So, as I have mentioned before, being a “Wild Mommy” is about breaking societal “norms” about motherhood and parenting. So, I’d like to begin breaking down these walls with what I like to call a “Wild Mommy Myth Buster”. These posts will tackle topics that are common parenting misconceptions or misunderstandings, while giving advice on building a better alternative to the myth!
So, Wild Mommy Myth Buster #1- NO FIGHTING
I can already hear people in my head arguing with me. Before I have even begun to articulate my point, some parents will have already tuned out. See, the common misconception is that your child should NEVER FIGHT. Not you, their friends, their teachers, etc. And to a certain degree, you are right! It is perfectly normal to teach your child to avoid fights. But, we must be careful, because we want to raise CIVIL, PEACEFUL children, but we also NEED FIGHTERS!
Ask yourself, where would the world be today if no one ever FOUGHT? There are so many important issues in today’s society that might not have ever been brought into light without these fighters. Because a black man stood up and fought, we have equal race rights. Because a woman stood up and fought, we have equal gender rights. And so on and so forth. So many good things have come from people that fought for their beliefs. But the fact is, most parents are actually DISCOURAGING this trait in their children.
Now, obviously there are some forms of fighting that I do NOT CONDONE! I do not EVER condone physical fighting (unless in self-defense) or OFFENSIVE fighting. Offensive fighting is when someone is fighting strictly to be mean or offensive. Those 2 types, and any like them, that do NOT produce good results, should, for obvious reasons not be allowed! But, that leaves quite a BIT of gray area, where kids should find their ground.
Throughout my entire childhood I was allowed to fight. When I was punished or lectured, I was allowed to argue, so long as I kept it ABSOLUTELY RESPECTFUL! So many of my friends thought this was CRAZY! When my mom or dad would ask me to do something, if I was busy, I would ask if I could have 5 minutes and they’d usually oblige. Seriously, my friends thought I was NUTS to respond that way. But, I had 2 parents who weren’t afraid to let me speak my mind! Because they knew it was a mind based in RESPECT for THEM! That’s not to say I didn’t ever use my smart little mouth on them, but I did it FAR LESS than most of my friends and I managed to have a REALLY HEALTHY, FUNCTIONING relationship with my parents, which most of my friends didn’t have with theirs. As long as I followed the rules, outlined by my parents, I was allowed to discuss ANYTHING with them. And occasionally, I changed their minds!
This way of parenting helps children feel like their opinions matter. And quite frankly, parents aren’t showing kids that enough! A lot of parents are so STUCK on the idea of being right because they are the parent, they don’t see that sometimes we’re WRONG and our kiddos have it right!
But, the real issue, isn’t about who is right and who is wrong, it’s about their future.
If you raise a child who is never allowed to argue or fight back when they are truly passionate about something you will create that SAME TYPE of adult. But, as an adult, a lack of fight can translate into a lack of AMBITION! Allowing your child to argue their point creates an adult that won’t be RUN OVER by everyone! Think about it, if every time your child tries to argue you shut them down, they will eventually NOT ARGUE. And to some parents, this seems like the RIGHT thing. But, here’s the message you’re sending:
No matter WHAT you truly believe, if the acting authority over you disagrees, you must comply with their choice.
Which, don’t get me wrong, to some degree is a good lesson. Obviously, there is a level of respect given to ANY person of authority. But, what if a teacher begins to fail them for personal reasons? or if their boss hits on them for a promotion? When your child, as an adult, is faced with an authority that is WRONG, you will want them to be able to STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES! Well, it begins by standing up to YOU!
As their parent, you ARE the AUTHORITY. There is basically NO ONE above Mom and/or Dad to a child. So you must use YOUR relationship with your child to set an example for their future relationships with authorities.
So, how is it that you actually go about breaking this MYTH?
First, build a relationship based on respect and love that allows your child to speak freely with you. This will encourage them to talk to you and to be honest when they do.
Secondly, always encourage your child to question everything and make their own decisions. This will help your child find who they are and give them a strong sense of self.
And the third MOST IMPORTANT aspect is to set out RULES for arguments, and be STRICT about those rules/punishments. Decide what actions and attitudes will be “conversation enders”, set up a way to identify whose turn it is to speak, etc. Then, don’t ever WAIVER from the rules!
By utilizing those 3 tips you can allow your child the freedom to fight, without the loss of respect for those in charge. Therefore, creating an adult who stands for what they believe in and isn’t afraid to FIGHT against INJUSTICES!
Join me Wednesday as we continue to learn more about our children and ourselves, while BUSTING these Mommy Myths!
ALSO, If you need any TIPS for setting up your “Rules of Argumentation”, email me or check out the list that will be coming soon to http://www.WildMommyMC.com!
Until Next Time,
Wild Mommy MC