In addition to sharing my Momma D advice and encouragement with you each week, I am a feature writer for a parenting magazine in Australia. I know, it’s crazy, isn’t it? A gal from Mid-Missouri writing for the “Land Down Under”—just one of the many wonders of the internet.
Anyway…they recently asked me to write an article on “Parenting MBA”—MBA being short for Minimal Behavior Accepted. The purpose of the article, I was told, was to motivate parents to decide what their ‘threshold of pain’ was in regards to just how much they were willing to let slide before saying ‘enough is enough’. As I thought about the angle they had suggested I take, something Granny always said (that had been said to her by my great-grandma) kept running through my head….
“If you don’t do it right the first time you will have the privilege of doing it over again.”
There’s nothing minimal or MBA about that, is there? It wasn’t enough for Grandma or Granny to be satisfied with doing just enough to get by. I don’t remember it being enough for my mom either, and I know it wasn’t enough for John and me when we were raising our kids. And I’m glad for it.
By taking a minimal standards approach to parenting you are squelching their self-confidence and self-respect. You are saying…
*I won’t expect too much because I don’t think you are capable of giving any more than that.
*I won’t expect too much because it doesn’t really matter.
On top of that, you are encouraging your child to be lazy, irresponsible, selfish, and disrespectful of authority. Ouch! I’m sure that hurts, but it’s the truth.
Social media is flooded with posts and tweets about ‘the good ‘ole days’ and ‘remember when’s’ that speak of a time when respect, hard work, self-sufficiency, and other solid character traits were the norm rather than the exception they seem to be today. So if we really do long for that type of society and lifestyle again, then it’s up to those of you who are raising children to do something about it—something like raising the bar and setting higher expectations for your children than just minimal standards of behavior.
I’m thankful I was expected to do things right or do them over. I’m also not apologizing for expecting the same from my kids. And you know what? I am confident in saying they wouldn’t want me to. Children want, no, they need to know you believe they are capable of more than just enough to get by. Their confidence and success as a productive child and adult depends on it. So instead of settling for the least they can give, help them see just how far they can go.
Copyright 2017 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.