I should warn you up front that this is quite the rant; I need to write more blog posts, I think. I’m losing my sanity without them! (;
So, what is it with parents and this idea that if their kids hate them they are somehow being a “good parent”? I mean, I get that parents “know better than their kids” in certain situations and you’ll sometimes have to not let them do something they may want to do. But why, oh, WHY would you want your kid to think you’re a “horrible parent” in order to validate your parental effectiveness? (I literally read that in an article today, that otherwise was actually really good!) Where did we come up with this kind of thinking? That it’s funny and something to be proud of when our kids think we’re mean, horrible, and the worst-parents-ever?
I’m sorry (okay, not really), but I want my kid to think highly of me! I get it, you need to “be the parent” and tell them no to things they want to do sometimes, but if you talk to them like they are an equal human being, use empathy to understand their point of view, and always give reasons for why you aren’t allowing them to do something (no ‘because I told you so’s), I think we’d be amazed at how much better kids respond to us. Children are simply young people, not freaking prisoners or slaves. They need to have a trusting RELATIONSHIP with you. Kinda hard when they think you’re the worst parent ever, no?
I don’t see why people treat parent-kid relationships any different than the zillion other relationships they have. Would you say that you know your friendship’s doing well if your best friends think you’re the worst friend ever, or that your relationship is going well if your spouse thinks you’re the worse spouse ever? I would certainly hope not. Why should it be any different with your kids? Your kids are not pets, they are not slaves, they are not prisoners, or anything else that you get to have some kind of “rights” over to control how you want. They are individuals; human beings with wants, needs, issues, concerns and FEELINGS. Your children’s feelings should not be disregarded simply because they are your child. If anything, they should be even more important to you.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and had to get it out. I hate the way I see parents talk about their kids like they aren’t even human beings, but just little ‘things’ that they get to have complete control over for 18 years and do whatever they want to do with.
Children deserve rights, too. I really think we should get it out of our heads that parents have to act like some kind of self-righteous dictator to be “good parents.” Good parenting should be about having good communication with your kids, respecting them (yeah, never thought of that one did you?), being there to help them through the myriad of problems they face, and supporting them in WHATEVER endeavor they choose, regardless of if it isn’t what you would have chosen for them. Stop micromanaging their lives, give them some space to breathe and see how much these kids we so often give little or no credit to will blossom.
I guarantee you the results will blow our minds.