I was listening to a podcast the other day, where the author of the book NOT NICE: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent & Feeling Guilty…(his name is Aziz Gazapura) was talking about how the majority of the population is actually TOO NICE.
What does being TOO NICE look like?
• We apologize A LOT
• We always say yes… even if it interferes with what we want
• We are doing things to please other people
• We can’t handle when someone is upset with us
• We need others to be OK for us to feel OK
I would argue that moms as a population may fit into the TOO NICE bucket more than not.
Especially when we are interacting with our kids.
Think about it…
Do you ever apologize to your kids for losing it and yelling? (I know I have on too many occasions)
And what are we apologizing for?
For yelling because we’ve already tried to make our requests in a respectful patient tone for 17 attempts already and finally lost our super-human patience?
I hope that instead of apologizing, we can (hopefully calmly) teach our kids what their part is in the fresh-hell moment that your family is enduring, helping them take some responsibility in the resulting less-than-stellar family interaction currently at play.
Do you find yourself saying yes to most of your kid’s requests (or demands – however you want to view them)?
Even if it interferes with time you could be spending on something for your personal development or self-care or plain ‘ol sanity?
Look at your weekly schedule and let me know your answer…
And take a moment to think about all the sacrifices you make – daily – to please your kids so they don’t feel disappointment, feel left out or learn the lesson that life is all about priorities and trade-offs and that you cannot have it all?
And when our kids are mad at us, say cruel things or don’t show appreciation for what we do (which, I don’t know about you, is becoming more the norm as my oldest enters puberty. If I was a betting woman, I’d place cold hard cash on the fact that this kind of crap will experience an upward trend) – how do we handle it?
Can we be comfortable with our kid having and outwardly showing these upset feelings towards us?
Or will we be so uncomfortable that we will try to smooth things over even if it goes against a boundary we have set just so that our kids will calm down and we can feel better?
And think about how we feel as moms if our kids are not feeling or doing OK (whatever “OK” means to you)?
Do you feel responsible?
Do you feel anxious?
Do you feel it is a referendum on your parenting?
TEXT BOOK TOO NICE.
AND… we are training our kids to be TOO NICE…
Because if our kids are nice – it makes parenting…
SO. MUCH. EASIER.
If they are nice instead of crazy and acting up…
SO. MUCH. EASIER.
If they are nice and follow the rules in school and you don’t get the bad choice bonanza emails…
SO. MUCH. EASIER.
If they are nice, calm and obedient… my life as mom is…
SO. MUCH. EASIER!
But what if there is a downside to being TOO NICE?
As kids get older, they’ll have problems…
• Being assertive
• Being susceptible to peer pressure
• Not knowing who they are or what they want out of life.
YIKES… That doesn’t sound good.
So… what’s the alternative to being TOO NICE?
It isn’t being a jerk.
It isn’t not caring how others think or feel.
It is, instead, being BOLD.
BOLDLY address your needs and wants and stop dismissing them.
BOLDLY embrace your passions and your purpose and stop self-sacrificing for others… including your children.
BOLDLY ask for what you want and say “no” to the things you don’t.
The goal is to move into healthy give-and-take relationships with all of those in our orbit and especially with our kids.
Doing so models the kind of relationships we want them to craft and demand for themselves as they live their life.
So how about we stop being TOO NICE and start being BOLD?
Our relationships will improve, we will feel less resentful and we will be teaching our kids a valuable life lesson.