Thursday, September 22, 2011

" I Don't Care"

I often times find myself committing parenting errors and this morning I committed a grave one.
I recently found out that Leilani's school doesn't REQUIRE uniforms they just strongly encourage them... Surprise surprise! What that means is that I spent money I really didn't have on uniforms instead of spending that money on things she is REQUIRED to have like oh I don't know, school supplies.
I digress.
This is a blessing in many ways. This way the "regular" clothing I bought her will not have to endure the abuses of everyday activities and since the school only "encourages" the uniforms she has a choice about what she wants to wear.
This morning while I was slowly getting her ready she told me that she wanted to wear her regular clothes because a friend of hers doesn't wear uniforms. My ridiculous parenting fail statement of the day:
" I don't care what she does! You're going to wear your uniform and maybe tomorrow you can wear your normal clothes." 

Why was this my parenting fail of the day? Because of the way I answered her. She was simply expressing to me why she didn't want to wear her uniform today and instead of listening to her I brushed her off, was rude and didn't explain anything to her.
While the statement I said was true the way in which I said it was incorrect.
I think it's important to analyze your patenting self. We all make mistakes and acknowledging them and learning from them is how we become better parents.
How should I have dealt with her statement? By stopping and addressing her opinion head on.
I should have stopped and told her that I understand what she is saying however, she has to wear her uniform and since tomorrow is Friday she can wear her regular clothing then. I should have further went on to say that although her friend does not wear the uniform everyday that doesn't mean that she doesn't have to. Then I would have explained individualism and how and why is is important.
Don't tell your kids you don't care. What kind of message is that sending to them about the type of relationship you have and how much you value it?
The way you say things to people and furthermore your children has an impact larger than you can imagine.
We are all human and we are always learning so mistakes will be made along the way however, it is the way we handle them that makes all the difference.

Thank you for reading and let your mistakes and your children make you into a better person.