We Need More ‘Mean Mums’
Do you think mum’s today are too nice? While we don’t need malicious parenting, are some parents forgetting the importance of teaching tough love?
Many new age parents are taking on opposite parenting traits that they were raised with. It’s likely that if you grew up with strict parents who were unreasonable, made you complete tedious chores, didn’t support your creativity, or tolerate silliness, that you’ve likely told yourself “I’ll never do that when I’m a parent”.
While there’s no definite right way to raise a child, you should remember that you’re not really raising a child… you’re raising an adult. You don’t to be a mean mum by the means of being hurtful, but we need more smart mean mums.
As Liz Nielman eloquently states:
“I’m a mean mum.
I make them follow rules.
I punish them when they don’t.
I make them do chores.
Even when they’re tired.
I say no.
I enforce an early bedtime.
I push them to do hard things.
I take them to piano and baseball and soccer even when they don’t feel like going.
I don’t let them eat buckets of candy.
I make them read their books.
And study for their spelling tests.
I make them wear bike helmets even though they hate it.
I won’t let them drink soda.
Or watch that rated R movie.
I don’t give them everything they want.
I may not always be popular. I may not always make the decision they want me to, or the one they think is right.
But I love you to pieces. I’ll protect you. I’ll care for you. I’ll fight for you. I’ll try my best to give you the best life imaginable.
And sometimes by doing that, I have to be what you think is “mean”.
And that’s OK. ♥”
We all want to raise our children to become responsible adults. But how often do we deny them of opportunities to learn?
“It’s easier if I do the dishes, they won’t do them right”
“They’re too young to clean their room”
“If they vacuum, I’ll just have to do it again afterwards”
“They should have fun now, they can work for the rest of their lives”
When you make these excuses and continue to do chores for your kids, you’re missing out on opportunities to teach them responsibility. While your kid might not be able to do something like you can, let them learn. If you expect them to be lazy in their duties, then that’s what you’ll get. But if you can change your mindset to expect great things, they’ll surely accept your challenge.
With that, you also have to let them fail. Despite societies everyone’s-a-winner message. We all need to learn about loss and failure, it’s a part of learning and it’s much harder to learn this in adulthood if you’ve spent your entire childhood receiving participation trophies.
Sometimes you just have to allow them to suffer the consequences.
Did they forget their lunch at home, again? Are you really going to drive to school and drop it off?
If your kid says they’re sick so they don’t have to play outside, and a friend comes to check up on them – will you take part in their lie?
On a Sunday night you find out your child has a project due the next day – do you rush out for them?
Failure does not mean disaster, it’s a process that creates maturity, by allowing your child to deal with these fails, you’re giving them a taste of what it’s like to be an adult.
It’s ok to be a mean mom. It means you’re someone who lives up to their word. It’s not mean to give children chores or let them fail. It’s not mean to follow through with consequences if they’re disrespectful or misbehave.
Mean moms are good mums, who set boundaries and enforce them even when it’s not popular. Kids need to learn how to do the necessary hard things in life, even if it means you have to be the mean parent.
Your future successful and responsible adult will thank you.