Parenting is a career that no one ever trained in but luckily comes with experience. The bottom line is, every parent means good and wants the best for their children. This however is interpreted differently by the children as they are growing up. The parents on the other hand are convinced that someday when they are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent, they will say the following as said to a group of young people by one successful man in his late twenties—every parent should read this to their children:
Your parents loved you enough to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.
Your parent loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your best friend was a creep.
Your parent loved you enough to make you pay for the bubble gum you had taken and tell the clerk, ‘’I stole this yesterday and want to pay for it’’.
Your parent loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken fifteen minutes.
Your parent loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must learn that their parents are not perfect.
Your parents loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh, they almost broke my heart.
But most of all your parents loved you enough —to say NO when they knew you would hate them for it.
Those were the most difficult battles of all. Your parents are glad they win them, because in the end you will win too. And some day you will have children and when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them this.
‘’Are your parents mean enough’’? I know mine were, the young man continued. Perhaps you also feel you have the meanest parents in the whole world. While other kids eat candy for breakfast, you have to have cereal, eggs and toast or even none. When others have a Pepsi and a chocolate for lunch, you have to eat sandwiches. And you perhaps think your parents fix you for dinner that is different from what other kids have too.
My parents insisted on knowing where we were always. You would think we were convicts in a prison. They had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. They insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour; we would be gone an hour or less. We were ashamed to admit it, but they had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think they would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do. They always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers; they could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head. Then life was really tough.
My parents wouldn’t let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so they could see them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16. Because of our parents, we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other’s property or ever arrested for any crime.
Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like our parents were. I think the problem with the world today is that it does not have enough mean parents.
The question is, as a parent, would you love your children so much so that you are mean to them? It is tough but the best gift you can ever give to them—bitter as they grow up but sweet when they are grown. I encourage you to be mean to your children. The results will be that they will be successful before they are thirty years of age.