Let's get real for a moment. As a parent, our children will always see us as the villain. We are the dream crusher, the want hater, the mood killer. It is instinctively our job to not give into our child's every whim.
Here's the problem I've been having. As I said previously, McKayla, my daughter, is a very strong willed human being, and most of the time I love that about her. Just not when it is against me. To give you the full idea as to what I have been dealing with, we need to go back in time a few days.
It's Saturday, and I am in my bedroom folding laundry, McKayla comes in and asks for a few dollars to go to a garage sale with her friend. Now normally I would have no problem, the issue is that her bedroom, is 3/4 of the way still in boxes in our hallway because she has so much stuff that she just won't part with. (*I blame my mother, but we will get to that later.) This little girl, takes it upon herself to go into the kitchen and start emptying her 2 year old brothers piggy bank. Enter JR who catches her and asks what she is doing, she gives the normal teenage response of "I don't know," and leaves the house. Once I am told about this, I chase her down and send her to her room. I am ashamed that I have raised a daughter that would steal, and then lie to me when I questioned her about it. Her punishment? She was my slave for the day. I told her if she wanted to take something from someone else, I was going to take from her, I took her time. She spent the day helping me clean the house.
Before I get on to the next part, I need to go back to this Summer. You see McKayla had a bunny, and had left it in my care while she was at her dad's house. Unfortunately I was extremely unskilled in the ways of bunny misting, and she overheated and died under my watch. I promised McKayla that our dog Baxter, would then become her dog Baxter.
Now on to Monday. McKayla has a friend that offers to sell her a bunny for $10 and lend her a bunny cage until she can buy one. Of course she rushes home to tell me. My answer was a resounding N-O! She is leaving to her dad's for the summer again in just under 2 months, and I honestly do not want to have to deal with another animal right now. We are already breaking our lease by having our Baxter. A screaming match between her and I ensued. Doors were slammed, glass broken, she ran away at one point. Her punishment this time? None. (See this is where I am noticing that I am failing as a parent. I am not consistant in my discipline, and I just hate breaking their little hearts. )
Today, the screaming started. I am not the type of parent that spanks, grounding doesn't seem to work, and I just honestly break down. I take, and take, and take, until I blow. After having to repeat myself over, and over, and over (I'm sure a lot of you parents will feel me a little here), I just break. I start screaming. Yelling. I get the whole red in the face, cheeks blown out, steam coming out the ears look about me. This is when I really see myself as the villain. I try so hard to keep my kids happy and not hurt them, that I wind up an even worse parent in the end.
What I say to you parents out there, is don't be like me. Don't be the villain. Stay firm in your discipline. Set ground rules early on so that they know, no matter what, if A happens, B will be the punishment. Structure is such a big thing for kids, and the fact that I don't give my children that, in discipline, I am doing them a terrible disservice.
That's not all though. As I am sitting here typing this, I hear Kai. He is yelling. I see his puffed out cheeks, and little wisps of steam. His brothers and sisters aren't listening so he is following mommy's lead. That is exactly what our children do. Where we lead, they follow. I don't want my children to become the parent I have made myself to be because I feared turning out like my own mother. The truth is, my mom did a pretty damn good job with me. At least I think so. She taught me to have morals, and to value every life, not to judge a book by its cover, to share with others even if I didn't have to share. My mom taught me, that being a mom is the greatest, most award winning job there it, as long as you don't make yourself the villain in the process of trying to gain that prestigious award.
*I blame my mother for teaching my daughter to repurpose, reuse, and upcycle any item she finds so she is never willing to give anything up on the chance she may be able to make something with it some day.