Should moms be nice? Well, yes.
Should we strive to befriend our children? Hmm. To a degree, but not at the cost of good parenting and discipline. I often see parents being better friends to their children than parents to them.
One of my children recently told me that I wasn't being nice to them. He was correct. I was disciplining him and that particular discipline happened to be shadowing me.
What is shadowing? Essentially, it is where I have a child that would normally be in time-out spend time with me (it's a bonding thing). Time with me is better for building bonds than being tucked away in a bedroom or at the bottom of the stairs being alone. That is especially true when the behavior was intended to get my attention (i.e. throwing toys or using mean words).
However, the time spent shadowing me can't be fun or the behavior will repeat itself. Thus, I usually spend that time doing laundry, dusting or mopping and since shadows can't hold things the child just has to be "with" me instead of participating. As a result it isn't much fun.
Now back to his original point. I wasn't being nice. I was doing my daily chores. I wasn't being mean either, but I have a lot to do and I move quickly. Shadows aren't supposed to talk, so I was not interacting with him. He wasn't getting what he wanted.
I was reminded of something my mother-in-law had said recently when she was recounting parenting my darling husband, "I'm as nice as you allow me to be".
Isn't that the truth?! I find as a mom I would rather be nice all of the time, but I can only be as nice as that moment's behavior by that child allows me to be in that moment. I may have found a new mantra ...
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