The headline on this post probably sent some people to the ER! Unintentionally, of course. But it’s true- Saying NO will give you peace, set you free, and give you that free time you’ve been wanting. I don’t care that I am not given a perfect score on a daily basis by my boys (for whom I’d fight a lion, btw) or anyone else I come in contact with. I try, but I’m okay with failing in this department. Concerning my boys, there are so many reasons that they have in their hormonal, attitudinal, adolescent head for why I’m imperfect that they can’t see I’m absolutely perfect for them (The story of our lives. Right moms?). What does that mean? Lol! It means “Mom knows best” because mom has lived longer and was also a teen, but she’s in Warp Land where her kids don’t think she knows a thing. Experience trumps “Well, I think” every time. Case and point, my kiddos think I’m being mean when I’m being protective. They think I’m spoiling the fun when I say no to spending the night at a friends house I don’t know. They think I’m being cheap when I say no to $50 headphones ($50 freaking dollars!!!!) when I’m being careful with MY money. You see, the fog they live in has clouded their perception of reality, and I’m okay with that. Be delirious, make me the bad girl. Fine. To them, I say, “I’m still going to love you and discipline you through this phase, stage, fog, and “God help me” time of your lives”. <—- I think that last part only. 🙂
There are parents who would cringe at saying no or denying a toy/gift to their child. I say to you, “Be okay saying No” they must learn to hear that word before you send them into the world. And moreover, parenting is hard. It’s nor supposed to be easy. You are molding your baby into a responsible young adult that will be a citizen of the world. Let’s mold some who can hear a No and still chase their dreams. Who can get knocked down and stand up again. That starts at home in our care in the stuff of life. Let’s not care so much about being liked. Let’s care about their character, resilience, tenacity, and heart.
Kids not your fans? Parent Anyway!
As my boys enter the teen years, I have begun to see changes in them. And in me. No one wants to see their kids go in different directions than originally planned when you first held them in your arms; but, sometimes, they do. I am witnessing the “Twilight Zone”. Some of you may be there with me. You know, the monosyllabic responses, no more hugs (because hugs are for little boys), and the “I heard you the first time but I will clean up when I feel like it”. (Previous items thought and not spoken of course. Mama don’t play that). Yet, I go through it because I love them, and I know deep down that this is “their” journey and not mine. I have to let them make some mistakes to learn. After all, isn’t that how we got to be so wise as adults?
Challenge 1: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 2: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 3: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 4: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 5: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Yes, I noticed all my challenges are the same. And yes, currently, this is my hardest task. I remind myself they are boys becoming men. Hormones are raging and things are happening to them that they do not quite understand. And the Lord knows that neither do I. This is why I have sought out mentors. I’m placing good godly men in their lives. I make sure to keep them in physical activities so that they can let out that steam. Is it easy? No! I cry inside missing my babies. Yet, this is new frontier and we have to brave it together. Discipline does happen at my house. I take things like ALL the ELECTRONICS. And there is no returning them until politeness and actual speaking English to me and not mumbling has returned. Let’s face it. My kids are almost as tall as me and one is bigger, so spanking went away a while ago. But, what I do is talk to them and let them know why they are losing their beloved toys. I call them on their bad attitudes and remind them that we operate in respect in this house. Is it easy? No. But, I have been a teenager before and this is how I know they will survive and so will I. Got the above challenges in your home? Do the work and assess what needs to be removed to get order back. I have some peace right now and it feels good. It’s amazing what no Call of Duty or PS3 will do for the morale in your home. I also recognize that they need someone to talk to about guy stuff and life as a teen. I’m not capable of fully understanding and guiding them in that department although I do my best. I will see them through this even if all my hair goes gray. Challenges come. We nor our kids are perfect. Dig in, do your best, and refuse to lose.
On the road of life, nothing is easy. Do It Any Way!