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Wednesday’s Parent: Attitude Adjustments

 

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy (www.pocsmom.com) and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link in the article from www.pocsmom.com to  www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Today’s posts address the issue of attitude–a topic every parent faces and often becomes frustrated with. Read on to get our take on the topic.

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attitude adjustmentMy father used to tell me that he would give me an attitude adjustment. Trust me. I never wanted to hear those words. In the good old days (you might disagree) parents used more than words to give attitude adjustments. Today, parents still struggle with their kids’ attitudes. From the two-year old temper tantrums to the college student’s “whatever” those attitudes are dreaded by moms everywhere.

School creates so many opportunities for attitudes. Some might say it’s the stress that causes these over-the-top emotions. Others might say that it’s just their age and the stages they are going through. Personally I think it’s a little bit of both. No matter what the cause is, what do you do when your kid “cops an attitude”?

Take a deep breath and keep reading. Have you experienced any of these common attitude problems?

Student: Can I just do my homework later?

Parent: No. You can’t wait until later. Do it now!

Then the conversation progresses from there to “please”, “why”, and my personal favorite, “homework is stupid.” What’s a parent to do? You can take the hard line and say, “no means no.” You can use the reward approach, “finish it and you can play your video games”. Or you can be analytical and explain to them the importance of an education. My bet is that the first or second option will work best. Why? Because kids don’t think that far ahead.

Student: But Pete is doing it.

Parent: If Pete jumped off a bridge would you do it?

You might mean that but your student just doesn’t understand that analogy. Why would anyone jump off a bridge? Again you can use the hard line tactic and say, “I’m the parent and I said no.” Bribery won’t work in this instance. So your best bet is to explain to your student why you won’t let them do what they want to do—mother knows best, so to speak. If you’re lucky, they will succumb to your logical explanation. If not, refer back to the first response.

Student: Susie’s parents said it was ok.

Parent: Susie’s parents aren’t your parent; I am.

This is when you need to have a talk with Susie’s parents. Especially if it’s something that’s against the law like underage drinking or pot smoking (Don’t even ask how I drew this example). Knowing your student’s friends parents will afford you the opportunity to stick together. That’s if they see things the way you see them. If they don’t, you best encourage your student to find some new friends.

Student: You bought the wrong school supplies.

Parent: I bought the supplies that were on the list.

This happens even if you were with them when the supplies were purchased. This little comment will infuriate you and cause your blood to boil. They should be grateful you bought those school supplies. There are kids that don’t have parents who do this for them. What happened to being grateful that you even cared to buy the supplies? You see how you can follow this down the rabbit hole. How do you deal with this attitude? Do as one parent did and tell them to pay for their own supplies. Or you can just give them the attitude of gratitude speech.

Student: Why can’t you just give me some space?

Parent: I thought I was.

This attitude surfaces in the pre-teen years and intensifies as they head off to college. The more space they want, the more you want to hold them close. Space is one thing but total freedom is another. Hopefully you’ll be able to find the balance. If not, expect rolling eyes, slamming of doors, and angry texts to ensue.

Student: You’re embarrassing me.

Parent: When do I NOT embarrass you?

When my husband was in high school, his mother brushed off his dandruff in front of me at a grocery store. Of course he was mortified. His mother thought she was helping him. What we have here is a failure to communicate. Meaning–the things we think are helpful usually aren’t. And no matter what you do, you are always going to embarrass them. Before you have a terrible error in judgment, ask yourself, “What would the perfect parent do?” Of course, there is no perfect parent. But you know what embarrasses you; that should be a clue.

One last thought. You’re the parent. Sometimes you need to adjust your attitude and lighten up a bit. Not every attitude requires a response. Often you just need to brush it off to avoid an unnecessary confrontation.

Know this: attitudes are inevitable. No matter what you do, what you say, and how you act they are going to find something wrong with it. It’s not your fault. They are just spreading their wings and pushing the limits of your authority. The key is to not get into shouting matches with them and consider the source. It also helps to vent (to other parents and friends), instead of taking your frustration out on your kids. The school years are as hard as or harder than the first five years, even if you factor in potty training. But, as any parent will agree, it is rewarding. You just have to keep telling yourself, “This too shall pass!”

Read on for Wendy’s advice in her usual POCSMom manner!

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One Response to “Wednesday’s Parent: Attitude Adjustments”

  1. […] Read on for Suzanne Shaffer’s Wednesday’s Parent: Attitude Adjustments. […]