Kids who listen the first timeJul 06, 2020
Have you seen the Scary Mommy meme? It says: "Studies show that parents are much happier when their kids listen the first [email protected]$!ing time."
I've seen it in about a dozen different mom groups recently. It's hilarious...and it pisses me off.
There's an assumption there, that kids either listen or they don't, it's out of our control, and they need to KNOW that they should listen the first time...based on what? How angry we get when they don't? It's simultaneously victim-y and blame-y. It's right there in black and white: mommy's happiness is dependent on whether her kids do what she wants. If she doesn't get what she wants, well....Scary Mommy indeed.
I am NOT a zen mom and I am far from perfect. My snarky self has thought (and said out loud) things just like this a million times, so maybe I should lighten up. But as a parent coach, I can't let it go. It encapsulates in one cynical sentence the exact reason we get so stuck and angry in motherhood. We feel like life would be so much better if these little gremlins would just do what we want them to!
And it feels totally out of our control; it's a crapshoot if our kids will listen or not, and we'll just wait and see whether we get to be happy today!
So we drink wine, create snarky memes, and throw up our hands in hopelessness. This is total crap. When we are dealing with chronic misbehavior, we have created our misery just as much as our child has (e.g. why on earth would a kid listen the first time, if we have trained them to expect us to say the same damn thing 13 more times?). Great parenting isn't about controlling kids, but it sure as hell isn't about giving up and being miserable, either!!! The first and biggest job I have with every new client is opening them up to the idea that having kids who listen and behave is:
B. one hundred percent our choice and in our control
If you feel like a victim of your child (and we have all felt that way before - you are NOT alone), it's unlikely that you have the energy or belief needed to DO something proactive about the situation. Belief is key! I think that's why this meme fires me up - it's a hopeless, wry surrender that can only push us further down into worsening behavior, increasing disrespect, mounting thankless work, and total lack of joy in motherhood. So when I see these things - I want to shout from the rooftops: "THIS NIGHTMARE IS YOUR CREATION AND YOU CAN CHANGE IT!!!"
First step? Own your 'nightmare' - YOU are the only one who can turn it around.
Second step? Get help to make it happen. A great way to do this is a free discovery call with me. I can't make you decide to change your family, but I absolutely can teach you how to do it, even in just 1 conversation (really!).