Being the Grown Up
Being the Grown Up
Bette Davis once said, “If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent.”
I’m afraid there are moments for most of us, when our children are going to be angry about our decisions and let us know loud and strong!
I love the other parts of parenting… I love the cuddles, the moments when we are all playing and laughing together, or even working together; cleaning the house to loud music, dancing and singing as we go. I love sitting back in the school assembly and watching my child receive the teacher’s award for the week. In those moments no parent could be more proud, or more full of joy and gratitude.
I wish it was always like that!!
I don’t like the parts where I have to say No. when I have to draw the line, not give in, where I have to say, “It’s time to turn the TV off, or “I want the dishes done before you do anything else,” or “No more biscuits before tea”.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to be the grown up!
They say raising a child is pretty much like teaching them to ride a bike. You have to know when to hold on, and when to let go. When to hang on tighter because you can see the bump in the road ahead, or when it’s safe to give a little more freedom and watch them sail along.
Much as it’s hard to do, we have to be the grown up. We have to see the road ahead, the bigger picture, the longer view. A two year-old won’t stop eating lollies because they are concerned about their forming teeth! It is our job to put the lollies away, and offer them a banana instead! And when the yelling starts, to say in a calm, firm, quiet voice, “I know you love lollies, but we’ve had enough today.” (And then say it again…. And even again.. And to remember that we are the grown up.)
I love the scene in the movie “Raising Helen” where the young aunt finally steps up to the job of being a parent, and the teenager yells, “I hate you!! Do you hear that? I hate you!!” The young aunt swallows hard, and keeping her voice quiet, calm and firm, says, “Well I’m just going to have to live with that.”
It’s tough at times. Everything in us can want to scream back, run away, hit, retaliate, or just give in for a bit of peace and quiet.
But real love stays there. Real love sees what is best for the other person, and hangs on.
Real love calls us out to grow up and be the best parent we can be.