Have you ever
barked orders repeated things to your kids so many times that you swear if you say it one more time you’ll snap? I mean, they’ve heard you say it as many times as you have so you’d think they’d be willing to just do as they’re told so they don’t have to hear it again. I’m so over my own voice.
“Don’t touch that”
“Don’t lick that”
“Don’t put that in your mouth”
“Clean up your toys”
“Get off your brother”
I mean, really. Wouldn’t it be easier on everyone if we stopped demanding things of our children and just let them be for once? Just hear me out. I’m not suggesting we let our kids raise themselves and I’m definitely not saying that the things we repeat to our kids don’t need to be said. I’m simply saying that maybe there’s a better way.
There have been times when I started to reprimand one of my kids and then stop myself midway through because it just wasn’t worth it. I know we all want our children to grow up to be great people but nagging them all day won’t teach them that. Do you know what will? Loving them, showing them forgiveness, showing them grace, helping them pull up their socks when you know perfectly well they can do it on their own but they are having a rough morning and just want you to do it or else they’ll melt down and start screaming and crying because they haven’t learned to control their emotions. Talking to your kids like they matter with respect and in full adult sentences will give them a sense of pride and it will teach them how to speak to others.
I’ve had my fair share of outbursts, I’ve probably even had your fair share too, but then sometimes I’ll catch a glimpse of that ugliness in the way my kids talk to each other and it stings. I’m embarrassed and ashamed when I tell my kids not to speak in that tone of voice and I used it on them just yesterday or, even worse, I’m using that tone while telling them not to use that tone! Hi, I’m a mess. And my kids aren’t stupid, they’re well adjusted little people, they see the hypocrisy but ultimately they will learn by example, not because I’m yelling at them to do or not to do something.
I’m encouraging you to let go. Let them learn and be curious, let them be free and get a little dirty, let them figure stuff out on their own and make mistakes. If they’re not in any immediate danger then just let go.