Is it just me or are modern moms too nice? I am definitely not in support of a hostile style of parenting, but I believe that some parents might be forgetting to teach some important lessons about love in an effort to be 'perfect moms.'
For some reason, many modern parents do the opposite of what their parents did when they were growing up. After growing up with tough parents who forced you to do your chores, could not stand your antics, or did not support you in some way or another, you probably swore you would never do that with your kids when you have them someday.
You could be right, but you could also be wrong – there is no sure way to bring up a child.
Remember one thing: at the end of the day, it is not a child you are raising, but an adult who should be independent and capable of jumping over various hurdles in life.
So, it's not about being mean for its own sake, but being mean in a smart kind of way that benefits your kids in the future when they grow up.
A poem by Liz Neilman, a self-proclaimed mean mom, better puts this into perspective:
"I'm a mean mom.
I make them follow rules.
I punish them when they don't.
I make them do chores.
I enforce early bedtime.
I push them to do hard things….
I don't let them eat buckets of candy.
I make them read their books.
And study for their spelling tests..."
You get the idea.
This mom goes on to say that she knows she might not be the most popular mom. But she loves her kids in every possible way:
"But I love you to pieces. I'll protect you. I'll care for you. I'll fight for you…."
"I'll try my best to give you the best life imaginable. And sometimes by doing that, I have to be what you think is "mean"."
I couldn't put it better myself!
I think every parent desires to raise responsible adults. But when you constantly get in their way of learning to be responsible by "being nice", you deny them the chance to learn and that is not what a loving parent should do.
Therefore, you should not make excuses that get kids out of duties or activities that will benefit them in their adult lives.
If they can't vacuum properly, teach them how to do it right instead of redoing it yourself later on. This gives them an opportunity to learn. You might even be surprised to see that they will be very proud of themselves for doing something so well. And it will be because you gave them a chance to do so.
Don't try to protect your children from failure by being too nice either. It's okay to let them go through experiences that they might not succeed at, within reason. Failure is part of life, and every person needs to learn how to handle it properly from early on. Just make sure you are there to offer any support they need and they will learn to cope and try new things even when they know they can fail.
If the kid comes home with homework and the teacher insists they do it unassisted, don't give them all the answers so that they can get everything correct. They might struggle today, but later, they will learn to handle the test on their own.
Today, society thinks that everyone should be a winner. But if you grow up getting participation trophies, reality will hit you hard when in your adulthood you discover that trophies are for winners and you haven't the slightest idea how to be one.
Your child-rearing should encourage maturity because that is your ultimate goal as a parent. The last thing you need is an adult son who has to run to mom every other day like a 12-year-old whenever he needs help. And yes, it happens.
So mean moms can be great moms. They may not be very popular, but your adult kids will be eternally grateful that you were 'mean' to them when they were younger.