A few weeks ago I decided, "No more Mr. Nice Mom!" and I posted a list on the refrigerator. It starts out with the words... "Disrespect will not be tolerated." It continues to define disrespect, phrases that are not acceptable, and those that are acceptable to be used in response to me and each other. On another list the consequences are written out for the occasion these defined boundaries are exceeded.
Now in case you are new to my site, my kiddos are 10 and 14. That is in years, not months, of course. And while I have
good great kiddos, they do at times get an attitude or yell and scream raise their voice at each other. So now I am putting my foot down about the whole “respect” thing and it seems to be working.
I think children, even teens and pre-adolescents want boundaries, they want defined limitations; it is simply a matter of parents caring enough to give them boundaries. Once these lines are defined it is easier to recognize expectations and when they can earn some liberties along the way they are viewed as rewards. This will also help them realize that when they “lose” the liberties or privileges it is because of their actions and secondly realize it is tough to earn them back again.
Signs where they will be seen frequently are a constant reminder as they try to break newly formed habits. They want to grow up, stretch their wings and find their individuality and independence. I get that; but I want them to know – I am still their mom and want to be their buddy... but I have to remain their authority at the same time. This is a hard age to parent for that reason, but I thought when they were toddlers that was a hard age too. Each age has its unique set of challenges and each new stage brings with it new solutions that must be found as we face those challenges.
When they are adults, I want my kiddos to carry with them some profound principles and some fundamentals that will help them get through what this life brings them. Learning responsibility and how to give respect to everyone – are only a couple of these fundamentals that I believe to be high on the important list.
What techniques are you using to instill these fundamentals?
What other fundamentals do you put high on the important list?
Find yourself... keeping it real.