The Don: “Mama, you’re like a tiger lion when you’re angry.”
ME: “Yes, I’m roar more like a lion. I roar because you did something that didn’t please me.”
He knows when I’m serious when I began to roar.
There’s no question when I go out with my kids or if I’m at home who is the boss. My kids are well behaved for the most part when we’re outside. I tell them that when we are out “no yelling, kicking, screaming, asking for toys, or running in the stores, touching things,” or this privilege whatever they enjoy will be taken away. I think parents see this in me as well and try to under mind my parenting. For example, if I’m out with the kids and The Don is sliding on the slides and I tell him, ‘One more slide and then we’re done,’ there’s always that one parent who try to tell me, “Yeah right, you may say one more time but I bet he’ll slide again.” My response is, “No, he will stop and we will go.” Sure enough, when The Don slides down that last time and I say, “Let’s go,” he comes. I had another mother say to me at an indoor play spot after I told The Don that we’re done play now it’s time to go home and get lunch that “That’s what you think. You’ll not going to leave,” as her and her parent friends laughed. “Oh no, we’re leaving,” I said as I walked out the door with my toddler in one had as I’m holding my preschooler in the other. One of the dad’s said, “Look, I guess she’s leaving,” as I walked out the door. You damn right I’m leaving.
Usually, these parents look surprised that I got my son to listen to me. He listens because he knows if he doesn’t, I will come and get him and drag him out of the park or wherever we are if I have too. I’m not ashamed and I’m not scared of what people might be thinking either. What bothers me is that some parents think that they can override my parenting style because to them they see me as being too stern with my children. I’m being mean and I’m not letting my kids be kids. Who says I don’t allow my kids to be kids? These parents take my stern tone and assume something that’s not there like me being angry at my child. They didn’t hear how I’ve asked my children nicely not to do something for the third time and they decide to do it anyway. They don’t know my children’s temperament to justify trying to be a referee between me and my child. Just because they let their child get away with undermining their authority doesn’t mean they will try to undermine my authority with my own children. These people need to bud out seriously before I roar at them.
I can see how my parenting style can frighten some of the parents that I’ve encounter. I come off as brash, expecting my children to have manners, to share communal toys, to be considerate and not hog the playground equipment, and not be the playground bully. I also expect my children to listen to me when it comes to safety for themselves and others around them. In other words, I’m the parent in the playground. When I warn my oldest son for the third time not to throw sticks down the slide because little kids can come by and get hit with them and he does it anyway, I roar like a lion, (metaphorically of course), and tell him that we’re leaving because he’s not listening, which I warned him that we would leave if he continued. He would try to run away or try to continue playing hoping that other people around would hinder my actions. Nope, he should know by now that I’m coming for him and pull him by his arm and forcing him to come. He would cry and tantrum all the way to the car and other parents see this as like a wildlife story on Nature show seeing the lioness pulling her cub out of the social gathering because he wouldn’t behave. It’s scary to see a parent parenting their child because in today society, it’s not normal. It’s usually the child dictating to the parent.
I don’t see the big deal of putting your foot down and saying no or giving boundaries to your children. More parents are afraid of parenting their children for the fear of some self righteous parent calling CPS on them or being labeled as a bad parent. More parents are afraid of hurting their child’s feelings and think that setting boundaries will inhibit their child’s true personality. Children are not as fragile emotional beings as some people think they are. Children will try to test you to see how much they can get away with and see if you follow through on what you said you are going to do. When they become too much to handle, these same parents go searching on the internet trying to find out what’s going on with their child’s behavior like they have some type of psychological issues or something. Most parents seem to be looking for an easy way out of parenting and if it’s letting their child get their way most of the time so be it; it’s better than dealing with a temper tantrum.
So when you hear me ‘roar’ at my children, don’t be frighten. Don’t think that I’m irrational, irate, or angry. Most likely, my children did something inappropriate and I’m trying to teach them what is and is not acceptable in society. I’m doing something that is no longer the norm and that is…parenting my child.