What I want to know is when did it become okay for our kids to behave the way they do. Seriously, if I said 10% of what my kids say to me, I would have been dead. I sit here writing this filled with anger. Who am I angry at? I'm not even sure. I am angry with my 2 year old who put me thru the ringer for the last hour trying to get him to go to sleep. It finally took me putting all of his toys in a basket and threatening to give them to the garbage man before he would lay down and take his nap. I am angry at my 10 year old who, when I told him to go to his room earlier today, laughed at me. Yup, you read it right, he laughed and of course did not go to his room. (And unfortunately for me, he is too heavy and strong for me to make him do it anymore) I am angry for whoever decided that I shouldn't spank my child because somehow that would damage him. Are you kidding? I was spanked, and I am pretty sure as you sit here reading this you were as well. When I grew up, kids were afraid of their parents. The only fear my kids have is that I might not let them play video games and even then they say to me, "I don't care." A little fear is good, healthy even. Fear provides incentive to behave. It tells you who is in charge and who makes the rules. It tells you that you have to follow the rules, or else.
And yes, I am angry at myself. I must admit that I am not always as strong handed as I should be. When it's your first child, you don't always understand the consequences of being easy. Kids learn early that if you say something and don't follow through, then its probably not that important to follow the rules. And as a first time parent, and a single mother at the time, it was definitely easier to give in and so I did. It has taken me years to undo the damage I did and just as I was gaining ground, the tween years set in.
But I am pretty sure its much more than that. Kids are different that they were 30 years ago. Some of it might be our fault, but maybe its just the world we live in. When we were growing up, there was one TV in our house and we were lucky if we had cable. And we definitely didn't have one in the car. We only got to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings and there was no such thing as On Demand. It's like our kids are used to living in an On Demand world and they just think they are entitled to it.
For all you kids out there, please read. Your parents are not your slaves. Our job on earth is not to serve you. We do not work so you can have a new video game and we did not buy a new TV so you can watch your shows. We are your parents. We brought you into this world, and as my mother used to say - we can take you out. We will no longer put up with back talk, your eye rolling or your all around bad behavior. When we tell you to do something, you will say, "yes Mom (or Dad)" and you will actually do it. You will eat what we make for you and you won't make any comments under your breath about how yucky it is. You are lucky you even have food, there are kids in China starving. You will pick up after yourselves and do your chores, singing all the way. We deserve respect, we have earned respect and you will give it to us or else.
Now, if only I had a stiff drink...