The best parenting advice I ever received, I heard before I was even a parent. And it was from my boss.
My first year out of college, I taught 7th and 8th graders. I was basically as tall as them (shorter, in many cases), about as insecure, and TOTALLY overwhelmed by the curriculum, the kids, and the misbehavior.
One day, I was
chatting with nearly shedding tears to my principal. Who knows what had gone wrong that day. Maybe it was the day all the boys stood on their chairs dancing and singing. Maybe it was the day the whole class failed, or one student called me a b^$^%. (I know, right?!?!? MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!)
I was totally overwhelmed. I was mid-sentence whining about their horrible misbehavior, WHEN HE TOOK ME BY THE SHOULDERS AND LOOKED RIGHT INTO MY EYES.
Jessica. Repeat after me. I AM THE TEACHER.
I stared at him. That’s all he said. I smiled and mumbled something and walked away. But I got the point. I am in charge here. My students do not set the tone or choose the path of the day.
This lesson I never forgot, and it has stuck with me while parenting.
There are days (parts of every day, actually) when I feel my blood pressure rising with the stress and chaos around me. I feel that same sense of powerlessness, confusion, and frustration, when I hear Mr. Horton’s kind voice behind me:
Repeat after me. I am the mother.
And I take a deep breath, and do something proactive. Now sure, I cannot control my kids’ behavior. I cannot control whether they throw tantrums, or choose to obey, or hit each other over the head because someone stole A SPECK OF PAPER I WAS USING. (??!!!!)
BUT. I can control many other things.
- Who administers the food?
- Who drives the car all kinds of places?
- Who owns all the toys, and the power to get rid of said toys?
- Who has the money to do, say, ANYTHING?
It is me, mamas, and it is you.
Repeat after me: I am the mother.
If you want to learn more about this, stay tuned. Over the next few weeks I’ll be talking about:
- My Three Household Rules (And How I Enforce Them)
- The ONE THING That Gets Rid Of Whining in 15 Minutes – It seriously works
- My Three-Word Phrase That INSTANTLY gets rid of boredom – I do this every day, and it is like magic.
Make sure you are subscribed to learn more!
Follow "Smartter" Each Day on Facebook!
Follow "Smartter" Each Day on Twitter!
Follow Jessica on Instagram!