Monday, January 11, 2016

Why My In-Your-Face Parenting Beats Your Lazy Parenting Any Day

Are you a lazy parent? An in-your-face parent? Or somewhere in between?

There are days when it's cold outside and my kids will all cuddle up in my bed with me, watching movies. But, as much as that would be a beautiful life, those days are few and far between. On most days, my kids won't let me be anything but up and in their faces!

You see, if I am not up and in my kids' faces, they will do whatever they want to do (or so, I happen to believe.) If I did not tell them to get off their duffs and do their chores or whatever else they need to do, they would play computer or tablet games all day long. 

They're kids! What do you expect?

It's not just my own children I have learned from, but other children, as well. 

I observe a lot. In fact, I see way too much. Neighbors' children, friends' children, each and every one of them have taught me that being a lazy parent will never pay off! I have seen the negative effects of the parents who think that drugs are the answer to bad behavior. I have seen how kids walk all over their parents if the parents choose to take the easy road. 

The easy road is easy. Understandably, taking the easy road can be tempting. However, the lazy parents taking the easy road are going to find out that the easy road ends up in dead ends for their children. 

I expect my kids to hate me for being the in-your-face mother that I am one day. I have been waiting for the words to come out of their mouths, "You are always in my business!" 

Here's the thing, though, they are observing other parents and other kids, too. And, you know what my teens have told me? 

It's a bit shocking, so you might want to sit down. 

My teenagers have told me that they are glad that I have been the mom who is constantly questioning what they are doing. 

The crazy part is they mean it! Can you imagine? Teenagers telling their mother that they appreciate her being in their faces, making sure that they have manners and values and treat others the way they want to be treated? They appreciate the fact that I didn't turn my back during their childhood shenanigans and allow them to turn into grown brats (like the kids down the street). They realize that lazy parents create rotten kids with no morals and values.  

Despite my efforts to keep them sheltered from the "bad kids" and "bad neighborhoods," they have still been around children who not only had bad manners, but also had no sense of morals and values. And those kids drive my kids up the wall. 

The kids whose parents think that laughing at a kid's behavior is the right response. The children with parents who assume that prescription medicine is going to improve their child's behavior. The lazy parents who feel like if they ignore all of the naughty behavior, their children will just stop misbehaving. 

We all know who the lazy parents are. Their children speak for them. Or act for them. Either way, as soon as I see a kid with lazy parents, I can tell before I even meet the parents. 

Do you wonder why I am exhausted by the end of a day? It doesn't take any energy to watch television, sleep in, take naps, ignore the kids, let them run the neighborhood, and put them on medication. It doesn't take a whole lot of energy to excuse and apologize for your children's behavior. 

It takes energy to play with the kids interactively. It takes energy to be involved in what they do. It takes energy to sit down with each and every one of them and help them with homework. It takes energy to sit down with your toddlers and show them how to play together nicely; to encourage them and to praise them when they play nicely on their own. It takes a whole lot of energy to discipline kids and to teach them self-discipline. 

It takes energy to be in their faces and to find out everything going on in their lives on a daily basis.

What bothers me tremendously is the fact that so many parents think their lazy parenting is not hurting their children. My children have thanked me for being the parent that truly cares. They look at children who are on medications with parents who say they love their kids and tell me, "That's not love if they are not teaching them right from wrong!" 

Maybe one day, my kids will look back and hate me for being the type of mother I am. Maybe they will think I held them up to expectations that were too high. Maybe they will feel like I was too tough on them. 

But I doubt it. 

To all of the lazy parents out there: 

Thank you! Your rotten children have shown my children that I'm not so bad after all. They realize that I love them and want them to become successful adults, and they know that without a mother who is all up in your business, you might end up with a mom who could care less about where you are and what you are doing, and my kids prefer the lesser of two evils.

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