Heard of the new book, Mean Moms Rule by Denise Schipani? I was given an advance copy and have made time to flip through most of it. Full disclosure: I am familiar with Schipani through an online writers’ forum.
In the book, Schipani asserts that “doing the hard stuff now creates good kids later” or, to spell it out even more fully: don’t cop out on your kids ‘cuz it’s easier to give in; once you’re a parent, you’ve got to step up to the plate and do your job.
While a lot of the author’s rules and regs for being a “mean mom” appear to be common sense, much of it was actually a good reminder for me – and I’m someone who is quite happy to qualify as a mean mom.
Mean Mom Rules include:
- Prepare them for the world, but not the world for them – Philosophical thinking here; let’s make sure our kids are savvy enough to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them.
- Don’t follow the parenting pack — In other words, be a leader not a follower.
- Take (or take back) control — Confession: Lately, I find myself catering to my children’s whims. While that’s fine sometimes, it can’t – and shouldn’t – be the case all the time. Sometimes momma’s gotta take a nap (or watch TV or chat on the phone or do her Pilates DVDs).
- Say no. Smile. Don’t apologize. Repeat as necessary — I love this one! Let’s not apologize for being parents, shall we?
While these MM rules are solid, most parents know that what works for your family one day may not work the next. And, that seems to apply to all kids – mental health issues or not. I’ve found that softening on certain rules occasionally makes life sweeter and calmer for all of us.
If you’re looking for common sense advice that justifies your instinct to be a good parent – not just a good friend – I suggest you order yourself a copy of Mean Moms Rule.