Dare 18 in With All Due Respect seems to be a favorite among many of the women who read the book. Every time I’ve led a group, as soon as moms read it they immediately want to talk about it. We laugh because that is the mom we want to be.
Most tell me they would never have the strength to do what the mom did in the dare. But most have agreed they’ve thought about it.
Why is it that as moms, we feel that our job is to do everything that our kid asks us, even if they have a bad attitude or are bossy? Why is it that we will let our kids walk all over us in a situation yet turn around and do whatever they’ve asked us to do as long as they’ve apologized and are now nice to us?
Does the apology from them negate a consequence and therefore get in the way of a teaching moment?
I’m guessing that a lot of us tend to be pleasers when it comes to our kids.
In the book How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich we can get a glimpse of our behaviors in the parent/child relationship. Some of us find it difficult to allow our children to feel any pain if it might be construed by them as coming from us. After all, as parents we want our kids to feel our love. It’s natural to want their happiness and to want to give. But at what cost?
Here are just a few of the clues that help us assess if we might be swinging the pendulum too far into the happiness category for our kids rather than becoming a mom who allows pain in our kid’s lives in order to teach the values we want them to grasp.
- With my kids, I feel like I give and give, yet they take advantage and don’t respond with an attitude of gratitude.
- I try to be the peacemaker with my kids so that conflict is minimized.
- Sometimes I’ll withhold information or change the situation slightly to avoid a battle.
- When there is conflict, I tend to give in just to avoid the frustration.
- I don’t like it when my kids pull away and are upset with me.
- When my kids ask me for help, I have trouble saying no. I am willing to lose sleep or put other responsibilities on the back burner to say yes to my kids.
- I have difficulty standing up for my own needs when it comes to something with my kids.
If you responded yes to any of these, you might be a pleaser. And know that pleasers tend to want to avoid anything that makes them feel anxious. They tend to parent out of fear of losing the kids they love so much.
Several years ago I was talking with a counselor/friend. In our discussion his words to me went something like this, “Kids need to learn that relationships are intended to be give and take. That means bi-directional. You give; they give. That’s how we create deep, lasting connection.”
Oh, my. This one hit me hard. How many times have I given in to my kids just because they quickly apologized and became the sweet angels I knew they were capable of being? How many times have I missed a teaching opportunity? I know from experience that at times I’ve avoided disagreement rather than teach my kids how to navigate conflict well.
Being a mom of strength and dignity means that we are willing to set boundaries to protect ourselves. We’re willing to step into conflict if need be to help our kids realize that relationship is a two-way street. It means we will choose to not be manipulated by our kid’s quick change of behavior to get what they want. It means that our ‘yes’ is ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ is ‘no’.
It means that we are willing to show them that just like they are precious, we are precious.
Moms of strength and dignity aren’t forceful and controlling in their boundary setting with their kids; however, they are willing to be firm as they teach their children that our world does not revolve around them. We are willing to introduce them to the fact that even as mom, we have feelings and needs, too.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Dare you to assess the level of respect in your home and become the mom of strength and dignity that He has called you to be. It’s not too late to learn to respect yourself as you parent. If you do, you’ll be teaching your children the true meaning of honor and respect.
“Let go…and let God”,
If you really struggle with becoming a mom of Strength and Dignity, we want to encourage you to join our With All Due Respect on-line eCourse. From the convenience of your home you’ll have opportunity to go through the book with moms who are where you are in the struggle. There you will find encouragement, a place to ask questions, and videos to help you in the parenting journey.
We hope you will join us!