I hope both of my children will grow up to be confident and independent adults. It would kill me if, as adults, they turned out to be mom’s basement dwelling assholes, unable to hack it in the real world. I’m trying to do my part as a parent to teach them the basic life skills they will need to be confident and independent. In my opinion, learning how to communicate clearly and effectively is one of the most important, if not THE most important, skills a parent can teach a child! So how does a parent raise confident, independent, problem-solving, self-starting, not assholes, who are also effective communicators?
Teachable moments and tough love, Motherfuckers! At least I think that’s how…
CATE: I’m HUUUUUUUUNGRYYYYYY!
ME: You should eat something.
CATE: I know that. Are you kidding? I said I was HUUUUUUUNGRYYYYY!
ME: Okay honey. I heard you the first time.
CATE: I’M HUUUUUUUNGRYYYYYY!
ME: No, your name is Cate and my name is MOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!
CATE: Why do you do that? It’s really getting old. Stop it.
ME: So is your whining about being hungry. YOU stop it.
CATE: But I’m HUNRGY! I FEEL DIZZY AND WEAK!
ME: THEN EAT SOMETHING!
CATE: I feel queasy hungry right now and I need help. I want YOU to make me something to eat.
ME: OH! Why did’t you say so? You could have just asked me to make you something.
CATE: I just did.
ME: No, didn’t. You whined a non-question.
CATE: You knew what I meant.
ME: I didn’t. I’m sorry you don’t feel well, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to be rude. If you want or need something, you have to ask for it and ask nicely.
CATE: Will you please make me something to eat?
CATE: YOU JUST SAID TO ASK YOU FOR MY NEEDS AND WANTS NICELY!!
ME: I did. But asking doesn’t always mean that you will get what you want or need.
CATE: Ooooooooo…is this a teachable moment thingie?
CATE: I thought so. I get it.
ME: Good. Now I will make you something to eat. I am sorry you are feeling yucky with hunger. That isn’t fun, is it?
CATE: No. (HUUUUUUUUUUUG!)
There were multiple lessons to learn in this situation.
Communicate your needs clearly. Don’t whine. Ever. Be polite. You might not get what you want or need, even if you ask nicely. Moms will always find a way to do that teachable moment shit (especially if you whine).
So… if I was trying to teach her something(s), why did I get up and make her something to eat? What did she learn?
That teachable moments don’t have to be terrible.
That there is a big difference between being a smart ass and being an asshole.
That I’m here to help her when she needs help.
I will ALWAYS be here for her. I will ALWAYS try to help her. I will also ALWAYS use any opportunity I can to teach her how to be a confident and independent human being, and that means both of us will be equal parts annoyed and relieved until she grows up to be that confident and independent human being I know she is capable of becoming.
I have no idea if she learned a goddamn thing this morning.
That’s okay, I guess, because there is still plenty of time for me to find teachable moments that will help her learn the things she needs to know in order to be a confident and independent adult. This one didn’t really turn out to be one of them, because she was just too hungry and miserable. Aaaaaaand…because she’s only ten years old, I don’t expect her to be confident and independent enough to not call on me for help when she needs it. This confidence and independence will happen. Eventually. At least I think so…
But you know what I know damn well WILL eventually happen? TOUGH TIMES AND ASSHOLES! Probably sooner than later, so I figured this morning certainly didn’t have to include either of these things. At least I don’t think it did…
This picture has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but it’s so magnificent, I could not resist sharing it with you. It’s not a baby animal, I know, but this post isn’t about not thinking about your kids growing up and having sex, so I thought you could handle the unbelievable awesomeness that IS this picture of the curly top, He-Man loving youngster. I found it on Buzzfeed and they credited imgur.com/via reddit, so who knows where it really came from, but who cares, because THIS KID LOVES HE-MAN!
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