Ok…maybe he doesn’t. But I certainly feel like Nathan doesn’t like me sometimes, and I’m well aware of the reason why. I am the “strict” parent…but just because someone has to be, and only because I love and want what is best for him. Still, it doesn’t make it any easier and I hate having to be like this with him.
I don’t tolerate being talked back to, or disrespect toward me or any other adult, including his dad. I expect him to do what I say within a reasonable time of whenever I tell him. I prefer him to say please, thank you, and yes ma’am/sir when speaking to adults. I never give in to tantrums or whining simply because it is more convenient for me to do so. All of this, plus the fact that I have eyes in the back of my head means that I end up getting onto him quite a bit. This disqualifies me as the fun parent and I am pretty sure the boy is well on his way to hating me.
Another issue is that I am the busy parent. When I am home, I have a house to clean, food to buy, put away, and cook; I have to clothe them and laundry to do; organization and a budget to manage; a little brother who nurses a million times a day and needs tending to…plus the five hundred other things that go along with being a at-home mom. So if Nathan needs something he has to go to his dad. He is now a daddy’s boy.
I wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time, I subscribed totally to the whole “I am my child’s partner” parenting model. I followed their doctrine and worked alongside him to create soft boundaries based on love and respect. This resulted in a wild, headstrong child who lacked respect for adults and would not follow any rules or take no for an answer. I was embarrassed at his behavior in public and had nightmares of him growing into a juvenile delinquent of some sort. I definitely didn’t end up with even a hint of the sweet, respectful child or partnership that this particular parenting model promised.
I have since learned that some children need hard boundaries and firm consequences with total consistency. It may be just their personality, temperament, parents’s personality, environment, or whatever. Regardless, not every child is the same and not every parenting technique works for every child. I am the only person who fully does this, and as a result I am the only person he actually listens to.
I invest my whole heart and soul into looking after his well-being and future, and he likes me the least. That bothers me, even though I know my goal shouldn’t be to focus on myself and what friendship I can get from the relationship with my child. It is not about me but about HIM. I just wish that he could see and appreciate what I am trying to do for him and how much I love him.
I hope, truly hope, that he will grow up and one day understand. I hope that he is successful at whatever he sets his mind to because I taught him self-control, self-discipline, and delayed gratification. I hope he has successful relationships in part because I showed him to respect the boundaries of others and to do what is right and to just be respectful in general. I hope that he will be happy in life because he has been taught a sense of appreciation, optimism, and not a sense of entitlement which can ruin happiness and destroy relationships. I hope one day he will see that everything I did, I did it for him, because I love him more than he will ever know.