Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So who is the parent here?

I have some pet peeves. One is kids who think they are the parent. I am not talking about 2 and 3 year olds testing their limits. I am talking about tweens (I am not sure why but I hate that word!)and teens who think they should make all the decisions. Now I know I was a teen once and I pushed against some rules (not too many, I really was a goody two shoes!) and Jon did as well (lets talk about him sneaking out at night to see his girlfriend in high school and then sneaking back in) but not to the extent that kids do today.

For example- have you heard the cell phone commercial about texting? The teen in it is telling her parents that teens text so get used to it. And the commercial encourages parents to pay more for a cell phone and include unlimited texting for an additional fee to avoid arguing with their kid.

Excuse me, arguing with your kid over texting? How about this solution- stay within the limit I give you or lose the phone?

And the tone of the girl in the commercial- I can't show you here (and I checked you tube trying to find it) but the best way I can think of to describe it is sass (as my mom used to say). The tone of voice that would have me washing my kids mouth out with soap, I don't care how old they are. If my child EVER talked to me in that tone of voice (and I am sure they will at some points) I can assure you that my solution would NOT be to go out and buy them an unlimited plan on texting to avoid it in the future.

But maybe I am just mean.

A few months ago I read a letter that mom wrote in to an advice columnist asking for help with her daughter. Apparently her daughter had a small addiction to texting (I know there are other problems with kids but this one seems to appear often). And if the mom stopped her, limited her or took away her phone her daughter would (gasp!) get mad at them. And she didn't want that to happen. So what should the mom do? I LOVED the response- basically she was told if your tween or teen isn't mad at you a percentage of the time you are not doing your job!

Yup, kids get mad at us. We got mad at our parents and we survived. I don't harbor some horrible hatred for my parents becuase they told me no on occasions or gave me a curfew. We have an awesome relationship and I grew up to be a well rounded adult. So why will my child grow up to hate me or be some horrible person because I took the phone away at bedtime or limited video game time, or sent them outside to play instead of letting them watch yet another tv show?

I just don't understan parents who let their kids do this to them. We seem to have forgotten that it is okay to tell our kids no. It is okay for our kids to be mad at us and cry and be sad. It is okay for them not to get everything they want. They will still grow up to be good human beings and not hate us forever. They will probably be better for it since they will know that life it not about getting everything you want, or instant gratification. The real world will not be such a shock if they are prepared and have heard the word "no" a few times.

Honestly, it will be okay.


{Bobbi} said...

I was sooo thinking this last night when I watched to new show Parenthood! One Mom caught her teenager in the shower with a boy and told her that she could make her own decisions yet the Mom broke it off with the daughters teacher because her daughter told her to (dating the teacher is a little weird, but still who's the parent?) Another daughter broke a vase then lied and turned it around on the Mom (she was younger but still talking back.) The other teenage cousin bought a lacey bra and was going to wear it to see her boyfriend, when her Dad told her no...she left anyways and went braless to his house (the Dad actually went after her awhile later which was a step in the right direction, but to find her on his bed making out and his parents not caring!) UGh! All acceptable by todays standards!

Tired Mom T├ęsa said...

Great post. I love the line that if your tween isn't mad at you, you're aren't doing your job. This is really interesting because I've been having trouble with my son lately who's for some reason battling me on everything - he's only 3 though so that's part of the problem. But it made me think, "Is this what were in for?" It could get tough but it's important to stand your ground and remember you're the parent. Great advice, thanks!

Keli said...

Great post! I agree with you 100%! I see the way my sisters talk to my parents and I can't stand it. Just a few short years ago, if I was to talk to them that way, I'd get punished. Now, my sisters get what they want! I don't understand it at all. My boys do not talk to me that way and hopefully never will. Respect for your elders has been lost some where along the way in our culure.