We’re not talking about the 80’s sitcom, we are talking about the dynamic between you and your child(ren).
We read the article, The Collapse of Parenting, in Maclean’s magazine, which resonated more with me than Meg. She’s always had a leg up on me in the parenting department and as we sit here now, she’s adamant that it’s because she is more willing to “drop the hammer“. Hopefully she can get her kids to keep their mouths closed when eating, something must be wrong with her hammer?
I will swing wildly as a parent. One minute I am super strict and discipline without warning, other days I whisper what I want, staying really calm, hoping I can freak them out a little bit. Then I will go back to yelling, and being totally inconsistant. Regardless of how I deliver my message, I understand it’s the follow-through that matters.
If I was asked what does successful parenting look like, I would say it resembles a hierarchical “business”. The boss gets the corner office, can close her door and doesn’t have to explain her rationale. You trust her and know she is commandeering the ship. There is one person in charge and no mistaking who has the final word. This type of parenting would foster respect and manners.
Meg just asked me to read my description back to her, and could I identify the gaps in my own parenting. I told her to “fuck off” and that sometimes Malone is right. My description sounds hardcore, but that is how we were raised. Our parents were strict for a long time, until we were old enough and they felt confident that we “received” their messaging. I know clearly defined boundaries and a consistant action plan (go to your room etc..) work, for some reason I seem resistant to routine and consistency. Why Leigh? Why? Sometimes I do wonder if the behaviour I witness is going to result in demonic teenagers, or will I be able to say “you were a difficult five-year-old, but turned into such an angel.”
So who is the boss in my house? It’s me, but, sometimes I take a long lunch and let the younger, less experienced members take charge. I want to empower them, after all. Which, come to think of it is exactly what the aforementioned article says parents today do wrong. I’m reinvigorated. It’s go time. No snacks, television, or asking why I said no.