Remember when your mother said, "because I said so"? There's something to that.
For a long time, I've wanted to understand my children. I wanted them to like me.
That is not my responsibility as a mom. My responsibility is to train them up "in the way that they should go." Their responsibility is to obey.
Modern day thought has crept into the hearts of Christian parents everywhere. It crept into my heart. The Bible is pretty cut and dry on parenting. Parents love and discipline. Children obey. Yes, we are to win their hearts, but, trust my experience, that's not by giving in to their desires, trying to make everything fair, and trying to explain ourselves to someone just over 3 feet tall!
Why is it that we moms (dads don't seem to have this problem as much) think we're being unfair if we don't warn our children 3 times that they're "going to get in trouble if...?" Do my kids know they're not supposed to goof off during school? Absolutely. Then, why do I waste my breath warning - nagging - them all morning? The first time they're out of their seat doing anything other than school, they are disobeying.
Disobedience requires chastisement. Easy as that.
It's amazing how little nagging one has to do once you've used some discipline on that springy seat! It may not cure it all, but it reduces the breath wasted.
Why is it that we moms think our kids are smarter than we are? If I tell Jr. to get a coat on and he comes back with a weather update that make swimsuits sound more appropriate, I rethink my position and hand him the beach ball on his way out the door.
Would someone please slap me?
My three year old has a habit of coming to the table and stating that he doesn't like what is being served. I formed that habit. How? By sternly saying "It doesn't matter. You're eating it, anyway." This is followed by a loud, sad sigh which we ignore.
It sounds good enough. I don't give in and make him a separate meal of chips and ice cream. He eats what's put in front of him. Where I have failed is in the area of gratefulness and attitude training.
Last night, I think we handled it a bit more wisely. Seth came to the table and said "I don't like this." Mind you, he hadn't even sat down and it was a brand new recipe. So, he was taken to the toy room (NOT to play), then sent to bed - without dinner.
Do I hear the sounds of mothers everywhere gasping and tsking the fact that we allowed our son to starve? Well, let's just say that when he saw the crock-pots going today he said, "That's supper. I like that!"
Thank you very much!
I don't need to explain myself to my 10 year old. If I tell him to do something, it's to be "yes ma'am!" If he complains, I add more chores to the list. I don't have to explain why I'm asking him to do the job. And guess what! He doesn't want an explanation, either! How many times have we tried to defend ourselves (needlessly) to our kids only to see them tune us out! They give us bad attitudes to try to get away with something - not so they can hear mom explain the righteousness of it all!
I will miss those lovely times when I'd say, "So-and-so, pick up the toys" and so-and-so would come back with "I didn't get them out" and I'd actually go along and say, "oh, sorry, who did?" Oh yes, the good ole days.
Stop the music.
Now, it's "pick up the toys and I don't want a history on who did what!" Ok, well, not that bad. But, what they're saying when they tell me who really got out the toys is "I'm too good to pick up someone else's stuff!" Moms pick up stuff all the time that they "didn't get out!" What a shock that will be to my girls one day if they don't learn now to humble themselves and pitch in. What a way to teach my sons to love others when they pick up their sisters toys once in a while.
So, I've reclaimed my authority. In love, of course. And you know what? We're all a bit happier.
Because I said so, that's why!