Why its OK to be the “Mean Mom”

Many parenting books cover the topic of the types parenting styles. However, from the perspective of kids today, it seems parents either fall into the ‘cool’ category or the ‘mean’ category. A phrase often overheard when kids compare notes on the playground is ‘My mom is so mean, she made me clean my room!’, as if this a major offense. While the thought of being labeled a ‘mean’ mom may not seem very appealing, here are some reasons why it may not be a bad thing after all. 

– First, what is meant by ‘mean’ is not being insensitive or hurtful.  It actually means the opposite. Kids need parents to care enough to set boundaries and to provide a loving but structured environment where they can thrive. It seems in today’s world, you are perceived as being a bad parent if you tell your kids ‘no’. However, by being consistent and enforcing your expectations and household rules, you are showing that you are good to your word and will stand by the boundaries you have set.  

– ‘Mean’ moms have less clean up to do. As their kids grow, mean moms assign their kids age-appropriate chores and expect them to help clean up behind themselves. Computer or TV time is not permitted until the daily chores are complete. This is truly a win-win situation. You feel less overwhelmed by household chores and your kids learn skills they will need later to live on their own.  

– Kids of ‘mean’ moms learn the skills of problem solving and critical thinking. Mean moms slowly take a step back as their kids grow, and eventually find themselves not constantly having to rush around ‘fixing’  things that goes slightly wrong during their child’s day. Those little failures, like forgetting to turn in a homework assignment and making a bad grade, do hurt but the experience of resolving their issues independently will help your child become a more self-sufficient and confident adult.