My children have definitely outgrown the cute stage, "I hate you, you're the worst parent ever" is a sentiment expressed far too regularly of late. I am under no illusion that on some (most) days, my children would in fact pick someone else out to be their mother. Someone kinder (takes forgotten PE kits to school), someone more fun (allows them to stay up until midnight), someone more generous (gifts them the latest device for every birthday) and someone infinitely cooler (film certifications are for losers, right?).
The fact is, I disappoint my children almost daily at the moment and I'm not sorry about it. As I stated to my daughter just the other day: "Sometimes I will make a mistake, sometimes I will dish out a consequence that you are not happy about but all of this is because I'm trying so very hard to be a good parent and that I love you. More than you will ever know or understand."
Just for the record, dear children, to follow are a few of the things that I'm not sorry about...
1. That sometimes a "no" will mean no. End of.
2. That you are not allowed to stay out, or up, as late as your friends (whatever you think, sleep is not for the weak).
3. That poor behaviour will always be followed by a consequence.
4. That I choose not to bail you out when you forget your lunch, PE kit, text book (how else will you learn independence?).
5. That even though you're teenagers, we will expect mobile phones to be downstairs at 9.30 pm.
6. That I will occasionally 'like' your photographs on social media (you're my kids and I'm allowed to be proud).
7. That I will always expect you to be considerate to other family members and join in with chores.
8. That we will eat our meals around the table and converse with one another.
9. That you will save up your own pocket money if you want to buy something specific.
10. That I will still expect you to write thank you letters (good manners cost nothing but mean everything).
11. That I will sometimes insist 'family time' comes before anything else.
12. That when on your bike, I will expect you to wear a cycle helmet, cool or not.
13. That I will ask if you have any homework, question 'warnings' on your behaviour chart and cajole you into making a revision timetable.
14. That I will wrestle you down and hug/kiss you every once in a while, no matter how much you resist.
And just for the record....I do not do any of these things because I hate you or feel like being mean, but because I care deeply and want you to grow into the best adult you can be. How else will you learn?
P.S You can blame your Grandad for most of these; who do you think taught me?!
P.P.S I might draw a line at walking into a party 30 minutes before the end, to pick you up. Oh the shame!
This post was originally published over on 3childrenandit.com