Lately, I've been posting on social media a lot about parenting and a return to good, old-fashioned values. While usually, I try not to make too big a splash on social media, this is something I felt I need to speak out on.
As y'all know, we moved to Tennessee almost 2 years ago. Being from Iowa, we get asked ALL THE TIME what led us to this tiny part of East TN. And while at first I would cringe when I answered, I realize now that a lot of people feel the way that I do. (Or close to it. 😉 ) Honestly, a lot of the kids that I was running across were jerks. I was at an event once, and a young girl (about 8 or 9) rolled her eyes at me when I told her it was respectful to call women Ms. X or Mrs. X. If THAT doesn't just prove my point! Ooh, I wanted to just smack that smirk off her face. It was then that I realized I did not want my kids growing up with friends like these.
When did it become okay for kids to roll their eyes at us? When did we stop holding them accountable for their actions? When did we stop disciplining? When did we stop raising/teaching our kids?
It also happened that at this time it was the coldest winter EVER in my history. Among other things. So the timing was right to hitch up the wagons and head to the South. Where the weather is warmer, and a lot of parenting is still old school.
Now don't get me wrong. While I consider myself pretty old school, I am not what I'd call "hardcore." The kids have chores, they get disciplined (yes, I have spanked), they have a routine and boundaries. But that is not ALL they have.
They also have a mother that is able to stay at home, so sometimes we bake cookies and eat them for breakfast. They have parents that want them to have more than we did as kids, so we buy things for them. They have parents that were latchkey kids, whose parents (their grandparents) were too busy working to do things & go places, so we take field trips together and make sure we get quality time as a family.
So what is my point? BALANCE.
It's all about balance, y'all. It's okay to give our kids things, and let them do things, but have your boundaries. Don't let them walk all over you. Does your daughter want to have a tea party? Rock on, but use it as a time to teach her about etiquette. Is there a party your preteen wants to go to this weekend? Make sure they clean their room (to mom's standards) before they can go. So your teen has a date Saturday? Maybe they should babysit their siblings Friday night. ('Cause parents need a date night, too!)
And please, please, PLEASE, teach them basic manners. Make sure they see you holding doors for others and teach them to do the same (Small Child loves to do this!). Teach them to respect their elders. Please and thank you will still take you pretty far. And for the love of Fonzi teach them to chew with their mouths closed!
They might not always agree with us, but our girls want for nothing. (They actually have a pony!) All we ask for in return is respect and that they do what is asked of them. Which they do (usually). So, I suppose I'll step down from this soap box now ...