Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: I Feel Bad About...

Stop word vomiting directives at your children

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


I hope when you tell your kids to jump, they don't ask, "How high?"

I pray instead that you are raising kids who will not only question why it is they are being asked to act, but have no qualms about stating their opinion on whether or not they want to or feel they must.

Each day, so many of us, myself included, word vomit directives at our children --

Get up. It's time to wake up.

Get dressed.

Eat your food.

Finish your plate.

Hurry up.

Be quiet.

Sit still.

Listen to me.

Do what I say.

And if I'm honest,

"Do what I say because I'm saying it and you don't need any further explanation"

is kind of how I behave daily because this ship has to sail, and it's my job to keep the boat moving.

It's embarrassing to admit, it's juvenile, it's not practical, and it's the exact wrong way to parent.

To raise children who can identify their emotions and feel comfortable articulating them, we have to model that behavior for them and making them feel undeserving of explanations because we have "no time," well, it's not going to cultivate mindful and appropriately expressive children.

We often worry about our strong-willed, and "smart mouth" children when what we should be worrying about is where our will to consciously parent has gone.

I know where it's gone. It's gotten lost amidst the glorification of busy that is the staple of our everyday.

And, lost with it is our



and desire to nurture tiny humans to be



and heedful,

but also vocal,


and uncompromising in adhering to their values and beliefs; theirs, NOT OURS.

Listen, I don't want a jumper.

I don't want to raise a child to aimlessly welcomes and adheres to all directives aimed at them.

I don't need blind obedience, and neither does the world.

The world needs more individuals who can

respectfully -- that's the key --

disagree with the powers at be,

resist when there is injustice,

not shy away from general discord,

fight with their words,

and refuse to live their life as a robot controlled by their parents or anyone for that matter.

I hope when I tell my kids to jump, they don't ask, "How high?"

But, they probably will, and that means that I've got a lot of work to do, and you can bet your carcass I'm going to spend the rest of my parenting days hard at it.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.