Responsible Mom vs Cool Mom
I’ve been trying to finish writing this article for 2 months. Part of the problem has been.. my attempts to compromise.
I’m not very good at compromise when it comes to something I feel so strongly about… so I gave up.
Here’s how I really feel. ~ Karen
Responsible Mom vs Cool Mom
So it’s not a question of what we WANT, it’s a question of what is best for our children.
There are even times when we can be the Cool Mom by:
- Creating an environment in your home where the kids love to come “hang out”
- Being up on the latest technology
- Actually spending time doing activities with your kids (things THEY like to do)
- Letting your kids act like kids… so what if the rough housing causes spills on the carpet
- Always being available for talk time… Don’t talk at your kids, listen to them
But there are times when you must put aside your own WANTS and instead be the RESPONSIBLE Mom. It may cost you part of your relationship with your child, but if you do your job as Parent, they will Thank you for it later. Really, they will literally THANK YOU.
One of the great things about writing for Parenting Help Me is, the variety of opinions expressed by the different authors. I respect each one of them and value their opinions.. I don’t always agreed but I do value those opinions. You can check the post entitled “Spying on your kids Social Networking” for another view.
My answer… Other than the bathroom.. NONE!
A bit over the top? Maybe. But from the time my son was able to walk, we have had a very open honest relationship based on ME Mommy … YOU Child … but WE Love and respect each other.
I can and do enter my son’s bedroom and can “go through” his stuff at anytime. I have access to all his email, online accounts, game systems, MySpace, Facebook, his cell phone and his wallet. I know ALL his friends and also have looked at their online profiles, MySpace pages, Facebook and do not hesitate to ask them direct questions about their lives.
I’m always awake and waiting when my son returns home. All of our computers have Parental Controls that allow me to view every webpage that my son has visited. Yes, I realize that he can get access via some other computer, but he knows I’m going to ask and lying is not his strong suit.
My son and his friends know that I love them and care what happens to them. They also have learned to be a bit more discerning of what they put online. They know that once something is online… it can’t be taken back..it’s out there to be viewed by future employers, college recruiters, future children, and possible mates. The stuff they put on MySpace today can be downloaded and later used when they decide to run for political office.
I want to make it clear that my actions have nothing to do with “trusting” my son. He knows I trust him. It has everything to do with “protecting” and “guiding” my son. Because my son knows I’ll be waiting, it’s easy for him to avoid peer pressure. I’m his excuse.
The other side of this openness is.. My son can ask me anything. I never put anything online that I wouldn’t want him to see, I don’t drink, smoke or have anything to do with any kind of drug. I try to always live the life I want him to live. I never lie to my son..period. I admit when I’m wrong. He knows he can trust me.
Being a responsible parent takes a lot more time and effort than being a “cool” parent but in my opinion, it’s the ONLY way to parent.
I know there are many who will say this won’t work for their kid… but it will if you do it for the right reasons, in the right way and with consistency.
The Right Reason – Because you are the Parent, it is your responsibility, and because you love your child more than you love yourself.
The Right Way – In order to gain your child’s trust .. you must earn it. That comes from talking in a CALM non lecturing way, hearing their side, letting them know why you are doing this (remember it’s out of love and for their protection) and being willing to also open up your life. Kid’s can smell a hypocrite a mile away.
Being Consistent – This is the biggest failure of most parents in anything. We start out with good intentions but as soon as it gets hard or we get distracted we give in. Kids also know this. They know when you are more likely to give in and they know when they are most likely to get away with something.
Unfortunately, I realize that most parents will not make the effort or will find some excuse not to listen to this advice. Some will actually disagree and think I’m like the “Parent Nazi” of all time. It greives me that so many of the parents I know, don’t have a clue what their kids are really doing online or offline. I worry about how it will affect their futures. I’ve heard many a sad story from parents who were “too trusting” but for parents who have stayed involved in their kids lives … even through the sometimes difficult teen years I have yet to hear one parent say they are sorry, or that it wasn’t worth it.
You are welcome to leave your comments but please watch the language… after all my son will be reading this.