I was just going to write: ‘I better get my rear in gear and get some advance posts written so you won’t be lonely while I’m in Tucson,’ and I totally had a flashback. No, not the LSD kind, just a flash of memory from growing up. My mom had all kinds of sayings she used to say and ‘rear in gear’ was one of them. I’ve carried that trait into my own mothering. I think it’s the politcal correctness of motherhood. We use those cute little sayings instead of yelling out how slow you think your kids are being. God forbid we might plant the seed in their heads that they’re slow and it comes true, you know. Don’t want to give them a complex.
Which brings me to an article that I read not too long ago in Psychology Today about about raising children into ‘wimps’. I have mixed feelings about the article but sometimes I do wonder if I’m doing the right things with my kids. I know I’m getting old when I say things like, ‘When I was growing up, we used to get smacked in the mouth for talking that way.’ Don’t get me wrong, we were never ever abused but one good smack sure got the point across and we learned respect very quickly. It didn’t take too many instances. These days they’ll take your kids away. I just get exhausted from being composed and controlled and saying for the millionth time, ‘Honey, we don’t talk that way’ and wondering just when it will sink in and they’ll stop doing it. ARGH! Am I raising wimps?
Now, some would look at the cool, calm method of parenting a ‘good parent’. But just what does that mean? That it looks good? Or are we really doing what is best for our kids? It’s an interesting balance and I try to keep a little of each in there, short of beating them. I’m not the mom that will turn around on the way to school because Grover forgot his show and tell and he’s just devastated. While it’s hard to watch him be upset, and it would be so easy to just go get it, it’s an opportunity for a lesson learned. He won’t do that again, and I won’t have to watch him be upset again. (Mind you, I reminded him about 4 times that he needed something and he chose not to).
One thing I am learning about parenting is that the longer you put off their pain of consequences, the longer they go through it. He was very upset about forgetting something, even before I made the decision not to turn around and go back. He was experiencing pain before I told him ‘no, that is the consequence.’ I could have alleviated more pain by fulfilling his need. But if I would have done that, he would have felt that pain again the next week when it happened again. Guess what? This week he had his show and tell planned in advance. No crying that he forgot it. No pain. So I guess the addage is correct. No pain, no gain.