Can I be painfully honest with you for a moment?
Not thank-God-she-told-me honesty, where somebody points out you have spinach on your teeth. No, I’m talking about the sucker-punch-straight-to-the-face brand of honesty.
It’s brutal. It’s ugly. It’s unexpected.
And I can almost guarantee you will NOT enjoy it.
In fact, I’ve been holding off telling you, hoping somebody would do the dirty work for me. But no one has. So, out of respect to you, I want to tell you the truth.
So here it is.
You know how you’ve been struggling with your kids? Tried everything, and it’s just not working right?
Well, it’s not because you haven’t found the right strategy. It’s not because you need to change your name, get out of Dodge and act like you never had kids. It’s not because the gods have turned against you and cursed you to wallow in anonymity forever.
It’s because you’re dumb.
And if you ever want a chance in hell to come out of this parenting situation alive, you’d better smarten up.
Did I really just call you “dumb?”
Yes, I did. Sorry.
Granted, you might be part of the minority whose kids are great, your making all the right decisions and is really and truly brilliant. If that’s the case, consider yourself excused from this “Come to Jesus” meeting.
The rest of you though?
This is not a ruse where DUMB turns out to be a clever acronym for something far less offensive. The truth is, I’m calling you out, and I’m doing it out of love.
Because you see, everyone has been lying to you. And I haven’t had enough guts to be brutally honest..
All over the internet everyone is trying to tell you how to raise your kids. We dole out parenting tips. We give you a pep talk and make you believe …maybe you can really become the next perfect parent.
There’s one really big thing we’ve been leaving out. Here it is:
Good parents are smarter than you are…
And no, I’m not talking about IQ.
What I’m referring to is having a conversation with a good parent and walking away thinking, “Holy crap, they’re amazing!” Maybe not a super genius, no, but captivating nonetheless.
Every good parent I’ve ever talked to for more than 15 minutes has had that effect on me. I always come away from the conversation with a perspective I didn’t have before.
You might say, “Well, they’re not necessarily smart. They’re use a lot of good common sense,” but I don’t think that’s all it is. I think it’s a piece of a much larger set of characteristics.
Just a few examples:
- They are listening to their kids and paying attention, but at the same time staying one step ahead of them.
- They can take a bad day with kids and turn it into a good day, because they have a sense of humor and learn from their child.
- They know that their kid isn’t perfect and they don’t expect them to be.
- They are not trying to be a friend to their kid and know their role is to be the parent.
- They show love and make boundaries for their kids and expect them to respect them and others.
Yes, they are using their common sense to raise their kids and aren’t believing all the crap flying around on the internet by people that don’t even have a kid.
They teach their kids that no means NO. If the kid pushes it they ask them, “What part of No don’t you understand.”
These parents don’t have to memorize all the right words they are suppose to use, so the child doesn’t come out damaged. They worry more about the damage if they don’t teach them respect for themselves and other.
They worry more about showing them love by being a guiding parent, rather than buying them everything they want. They teach them how to earn things they want.
These are truly special parents.
On the flipside, there are parents that are trying to be ‘the perfect parent’ they read all the right books; learn all the right things to say just like a robot. Listen to all the counselors and therapist on how to raise their child.
They forget that every child is different and as a parent you have to pay attention and learn your child’s personality.
You listen to some of these modern day parents and you come away thinking they’re kind of dumb; As their kid is running around out of control.
So, it’s time to ask yourself the question…
Which group do you belong to?
Or even more importantly, which group do you want to belong to?
The truth about great parents
It’s not only about giving birth. It’s also about who you are.
If you have common sense, it’s relatively easy. You know how to roll with the punches, pick the right battles and stay one step ahead of that little munchkin at all times.
But if you are short on common sense?
It’s nearly impossible. You can do everything all the parenting books, child experts etc. tell you to do, and you can do it absolutely correctly, and you’ll still fail. I guarantee it.
So, does that mean you’re doomed?
Not necessarily. Here’s why:
This isn’t about genetics. This isn’t about inborn talent. This isn’t about fate.
It’s about deciding who you want to be and then making yourself into that parent.
How to make yourself a smarter parent
I was not what you would call a ‘bright’ parent to start with.
I tried the book thing, talking to them nicely and saying the right things for fear that I was going to damage this little buddle of joy.
But then it seemed I was doing more crying than the baby was out of frustration. So, I got fed up with the ‘you’re supposed to do things this way, and say things that way’ and decided to change things.
There wasn’t any pivotal moment that I recall. I just started caring less about what the books said, what my friends thought and started thinking about who my kid was and what her little personality was.
Even though at times I just wanted to give the baby away or put it back and start all over again.
Instead of spending my time reading the do’s and don’ts and listening to what everyone else thought I should be doing; I listened to my gut. I focused on what I was doing right. The baby was sleeping longer each night. Eating good even though ‘I wasn’t’ breast feeding her.
But you know the funny thing?
By the time this baby was a year old I was having a great time being a parent and I didn’t expect myself to be a perfect parent.
All this little bundle of joy needed was love and being guided when it came to boundaries for a 1 year old and older. Yes, I was going to make mistakes, but that was OK!
Could all those books and advice be wrong? Maybe, but I prefer to think something different: Some things they say might work for one kid, but not the next. We are all different whether we are big or small.
Each and every one of us decides what kind of parent we want to be. No, you may not be ready to be a parent when it happens but you can become ready one step at a time.
You just have to decide.
Replace your fears and get rid of some friends if you need too.
I told you this would be painful, right?
Well, here’s some more brutal honesty:
If you want to grow as a parent, you almost always have to replace some friends.
No, you don’t have to insult them or drive them away, but simply stop spending as much time with them as you used to.
As Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There’s no scientific evidence I know of to support him.
You have those mom’s that know it all and of course their kids are perfect and yours are never going to live up to their expectations. So they are good at telling you everything you’re doing wrong.
There morals or value may be different than yours. Maybe they judge people and kids by the things you have or house you live in.
You don’t need this crap.
If you want to be the parent you are meant to be leave these know it all mothers behind. Most likely they are raising the biggest brats the world has ever known and trust me you don’t want kids like them.
So pick your mommy friends carefully. They will support you, even on those bad days they are going to help you find the humor instead of anger…
The bottom line
Motherhood is wonderful when you have the right attitude and remember to be you. Know that you are going to make mistakes and it won’t disable your kids for life.
Remember it is about you too. When mommy is having a bad day, everyone in the home is too. So always take care of yourself and grab those spare minutes every time you get a chance. (They can be far and in-between.)
Always go by your gut instinct and a whole lot of common sense. If someone gives you advice, use it if you think it will work. If it sounds like garbage, it probably is. Put it in file 13.
Are you ready to be the parent you want to be?
Or are you going to be just another dumbass that listens to everyone else about raising kids?
The choice is yours.