JUST. SHUT. UP.
Yes. I said it. I SWORE I would never tell my kids to shut up. But today I did. My husband’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. He whispered, “You’ve never said that before”.
And he’s right.
I think I should feel bad. But, I actually don’t.
I *almost* felt guilty. And then I remembered WHY I finally hit the JUST SHUT UP wall. And then I felt just fine with it. While not my favorite parenting tactic… I DID, in fact, feel a little better.
You see…. there is this sentence that keeps running around my brain like a hamster in a wheel. It started as a whisper, but it is now a full blown yell: “I would NEVER have talked to my parents like that!” The same sentence has also taken this form, “If I did that as a kid, I might not have made it to my teenage years.” (This includes eye-rolling, foot-stomping, constant back-talking and my current favorite: deep-sighing)
Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t a perfect kid and I’m sure I talked back. But this? This complete lack of respect?
It is driving me insane.
I talk, they talk back. I instruct, they argue. I correct, they sass. I ask them to clean up, they ‘forget’ or even better, they ‘didn’t hear me’.
And while they certainly have their darling moments – for the most part, I’m fed up.
So, circling back to the ‘shut up’ incident.
I broke. It is as easy as that. I gave a simple instruction: “Delaney, head upstairs and put a long-sleeve shirt on under your soccer shirt – it is getting a bit chilly outside.” I don’t expect a stepford-child that answers ‘yes ma’am’ every time and marches happily out of the room.
But I also don’t have to justify ever decision I make. So, when the arguing, the whining, the debating started. I Alpha-dogged her. I yelled JUST. SHUT. UP. I’m sure I even looked mean.
And you know what she did? She STOPPED TALKING. She LISTENED.
I suspect she was startled by my outburst. I also suspect she was a little scared that I was so angry.
While this next statement may solidify my candidacy for mother of the year, I’m ok admitting – that I don’t mind either. In fact, I’ve decided it is important for my kids to know that I do have a ‘do not cross’ line.
SHUT UP may not be my phrasing of choice. And I would like to be one of those moms that never yells, but I’m going to embrace my flaws on this one.
Now, if I start yelling ‘shut up’ 27 times each day….. THAT will be a different story.
I told you I was going to stop saying I was sorry…
Please tell me your kids are doing something similar? I’ll settle for the occasional eye-roll. Come on….tell me.