How Cool Are You?
When being “liked” comes at the expense of sound parenting.
Yours is the house all the kids want to hang out at after school. Your kids get the same things their friends have because you don’t want them to feel “left out” (you want your kids to be cool). You’re also not sure how you got stuck on this train!
This high-speed Express to Aggravation doesn’t take you (or your kids) to somewhere good; at best, you’ll stop at the Poorhouse Station. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you got on, you just know it’s time to exit.
Perhaps this isn’t the first time you’ve thought about changing things up, but you’re not sure how to get started.
The first step is: Ask yourself if you’re trying too hard to be your child’s friend versus focusing on being their parent.
Don’t be confused. You can hang out and have a good time with your kids; and, hopefully, they have at least one or two friends to fill in the gaps. Your role as a parent is more serious. It’s a job, whether you do it full time or part time.
Here’s one good suggestion on exiting the train: When your instinct says, “I should be saying ‘no’ to this,” don’t ignore it. Hello to some parents of high school seniors who recently welcomed their children home from a much-needed R&R during spring break — yeah, right.
Let’s be real. Those dancing, booze-cruising, doing who-knows-what till ungodly hours of the morning returnees will next be the teens asking if they can have a “prom party” at your house.
You, being the “cool” parent, know it’s a bad idea but want to appease them (um … mostly age 18, certainly not 21) and say “yes.” This is called justifying. It’s not OK to be your kid’s friend and be cool here.
Even under the best circumstances, something always goes wrong. Too much drinking, bad behavior — you name it. And, don’t say it’s not your kid because sometimes it is.
Come on, parents. They are going to have numerous opportunities to behave this way in the future. Let kids be kids — silly, loud, goofy and fun. Just know the limits. You can’t control what other parents do, but you can control how your children are raised — and what behavior is expected in your home.
Parenting is a tough gig, but every parent signed up for this. You have time to be a friend to your children when they’re adults. And, guess what: When they’re adults, they’ll respect you more for being parents to them when they were growing up.
Yep, being a parent is sometimes more an end-loaded reward. While they’re young, they resent you for not being cool enough; when they’re older, they sing your praises for raising them to be successful, productive members of society.
Be the role model you want your children to respect; lead by example.
How cool is that?! RT