How Nas helped me remember to set boundaries and limits...
One of the joys of my life is music! I love all kinds. Soul, rock, gospel, rhythm and blues, ANYTHING can move me. The wonderful thing is that my husband, Kifaru, is a music lover also. Anyone who has spent time with us or in our home can attest to this. With that being said, I often have Ally McBeal moments while parenting. Now, I know that I may be dating myself, but you all remember the show, right?! The random breakouts in song and dance, the wild and crazy inner thoughts she had, the dancing baby....
If you don't remember, look it up. A great show....Anyway, I digress.
A little while ago, my lovely twin daughters decided to test some of the limits my husband and I had set for them. They asked for something and I said "No", as much as I didn't want to. And while I am a BOARD CERTIFIED BEHAVIOR ANALYST, I will admit that dad is definitely the more consistent parent. He is the one who has often said, "I thought you told me to ignore that" or "YOU SAID that we are supposed to respond like this."
As a working mom and entrepreneur, I often deal with "mom guilt" and this has led to me trying to create that perfect home environment. You know, the environment that is warm, super-loving, full of rainbows and unicorns, always provides choices and with parents who rarely say "No." (See my post from earlier in June regarding this). The fact of the matter is that trying to create that "perfect" home life has allowed me to be inconsistent in my delivery of consequences and in setting limits with our kids.
Sometime a few weeks ago, when my children decided to try me, and push the boundaries, I stood firm in my "No" response. This was difficult for me, because they marched away, pouting, huffing and puffing... they may have even been rolling their eyes. I acted like I didn't care, but Kifaru could see that it was bothering me and that I wanted to waver. Then he brought it all together for me by reciting the chorus of a Nas tune...
"You can hate me now.... (then I chimed in) But I won't stop now, 'Cause I can't stop now, (then WE got even LOUDER)... YOU CAN HATE ME NOOOOWWWWW"
In this moment, this song reminded me that I am being the BEST tough and loving parent I can be by setting limits AND consistently enforcing them, regardless of how my children feel about it in the moment. By standing firm in our decision to have consistent consequences and boundaries, our girls will grow up understanding the 5 following things:
1. There are boundaries and limits to what you can do. (deal with it)
2. You are NOT GOING TO LIKE THE BOUNDARIES AND LIMITS all the time. (that's alright)
3. You may even think that you hate us.....(and that's alright too)
4. But, Dad AND MOM are going to be consistent while enforcing the limits we have set. ('cause we love you, for real FOR REAL)
5. Finally, because our limits are enforceable, equitable and explicit you will LEARN in the process. (see my previous post for tips on setting limits)
Thank you to my dear husband for always having the perfect song at the perfect time to curate the soundtrack of our lives.
Thank you Mr. Nasir Jones for your lyrics....that I sing to myself every time I FEEL an eyeroll coming on.