This is a controversial post and may make some people mad. I just wanted to throw that out there before y’all get started.
I was scrolling through Pinterest today and like always Pinterest thinks it knows exactly what I want to see based on items in my search history. Most of the time this works. I like to see new stuff that I may not have searched for directly. For instance, when I was pregnant I would search for natural ways to go into labor. After so many days of looking through those pins, Pinterest decided to show me ways to breastfeed in public. Yes! Great! That’s where I was going next! Thanks for the help Pinterest.
Today, an infographic caught my eye, as many related to parenting do, and I got to reading. The graphic was titled “Do You React or Respond to Your Kids”. It was divided into two columns, one obviously bad and the other obviously good. To my horror, many of the things that I say to my children were on the react side, which due to the graphics on the page make it clear are bad. Then I went down the good side and to my relief, I’m not the worst mom in the world because I did have some checks in the good column! 🙂
I closed out of the pin and went on scrolling and less than a minute later, I was furious. I had to then go back and search for this pin so I could take another look at it. As I went back slowly through this pin a thought occurred to me. “No wonder kids these days get their feelings hurt so easily and feel like they are owed everything by everyone.” I realize MANY people will not agree with me and no two situations are the same, but how is babying kids preparing them for the real world? Sometimes a kid’s behavior needs to be checked immediately, not babied along until they decide they want to start acting better. And let me say something up front, I’m not saying you should scream and degrade your children, but some phrases should still be spoken by parents.
The graphic does a terrible job of situational responding. Obviously, if my child is legitimately upset, I’m going to be more compassionate with her. If she’s throwing a fit because she didn’t get her way, then darn tootin’ I’m not going to baby her so she thinks it’s ok to act like that. A child should never think they can purposefully behave badly and not get a consequence.
One of the react/respond comparisons was “If you two don’t stop fighting, I’m turning this car around!” versus “I am pulling over. When the car is quiet, I will continue driving.” If you are taking your kids somewhere for them, not because it’s somewhere you have to go, then turn the car around. Let me say it again, TURN AROUND. Teach them a lesson. I’ve done it on the way to Target. Guess what, 2 years later, my girls still talk about that time. And when I bring it up in a similar situation, they tend to straighten up and if they don’t, I TURN AROUND AGAIN! How is that a bad thing? It is teaching my kids that they can’t always get what they way or more importantly, what they think they deserve. I don’t belittle them, but I do make them aware of what is expected and what’s not accepted.
This society of entitlement is killing us. PSA: LIFE IS NOT FAIR! It’s not! And while, yes, it’s ok to be upset about a decision, there are some things in life what we should get used to not being fair. Remember that the only person we can control is ourselves. If we keep raising entitled children, this society is going to continue going downhill with no one taking responsibility for their actions and continuing to want to do nothing and get compensated for it. There are ways to be gentle with your kids and still make a point. I’m not telling you to start screaming at your kids. I’m telling you to be firm with them. I listened to a book called Scream Free Parenting on Audible and in the book, the author, Hal Runkel, said something that has stuck with me ever since.
The worst thing you can do to your kids as a parent is to not follow through on a promise and that includes punishment promises. When you threaten a punishment and don’t do, they immediately learn that they can get away with something and then they toe the line from then on out. Don’t make a promise you can’t keep. Don’t threaten a punishment that you know you aren’t going to enforce. Your child will be better off for it. – Hal Runkel
So many times I see kids punished by authority figures other than their parents and throw a huge fit over it because they aren’t used to any follow through at home. Then, because the parents aren’t used to their children getting punished, they go crazy and all of a sudden someone is “mistreating” their baby for no reason. It’s becoming more and more prevalent and it’s going to get dangerous if we don’t change it. I’m not saying it’s easy and I’m not saying I’m any kind of pro. What I’m saying is I’m trying and I want to encourage you to try with me! Don’t let infographics like this make you feel bad for disciplining your children.