The irony of childhood is that you only really appreciate it when you’re an adult … except in the case of one eleven-year-old who learned that lesson the hard way.
As blogger/author Jen Hatmaker writes on Facebook, she recently had her own troubles with a child who was demanding “grown-up” treatment, much to his parents’ annoyance:
“Had a “difficult” day yesterday with a kid who wants to be “treated like an adult” (but without all/any of the responsibilities),” she writes. “This child risked his own life by telling Brandon and I when we can and cannot speak to him, and I prayed to Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit and all the heavenly beings to be a hedge of protection around him lest I end his earthly journey.”
As she shared the story with a group of friends, she found that she was not alone. In fact, a friend shared her own story of how she and her husband called their son’s bluff in a way he’ll never forget.
It was a case of yet another pre-teen boy who was looking for some adult-level privileges:
“Apparently her 11-year-old also wanted to be a grown up this week and, in fact, not only did he treat his siblings like despised underlings, but when asked what he wanted, he said: ‘I want the authority to be in charge of them and tell them what to do, because they deserve it!’”
As Hatmaker notes, these parents provided their son with a great lesson by giving him exactly what he wanted:
“Well. My girlfriend and her husband are NOT AT ALL MESSING AROUND with parenting. Calmly, evenly, they granted his request to be a grown-up for a week by pulling him out of camp (the underlings still got to go, because they are “such children”) and sending him to work ALL DAY EVERY DAY with his dad. He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone. He has to kiss the underlings before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid.”
In other words, writes Hatmaker, “Want to be an adult? Fine.”
It was a great reminder about the balance between compassion and tough love parenting. And Hatmaker says she found it inspirational:
“I cannot tell you how much this story brought me joy. There is definitely a time in parenting to respond with grace and second-chances and tenderness. And sometimes there is a time to CALL YOUR KID’S BLUFF and send him to an office job for 40 hours a week instead of camp,” she writes. “RESPECT.”
The story struck a nerve, as more women in the group chimed in with their own stories of how their own parents had “called their bluff:”
“Our other girlfriend piped in with how her mom would leave her and her brother at the store if they wandered off LIKE SHE TOLD THEM NOT TO, and they had to wait outside at the curb in the Houston sun until she decided to come back for them. (She was basically hiding in the corner of the parking lot watching, but still.)”
It’s probably no coincidence that some of these lessons came during the notoriously difficult teen years:
“Our other girlfriend told us how she yelled at her dad for being 15 minutes late to pick her up from her internship once at the capitol when she was 18, and he calmly said, “You are so right. That was an inconvenience for you. You should not have to wait for me as I leave my job early to pick you up in downtown traffic. So now you will ride the public bus home for the remainder of your internship and you will never have to wait for me again.” Wailing, she rode the city bus home for the next month even though her dad beat her home every day,” Hatfield recounts. “I died.”
And the stories didn’t just resonate with that particular group. Hatfield asked readers to share their own experiences with no nonsense parenting and received some hilarious responses.
One commenter remembers the genius way her own mother had dealt with the snarky teenage years:
Another woman remembers her mom’s great way of stopping a teenage penchant for drama:
The thousands of shares and comments on Hatmaker’s post demonstrate that there are few things parents (and children) remember so well as the life lessons passed on through a bit of call-their-bluff parenting. Not only does the tough love drive the point home, it also makes for some truly funny stories.
Source: independent journal
The post When Child Asks to Be Treated Like Adult, Mom & Dad Call His Bluff & Give Him Exactly What He Wants appeared first on .@tonygreene113.