By A PCMH Community Parent
Yes, I hear you. Yes, I see you. Yes, I know my boys are being silly and I'm laughing right along with them instead of sternly correcting their —what did you call it?—'inappropriate behaviour'. I'm not sure I would agree with the term you so loudly mentioned though, and I'm sure you and I have opposing versions of that particular definition.
In fact, it appears our parenting expectations are completely different.
You see, you were quick to criticize the fact that my youngest was not sitting in his seat "like a good boy,” whereas I was just glad he stayed at the table to eat with us. And you were quick to notice he was playing with his ketchup, whereas I was just relieved he wasn't using it as a weapon on his brother. You made faces when my boys giggled hysterically and even shot me a look for laughing with them. They told a joke—without swearing—and I thought it was funny.
But I noticed you too.
I saw how you criticized your children for fidgeting ('don't be like them' is how you said it, actually), and how you made a big deal about their glasses being so dirty. I noticed how you tried to take your son's glasses to clean them, while he was eating, and then harshly scolded him for not letting you do that. I also watched—in awe—as you teased your son about ordering a salad while you wolfed down your double-quarter-pounder meal. Any kid that orders a salad willingly at MacDonald deserves a standing ovation, sweetheart, not a guilt trip from his mom.
Here's my advice to you, that I would have shared had I had the words for it at the time:
2) Be grateful to have kids that don't criticize you back (though I have a feeling they'll rebel against you at some point)
3) Be thankful that they listen to you for the most part. Some of us don't have that luxury.
4) Stop trying to control, and start trying to enjoy your children. In a few years, they may choose not to go out with you at all.
5) Laugh a little. Or a lot. Life is stressful enough, so why make it harder?
I hope you find some peace in your parenting journey, and I hope you find the joy that your children need you to have.
The Mom Who Laughs With Her Boys Because Life Is Too Damn Short