How many of us can remember asking our mothers for something and being told, “No?” Well, I can! And I can vividly remember hearing my mother tell me, “I am not so-and-so’s mother…” followed by instructions for what I could do with my opinion! I should have prefaced this by explaining her response was probably because of how I, more than likely, begged and pleaded for permission to wear, go, do, or say something that one of my friends’ moms allowed them to do. I can laugh about it now, but when I was a kid it was not funny! Dang it…there were some good parties, movie dates and sleepovers I missed along with lots of outfits I didn’t get to wear all because my mother said no. I’m just sure of it. Right?! Anybody nodding in agreement with me?
As much as I hated hearing TT (my mom) tell me “no” without any hesitation, I have found myself telling Tre “no” lately without even thinking twice! It’s happening…I am becoming my mother!! And to top it off I have even added, “…well, I am not [insert kid’s name] mother,” especially when he tells me what other kids bring for lunch or what they are allowed to say to their parents. When I think back to when I was a kid, I clearly did not have a good understanding for why my mom didn’t allow me to do whatever I wanted. My view was so narrowly focused on being a kid and wanting instant gratification that I had no idea she was actually protecting me from so many things.
It is no secret that kids are HIGHLY influenced by other kids…and so are adults for that matter. Peer influence is strong AF! Once Tre started spending more time around kids in daycare and later in school, it got it for myself. It is the power peers have over each other, so much so, that their words become louder than anything else they can hear. And that power zaps our kids’ minds into believing exactly what their friends say is true. Attention moms- don’t ever think our voices aren’t just as loud or louder because they are because they are.
The reality is that we do not have any control over how other moms parent and their style may differ from ours drastically. These differences, while adding to our unique flavor as moms, could serve to be quite contrary to what we have instilled in our kids. So how do we handle it? Get a rabbit’s foot and hold on for dear life?! Nope! Some days I’ve had discussions with Tre explained my reasons for saying no. Other days- I hit him with the “…because I’m your mother and I said no, that’s it!” Both work for me depending on the day. Bottom line- keep reminding them what your expectations are and that those expectations are what’s important.
I understand, and appreciate my mother’s choices and now I see the reasons why. She was doing her job as my mom to teach me right from wrong. My hope is that as I continue in this parenting journey Tre will understand my reasoning as well. But, until he gets old enough and that frontal lobe is fully developed, I have my “I’m not so-and-so’s mother” statement ready to to go! –krystal