Friday, January 15, 2010

One Mean Mama


Recently, I was told that I was mean. More specifically, it was implied that I was a mean mother.

The conversation was about things children are or are not allowed to do, say, etc.

I guess I’m one mean mama.

But I’ll keep it that way, thanks.

Because “one mean mama” in this case means that I have high expectations of my children and that I guard their hearts and minds from harmful influences. So that’s the kind of mean mama I am proud to be.

People may think we’re a little strange, as families go, and I’ve known that for awhile now, and that’s OK with me.

My children are not allowed to say “shut up” or “butt”. “Shut up” is just rude and completely uncalled for in any situation. And “butt” just sounds terrible to me for children to say. We say “rear end”, “booty”, “tush”, “backside”, whatever…just not “butt”…and CERTAINLY not “a$$”!
My children are not allowed to say things like “I’m gonna kick your butt” (no, not even “I’m gonna kick your booty”). Why on earth would you let your kids say things like that? Some parents say oh they’re just joking around! Did I miss something? When did it become funny to tell someone you were going to hurt them?

In the particular conversation (where I was called mean), I was saying that there are so many things that people say all the time today, that if you just stop to think about them, they are really terrible things to say! Not just “I’m gonna kick your butt,” but also things like:

· “I could just kill him for doing that!”
· Or, conversely, “My mom is gonna kill me!”
· How about, “I don’t care what you think about it!”

Seriously, think about these things! Would you really kill someone for something? Why is it OK to say it jokingly? Is it funny? I don’t think so! And I am so tired of hearing people say, “I don’t care!” Why don’t you care? Shouldn’t you care? Recently my kids were playing with another little boy. Well, apparently this little boy was engrossed in whatever he was doing and every time my kids would try to say something to him he would cut them off mid-sentence with, “I don’t care!” It was all I could do not to go in and tell that little boy exactly what I thought of his attitude! Instead, I held my tongue (not my kid, not my kid, not my kid!) and used it later as an example to remind my own children of why we should always be polite and at least acknowledge what other people have to say or what they think.

Another thing that really bothers me recently is the “attitude” shirts that are sold for kids in most stores. These shirts have sayings on them that I guess are meant to be cute and “sassy” but I find incredibly disrespectful. Take for example these sayings I have recently seen:

· “Little brothers make good pets”
· “Too cool for school”
· “It’s All About Me”
· “Cute and In Charge”
· “Friends Are Forever Boys Are Whatever”
· “Boys Play Girls Win”
· “I Tried Being Sweet But I Got Bored”
· “Why I’m in Trouble: Won’t Share Anything Won’t Give Mommy a Break” and etc.
· “Little in Size Big in Attitude”
· “Hung Like a Five Year Old”
· “If You Didn’t See Me Then I Didn’t Do It”
· “Sure to Be Grounded by This Time Tomorrow”
· “Good Girl with a Bad Attitude”

Why are these things cute? Why do people think they’re funny? I’m sorry, but I don’t want my children to ever think that “it’s all about them” or that being sweet is “boring” or that little brothers are something to be complained about. Why would anyone WANT their child to think its cool to be a “good girl with a bad attitude”?

I even saw several BABY shirts and bibs the other day that I just had to shake my head in amazement at. “Chick Magnet” may seem cute at first glance but what are we teaching our sons with sayings like that? Certainly not to honor and value females! How about “If You Think I’m Pretty You Should See My Mommy”? Oh, yes, let’s teach them that Mommy is more important and that vanity is a good thing! I can’t wait to raise my daughters like that (NOT!)

So, anyway, we don’t let our kids say a lot of things that most kids get to say, because they’re “just joking around!” Nor do we let them wear clothes that have rude or disrespectful sayings on them. We also closely monitor what they watch. We do not let them watch any shows or movies with bad language, nudity (full or partial), sexual overtones, gory violence, or anything like that. Some parents will say, “Oh, they’re gonna see it eventually.” Yes, yes they are. And hopefully when they do they will NOT be desensitized to it by having Mommy and Daddy showing it to them, and hopefully they’ll have been raised on enough good, decent entertainment that such unwholesome viewing will seem repulsive or at least pointless to them.

We also don’t let our kids watch a lot of shows that are supposed to be for kids. I know Hannah Montana has quite the following of devoted eight year olds, and our middle daughter was a big fan of hers, but the more of those shows I watched, and the more attitudes and behaviors I saw my daughter picking up from watching them, the more I decided these shows are really not good for kids at all. We have outlawed Hannah, Drake and Josh, iCarly, Total Drama Island, etc. These “kids” shows, or “tweenagers” shows are nothing but televised “twaddle” , as CM would say.

We watch a lot of The History Channel, Animal Planet, The Discovery Channel, etc. at our house! That is, when we’re watching anything at all! Not only is WHAT our kids watch closely monitored, but also HOW MUCH they watch. We have told our kids that watching TV or playing video games kills their brain cells, and it is hilarious to watch them, even Jake, who is only five, look at the clock and go, “Oh no! I’ve been watching TV for an hour! Turn it off quick before my brain dies!” And they mean it! If one of them realizes they’ve been watching TV more than normal, they’ll say something like, “I better go read a book to make my brain healthy again!”

So, anyway, apparently I’m mean. I suppose there are people who think I am depriving my children, though of what I’m not quite sure (rudeness maybe?). I suppose there are even people who would say I am sheltering my children.

What is this world coming to, when parents shelter their own children? What will they think of next? Trying to get them to eat healthy food? Bundling them up when its cold? Applying sunscreen? Oh, the horror of parents who care about their kids!

Anyway, I’m a mean mama. But you know, when the person I was talking to told me that I was mean, they said it with a sort of awed respect in their voice. I’m mean. Don’t you wish you were mean, too? Wouldn't the world be a better place if every parent was a little bit "mean"?

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