How To Get Over Your Guilt And Raise A Well Behaved Child

by | Mar 12, 2019

Hi Freaky Mom!

I have to admit.  I’ve been shakin’ in my boots thinking about posting this…I wrote it two months ago.  I just really don’t want to offend anyone, but decided I’d post it in the hopes that if it’s true for any of you, it might help.

So… (***deep breath***)…here goes.

On our recent trip to El Salvador (go check out all the stories @freakymomclub on Facebook), I met an El Salvadorian Freaky Mom.  As it turns out, we Freaky Moms are all over the world!

(We, the Freaky Moms who love our kids so much that we are willing to teach them manners, require them to shake hands and look a person in the eye, tell them no and stick to it, expect them to do chores and not reward begging and whining.*)

She told me of tons of Moms she’s friends with that say no once but get begged or whined into finally saying yes. She told me of a child she knows who only eats chicken nuggets, because he throws a tantrum if he is told to eat what is being served, so his Mom gives in and serves him chicken nuggets…every…single…meal.

When I asked her opinion as to why she and I are the way we are (*see above) and other Moms are not, she believes much of the reason is Single Mom Guilt.

(Her experience is in El Salvador. She is born and raised in El Salvador. Many of her friends are Salvadorian single Moms. If you’re a single Mom, this could touch on a pretty sensitive subject, but I hope you’ll read on. Read on to see if you think what happens in El Salvador happens here too. Her opinions are in italics.)

She specifically singled out single Moms who work extremely hard to provide for their kids, are too tired to uphold the rules when they get home and feel guilty that their children are without a father in the house …due to divorce, never marrying or separation.

She has witnessed that her single Mom friends give in to the begging of their children or they enable the bad behavior (i.e. the nugget kid) because of the guilt they feel. “Poor Johnny, he’s doing poorly in school because he’s so upset about his dad moving out,” or, “Mommy! Can I have a candy?…No…Why??? I want a caaannddddyy!!!….Ok, but just one.

Deep down, Mom feels bad for the kid because of the fatherless situation he is in and feels if she upholds the rules it would just pile more hurt onto his feelings.

She thinks she is helping him by giving him what he wants every time he asks/begs/whines. But what she is really giving him is a lesson that he gets whatever he wants despite his poor behavior.

Yes, Mom has guilt surrounding the lack of a Dad in the house. But Mom is an adult and Mom has the responsibility to surpass her guilt and raise a responsible, respectful, independent, loving, caring future adult.

If she gives in to her guilt, if she stays stuck in feeling sorry for her child and not acting like the Mom her child needs, she is doing more damage to the child than the divorce/separation/never marrying already did.

I found my new friend’s opinion interesting.  Single Mom Guilt is a phenomenon she has observed repeatedly.

Undoubtedly, single Moms are experiencing numerous challenges…changes in their self esteem, learning to live as and raise a child as a single Mom, dealing with and accepting the Dadless scenario, working+raising the kids+cooking+grocery shopping+laundry+homework+housework+a thousand other things+maybe…the guilt.

Warning:  If the guilt is driving you to feel sorry for your child and give into his toddler demands for candy, this could grow into his childhood demands for video games and chicken nuggets, his teenage demands for the nicest phone and car, and his adulthood raising his own children in the same way.

If this is true for you, Rise Above It.

Despite how you are feeling, love your kids so much that you are willing to teach them manners, require them to shake hands and look a person in the eye, tell them no and stick to it, expect them to do chores and not reward them for begging and whining. 

Love your kids so much that you are willing to support them in being better behaved kids. 

Love your kids so much that you put the guilt in a separate compartment in your psyche so that you can Mom Up for your kids and teach them good behavior.

You Can Do It and Here’s How It Will Benefit You:

– You will have less stress because your child will start behaving better.

– Your self esteem will increase because you’ll see that your new parenting techniques work.

– You will have less work around the house because the kids will be helping.

– You will have more laughter because you and your kids will be enjoying each other again.

– You will become an even more Awesome Mom than you already are.

– You will have less laundry because the kids will wash their own. (yes…seriously.)

– You will get compliments from others who notice your kids are behaving better than ever.

(If you want help figuring out new parenting techniques, sign up here and I’ll email you a free worksheet to pre-plan some consequences for the bad behavior you know will occur the moment you rock the boat.  But, rock it.  You can do it.  Change it up in your family and your kids will benefit from rules, consequences and responsibility!  Rock That Boat Mama!!)

If my friend is right and it’s guilt you feel that is feeding the fire of complacent parenting, take a baby step toward teaching your kids responsible behavior.

The 30 Day Chore Challenge will help you get your feet wet in the Freaky Mom promoting-good-behavior department.

Here’s how to do it:

1.  Pick a day of the week.  You’ll use this day for the whole 30 day challenge.  For example, if you choose Saturday, you’ll use 4 Saturdays.

2.  On Saturday, before they wake up, take away the activity they love the most.  For example, their video games.  Literally, take the controllers or the wifi or the TV or the ipad or the phone….whatever (and everything) they use to access the video games.

3.  On Saturday, before they wake up, write a chore list on a full size piece of paper.  For example…

Good Morning Sunshines!

Andre: clean the bathroom sink, sweep the wood floor and empty the dishwasher. 

Diego: clean the toilet, mop the wood floor, load the dishwasher.

Freaky Mom Pro Tip:  Pick chores they already know how to do when you are first starting out.  Once they get used to doing those chores regularly, you can teach them new ones.

4.  On the paper, under their chore list, write that they should cross off the completed chores as they go and that they can have their video games back once the chores are complete, then write “I Love You!  Love, Mom.”  For example…

Cross off each chore when you finish it.  Once you are finished with all your chores, you can have your games back!  I Love You!  Love, Mom

5.  Put the paper on the toilet or on the bathroom sink or somewhere they are sure to see it and read it right away when they get up.  The final chore list will look something like this:

Good Morning Sunshines!

Andre: clean the bathroom sink, sweep the wood floor and empty the dishwasher. 

Diego: clean the toilet, mop the wood floor, load the dishwasher.

Cross off each chore when you finish it. 

Once you are finished with all your chores, you can have your games back! 

I Love You! 

Love, Mom

Now…what about the pushback?  …’cuz you know there’ll be some.

Here are 7 tips to survive the first day you implement the 30 Day Chore Challenge:

1.  If your kids whine and complain about it, keep your voice calm each time you respond.

2.  DO NOT give back the controls/TV/ipad/phone/wifi until they complete the list.  Stay strong.

3.  When they say, “Can I just play ONE game first????”  Calmly say, “You can play games as soon as you are finished with your chore list.”

4.  Go into another room or outside so you don’t have to listen to the whining….because if you’ve never done this before there will be some, actually, probably A LOT.  Stay strong.

5.  When they say, “MOM!  I did the first one!!!  I don’t want to do anymore!!!  Can I just have my games back???!!!!”  Calmly say, “You can have them back as soon as you are finished with your chore list.”

6.  Be actively doing a chore yourself.  You are modeling working to upkeep the house.  When they say, “Mooooommmm!  Can you help me???” about a chore that they definitely know how to do, say, “No, I can’t, I’m vacuuming my room right now.”  (But, if they honestly don’t know how to do their chore, then by all means, go teach them how to do it…but beware the child that acts like he doesn’t know how to do it only so that you will fall into the trap and do it yourself.)

7.  Drink Wine. 🍷

Try it for 30 days and see what happens. Let me know how it goes. You can do it. 👍👌😉😎

Good Job Mom!

Lindsey

P.S. Do you need some creative ideas for consequences that will put a halt to bad behavior and improve your relationship with your child? Check out our Consequence of the Week program here for practical, in the trenches, creative and proven ways to get your kids to behave.

P.P.S.  Do you think my friend in El Salvador is onto something?  Is Single Mom Guilt a thing here too?  Comment below.

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