Do you ever feel like you’re too nice? Are there days when the kids seem to walk all over you? Do you wish you could set firm boundaries? Me too! That’s why I’m determined to work toward becoming a Mean Mom.
Okay, obviously I don’t really want to be mean, but some lessons in tough love certainly wouldn’t hurt. I even made a list of some areas that need attention in our home. Perhaps some of these will speak to you as well.
- cut screen time by at least one hour every night
- review homework with a parent daily
- improve brushing/flossing habits
- be more intentional with spiritual growth by reading the Bible & joining a student fellowship group
- schedule family time (teenagers seem for forget their family exists)
- clean and maintain vehicle
- get chores done within a required time frame
- learn to shop for groceries and cook a few meals
- become a cheerful giver (both in tithing and gift-giving)
Since the kids that live in our home full time range from 13 to 22, the expectations and ramifications differ considerably. To be honest I don’t always know how to enforce these great parental epiphanies. I do know one thing that must come first, especially in blended families. My husband and I have to be in agreement. That’s easier said than done, but when we don’t see eye to eye then we don’t follow through. When we’re not on the same page the kids detect it and take advantage of it, playing on the sympathies of whichever parent they deem the easy target. When we take opposing views we tend to side with our “original” children and cause erosion to family unity.
Healthy “meanness” should follow these 3 rules:
- Be Tough
- Be Unified
- Be Loving
The key is learning to become Mean Mom without becoming Mean Wife or Mean Person. It starts by examining our own hearts. As long as all parenting comes from a place of love it will be exactly what it needs to be.