Remember growing up, how we thought our parent’s were just out to get us and ruin our lives (because why else won’t they just give me $200 to go shopping at the mall with JUST my friends when I was 12?).
I do! I remember promising I’d NEVER be like my parents. I’d NEVER ground my kids for bad grades, skipping school, not doing chores, back talking, the whole nine yards.
And then I became a mother. And when I held my 5 lb 14 oz firstborn for the first time, and I looked at her sweet little petite face and features, I immediately knew that I was going to do everything I could to give her the best life. We were going to be best friends (not in the Regina George strange mom kind of best friends way but in a June Cleaver-never-chastise-my-kid-even-when-shes-being-a-douche-turd kind of way)and I’d never be able to bring myself to be mad at her, or ground her or be disappointed because she was perfect…
Well reality is that she’s not perfect. She’s your average 7 year old now who’s full of life and beauty and smarts, and sass. She’s also the oldest sibling of 7 kids total (her dad has 2 children, and my husband and I have 4 together). The reality for me now, is that I’m swallowing my words of “I’ll never do the things my parents did”
Actually, I wish I could be more like my parents now that I’m raising this soccer team of children. My parents took us on all kinds of vacations – Florida/Disney at least 2 times a year, NYC, Cedar Point trips all the time, they paid for me to go to Greece for a month with my Yia-Yia when I was 10 years old, train trips and plane trips to California to visit my mom’s brother and his wife and their kids- they always made sure that we had healthy meals cooked (very rare that my parents bought us fast food. My mom is a Greek Goddess and cooking was/is her niche. I can’t complain), clean clothes, always buying us new clothes and shoes, etc. I know, I know, we had it rough growing up.
So what awful parenting choices did my parent’s make with us that I swore I’d never do?
- Every day after school they made us sit down and do homework before being able to play with our friends. How could they be so cruel, caring about our education like that!?
- You know, when we didn’t do our chores, talked back, got bad grades, lied to our parents about God-knows what, the list goes on and on. I swore that I’d never ground my kids because it was so unfair. Why couldn’t my parents just be understanding that not only am I just a child, but I’m a girl. And girls just wanna have fun!
- What kid wants to do chores? Back in the day, wasn’t it the dad’s job to go to work and the mom was supposed to stay home and clean? Why did I have to clean? I’m just a child..and a girl..who wants to have fun…and sweeping floors/cleaning bathrooms and taming the amazon jungle (AKA cleaning my bedroom) was not on my list of ideas of fun.
- Take away privileges like driving and my cell phone. Back before texting was the new way to communicate, having a cell phone past 7pm was crucial (minutes were unlimited then) to a teen’s social status. Because you know, a girl just HAD to call and talk to her BFF about how Joey in 4th period let her use his pencil. And hello parents, you can’t take my car away, Wet Seal has a super mega awesome sale going on and how else do you expect me to get there?! I have yet to worry about these 2 punishments, however, I know they’re coming.
- Locking up the snacks and pop in their bedroom. Who does this? Why buy snacks if we can’t eat them? Now I know the answer to those questions.