The one factor that cannot play a role in a parent’s decision making

Do you ever stress about whether or not your kids like you?

The one factor that cannot play a role in a parent's decision making

I do. I mean, what parent doesn’t want their kids to like them?

I used to be much worse than I am today though, especially before my kids were born. I had the occasional “my kids are going to hate me” freak out that most parents-to-be go through.

But even now, the feeling creeps in from time to time.

And though I know it isn’t true, it’s hard to overcome the feeling sometimes…especially when my kids are going through a mommy phase. Just last night my kids played “paper, rock, scissors” to see who got to have mommy take them night-night.

I was the consolation prize.

Please like me! Here’s some ice cream before bed!

You know, sometimes I make decisions, usually poor ones, because of those feelings of worry and insecurity.

I often to say “yes” even though I know the answer should be “no.”

I mean, it’s very tempting to make decisions as a parent in order to appease our children.

We allow a second scoop of ice cream…or a third or a fourth. We allow them to go to a party our instincts tell us we shouldn’t. We buy them an iPhone when we know they aren’t mature enough to handle it yet.

Just to appease them.

So our kids will like us.

So they won’t be angry.

But I’ve realized though, that if our kids aren’t angry with us from time to time, then we’re doing it wrong.

I mean, as parents it’s our job to make tough decisions. And while some decisions are certainly harder than others, the one factor that cannot play a role in our decision making is whether or not our kids will be upset with us.

I don’t know about you, but those thoughts cloud my judgement more than anything else.

And I have to remind myself that being a parent means sacrificing what’s easiest for what’s best.

Yes, sometimes our decisions will be unpopular with our children.

And sometimes that means our kids are going to be angry. Sometimes that means they are going to kick and scream and storm out of the room.

Sometimes they may even yell “I hate you.

But, trust me. They don’t hate you.

They love you.

They even like you.

And though they’ll probably never admit it, your kids know they need you. Your kids know they need your wisdom and your direction in their lives.

After all, that’s why they care about your opinion.

So, be comfortable in the anger. Be comfortable in the tension.

It’s normal.

Just remember…a single unpopular decision doesn’t define your relationship with your children.

But a lifetime of love and guidance and support…now that does.

Your kids may not realize it tomorrow, or the next day, but soon they’ll look back and know that you always had their best interests in mind…

And when they do, they’ll view you as anything but a consolation prize.

Stephen

I'd like to hear from you! How do you handle it when your kids are angry with you? What advice would you give other parents?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Erica Harris

    So true. I find it’s hardest to stick to what I know is the right decision when I’m tired. It’s kinda like a muscle though – gotta keep using it to keep it fit 🙂 And the memories of when you do stick to your guns help when faced with new hard decisions.

    • Thanks for sharing, Erica! I like the way you describe it as muscle memory. Good stuff!