I hear that a lot. Mean mommy. I insist she at least eats one cooked carrot with her dinner. Mean mommy. I insist she eats her dinner before getting anything else. Mean. I insist she takes a nap (that she needs) every day or she misses activities. Mean. She can’t have 12 toys, paint, and bubbles in her bath that we only have 5 minutes to get through before leaving the house. Mean.
I’m certain a lot of people think that too. I hear often that I’m too hard on my kid(s), that I expect too much. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe setting high standards is positive, and not negative. Maybe coaching towards a higher level, and not being satisfied with bad behavior should be looked at in a positive light. After all, if we misbehaved somewhere, we were not allowed to go back. Can you imagine? I officially would be completely grounded with my kids because mine have acted up in every store, library, parking lot, mall and relative’s house from here to Timbuktu. However, when we kept her from nursery a couple of weeks due to bad behavior in church, she has had nearly perfect nice-leaving skills since then. She helps pick up, seems to be polite to the other kids and has befriended a toddler so her grandma can go back to church. If K is there, she’s that woman’s savior. Can you imagine? I can’t. But she’s repeated it more than once, so I don’t suppose she’s making it up.
People will go out of their way to bend over backwards for kids, even teenagers who just randomly decide, nah I don’t want to eat THAT today, I want something else. They’ll make a whole other dinner for one picky eater. Now, if the kid REALLY doesn’t like something, but everyone else does, I get that. Also vegetarianism, etc. But if the kid is just being a pain in the arse? Forget it. I for one don’t like fish. However my mom was kind enough to fix me a hot dog, pbj or something else when the rest had salmon patties. Or I just ate extra mac and cheese, peas, and maybe bread and butter or something. She didn’t go make another whole meal though. I really don’t understand that. There will be school lunches, and meals at friends houses, and dinners out, and occasions for work and at some point, you just HAVE to go along with whatever is there. I can’t tell you how many salad luncheons I’ve been to where the most of my meal was bread, fruit and olives. That’s okay though. Because I’ll get another meal. I’ll make do. My mom taught me to eat what was there and be content, or figure it out. I’m not certain that by catering to our kids’ every single whim that we’re doing them any favors.
At some point, kids just need to be kids. They need their parents to set the example, lay down the rules, and get on with life. Every kid needs a mean mommy.