As a mother of three boys and two girls, I try to be fair in discipline and love. Boys will test the waters, and I find myself almost screaming at the top of my lungs to get them to stop jumping off the kitchen table or to stay out of the street. My girls are no different. They have to be reprimanded for taking my dishes outside to make mud pies or to stop hiding clothes under the bed to pretend they’ve “cleaned” their room. My biggest fear is that I haven’t loved them enough to show them right from wrong instead of just shielding them from it. Of course, they have to make their own mistakes to learn about life.
I wish I could go back in time to my 13 year old self to give myself pointers. As a mother of a pre-teen daughter and a teenage son, I now share with them highlights of my mistakes. I don’t want them to walk my same path. I give them the PG-rated version of the BRUTAL truth about life.
To my daughter, I’d like to tell her the following about life:
1. Boys are stupid. They do things backwards to show you how much they care, and once you’ve shown an ounce of care back to them, they do things even more backwardsy to screw up your friendship.
2. Your “SUGAR” is a prized possession. Never let any other person tell you otherwise that it’s overrated or not worth anything.
3. Keep your “SUGAR” to yourself and share nothing unless God has sent you a well-approved good man with whom you can share lots of “SUGAR”.
4. Before giving your “SUGAR” away, make sure that man has worked for your heart and mind, preferably he has legally said, “I do,” or your mother will go ballistic.
5. Love yourself before you tell any boy, man-child, or man that you love him. When you love yourself more, you can weed out those who do not respect or love you more than you can love yourself.
To my son, I’d say:
1. Don’t be stupid or you will lose a good friend in that girl you’re chasing.
2. Chase only a girl who loves herself more than you and God more than herself.
3. Love yourself more than her and God more than yourself.
4. Don’t take, beg, or ask for her “SUGAR” until you have said, “I do”, and have your OWN residence.
5. I can’t teach you how to be a man, but I can show you how to be a responsible adult and how a man should be treated.
Teaching our children about life and love may reduce some of the ridiculous behavior we encounter among other adults. Wonder what the world would have been like if someone had shown the cheater, the abuser, the player, the whore, the liar, the rapist, the self-absorbed, or the idiot that same encouragement as children…