A helpful reminder for parents:
I had the meanest mother in the world! While other kids had candy for breakfast, I had to eat cereal, eggs, and toast. While other kids had cake and candy for lunch, I had a sandwich. As you can guess, my dinner was different from other kid’s dinners too. My mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but she actually had the nerve to break the child labor laws. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make the beds, and learn how to cook. That woman must have stayed awake nights thinking up things for us kids to do. And she insisted we tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
By the time we were teenagers, she was much wiser and our life became more unbearable. She embarrassed us to no end by insisting our friends come to the door to get us. She wanted to meet and talk with them. Most of our friends were allowed to date at the mature age of 12 or 13, but our old-fashioned mother refused to let us date until we were 15. She raised a bunch of squares. None of us were ever arrested for shoplifting or busted for dope. And who do we have to thank for this? You’re right, our mean mother.
I am trying to raise my children to stand a little straighter and taller and I am secretly tickled to pieces when my children call me mean. I thank God for giving me the meanest mother in the world. The world needs more mean mothers like mine.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elain Mazlish
Get Out of My Life, but First Could you Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager, by Anthony Wolfe
Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP), by Gary McKay and Don Dinkmeyer
Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce, by Gary Newman, LMHC
Overcoming the Co‑Parenting Trap: Essential Parenting Skills
When a Child Resists ...by John a. Moran Ph. D., Matthew Sullivan Ph. D., and Tyler Sullivan
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, by Mary Bray Pipher, PhD
Elizabeth Crenshaw, LMFT · Santa Rosa, California
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