I’ve been called mean by my son more than once in his lifetime, but it’s never easy hearing that from your child. Yes, you’re doing what’s best for him, but he doesn’t know. And he doesn’t understand. All he knows is that he doesn’t want to take a shower tonight and no he can’t play football with daddy 10 more minutes. Oh, and “mommie, you’re mean.” He knows how to throw those words around just when I don’t need to hear them.
Walker is going through a “learning to keep hands off other people” phase right now. I think a lot of it is because he is so assertive and rough and so very competitive. I called my mom last week to ask her if I was doing something wrong. Of course she said no, I was a good mom, but she couldn’t tell me the right thing to do. She’s my mom. She’s supposed to have all the answers.
But, as I’ve searched parenting sites, looked at books, talked to others, I realize no one knows the right answer. Sure there are many that think they have them, but I’m not so sure. If you think about it, it really is amazing that we have a book to tell us how to live (the Bible), school for 20 years+ of our lives to give us skills in the workforce, but there’s not one preferred or required reading on how to be a parent.
As I continue to teach my son how to be the best person he can, show him right from wrong and set his limits, I constantly have those cheesy sayings in my head to keep me strong (they actually work for me):
I’m not your friend, I’m your parent.
Little people, little problems. Big people, big problems.
I repeat them over and over again. And I repeat them to Mike too. He’s got such a tender heart. He has a really hard time putting his foot down. But he’s getting better. He hates conflict and guess what - I don't like it either buddy, but as parents it's our responsibility to challenge these little beings. Sometimes that makes us the bad guy/gal, but I'm OK with that because I can see the end goal in mind.
Don’t get me wrong – we don’t have a little hellion on our hands – just a rough and tough, all-boy, little linebacker that doesn’t understand other first-graders aren’t as into wrestling, full-out tackle football and Power Rangers like he is. I’ve never raised a boy, but being a girl an all for 36 years, I can tell they are very different creatures. Only makes sense that men and women are so very different when you look at the differences in boys and girls just starting out in elementary school.
So what's my point here? I'm not completely sure myself, but maybe it's just expressing some parenting frustrations, to show all the other moms out there it's not easy and everyone else is learning as we go.
I'll post this great quote again, which I will be posting in Walker's room very soon since he's now a reading whiz...I think it should be in the back of every parent's mind.