Are you a pushover parent? Are you putty in your child’s manipulating hands?
Changing your mind is quite different from caving in to wailing pleas from a child.
In the beginning of my career as a Parents Anonymous parent I thought once I gave a decision that it was written in stone and that to change my decision would cause my authority to crumble before my eyes. I shared about a stressful afternoon when I was acting out of PMS more than real anger and gave consequences that I knew were too harsh and probably impossible to carry out.
Develyn chuckled, “Welcome to humanity!”
The group members shared their own PMS stories that made mine sound tame in comparison. They also explained how each had revised their original edicts and how they backed out without appearing to give in or appear weak. By the time the meeting was over I had another perspective on PMS, anger and how it affects our children. I also came up with a few things to think about:
After I am no longer upset, do I still feel a consequence was fair?
Am I backing down because I feel sorry for my child? (As a sign I was overly harsh.)
Is the lesson my child learns from this what I want?
• Mom is human too.
• Mom is fair.
• Mom is in charge.
• Mom is allowed to make mistakes.
From the group I learned that changing a consequence was a wonderful opportunity to show my benevolence and willingness to be fair and that would help later on when my children became teens. My reviewing an earlier decision was also an example for Katie and Chelsey in their lives, separate from me.
Fixing my anger is still a work in progress. Changing my quick response was the first thing I changed. Delaying an immediate response reduced the number of times I had to eat my words. It actually helped my credibility in that the children knew I would be fair and also corrected an unfair decision.
Oh wait, an added benefit… I also stopped shopping while under the spell of PMS too.