I have spoken to many women about the vows they make when they become mothers. As we approach Mother's Day once again, I think it is time to have a frank discussion about these vows and how they have worked for us and our children.
It goes something like this:
1. My parents were so strict. I, on the other hand, am going to be relaxed and much more permissive with my kids.
2. My mother couldn't care less about my feelings. If my kids want to talk about their feelings I'll be right there telling them to bring them on.
3. I always had to wear hand-me-downs. Not my kids -- they will always have stylish clothing and brand new clothing to boot.
4. My mother always told my father everything. I am going to keep my kids' confidences at all costs.
5. My parents were always angry about something. Just watch me -- I'll handle it all with calm and cool reactions.
So maybe you have made some of these vows and have followed through. Sometimes, these vows lead to good outcomes but they may also backfire.
Consider what have have resulted from these 5 vows:
1. You have been much more permissive than your parents and now your teens don't see you as an authority figure. Oops!
2. You listen to your kids' feelings all the time and now they are manipulating you out of giving appropriate consequences because you feel guilty about upsetting them.
3. You indulge your kids all the time but it's costing you big time. Money is tight now and you can't really afford to buy all those new trendy items.
4. You are keeping your kids' secrets and hence you are keeping your partner in the dark. It is starting to take a toll on your relationship with your partner.
5. Your child never expects you to get mad so she pushes the envelope a little too much.
I encourage all mothers everywhere to take a look at these vows and to re-evaluate whether or not they are leading to good outcomes. Sometimes our vows take us to places that we really didn't mean to go.
Follow Barbara Greenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Parentteendr