I listened to a podcast that has stuck with me. She was talking about a viral TikTok of the mom feeding her toddler chicken nuggets that say u piss me off. And how hurtful it was even though the kid can’t read yet, and how toxic that behavior is. It made me think about respect with my children. Do I show my kids respect? I know that I expect them to respect me. We have conversations about them being disrespectful to me.
But I haven’t talked to them about being respected.
I’m very careful about what I post about them on social media. I love posting their photos, but I’m so careful about the stories that I share. I don’t want them to see what I share and be embarrassed. Instead, I want them to see my posts and feel loved and respected. I won’t share their struggles or issues I’m struggling with about them because they are too young to consent.
The more I think about respecting my children, the more I find myself lacking.
I don’t respect my kids when they are throwing fits or whining. I don’t respect them and am not always kind when they refuse to clean up their toys. And I don’t respect them when we have lost one shoe to every pair and we can’t get out the door in the morning. I’m working on it. I am working on my tone. I am working on modeling the behavior that I want from them. I’m far from perfect and mess up all the time. They do, too.
I don’t expect to be perfect and definitely don’t expect my kids to be perfect.
I want them to feel loved and safe. They are learning how to be people. They have big emotions and don’t always know how to process them. While I know that, it doesn’t always make it easier to come from a place of love and respect. I don’t have all the answers. I get a lot of things wrong. But I hope at the end of the day, my kids know they are loved and respected. Sharing videos that they are too young to consent to is not right for me.
Parenting at every stage is hard. Day 1 of being a parent proves that. I communicate with my friends primarily with memes. So, trust me, I get that humor is helpful. I don’t like humor at the expense of my kids. I am lucky to be their mom and I will protect and guide them with my whole heart.