Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ten Ways to Disappoint and Upset Your Children



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I didn't enter into parenthood with a vision of rainbows and unicorns and lollipops.  In fact, I postponed parenthood due to several situations, one of which included a healthy dose of fear that I'd eff something up and cause undue trauma to my offspring. I had high expectations for myself and spent my early adulthood trying my hardest to learn about child development, parenting strategies, and what to do if something went sideways and I needed back up.  

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I always wondered how my own mother could make things look so effortless. She was pregnant seven times, with the seventh baby being her rainbow baby. Every day she made sure we had clothing, lunches packed for school, and transportation to school.  When we came home from school, there was always something we could eat for a snack to hold us over until dinner.  


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How she managed to make fresh, home cooked meals every day without losing her mind is beyond comprehension. She could take an egg, some flour, and two chicken breasts and turn it into a meal for eight people. It was like the loaves and the fish every damned night. Plus, there was usually an amazing dessert to make sure we were sufficiently enticed to eat our meal. 

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As a child, I of course had my moments when I wondered why my parents did, said, and made us do things a certain way.  Sometimes it made sense, and sometimes I thought they were just conspiring against us kids.  I especially loved it when my dad would hide the weekly supply of cookies for our lunches to prevent us from devouring them in one sitting.  It actually became a game with me and my siblings trying to figure out his next hiding place. 


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I often think back on my childhood and realize what I thought were rough times really weren't that bad.  There's something about experiencing parenthood that significantly alters our perceptions.  Perhaps one day my own children will look back and come to an understanding of how challenging it can be to parent three very different personalities, help each one navigate the treacherous path through puberty, and ensure that they develop not only a sense of who they are, but of their God given purpose in this world.
 
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Until that happens, here are some ways you might disappoint and upset your children.  It's okay.  They'll hopefully understand why you had to do these things once they become responsible for a human being or two or three.  




 One
Say NO

Tell children "no" even when they whine and cry and make you lose your mind.  It's good for them to become acquainted with this word, understand its purpose, and appreciate the value of this tiny, two lettered beauty.  Use it judiciously to preserve its integrity.  Knowing when and how to scoop out a portion of this delight is the key to its power and effectiveness.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Two
Encourage them to HELP

Give children things to do around the house that will help maintain their living environment. Here are a few ideas:

  1.Pick up items around the house and put them where they belong. 

2.Take out the garbage. 

3. Load and unload the dishwasher.  

4. Help sort/clean/dry/fold the laundry. 

5. Plan and purchase a meal. By the time they are getting ready to go to middle school, you can hopefully give them $20, send them into the store, then have them plan and purchase items for dinner a few nights each month. Make it a family project! 

6. Clean the bathroom.

7. Keep your own room organized.

8. Change the toilet paper roll.

9. Hang up your towels to dry after a bath or shower.

10. Vacuum all areas of the home.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Three
Buy from THRIFT Stores

Children may feel pressured to buy the latest brands of clothing and shoes.  Disappoint them when you do not give in to peer pressure based shopping sprees.  Learn to be okay with their discomfort. Empower them to make a clothing budget and show them how their $ goes farther at a thrift store.  You can often find brand names with tags still on the merchandise.  
Inspire them to create their own styles and sense of fashion.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom



 Four
 Show teens how to increase their EARNING potential

 When they get older and want to increase their $ for clothing, find ways to foster their love of fashion and encourage their entrepreneurial spirit.  Check out how they can earn their own income with a small business like Stella & Dot.  Teens can become stylists for family and friends. They will appreciate being able to earn their own money instead of being handed an allowance.



Five
Teach them ADVOCACY for themselves and others


You won't always be able to rescue them. Teach them how and when to speak up for themselves, share their ideas, and communicate in ways that will be heard and respected.  This takes a lot of time, patience, and practice...so start early and continue to expand on their repertoire of coping strategies; they will learn how to become empowered in this often harsh world of realities.  Shielding and protecting them may feel like the best thing, but remember they need to be equipped to deal with life and all it's unexpected crises.




Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


 Six
 Teach, Encourage, and Expect ACCOUNTABILITY


Make sure children understand that choosing behaviors involves consequences, both the good and the bad.  Preventing children from feeling the pain of those consequences does them no favors.  If your child takes something from a store, for example, require them to make restitution for their actions.  Don't bail them out and blame the messenger.  Hold them accountable and make them attend the court, take classes, and pay their dues to the community.  It will be hard for you too, but the lesson is an important one to learn.  Same goes for inappropriate behaviors at school.   Have those meeting with the counselor and principal, discuss solutions to problems, and require your child to be a part of those solutions.  Is is hard and uncomfortable to watch your child struggle? Absolutely.  But they need to develop these life skills while they are still young and you can provide the guidance required.


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Seven
ASK a TON of Questions

You will definitely upset your children by asking a bazillion "stupid" questions.  Ask anyway!  Who are you meeting? Where will you go? What time is that event over?  What are their parents' phone numbers in case of emergency?  Do they have access to alcohol, guns, etc...  How will you let me know if I need to pick you up?  What time will you be home? How can I be sure you will make the right decisions? What will you do if there is an emergency?  Who else is going to be there?  

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Eight
WAIT on that Driver's License

The quickest way to disappoint and upset a young person is to hold off on that driver's permit and license.  In other countries, young people have to wait until the age of eighteen to drive.  There are several reasons you do not need to acquiesce when it comes to the learner's permit. To everything there is a season.

 First:  Drivers today are even more distracted than when we got our permit.  Even seasoned drivers have been hit by those who refuse to put down their damned cellphones while driving, put on makeup while driving, and text while driving.  Put an inexperienced teen behind the wheel trying to contend with that madness is a crap shoot.  I have been in two accidents in the past 6 months and both were caused by inattentive drivers! One rear ended me when my child was in the car.  Following too close is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  There's just no freakin' reason! Look up and just drive!  You have no idea the amount of damage that is done not only to vehicles, but to a person's sense of safety.  

Second:  A professional driver's course is the best option for providing insights and training for a teen.  A parent who is anxious creates anxious drivers.  These courses can put quite a dent in your wallet.  If I hadn't been so traumatized by those accidents, perhaps it wouldn't be such an issue for me. But I am definitely giving my child the best chance at learning how to safely drive by enrolling her in a driver's ed. course.  

Third:  Insurance is outrageous. Again, thanks to so many inattentive driver's out there, our rates continue to increase.  Until I can safely insure my child, I will continue to transport her to activities or have another responsible adult I can trust provide transportation.  This is just too important to ignore.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


Nine
 DISCUSS SAFETY CONCEPTS 
and EXPECTATIONS

1. ALWAYS Wear your seat belt. Require others to
wear their seat belt if you are driving or if they are
driving with you in the vehicle.

2. Understand the behavioral and potential life altering consequences of a
 physical/emotional/sexual relationship
 as well as the signs of abuse.

3. Alcohol/Drug awareness and signs of addiction 
* NEVER drink/drug and drive no matter what amount of alcohol/drugs have been consumed/used.
*NEVER get in the car with someone who has been drinking/drugging.
*Make an agreement your child can call you for a RIDE 
no questions asked. Discussions tabled until the next day.

4. Be aware of your surroundings.

5. When given the choice to walk away or engage in a 
verbal/physical confrontation, choose to walk away. 
Your life may depend upon that decision.

Have a plan for the unexpected. (I know. It sounds impossible.) 
But knowing what steps to take in an emergency is important. Talk to your children and discuss scenarios.  When I lived on a military base and worked as a civilian with the Army, we were taught OPSEC.   (Operational Security)  Discuss your child's personal and family plan for what to do in an emergency, how to contact each other, and a meeting place.  This type of attention to detail will annoy the heck out of them, but it's an important life skills lesson.



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Ten
 REMIND them that parents are human too

Disappointing and upsetting your children is part of parenting. It's uncomfortable at times, and it doesn't necessarily give you nice warm feels.  But it is critical that we continue to teach, remind, advocate, and guide our offspring through the crazy maze of life.  I have been know to remind my kids, "I am a human mom, not an android."  They promise to engrave that on my memorial marker one day.  I'm fine with that!





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Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend filled 
with challenges, adventures, &
plenty of resources to tackle your goals!
 
Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom
Kindest Regards,
~ Mary




8 comments:

  1. Great tips. These are all things that kids need to learn. Parenting is NOT for wimps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jared! Thanks so much for visiting and reading this post. I appreciate you took time to comment. Wishing you much success with your "Scentsy" business! Kindest Wishes, ~Mary

      Delete
  2. #10 hits home the most. My parents come to stay with us every summer and it has been interesting as an adult learning that my parents are human. I think as you grow up you just assume your parents know EVERYTHING and that they're just PARENTS, not real people. As I've gotten older and gotten to know my parents as humans I've come to appreciate them in ways I never could when I was younger.

    What an fun and interesting piece! Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post! I don't have kids yet, but I do have two nieces and a nephew and I agree with all of these for them, especially with saying no. I'm not afraid to tell them no - you can't do that, you aren't getting that, no.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lauren! Thanks for your comments! You are appreciated!

      Delete
  4. Yes! good article Mary:) everything is not supposed to served to them on a silver platter. we love them therefore we teach them.
    marian - thecolorwheelgallery.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking time to read and comment! I appreciate it!

      Delete

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I have over 20 years of experience in Early Childhood Development Birth-Age 5 including work in classrooms and as an Infant/Toddler Program Manager.  I have several writing projects in progress including a resource book for parents of infants and infant room teachers in a full day child development (school) program.  The book will provide families with information about what to expect and how to monitor their child's progress in an Infant room.  My second book project involves how to cope with family challenges, lessons in forgiveness, dealing with a spouse's addiction, and reinventing yourself along the way.  I am excited about all of these projects and am currently accepting comments regarding experiences my readers have had placing their child into a full day child care program.  I would also like to hear from Infant room teachers.