Parenting Lesson: I Will Not Chase You

Munch is the best thing that ever happened to me. But, sometimes I really feel like I’m sucking at this parenting thing. Not that I’m mean, but sometimes I have to teach him a lesson and I wonder if my teaching those lessons are having an adverse effect on him.

Last month we were working on homework and then we were going to review his oral presentation. He had to memorize a poem. He chose “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes. It was awesome, but he wasn’t in the mood. When he’s not in the mood to do anything, he pretty much shuts down. He acts like he’s bored and it’s really like time consuming and emotionally draining.

That being said I decided to push forward and chastise and ignore his negative attitude. I wanted to record him saying his poem. He was nonchalant and had no emotion. He was literally just acting like I’m forcing him to plow the field. It was draining. I had enough. I said “I love you Munch, but I’m done. I’m reclaiming my peace and you’re going to bed. Go upstairs and get your shower so you can get in the bed.” He was upset. “What about TV time?” I said “It’s not going to happen. You’ve tried my patience this evening with your behavior so TV is a reward that you don’t deserve this evening.” He cried.

Cried in the shower. Cried when he went to bed and then cried himself to sleep. Even when I tried to tuck him in bed and give him his kiss good night he cried louder and turned away from me. No problem. “I love you and goodnight” was all that I said.

I spoke to Mr. C and he listened and then commented how our parenting styles are different. I know. He’s told me before. I’m used to getting spanked as a child if I cried for no reason, but I left him to cry it out.

The next morning I did what I always do…cook his breakfast, pack his lunch, lay out his clothes and make up his bed. He then comes upstairs and criticizes me for all that I’ve done. “You’re not letting me do anything by myself. My daddy says that I need to do things on my own” he stated in frustration. I smiled sweetly and said “Love, you know what?” I don’t have to fix your breakfast each morning. I can sleep later and you can get up and fix yourself a bowl of cereal. It has always been important for me to send you to school with a hot breakfast each morning, but you want more responsibility so tomorrow, you got it. You can make your own bed and pick out your own clothes and fix your own lunch. I’m fine with it all. Now get dressed please.”

I was peeved. I couldn’t believe this child being defiant and first thing in the morning. I asked God for strength and we exited out the house headed for school. Munch didn’t speak to me at all. Ignored me on the whole car ride. I blasted gospel music to shift my mind and hopefully his too.

We exit and go into the school and as I’m signing him in for Before Care he doesn’t speak to the teachers when they say good morning. He walks away from me and is still ignoring me. I sigh. I said “Good morning” to the teachers, signed him and left. Five minutes later my phone rings and it is the Director of the Before and After Care program. She says how Munch had a breakdown and started crying because I just left.

She said that Munch said “She didn’t kiss me goodbye and she didn’t tell me that she loves me and to have a good day.” She said that they couldn’t console him. She asked could I speak to him. “Yes” I responded. He gets on the phone crying “Mommy, you didn’t tell me you love me. You didn’t kiss me goodbye.” I said “Munch, I realized that you were frustrated when you complained first thing this morning, I realized that you were still angry when you didn’t speak to me in the car ride over. I knew you weren’t over it when you walked away from me and ignored the teachers this morning. I accepted that. I love you so much but I will never chase anyone including you. My love is always given freely but I won’t chase someone to force it on them and this includes you. I love you more than life itself and will always love you. I love you more than you’ll ever know so have a great day.” He said “Okay, I love you too mommy.”  We got off the phone.

This parenting thing is hard. I struggle some days and find peace with my choices on most. But, in the end I’m still a work in progress learning and loving this beautiful boy that I’ve been blessed with.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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47 Replies to “Parenting Lesson: I Will Not Chase You”

  1. I think you handled it exactly right. You gave him the chance to figure out what was important to him and gave him the opportunity to realise that actions have consequences. Perhaps it would be a good opportunity now to sit him down and say “I love doing things for you and it gives me pleasure to see you healthy and safe. I also realise you’re growing up into an independent young man and if you want to take on my responsibility for yourself, then let’s sit down over a cup of coffee (or whatever you drink) and talk about the things I do for you, and see what you can do for yourself. ” he may baulk at that, the sudden realisation that this is real, but it would be at terrific opportunity to see how much he feels comfortable with. Make a deal with him, he has to commit to the items he chooses and if he doesn’t do them, then let him know that there are consequences but that you won’t tell him off. I think you’re a really good, grounded Mother. We never get it right according to the experts, but love, understanding and tolerance goes a long way, and from what I’ve seen you have oodles of that. All the best

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to this so much, and seeing it from the outside in gives me confidence that we’re doing a decent job despite the parental guilt. Either that, or we’re all doing it wrong ha! Honestly though, as long as our children know they are loved, and we’re consistent with our discipline most of the time, I think they will be okay.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hard, indeed. He’s getting to that age, where he wants his voice heard. It’s tough, giving them freedom to be themselves, and we want them to be strong and have opinions, yet having to still teach and direct them. As long as y’all talk it out, he’ll be fine though.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of the hardship that comes along with parenting. To be a parent is the most amazing and rewarding part of my life but it also is not easy. It does not come with an instruction book. By the sounds of this, you handled this situation beautifully. My 5 year old has been testing my patience lately and one of the hardest parts of not letting her get her way or when she behaves in a way that is trying is to also just let her cry it out. She knows that we love her unconditionally and I must be doing something right because the tears at the very end of each struggle usually result because she is feeling badly about how she reacted and apologizes (at 5 years old) or will draw or write me a love note.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re so welcome. I just want to remind people that it is hard job parenting. You win some and you lose some but your hope is that you have given them the tools to be self-sustaining good human beings. Capable of love and respect. Five was a great age. Nine? I’m still deciding. LOL.

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  5. Hardest job in the world. I didn’t know there were mom’s cooking hot breakfasts and going to work. !! I’d be throwing skittles and still running late. Taste the rainbow kids. Mom can’t even 😉

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    1. Neither did I, but it was important for me to be able to do this for him. He doesn’t get it at his dad’s house and I explained that I don’t have to do it and we can do cereal. He wasn’t too keen on that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I know I’ve said it before, but you sound like a great mom, Tikeetha. One thing I didn’t have-well, wasn’t allowed to have as a kid, was a voice. You have to let kids know that you hear them… but they’re not going to get what they want by displaying negative behavior. He’ll thank you later!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Kelley! It’s frustrating but I allow him to understand that his choices can have both positive and negative impacts but if he doesn’t want to do something then I will reclaim my time and let him go to bed because he’s cranky. He won’t be rewarded, but I also don’t hold it over his head. I want him to be able to think independently.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I’m just trying to get this parenting thing done right. Some days are better than others and I just hope and pray that he takes the lessons and applies them to his life when he’s grown up.

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  7. You are awesome! I love how you handled that. (And I love that quote from M. Russell Ballard! He is amazing!) I love hearing about parents who parent – because it is hard, but hearing it gives us the strength to keep on parenting, instead of giving in to the culture of hoping society raises our children for us. If you feel like your sucking at parenting, but you do something about it, that means you care and are involved. Which means you probably aren’t sucking at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, he is struggling with that. Add to it that he has two households with two separate rules and you get a child trying to figure it all out. He later told me that he enjoys me getting up every morning and fixing him a hot breakfast before school.

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