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It’s not personal…it’s parenting

 

 

When I found out I was pregnant, I read What to expect when you’re expecting. Once my darling girl was born I sent out my hubby to get me What to expect The First Year. The day after her first birthday I hopped in the car with my girl in tow to Chapters for my coveted edition of What to expect The Toddler Years. Over the years I searched out answers to everything from when to introduce solid foods to how to get my child to poop….they never tell you that your child will hold onto that poop like it’s the hope diamond when it comes to getting on a toilet.

There are an endless number of books, articles and websites catering to parenting and child rearing, yet not one ever delves into the abyss of the one commonality we as parents all have and never talk about…taking it personally. Oh sure, you may be fortunate to find an article that tells you “every parent feels responsible for their child’s happiness or lack there of” or “every parent feels they should have done better”. Feeling responsible or feeling we could have done better is a hell of a lot different than taking it personally.

For those of you with children under the age of 12, I do not mean to frighten you. For those with children over the age of 12, I know you get me. All of a sudden we go from being our child’s fountain of knowledge to the douche wearing a dunce cap in the corner of the classroom. Our sense of humor that used to leave our child in stitches is now stared down with a blank stare and the occasional eye roll to prove sign of life. The begs of wanting to wear our clothes and fancy shoes are now met with mumbles of disgrace at our ensemble choice. Hurt feelings that used to be healed with a hug now are something we possibly couldn’t understand. A favorite treat brought home from the grocery store that was once greeted with squeals of delight and “thank you mommy!” are now met with shrieks of “Mom! You know I am fat! Why are you tempting me?!?!” sigh …kinda tough not to take it personally.

Ladies and gents, I am here to tell you one thing. It is not personal. Oh hell, it feels personal. Trust me, it’s not. Taking it personally not only makes you feel like shit, it feeds anger and resentment that does not need to be fed. Irrational words and behaviour from our kids met with irrational words and behaviour from us is well, irrational. … and stupid and serves no purpose. The only result is slamming doors, tears, people feeling the same way in separate rooms in the same house. Don’t get me wrong, ground rules of respect, kindness and courtesy should be in place and when those lines are crossed they should be pointed out. When your child gives you attitude, they need to be told that they are out of line. After that, you have no control over eye rolls or the silent treatment. It’s not personal…remember, no one likes it pointed out they just acted like an ass.

Your child doesn’t even realize the magnitude of their words or actions or the hurt they have just inflicted. Oh, they may realize after they have been said, they just aren’t at a place they can admit that. Yet. They will get there. Not on the schedule we need or desire, but they will get there. I promise. Being a parent of a 20 year old, I can honestly attest to this. If today’s tale stops one parent from taking it personally, I have done my job.

 

We are here to be the parent, not the friend. it’s not personal, it’s parenting.

 

 

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Stood up

You know, when I was 16 and my date never showed, it hurt. My saving grace of being a teen of the 80’s is that I could make up a reason for the no show. You see, this is before the age of Facebook and Twitter. Before the age of cell phones and texting. Sure, some had car phones but at $10.00 a second, not much talk time was to be had. So, in my teenage mind I could tell myself “Oh, he probably tried to call when my Mom was on the phone but kept getting a busy signal”, or “He is probably stuck somewhere and the pay phone is out of order”.

The reason for the above little ditty? Well, last week, your truly was stood up. Twice. Yep. Twice. Who stood me up you ask? My sales reps. – and they were the ones who made the appointment with me! I was not and am not impressed, for a multitude of reasons. Now my much needed stock will take longer to arrive – empty shelves are the enemy of any business. I had products that I did not order but was charged for waiting for pick up so the owner’s account could be credited, so now the credit will take that much longer. I had to call my customer’s that I had placed a special order for and had to tell them it is going to be a longer wait – that makes for a fun Monday morning. Most of all, what really burned my butt – my time is not seen nor treated as important nor is the business I am trying to run and build. It is my word and my reputation on the line, and I, like the majority of Salon owners, do not like being left looking the fool.

In the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, cell phones and texting, there is no excuse for a no show. There is no excuse for being stood up. This isn’t 1986 and you got a better offer for a date to the dance so you didn’t show up or call, this is business and should be treated as such. I understand events can happen that are out of your control. A quick text “gotta reschedule” would suffice. Call your customer service desk and let them know what is going on so when I have to call them at the end of the day to place my order, they can let me know what is going on.

If you want my business, let me give you a little helpful hint…it helps if you show up.

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Reflection

“Looking through the crowd, I search for somethin’ else, every time I turn around I run into myself”. – Dixie Chicks

One of the hardest jobs is being a parent. We worry if we are raising our kids right, if they are in the right school, if they have nice friends, if they are eating all the four food groups. I don’t know about you all but what I find the most difficult about being a parent is letting my daughter figure out who she is, and constantly reminding myself that she is not me and may not have the same issues that I had at her age. (just because I was smoking and skipping class doesn’t mean she will…actually she has a perfect attendance record…and yes, she is mine. I have the records to prove it).

At least once a week I meet a mother/daughter duo and you can tell the mother is trying to correct the mistakes of her youth through her daughter. One young lady came in asking about going blonde and before I could offer her an appointment with one of our stylists “I bleached my hair in my teens and ruined it so there is no way in hell I am letting my daughter do it.” is what I heard from the mother. It was at this moment that that the daughter looked down at her ripped up vintage chucks with no hope of ever raising her chin. So, me being me, I asked the mom if she had gone blonde at a salon, to which she said “well…no.”. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the daughter begin to raise her chin. I let the mom know that my “blonde” was done in our Salon and she did say “your hair doesn’t look damaged”…now the chin was completely raised and there was the beginning of a smile. I went on to offer our Salon price list and the card of our stylist and let them know they could make an appointment for a free consultation. I looked at the daughter who was now smiling and let her know that if she went blonde there would be up keep and she would need to take care of her hair with professional products like SOMA Blonde Silver Shampoo once a week and Joico’s Kpak Revitaluxe once a week as well.

We were teens once, we know what they can get up to, hell, we got up to it. As parents, all we can do is educate and enlighten, and then hope for the best. What we must not do is assume that our kids are going to do what we did. We must not assume because we smoke and drank at 15 that they will. We must not tell our daughter’s that cutting off their hair was a “huge mistake” because we thought it was when we were 14. We must not tell our son’s that a mohawk makes them “look like a thug” because that is what your parents thought.

Your children are a reflection of you, they are not you, they are their own person, and maybe, just maybe, they will make better choices in their teens then we did in ours.