Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm A Mean Mom

I don't think Ady realizes it yet, but she has a mean mom. According to the book, Mean Moms Rule, I guess I should call myself mean. Here's info on the book: I am not sure how I stumbled upon the book, but I found it yesterday on Amazon and am almost done reading it. (I have been sick with a cold, so have had lots of reading time!) The author points out that many of the problems with society and kids today are because parents don't know how to be mean. She is not talking about treating our kids rude. She is talking about making our kids treat us with respect and requiring them to help around the house. She also points out that we don't have enough faith in our children and what they are capable of.

I think many of you would be surprised at how many children do not even make their own beds. I saw it all the time as a teacher. It drove me crazy, "I don't have my library book because my mom didn't put it in my backpack." Whose library book is it? Whose backpack is it? Who attends school here??? Kids don't have much responsibility and chores. Ady has been making her bed since she started sleeping in a toddler bed at eighteen months old. It's not always the neatest looking bed, but she can be proud that she does it herself. I know some of my friends think I expect too much. "She's only six!" many of you tell me. I couldn't stand that excuse from the parents of my first graders and I can't stand it still. Why does she have to be only six? When does she become just six? If she is only six, she can't handle a lot. She's too young. If she is just six, she can do anything I expect her to. Anything she puts her mind to. I actually had a mother of a fourth grader once tell  me that their child was not able to complete his homework because she couldn't "get him to turn the TV off." What? Unplug the thing. Carry it to another room if you have to. But take charge.

The Mean Mom author, Denise Schipani, points out that many parents complain that they have to be more protective because the world is a more dangerous place than it use to be. She claims this is inaccurate. At first I thought, yeah, right. But I did some research and, overall, the crime rate has gone down since the mid 1970's. Here's one article: There are a ton more, just Google something about the crime rate going down and you will find them. So, there is less crime, but parents are more protective. I say we blame the media. Really, we can only blame ourselves. Kids need to know they are capable and that they can have some space to grow and develop without mom or dad hovering over them.


  1. Just stumbled on this -- thanks for the great review! I'm dumbfounded that a mother of a fourth grader can't get her child to shut the TV. Geez, who's in charge over there?! Anyway, thanks again, and I LOVE your distinction between "just six" and "only six," and what the difference in that one word says about how we judge our child's competence.

    aka, "Mean Mom"

    1. I am glad you stumbled upon my blog! I am honored that you took the time to read and comment. I follow your blog and enjoy your honesty. I hope that you will continue to check in here from time to time.