Raising Respectful Kids is Hard Work

Have you seen this image show up in your newsfeed on Facebook?


It showed up in mine and smacked me right in the face! Just last night Abbey was frustrated with me for not getting her chocolate milk at dinner and here is how that conversation went down:

Me – Here is your milk

Ab – This is white milk, I told you I wanted chocolate milk you idiot! 

YEP, she called me an idiot! My reaction might surprise you because I didn’t scream or yell or threaten to beat/spank my child. I simply looked her straight in the eye and before I could say, “time out” she said “sorry” and started walking to the time out area of our house. But damn, where the hell did that come from? George wasn’t home so I immediately messaged him and we were both dumfounded and thought, which show or movie uses that word in that context? Certainly did not come from either of us.

We are not perfect parents by ANY stretch (I don’t believe in perfect parents) but I will say that George and I tend to parent against the typical grain.  Here are some of those examples:

  • We almost always have a meal together as a family and I know this is easier now than let’s say in about 5 years from now but it’s a good foundation that we are proud of! 
  • We are pretty strict about the screen time and WOW is this a hard one….not allowing my kids to have my phone to keep them happy/busy during a dinner wait at a restaurant is stressful on all of us.
  • We play with our kids A LOT! This is one that I’m really proud of because we have tried really hard to instill pretend play or kicking them outside versus watching TV….but this is HARD WORK on us parents.

But here is where I tend to fail our kids; I’m SUPER guilty for using my phone too much in front of them. I’m constantly taking pictures and video and posting them all over social media like my kids are some damn celebrities. I’m also recently allowing a lot of “screen” time with shows that I have NOOOOOO idea what the premise or content is that they are taking in on a daily basis. When Ab was born I was a huge stickler on this fight and now with Jack (second child syndrome) I’ve been way more lax on this topic. And like the article suggests, even the Disney Channel content/shows are not so great with parents coming across like complete dumb asses. Yes…our beloved Disney is not perfect either! 

As parents it is our responsibility to find a good balance – safe versus instilling adventure, protection versus sheltering, too much screen time versus enough to help us all stay sane (yes, I use it as a babysitter), the list goes on!

I guess I’m using my blog as a platform to commit to doing a better job (no more calling mom an idiot) and to do the hard work versus taking the easy way out. Mustering up the energy after a busy day at work to get on the floor and play. Pulling together the last shreds of patience to allow my kids to help with dinner versus shuffling them in front of the TV for the quick distraction. And above else, I’m committing to teach my kids grace, humility, compassion, respect, manners and love through action…..by watching us!

How’s that for a New Years resolution? Whew, Let’s do this Team Herron!