The sound of my whining children is like a mosquito circling my head. But instead of swatting the bug/child, I realize that they always think that they are never going to get their way, get their needs met, or be able to negotiate for themselves. Just as you have to tell them that all movies are make-believe and any movie I allow them to see will always end well, you have to tell them they are allowed to ask for their needs to be met. They don’t know they’re entitled yet to positively ask for what they need. They don’t know their entitlement to empowerment. I have to stop and say,”If you don’t think you want to do that chore now or you’d prefer juice over milk, how about if you say, ‘Hey Mom , can I do that after dinner? or Mom I’d like juice with my dinner instead of milk, is that OK?’ ” And I have them repeat it back to me in that mental voice.
Somehow I am running a dictatorship that I didn’t realize I was running. And I’d rather have them try to reason for what they want than bully me or whine at me yet they just don’t know that’s allowed. Hard to believe that our liberal egalitarian selves have yet to raise insta-empowered children but there you have it.They need to be taught their entitlement to choices and boundaries.
There are no givens in life and it certainly ain’t fair but there is plenty of reasoning if we allow for it. I’d rather raise a child who would stand up for themselves in a reasonable fashion I could respect then a back-talker who’s resentful all the time. It’s just seems I’m on an upward hill to climb to show them empowerment without whining or sass. But the one guarantee I can make is that I will model this behavior of standing up by not allowing them to be disrespectful to me. Lead by that example as I’d wished I’d learned sooner.
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