My mom once told me that I will love my child no matter what, but I have to raise him so others will “like” him. Even though I wasn’t a young, first time mom, I didn’t grasp what she was telling me so I asked her to elaborate. She said that if my child doesn’t have anger towards me or tell me that he hates me, then I’m doing something wrong. What? I don’t want my kid to hate me. I love my mom with all my heart, what the heck is she talking about?
Fast forward a few years and I get it. I think we all want the best for our kids. We all try to provide them with awesome experiences, the latest electronic gadgets, memorable parties, etc. But there really is a difference between being spoiled and being a spoiled brat. And it is really hard to “like” someone else’s kid who is a brat. You know the one- they talk back, throw fits if they don’t get their way, whine and pout; the one who leaves and doesn’t say thank you or even good-bye; the one who won’t throw their paper plate in the trash and yells over their shoulder, “that’s what moms are for.” Yeah right.
Well, I must be a good mom because not only did I get the “I hate you.” I also had a picture of us on a cork board in which my face was attacked by a thumb tack, along with another picture of me with my face ripped out. Good thing he’s only 9 because if he was older, I might sleep with my bedroom door locked in fear of my life!! All joking aside, I get it. All this over chores, or as we call them in my house, contributions.
My son is 9 and he has to contribute to this house hold. Whether it’s vacuuming the stairs, taking garbage out, stocking the fridge with drinks, he has to contribute. Isn’t that what’s missing in this world? Contribution? He has to learn that you get your work done BEFORE you play. You have to contribute BEFORE you take. These are simple principles, but hard to learn.
So I cancelled his “hang out time” with his buddy because he didn’t do any contributions (chores). And guess what, the spoiled brat came out in him! Ending with pictures of me being destroyed. To be honest, when I first saw the pictures I burst into tears and felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. But then I remember what my mom said, “If he doesn’t say I hate you, then you’re doing something wrong.” I found peace and comfort in that saying now. I get it. He might have hated me for being the enforcer that day, but if that’s what it takes for him to learn how to be responsible, then hate away my dear son! I look good with pin holes in my face and you look better when you act responsibly!