A work in progress
By Kristen Pind
I'm a firm believer in being a mean mom, just ask my kids. Every time one of them cries after being told to clean their room, or because I spent an hour fixing them dinner but it's not the chicken nuggets that they wanted, I feel a little pleasure inside. It makes me happy because I'm helping to thin the population of entitled jerks.
I don't want to raise children who turn into entitled grown-ups -- the ones who feel like they can leave a mess in a store or restaurant because it's not their job to clean it up. The adults who litter, who let their dog poop in other people's yards, who never say please or thank you or leave a decent tip for a server.
My children are expected to be contributing members of our family at the ages of 7 and 3. They have daily and weekly chores they are expected to accomplish, as well as behave a certain way in public. That doesn't mean that they always do; they are children of course. We have the occasional public meltdown because the shopping trip is taking too long or we decided to choose a restaurant that doesn't serve Happy Meals, and it might take a time or seven to get that room clean or those clothes put away, but overall our children slowly are learning how to be good, respectful people.
I'm fairly certain I'm on the right path. I've had complete strangers and friends tell me my children are so well behaved, or how sweet it is that they make eye contact and say thank you to servers and checkers. I'm doing my duty as a parent to raise respectful and considerate tiny humans, but it's sometimes frustrating, especially when the 3-year-old looks you straight in the eye and, in the most serious face ever, tells you she doesn't care about her toys -- go ahead and give them to someone else. But just like the rest of our life, it's a work in progress, and something that I will not give up on easily.