Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Parent Your Children Please
I just had to send this message to a 12 year old. Kids her age & adults alike are talking about her, but no adult has said anything *to* her about how she is making herself look. I'm sure it won't be accepted well but at least I did something & hopefully one day the words will mean something to her & help her...
*****, you are a child. You need to enjoy being a child & save the grown-up problems for when you're older.
Stop posting about not trusting men, being hurt by guys, or being promiscuous. No one your age even knows how to be in a serious relationship, because your brain is not wired to know how to handle the complexities of it. If you want to hang out with boys, go for it, but posting about things like this only makes you look bad. You post about having a reputation & how it hurts, but you're creating that image by the other things you post. It's not a good thing to be called promiscuous at your age. That name will follow you to high school & it will only make things more difficult for you.
You don't "get along with the teachers" because you don't respect their authority. Their job isn't to get along with you. Your job is to follow the rules they set forth.
Swearing does not make a child look grown up. I would love to see you do things that children your age should be doing, instead of trying to be so much older. You have the rest of your life to be old, enjoy being a child while you can.
It makes me so sad that this even had to be said to a 12 year old. I live in Mayberry; anyone local to me who reads this will know exactly which child it is about. That is sad too, because she is only 12 & publicly announces the things she does & is proud of it. The things she is publicly proud of doing would get my 15 year old grounded for the rest of her life.
Where is her Mother you ask? Oh yeah, she's there. She's yelling at her daughter, "You're so promiscuous!" And then crying, "My baby girl just doesn't have any friends. I don't understand the kids in this town & why they won't be her friend."
You want to know why they won't be her friend? Because she's a mean back stabber who no one can trust. Because almost every single girl in this town, younger and older than her, think that what she does with boys is disgusting & they don't want to be associated with her & have people think they condone what she does.
Honestly, I cannot image any of my children doing these things; disrespecting teachers, failing classes on purpose, being promiscuous, foul language being part of their every sentence. Not at 12, not at any age. Not because my children are perfect, not by any means. But because I have created in my children a respect for authority, since before they could even talk or walk. Respect is a huge thing with me & I have made sure my children know who deserves it, what it means, & how to earn it.
They may not always like their teachers but my kids know that that is a part of life. You suck it up, do your job, & move on with your day. Knowing this at a young age will help them when they have coworkers & bosses that drive them nuts or just rub them the wrong way when they're older.
I'm proud that none of my children have posted whiny posts on The Facebook about hating being single at 12. I'm proud that at 12, none of my 3 kids that are older than this girl, even thought about being upset over that. They were busy having fun with their friends.
I'm sad for this girl that she was not raised with that one thing that girls truly need before anything else. Before they can do anything they want to do or be anything they want to be, they need to have self-respect. A girl who does not respect her own body will not enforce that a boy respect her body. She will disrespect others. She will not respect authority. She will not see her own value or the reason to be & do her best. If you don't know that you're worth the best, you won't do your best.
At 12 years old, you can't blame peer pressure or the media for what a child is or is not doing.
Parents need to quit being afraid to make their child sad or hurt their little feelers & step up to the plate & actually you know...parent. Teach your child. Show your child. Instill in your children the values they need. Punish your child when necessary. Let them see you disappointed or angry. Let them suffer the consequences of their actions; don't smooth things over for them so that it's "easier" for them.
A 12 year old child who steals her parents' cigarettes & booze, has no curfew, yells at teachers, & is performing sexual acts does not have a bright future. All these parents that are complaining because their kids are wild & don't listen only need to be told one thing: do your job.
We had some friends over a few months ago. Their boy, who was way beyond the age where he knows better, would not listen to either parent, completely ignored them & other adults, did things after being told to stop/the rules, terrorized the other children, and was rude & disrespectful to everyone. This child is capable of listening. I know, because I put the smack down. The parents just shrugged their shoulders & said, "Kids!" As if that's what kids are supposed to do. The exasperation I have isn't "Kids!" It's "Parents!"
Guess what...my kids don't do that. Because they either did it once as toddlers or saw their sibling do it once & learned that it makes their life easier to listen to Mom. Putting in the hard work when they were younger, when I was exhausted & didn't want to be consistent with punishments because it would have been easier to look the other way once in a while, has paid off big time. That pay off: I actually enjoy my teenagers. Other parents complain about their teens & I honestly have no complaints.
I have to deal with attitude once in a while when they're in a bad mood, but even then they still respect me & others. We truly enjoy each other. Because when they didn't listen to me when they were younger or disrespected someone else, I punished them then & there for it. I never would have allowed my children to ignore me, ignore someone else's rules, & be rude at someone's home.
I'm not a perfect Mom, I don't have perfect children. My kids weren't born the way they are now. When I'm told, "You're so lucky, your kids are well-behaved!" I say, "Not luck. Hard work."
Instead of expecting children to ignore rules, or ignoring their behavior because it's easier, how about parents step up. I'm aware of all of the diagnoses that a child can have that make them have "behavior issues". Three of my children have three of those issues between them. I worked with it, I didn't use it as an excuse. I figured out ways to make sure that they understood the rules & punishments & I was consistent.
It takes practice to understand how to work with each child's behavior issues, but the effort is worth it. I know one child with a ton of neurological disorders but the doctors can't figure out exactly what is going on. He literally cannot control himself. This isn't about children like him. It is about my children's cousins who have parents that give up & say, "But you don't understand! Your child isn't like mine." Whatever. There's a big difference between trying to figure it out & giving up.
If parents don't step up, it'll be their child that is out of control at 12 years old.