Are you a “bad” mom?

It is very easy for a child to award its mother the title of Mean mum or even the worst mum in the world.

However, this generally means that you are simply doing a good job. No, the “mean” mothers we are talking about are not those who are indifferent to their children, who never hug them or those who expose them to physical and mental risks. They are those who impose rules and keep them at all costs, those who believe in the importance of having an order and a plan and those who simply ignore if all the other children in the second grade own an iPad.

One of them is Denise Schipani, an American mother and a writer. In fact she is so proud of being “bad”, that she wrote a book called Mean Moms Rule: Why Doing the Hard Stuff Now Creates Good Kids Later, explaining why it’s good to be mean!

• Mean mums do not lose themselves in the maternity. Good mums feel so much obliged to put priority on their children that they forget that they must look after themselves too. As soon as they give birth, they just replace stylish clothes with comfortable clothing, they get dark circles under their eyes and consider themselves lucky if they take a quick shower in the morning. “Mean” mums hear all this and feel a stirring in their stomach. “Children are supposed to add to our lives, why should we even eliminate the things we considered essential? Losing your personality for the sake of motherhood is bad for you (for obvious reasons), but also for your children. How will they ever learn to respect themselves when we do not do the same?”

• “Mean” mums are not afraid to say “no”. Saying “no” is nothing but a small, sweet dose of maternal love. Do not be afraid to say it. Many parents are trapped in “yes” dictatorship, believing that positive mood is their obligation. “Yes” is like a piece of cake that abruptly raises glucose levels and gives you a feeling of power but can be precipitated so fast. “No” is like a bowl of whole wheat nutritious foods that release energy little by little and this way it lasts longer. It gives you the opportunity to teach children many things about the family finances, your moral values and options. Try to say it. Without guilt. Without excuses. Just say it whenever you mean it.

• “Mean” mums do not feel obliged to do what other mothers do. Remember when you were in high school and had to wear particular pair of jeans or had your hair styled in a certain way in order to belong to the cool girls? Well, you are a grownup now but this group of “cool” still exists. Now it’s the “good” mums who decide how to behave in regard to your child. Impose rules as to how long you need to breastfeed your baby, at what age your child should sleep all night long, what school is the best choice or on how many extracurricular activities you should send them to. Ignore them all and take your own decisions based on your own opinions and follow your instincts.

• “Mean” mothers are not reluctant to disappoint their children every once in a while. While they are still babies, it is important to respond quickly to their needs. To give them milk the moment they ask for it, to hold them when they cry and change their dippers when they have to. But as their children grow up, “mean” mums let the time gap get longer from “Muuuum” to “I’ll be right there my love”. Letting our children go through a few small frustrations, when we don’t run to help them find a lost toy or when we don’t ask their classmate’s mum to give our offspring invitation to the party, we actually give them the permit to build the flexibility and sufficiency they need to mature. Think: small failures today = great successes later!

• “Mean” mothers have the control of their own homes. Why should you feel guilty because you want to have an opinion about what’s inside your fridge or when is it time for TV or what time is time to go to bed? “I have control” does not necessarily mean “I’m bossy,” but children need to feel that an adult is holding the steering wheel! Parents who put rules and limits (and keep their word for them) have cheerful children who grow up with confidence. Do not fall into the trap “I want to be friends with my child” or take decisions together. If you want to enable those children to be just children, you should be parents! That simple!

• Children with “mean” mothers know how to do choruses. “Mean” mothers teach their children to be independent, to be able to clean, to cook, to fix the things they broke , to tidy their rooms, take out the garbage or do their laundry. This is not only helpful for them, since they don’t have to do everything by themselves but is particularly useful for the children who will one day need to survive away from their parents. Moreover, it gives them a feeling of confidence that is win-win. Perfect!

• “Mean” mothers’ children are raised ready to conquer the world (they are not children who feel that the world owes them). Surely you’ve heard stories about parents who have asked someone they know to hire their child or for mums who complain to high school teachers because they did not give a good grade to their son or daughter. There are parents who continue to solve the problems for their children even when they have grown up (a lot). Forced to do so because they never taught them that they must stand on their own feet. So if at the first grade your children make mistakes in spelling, do to fix them. It’s their own mistakes, not yours. Allow them to do it; they have to learn a lot from them!


Konstantinos Konstantinides
Vournova 4 & Vournova 7, Nikaia
T. (+30) 2104933309, 213040035

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