We so love our children that we are willing to go out of our way to do things for them. We stretch to spoon-feeding them, as well. We do anything to make them feel cared for and empowered. We defend them at their most vulnerable of times. But guess what, most of what we do are not and should not be part of our jobs! Our motto must be to raise children who become capable and responsible citizens. Anything that we do outside this realm for them amounts to spoiling children. Here’s what I will absolutely not do for my children:
1. Buying them every single thing that they want:
Children can be so materialistic! They want every single thing they see in the shop-windows. Use it or not, they simply want the new stuff to be part of their prized possessions. Buy them one thing and see how long they will cling to it. They almost discard it after the second use. From dolls to gadgets your house almost becomes a toy-factory warehouse. Then there are those harmful candies they won’t budge without. Sit back and do some accounting at the end of the month. You will know just how much you could have saved for your children before you gave in to spoil them. Plus children need to know what it takes to earn that money you buy them all these things with.
2. Making meals and meals:
I understand the hunger pangs kids have during the growth spurt episodes. But wanting snacks simply because they want to indulge? You are paving the way for gluttony if you can be in the kitchen most of the day dishing out one thing or the other. I will not keep up with the tantrums over food. They must eat the greens and the veggies that should be part of the daily meals. I don’t mind letting them starve if they go adamant on having sugar-candies for lunch!
3. Doing their homework:
Yeah, this is one thing most parents do secretly and pretend at the parents-teachers meet. I don’t mind letting my child stay up in the night and finish her homework because she was playing for most of the day. Let your children bawl, but you don’t want them to go to sleep before doing their portion of studies of the day – because they won’t stick to their promise of waking up early to do what they had left undone the previous day. You want your children to learn to bask in the glory of self-made achievements!
4. Let them waste their energies over the idiot box all day:
I don’t mind letting them know the world around them on these screens. But becoming a subconscious slave to the screens? Watch out on the ridiculously high time they spend on watching Netflix or YouTube. Yeah, you could shut the TV down. You could throw it out of your house. But they know how to unlock your computer or tablets or your mobile phone and get access to videos or anything else while they should be spending time on something more constructive and healthy. Get them to move their ass from there, so they know the fun of being active in the first place.
5. Do the ‘lost and find’ thing for them:
What? You just can’t find the other pair of the socks again? I just taught you how to pair the socks and have them ready for the next use. It’s right in your face. If it were a wasp, it would have stung you by now.
6. Cleaning the mess:
Kids are sure to strew things around. But clearing the clutter all the time is not my job. Remember – I am your mom, not your maid!
7. Drive them to school:
And I am not your driver either. Why not take the luxury of a school bus to get to school? Or simply walk to your classroom than having your mommy to walk you there in her night-pyjamas. And hey, don’t expect me to drive back to school with something you forgot the millionth time!
8. Arbitrating fights:
Every kid is right in his own way. Every parent is right in his own way too. So if you have a fight with your friend or classmate, try to resolve it on your own. I would come to defend you, but only when you have fought part of the battle by yourself.
9. Being the bank of the house:
If you kids think that you can always get your cash out of me at your beck and call, you are wrong. I’d rather have you save them in your piggy bank so you can pay for you college fees when you grow up. Learn to forgo that designer outfit or accessory while you need them the least.
10. Let them sleep over at friends or go on a solo holiday:
Just how old are you at 15 or 16 to have a responsible weekend night at friend’s or a remote holiday? You may not be a gullible kid, but you are vulnerable. Think of all the horrid stories that flash on the news so very often! You don’t want to creep out the society with irresponsible vacations.
11. Binge-drinking at my home:
Certainly not allowed. Think of all the fats and sugars and unnecessary elements you would be adding in their tiny little bodies!
12. Binge-drinking at friends home:
I’d rather put you on a house-arrest if you said that.
13. Letting you go on that car-spree:
I’d rather have you earn your car through your first salary, so you know the sentiment. Don’t even think about asking for a car on your birthday because you are just crossing your teens. And mark this – drive responsibly.
14. Accompanying them on job interviews:
Go back to number seven – no accompanying. I will still maintain the status quo. Plus it is you who is giving the interview. Learn to face the challenges of life single-handedly here onwards, buddy.
15. Not yielding to their blackmails:
I won’t allow the pleasures of life at the expense of making them stubborn. So, folks, I won’t give in to your whining about anything.
Kids might not sing in unison with you on this note. But if you don’t want to raise a spoilt brat, if you want to help them turn out into neat individuals who can respect and value life, people and the privileges they have, then being a stern mom is being a good mom. What do you say?