There's a trend these days of kids disrespecting and disregarding their parents and authority as a whole.
You see it everywhere. While out shopping, at school plays, TV shows, the park... just about everywhere you look these days is some little punk telling his mom or dad where they can stick it. A little girl in the toy aisle throwing a tantrum because she wants another My Little Pony to add to her collection of about 85 other My Little Ponys. And if she screams and yells and pouts long enough, you see a mother giving in every time and buying the damn overpriced Pony. Snot-nosed kid = 1. Mom = 0.
I know I wax on and on and on about forcing my kids to play outside. And for the most part, no forcing is required, as they usually love to be outside. I'll be searching the house for my 5-year old and he'll be out at the far corner of our 2 acres, covered in dirt and making a scarily sharp hunting spear out of sticks. For the most part, they love to play outside, but there are times where they try to flat-out refuse my demands. They tell me that they will in fact not be going outside and what am I going to do about it.
That's what strong arms are for to hurl you outside.
That's definitely what interior door locks are for.
And I don't do it because I'm "mean" or "disheartening." I do it because I love my kids and I know that being outside, playing in trees and getting dirty and exploring and creating is what is good for them. It's good for their psyche. Sitting in front of a computer screen is not. Running around until every last drop of energy is gone from their bodies is good for them. Being comatose mindlessly playing video games is not. Respecting their parents is good for them. Being a little brat who is disparaging towards their parents is not. (And in my kids' case, it also physically hurts...in the form of a swift smack to the backside.)
Raising kids is not a democracy. These days, kids think they get a vote in everything. The hell they do. Unless I specifically ask their opinion, what mom says goes. What dad says goes. What granny and grandpa and their aunts and uncles and teachers and their friends' parents say goes. If the checkout lady at the grocery store tells my kids to keep their hands off the holiday display, they better listen the first time because maybe the checkout lady can't whip their ass but I certainly can.
That doesn't mean I don't love them fiercely and think they are the most amazing human beings on the face of the earth. I do. I tell them I love them at least ten times a day. I hug and kiss them every chance I get. I tell them how proud I am of them and how talented they are and how they both have such amazing special gifts and how honored I am to be the mom of two boys whose hearts are full of love and compassion and empathy for other people. I would die for my kids.
But I won't enable them to be little degenerates.
That also doesn't mean they aren't boys. Regular, normal, run-of-the-mill crazy hyper intense rowdy turbulent little specimens. They will fight and fist punch each other and break things and talk back and yell and scream and try to push all the limits to all the limits. They will try and question my authority and rules and push me to the brink hoping that I'll break and they will get their way.
They will try, but they will not win.
They will throw a fit in the middle of Target one day and everyone will turn and stare at the debacle going down in aisle 11. But what onlookers won't see is a mother who panders to her 5 year old. What they won't see is a mother who is on her seventh empty threat (if you do that one. more. time. we are going home!) and what they won't see is my power being taken away by someone who is 3 feet tall wearing a Pokeman shirt.
What they will see is a mother - THIS mother - picking up my kid by his collar, looking him dead in the eyes and saying so quietly only he can hear, "you will not disrespect me, period." They will see a look of fear in his eyes. A respected look of fear, not of anger or contempt. And we will immediately leave the store that very second and consequences will follow and be implemented once home.
Just because they came out of one doesn't mean they are allowed to act like a pussy.
And then after their punishment I will talk to them about why they got in trouble and why it's wrong to speak like that to someone and then I will hug them and slobber them up and down with kisses and read them a book before bedtime and snuggle a little longer at night before saying our prayers and thanking God once again that I get to be their mother.
Iron fist, tender heart, baby.
Like I said earlier: there's a trend these days of kids disrespecting and disregarding their parents and authority as a whole.
That trend stops at my house.