Tough Love: Sometimes You Have to Look the Other Way

Parenting is a challenge and it seems that it only gets more difficult as your child grows up.  You can't manage them like you once did.  They will speak up, push back, do what they want, and ignore you.  What you are going through with your child isn't anything new, someone somewhere is experiencing the same.  However, despite all that we do to care for them, there will be those times that we will have to look the other way and allow them to make a decision that won't kill them, of course, but will teach them a valuable lesson in life why they (and possible the other parent who likes to fault-find) should listen to us.

Too often parents will coddle their children and in their hovering over them they keep them from uncomfortable feelings like waiting for something they truly want, using critical thinking skills, and learning independence.  They think that this sort of behavior is good parenting, but it is not.  Look at all of the children who have temper tantrums in stores, act rudely toward others, misbehave, and do other things that draw attention to the family.  Sorry, mom and dad you are wrong to give your child everything, to permit him or her to have his or her way, and to fight those who criticize you for it.

Sometimes we have to find ways to decrease some of the issues on the home front and elsewhere by looking the other way when we frequently find that a spouse, grandparent, teacher or someone else is unwilling to work with us.  Johnny wants his favorite toy, so what.  You don't go get it even if you know where it is.  He will cry and complain--what else is new?  Jenny would like for you to give her money for a school event, yet she can't keep her room clean--you don't remember the event.  Dad wants you to manage the children while he does his own thing, too bad for him when they get into his things once again that you asked him to move several times before.  Repeatedly you warn your children to get your homework done, to take a bath, to clean up their messy areas, etc. and the family looks at you like you are the trouble-maker, don't keep talking.  Step over the messes, let them manage their homework, avoid the kitchen, close their bedroom door, even let them stink sometimes.  They need to suffer the consequences sometimes.  Why stress yourself out?  Sooner or later someone will grow weary of something and will do something about it.

Moms can be so good at their jobs that they are no longer appreciated.  You are not a nag, an angry person, disorganized, or inefficient and sometimes because you are not these things, people have a way of taking advantage.  The man doesn't give you a courtesy call when he is out frequently, because he assumes you are okay with it.  No one doesn't really do anything you ask, because they know you won't freak out about it.  The family doesn't bother putting anything back in their place, because they know you will come behind them and clean it up.  Members of your household don't feel the need to remember to do anything, because they know you will remind them. 

Family members who are catered by Mom will grow weary of her.  They will assume she will always do for them, and may even wish for her to go away because she does her job well.  Maybe it might be time to take a break.

Don't be fooled by those who think that love is always nice, sweet and beautiful.  Of course, those who are taking advantage will market love in such a way that benefits them most.  "If you love me mom, you will do...if you love me honey you will..."  the family says.  They don't want to be exposed and they definitely don't want to have to step out of their comfort zones or suffer any consequences.  At times, love must be tough (Check out an old book by author James Dobson)! 

Love doesn't feel good at times (consider when your virginity was broken, when you delivered your baby--I rest my case.)  Men will be men, boys will be boys, and girls will be girls, and you don't have to put up with any of it--take a stand!  There may be chaos before peace, but it will be well worth it if you can do what you know to be right.

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight, parenting tips and more here.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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