Seeing a child in public who is blatantly disrespectful makes me cringe. There is the exception of the temper tantrum or yelling from a child with true mental/behavioral challenges, so I am not quick to judge. It could have easily been me in that mother’s shoes. With that in mind, there are few things that give me greater joy than someone complimenting my children. I’m not talking about their looks, or their clothes – but rather how well-behaved or smart they are. I’m proud to say that in the past, I’ve received free desert at restaurants, endless praises and pleasantries from total strangers because of my kids’ behavior in public. This is not to brag or boast, but to share my epiphany. I spend so much time trying to make sure that my kids are good that I forget how great they already are!
I’m sure you can relate. You correct their grammar without thought. You groom and prep before they embark upon something new, whether its a test or a tryout. You are always making sure that your kids, who are an extension of you, are poised, thoughtful and polite with their interactions with others. At one point, this had become an exhausting job for me, but the rewards made it all worth it!
I recently came to the realization that I don’t have to work so hard to groom my kids into these “pseudo-perfect” little people. They are already amazing. I found myself completely pre-occupied thus FATIGUED by just doing what I think every parent does. However, I don’t want to overshadow the time we share with corrections and annoying reminders. No, I’m not completely giving up on purposefully parenting my children, I just needed to fall back a little and give myself and them some credit.
So, the next time you find yourself repeating things over and over again to your kids about what or what NOT to do, we need to remember that our kids are who they are because we invest the time and effort towards making sure that they are growing up to be responsible young citizens and that they behave appropriately in social settings. We’ve taught them well…they’re listening…so we should allow them to be such.
BMWK – Do you feel like you’re raising a good kid?