As I scroll my Facebook or Instagram feed, I often see a lot of posts and memes of parents complaining about their kids. Some of those memes being shared are calling kids names likes @$$hole, jerks, monsters, etc... I always scroll past. I don't comment, like or react with any emoji. I believe in the freedom to post what you want, within reason, on your own page. In addition to these types of posts, I see another kind--the kind that is just overall complaining about kids, their behaviors, their needs and so on.
This name-calling of children is so disturbing to me though. Don't we tell our kids it's not kind or appropriate to call other people names? Aren't we all also advocating for teaching our kids to be kind human beings, compassionate and to help with the needs of others when they are able to???
I feel like a lot of what I'm seeing posted goes against the things we say are good lessons to teach to our own children. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to make these long posts about how people need to teach their children to be kind to others, while many parents are also posting some pretty hateful things about their own children???? (and I get it, it's a post on social media--but it shows more than you think and your child might one day be able to Google YOU and find it. Do you want them to see the post you shared that says they are little monsters??? or worse???)
This won't be a popular blog post, if it gets read. This next sentence might rub some moms and dads the wrong way too:
YOU are responsible for your attitude towards your children.
You are also responsible for the example you set for them. Trust me, as a mom to six--THEY ARE WATCHING YOU. Every move you make. Every step you take.. they are watching you. They hear what you say to others, they probably hear what you say ABOUT them when you think they are out of the room and they most definitely pick up on your attitude towards them.
If you want better behaved, kinder, calmer, more gentle children--then it starts with you.
You are the adult. They are the child. It's your job, it's your responsibility to teach them the lessons that you feel are valuable, needed and necessary for life. Don't expect them to be these calm, dutiful, in-control-of-themselves beings when you are not.
Your attitude will rub off on them, so start with yourself. Get up 15 minutes earlier, or more, so you can set the tone for the day. Get up so you can have those moments of quiet before they are up and ready to go, because it is truth that kids usually have more energy than we do. Have your coffee, tea, exercise... or whatever you need to do to get going. Focus on your attitude, your mood, adjust and take the place of authority in your own home. There may be some push back for a bit--but they will adjust. Children really want rules, boundaries, a safe environment, a place where they can learn, grow and be themselves. It's up to you to teach them how to navigate all the stress, frustration and challenges that come with life.
So, if you aren't doing a good job of that right now---How can you expect your kids to behave any better???