Raising a kid is hard and at times scary. Being a girl myself I was terrified to raise a girl. I just always pictured having boys, (I have four young nephews so I know raising boys is not easy) but when I’d picture having kids I would always picture them as teenagers and boys just seemed easier. When I’d picture having a girl I would picture that 12 to 13-year-old brat or that 16-year-old know it all that hates her mother. I won’t be one of those ‘I’m your friend’ mothers so she will probably hate me for a few years.
Because I only pictured those dreaded teenage years I never thought about the relationship I’d have with my little girl. Our relationship where she thinks I’m the greatest person in the world. Our relationship where she will look up to me and think I’m awesome. I never thought about how she would think I am so funny and laugh and laugh at me for flipping my hair or dancing. (It’s awesome having someone think I’m funny all of the time. I mean, I already knew I was funny, but she proves it) I didn’t think about how much fun it would be to dress her in black leather pants and fur vest so we could be so matchy matchy. (Not the obnoxious ‘look just alike matching’, but just resemble each other.) The clothes I buy her are a direct result of my taste in fashion. They are black, fur, fringe or some sort of animal print and for now she wears them and loves them and I love it. Being a mother to a little girl is so much more fun than I could have imagined and even through those inevitable dicey teenage years that we are bound to go through she will eventually come back to me as an adult where we can be friends and want to be around each other.
Back to raising a girl (any gender actually) and why it can be scary. I am 100% no expert, I don’t read those ‘How To Raise Kids’ books, but there are some common sense ways to raise a good kid. (I did read an article a while back… ‘How Not To Raise An Asshole’ …it was really good) I have many incredible women to look up to and learn from that have raised or are raising amazing people. My sister-in-law and brother have four incredible boys all under the age of 9. If they can have four well-behaved, respectful, amazing boys I know they must be doing something in the parenting field right and I really look up to them. My mom and dad raised four pretty awesome people 🙂 I also look to them for parenting advice. My husband and his sister are absolutely amazing people, so I know that my in-laws had good parenting ways, too.
I believe (I people… I believe… It’s what I believe. I am not shaming any women that don’t feel the way I do. I am simply stating what I believe and if you don’t believe I am right then that is your prerogative and that is totally fine. I don’t care in the slightest) if I want to raise an independent, successful, smart, young woman I can’t be her friend while raising her. Boundaries will need to be set, she will need to be told ‘No’ and we (my husband and I) will need to be firm on our decisions. Obviously, I want my daughter to like me and want to be around me during those teenage years, but when a woman becomes a friend instead of a mother then that respect as a parent is lost and in its place is a friendship. Friends don’t have rules, so why would a kid follow the rules of their friend? (There is always that exceptional kid that just gets it and is a great kid even when their parent isn’t a great parent, but you don’t find it very often.) Even at one year old Bradley has already started to push the boundaries, but I refuse to raise a brat. I’ve seen those kids, the ones that never hear ‘No’ because their parents ‘just want them to be happy’. Well kids aren’t suppose to be happy all of the time. I haven’t been a parent that long, but I know that that is not good parenting… Get a clue. Always saying ‘Yes’ is raising an annoying brat that just expects things in life to be given to her (or him). And if you tell your kid (not baby!) ‘No’ and they throw a complete melt down fit then maybe, (dahn dahn dahn) they need a spanking. Yep I said it, I went there, that controversial word….spanking. (Again, just to make clear I’m saying kid…not baby!) I know every kid is different and some respond better to timeouts, but sometimes a kid needs to be spanked. If my parents wouldn’t have spanked me I would have been a complete hellion doing whatever I wanted all of the time. I was strong-willed and spanking didn’t take that out of me (I still am) but I did listen a hell of a lot better and follow the rules. Timeouts would have been welcomed and wouldn’t have done shit to change my bad behavior.
I should also make clear for all those haters out there that will tell me they ‘can’t believe I would agree with spanking and that it is abuse of a child’ and ‘you are a terrible, uneducated person if you think spanking is acceptable’. Spanking is a swat on the butt and it is discipline. (If a person is beating a child, hitting them with too much power, hitting them all over the body, punching them, leaving bruises, then that is abusing a child and that person deserves to be in jail where everything they did to that child will come back to them twofold.)
While some kids are more prone to being brats, it’s mostly the parents fault. The parents fault for not disciplining and letting their kids get away with bad, disrespectful behavior. Parents that don’t make their kids say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ or ‘excuse me’. The other day a mother bumped right into my grocery cart and didn’t say ‘excuse me’ or ‘oh sorry’ and then not five minutes later her kid actually pushed my cart out of his way. (I was rolling it down the aisle, I didn’t have it parked in front of something he needed. I was just in his way) Surprise, surprise… He didn’t say ‘excuse me’ or ‘oh sorry’ either. A direct result of seeing his mother be a rude A-hole and him thinking it’s acceptable behavior. Kids learn from their parents, good and bad. For anyone that comments negatively on this part of the blog I’m guessing you have brat kids or will have brat kids and you will be completely disregarded.
Raising a kid is hard. There are so many situations that I will encounter and so many ways to respond to them and until I have actually had to deal with them I will never really know how I will respond. I never ever want to discourage my daughter (any kid) or make her feel like she is anything less than the best. I always want her to believe and know she can accomplish and do anything she wants with her life. But… at what point do we need to stop telling kids (preteen and teenagers) how awesome they are at everything and actually be honest with them? (That everyone gets a trophy stuff is bullshit because in real life everyone doesn’t get a trophy and a score is actually kept) Shouldn’t we be raising and preparing our kids for life as independent, strong adults? When we see subpar work do we tell them to work harder because it wasn’t their best work and hurt their confidence, suggest they take another path or do you just keep telling them they are awesome? (Again, I haven’t encountered this situation yet so I have no idea how I will respond to it. Obviously at this point, I just want to believe Bradley will be perfect at everything and that I won’t have to deal with this problem. It really is a toughy though. I always say honesty is the best policy. I do know that when Bradley decides she want’s to play softball at 7 or 8 it will be in a league where the score is kept.)
I remember my career fair in seventh grade when I chose to be in entertainment and I had three different teachers tell me to choose a more realistic goal… I remember it vividly because I was so hurt by it. Why would a teacher (that at the time I thought knew everything) ever tell a kid they can’t achieve their dreams and that they need to shoot lower because that dream isn’t realistic? Are you F-ing kidding me?
I don’t ever want a kid to feel like I did at that career fair or like they can’t do whatever they want, but if a kid (preteen or teenager) is failing or sucking at something shouldn’t it be suggested they need to work a hell of a lot harder or possibly do something else? (Side note I was in broadcasting and was on TV. So goals can be reached even if you are told they aren’t realistic. I didn’t like the pay much so I went a different direction, but I still achieved that goal.)
As for now I will enjoy Bradley being one and thinking I’m the best person in the world and worry about those dreaded teenage years and the tough situations we will encounter another day. We just take one day at a time …where we wake up, play and read books, she naps, I blog, clean or create something, she wakes up and we go for a walk and play some more, she naps, I do more cleaning and creating, she wakes up we make dinner, eat as a family, play some more, she takes a bath, then goes to bed and then my husband and I have adult time and do adult things. Pretty great life if you ask me.