...and I made the mistake of searching "parenting."
Lately I feel that I have been disappointing my children a lot. I'll give myself enough credit to add that they probably would not agree with that statement, but there you go. I am pretty critical. Of everyone, but most especially of myself. I guess I was looking for one of those parenting memes that would make me feel better. One of the ones that would make me laugh and realize that everyone has been there and that it will all get better. Instead, I somehow zeroed in on the picture that took me to this article. I hate even linking it, because I really don't want to give it any more reads than I have to. Let me just quote one line:
"Let us be humble enough as parents to admit it is our fault if our kids scream, disobey or throw a tantrum. It is our fault because they have gotten away with those actions one too many times."
Um, no, Mrs. Mother of Six Pint-Sized Treasures, it is not our fault. I call bull**** on you. I am so delighted for you that you have perfect children. That must be ah-mazing for you. I wouldn't know anything about it. My children are human. They are fallible. Everyone knows about my Nicholas (ADHD, OCD, Tourette's). He's a challenge. His darling meltdowns are *not* my fault. Oh, and your crack about over medicated children later down in your article...yeah, I got your dig. Thanks to medication, my son is enjoying life more in the last few months (and yes - our family is enjoying life more in the last few months) than he has in years.
Let's talk very briefly about Therese. She's 13 now. When she was about 2, we were in line at the grocery store and she saw something she wanted. I think it was princess stickers. I had never once bought Therese anything while in line at the grocery store (ironically, it's something I do all the time now - you want gum? Sure, why not?). Still, she saw the stickers and wanted them. I told her no and thought nothing of it. She had never once thrown a tantrum. Anyone who knew her will tell you that she was a preternaturally good child. For some reason on this day, though, the fates aligned and she threw a grand mal tantrum. I was so surprised that I laughed. And I kept laughing. People must have thought I was crazy, but I told them, "She never does this!" I just told her, "No," and then ignored her. Again, that tantrum was not my fault, and it did not happen because I had given in one too many times.
I have such a big problem with articles like this that make vast generalizations and seem designed to make people feel like bad parents. Some people are bad parents. The rest of us do the best we can with what we have. When we know better, we do better. I guess that's what I have to remind myself of constantly. I would implore you not to read garbage like this, but if you do, respond the same way I responded to Therese's once-upon-a-time tantrum: laugh. Treat parenting that way in general. Laugh early and laugh often. It's what your kids need more than anything, and you'll all benefit so much from the experience!