Parents, let’s stop for a moment and be honest with each other. It’s today’s dose of pure parenting love with Family Focus Friday: The Two Words You Need to Stop Telling Your Kids.
The Two Words You Need to Stop Telling Your Kids
I wrote a completely raw and honest Instagram post this week. That’s not too unusual, I really enjoy writing snippets of what my day as a mom is “really like.” But for the first time ever, that Instagram post really stuck with me. I kept replaying what I wrote and the overwhelming responses I got from friends and strangers alike. And a few days later, here I am. Typing up yet another Family Focus Friday.
Mommy, I’m hungry.
Mommy, I want you to play with me.
Mommy, can you pick out my clothes for school?
Mommy, can you check my homework?
Mommy, come snuggle with me.
Mommy, I’m bored.
It’s out of my mouth before my kids can even finish their request, conditioned so much in my mind that I blink and they have already moved on to something else. And at the time, I nod my head in success as I tell myself “Yep. I did good.”
But that moment of triumph is too brief to even raise my hands in a victory “V” before the mom guilt sinks in. My “not now” is really telling my kids that
I’m too busy. I have more important things to do. Or even I don’t love you enough to stop what I’m doing.
Now I totally get that there are times when this parenting response is completely warranted: like hands deep in cleaning up the latest poop disaster, getting a wad of gum unstuck from a tangled web of hair, the daily onslaught of injuries that require mom’s magical “healing touch.”
But parents, let’s be honest. Why are we really saying “not now?” Because we don’t want to be bothered? Because our world tells us that we are too busy for our own schedules? Because our to-do list is so long? Because we are parents with conditions? That in order for us to say “YES” we need the moon, the stars and our sanity to align together in perfect harmony? Perhaps.
But here’s the REAL deal. The more we respond with our conditioned “not now” response, the less our kids are going to ask. The less our kids are going to trust/depend/rely on us parents – the ones who are supposed to be our kids’ biggest supporters – and turn to someone or something else to satisfy the need, the longing, the LOVE that our kids so desperately need every single day. It’s going to result in less conversations, less relationships and years down the road when we beg our kids to talk to us, guess what two little words are going to rear their ugly head.
This week, I made a concentrated effort to say “Yes now.” Yes to play time. Yes to individual attention. Yes to my kids and “Not now” to my busy parenting life. The to-do list can wait. Your kids can’t. You’re going to blink and they have already moved on. I urge you to un-condition yourself from the “Not nows” of life. Trade in those two words for
See what happens.
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