Mum in the playground who has been labelled the ‘meanie’, the one whose house other kids don’t want to go to because they’re not allowed to watch films with a certificate 15 or spend as much time on screens as they like, or stay up past midnight at a sleepover. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy title to live up to!
But being liked by our children is not something that we should be striving for as a parent. Yes there are times when I question my parenting style and of course, I have naturally felt hurt when my child has screamed “I hate you” after a punishment has been enforced. I also believe however, that one day they will respect me for it and understand that love was my driving force, not a desire to spoil their fun. I don’t want my children to turn into the type of people described in the article above and I’m going to make damn sure that doesn’t happen, even if it means they hate me on occasion!
One day, when they’re adults and perhaps have families of their own, I hope to hear my children refer to me as their ‘friend’ but whilst I am their care-giver, discipliner and all-round teacher in life, I don’t think that I can carry this title. A friend doesn’t want to offend or say ‘no’, a friend is reluctant to enforce rules or a punishment. A friend isn’t going to ask you to do something that you clearly won’t like but they know is for your long-term good.
This fantastic poster that I came across on pinterest, sums up my parenting approach…
Do you think you can parent effectively at the same time as being a ‘friend’?