Happy Kids, Inc: Dare To Parent
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dare To Parent

By Meg Hodson

I was recently at a playground with my three children. They were having a great time. They were having fun with one particularly long tube slide. Unfortunately, a very tall 13 year old decided it would be cool to stand on top of the tube slide, jump up and down, essentially creating large indents in the slide. It made it somewhat dangerous for kids to thus slide down the tube. The kid wouldn't let up and I didn't see a parent claiming the kid close-by, so I decided to speak up.

I spoke up and told the child that he shouldn't be jumping on the slide and that kids couldn't slide while he was doing that. He ignored me. I then came back with an idle threat: "I'll call someone if you don't get down." (Well, I could always call my husband, the mayor, right?) He eventually got down, after some serious stare downs. 

It was obvious that he didn't have much discipline in his life, nor was he used to adults telling him what to do. I noticed that he was at a nearby table, now speaking to what appeared to be his mother. And later, he asked my daughter who exactly I was going to call! I guess what I was saying did sink in.....a little. 

It made me start to think about why kids misbehave or make bad decisions. I know kids will stumble in life, even with attentive parents. But I also know there is a line. My kids would not have gotten on top of that slide, jumping up and down as kids tried to slide down. 

It begs the question.....are we afraid to parent? Unfortunately, I think a lot of parents want to be friends with their children, not discipline too much, be the "nice guy". But in my experience, being a disciplining parent makes me the cool parent! How? They're generally well-behaved and not being sent to the principals' office. I mean, who wants to be sent to the principals' office?

But let's be honest....it SUCKS to be the bad guy! It's no fun any way you slice it. But you're the adult; you know what's right and wrong; you have deserved the right to say "no" to your children. 
Sometimes it's an easy task, sometimes not so much. But deep down you know it is necessary. 

I thought this blog post might be long-winded. I thought I might find the need to go on and on about how you need to be able to say "no" to your kids. And voila, it's as simple as that: know when to say no and just do it!

Although I am not stating that all behavior of children is a direct reflection of their parents, it's definitely a predominant factor. Modeling good manners, proper behavior, being polite, being respectful MAKES A DIFFERENCE! Our children are little sponges, soaking up what we have to say. Make it matter. Make it count.

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