Monday, November 4, 2013

Step it Up

Something has been on my mind a LOT lately and I thought I'd start typing and see if this becomes a post.  This will really only apply to you if you are a parent, or maybe if you plan to be a parent some day.  Please understand, what I'm about to say is MY OPINION.   These views are mine and this is my blog.  Please respect that.

Ok so here goes.  My message to so many parents out there (and I'm sure you know someone like this) is to step it up.  It is so much easier to NOT be a good parent and I get that, but you're doing your kid a HUGE disservice.  So, STEP IT UP.

I volunteer in a lot of situations and am exposed to a lot of children almost on a daily basis and I'm shocked by the number of kids that are rude, disrespectful and otherwise just not good kids.  Do I blame the kids?  I do NOT.  I blame the parents.  I honestly believe there are really no bad children, there are only bad parents.

When I take my kids to a restaurant, I make them order for themselves.  Did they like it at first?  No, but it has taught them something.  First they learn to look someone in the eye, speak loudly and clearly and BE POLITE.  My kids say, "May I please have the XYZ," and "May I please have XYZ as my side," and "May I please have XYZ as my drink."  To be honest all the "may I pleases" are annoying, but I'm usually beaming with pride when they're finished ordering.  Do you want to know why?  99% of the time the waiter or waitress comment on the politeness of my children.  Seriously 99% of the time (and we eat out A LOT).  What does that tell you?  MOST children can't even be simply polite to a waiter or waitress.  Respect and manners.  It's pretty simple, STEP IT UP and teach your kid some.

Guess what else?  Sometimes it sucks to be a good parent.  I've had to take my kids' iPods away for weeks at a time.  There was once a 6 hour long car ride trip that Nicholas sat through with no iPod because he was grounded.  Did it suck for him?  Yes!  Did it suck for me?  Yes.  What would have giving in taught him?  If you make a consequence you better stick with it and by God, STEP IT UP and make a freaking consequence.

Don't even get me started on bad attitudes.  I've seen kids literally kicking and screaming at their parents.  I'm not talking about a 2 year old folks.  I'm taking about a 10 year old screaming at his mother what he was NOT going to do and what she was going to do for him.  Um excuse me?  My kids better not even give me a side eye and definitely not an attitude.  That shit will be squashed (and quickly).  If my kids have anything to say about what I've just told them, my response is always, "I'm sorry, what I think you meant to say was, Yes ma'am."  If I tell my kids to do something, they had better do it and a yes ma'am definitely doesn't hurt.  So STEP IT UP and demand respect.

Guess what your kids' number one priority should be?  School.  Period.  Guess what else?  You might actually have to get involved.   My kids know their number one job is to be a student.  If something interferes with that, then school takes precedence.  I'm on my kids' butts all the time about their school work.  I don't micro-manage, but I would if I had to.  I know my kids teachers' names (duh... but some parents don't), I know what day their library books are due, what day their spelling test is on and when their assignments are due.  Yes, they need to know this stuff, but if you're the one to teach them, then you should know it too.  How do you not know what's going on in your child's school day?  Seriously they spend more time at school than they do at home.  You should know what's going on.  Furthermore, you should CARE.  So STEP IT UP and get involved at your kids' school.  

My kids are in elementary school, but I'm developing good habits NOW that will hopefully last them a lifetime.  I don't accept grades or effort anything less than their 100%.  Do I always want to test my kids on their vocabulary or let Jack read ME the story when it's easier if I read to him?  No I don't, but guess what?  Your kids didn't sign up to be kids, YOU signed up to be the parent.  So BE the parent, and STEP IT UP and demand their personal best at school.

Speaking of 100%, what happen to giving something everything you've got and staying committed?  Don't sign your kid up to play soccer if HE/SHE didn't want to play, but if they chose to play then they better damn well play.  They better pay attention, respect their coaches and give 100%.  Why would you accept anything less?  True success if never achieved by half-assing it.  If I'm scrubbing a toilet, then I'm giving it my best effort.  Same as I am at this whole parenting thing.  You get it?  Now STEP IT UP and give 100% and demand it from your kids.

I'm just so frustrated with the lack of parenting these days and the amount of unruly and ultimately unenjoyable kids out there.  What kind of society are we developing with our poor parenting skills?  I encountered a 14 year old several months back that used a racial slur.  I couldn't believe my ears and wondered how, in this day and age, intolerance is acceptable.  You know how?  Bad parents.  Your children learn what they live and most certainly my kids will be screaming at every slow driver driving in the fast lane.  At least I'm turn it into a lesson.  I always tell my kids to be aware of their surroundings and not live a life thinking they're the only person in it.  Consideration for others, tolerance. Novel ideas!  STEP IT UP and teach it.

I'm not saying I'm perfect, don't get me wrong.  I definitely make mistakes, I yell more than I should and I definitely do not have perfect kids, but that's not from lack of trying.  I'm 110% committed to being the parent I CHOSE to be.  Every person who is a parent chose to be a parent.  You either did it on purpose or you chose not to prevent-- so you chose.  You don't, therefore, get the choice of lying back and taking the path of least resistance.  Being a parent is hard and sometimes you have to STEP IT UP.  You know why?  Because I'm sick of dealing with your rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate, stupid kids!

It's simple really.  Stop being so gosh darn selfish.  Stop ignoring your kids because it's easier.  Stop turning the other cheek because it's easier.  Stop accepting Cs because it's easier.  Stop allowing your children to be little monsters, full of attitude and no appreciation because it's easier.  Stop giving your kids everything and start TEACHING them and you know what?  Maybe they'll STEP IT UP.

End Rant.


melissa cunningham said...

just stumbled across this blog and holy wow,can I get a big AMEN sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a mother of four children ages 10, 7(and 3/4) 3 and 1.
I too have noticed how other children(not all,but quite a few!) are behaving these days,and it kills me. so rude,disrespectful,and hardly ever a yes ma'm or yes sir is heard....lets not talk about the teenagers....
maybe I was raised on the tail end of the generation that was taught respect for elders,opening doors for others,saying please,thank you,yes sir,yes ma'am,knowing the value of hard work,being held accountable,etc etc etc....
now im not saying im a perfect parent,i have moments where I yell too much,or don't listen enough, but one thing I have done is instill manners in my children, they are respectful and considerate to others in public settings. I get compliments on them when we go out to dinner as family at how well behaved they are. this doesn't mean they are perfect kids. they fight and fuss and get in trouble at home but as a parent its about being consistent with rules and discipline,and having a sense of structure and routine. parenting is very hard sometimes but also very rewarding too. attitude is everything!!!
i agree that more parents should start stepping things up and start to know their children again. and sometimes this means being a parent and not a best friend,you know?
anyways,ive rambled long enough here. it was nice to stumble along this blog,good to see another fit mamma out there! oh yeah and GREAT post!!!!!
: )

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