I was thinking this morning as I was driving my kids to school. Are we, as parents, raising our kids to be the best they can be? “I think I’m doing OK”, I say to myself. “Mommy, what did you say?” says my daughter. “Oh nothing sweetie, I’m just talking to myself”
I drive down the road, around curves, up and down hills, stop and start at stop lights, then pull up to the carpool lane. “Bye guys!”, I say cheerfully. “Love you, and have a great day!”
When they sit in their seats this morning at school, will they remember how I lectured them about arguing with each other the whole way to school this morning? Will they remember my angry eyes as I made eye contact with them in the rear view mirror with a frown on my face? Or will they remember last night when we curled up and read a book and I made those goofy animal voices that made them laugh? Chances are they are going to remember me not being in a good mood this morning and blame themselves because mommy was fussing at them for arguing.
A mom walks in the kitchen and sees her kid pouring milk from the gallon milk carton into his bowl of cereal, as some of it splashes and spills onto the counter and floor. The mom gets angry. “I have told you before…Don’t try and pour the milk yourself!! “Look what you’ve done?” “Why don’t you listen to me and do what I say?” The mom feels like she needs to be stern because she is trying to raise kids that respect adults and the rules of the house.
She sips her coffee as her kids finish their breakfast and she sees the same kid on his knees cleaning up some cereal his little sister spilled from her bowl. He runs off to put on his coat, as the mom grabs her purse and keys. That mom is quick to point out what her child did wrong that morning. But is she just as quick to point out what he did right? No, she isn’t.
She should make parenting 50/50. She should point out the wrong things her child does to help him learn what is not acceptable. And she should always look for the things he does that are right and make sure she tells him so. She tends to talk too much about the bad and not enough about the good.
“You are being very judgmental”, you may say to me.
I can be judgemental, because that mom is me.