wikiHow Edit for Mammas

Posted by jael on Jun 7, 2011 in Parenting, Spiritual Journey

Today @ wikiHOW, the how to manual that you can edit you can find a manual about how to respect yourself during a breakup that you can edit.

wikiHow posts clean process pieces that most often employ bullet or numerical points. Additionally, their invite to edit brings out the red pen in all of us.

As I considered the advice offered to safeguard personal integrity during a breakup, I realized that with very little edits, the same bullet points could readily counsel Mammas on how to maintain self respect while rasing a teenager.

By their own invitation I offer my edits to this wikiHow post:

How to Respect Yourself While Raising a Teen

After their childhood ends, how can parents behave in a way that communicates to their teens that they are worthy of their adolescents’ respect? It’s hard because parenting a teenager is like slamming an icepick into your own ear and can make you feel you’ve failed somehow. Still, it’s important that parents respect themselves as a people and maintain their relevance in their childrens’ lives. Let’s assume you are a Mamma whose teenage son has just told you, “You always put words in my mouth. I hate you.”

  • Don’t beg.

He disrespected you. He’s already made up his mind. No matter how shocked, panicked, and in pain you are, don’t beg him for an apology, or worse yet, assurances. It’s very hard to do, but to let this end leaving you with some shred of dignity try hard not to cry too much – of course, it may be impossible not to cry. But crying a little, then saying, “I’m so sad about this, but if that’s your opinion, I have no choice but to accept it,” is much more dignified than screaming, “I am your MOTHER, you can’t talk to me like that!”

Ground him to his room sans technology and then pitch your hysterical fit.

  • Gather your supporters.

Now is the time you need your friends and family, more than ever. Call them and tell them that a large, hairy, smelly monster has eaten your precious, baby boy. They will hopefully come flying to your side to comfort and keep you company while you nurse your broken heart back to health. Don’t try to go it alone.

  • Recognize when it’s no use trying to talk to him any more.

He’s trying to not be seen as a bad guy, but the reality is, he’s betrayed you by growing up and moving on, getting hormones and texting girls who actually look good in bathing suits, and he deserves to be punished.

  • Don’t let him string you along after the fact.

He’s told you he that he hates you, but he still wants you to stop at Starbucks to buy him an iced mocha. Even though you still love him, this is a losing proposition for you. Your son wants to have his cake and eat it too – he wants to keep you in his pocket as wallet and taxi service. He’s relegated you to the position of a service provider. What an adolescent! No matter how much you love him, tell him this will not work for you, and let him know that he still has to kiss you in public, eat his peas, and say his prayers. Period.

  • Never let him see you sweat.

Once the big grounding is over with, don’t keep on letting him get to you. Even if you don’t feel like it, go get dressed up and go out with your friends. You don’t have to get drunk, or try to pick anybody up (like your son may be doing), but just to go and hang with pals is a good thing. Try to avoid going to places where you will be likely to run into him. If you do see him while you’re out, just smile and nod. If you feel like you might cry, excuse yourself and walk to the restroom. Do your crying in there, and don’t come out till you look strong again (even if you feel shaky inside, you must try your best to look like you’re okay).

  • Review the relationship.

There’s a good chance that now that your son is a teenager, you can look back and realize there may have been warning signs. Reviewing the relationship and recognizing that he gave up his sippy-cup and big, yellow Tonka trucks years ago can be valuable in later relationships for example, they can clue you in to dangerous signs of independence in your younger children, or let you have a chance to adjust your own behaviors, if you really believe you had some fault.

  • Listen to coming of age songs and stories.

It helps fill you with a positive feeling of power to hear songs like “Don’t Ever Grow Up,” and “Her Father’s Eyes.” It can help to hear other moms tell their coming of age stories, too. Just knowing that others Mammas have gone through similar heartaches can help you feel less alone. Crank up your stereo and rock out – it’ll help, too, knowing that someone wrote a song you can relate to now. You go, Mamma!

  • Let done be done.

A lot of sons grow up and realize their mothers aren’t perfect. Think of all the words that have flown out of your mouth like rabid locust, and forgive him. It will end up costing both of you fewer therapy sessions in the long run if you just accept you still belong to each other; he’s just becoming the man you raised him to become.

Pray unceasingly that he becomes a good one and try to remember this is his season.

  • Recognize that few people will respect you unless you insist.

If you don’t respect yourself, you’re giving your son the go-ahead to treat you like dirt. Don’t you dare do that to yourself! Stand up and insist that you be treated with dignity, the way all human beings should be treated. Allowing your son to walk all over you is the worst disrespect in the world.

  • Realize that you have addressed his behavior, not his character.

That puts you one step closer to negotiating how you and son will treat each other. Together you will create a compact about what behaviors are acceptable in your family. And whatever you do, never settle for brokeness.

and even though it all went wrong,
i’ll stand before the lord of song
with nothing on my tongue
but Hallelujah!

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