On the Road to Hell.....


Last week, as you know, I was in Madison with my daughter and her baby son.
While we were there we got to meet a whole bunch of people, and THAT kid.

We have all met THAT kid.  Sometimes it is while we are out and about in the world at large, sometimes it is within the school community our kids are part of, sometimes it, as has happened in my life, is a child in your class, and sometimes it can even be a member of your extended family. If THAT kid is part of your extended fam....YIKES, cause there is no escape.

This time, however, THAT kid was someone I met out and about in the world at large, through shared experience and shared social contacts.....

As I watched and listened to the interaction between said kid and his parents, it was hard not to want to offer advice.  We all know that kids become what they learn and live, and that part of the biggest responsibility of being a parent is setting clear and cohesive limits and boundaries, without that kids become free range children.  By free range children, I mean all of those kids we have met whose parents work hard at letting them "be" asking them if they are happy and if they are making 'good choices", when they are toddlers.  I am sorry, but the only choices young children should have are maybe what they want to wear, when it is appropriate, and what they may want to have as a snack, if you are up for that.  Beyond that, we do our kids a disservice if we don't set up clear and precise boundaries for them.  No one learns without trial and error.  Kids need to know what they can and can not do, what is and is not appropriate and how to be out in the world without causing terror!

I have spoken to this point before. Beyond unconditional love, the most important part of a parents job is to set clear limits and boundaries for your kids during every stage of their development.  What is necessary is to know what those limits are and how the boundaries look.   Help your kids become competent people.  In order to do that, you have to show up and be willing to do the dirty work and that work requires you being the bad guy from time to time and using that scary word "NO"!

I was relaying my experience today with my Mother in Law, and I have to credit her with the title of this post... She said "Wow Honey, if those parents don't start setting limits and boundaries for their child, they are on the road to hell!"

And....there we have it!

Choose to be the parent.  Do your job with love and deep responsibility.  Free Range is for chickens, eggs, and turkeys, not kids, unless they are baby goats!

Until next thought....