I am a mean mom because I love my kids. I respect my kids. I expect a lot from my kids. Now, they might not realize this now, but they will some day. When they question my punishments, I always tell them, if I didn’t care about them, I would let them act in any they wanted, but it’s because I care that we have rules that should be followed to be a part of our family, and there are consequences if they break these rules. My older daughter thinks my husband and I are so mean that she doesn’t like to have friends over – we are “always yelling,” according to her. I told a friend of mine this conversation and she told me I must be doing something right – wise friend.
I had an episode just this morning with said 12 year old daughter who is self conscious by nature, exacerbated by the fact that she is 12. She has a cold, she woke up late, it was spirit day at school but she kind of forgot and didn’t dress accordingly, she was generally out of sorts (not an atypical school morning). She complained about a sore throat, I gave her 2 advil and sent her on her way. No fever, plus she has a cough half the winter anyway. She was dragging her heels all morning and I was waiting in the driveway with the car running with her sister and brother in the car, when she rushed out of the house, late, barely holding it together. She told me she wanted to stay home – she didn’t feel well. I told her fine but in bed all day, no tv, no computer, and no skiing tomorrow. She balked, at which point I told her if she felt well enough to go skiing, she was well enough for school. We drove to school (a less than 5 minute drive), and as we pulled up, her eyes filled with tears. This is not an isolated occurrence, by the way. I told her – nicely mind you – to take a deep breath and pull herself together – she could do it – and to call me if she didn’t feel better by her second class.
Now that was not easy to do. I hated to see her upset, and what I really wanted to do was give her a big hug, go through a Starbucks drive through and get her a hot chocolate, and give her a personal day on our couch under a fluffy blanket. However, that would be doing her a disservice. I want to teach her to cope, to manage life on an an off day, and most importantly that she is strong enough to do it. I truly believe some day she will thank me for being a mean mom. Or at least I can hope.