January 19, 2005

which mom am I today?

Sometimes, I think, parenting involves one simple decision. Whether to get angry or not. Sometimes, if you so choose, you can respond to obstinate obstreperousness with teasing, giggles, and shrugs. You can choose to join instead of tower over your child. You can play. You can be silly. You can defuse. And it can be a wonderful thing and make you feel like more of a real parent, with the tools to teach warmth and compassion and fun and connectedness.

Other times there is no decision. Someone's got to be the boss and you're it. He can run but he can't hide. He can yell but he can't win. He may be an irresistible (and loud) force but you're a brick wall. It's not fun, but it too is needed. It doesn’t make you feel very good about yourself as a parent, especially when he starts talking about trading you in for a mom who will let him do whatever he wants whenever he wants, but you're teaching that some things matter. Some things are non-negotiable. Some rules are too important to bend or break. Ethics, morals, boundaries.

Sometimes, I think, parenting involves knowing which approach to take. Simple but not.

Posted by Tamar at January 19, 2005 04:31 PM | TrackBack

Wow, isn't that the truth? It's never fun to be the bad guy, but it's SO much better to be the bad guy when you know somewhere, someday, down the road, setting boundaries and enforcing rules will make all the difference in the world. Yours in parental solidarity...GreenTuna

Posted by: greentuna at January 20, 2005 07:06 PM
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