I’m certain those of you who are believers in the Good Enough Mother philosophy know exactly what I’m going to say about this. So let me go ahead and give you the end right now.
Dear Mom: BUCK UP LADY!
Now that I got that off my chest, I’ll fill in the blanks. Seems there are some moms in a tony area of Brooklyn called Park Slope, who want to ban ice cream carts from the playground because they are tired of their kids melting down when they have to say no to them. I’ll stay here for a moment while that gives you a brain freeze.
Two things come to mind immediately. Number one: Who’s in charge here? For real. I am constantly amazed how many parents take the train ride along the path of least resistance, going along rather than have to deal with the fit-throwing, push back that comes when you put your foot down. This was what I was trying to say when I was on the Anderson Cooper show talking about parents who let their kids drink at home. I did not say teenagers wouldn’t TRY it, a point, that was lost on so many, judging by the angry emails dotted with misspelled, four-letter words. The point is that just because they are going to try it doesn’t mean I am going to condone it.
Secondly, this level of helicopter parenting is stunning in its attempted reach. Do these moms think the best way to get their kids to behave (and prepare them for the future) is by removing all the things in their path that might upset them? Yeah, that’s a big fat no.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, my job as a parent is not to protect my kids from every disappointment; it is to prepare them for how to handle it. That would include how to behave when mommy says, “No you can’t have that.” This is parenting, not a popularity contest which means you will sometimes have to make (and enforce) unpopular decisions.
Of course, we all want what’s best for our kids and that means setting boundaries. But news flash: It’s not up to the mean ol’, dairy pusher to do that. He did not give birth to this kid nor is it his responsibility to set limits on how much of the frozen confection he/she can have. It’s not even his responsibility, as one commenter suggested, to stock his wagon with healthy treats so the decision is easier for you. That’s all on you, mom.
So say it with me. NNNNNOOOOOOO. Try it; you just might find, the more you say it (and mean it), the easier it gets for you to say and for your kid to understand.
What about you guys? What do you think of these moms trying to ban the ice cream carts from the park? Do you agree with my assessment or is there another solution? Lemme hear ya!
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