By Meg Hodson
You hear people say it often...."I want my kids to like me....". Well, the obvious answer to this is "yes", of course you want your children to like you. But then they freak out, they spill their milk, they write on the wall, they do something crazy that makes you INSANE. You, as a parent, are put in a position to discipline, reprimand, instruct. Sometimes this is an easy process, sometimes not.
If your kids listen and respond quickly, great; guidance given and you move on. But we all know in reality that happens about 2% of the time. The other 98% involves varying levels of loudness and tone in your voice, intensifying levels of you pulling your hair, all possibly leading to you, as a parent, losing it.
If you're a parent, ANY parent, you've been there, done that. We raise our voices, we yell, we stomp our feet. Well, this was me recently with my youngest son, age 7. He's a boy, he has an older brother, and they often end in knock down throw downs or some other sort of mischief. They are boys. I get that. But sometimes it is taken too far and intervention is necessary.
I had to resort to raising my voice recently. It's not that I wanted to, in my heart of hearts I felt I needed to. And then my youngest, my sweet boy who still snuggles with me every night (not all night mind you, just a few hours) uttered these words--you're mean. I hated hearing it. You're mean. It wasn't like him at all. He is constantly giving me hugs and is polite and says "thank you" for everything. But in this moment, he even stormed off for a bit. I wasn't feeling guilty, yet I still felt off.
And that feeling has stuck with me the two months or so it has taken me to write this post. I was compelled to finish this post tonight. One thing I have learned as a parent is that kids thrive on structure---whether that is sleeping in the same bed every night, sticking to a schedule, or having boundaries, structure is healthy. So, I viewed this reprimanding as part of that structure. Although my son stormed off and we might have both hated that moment in time, we are better for it now.
How do I know? He still comes in and snuggles every night and tells me how much he loves me.