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Friday, January 2, 2015

Why I Choose to Let My Kids Hate Me


Parenting, it's so much harder than you ever thought it would be. The first time you hear the words "I hate you", you feel heartbroken. You've given so much love and everything you have to your child, so those words bite deep into your soul.  I'm here to tell you to accept it, embrace it, in fact give yourself a big pat on the back. Why? Because you're doing your job!

You're not your child's friend in any way, shape, or form. A friendship is usually about being on equal footing. You don't tell your friend to clean up their room. A friend doesn't throw tantrums when they hear the word no, well they shouldn't anyways. If they do, maybe it's time to re-examine your friendship. Life is too short, so use your time wisely.

I see so many parents trying to be a friend to their children. Ugh, no! Does your child pay the bills? Is he or she able to support themselves? Most likely the answer is no. When your child is able to support themselves, sure go ahead and be their friend. Kids need structure and guidance. They make friends at school or at other activities.

Am I saying don't do anything with your child? No, invest that quality time with them, but they need to know their role in their relationship with you. You are the parent and they're the child.

Setting boundaries is key! We use a consequence chart. It is important that your child knows exactly what the punishment will be for their action. I even save mine on my computer. That way when new situations arise, I can quickly make adjustments to the chart.

So many parents threaten consequences and don't follow through. You need to follow through 100% of the time. If you don't, they will test and push the limits. Even though it might drive you nutty to take away their electronics, you need to just suck it up and deal with it. It's not about you, it's about teaching your child to act like a proper human being. Yes, I said it! I understand that lots of kids have behavioral issues, my child included, but they will learn quickly.

Have a schedule for your kids! Now, I'm not saying to never deviate from the schedule but it's a proven fact that kids that are on a schedule are better behaved. You know how you feel when you are up way past your bedtime. You feel like you have a hangover the next day and sometimes it takes days to feel normal. Why would you do this to your kids? It is so much easier on the whole family to put the kids to bed at the same time each night, also the same with getting them up. On the weekends, I give them a little slack, but not so much to throw off their weekly schedule.

Let your kids know exactly what is expected of them. When they know exactly what to do, there is less fighting and drama. My girls know that they must start their homework by 4:30.  Most of the time I have to remind them, but they usually do it without a problem. When you know what to expect you turn it into a routine.

Do my kids really hate me? No, they just hate not getting their way. They have plenty of moments when they love screaming those words. Guess what? That is fine with me, they are learning to become good listeners, to be respectful, and so much more. We make our kids behave because we love them and want the very best for them.