Parents: Just Say NO to Rudeness!

Parenting is hard. There, I’ve said it, and I will repeat it. Parenting is hard. Sometimes you are just exhausted, and you let things slip; sometimes you are so busy taking pride in the cute/smart/fabulous antics of your kids that you just forget who you are and what you are supposed to do.


Stop it. Stop forgetting to be a parent. A key memo to you is DO NOT TOLERATE ANY RUDENESS.

Rudeness can come in many different shapes and forms. It can be silent, and it can be loud. It can be in words or in expressions. And once it is overlooked, it becomes harder and harder to control it’s ugly appearance.

When a child is young, we are watching everything he or she does. “Please” and “Thank You” are requested and received, and it is understood that there will be no hair pulling, arm pinching or throwing toys. Most often this behavior is caught and corrected.

With age comes a feeling of power, so a child will try to test the boundaries. You call the kids for dinner, and there is no response until the third request. You ask them to clean up their rooms or walk the dog and the eyeballs roll or they disappear.

Don't Tolerate Rudeness

Worse yet, you turn down a request (invite a friend/spend the night out/go to the movies) and they look at you and say, “You are so mean,” and go in the bedroom and slam the door.

You are conflicted. You think, “Well, when I was a kid I went through a time when I did not like my parents, either.” So you breathe a sigh and walk the dog yourself. Or you simply ignore the action and go about your business.

Stop it! Stop forgetting to be a parent. I gave you the memo: DO NOT TOLERATE ANY RUDENESS.

Or it will get worse. Last week I was in the mall in Banana Republic. There was a mother and her teenaged daughter (15-16) in the dressing room next to mine. The conversation went something like this:

Mom: “Here are some jeans; try them on.”

Girl:  “Really?  You think I would wear these?”

Mom: “Well, come out and pick out the ones you like.  You know you need new jeans.”

Girl:  “You know the ones I like are at Nordstrom. Those are the ones you will never buy for me.  You always say they cost too much money. I hate the ones you pick out.”

Mom:  “Ok, Ok, maybe next time we go shopping we can get those but this time just pick some that are in the budget.”

Girl:  “The only way I’ll do that is if you let Emily and Janet spend the night tomorrow night.”

Mom:  “Ok, Ok.  Let’s just get some new jeans and let’s get out of here.”

Yes, that is really how the conversation flowed. Mom’s shoulders slumped as she went to the register, and her daughter just headed out the door. When rudeness is overlooked early on, it just gets worse.

Your children should not hold you hostage. Love them; have fun with them; enjoy them.  Rudeness does not belong in your relationship.

Remember that starting early –  and sticking to it – is the key. Otherwise that could be you in the dressing room at Banana Republic.

Feeling stuck?  Call me at 615-500-2643, and let’s talk about it.

~ Loretta

Photo credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / mandygodbehear

Stop Saying “I’m Sorry”

Save “I’m Sorry,” for When It’s Your Fault

Have you ever noticed how some people have difficulty saying “I’m sorry,” while others say it over and over several times a day?  I have.

Stop Saying I'm Sorry

The funny thing about ”I’m sorry” is that it puts you on the defensive.  It immediately admits fault because the person saying it must have something to be sorry for… unless that person is almost always – sorry.

“I’m sorry I bought the last muffin.”
“I’m sorry you are having a difficult day.”
“I’m sorry that it is going to rain at lunchtime today.”

You are not always sorry Sure, there are times when you are responsible for something that caused someone else discomfort or a problem but there are other ways to express your compassion than putting yourself at a disadvantage.

“They should have made more muffins today.”
“Wow, you are having quite a day. Let’s talk.”
“If it rains today, we’ll have our lunch outside tomorrow.”

Save sorry for when you really made a mistake and were wrong.  Then it is definitely time to swallow your pride and admit that you should have acted/said something differently.

There is a Time To Say I'm Sorry

Don’t try to get around it by making excuses or structuring the sentence to reflect the blame: “I’m sorry you were upset by what I did.”

If you did something that was not appropriate or actually rude or simply thoughtless, APOLOGIZE.  Most people have it in them to forgive others.  Just be careful so you don’t have to say “I’m sorry,” too often.

Wilted Tulip

Then you really will be sorry.

~ Loretta


People NEED People

I really like Barbra Streisand.  I like her for a lot of reasons, including:

  • How she spells her name
  • How she is not embarrassed about having a large nose
  • How her voice and mannerisms show great passion for her songs

And I especially like her for the starring role she played in Funny Girl on Broadway. As the awkward Fanny Brice, she sang one of my favorite songs, PEOPLE. Let me remind you a bit of the lyrics:

People, people who need people

Are the luckiest people in the world

And whether the need is for ‘one very special person’ or for a whole list, I think these lyrics are a very important reminder: People Need People. Regardless of how independent or brave or intelligent or strong you think you are, People Need People.  It’s a basic human desire, and it’s essential to our overall emotional health.

Friends, family, co-workers, or lovers, our need for interaction is what makes us human and helps us balance our lives.

How is your balance?

Make a point of interacting with your ‘people’ on a regular basis.  For those you can’t easily get to, you can stay in touch via email and Facebook, the telephone and all other electronic means.  But this does not satisfy the need for face-to-face interaction.

Meet, invite, get together with people in whatever social situation works for you. Create opportunities to be with others and then bask in the joy he or she can bring.  Make a list of people you want to spend time with and consider each one:

How do you feel after spending time together?  

If the  answer is not joy, peace, or happiness, find their name on the list – and scratch it off.  Be picky. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.  

Yes – people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.  And YOU need people.  Pay attention to your emotional balance.  Plan some time with someone on your list today.  And let me know how it goes.

~ Loretta